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Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
When do you NEED a good sewing machine? on 12/30/2011 18:22:08 MST Print View

We have a Necchi that is only capable of straight stitches and I haven't been able to get it to work correctly yet. Instead of messing with it any more, should I just use my daughters' modern sewing machine? For now, I'm just going to make some stuff sacks and a flat tarp. I know everyone favors the older, metal geared units. But at what point do you really need the extra strength of the good machines?

Edited by rlnunix on 12/30/2011 18:22:41 MST.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: When do you NEED a good sewing machine? on 12/30/2011 18:29:11 MST Print View

You'll know when you need more power when you can't sew what you want. If the machine at hand performs the task, sew away.
You'll know when you need more features when you become frustrated with what you can't do.
What model Necchi do you have? I may be able to help.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: When do you NEED a good sewing machine? on 12/30/2011 18:33:29 MST Print View

"I know everyone favors the older, metal geared units."

Not necessarily. If you need the power to sew through heavy materials, then you need a good old machine like that. On the other hand, if you only sew through skimpy ultrathin materials like I do, the modern machines are quite adequate, and they typically offer some extra stitch types as well. I couldn't operate without a zigzag stitch.

--B.G.--

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
I agree on 12/30/2011 19:10:19 MST Print View

You don't necessarily need an old, heavy machine. Most new, inexpensive sewing machines can sew through surprisingly thick materials if you carefully use the hand wheel to walk it through the heaviest stuff, such as at stacked seams. I just hemmed some hiking pants and, using an inexpensive machine, sewed through 8 layers of material in spots where I rolled the felled seams.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: When do you NEED a good sewing machine? on 12/30/2011 20:42:33 MST Print View

I've sewn a tent and a pack so far with this cheapo machine.

here

I keep waiting for it to break but so far so good.

Does everything I need.

Put my wife's much much more expensive Bernina into the closet.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Necchi on 12/30/2011 20:56:41 MST Print View

Thanks guys. Ken, It's a Necchi BF. I think from 1951. I haven't tried in a while but with the 3 day weekend I thought I'd spend some time working on it and sewing in general. As I recall the thread was bunching up and then breaking very quickly. I'll let you know when I've tested it again. Thanks!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Necchi on 12/30/2011 21:51:50 MST Print View

> the thread was bunching up and then breaking very quickly.
Very little to do with the sewing machine in general. Very often to do with the wrong thread. Cheap cottom thread and serger thread are notorious. Good poly-cotton should run freely. Gutermann is ... fair; there are better.

Cheers

David Wilson
(fastmtnbiker) - F

Locale: El Paso, TX
More likely... on 12/30/2011 22:50:36 MST Print View

....too small a needle for your thread.

Could be timing as well. The Hook could be catching the thread at the wrong time.

There is an awesome yahoo group for Italian necchi owners. Kind of janky to get signed up, but worth it. Read ALL of their intro instructions.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Necchi on 12/31/2011 10:15:25 MST Print View

I didn't get a chance to test the Necchi lat night as I was playing with the other machine. But the thread I do have is Gutterman and the needles are 80/12. My wife is going to town today so if anybody has suggestions for better choice for those, let me know and I'll have her pick them up. Thanks.

Harald Hope
(hhope)

Locale: East Bay
such as? on 12/31/2011 16:08:17 MST Print View

<< Very little to do with the sewing machine in general. Very often to do with the wrong thread. Cheap cottom thread and serger thread are notorious. Good poly-cotton should run freely. Gutermann is ... fair; there are better. >>

What threads are better, brand/style? Ideally available in USA of course fairly readily.

Say, for standard sewing jobs, silnylon, that kind of thing, and for heavier stuff, like packs, using 4oz yd fabrics and thicker nylon webbing?

Or is Guterman actually fine? Seems to be the popular default, is it actually fine? I'm not tormenting about perfection, but if there is some actual concrete reason not to use it, that would be good to know, particularly the whys.

Edited by hhope on 12/31/2011 16:11:04 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: such as? on 12/31/2011 17:27:29 MST Print View

I've used Gutermann thread with good results. I've used Mettler with good results. I've even used cotton serger thread with good results. The only times that I have gotten into thread problems was when the thread was too big for the needle. So, I simply bought a selection of different needle sizes, and one of them will work OK.

Of course, maybe the problem was that the needle was too small for the thread.

--B.G.--

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
thread and needles and sewing on 01/01/2012 00:13:00 MST Print View

I use gutterman thread, with a number 9 needle for the majority of my projects. Any machine with a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch (for bar tacking) is sufficient for the common man who isn't operating a cottage business. My sewing machine is a POS walmart special, and it's been absolutely great.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 01/01/2012 00:14:15 MST.