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Subject: Simple Machine Recommendations

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Date Posted: 21:21:10 03/13/01 Tue
In reply to: K 's message, "Machines" on 15:50:23 03/10/01 Sat

I am going to buy a new sewing machine (hopefully this weekend) because my prehistoric, simple Singer recently kicked the bucket. If you had $300-400 to spend. What kind of machine would you get? Should I just get a standard model of decent quality, or should I look at used reconditioned machines that have more bells and whistles? I am NOT a very experienced sewer, but have sewn some clothes, and crafts and made a SIMPLE Irish dance dress for my daughter. (Hand embroidered--I have never done machine embroidery). I am assuming, that for my price, I won't be looking at machines that can do embroidery, correct? I know some of the machines can do incredible things, but they cost thousands of dollars...I have NO idea where to start...so I will be at the mercy of the sewing machine salesperson.

-If you plan to make another Irish dance dress find a machine without the automatic pressure sensor. You need to be able to release the pressure considerably to stitch down applique pieces. Also look for a wide zigzag stitch. Most models go up to 6mm . Some go to 9mm. I have not looked at the lower price models so I can't recommend one .. Bells and whistles are not necessary. A blind hemstitch is good to have too and decent buttonholes. I have the top of the line Pfaff and can't do a complete dress on it. Look at Bernina and Huskavarna White. The newer Singers are not the quality of the old ones.

-Check out the website www.allbrands.com they have lots of info that might help you to decide. Also try the message board www.sewingworld.com there are lots of sewers on there who can help give you great tips.

-Took the plunge...(OP) I don't have questions this time...I'm just excited and want to tell SOMEONE ... Well...taking my little bit of knowledge (thanks to Pat) and a hope that the saleswoman was a NICE person...I trotted off, and came home with a used Viking, Husqvarna 940. It was in very nice condition, and looks like perhaps the person who owned it didn't use it very much. I thought the price was quite reasonable. It is SOOOO nice to use, has lots of fun stuff like computerized, one button decorative stitching, and lots of presser foots, (feet?)that make sewing soooo much easier. Also, it had all the features that Pat recommended. And certainly is MUCH MUCH easier to sew with than my old machine.

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[> Subject: Survey of which machines everyone is using

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Date Posted: 21:47:23 03/13/01 Tue

I am looking for a new sewing machine that does the 9mm satin stitch, so that I can do my own embroidery (for Irish Dancing dresses for my daughter as well as general use). After my initial research I am favouring a Pfaff (possibly 7560). What does eveyone else use, and what are the advantages/disadvantages of the machine you use?

-Viking 1+: Disadvantage is that it only does a 6mm satin stitch, but it is a great sewing machine. It is a workhorse! I do a lot of regular sewing on it, and made myself a solodress this summer (I don't compete anymore, but needed a dress for a week of shows). The dress is just a body (no sleeves and no cape), but I made it in about four days and the machine never hiccuped once.
As for the machine embroidery, mine only does the standard hoop, which is about a 4" by 4" square. I also have a plus hoop, which can stitch designs that are about 3.5" by 7". I find that I haven't used the machine embroidery for solodresses, but you could if you got really creative (i.e. lining up the same design in a row to make a chain).
My 1+ sews beautifully and I have never had a problem with it. I bought it used and have had it for a year and a half and have never once had to take it in to be looked at.

-I did my first several dresses on the Pfaff and the 9mm is essential. 6mm just gets lost in the velvet. I have a Huskvarna also but gave up using it for satin stitch due to the width. There is a Bernina semi industrial that also does 9mm and I here it is well worth getting. As for the actual embroidery unit the area is too small on these machines unless you want to do a lot of lining up placing, digitizing etc. Very frustrating. If you have any thoughts of selling dresses the warranty on a domestic machine could be voided if they think it is being used for business. I would look at the Bernina first as you MUST have a machine that allows you to control the presser foot pressure.


-The Pfaff does a nice satin stitch but unless you have another machine that allows you to reduce the pressure foot pressure you will be totally frustrated. It can also be VERY finicky with metallic threads. Stitching the appliqué pieces in place requires minimal pressure to no pressure. It CANNOT be done on the Pfaff if you are working on velvet.. Also I found when I switched away from the Pfaff the embroidery caused less distorting of the fabric which was again caused by too much pressure on the foot. I also have a Singer 20U63 industrial which does 12mm satin stitch. I do almost all of my embroidery on this. It does have feed dogs. it takes a lot of practice to do free motion so be prepared if you go that route .try one first. I know a couple of dressmakers who gave up on their new machines. In defense of the Pfaff it is a fabulous sewing machine for everything else

-Pfaff 7570: the 9mm is great. I do alot of appliqué and they have an "open" 9mm foot that really helps you see where you are going. No problem getting through all the layers when attaching the skirt to the bodice. Their embroidery unit has 2 size hoops and also a larger hoop that you can buy separately.

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[> [> Subject: Singer 20U & Juki LZ391 & Silicon Dispenser

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Date Posted: 09:44:56 11/08/04 Mon

I'm looking for a new machine. If you have any suggestions please help me!!! I've been sewing for about 25 years so I think it's time to take the big plunge!

-I'm renting Singer 20U. Word "industrial" a joke! Sure it's fast, but we can't go fast w/o probs! We've had thread breakage, needles snap, timing gets thrown off, keeping tension correct is real "fun", it doesn't like wide satin stitch, etc. I think I had less frustration w/ my 30 year old home model. Do we expect too much from 20U?....wish there was some other fast mach. for just zigzag. I don't need expensive embroidery features, but a good satin stitch. Glad I'm only renting!
-I am the opposite, have used a 20U for the last 9 years & wouldn’t want any other make, tried a copy but it was awful, original machines are hard to come by now though
-I have a Singer 20U70- and am constantly having problems with the tensions and such. I think it vibrates so much it shakes itself loose- I also think my repair guy doesn't know what he is doing, so I'll be looking for another one. But If your having trouble with thread breakage, try a silicone spray made for the textile industry- spray it on the tread every so often- Works like a dream even with cheap metallic thread!
--Try putting foam strips between the machine and the table. I did that with mine and the noise and vibration decreased considerably.
-I've had a 20UX143 for over 4yrs. now. I can't say how much I value this machine. I suppose just like cars there are lemons. I would ask if those who are having difficulties where the machines were made. My machine was made in Japan and is one of the last few good ones or so I've been told. The only time it ever gave me any difficulties was this past summer and that was due to the timing being off. Even if it is just a bit off it will cause thread breakage and loads of frustration. I have to say that a good OSMG is more valuable than anything else. I use a silicone dispenser located on the top of my machine. The thread runs through it and is continually coated with silicone. This works like a charm especially when sewing at high speeds when the needle heats up.
--was thinking about getting a new 20u. My friend has an older one that I haven't seen yet (She's 500 miles away) she will sell me. Maybe better to get the older one when I visit her in April?
Also, what is the silicone dispenser you were referring to? Sounds like a great idea!
---Go with the older model as long as it was made in Japan. The ones made in Taiwan (I think that is where) apparently are the lemons. The silicone dispenser is a little container with felt pads in it that sits on top of the machine. The thread runs through it as it comes off the spool. The felt pads are saturated with silicone and as the thread passes over them it gets coated with the silicone.
--I'm having a lot of thread breakage on the uptake. It's driving me crazy. How did you go about having it fixed? Did you take it somewhere or have someone come to your home?
---Yes, I had the same problem and I called my OSMG (who by the way is younger than I am LOL) and spoke with him over the phone first. I thought it was a problem with the tension so he had be check the tension discs for burrs of any sort. Next thing was to check all the areas that the thread goes through to make sure there were no burrs causing the thread to shred and break. Finding that this was not the problem and the needle was the proper type and size we decided it best for me to bring the machine in. This was quite easy to do as it should just slip out of the stand. When I brought it in I also brought in thread (metallic & poly neon) along with a large piece of vilene with some base fabric and applique fabric already for him to practice on. The problem was with the timing. I have learned that with my particular machine the tension needs to be a bit tighter with the metallics than the poly.
-I got rid of my new Singer last year; same types of problems. Too hard to keep in adjustment, VERY loud (wore earplugs to sew!), vibrating itself to death, and thread broke all the time. The word from my OSMG is that the ones built after their bankruptcy reorganization are built in China instead of Japan, and are junk. If you can get your hands on an old one from the 60's, grab it! Loving my old Bernina industrial he found for me.
--I had similar problems with my Singer 20U knockoff made in China... My OSMG said it was the bobbin case that was a piece of junk (completely warped) replaced it with a Japanese made bobbin case, announced that the machine is now Japanese made, and I have had no problems since!
-THANKS!!! THANKS!!!! THANKS!!!! Thanks for saving me alot of frustration. I spoke to several people who have Juki's and they just LOVE them. I may as well spend the extra money to be more productive than to be frustrated with a problem machine.

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