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      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 13th, 2012 8:10pm (Mar 13th 2012) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    So I am considering purchasing a sewing machine, as I've been experimenting making home-made dog toys recently, with the hopes of selling them at our market stall.

    A sewing machine would be great for speeding things up and making them tougher to destroy...but I haven't used one since I was 15! All I remember is you stomp on a foot pedal!!

    Does anybody on the forum use one? Anybody know any that are suitable for beginners? I don't want to pay a fortune so have been looking for second hand ones, but I don't really know what I'm looking for. Are they fairly easy to use?

    Really not looking forward to doing the threading thing, as I was always useless with that, and apparently Lyle was too!

    Red
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2012 12:13am (Mar 14th 2012)
     
    I've had my sewing machine for about 25 years! Basically you get what you pay for. You only need the basics - straight stitch, zig zag, button hole and a light is good - but I don't know what sort of materials you are intending to use. Whatever you get make sure you use the right needle for the job (places like John Lewis sell generic needles) and that the machine can take the thickness.

    Why not go somewhere that sells them such as John Lewis (can't think of anywhere else but you might know of somewhere local to you) and ask to have a look at them, get advice, have a go maybe. If you pick one up second hand try to get the instruction book too. How you thread it is vital. If I get one tiny bit wrong on my machine it will keep breaking the thread and making a mess of the material. Also, buy decent thread - cheap stuff will tangle and break so its a false economy. The 'big' names are Singer and Brother so look out for them!

    Apart from that, practice lots, use double seams for strength, and enjoy!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2012 1:21pm (Mar 14th 2012) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh dear, I am SO in over my head ahahahahaha!! :tooth:

    This is gonna be sooo fun, thanks for the info Kate! Are there any brands I should look out for...? There's a £30 sewing machine on amazon, brand new, and apart from one negative comment from a professional, the others all say it is good and easy to use. I'll add a link:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hyundai-8-Stitch-Sewing-Machine/dp/B005C8JY5W/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    I didn't think about looking around for specific shops at all. I'll see what I can find!

    Material-wise, it'll mostly be lycra type material and fleece. Which I guess is quite thick...I didn't even realise you had to use different needles!! And then just bog standard cotton-y material.

    Yeah, I'll definitely be needing an instruction manual...! I've already told my Grandma that this will result in a trip to A&E :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2012 11:53pm (Mar 14th 2012)
     
    It looks OK - like the reviews say, you get what you pay for! There's no point in spending 5 times that and then finding out you hate sewing and it sits in a cupboard for years! The only brands I know of are Singer (who've been going since before time!) and Brother. There are others but it's one of those industries that has moved out to the far east so I can't think of any others.

    Lycra is very hard to sew with because it stretches so it'll take some practice. Fleece can get stuck in the feed feet. (The base bit of the sewing machine should have little 'teeth' that feed the material through as the needle sews, and sometimes they can have trouble with fleece). It that happens, the tip I was given was to use some greaseproof/tracing paper as it'll stitch through it and then it can be torn off, but it also might mean you have to manually pull or push the fleece through but that's OK with practice.

    Read the instructions - a sewing machine is one of those things where it is worthwhile to at least skim read everything before you start. Then just have fun!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2012 1:09pm (Mar 15th 2012)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Nooo I was counting on the lycra being my starter project!!!

    I ordered it today :cheer:

    Should be coming mid-next week, can't wait to get started! I need to remember that it's going to take practice though; I'm one of those people where if I don't do it perfectly the first time, I feel really disheartened and want to give up :P
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 16th, 2012 2:52pm (Mar 16th 2012) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    IT CAME TODAY!!! :gasp:

    I can't believe how quickly it has arrived - it wasn't delivered with the Royal Mail though so that will be why! If they'd delivered it I'm sure it would have taken weeks and weeks...

    I've been practising LOTS haha! It came with a tiny square of fabric that had already been tested on, and it was already all threaded, but I unthreaded it all so I can practice doing it myself. Really didn't understand that you needed the needle AND a bobbin-y bit threaded too, so that took us a while to figure out!

    It's so so easy to use though, and amazingly good at sewing in a straight line! I'm really chuffed with it; I just need to pick up some fabrics now :smile:

    Even better is that the dog isn't afraid of the sound at all!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 17th, 2012 10:50pm (Mar 17th 2012)
     
    Sounds great! Check out markets for cheap materials to begin with at least. And have patience!! One more piece of advice - don't make your hems too small - the material might fray and it'll come apart. Good luck - show us what you make!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 18th, 2012 1:12pm (Mar 18th 2012)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Mostly I've just been practising on scraps so far, but I have made the dog a neckerchief!! It's brightly striped and he looks pretty funky in it :bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 19th, 2012 11:17pm (Mar 19th 2012)
     
    Is that the one he's wearing in your photos of the walk on the moor this morning? It looks great!!