Non-Electric Sewing Machines

Discussion in 'Sewing & Quilting' started by Seeria, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Seeria

    Seeria Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone

    Can anyone tell me if non-electric sewing machines still exist? heh

    I'm trying to find a sm that doesn't have to be plugged in, like a peddle run thing or such. Yes, I'm a newb at sewing. :)

    Failing that, would anyone know if there is a sm that can be powered by a wee little generator? Hate to do that route but might have to.

    Oh, and weight would be a factor. Can't have anything huge and weighty (road trip coming up, trailer only has so much room).
     
  2. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

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    What will you be sewing? That will make a difference.

    also, check out www.allbrands.com they have categories of sewing machines or name brands you could look at then ask questions about.

    Angie
     

  3. veme

    veme Well-Known Member Supporter

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  4. Calico Katie

    Calico Katie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If weight is an issue, a treadle sewing machine would be out. The cast iron base weighs a ton. Another antique style of sewing machine was a hand cranked machine. It was a table top style. Any of the vintage machines tend to be pricey if you get them somewhere like eBay.

    They also have battery operated straight stitch gizmos that sell for less than $50. I have no idea how good they work.

    If you've used a sewing machine before you'll notice that you can turn the wheel with your hand to run the needle up and down. That's how the old hand crank machines worked.

    If you get a portable sewing machine with a burned out motor that no longer works, you could attach a knob or handle of some kind to the wheel and adapt it to this purpose. If you advertise on freecycle, you might get one for nothing. It isn't the best idea but, especially for traveling with limited space, it might get you by.
     
  5. Calico Katie

    Calico Katie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good site, Veme! I was typing when you posted. That site has some instructions for converting the wheel for hand use. I've never done this but it's appealing to think of having something to use when the power is out.
     
  6. Seeria

    Seeria Well-Known Member

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    Great info, thanks everyone! Will begin delving into it all.

    I've a few uses for it, like stitching medieval costumes, basic repairs, curtains. The hardest is canvas tenting we'll have to do this year. Might just have to bite my own knuckles and buy it ready made (medieval looking, canvas tent).
     
  7. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Singer is making new treadle machines. When the sewing machine is in the storage position, you have a little table, if that helps. Have you considered sewing by hand?
     
  8. Calico Katie

    Calico Katie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you know where you can buy one? I"ve been searching for one. Allbrands used to have them but they're out now and it doesn't sound like they're going to get them back in.
     
  9. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

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    Janome has a machine for treadle. It's on their web page.


    And as to the original question, the type of sewing would not work on any small battery powered machines that I can find.

    The next best thing would be the small generator and one of the 3/4 sized sewing machines. I can attest to the work horse costume ability of a Janome Jem 660, and 661 (Gem 2). These have preset stitches but with a jeans needle you should be able to do canvas, I've used the 660 for taking to costume work for school and it did fine, up to 1/2 inch waist bands and then jeans needle seemed to work also. But don't sew feather boa's onto wrist bands, that will make the machine stop after about 12 of them. :)

    The machines are about 12 lbs and can be carried in a med sized carpet bag carrier with one hand easily. The 660 is running $199 online and in shops without the quilt kit, with the quilting kit $249. The 661 is about $200 also. And there is a computerized Platinum 760 that has about 60 stitches and still is about 12 lbs.

    And yes, I sew pretty much straight Janome.

    I did try the Babylock Xpress - similar in size and features of the 760, but it has a funny feel to it, so I traded it in for a full sized Brother NX600 (when the NX650's were coming out). It's a nice machine, but I still favor the Janomes.

    Angie
     
  10. Seeria

    Seeria Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Angie.

    Yup, I could do it by hand but seeing how I've a medieval tent that must be used year round in various high wind conditions, rain, storms, AND roughly 8 to 16 medieval outfits to make... um well yeah I'm looking for something faster than hand. :)