reccomend me a sewing machine

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philipb

Forager
Feb 20, 2016
197
0
wales
I have being toying with the idea of getting a sewing machine. I would start with repairs and alterations and hope to progress to making some bespoke kit for myself.

but I have know idea of what to look for in a machine or even where to start. It will need to be heavy-duty enough for cordura and thin leather but I don't want to have to spend a fortune either.

It maybe make more sense just to pay a competent tailor for the small amount of work I want but there is no sense of achievement in that:confused:
 

bilmo-p5

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 5, 2010
8,168
8
west yorkshire
The New Home 921 is a good all-rounder. Given suitable needles it will cope with the materials you mentioned. It will also do zigzag stitch which is handy for a number of tasks you might come across repairing & altering.
These and similar machines generally come up on eBay for between £50 & £100, so won't break the bank. If you can find one local to you, collecting it in person is infinitely preferable to having it delivered.
I've been using one of these for several years now and it is one of my 'go to' machines.
 

Tantalus

Settler
May 10, 2004
935
2
57
Galashiels
Head to your local auction house and find an old hand / treadle machine.

They go for peanuts ( I bid £20 on one last week and it sold for £22 :( )

But at that kind of price and for learning on, what could possibly go wrong ?

Tant
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,303
1,830
64
Pembrokeshire
I recently invested in a Toyota "Super Jeans" and it sews a couple of layers of 1mm Veg tan leather together as if it was tissue. I got mine brand new for just over £100 and mainly for leather and tough canvas work. It happily went through 10 thicknesses of denim jeans when I darted the waistband of my bosses jeans for her... one tough domestic machine!
When sewing the top of boxed pockets on jackets I have to get through 11 layers of fabric (the top of the pocket is hemmed - 3 thicknesses - the side of the pocket is folded as well - 6 thicknesses - and then there are the jacket body and the internal reinforcing strip - 2 thicknesses - total 11 layers) and I think this is the machine for the job!
 

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
585
UK
Apologies for the thread hi-jack but like the OP I also fancy getting a sewing machine for making repairs and alterations to clothing and kit which may involve stitching reasonably thick cotton, canvas, cordura and thin leather. Apart from watching my mother using an old Singer hand cranked machine when I was a kid, I know nothing about sewing machines.

A while ago we got given a Frister & Rossman Beaver 3 sewing machine by Mrs Nomad's sister which has been sitting in the cupboard unused and untested. From a quick bit of interweb research it seems that parts and accessories are readily available so it should be possible to get it going.

http://sewingparts.co.uk/machines/frister-beaver3.html

Simple question, is a Frister & Rossman Beaver 3 a sensible entry level machine for what I want to do (and if necessary worth spending a bit of money on) or should I keep an eye out for one of the other machines recommended on here.

Thanks,

J
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,122
278
71
SE Wales
That's a perfectly good machine for entry level and a good long stretch beyond that; it was a popular machine amongst students doing fashion courses (still is,afaik) so that should give an idea of their quality.

I wouldn't be looking to buy anything else, and you should be able to get it running properly without spending on anything more than consumeables, i.e. needles, sewing machine oil (never 3in1 or wd40!!!). I reckon it'd serve you very well for a long time.
 

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
585
UK
That's a perfectly good machine for entry level and a good long stretch beyond that; it was a popular machine amongst students doing fashion courses (still is,afaik) so that should give an idea of their quality.

I wouldn't be looking to buy anything else, and you should be able to get it running properly without spending on anything more than consumeables, i.e. needles, sewing machine oil (never 3in1 or wd40!!!). I reckon it'd serve you very well for a long time.

Thanks for that. :cool: Any idea of the max thickness of cloth etc. I should be able to tackle with it?

Thanks for the tip about sewing machine oil - I can still remember the smell of Ma Nomad's old Singer!
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,122
278
71
SE Wales
I'd recommend you get a few old pillowcases and that sort of light-ish cotton/polycotton materials and play around with it, learn how to adjust the tension and the presser foot etc........when you start to get the feel of it, with the right needle and thread and the right tension it'll sew pretty much whatever you can fit under the foot. If it doesn't have the user manual, download it from the interweb and take the time to go through it and refer to it as you learn; there are a yup of good tutorial vids on there as well, and some of them are really very good but you have to sort the wheat from the chaff, as per normal with a lot of this stuff.

Enjoy it, and report back on how you get on, eh? :)
 

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
585
UK
I'd recommend you get a few old pillowcases and that sort of light-ish cotton/polycotton materials and play around with it, learn how to adjust the tension and the presser foot etc........when you start to get the feel of it, with the right needle and thread and the right tension it'll sew pretty much whatever you can fit under the foot. If it doesn't have the user manual, download it from the interweb and take the time to go through it and refer to it as you learn; there are a yup of good tutorial vids on there as well, and some of them are really very good but you have to sort the wheat from the chaff, as per normal with a lot of this stuff.

Enjoy it, and report back on how you get on, eh? :)

Thanks, that all makes sense. Don't hold your breath waiting for any results that I will be happy to share beyond the walls of Nomad Towers!
 

leaky5

Maker Plus
Jul 8, 2014
752
49
Basildon
My biggest issue was finding the right combination of thread and needle for 1000D type Cordura. I am pretty much settled on this combination now.

Jeans/Denim 90/100 needles and Nybond 60 thread. The thread is not normally that cheap to buy from Ebay, usually well over £2 for 60m. But I found that Dunelm Mill stock a few colours of it at £1.5 a roll.
Anyone else who wants black from my local 2 stores must hate me, each time I go by one I tend to stock up on most of their supplies of it.
 

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
585
UK
My biggest issue was finding the right combination of thread and needle for 1000D type Cordura. I am pretty much settled on this combination now.

Jeans/Denim 90/100 needles and Nybond 60 thread. The thread is not normally that cheap to buy from Ebay, usually well over £2 for 60m. But I found that Dunelm Mill stock a few colours of it at £1.5 a roll.
Anyone else who wants black from my local 2 stores must hate me, each time I go by one I tend to stock up on most of their supplies of it.

More useful information - thanks! :)
 

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