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Sewing Machines

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  • Naresha
    HI Folks, Bit off topic here, but I was hoping to get a few recommendations of some sewing machines that people have found are good for making costumes.  At
    Message 1 of 18 , Nov 26, 2010
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      HI Folks,

      Bit off topic here, but I was hoping to get a few recommendations of some sewing machines that people have found are good for making costumes.  At the moment I have a Pfaff - two actually - but the newer one is bitterly disappointing.  It's just not sturdy enough and despite being at the slightly higher end of things, it just can't handle anything more than basic sewing - anything over a couple of layers thick is just too hard for this machine.  I've recently been making some dresses and ball gown type skirts  - nothing exceedingly fancy, just slightly thicker, heavier fabric and sometimes a few layers thick but it has taken twice as long as it does on the old machine (which was sadly rendered almost unusable by the last person who "serviced" it) because it just can't handle it.  (We've tried every trick we can think of to make it easier on the machine but it just doesn't like it)  There's a few other things that aren't related to the actual sewing
      that I hate about this machine like the fact it's about as sturdy as a piece of wet tissue and you nearly break it just putting the needle down and other things that I won't go into.

      As I'm hoping to make a few more costumes in the coming year, and I'd like to look at stepping it up into slightly fancier, more complicated outfits, I think it's time to start looking at a better machine.  I want something that can handle sewing multiple layers of fabric (I've spent too many hours hand sewing layers of tulle together this year) and not snap my needle or pop the foot off when I try to sew more than a couple of layers together.  I'm looking at maybe trying to make boned garments and things like that.  I don't want to go as far as buying an industrial machine, but I definitely want to get something sturdier and more substantial.  At the moment, cost isn't a huge issue, I'm more concerned about getting something that will stand up to a bit of abuse and not complain because I want to sew something a bit thicker or trickier than a t-shirt.

      I've seen heaps of people talk about their machines over time, so I'm hoping someone can suggest something for me to look at.


      Thanks
      Resha





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Silvara
      Resha, I have been very happy with my Bernia, its a work horse. It has a DC motar and can sew through ten layers of denim with no problem, corsets, silks and I
      Message 2 of 18 , Nov 26, 2010
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        Resha,

        I have been very happy with my Bernia, its a work horse. It has a DC motar and can sew through ten layers of denim with no problem, corsets, silks and I just recently sewn a heavy leather vest with it. I love it, its been worth every penny.

        Sharron


        ---- Naresha <north_shore_fruitcake@...> wrote:

        =============
        HI Folks,

        Bit off topic here, but I was hoping to get a few recommendations of some sewing machines that people have found are good for making costumes.  At the moment I have a Pfaff - two actually - but the newer one is bitterly disappointing.  It's just not sturdy enough and despite being at the slightly higher end of things, it just can't handle anything more than basic sewing - anything over a couple of layers thick is just too hard for this machine.  I've recently been making some dresses and ball gown type skirts  - nothing exceedingly fancy, just slightly thicker, heavier fabric and sometimes a few layers thick but it has taken twice as long as it does on the old machine (which was sadly rendered almost unusable by the last person who "serviced" it) because it just can't handle it.  (We've tried every trick we can think of to make it easier on the machine but it just doesn't like it)  There's a few other things that aren't related to the actual sewing
        that I hate about this machine like the fact it's about as sturdy as a piece of wet tissue and you nearly break it just putting the needle down and other things that I won't go into.

        As I'm hoping to make a few more costumes in the coming year, and I'd like to look at stepping it up into slightly fancier, more complicated outfits, I think it's time to start looking at a better machine.  I want something that can handle sewing multiple layers of fabric (I've spent too many hours hand sewing layers of tulle together this year) and not snap my needle or pop the foot off when I try to sew more than a couple of layers together.  I'm looking at maybe trying to make boned garments and things like that.  I don't want to go as far as buying an industrial machine, but I definitely want to get something sturdier and more substantial.  At the moment, cost isn't a huge issue, I'm more concerned about getting something that will stand up to a bit of abuse and not complain because I want to sew something a bit thicker or trickier than a t-shirt.

        I've seen heaps of people talk about their machines over time, so I'm hoping someone can suggest something for me to look at.


        Thanks
        Resha





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Sarah Strong
        Berninas are excellent, still have a lot of metal in the construction which is what you want to look for. the UMass costume shop is still using a batch of very
        Message 3 of 18 , Nov 26, 2010
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          Berninas are excellent, still have a lot of metal in the construction
          which is what you want to look for. the UMass costume shop is still
          using a batch of very basic Berninas they got, I think back when the
          Fine Arts Center was built. (a few have died the death and been
          replaced, but a lot are still going strong)
          I have 3 Vikings, an old 150, very basic, no electronics. A 1050 and a
          #1, which have electronics but are very sturdy. I sewed every day on the
          1050 for many years. When I finally had to have the drive replaced, I
          bagged the #1 still new in the box for about what I'd paid for the 1050
          all those years ago. If you hunt around you may still be able to find
          one from that line, they are real workhorses. My 1050 dressed two summer
          shakespeare shows for a number of years, plus several class plays as my
          daughter went through waldorf school.
          The #1 is my daily machine now, but I still get out the others when I
          have more than one person sewing in my studio. Both the 1050 and the #1
          have a feature where the full strength of the motor is behind the needle
          even at low speeds, so you can go slowly through thick material without
          the needle getting hung up (usually). Once in a while with many layers
          of very dense fabric, I will push the needle in by hand and then tap the
          foot control to complete the stitch.
          S

          Silvara wrote:
          >
          >
          > Resha,
          >
          > I have been very happy with my Bernia, its a work horse. It has a DC
          > motar and can sew through ten layers of denim with no problem, corsets,
          > silks and I just recently sewn a heavy leather vest with it. I love it,
          > its been worth every penny.
          >
          > Sharron
          >
          > ---- Naresha <north_shore_fruitcake@...
          > <mailto:north_shore_fruitcake%40yahoo.com.au>> wrote:
          >
          > =============
          > HI Folks,
          >
          > Bit off topic here, but I was hoping to get a few recommendations of
          > some sewing machines that people have found are good for making
          > costumes. At the moment I have a Pfaff - two actually - but the newer
          > one is bitterly disappointing. It's just not sturdy enough and despite
          > being at the slightly higher end of things, it just can't handle
          > anything more than basic sewing - anything over a couple of layers thick
          > is just too hard for this machine. I've recently been making some
          > dresses and ball gown type skirts - nothing exceedingly fancy, just
          > slightly thicker, heavier fabric and sometimes a few layers thick but it
          > has taken twice as long as it does on the old machine (which was sadly
          > rendered almost unusable by the last person who "serviced" it) because
          > it just can't handle it. (We've tried every trick we can think of to
          > make it easier on the machine but it just doesn't like it) There's a
          > few other things that aren't related to the actual sewing
          > that I hate about this machine like the fact it's about as sturdy as a
          > piece of wet tissue and you nearly break it just putting the needle down
          > and other things that I won't go into.
          >
          > As I'm hoping to make a few more costumes in the coming year, and I'd
          > like to look at stepping it up into slightly fancier, more complicated
          > outfits, I think it's time to start looking at a better machine. I want
          > something that can handle sewing multiple layers of fabric (I've spent
          > too many hours hand sewing layers of tulle together this year) and not
          > snap my needle or pop the foot off when I try to sew more than a couple
          > of layers together. I'm looking at maybe trying to make boned garments
          > and things like that. I don't want to go as far as buying an industrial
          > machine, but I definitely want to get something sturdier and more
          > substantial. At the moment, cost isn't a huge issue, I'm more concerned
          > about getting something that will stand up to a bit of abuse and not
          > complain because I want to sew something a bit thicker or trickier than
          > a t-shirt.
          >
          > I've seen heaps of people talk about their machines over time, so I'm
          > hoping someone can suggest something for me to look at.
          >
          > Thanks
          > Resha
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
        • Ann Catelli
          My main machine is still my Singer cast-iron machine, model 1591 (the 15 means it takes class 15 bobbins) from 1951, the year of Singer s centennial. Forwards
          Message 4 of 18 , Nov 26, 2010
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            My main machine is still my Singer cast-iron machine, model 1591 (the 15 means it takes class 15 bobbins) from 1951, the year of Singer's centennial.

            Forwards & backwards, stitch length adjustment. Will sew through anything.
            Likes very much being oiled every 8 hours of use, or before using if it's been couple of months.

            No zigzag, buttonholes only with an attachment, good with the zipper foot, has many fancy feet to perform various feats.

            Ann in CT

            --- Naresha wrote:
            >
            > recommendations of some sewing machines that people have
            > found are good for making costumes. 
          • Alyson
            I use a Singer Quantum-Futura CE-250 sewing/embroidery machine. I really love it.I download other patterns, sew various layers and use it for costumes,
            Message 5 of 18 , Nov 26, 2010
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              I use a Singer Quantum-Futura CE-250 sewing/embroidery machine. I really love
              it.I download other patterns, sew various layers and use it for costumes,
              historic garb and formal wear. Not everyone likes the Singers since they do not
              always have the mechanics that others have, but I've never had a problem and I
              love the automatic tension and stitches. I did a lot of research before I
              purchased it and it fit my budget and my needs. I haven't had any problems wiht
              it at all and it sews just about everything.

              Before I had the Singer,I sewed with a cheap Brother from Wal-mart.I put the
              machine through the ringer sewing everything from a light silk to leather and it
              held up but I needed something more as I advanced.

              (Now I use my industrial Pfaff for leather :)
              Cemper





              One cannot silly-walk into Mordor.





              ________________________________
              From: Naresha <north_shore_fruitcake@...>
              To: F Costume <f-costume@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Fri, November 26, 2010 11:17:37 AM
              Subject: [F-Costume] Sewing Machines


              HI Folks,

              Bit off topic here, but I was hoping to get a few recommendations of some sewing
              machines that people have found are good for making costumes. At the moment I
              have a Pfaff - two actually - but the newer one is bitterly disappointing. It's
              just not sturdy enough and despite being at the slightly higher end of things,
              it just can't handle anything more than basic sewing - anything over a couple of
              layers thick is just too hard for this machine. I've recently been making some
              dresses and ball gown type skirts - nothing exceedingly fancy, just slightly
              thicker, heavier fabric and sometimes a few layers thick but it has taken twice
              as long as it does on the old machine (which was sadly rendered almost unusable
              by the last person who "serviced" it) because it just can't handle it. (We've
              tried every trick we can think of to make it easier on the machine but it just
              doesn't like it) There's a few other things that aren't related to the actual
              sewing
              that I hate about this machine like the fact it's about as sturdy as a piece of
              wet tissue and you nearly break it just putting the needle down and other things
              that I won't go into.

              As I'm hoping to make a few more costumes in the coming year, and I'd like to
              look at stepping it up into slightly fancier, more complicated outfits, I think
              it's time to start looking at a better machine. I want something that can
              handle sewing multiple layers of fabric (I've spent too many hours hand sewing
              layers of tulle together this year) and not snap my needle or pop the foot off
              when I try to sew more than a couple of layers together. I'm looking at maybe
              trying to make boned garments and things like that. I don't want to go as far
              as buying an industrial machine, but I definitely want to get something sturdier
              and more substantial. At the moment, cost isn't a huge issue, I'm more
              concerned about getting something that will stand up to a bit of abuse and not
              complain because I want to sew something a bit thicker or trickier than a
              t-shirt.

              I've seen heaps of people talk about their machines over time, so I'm hoping
              someone can suggest something for me to look at.

              Thanks
              Resha

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Elizabeth Phillips
              And regular machine you try is probably going to have problems with what you re looking for it to do.  You should probably look at industrial machines. 
              Message 6 of 18 , Nov 26, 2010
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                And regular machine you try is probably going to have problems with what you're looking for it to do.  You should probably look at industrial machines.  They're designed to sew heavier fabrics with no trouble.

                --- On Fri, 11/26/10, Naresha <north_shore_fruitcake@...> wrote:
                HI Folks,

                Bit off topic here, but I was hoping to get a few recommendations of some sewing machines that people have found are good for making costumes.  At the moment I have a Pfaff - two actually - but the newer one is bitterly disappointing.  It's just not sturdy enough and despite being at the slightly higher end of things, it just can't handle anything more than basic sewing - anything over a couple of layers thick is just too hard for this machine.  I've recently been making some dresses and ball gown type skirts  - nothing exceedingly fancy, just slightly thicker, heavier fabric and sometimes a few layers thick but it has taken twice as long as it does on the old machine (which was sadly rendered almost unusable by the last person who "serviced" it) because it just can't handle it.  (We've tried every trick we can think of to make it easier on the machine but it just doesn't like it)  There's a few other things that aren't related to the actual sewing
                that I hate about this machine like the fact it's about as sturdy as a piece of wet tissue and you nearly break it just putting the needle down and other things that I won't go into.

                As I'm hoping to make a few more costumes in the coming year, and I'd like to look at stepping it up into slightly fancier, more complicated outfits, I think it's time to start looking at a better machine.  I want something that can handle sewing multiple layers of fabric (I've spent too many hours hand sewing layers of tulle together this year) and not snap my needle or pop the foot off when I try to sew more than a couple of layers together.  I'm looking at maybe trying to make boned garments and things like that.  I don't want to go as far as buying an industrial machine, but I definitely want to get something sturdier and more substantial.  At the moment, cost isn't a huge issue, I'm more concerned about getting something that will stand up to a bit of abuse and not complain because I want to sew something a bit thicker or trickier than a t-shirt.

                I've seen heaps of people talk about their machines over time, so I'm hoping someone can suggest something for me to look at.


                Thanks
                Resha



                     

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                ------------------------------------

                Yahoo! Groups Links








                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Cat Devereaux
                Sewing machines are not off topic... they re a very important tool for creating your costume. My preference is Viking, though I admit, I m not familiar with
                Message 7 of 18 , Nov 26, 2010
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                  Sewing machines are not off topic... they're a very important tool for
                  creating your costume.

                  My preference is Viking, though I admit, I'm not familiar with the
                  current models. My old beast allows me to adjust for how thick the
                  fabric is at the throat plate and the lifting arm handles two different
                  levels of "down". It has a two speed automatic motor so it can
                  downshift to handle the hard stuff. When they demoed it, they could
                  throw plywood paint stickes into the mix and it would sew fabric, the
                  utility foot would push up and it would go right though the fabric and
                  paint stick and then back to fabric... and do it like it was sewing, not
                  performing tricks.

                  One big thing about most Vikings, they're picky about thread and
                  needles, they want the good stuff... but oh how they perform when you
                  feed them right. Mine sews though an 8 yrd skirt on a waist band w/
                  heavy interfacing and the pins still in.


                  My favorite time of the year for looking for a new machine is county
                  fairs. Do a bit of research in advance and print out what you'd be
                  interested in seeing. Don't be afraid to bring some nasty samples to
                  pull out after you've seen the basics. If you can, make notes and leave
                  to do more research at home when you find out what their best models
                  are. Then do more internet research, and head back again.

                  Tell them the weird stuff you sew in, mention Renaissance fairs, even if
                  you don't sew in them... it's a term they understand.

                  Besides county fairs, look for craft or sewing expos that go on at the
                  same place as the county fairs. They won't have quite the same
                  selection, but some pretty good deals, and at least one person who
                  understands more about machines.

                  Again, show them what you want to sew though. Request hands on with
                  your samples... a sewing machine is an important tool, see if you and it
                  get along.

                  These big shows are often connected with a store or 3... there you can
                  learn how to use the extra features in your machine. There they will
                  try to sell you a lot of extra feet.... personally, I find about half
                  the extra feet are worth their weight in gold.

                  Another option, look around for a sewing machine/vacuum repair place, or
                  places. Bring samples and explain the chalanges. Again, hands on.
                  However, be careful about warenties on these places if you don't know
                  them... they can often only be for fix or exchange with their own
                  things.... so know your repair guy... but you can get some fab deals
                  there, if you're careful... and again, research the model.... some are
                  dogs, some are gold.


                  Stay away from Singer. They're not up to the sewing games we torture
                  the sewing machines with.


                  Slight topic add on... Beginning Sewing Machines...
                  For those of you starting out on sewing and want a cheap machine for
                  Christmas, White is a better than some of the other 2nd levels. Make
                  your compromise in the number of stitches.

                  All you need are the basic stitches including a good stretch stich that
                  overcasts the edge. (Basically if it can do a 3 stitch zig-zag, it
                  probably has a stretch overcast stitch and solid overcast stitch.) Also
                  make sure it can do a button hole by itself. Most will be automatic,
                  but as long as you can flick and control the length and need no more
                  extra equipment than other foot, you're good.

                  These bargin machines will only have a one speed motor, and if you do
                  1/4" to 1/3" inch gulps of fabric often, like ren fair skirts of flat
                  felled denim much.... save up a bit more and go for a used good beast.

                  All just MHO, your mileage may vary.

                  -Cat-
                • antigone68104
                  Do you need the fancy stitches? If not, you might look at an older machine. My current workhorse is a late 1970 s Kenmore. It had been sitting in my SIL s
                  Message 8 of 18 , Nov 27, 2010
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                    Do you need the fancy stitches? If not, you might look at an older machine. My current workhorse is a late 1970's Kenmore. It had been sitting in my SIL's attic for several years, so it needed more than a basic cleaning to get congealed oil off the internal bits, but so far it's managed to sew anything I can fit under the presser foot. (I do need to experiment with the buttonhole attachment, though.)

                    Leah
                  • Sarah Strong
                    I have heard good things about kenmore, especially the older ones. In general older machines tend to have more metal parts so they make a better stitch and
                    Message 9 of 18 , Nov 27, 2010
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                      I have heard good things about kenmore, especially the older ones.
                      In general older machines tend to have more metal parts so they make a
                      better stitch and stand up to more use.
                      In some ways it is more important to have a good service shop nearby,
                      who can do the annual cleaning and tuning up, once you have a decent
                      machine.

                      antigone68104 wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Do you need the fancy stitches? If not, you might look at an older
                      > machine. My current workhorse is a late 1970's Kenmore. It had been
                      > sitting in my SIL's attic for several years, so it needed more than a
                      > basic cleaning to get congealed oil off the internal bits, but so far
                      > it's managed to sew anything I can fit under the presser foot. (I do
                      > need to experiment with the buttonhole attachment, though.)
                      >
                      > Leah
                      >
                    • CandyK
                      My two cents- just look for an gently used older machine and use the right needle for the project. My favorite one is a Kenmore I ve had for nearly 25 years.
                      Message 10 of 18 , Nov 27, 2010
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                        My two cents- just look for an gently used older machine and use the right needle for the project. My favorite one is a Kenmore I've had for nearly 25 years. It is sturdier than the new Brother machine I have. The new stuff feels lightweight and plasticy. The old one does everything and I even used it to take in the calves and a pair of stiff vinyl boots! I also have an industrial machine and that will sew right through anything, including plastic boning. But I prefer the Kenmore over all my machines. I've actually never had to have it serviced. I just keep it oiled well and it works wonders.
                        My best tip twould be to check on craigslist.com, but not sure if they have that where you are.
                        Good luck machine shopping :)
                        -Candy


                        --- In F-Costume@yahoogroups.com, Naresha <north_shore_fruitcake@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > HI Folks,
                        >
                        > Bit off topic here, but I was hoping to get a few recommendations of some sewing machines that people have found are good for making costumes.  At the moment I have a Pfaff - two actually - but the newer one is bitterly disappointing.  It's just not sturdy enough and despite being at the slightly higher end of things, it just can't handle anything more than basic sewing - anything over a couple of layers thick is just too hard for this machine.  I've recently been making some dresses and ball gown type skirts  - nothing exceedingly fancy, just slightly thicker, heavier fabric and sometimes a few layers thick but it has taken twice as long as it does on the old machine (which was sadly rendered almost unusable by the last person who "serviced" it) because it just can't handle it.  (We've tried every trick we can think of to make it easier on the machine but it just doesn't like it)  There's a few other things that aren't related to the actual sewing
                        > that I hate about this machine like the fact it's about as sturdy as a piece of wet tissue and you nearly break it just putting the needle down and other things that I won't go into.
                        >
                        > As I'm hoping to make a few more costumes in the coming year, and I'd like to look at stepping it up into slightly fancier, more complicated outfits, I think it's time to start looking at a better machine.  I want something that can handle sewing multiple layers of fabric (I've spent too many hours hand sewing layers of tulle together this year) and not snap my needle or pop the foot off when I try to sew more than a couple of layers together.  I'm looking at maybe trying to make boned garments and things like that.  I don't want to go as far as buying an industrial machine, but I definitely want to get something sturdier and more substantial.  At the moment, cost isn't a huge issue, I'm more concerned about getting something that will stand up to a bit of abuse and not complain because I want to sew something a bit thicker or trickier than a t-shirt.
                        >
                        > I've seen heaps of people talk about their machines over time, so I'm hoping someone can suggest something for me to look at.
                        >
                        >
                        > Thanks
                        > Resha
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                      • Serit
                        I learned how to sew on one of those! It s cast iron under black enamel and inlaid gold scrollwork. My mom has the Centennial, too, with the little plaque. I
                        Message 11 of 18 , Nov 27, 2010
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                          I learned how to sew on one of those! It's cast iron under black enamel and inlaid gold scrollwork. My mom has the Centennial, too, with the little plaque. I was a fat teen in the 1970s, and there were NO 'fat girl' clothes in those days, so my mom told me, "If you don't like what I make for you, make it yourself!" Which I did, much to her annoyance; I paid for patterns, fabric, and notions, did the cutting and most of the straight sewing, but she didn't dare let me use the buttonhole attachment or the zipper foot on her 'precious' machine. (You know that button, "You're ugly and your mom dresses you funny"? That was me in the 70s.)

                          We cruised around on Saturday mornings and stopped at garage/yard sales... yes, you know what's coming... We found another Singer 1591, without the centennial plaque, not in a carrying case, no info, no nothing, the bottom innards looked pretty rusty--I can't remember how much I paid for it; I didn't have much money in those days, so it couldn't have been more than $15-$20 USD... My mom found a sew 'n' vac guy who cleaned and put it back together. It sewed heavenly after I got it from her (I made sure I took it when I moved in with the guy who's now my hub), but it weighs a ton (cast iron, remember?), and I kept pulling my shoulder muscles whenever I took it out or put it away (two ripped rotator cuffs: I'll never pitch for the Red Sox again!) I sewed tons of SCA garb (generic Dark Ages-ish, late Tudor, early Elizabethan-ish) either on Mom's or my Singer, and the only thing I was bummed about was not having a zig-zag stitch for those new-fangled applique art quilt patterns.

                          Mom bought a $99 USD 'Wal-Mart special' Singer for me a few years ago; it's made completely of plastic, and I can't get ANY light on the needle and sewing foot! I took off the plastic end cover and discovered a solid aluminium plate that sticks out and blocks ALL the light! And I can't take a drill or cutter to it, because the part has important stuff attached to it--but the machine has three (3!) zig-zag stitches!! Arrgh!!!

                          I had to make a decision: ruin my shoulders (and my husband's) moving 'the machine' ('cus I don't have space to keep both on my sewing table), or write my Great American Science Fiction Space Opera Novel (the 'not-so-short-anymore-short-story'). The 'not-so-short-anymore-short-story' has turned into detailed plot outlines for three (3!) additional novels, but all I wanted to do was write a short story, adapt it into a tv-movie script full of sound and fury and gratuitous violence signifying nothing, for two (2!) too-talented, too-cute-for-words, too-under-employed ex-Star Trek actors--

                          --oh, yeah, sewing machines: in June 2008, I was channel surfing and rediscovered Star Trek: Enterprise (and the aforementioned two (2!) too-everything actors!!), thought about making the NX-01 Enterprise uniform patch as an art quilt wall hanging and pushed that thought down, until last year, when I became totally obsessed with making it as a charity project for a group of ENT fans (I guess the meds aren't as effective as they once were...)

                          And I'm going to make McKenna Ryan's cat patterns into a sofa throw for Dominic for July 2011, so shoot me now, please! (close-captioned for the humour-impaired) (You'll get my stash! Rats, I culled it last year; I guess I have to buy more fabric now!)
                          Yes, I know there are only three (3) cat panels in McKenna's "Morning Mews" set, so I have to mash all three cats into one panel to make a fourth (4th?!) panel and hope it looks decent. I'll take out all the 'artsy' bars and squares on each panel, and use them for frames around the four (4) panels--are you seeing the possibilities here?

                          Anyway, I'll be reading everyone's sewing machine recommendations to see if I can find a new one for NEXT Christmas!

                          Best Wishes, Happy Leftovers, Happy-Every-Religious-Holiday-Possible-Crammed-Into-December, Peace and Long Life, Live Long and Prosper!!!
                          Serit Miranduviel

                          p.s. If I haven't, I'll make a photo folder showing some of the garb I've made for my husband and for me, the NX-01 art quilt wall hanging, and updates on the cat sofa throw (if anyone fails to talk me out of it!)



                          In F-Costume@yahoogroups.com, Ann Catelli wrote:
                          >My main machine is still my Singer cast-iron machine, model 1591
                          >(the 15 means it takes class 15 bobbins) from 1951, the year of
                          >Singer's centennial. Forwards & backwards, stitch length adjustment.
                          >Will sew through anything. Likes very much being oiled every 8 hours
                          >of use, or before using if it's been couple of months.
                          >No zigzag, buttonholes only with an attachment, good with the zipper
                          >foot, has many fancy feet to perform various feats.
                          >Ann in CT
                        • Sarah Strong
                          oil is good, I hope you also clean out the lint and sizing from the thread pathway. Those old metal machines can t be beat! S
                          Message 12 of 18 , Nov 27, 2010
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                            oil is good, I hope you also clean out the lint and sizing from the
                            thread pathway.
                            Those old metal machines can't be beat!
                            S

                            CandyK wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > My two cents- just look for an gently used older machine and use the
                            > right needle for the project. My favorite one is a Kenmore I've had for
                            > nearly 25 years. It is sturdier than the new Brother machine I have. The
                            > new stuff feels lightweight and plasticy. The old one does everything
                            > and I even used it to take in the calves and a pair of stiff vinyl
                            > boots! I also have an industrial machine and that will sew right through
                            > anything, including plastic boning. But I prefer the Kenmore over all my
                            > machines. I've actually never had to have it serviced. I just keep it
                            > oiled well and it works wonders.
                            > My best tip twould be to check on craigslist.com, but not sure if they
                            > have that where you are.
                            > Good luck machine shopping :)
                            > -Candy
                            >
                          • Pierre & Sandy Pettinger
                            We currently have 5 machines: My Janome 11000 sewing/embroidery machine, Hubby s Husqvarna Designer 1 sewing/embroidery machine, my original machine - late
                            Message 13 of 18 , Nov 27, 2010
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                              We currently have 5 machines: My Janome 11000 sewing/embroidery
                              machine, Hubby's Husqvarna Designer 1 sewing/embroidery machine, my
                              original machine - late 1970's Kenmore, my mother's new-ish (late
                              1980's, early 90's) and a White 4-thread serger.

                              I love the Janome and dislike the Husqvarna, hubby is just the
                              opposite. Both are good machines, and have made coats, corsets, and
                              various costumes. It's just the little annoying things about each
                              one that fuel the dislike - so like others have said, make sure you
                              test-drive any machine with your own fabrics before you buy.

                              The old Kenmore still works pretty well, even after sitting in the
                              attic for several years. The feed isn't accurate any more, but if
                              you pull the fabric through, it works. We drag it out when doing
                              upholstery, leather, anything really heavy, as it doesn't even blink
                              at 8 layers of denim. With leather needles, I've even sewn 1/4"
                              rawhide. My mom's Singer is a piece of trash. We had it serviced by
                              a good shop right after we inherited it, and needed to drag it out
                              when one of ours was in the shop and we had a deadline. We took 3
                              stitches and it came out of tune and the needle banged into the
                              hook. It's only good for a paperweight.

                              The White serger is great, the only thing it doesn't do well is
                              rolled hems - way too many adjustments to get it to work. It's not
                              worth the time it takes to change the foot, change the plate, and
                              adjust all the tensions. Then changing them back when you want to go
                              back to regular serging.

                              HTH,
                              Sandy

                              At 07:41 AM 11/27/2010, you wrote:
                              >
                              >Do you need the fancy stitches? If not, you might look at an older
                              >machine. My current workhorse is a late 1970's Kenmore. It had been
                              >sitting in my SIL's attic for several years, so it needed more than
                              >a basic cleaning to get congealed oil off the internal bits, but so
                              >far it's managed to sew anything I can fit under the presser foot.
                              >(I do need to experiment with the buttonhole attachment, though.)
                              >
                              >Leah

                              International Costumers' Guild Archivist

                              http://www.costume.org/gallery2/main.php

                              "Those Who Fail to Learn History
                              Are Doomed to Repeat It;
                              Those Who Fail To Learn History Correctly -
                              Why They Are Simply Doomed."

                              Achemdro'hm
                              "The Illusion of Historical Fact"
                              -- C. Y. 4971

                              Andromeda
                            • Judy Mitchell
                              I love my Kenmore also, and I have a Riccar that works nicely. both are fairly simple 12-stitch machines (and I don t use most of them) so they are mechanical.
                              Message 14 of 18 , Nov 27, 2010
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                                I love my Kenmore also, and I have a Riccar that works nicely. both are
                                fairly simple 12-stitch machines (and I don't use most of them) so they
                                are mechanical. Mechanical tends to be more of a workhouse than the
                                computer ones.

                                You might also look for a quilting-style machine - something that has 2
                                motor speeds so that when you are doing very heavy thick-seamed projects.

                                If you are on a budget, you might check with a local, GOOD sewing
                                machine repair shop (might be a local sew-vac?) and get one of their
                                refurbished machines.

                                -Judy
                              • Ann Garner
                                ... I ll agree with that. I have a Sears (made by White) portable machine that Mom decided I needed when I left for college, that was 1976, and I think the
                                Message 15 of 18 , Nov 27, 2010
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                                  At 10:08 AM 11/27/2010, you wrote:
                                  >oil is good, I hope you also clean out the lint and sizing from the
                                  >thread pathway.
                                  >Those old metal machines can't be beat!

                                  I'll agree with that. I have a Sears (made by White) portable
                                  machine that Mom decided I needed when I left for college, that was
                                  1976, and I think the machine was either a birthday present or a
                                  Christmas present. I could get out the accessories box and be sure,
                                  I kept the papers from the machine being shipped to Dad in the lid of the box.
                                  Ann in Arkansas
                                • Ann Catelli
                                  Um, yeah, that s why I own a Singer Featherweight; it s my portable machine. Under 15 pounds with everything in the case, vs 50lbs by itself. My cast-iron
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Nov 27, 2010
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                                    Um, yeah, that's why I own a Singer Featherweight; it's my portable machine. Under 15 pounds with everything in the case, vs 50lbs by itself.

                                    My cast-iron machine can stay out, so it does. :)

                                    Ann in CT

                                    --- On Sat, 11/27/10, Serit <smkwandr@...> wrote:

                                    > [Singer cast-iron] it weighs a
                                    > ton (cast iron, remember?), and I kept pulling my shoulder
                                    > muscles whenever I took it out or put it away (two ripped
                                    > rotator cuffs:
                                    >
                                    > In F-Costume@yahoogroups.com,
                                    > Ann Catelli wrote:
                                    > >My main machine is still my Singer cast-iron machine,
                                    > model 1591
                                    > >(the 15 means it takes class 15 bobbins) from 1951, the
                                    > year of
                                    > >Singer's centennial. Forwards & backwards, stitch
                                    > length adjustment.
                                    > >Will sew through anything. Likes very much being oiled
                                    > every 8 hours
                                    > >of use, or before using if it's been couple of months.
                                    > >No zigzag, buttonholes only with an attachment, good
                                    > with the zipper
                                    > >foot, has many fancy feet to perform various feats.
                                    > >Ann in CT
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ------------------------------------
                                    >
                                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >     F-Costume-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                  • Naresha
                                    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the suggestions they ve given.  Sadly we don t have ren faires and county fairs out here but I do think we ve got a
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Nov 28, 2010
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                                      Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the suggestions they've given.  Sadly we don't have ren faires and county fairs out here but I do think we've got a sewing expo at some time.  Sadly, sewing isn't as popular here as it used to be and there's precious few brands out there to play with.  The chain fabric stores stock mostly Toyota, Brother and Singer.  The couple of specialist sewing machine shops anywhere near here don't stock that many machines...

                                      We have a great old Pfaff here - good and solid and metal (HATE the new plastic things) - but the repair guy sadly destroyed it.  The little foot lifting lever at hte back snapped, we had a great replacement rigged up, asked him not to touch it if he couldn't replace it and he took away the one part that helped grip our makeshift lever on!  It sounds like a train and he took nearly two months to fix it despite us saying ti was urgently needed.  Sadly, we're not in a position financially to take it elsewhere and get it fixed properly right now but me and my Mum both agree the old machine is 100 times better than the newer, fancy plastic one.  It eats up fabric, it doesn't register when you push buttons to change stitches, you can't fit a normal sized sleeve around it...  Not impressed with it but it's all I've got right now.


                                      Resha.

















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                                    • Andrew T Trembley
                                      ... I wrote a few articles on the subject.
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Nov 29, 2010
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                                        On 11/26/2010 12:17 PM, Naresha wrote:
                                        > HI Folks,
                                        >
                                        > Bit off topic here, but I was hoping to get a few recommendations of some sewing machines that people have found are good for making costumes.
                                        I wrote a few articles on the subject.

                                        <http://www.bovil.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=23&Itemid=48
                                        <http://www.bovil.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=23&Itemid=48>>

                                        andy
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