Author Topic: Sewing Machine Advise  (Read 1936 times)

Hendrick

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Re: Sewing Machine Advise
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2020, 05:48:06 AM »
Both machines will sew anything you can cramp under the presser foot, but especially the 15k is good at heavy stuff like denim and the occasional bit of leather and ducking. I suppose the quilting and darning feet that came with these were as frequently used as the straight stitch foot…
But again; don't use a 15k for speed sewing; it'll walz right off the table!  I own two 15 k's; one built in the very late 30's that sews really nice and was offered to me by a tailor who told me it cost him three months' wages. Another, really late one that has the retractable feed dogs (for embroidery  and stuff I never use), that has a little more "clicketyclack" than the older one. Someone offered it to me; must have thought it was time to replace the old one. Then, last year, the retired tailor asked me to pick up his little 99 Singer; he was moving out of his house and wanted to get rid of it. So I gave him 50 Euro as a gesture and took it home. It is a cute "3/4" size machine that I would actually recommend anyone who sews fine and light fabrics; the needle opening in the stitch plate is the smallest I have seen to date. My 201 is from the early 50s, the latest batch of the cast iron black beauties and a dream to sew on, my absolute favourite. Like you, I use computerised machines (Bother) to do buttonholes, bar-tacks and things but I have never sewn a straight seam with them; the buttons and needle-up and controls drive me batshit-crazy...

Schneiderfrei

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Re: Sewing Machine Advise
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2020, 09:54:45 AM »
That is interesting to hear you say the newer one has more Clickety Clack than the older one. I have noticed the same with my Pfaff 138s.

I thought it was due to the older one haveing less time at commercial use, but maybe the construction is different?

Schneiderfrei

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Re: Sewing Machine Advise
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2020, 10:00:19 AM »
Thank you Hendrick, I will try that out.

Tom Bennet, I rejected writing many comments about one man bands. Somehow none of them could be construed as polite. :D

G

Hendrick

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Re: Sewing Machine Advise
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2020, 12:26:58 AM »

Schneiderfrei, for a Pfaff class 138 I would try to get my hand on lightweight aluminium bobbins. You are right; later 138's have the newer and evre so slightly different hook configuration with a minimally different bobbin capsule. This allows for much higher sewing speeds. Pfaff, however, recommends you use lightweight bobbins for these, especially for high speed sewing...

Schneiderfrei

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Re: Sewing Machine Advise
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2020, 11:00:12 AM »
Brilliant advice Hendrick, thank you.

I was supplied with 20 odd aluminium bobbins when I bought the machine. But, I do appreciate knowing the reason.

G

Hendrick

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Re: Sewing Machine Advise
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2020, 08:17:08 PM »

Hi,

I like to think of Berninas as the "Apple computers of sewing". Normally they give a more than accurate stitch quality. But a straight stitcher is indeed better. Problem with thin materials is that the the hole in the needle plate of a zigzagging machine is too large and the fabric will partly get pushed down into the needle hole and that is what affects your stitch-integrity mostly. That said, I would never do shirts and blouses on an industrial for the same reason. As much as I dread making shirts, I made some a few weeks ago. For poplins and things like that I use a Pfaff 8 without zigzag that sews a perfect stitch and is extremely precise and dead quiet. For even lighter or slippery materials I use a singer 99, a small 3/4 size machine with the the smallest possible needle hole. I am an extremely finicky sewist admittedly; a single skipped stitch drives me mad and I measure stitches per cm. For heavier materials I use a Singer 201, my favourite machine of all times that sews 8 layers of denim with ease. Since I use the 201 I got rid of my industrial Pfaff 461 with servo; the older Singer is far more controllable...

Hendrick

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Re: Sewing Machine Advise
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2020, 06:04:46 AM »

Agreed and to illustrate "the right tool for the job"watch this;

I think for true jeans making a real "feller" like a Union Special 35800 should be used, for heavy single needle topstitching a "walking transporter" like a Juki 5600 or preferably something more vintage. For overlocking, a wide overlocker Like Union Special 15400 or a little Singer 81k for that vintage look. For straight stiching a Singer 31k is perfect, a 101k will do also. Mind you; the 31k ("industrial") is actually a longer arm version of the domestic Singer 15k and later became the 331; the machine that served as the example for modern Juki's. Don't forget the narrow hemming chainstitcher from Union Special, the 43200 G.
Most these machines are featured in the youtube movie above; these people make jeans like Levi's used to. Note that in the history of authentic denim manufacturing no single machine has been more widely used than the Singer 31k. Rolls Royce used Singer 101 and 201's to sew their leather upholstery on...  The closest I would go to an industrial myself is the Pfaff 138, like Schneiderfrei has. For making jeans I do think you need "real iron", however. But in the end there is no perfect allround sewing machine... Cheers

Hendrick

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Re: Sewing Machine Advise
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2020, 08:09:44 AM »

Agreed on most, but. In Europe, manufacturing was done on a far smaller scale back then and most factories had a different setup from the larger scale american producers. The demand for "soft workwear"was huge and it took years for these operators to switch to denim production later on. That is why all the 60's 70's and 80's denim was produced with the remaining safety stitchers... As for the Bernina 217; I've only ever seen a long-arm version of it in action at a sailmakers' (if it even was a 217).

Cheers,