Looking for advice on sewing machines - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 07-15-2012, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for advice on sewing machines

I would like to get a very simple, even I can use it machine all I want to do is make slip covers for dog beds, sew bindings round some horse blankets and trim out some saddle blankets, all very simple stuff.

I have no idea on makes, models, new used etc etc, obviously don't want to spend a lot just for bits and pieces, so any thoughts, ideas, recommendations?
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-15-2012, 04:58 PM
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Brother is a good, inexpensive brand if you have them in Canada, not sure though. Singers tend to be workhorses and last forever. I don't like Kenmore's personally.

Try rummage sales or resale shops. Around here I can pick up a sewing machine for $5-10 at a rummage sale. If you were closer I'd send you one of my spares.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-15-2012, 05:31 PM
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Whatever you buy, make sure it is a metal base. The more steel the better. The plastic ones not only don't last, they put all kinds of static in your fabric.

Stay away from the new fangled computerized crap. Just more stuff to break and you won't use any of it. All you need is forward, backward, straight and zig-zag in various spi (stitches per inch). Make sure you can set your pressure foot tension -- that's because when you are stitching stuff that is thick you don't want as much pressure on the foot or you'll have trouble feeding through the fabric. Get at least one spare belt right away. Lastly, if you come across one with a free arm, that's easier to work with for blankets. All it means is that there is more room between the stitch area and the vertical housing on the right for the mechanical (belts) to the electric motor. But I have done king size quilt work on my normal machine.

If you plan on doing anything thick (like those blankets), make sure you practice first. There's a special touch needed to get those to work!

Singer is good and I have a a Nelco. I bought the Nelco because it's all metal and has just what I need and no more, plus had a 20 year warranty. When I had a problem, I called them up and they told me how to fix it over the phone. Great! I bought that machine in the mid to late 80's and it's still ticking along just fine! I doubt I'll ever need another.

New or used? Well, I guess that depends what you can find used. Some outlets will sell used ones that have been retuned. If it's a quality machine, that's fine. But if it's crap, well, then it's crap regardless if it's new or used. :)
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-15-2012, 06:18 PM
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Hi Golden Horse. If you are near Regina, check out Sears Bargain Centre on Broad Street. They frequently have scratch and dents on the floor. They're Kenmores but the price is reasonable and there is some warranty with them. One of mine is a Kenmore and I've used it long and hard. In my experience I have found electronics and bearings go first - something to consider if buying used. Also, if looking at used, try and look out for signs that it has been well maintained. Most machines, especially the older simpler models need an oiling every once in awhile. If you do decide to go used, take it for a good test ride. Try to go longer than just a couple of minutes and of course go through all the stitch options to make sure they are working. You want to run it for more than a couple of minutes because there may be problems that will not show up until the machine heats up with usage. Singer, Pfaff, Brother, Kenmore makes are the ones I see most frequently for sale in classifieds and at auctions in Sask and they are all pretty good machines if they have been looked after. Good luck.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-15-2012, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Chevaux, we are not to far from Regina, I'll go take a look at the scratch and dent store LOL. I'm a little reluctant to buy used I have no idea what I'm looking at, haven't used a machine for machine for many a year

Hang on may check out this one

new and used sewing machines on sale. - Regina Other Home Appliances For Sale - Kijiji Regina Canada.

I see they have guns as well, so that cures getting DH or DS to come with me
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-15-2012, 07:01 PM
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Yes, that may be worth a trip. If you take one of the used ones from there, try for the owners manual as well -- will come in handy for future reference.
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-16-2012, 07:16 AM
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My mom got a rather cheap one ($100 or so) about 10+ years ago and still use it. :) Unfortunately I don't know the brand. I'd be careful about used ones unless you know for sure what to look for/how to check if it's in a good condition.

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post #8 of 11 Old 07-16-2012, 07:43 AM
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I have a 1950's Necci, it is all metal and it is like a tank.
It weighs a ton and it will go through anything short of leather.
All I do is go forward and backward, but it did come with a box of accesories.

I bought it for $50 in 1975. I love it.

I agree with many of the above posters, metal and no computers.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-16-2012, 08:05 AM
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GH-I sew a LOT. I have 2 computerized embroidery hi price machines, one old Brother that I retired after 30 yrs, and I now have purchased one of these, just for the kind of sewing you descibe, since my hi priced fancy ones can't handle it.
Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine*: sewing & quilting machines*: sewing machines*: sewing & quilt*: *Shop | Joann.com

I LOVE this new machine, It is extremely user friendly, durable and sews the heavier stuff like a champ. Just make sure you have the heavy duty needles appropriate for that stuff. But, it will also do finer stuff too. I have been teaching my daughter in law to sew on this one, since the others are just too complicated. You should be able to order online, and they are pretty affordable.

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post #10 of 11 Old 07-16-2012, 02:50 PM
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Taffy, the Necci changed to Nelco -- we have the same brand name. Shows how durable they are!
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