Archive for December, 2008

30
Dec

What’s the Best Sewing Machine for Making Leotards or Working with Stretchy Fabric?

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You might think that stretchy fabric - like Lycra or similar material used in a leotard or costume - would handle the same on any sewing machine, right? Unfortunately, this type of material does some things that make it difficult to work with.

If you’ve ever tried to sew stretchy fabric you probably noticed that the edges bunched up when cut. This makes straight lines hard to sew.

The best sewing machine for stretchy fabric is an overlocker or serger. Because of their unique stitching mechanisms, many of the problems you will encounter on normal machines don’t happen. While more costly, if you are serious about sewing Lycra, swimsuits, or costumes, this class is the best sewing machine for you.

If you cannot use a serger don’t fret. Look at what type of stitches you do have available. For many people, a quality zigzag will be the best. Don’t use the overlock style stitch on a non-overlocker - these stitches aren’t the same, and will not work well.

The best sewing machine needles to use are called stretch needles. They will penetrate the stretch the easiest, and prevent runs because they have a special tip and scarf. Many people prefer these after a general needle messed up too many times.

Some experts say to trace, pin, and cut after you’ve sewn. This is good advice, and allows for the most safety. You could even tape together and wash the fabric tape off later.

This fabric can be unforgiving at first, but after a while I am sure you’ll get the hang of it! And remember, even if you can’t use the best sewing machine for this type of fabric, it IS possible to work these patterns - just be gentle and good luck!

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28
Dec

Could a Used Sewing Machine Be Best For You?

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In some cased, buying a used sewing machine is a good idea. You can usually get “more bang for your buck” this way. I’ve seen used sewing machines go for a a third (or a few hundred dollars) less than the comparable new one. In some cases though, either a used machine is not available, or the savings are not enough to warrant buying it.

It helps if you have an idea of what type of work you will be doing. If this is just for home use, buying a used industrial sewing machine doesn’t make sense for example.

Consider showing the seller some of what patterns you will be using, and ask for some references.

Watch out though: make sure you trust who you are buying from. Ask to see maintenance records or usage patterns for the sewing machine before you buy it. What kind of warranty will you be getting on the machine, and what is the return policy?

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27
Dec

The Best Sewing Machine with Electronic Controls - Singer 7442

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Singer 7442 - the best Sewing Machine with simple electronic controlsThe Singer 7442 is the best sewing machine with basic electronic controls. Coming in as a top of it’s class machine in the price range, the 7442 is a good all around starter sewing machine.

It has 30 different types of available stitches, all consistently electronically controlled. The 7442 sews very well across common fabrics, household projects, and makes great buttonholes too.

Sturdy construction for the price, the 7442 has a drop-in bobbin and an automatic needle threader. In fact Singer calls it the “6-Second Threading System.”

Singer has the name of what many experts consider to the best sewing machine brand, and the 7442 is a good addition to their lineup. This machine will be able to handle what most people throw at it, and is sure to let you make a variety of projects.

Order the Singer 7442 Electronic Sewing Machine today!

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23
Dec

A Couple of Sewing Animations

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From jenniewebs.

Wow, I have never seen anything like this before! A textile animation - done by hand! Such skill, I love it. The parts where the clouds and waves come in very well done. Bravo!

And for a little bit of humor watch this video: the best sewing machine animation I could find ;)

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18
Dec

Best Sewing Machine for Drapes

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Making drapes can be an exciting hobby or a profitable business. Creating the best designs to go in a room is one thing - making sure you can sew them is another! There’s a few things to consider when making drapes. What is the best sewing machine for making drapes?

Drapes are heavy duty items if constructed well. Going from just that I would say, in general, an industrial or commercial grade machine would be good. If you don’t need or can’t find an industrial machine don’t worry! Many good commercial sewing machines will do just as well.

One feature you might easily overlook is making sure the gears inside are metal. This is where the heavy duty drape fabric will tax your machine. Metal gearing here will provide the right pull and make sure the stitching goes well. Also, metal gears are less likely than plastic gears to break. The best sewing machine you have isn’t very useful if it’s in for repairs when a new drape order comes in!

If you’re looking to also put on decorative stitching on your new drapes, make sure your machine has selectable patterns. A recommendation on the best sewing machine here is tough to make. Some industrial models will not have the decorative stitches you’re in-visioning, while some of the “200 stitches included” sewing machines are not sturdy enough for this heavy duty use.

For specific machines, I would say something like a Juki would be good. If it provides too much pull or is too hard to control, consider an older Kenmore or Benina. Many of their models are built extremely well, can sew through most heavy duty textiles, and are a joy to use. They both make what I would consider to be the best sewing machine well suited for drapery.

Happy sewing!

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13
Dec

Singer Futura Sewing Machine Features Video

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From OpelikaSewing: This video highlights all the amazing features found in the Futura Sewing Machine Line by Singer. The Futura lineup includes the CE-100, CE-150, CE-250, and the CE-350. Futura is Singer’s embroidery sewing machine line.

Are the Futuras the Best Embroidery Sewing Machine? This line certainly has the features needed to hook up to personal computers, and the stitch quality looks good. Embrodiery machines are very fancy - look forward to some reviews and recommendations about finding the best sewing machine for embroidery uses.

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11
Dec

The Best Sewing Machine for Beginners - Brother XL-2600i

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If you’re just getting into sewing this is the best sewing machine to start out on. It has 25 different stitches - this is enough to covers most common patterns. One of them is even an automatic button hole! Very useful.

As for the workings, it has an easy to thread needle and quick-change presser feet. The bobbin is a standard drop-in bobbin - no problems there. The XL-2600i can work on many different common fabrics from pillowcases to heavy slipcovers.

This is a light weight model and comes with 3 all purpose needles.

Brother is a good manufacturer of some of the best sewing machines using mechanical selection, and the XL-2600i is a fine machine for people who need a simple sewing machine to get going with. Order the Brother XL-2600i from Amazon.

The 25 different types of stitches. You select the one you want with a dial on the case, and it does the rest.

Tip - You can get a good storage case to prevent the machine from getting beat up when not in use, and if you have any fraying problems check the bottom tension. The manual is also very helpful.

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