recommend a sewing machine? and fabric help!

  1. Hi everyone! I want to start making and designing my own clothes :love:

    I already know how to use a sewing machine and how to sew clothes. I don't plan on using it all day, just for maybe a project every two weeks. For those of you that sew, what sewing machine would you recommend? I don't want to spend too much money, and I don't need many stitch functions-- I just need to be able to make shirts and dresses.

    Also, can someone link me to a page that explains about different types of fabrics and which ones to use in which cases? thanks :smile:
  2. I love Singer. I've been sewing for years and like you, I don't have or want the fanciest machine out there. I don't think they make the model I have anymore. But, anyway, whatever brand you select make sure you can sit at comfortably for quite some time. You can see your work without having to hunch over the machine. Go to an actual store and test the machines. All of them let you do this because you are going to spend at least $250 for a machine with a decent selection of stitches and of good quality. Stick with the major manufacturers like Bernina, Brother, White, Singer, Viking.
    I have both a serger and a sewing machine, which I love to death and use all the time! They are both about 10 years old and going strong. The best part of it is if the things break or don't work quite right, they can be repaired. So, a good machine is going to last you a LONG time. Take your time selecting a machine and don't be a cheapskate when it comes time to buy one. But, do shop around because prices vary and so does the service the shops offer. Visit the manufacturers websites to do some comparisons of features. If this is your first machine, get one with a variable speed control so you can go slower until you're used to the machine and increase your skills.
    A few attachments you might want to consider buying with your machine are an even feed foot which is essential if you want to sew velvets, silks or other slippery fabrics, an extender or double spool attachment for sewing with two threads, twin needles, and a seam guide if your machine does not come with one. Buy needles, lots of them, they are inexpensive but the most important part of the machine! Sizes 80/11, 90/12, and 100/14 are good ones to start with. Most brands work with all models of sewing machines (yay, standardization).
    Let me know what specifically you want to know about fabric and what you want it to do and I'll help you with that, too.
  3. My mother has a Brother (?) sewing machine... and it has survived maybe 10 years. It's great! I wouldn't recommend getting a cheap sewing machine, since you want something that does a good job and lasts a while. Since you don't want to spend a lot of money, I'd look for machines in the $150-$300 range.
  4. I have a PFAFF, they are the best machines ever!, my tutor recomended it, im planning on being a fashion designer she said its clossest you can get to an industrial machine that is open to the mass market, (and you dont want an industrial machiene yet they are around $10 000 and once they start its like they dont stop, the fastest on a hobby machine is the slowest these beasts go!) PFAFF have one of the best stitching qualities in the world and they are the onyl machines in the world to have dual feedback, this is a feature you will use 90% o fthe time when using your machine so its well worth the money, what it is is they have a special buit in compartment so that you not only have feed dogs on the bottom of the machine but also on top, they are sincronised so hence your fabric will move the smoothest through the machine, it looks insignificant IRL but when you compare it to other machines but that little foot makes your day so much easier! If you are looking to buy a machine for industrial (or decent use) do NOT go with a cheaper brand like Brother, Janome etc. they are buit for small useage at home hence they are cheaper yet the quality is compramised and if yuo are going to have your peices for sale this is not an option, and BTW a machine that has lasted 10 years im sorry is not that much of an acheivement, they are built to withstand tornados so a macheine that has been used at least once a week and is still in good condition after 30 years of usage is a measure of quality.

    the brand you should then stick to are PFAFF, Bernina or Viking these three are most expencive but it is well worth the money I cannot stress this enough other cheaper machines just dont have the same stich quality, also i know an emboridery machine sounds fancy and great but unless its a VERY expencive machiene the regular stitching quality is compramised for this feature. a hobby PFAFF is one of the cheapest you can find new they are around $800-$900, i dont suggest this for you because it is called a hobby machine hence your usage will not be hobby but daily and weekly useage, but if you are on a buget it might have to be an option, the middle class PFAFFs which is what i have is what i suggest for you mine was $1150 but i was given a significant discount you should expect around $1400-$1500 these are the best quality at the best pricage at pfaff, not if you want to go all out and get a decent emboidery macheine as well as great stitching quality, with computer initializing remember that not only are you looking at an initial price range of $8 000+ and not only this but they have ongoing costs, because they work with computers each time you get a new program (or update windows) the software needs updateing or replacemet on the machine, new stitches also need to be paid for (around 150-200 a stitch) so each year you are looking at around $2000 in expences for the machine (let alone fabrics and threads and new pressure feet etc.) I also bought my amchine 2nd had from the shop as it was a display model, this usually give a good discount, also look into 2nd had machines find a relatively new machine 2-3 years old (nothing past 10 years) you will get a decent discount and there is not much usuage in those years. HTH
  5. ^ sorry i didnt read you fullpost i though you wanted to get into designing and making clothes (wishful thinking i guess lol) I guess my info isnt that great cos that for industrial quality, get a nice second hand relatively new machine and it will be fine, i still suggest PFAFF, bernina or viking becuase they are still the best quality, just dismiss my previous post lol!
  6. My mother-in-law is a fabulous seamstress and she swears by PFAFF!!