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  1. #1
    Member sam4msu's Avatar
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    Sewing machine question

    I can either spend about $100-$150 on a new singer sewing machine with 30 or so stitches or the same amount of money on a 20 or so year old heavy duty machine without the many stiches or "new car smell." Which would you all reccomend I get for general camping/backpacking DIY projects?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    IT depends on the quality of the older machine. If it has been taken care of, and runs good, go with it. For our kind of sewing you only need a few stitches anyway, and you will really like it. Amanda has 5 machines right now, from the cheap $100 Wal-Mart machine, to the really nice ones. The cheap one works ok, but the heavier ones are the ones that give me the less grieve.

    My 2 cents,
    Dwight
    Psalm 19:1-3 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

  3. #3
    Member sam4msu's Avatar
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    I hate to drag this post on but just a couple of other questions if you don't mind. The older machine would come from the local sewing machine shop who says that they have a ton of these type machines that they can choose from and tune up for me. Are there any stitches that I need to "demand" that an older machine include? Also, are there any pointers as to what to look for to ensure that I get a quality machine?

    Thanks for the great help.
    Sam

  4. #4
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    I would definately go with an older machine. Most of the stitches I have seen on those fancy shmancy new-fangled wonders are decorative. (read: useless.) Also, the man who restored it for me said it is nice to have one of these machines because when sewing through heavy-duty stuff (like mutiple layers of fabric and webbing) the needle will either go through or break. The machine will not be phased by the breakage.

    I have a mid-1950's Sewmore that is a straight-stitcher with no other options. It works great! The only stitch that I wish I had was a zig-zag. I would like to hear some comments from you who have the real high-tech machines as to what other stitches (besides straight and zig-zag) you all use when making gear. Since I have really caught the bug of diy gear, I will probably be "upgrading" to a machine with multiple stitches on it, and I would like to know what I need. I think the ultimate setup would be one of both!
    Last edited by Narwhalin; 05-10-2008 at 09:48.

  5. #5
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Usually the older machines are built better and are more reliable. If it has been tuned up by a sewing machine store, even better. The only stitches that you will need for DIY projects are a straight stitch and a zig zag and the zig zag is not required but handy to have.
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  6. #6
    Member sam4msu's Avatar
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    Thanks to all...I think another trip to the sewing machine shop is in order.

  7. #7
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    One other thing to think about: on newer machines that have computer components in them, you can't use a magnetic guide/fence like you can on the older ones. My sewing teacher hates that about her newer machine.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    The only stitches that Amanda and I use are straight and zig-zag. You might check how well you can increase or decrease your stitch count. I really like to put a lot of stitches in an inch when I need to, and I also like the ability to move the needle to the left or right to help me get closer to the edge of the fabric too. If the older machine has been serviced by a shop, go with it. It will also be easier to service in the future.

    Just remember to go slow and learn the machine, get use to it, and you will be happy.

    Dwight
    Psalm 19:1-3 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

  9. #9
    Senior Member Splat's Avatar
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    "They don't make'em like they used to...." I remember years ago my sister found an old machine in a garage sale that she still uses. The older ones are built like tanks while the newer ones.... I helped my mom find her old machine we had in storage. It's roughly 55years old and after I applied light lubricant to the spots listed in the manual she's running fine. It sounds like you'll get a good machine that's been calibrated/tested by the shop. I'd jump on that.
    Splat

    "Well, it's one louder, isn't it?"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam4msu View Post
    I can either spend about $100-$150 on a new singer sewing machine with 30 or so stitches or the same amount of money on a 20 or so year old heavy duty machine without the many stiches or "new car smell." Which would you all reccomend I get for general camping/backpacking DIY projects?
    If one of the older machines available to you has zigzag, grab it. If the new car smell is important, you can get air fresheners in that scent.

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