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sewng-machnes-msg – 6/17/05

 

Use of sewing machines in the SCA. Suggestions on what to look for when buying one.

 

NOTE: See also the files: sergers-msg, sewing-tools-msg, sewing-msg, fabric-SCA-msg, fabric-ident-msg, CMA-sew-supl-msg, clothng-forms-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 14:50:10 -0500

From: Rowen Stuffer <rowenstuffer at earthlink.net>

To: SCA-Arts Listserv <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>, irene at ici.net

Subject: Re: More Sewing Questions

 

Irene leNoir wrote:

> So, here is the latest installment of questions.

> (Just to clarify: I am not asking most of these questions because I

> am a beginner sewer and do not know the answers or have an opinion.

> I am asking them to see what other people's answers and opinions are.)

 

My dearest lady -

 

I am _extremely_ new to sewing, having just recently started to learn

(wanted to learn to make my own garb, instead of relying on the free

time of others…). I can, however, address two of your questions, one

that my instructor had detailed and one by dint once having a friend

who’s father owned a sewing machine shop> ;-)

 

> If you were to help a friend (new to sewing, but really wants to

> learn) shop for a sewing machine, what features would you consider

> an absolute must, and what features would you consider nice to have,

> but not strictly necessary.

 

The one thing I was told, by a man who ran a hospital for sick and

injured sewing equipment, was that the best sewing machines were the

older ones, the ones our mothers and grandmothers owned. Older sewing

machines were constructed with metal gears inside, newer ones rely on

plastics. His most common diagnosis was that the young sewing machine

had caught a case of stripped gears, while older ones never suffered

from this malady. Indeed, many older machines were hardy enough to sew

upholstry fabrics and even some light leathers, a task the young were

unable to accomplish. The heavier fabrics can cause the plastic gears to

jump, an exercise they are not designed for, or crack off teeth, causing

terrible and costly dental bills.

 

    Tzigan Volchovich

 

 

Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 18:15:41 -0400

From: Gwen Morse <goldmoon at northeast.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Sewing Machine Question [SCA]

 

At 04:04 PM 5/26/98 -0400, "donna_m_smith at icpphil.navy.mil" wrote:

>    Hi, I'm a lurker on this list, and I find I suddenly need a sewing

>machine.  I hesitate to take up the bandwidth but I remember a previous

>discussion about sewing machines here, I think, so I thought I'd get good

>advice on this list.  Coincidentally, in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer, the

>following ad was found: (on an insert).  I'd like to know if this is a good

>idea--I know nothing about sewing machines or sergers. Should I be

>suspicious?  Unfortunately if it is a good deal, it says that you need to

>have the ad to get it (for anyone nearby).  I'd appreciate any opinions.

>

>Meadhbh ni hAilin

 

[actual ad snipped]

 

I saw a mention of this on a sewing mailing list, where it was basically

described as one step below actual fraud. I don't recall all the details,

but, I *do* recall mention of an ad in the paper mentioning an overstock of

some sort of "school" sewing machines for a great price and warranted out

the wazoo. Just like what your ad said.

 

The person who posted the message and bought the machine said that it later

turned out to be worth the amount paid for it (not really on "sale"), and

that the warranty wasn't honored for some reason or another. Plus, she

couldn't return it, when it didn't work properly.

 

Again, I'm working off of memory here (which anyone on the list can tell

you, my memory is less than stellar), but, I remember reading about an ad

similar to yours, and mentally filing away that buying a machine from it

was a Bad Idea (TM).

 

I *did* just buy a machine a few months ago (I was one of the people on the

list asking about them), and I would suggest this...if you have a few

hundred dollars to spend, find a local sewing machine/vacuum cleaner sort

of place that services and repairs sewing machines. See if they have any

older, rebuilt machines for sale. (Be sure to ask if they guarantee their

work - mine gave me a 1-year "bumper-to-bumper" warranty). The other option

is to haunt flea markets, Salvation Army, yard sales, etc...where you'll

pay alot less, but, you don't know what sort of machine you'll end up with.

I have to agree with the other respondent who said look for one with metal

parts. I bought a "new" sewing machine about 6 or 7 years ago, and it was

*supposedly* a state-of-the-art Singer on sale at a big chain store. It

turned out to be a piece of junk, and I paid alot of money on a name I

trusted. When I asked my sewing machine guy about it, he told me it was the

plastic parts that wore out from me sewing so much.

 

Another note. My sewing machine place let me RENT the rebuilt machine I was

considering buying for $10 (and a refundable deposit), for a week, just to

give it a "test drive". Plus, that even came off the purchase price. When

it turned out there was a missing attachment that the manual mentioned, the

manager ordered a new one at no cost. By going through this process

(renting, buying, getting the spool pin ordered, getting my machine "tuned

up" once already) I built up a relationship with a local business so that I

know I will get good service from now on. This is one situation where I

feel that paying more to start (a couple hundred dollars) ended up saving

me money and frustration in the long run.

 

As always, other people's experiences may vary. I just wanted to point out

that sometimes saving money is SO much of a concern, that people don't

consider the secondary effects of where they purchase "big ticket" items

and how supportive they are of local businesses.

 

On the other hand, as another list member mentioned, spending $12.50 on a

sewing machine is hard to beat <grin>.

---

Gwen Morse // mailto:goldmoon at geocities.com

 

 

Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 10:02:38 -0500

From: <pnomail at bratshb.uwc.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Sewing Machine Question-answer long and a bit rantish

 

As a dressmaker with 17 years reasonable sewing experience, I would like to

second the paragraph about gears.

An older model, (1968) is likely to have metal gears.  If you are talking

about Singer, be aware that machines from the 70s and 80s are likely to

have nylon gears.

 

>I have found a sewing machine with metal gears to be essential for SCA

>sewing.  It will go through heavier fabrics (or more layers of lighter

>fabrics)with ease, and the metal gears will wear MUCH less quickly

>than plastic ones. Most inexpensive machines sold for home use have

>plastic gears. (And as fate will have it, those plastic gears WILL

>give out the week before Lilies War...)

 

Serging is a wonderful thing, just be sure you are indeed serging which is

a 3 or 4 thread overlocked stitch.  To the best of my knowledge there is no

machine that does both.  The mechanics are different. Singer machines are

also advertised like the Necci, and DO NOT.  I haven't seen the Necci, but

in the case of Singer, THE ADVERTISEMENT IS MISLEADING IF NOT FALSE. (I'm

already in capital letters, I can't yell that last part any louder.)  These

are sold by people who do not stick around to service their own machines.

They undercut the prices of local dealers then leave the area.  They must

be serviced in specific places, local dealers do not honor the warrenty.

 

I have no knowledge of the sales of Neccis in this manner, but I do have

knowledge of how the Singer salesmen work.  (And yes, they do tend to be

men, because mostly women buy sewing machines, and if the men can't charm

them, they can intimidate them into buying by appearing knowledgable.)  As

far as I know, Singer sells the machines to these people, they do not

represent Singer.  I could be wrong, but...  I have listened to the sales

pitch repeated often enough.  They don't let their "customers" test the

machines in the store.  Buy it and take it home and if you don't like it,

bring it back, on the one day next week that we will be here for 3 hours.

They don't answer tough questions, they just start the pitch over because

there are "lots of new people here."  They rush the purchase, ("one day

only, you don't have time to think.") Mundanely, I work in a fabric store

that has had these people in, and each time we field many complaints from

their less than satisfied customers.  Their pitch is effective, but full of

holes, and I believe, also raw organic fertilizer.

 

What the machine does is a variation of the zig zag stitch with a special

foot.  (My Golden Touch Singer from 1967 does the same thing and has the

same foot.)  The advertised Singers do not trim the excess fabric like a 4

thread serger does.

 

A 4 thread serger sews seams at the same time as it finishes the seams.  It

has a knife to trim the excess so everything is neat and quick.  If you

want a serger, buy a serger.  As far as serging garb, it's fast and

comfortable and if you aren't asking anyone to see the inside of your

garment, who will know.  It's ideal for childrens clothing, since they only

wear it 3 times before they have out grown it.  Just make sure you use a 4

thread, not a 3 thread.  3 thread overlock is about as durable as chain

stitch, you know, the stitching that holds the cat food bag together.  The

store I work in sells a decent 2-3-4 thread serger for about $250 on sale,

so you can spend nearly $300 on a regular machine and still be within the

price of the advertised Necci.

 

If you want a decent sewing machine buy the sewing machine.  Don't try to

combine both into one purchase.  Talk to dealers in your area, people who

will stand behind their machines, and see if they handle used machines.

People do trade in their old machines when they are going to a bigger, more

bells and whistles, machine.  Check Pfaff, Bernina, New Home, Viking and

local Singer dealers.  Take the machine for a test drive first in the

store.  A good dealer will let you spend as much time as you need, figuring

you will have the machine for years.  Take several trips to the store if

you need to.  The advice given about trying to rent the machine is good.

Read Consumer reports, Sew News, Threads and other magazines that might

have ratings of sewing machines.  What features do you want?  Do you want

to be able to push a button and stitch bunnies and duckies?  Where do you

get replacement parts, like needles and a light?  Ask questions.

 

Figure out how you will likely be sewing in 5 and 10 years and buy a

machine that you won't have outgrown.  Sewing machines last for a long

time.  I'm 36 and will likely buy 2 more machines in my life, and I sew

alot.  You can only sew as well as your machine, so buy for the type of

sewing that you are likely to do.  Are you likely to get into leather work,

buy a strong machine that can handle that.  Are you going to sew nothing

but cotton t-tunics?  Will you be making anything using layers of canvas or

denim?  (Cloth armor, corsets, tents)  Get a machine that will handle what

you want to do eventually, not for where you are now. Draperies?

Lingerie?  Heirloom sewing?  Quilting?  Each is a different technique and

while most machines will work okay for each of the applications, some are

better in different areas.  If you know you will be sewing a specific

fabric bring in a test swatch, or 2 or 3.  A 1/2 yard of velvet is cheap

compared to the cost of the machine.

 

Drucilla

 

 

Date: Wed, 09 Jul 1997 16:40:51 -0700

From: ladymari at GILA.NET (Mary Hysong)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: sewing machines

 

> >>>>>

> Yes, a good idea. Another advantage of this is that these abandoned

> machines are likely to be the older models. Since these models are

> older they are likely not to have all the computer controlled stitches

> and such that few SCA folks need but they are more likely to have

> metal gears. These will stand up to sewing heavy fabrics and canvas

> much better than the newer machines with their plastic gears.

>

> Stefan li Rous

 

****************************I highly endorse getting all metal geared

sewing machines at least as your #1 machine if you sew a lot, for

several reasons:

 

Plastic gears are very easy to wear out

plastic cams for stitches are easier to wear out

some "off" brand machines, marked "for school use" are usually the best

and while they are painted different  colors they are often otherwise

identical Older style (but new )  machines often have interchangeable parts

straight presser foot shanks will take a lot of fancy attachements  like

beading and trim feet  that the slanted foot shanks either requires

special adapters to use, or costs more or can't be done.

 

Never buy a machine that won't let you manually adjust the pressure on

the presser foot (Brother and some others)[because they will NOT take 4

or more layers of canvas or denim]

 

Finally another bit of advice, when you do wear out a machine, always

keep all the attachements, because they will likely fit your next one.

I have rufflers,several sizes of blind hemmers and bias tape makers

that are older than I am and work fine on my 'off'brand machine, as well

as a beading foot, embroidery foot and quilting foot that I've bought

new.

 

Lady Mairi

 

(I used to sew for a living, custom designed wedding dresses, western

wear, and 300 yards of fabric a year in quilts.  I wore out 3 sewing

machines in 3 years with plastic gears and will never buy another with

plastic)

--

Mary Hysong <Lady Mairi Broder> and  Curtis Edenfield <The C-Man>

Canyon Keep Ent.: Step back to the past with Mary-handspun yarns &

Natural Fibers: Into the Future with Curtis-Computer Consulting,

Graphics & Design<<<*>>>E-Mail ladymari at gila.net

 

 

Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 11:16:02 -0400 (EDT)

From: Varju at aol.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: sewing machines

 

I swear by the older (1957) Singer my mother gave me when I went to college.

I have never had a problem with, and the only thing it has refused to sew

was four layers of cotton mattress pad. I just inherited another sewing

machine from my mother but i can quite give the old one up.  

 

Another place to look is garage and rummage sales, auctions, and second hand

stores.  Sometimes there are even shops that specialize in second-hand sewing

machines.

 

Noemi

 

 

From: leabob at earthlink.net (yaz pistachio)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: more on sewing machines

Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 08:44:45 GMT

 

On 25 Mar 2001 19:34:18 -0800, jean at becket.net (Jean le Bleu) wrote:

* I guess the one thing I've certainly learned is that the idea of

* sewing tent canvas with a standard sewing machine is an illusion.

 

i disagree.  i know that some of the older Singer models could handle

this as long as the operator was careful with things like going over

bulky seams (see my other post for how-to hint for that) & kept the

needle changed.

 

* Certainly a serger could hack it, but I'm not up to buying a heavy

* duty serger just yet!

 

when i was working as a costumer, i had an Elna five-thread serger &

wound up not using it very much.  those puppies are very touchy.  i

wound up trading it away & don't regret it.  unless you're really tied

into that certain seam finish, or mass-producing certain types of

garments, a serger is a luxury (MHO, you understand).

 

* If I get the used machine with solid parts, I know it will be durable

* if it works, but I have no confidence in my ability to look at a used

* machine and tell whether or not it's a piece of junk. How do you

* tell?

 

open it up.  the gears should look as though they're lubricated (a

little dark with grease), but they should not look hairy (with lots of

lint).  there should be no shiny, scraped looking edges (signs of

overuse & stripping) & when plugged in & sewed on, the machine should

not make any clunky or thunky noises.  if at all possible, purchase a

fresh sewing machine needle to put into the machine (all Singer

needles fit all Singer machines) & take along a piece of appropriate

fabric.  thread the machine (a good chance to make sure you know how

to thread it & how to fill & load the bobbin) & sew on the fabric.

start out with one layer & then sew on two, three and four.  after

each pass, inspect the seam.  the stitches should be evenly spaced,

with no obvious loopiness.  if there are loops on the bottom, the top

tension is out of whack & can be adjusted (a good chance to learn how

to do that).  if there are loops on the top, the bobbin tension is out

of whack & that needs someone professional to adjust (my mother, a

sewing machine fanatic & home-ec teacher for 30 years *never* adjusted

bobbin tension, although she could & did do just about everything else

on those old singers.  on a good machine, you should never have to do

so.)  if the machine sews smoothly, has a manual, extra attachments &

a good price, then you've got a machine.

 

spend some time at a sewing machine repair/sales shop (*NOT* the

sewing machine sales area of Jo-Anne's/Hancock/whatever fabric store

or department store.  you want one of those places where they repair,

trade in & sell all kinds of sewing machines & vacuum cleaners.  i

don't know why they go hand-in-hand, but they frequently do).  they

will likely be willing to let you try out a number of machines pretty

much on your own & you can learn a lot that way, especially if you can

persuade a knowledgeable friend to go along & show you things about

threading & such.

 

* Or should I just get a new machine with cheap parts, and plan on

* getting a solid one if and when I decide that I really love sewing?

 

my advice would be to get your hands on one of the basic Singers (the

kind that go forwards and backwards), preferably with a manual & just

play with it for awhile.  the mechanics are fairly easy & you won't be

able to hurt the machine.  around here (northern california), you can

find them at thrift stores/hospice shops/garage sales for $50 tops if

you're patient about looking.  and, as i said in my other post, look

around for a general, basic sewing instruction book & use it as well.

 

it might not hurt to ask around in your local group - you may find

someone who has a loaner machine that you could try out while you make

up your mind.  just make sure that you treat the machine well.

 

as ever,

Liran

HL Sinead Lauren Aithene Armagh, AoA, OH, CIM

 

 

From: Andrea Gideon <andrea at gideonfamily.org>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: more on sewing machines

Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 08:21:25 -0500

 

> Or should I just get a new machine with cheap parts, and plan on

> getting a solid one if and when I decide that I really love sewing?

>

> Jean

 

It depends on your definition of "cheap".  If we're talking about a $100

Singer, you might need a new one later one.  My first new machine (vs.

hand-me-downs from mom) was a $300 (in 1995) New Home/Janome.  All it had

was a straight stitch and a zig-zag.  At the time, I was planning on

taking some sewing classes and getting a better, more expensive machinge

in a couple years.  That thing lasted me 6 years, several moves where

movers dropped it off the truck, a couple pavillions and even a

porfessional costume and dressmaking business.  I recently did buy the

ultra-fancy, computerized machine, but only because someone died and left

me several thousand dollars.  That basic machine would have lasted me a

long time, if I hadn't been able to buy the fancy one.

 

Andrea

 

 

From: db <deadmonk at hotmail.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: more on sewing machines

Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 15:18:06 -0800

 

The answer Liran gave sounds very correct, and complete. Being a newly at

sewing myself, and having just wadded through all of this, perhaps I can

simplify it for you. If you want a bullet proof process, go to a reputable

sewing machine shop with a yard of canvas in your hand. If the shop will

let you sew on it, and is willing to give you a 30 day repair or return

option if there is a problem, and if they assure you it has metal gears in

it, buy it.

    The sewing machine I have is an old toy. It is an off brand, bought

for not much money. It does have metal gears in it. It has sewn through a

_lot_ of 8 layers of trigger cloth (light canvas). At a thrift shop this

machine should sell for about $30 tops. So, if you are willing to take a

bit of a chance, you can get one that will work cheep. I am told the old

Singer "Slant-o-matic" (hope I got that right, slant something anyway) is

a real find. If you can buy it cheep, it is worth repairing if it needs

it.

    The last option, one that I have yet to try, is if you find an old

treadle, I am assured it will work through all kinds of canvas, trigger,

beer cans, fingers......

    You are, however, in Caid for goodness sake! If you can't find someone

who sews there, then the end of the known world is certainly at hand.

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: Katy Lustofin <lustofin at students.uiuc.edu>

Subject: Re: more on sewing machines

Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 17:34:25 -0600

Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

I have an old Morse sewing machine - all metal- that was bought for me

second-hand when I was 10.  The idea was to get the child something cheap

and fairly indestructable so that she would leave mother's machine alone.

 

It doesn't do anything fancy but it will sew through several layers of

canvas.  I replaced several sections and patched others in my newly

acquired pavilion with very little problem (I did break a spring that cost

about $5, including labor, to replace).  The secret I found was to use

needles specific for heavy duty fabric and replace them often.  I went

through 4 needles between the repair work and sewing together a sod cloth.

 

I'm not saying go find a Morse as I honestly know nothing about the brand.

Just saying that some of the older machines will handle making a pavilion.

 

Keina

 

 

From: rossber at slip.net (Ross Bernheim)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: more on sewing machines

Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 21:49:57 -0800

 

yaz pistachio <leabob at earthlink.net> wrote:

> my advice would be to get your hands on one of the basic Singers (the

> kind that go forwards and backwards), preferably with a manual & just

> play with it for awhile.  the mechanics are fairly easy & you won't be

> able to hurt the machine.  around here (northern california), you can

> find them at thrift stores/hospice shops/garage sales for $50 tops if

> you're patient about looking.  and, as i said in my other post, look

> around for a general, basic sewing instruction book & use it as well.

 

While the instruction book and accessories are nice to have and often

indicate that the previous owner took care of the machine, they are not

a must have. I would suggest the sewing machine repair shop as the place

to get the machine as they should have gone through it and adjusted and

lubricated the machine prior to sale. Garage sales and thrift store

machines will most likely need to be gone through, greatly increasing

your cost.

 

I took one of those mail order sewing machine repair courses a number of

years ago, while overseas, and used to hit the thrift shops on bases

nearby and get the used machines and go through them and sell them to

other SCAdians. Almost all of them needed some work even though most had

been well cared for.

 

As to what you need, straight stich and zig-zag are a must. Most other

fancy stiches are not used all that often. For straight stich, check it

out sewing small stiches, medium stiches, and long stiches on light,

medium and heavy weight cloth with 2 layers of cloth, and with the heavy

cloth, 4 layers. For zig-zag, make sure that it can do a good satin

stich.

> it might not hurt to ask around in your local group - you may find

> someone who has a loaner machine that you could try out while you make

> up your mind.  just make sure that you treat the machine well.

 

By all means, ask around your local group and get help learning to use a

sewing machine then help selecting a macnine. Many sewers will be glad

to help teach. A good idea is to ask for costuming help. Going through a

complete project, albeit a simple one, from selecting what to sew

through fabric selection and cutting and sewing. Afterwards, you will

have a much better idea of what it is you need in a sewing machine.

 

Adam Jason Sauvitch

 

 

From: "cranstone" <cranstone at microd.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: more on sewing machines

Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 22:39:07 -0500

 

If you want an older machine that will work well on most fabrics, I'd

suggest the Singer Model 15.  You can find these at thrift stores usually

around $50 or less and  parts and bobbins are still available for them.  A

good place to learn about different sewing machines is:

http://www.treadleonia.com/ .  Scroll down to the section called the Sewing

Machine Information Pages and you'll find lots and lots of info.

The Singer slant-o-matic was actually a class of machines. They included

the 301, 306, 319, the 401,403, 404(straight stich machine often used in

high school home ec classes in the 60's and 70's), and the 500 and 503.  I

just bought a 401 from my local sewing machine guy for $150 and it came with

a two year guarantee!

 

Elizabeth of Cranstone(who if you didn't guess collects sewing machines.)

 

 

From: Darroch Skye

To: ffynnon-gath at ansteorra.org

Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2003 3:43 PM

Subject: [Ffynnon-gath] Re: Ffynnon-gath digest

 

Sewing Machines,

                             Don't use 3 in 1 oil on your sewing machines, It will make like a tar, that will harden on machine parts. Use WD40, WD40 will keep your machine running better, stronger, faster, and not leave a tar on those machine parts. If you have already used 3 in 1 oil on your sewing machine, and you have that tar build up the best way to remove that tar build up is with WD40.

                                   Darroch

 

 

From: Nan Bradford-Reid <murfnik at earthlink.net>

Date: November 30, 2004 2:23:32 PM CST

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Bryn-gwlad] Sewing Machine Advice

 

Stafan said:

They won't have the fancy stitches and this sometimes means they don't

sew button holes. But then, how often are you making visible button

holes on an SCA outfit. Sometimes I do think that one of the newest,

fancy machines which will do embroidery would be nice, but they are a

lot more expensive and you can buy that later. Those can't or shouldn't

be used for regular sewing anyway, I don't believe.

 

------

 

Actually, button holes are period.  It depends on the costume whether I do them by hand or not.  If it's a knock-around cotehardie...no way am I doing well over 30 button holes by hand.  OTOH, if I want it to look right, I do them by hand.

 

As for the embroidery machines--it depends on the machine. You have to be very careful what you buy.  Some of the embroidery machines, e.g. the "Disney" machine, are strictly embroidery...and what's more, they only do the Disney or other designs loaded into them.  You can't load new designs or digitize jpegs into embroidery files, etc.  The high-end machines do both embroidery and regular sewing and have a number of features built in. I've got the Babylock Esante' 2 and it does just about everything except make my coffee and drive me to work--the Ellageo is fancier still (with a lot fancier price tag, too), the main difference being a color LCD screen.

 

Still, if I want fast, sturdy, killer seams on my heavy material, I whip out...well groan and struggle out...my '73 Kenmore.  Metal parts, can't beat it--but the sucker is HEAVY.  Especially if I've got an embroidery design working on the Babylock, I can do regular sewing on one of my other "normal" machines.  

 

Check the various repair shops that have been mentioned, you can often snag a good deal on a reconditioned, older machine that will do wonderfully for SCA --and mundane-- use.

 

Kate/Nan

 

 

From: ChuckandRhonda Leggett <poppabrick at yahoo.com>

Date: November 30, 2004 3:15:16 PM CST

To: bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] sewing machines

 

A couple of years ago I needed a new sewing machine. I took the time to look around at them and found Euro-pro. The machine I bought has a 25 yr. warranty, all metal gears, came with 11 attachments, including an automatic button-holer where it makes the holes to the exact size to fit the button, and it has several stitches. I paid less than $250 for the machine and have been extremely pleased. The brand is sold by Sears and JC Penny. We found an outlet in Bryan and drove there one weekend to check out the machine before we bought it. It was the same price as the other stores but the others don't have the machine in stock. It is sold only through the catalog sales and I wanted to see it and try it out. The claim is that the machine will sew through up to 7 layers of denim. I tried it and it does without the motor bogging down. I am able to sew anything that will fit under the foot! ( We experimented sewing a piece of armor grade leather. It worked on a single layer without a problem but really isn't recommended ) A friend of ours also researched a lot of machines before he bought and was impressed with the Euro-pro. I'm not sure how difficult it will be to get it worked on if/when it needs something. Guess we'll deal with that when/if it happens. Until then, I am very impressed with this machine. There are other machines from the same maker, including an embroidery machine. My machine was about the mid price range. Look 'em up online if you're shopping for a new sewing machine!

 

Tabitha

 

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