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Thread: Recommendations for sewing machine

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Recommendations for sewing machine

    Well, I've energized myself thinking about exercising my atrophied creative muscles and I am going to try to make slipcovers for the two wing chairs we bought.

    I no longer have a sewing machine, except for the early 20th C Singer Featherweight I use as a bookend.

    I have enough American Express points to purchase a new machine for free--I have about $170 worth and I wouldn't mind throwing in more cash if I have to to get a good quality machine.

    It doesn't have to have a lot of bells and whistles. I will never use 600 embroidery stitches, or even 2. I would like an automatic needle-threader, and a good tension-sensor, and the ability to do handle upholstery and/or heavy-weight fabrics.

    Any suggestions?

    After I use it, my DD and I can share it, so if my enthusiasm runs dry, I'll simply give it to her.


    Here is one I'm considering:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...MGRVSZAEFNSC6M
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mrs. Hermit's Avatar
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    I have an old White Jeans Machine that I love, and it would be sturdy enough for slipcover fabrics. No automatic threader (too old for that!). The White company is now Husqvarna/Viking. My Viking machine is great too, but not quite as good with heavy duty fabrics as the Jeans Machine. And either brand is now pricey! If you are open to a rebuilt model, either of those machines would be a good basic machine.
    Mrs. Hermit

  3. #3
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I have a Featherweight too--they're excellent little machines.

    I'd look into the Janome line--maybe this one, which seems to get good reviews:
    https://smile.amazon.com/Janome-2212...%2C218&sr=8-19

    I have an antique--circa 1970--Bernina that runs like a dream. If you're lucky, you can find one used:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Ber...dCSN:rk:3:pf:0

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Have you considered asking a sewing machine repair person? They usually have some for sale or know someone who wants to sell. They also will tell you which is easy to repair or requires a lot of repair.
    I had a top of the line Husqvarna that I loved but when the computer died, the cost of repair exceeded a new machine. Watch out for the computer-based machines! At present I have a basic Kenmore made by Janome that seems to be working quite well but I don't know about the heavy fabric ability.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  5. #5
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    I don't know anyone who had good luck with Singer. I love my Janome. This one is a sound basic: https://www.amazon.com/Janome-Machin...crafts&sr=1-73

    I don't believe mechanical machines have been made for decades. They all have computer drive.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    As I recall, my mother made slipcovers on our old treadle machine, so you may not need a heavy-duty model.

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Back in the day I made lots of bedroom decor stuff with my Featherwright, and I was sewing through thick velvets and velveteen, double layers. It wasnt great, but it worked. I would think it would sew through double layers of cotton duck, a common slipcover fabric.

    Dont discount what your Featherweight will do. It is a workhorse!!! And think about it—getting a sewing machine specifically to make slip covers seems complicated to me. But in my house slipcovers are not for us because
    I wash furniture covers so regularly (due to dogs) that I do not want ro wrestle them on and off weekly. I use, as furniture covers, bedspreads I bought for this pirpose in a matching plain color. But
    i understand you would want something that looks nicer.

  8. #8
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyone's responses. Razz, I took your suggestion and went to a vacuum cleaner/sewing machine sales and service place, and unfortunately the sewing machine expert was not there. They had two old machines for sale, neither of which I would consider buying. Actually, Mrs.Hermit, one of them was a White, and I was thinking about your recommendation, but this one came with a cabinet, which I don't need (my house in VT is so small, it would take up too much space).

    I think I'm probably going to go a more frugal route, based on what Jane and IL said about maybe not needing a heavy-weight. I gave my DD an entry-level machine a few Christmases back. It truly is a very basic model, because I didn't know if she'd like sewing or not.

    She mentioned the other day that she doesn't use it because her boyfriend has a much nicer machine (he's in the shoe design industry), so she uses his. I think I'll ask if I can use the one that I bought her, and if I really am struggling with working through 4 layers (I'm thinking of the piping) then I'll consider getting my own, and take y'all's advice into account.

    Thanks again!

    BTW, I can't use my featherweight because I lost some key parts (like the electrical cable) a long time ago. I could buy a new one, but what's the point?
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  9. #9
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    That Featherweight is a valuable asset even without a cord (about $15 to replace the cord). Due to its popularity, almost everything needed is available. I inherited my Mom's which she got in 1953 and used thru all us kids,

  10. #10
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...+cord&_sacat=0

    So are you going to sell or donate the Featherweight? They're quite popular among quilters.

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