- Oct 4, 2018 at 7:37 pm #3558399
Paul SBPL Member
For the past few years I have wanted to learn to sew, so that I can do some mods on our gear (tents), and make some stuff from scratch that we can’t find on the market.
Considering all the $$ I’ve spent on tents, clothing, sleeping bag, boots, etc, the cost of the sewing machine seems small. Been looking at this one (below), what do you folks think?Oct 4, 2018 at 11:43 pm #3558441
John DallasBPL Member
This may be a good machine. What I would recommend is going to a sewing machine repair shop that sells used sewing machines. You can get a equal or better quality machine for half the price. They often will do sewing machine lessons at the shop as part of the sell price or for a reasonable amount. You now have someone you can ask or consult with on projects.Oct 5, 2018 at 10:46 am #3558493
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I think this is a free-arm machine? If you take the end cover off you can slide a sleeve over the frame? I would always aim for a free-arm machine rather than a flat-bed one.
But the option of a good second-hand machine should be explored. Many people buy expensive machines and then never use them.
CheersOct 5, 2018 at 11:26 am #3558495
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
It looks like a good basic machine. I believe we have a Husqvarna. I would echo Rogers statements. My wife does most of my actual sewing, I just do the design, lay out and cutting. (She also does quilting.) If you make even three tarps, that machine pays for itself. Of course, you can also make packs, tents, bags, etc…and, do general sewing repairs on your gear. UL gear always needs something…Oct 9, 2018 at 3:42 am #3559057
Patrick PBPL Member
Call a local high school. Sewing is no longer taught and the teachers have them collecting dust on a store room. That’s how I got my main machine. I think it’s a viking and it’s a tank.Oct 16, 2018 at 10:15 pm #3560127
Taylor LBPL Member
Having tried most of the models from the leading manufacturers, my pick is this one, hands down:
I have semi-abused it for years and it has been great.
If you go to a sewing store you can try some out. However, the ones in my area don’t seem to carry Brother machines.Oct 23, 2018 at 11:45 am #3561016
Bill CBPL Member
My son is learning to use a sewing machine in school this week. They’re making pillows. We will be making him a new pack at home as he learns to sew in school. Public school, 7th grade.
I have a 1970ish Kenmore that is rock solid and works great. Inherited it from my grandmother but you can find them for less than a $100 if you look around. A good used one will save some cash and be completely reliable and functional but there is something to be said for a new one with a warranty.Nov 6, 2018 at 1:22 pm #3562872
Hoosier TBPL Member
My first two years of gear making were done on a Singer Sewmate from WalMart. It was an excellent machine for everything I threw at it. It actually handled the super light 10D materials better thanmy Juki 8700. I even made my first pack with it and it had no trouble with layers of webbing or the thicker materials. I can’t recommend that machine enough for getting started.
Nov 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm #3563176
- This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Hoosier T.
Jeffrey PetersBPL Member
Find a used machine that is older. The quality of the internal parts will be better. I have a new machine that I was gifted that can’t sew heavy fabric. I tried to re-sew the hem on my daughters karate uniform and it struggled at best. I ended up using my old school treadled power machine to complete the job.Dec 4, 2018 at 5:48 am #3567322
William NBPL Member
I found this really helpful video from Tac Blades. He suggested getting an older used machine. Seemed like good advice. I got a Janome, probably paid more than I should (from Amazon) it was like it didn’t pass final inspection, the stitches indicator is off by one. Janome denies that they sell via Amazon… It’s okay, but I don’t recommend it. The Singer looks good. I’m sure you know to avoid computerized machines. And just about any good machine will sew everything from bug mesh to webbing.
Following this video I did a quick search on eBay and Craigs list and found machines exactly like what he talks about.Dec 4, 2018 at 12:15 pm #3567343
Ruth GBPL Member
I found mine on Craigslist, a Brother 5130 and I think I paid about $50 for it. Virtually brand new. An older woman bought it, but she had been using an older machine forEVER, and just didn’t like the newer one. It has all the bells and whistles you could need. Something like 23 stitches, a needle threader, option to go free-arm, etc. Plus, she gave me an old, old one that she also no longer used…actually I had forgotten about that one until now, and need to bring it out, just to see what it is!Dec 8, 2018 at 3:22 am #3568033
Daniel KielyBPL Member
Paff 1222E best machine hands down:)
Or the Bernina 830 (old version). Both are awesome and should be able to be found second hand.
The Paff has a walking foot. Trust me, you will thank me later.
DanDec 8, 2018 at 3:41 am #3568035
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
CheersDec 8, 2018 at 7:58 am #3568047
Hetty GBPL Member
Go to a local sewingstore, take some fabric with you (thin UL nylon, thick insulation, strong canvas) and try. Probably you can buy there a much better and stronger secondhand machine for the same amount of money. Brother, Pfaff, Bernina, all great machines but expensive when bought new. Secondhand still great, especially the machines from the 70’s and 80’s, no plastic or complex electronics inside. The sewingstores over here don’t fix the ‘supermarket-singer’, so if there s a problem with it you have to fix it yourself, or buy a new one.
As mentioned in another post, a walking foot is really the best for making tarps or other long seams. Without walking foot one layer of fabric will stretch a little bit, at the end of a long seam that layer of fabric will be longer than the other. Pfaff has a builtin walking foot, the other machines need a special foot.Feb 18, 2019 at 3:16 pm #3579147
Paul WegemannBPL Member
@peweg8Locale: Western Colorado
I know I’m a bit late to this party, but this might help.
Call, or stop by, a local sewing machine repair shop that you might frequent in the future and talk to them. My local guy recommended (if you want affordable and new) any of the Singer Heavy Duty machines in the 44xx series, and the Babylock BL9. For used, he recommended older fully mechanical machines, but suggested I call him first and let him know what I was thinking of buying and he could give me some tips. Another warning he gave me was that many small shops won’t, or can’t, fix many of the newer fully computerized machines and they would have to go back to the dealer for service.
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