Right machine to sew dehydrated fairy wings…
Posted: 03 July 2011 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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...at least, that’s what some of this stuff feels like.


While I know that most gearmakers are using pretty much what ever came to hand, and doing a good job, I haven’t got a machine yet and I’m stuck on which one.
What’s considered the most important feature of any machine that needs to deal with the light materials? Is it ‘feed’, or stitch accuracy? I would like to know what you think - any anything to avoid, anything.

I’m at the stage where I’m not sure whether to cough up a little more and go for an old classic like a Bernina. But if people here know of a readily available ‘every day’ machine that stands out for lightweight materials, I’d be very grateful to hear of it.

Thanks for reading.

ps - I’m new to Thru-Hiker and ‘General Topics’ and ‘Gearmaker’s Lounge’ seem to have the same kind of thread topics. Have I missed something? Thanks.

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Posted: 03 July 2011 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I’ve just won a ‘Bernina 707 Minimatic’ on ebay. For an old machine they seem to have a good rep.

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Posted: 04 July 2011 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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That should work fine as long as it’s in working order.  Most of the time these used machines have been in a closet since the 70’s since clothes are so incredibly cheap few people actually repair or make their own anymore.  I don’t know that particular machine, but all the Berninas I have seen have been of high quality.

RE new or old:  you’ll find folks all over the place when it comes to what’s “best” but this is because pretty much any machine will work for lightweight gear except for some industrial type machines which can’t feed the light stuff properly.  I have used a nylon gear train Juki 90% of the time for the better part of a decade now and enjoy the variety of stitches & auto-needle-down, the built-in threader, the auto thread start/stop and auto-backtack&cut;. 

The only machines I recommend people stay_away from are the industrials.  When you absolutely have to have an industrial, that’s the time to buy one.  It’s a huge mistake to get a machine that can sew a boot sole when 99% of the time you’re going to be sewing lightweight nylons.

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Posted: 05 July 2011 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Thanks Ayce. Apparently this machine is “near mint” and “working perfectly”, but a local sewing shop has offered to have a look at it for free when it arrives - perhaps because I’m a prospective new customer, who knows? But it’ll be good to get an opinion.

Everyone’s been telling me how good they are - Rolls Royce, super smooth - though I know it’ll be down to me to get the best from it. I hope to practice (play) with different techniques using remnants and stuff. I might get some cheap material and even make something to get used to measuring and cutting. Can’t wait to get started. Strange really - a bloke getting excited over a sewing machine. I’ve even bought a pair of good scissors!

No doubt I’ll be back with loads of questions. Thanks again.

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Posted: 08 July 2011 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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My ‘new’ 707 arrived yesterday afternoon. It came with a total of seven feet(?), needles, oil, etc, and even though I’m no expert on sewing machines, it looks like it’s hardly been used - I had a look inside and it’s very, very clean. Just need to learn how to use it - I’m quickly realizing that this is just the beginning and that I’ve got a lot to learn.

Got some remnants and I’ve already had a play. Also downloaded an original pdf file of a ‘Bernina Owners Workbook’, which should keep me going for a while.

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