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I know lots of you sew. Can you recommend any sewing machines that can handle heavy duty sewing, i.e., denim, multiple layers of fabrics, decorator fabrics?

I have a basic Brother sewing machine and it's pretty wimpy!

My budget would be around $275.00 and I don't want a lot of bells and whistles, just basic stitching.

Wish I still had my old metal cased Kenmore. That thing was a work horse!

Stef
 

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Stef - I just sewed an ice skating rink stage curtain - 140 yards of suede like fabric, sometimes 4 or 6 layers with a Janome 6500 P sewing machine. Jeans needle and strong thread (CTS threads).




I highly recommend Janome machines. The last time I did one of these I used a Janome New Home 6000, and it was light weight denim.



Other than that - I mend blue jeans and sew all manner of other costume stuff with these machines.

By the way - a good mechanical version is the Janome 4623LE.

But, I swear by my Janomes.

Angie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Stef - I just sewed an ice skating rink stage curtain - 140 yards of suede like fabric, sometimes 4 or 6 layers with a Janome 6500 P sewing machine. Jeans needle and strong thread (CTS threads).


140 yards??!? Wow...I'm impressed!

Nice looking machine, but would it fit into my budget?

Stef
 

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go for one of the lower Janomes

How many fancy stitches would you like? Check out the 4623LE - it usually sales for $309 almost anywhere. It's mechanical with electronic variable speed motor to make it more controlable. Also, it has the up/down needle stop button. You'd think neither of those makes much difference, but it does.

The SewPrecise is a Janome that is about $249 retail.

The newer Magnolia models of Janome - I've heard are not as strong.

Also, check out the top of the line Kenmores - they're made by Janome for Sears and sometimes are less expensive for basically the same machines. But you don't have a dealer to go to. Dealers are worth the money for cleaning your machines about once a year, and if kinks happen with the machines.

Angie
 

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Look on ebay. I have gotten REALLY good machines for a fraction of the cost of new.

I like my Baby Lock, but I'm a quilter.:D
 

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I have a Viking and a Bernina top of the line when I bought them... and when I needed another machine and could not afford a top of the line, I bought a used one of the exact model. It had been in a closet for those 10 years, then the lady moved to a nursing home, so I got an EXCELLENT serious machine for $200.

You have to look and see what's out there, let people know you're looking and your budget and then do a little checking.

Remember that a machine is only as good as the service that you have available... even the best machines need maintenance and work sometimes and if it's not availalbe, then you're done... find out about who you have locally that does excellent service and buy within THAT brand/s....

dawn
 

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I know lots of you sew. Can you recommend any sewing machines that can handle heavy duty sewing, i.e., denim, multiple layers of fabrics, decorator fabrics?

I have a basic Brother sewing machine and it's pretty wimpy!

My budget would be around $275.00 and I don't want a lot of bells and whistles, just basic stitching.

Wish I still had my old metal cased Kenmore. That thing was a work horse!

Stef
Heavy duty, basic stitching and you miss your old metal-cased Kenmore?

A vintage Singer of course. :D
Any of the old black, elegant styled Singers would suit your uses.
Some suggested model numbers to watch for: 15-90, 15-91, 99, 66...

I have a 1941 15-91. She has forward, reverse and zigzag with an easily-found attachment. I picked her up for $40 incl. shipping on eBay. I've got a 66 with the same features that I snagged at an auction for $1.

Watch ebay though.
There are sellers who call them "industrial." They clean them up, tune them, etc. and then get primo dollars. A careful eBayer can find a better deal from a less knowledgeable seller and then do any needed fixing themselves. They're really easy to work on and will last a century or better with minimal care!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, Angie, and everyone else.

I'll keep checking back for your suggestions and do some research.

I used to do tons of sewing but lost interest for a long time, however I'm getting my enthusiasm back. :)

Stef
 

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I have a Pfaff basic 915 I think. At the fabric store we used them to give lessons on to real beginners. I now use it for my business of draperies so you know it is heavy duty. i can go from sheers to tapestry with only a needle change. It has a button hole , zigzag and a few other stitches but I never use any thing but straight and button hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Look on ebay. I have gotten REALLY good machines for a fraction of the cost of new.

I like my Baby Lock, but I'm a quilter.:D
Rose, I've thought about checking on EBay, but they have a real bad rep right now, and if the purchaser has a problem they don't sound too helpful.

So, it would be hard to know who to trust on there. THen if you didn't like it, there the seller would be, half-way across the country!
:mad:
 

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I contacted Singer. They had sewing machines made for home ec classes. The guy was demonstrating one in a K-Mart. The most expensive of the 3 was probably close to your budget. He went through several layers of denim with no problem and he also even sewed through a wooden paint stick.

I will try and remember to dig mine out tomorrow and see if the receipt is still in the case. It has the phone number and of course the price would be on there.
 
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