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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Sewing Machine? on 07/21/2008 23:35:13 MDT Print View

I've got a fairly new (but dead) Singer that is a piece of junk- electronic stitches, yadda, yadda, yadda...didn't know what I was doing when I bought it! (but at least learned to sew on it)
Rather than trying to repair it, I'm in the market for a new one to help me hatch my SUL plans...
What should I get?
I want something simple- straight stitch, zigzag...the basics...but in a machine that is strong and will last.
Note: I've heard plenty of stories about great finds at thrift stores, etc...but I know so little about machines I have no reasonable way of knowing if what I'm purchasing will work- nor do I have the time to hunt. I'd prefer new or something used from someone reputable.
What would +/- $300 get me?
Suggestions?
Thanks much.

Edited by xnomanx on 07/21/2008 23:37:31 MDT.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Sewing Machine? on 07/22/2008 08:23:54 MDT Print View

I fully endorse the husqvarna viking line. You can get an emerald 116 for $300 and it is great. I am currently using one and it is better than anything i have used before.

-Tim

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Sewing Machine? on 07/22/2008 09:57:42 MDT Print View

Thanks.
Your projects looks great by the way.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Sewing Machine? on 07/22/2008 14:06:30 MDT Print View

thank you. it's all the machine!

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Sewing Machine? on 07/23/2008 07:14:40 MDT Print View

I've been using a 30 yr. old mechanical Singer Stylist. It's a good basic machine whose popularity makes it easy to get parts for. If you can't get the Viking (excellent reputation) look for the Stylist on Ebay.

Reid Parish
(longboard48) - F

Locale: Western Kentucky
Sewing Machine? on 07/23/2008 19:12:22 MDT Print View

Hey Craig - I'm a self-taught sew-er (as opposed to a sewer and definitely not a tailor) who's been at it for many years. I've sewn costumes, regular clothes and outdoor clothing for the family and have dabbled in outdoor gear (parabolic cut tarps and 1 attempt at a tent) Wore out/outgrew the basic Singer that my moms gave me; I've bought 2 sergers and returned them (both were cheap and did not perform well - from my perspective) I've sewn cottons, silks, organzas/organdy, all kinds of nylons and all kinds of fleece, denims and a little leather. OK - about 8 yrs ago, I was in bad need of a machine. Saw an ad in the local paper for new/reconditioned sewing machines being sold at the local Holiday Inn. I was so hard up, I actually went to look. For $150 I bought a machine that was said to be the same that is/was used in Middle School/High School Home Ec or Teen Living classes. I have never been more pleased!!!! (and I'm picky!)
I can't find a brand name on it (I vaguely remember it as being a Necchi brand) but the printing on the machine/manual says "Dressmaker Model 6800 Heavy Duty".
Whatever you choose, make sure that it has all metal gears! The fancy stitches can be nice to have, but think twice if you only see yourself doing basic construction. If you want to do decorative stitching check out the electronic machines with interchangeable cartridges for different stitches. (this would be your 2nd machine)
Hope this helps and Good Luck!
Reid

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Sewing Machine? on 07/23/2008 20:30:37 MDT Print View

Thanks for the responses everyone, they gave me some basis to go on.
I ended up going with a new Elna 2110, their basic model, paid $250. I took a few machines for test drives- was impressed it would sew 8 layers of denim without seeming stressed and also worked well on thin fabrics.
It does have metal gears, something I wanted to make sure of- thanks Reid.
It's SO much smoother than anything else I've used. They're also supposed to be very reliable- called around a few shops and all recommended either Elna, Baby Lock or Viking.

Now if I can just get some SilNylon on rush order from Thru-hiker....