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  1. #1
    Member tandrewmalan's Avatar
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    Sewing Machine advice

    This sewing machine is available for $40 and it's a kenmore. I know that was recommended on this forum.

    Is this worth it? How do I test it to make sure it's working properly? What should I look out for?

    Thanks.
    Kenmore.jpg
    Last edited by tandrewmalan; 11-27-2020 at 10:18.

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    I see it is a fairly modern sewing machine, so it probably has the features that I'd recommend. To test it, have some thread and new needles and use it to sew different weights of fabric, like denim and then something lightweight like nylon. See how it sews straight stitches and zig-zag stitches, and vary the length of the stitches. Check the underside of the fabric to see if the stitches look good. If they don't, see if the tension can be adjusted to make them look the way they should. Can the machine sew zig-zag stitches while the fabric stays in place, thereby "tacking" the fabric together? That's a nice feature, and you can use it to sew on buttons when you are not MYOG.

    Make sure the reverse function works.

    Make sure you can easily thread the bobbin. If the bobbin doesn't fit tightly enough on the post so it slides and doesn't turn/wind, you can put some thread between the post and the bobbin to tighten things up and it will work for you. Check to see if the bobbins that it needs are easy to get. They probably are. I have an old Japanese machine that takes bobbins which are not readily available, and sourcing them was a pain. But they are endlessly reusable so you only need to buy them once.

    Does the case have holes for oiling the machine? If so, make sure you follow the manufacturer's recommendations for oiling. My newest machine doesn't have holes for oiling, btw.

    $40 for a used machine is a bit much in my neck of the woods, but it's not bad. I could get something older that has the most important features such as zigzag stitches and reverse for less money, but it wouldn't have the bells and whistles this one has (which I don't need).

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    XJ35S's Avatar
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    I would stay away from anything with a computer to go bad. An old singer or Brother would suffice. I agree with everything above stated too.

  4. #4
    I think most important is, what do you want to use the machine for? Getting something that fits your needs goes a long way towards your ultimate satisfaction.
    Also, this is my personal opinion, but I stay away from newer machines with computers and plastic innards. I am an old black Singer fan, SO easy to maintain and such a workhorse.

  5. #5
    Member tandrewmalan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJ35S View Post
    I would stay away from anything with a computer to go bad. An old singer or Brother would suffice. I agree with everything above stated too.
    This makes sense to me. Dumb question but the kenmore I posted has computer software right? So 'no' on that one?

  6. #6
    Member tandrewmalan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8675309 View Post
    Hi,

    I see it is a fairly modern sewing machine, so it probably has the features that I'd recommend. To test it, have some thread and new needles and use it to sew different weights of fabric, like denim and then something lightweight like nylon. See how it sews straight stitches and zig-zag stitches, and vary the length of the stitches. Check the underside of the fabric to see if the stitches look good. If they don't, see if the tension can be adjusted to make them look the way they should. Can the machine sew zig-zag stitches while the fabric stays in place, thereby "tacking" the fabric together? That's a nice feature, and you can use it to sew on buttons when you are not MYOG.

    Make sure the reverse function works.

    Make sure you can easily thread the bobbin. If the bobbin doesn't fit tightly enough on the post so it slides and doesn't turn/wind, you can put some thread between the post and the bobbin to tighten things up and it will work for you. Check to see if the bobbins that it needs are easy to get. They probably are. I have an old Japanese machine that takes bobbins which are not readily available, and sourcing them was a pain. But they are endlessly reusable so you only need to buy them once.

    Does the case have holes for oiling the machine? If so, make sure you follow the manufacturer's recommendations for oiling. My newest machine doesn't have holes for oiling, btw.

    $40 for a used machine is a bit much in my neck of the woods, but it's not bad. I could get something older that has the most important features such as zigzag stitches and reverse for less money, but it wouldn't have the bells and whistles this one has (which I don't need).

    Good luck!
    Hey thanks for taking the time to write this out. I'm excited to jump into the DIY world it's just been a little slow putting all the pieces together for equipment etc. I'm super excited for the day when I feel confident that I understand each piece of advice you gave me.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by tandrewmalan View Post
    This makes sense to me. Dumb question but the kenmore I posted has computer software right? So 'no' on that one?
    The machine you posted does look like it is computerized, so I would recommend staying away from that one.

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