I want a MANLY sewing machine!
July 31, 2008 1:44 PM Subscribe
Heavy duty sewing machines? What do I need?
posted by SpecialK to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I have a few things that I need to fix around the house after my dog ate them, and the plastic cheap-feeling sewing machine that I have access to (borrowed from neighbor) doesn't seem to have enough umph to do it. I also want to make my own UtiliKilt and I'd like to make and/or customize some bags for my camera and computer gear. If the only sewing machine I have access too won't do three layers of upholstery fabric without getting kinda warm and melty-smelling, I don't think it's going to handle four layers of 1550 Ballistic Nylon and padding...
Although I'm mostly a manly man, I'm not a sewing machine neophyte. I made my first few sewing projects in middle school and have since made a few small things like beds for my dogs and to do simple clothing and motorcycle luggage repair. The motorcycle luggage is where I found out about the accidentally-partially-melting-plastic-parts when sewing heavy nylon using my neighbor's machine... and now I have two futon covers, several pillows or pillow cases, a robe, and now some of these other projects that I want to try out, and they're ALL heavy and/or thick fabrics.
MetaMind, what do I need to sew heavy duty fabrics? I know that my mom does some of this kind of stuff and has a sewing machine and serger, but she even shrugged when I asked her about heavy duty nylon and padding... and her machines cost thousands of dollars, because my dad refuses to buy cheap tools.
I'm not going to be doing a ton of this stuff so I don't need an industrial machine with a thirty year lifespan, but I figure that getting a machine that will handle the weights of the fabrics that I'm going to need to work with is worth spending the money... keeping in mind that I live on a state employee budget. If only I could figure out what that was, and what I need to look for in the machines to know if it'll do what I want...
Do I need a serger? What is the difference between it and a normal sewing machine? How do I tell how heavy of a material can be sewn with a machine, or how thick the material can be (i.e. layers of fabric + padding)? What features do I need for basic, occasional but heavy use -- I don't need an auto-embroidery library or some of the electronic stitch selection tools that some of the high end machines have. And please, share your wisdom. I'm new to this and it's not really a man's world... give me a two-stroke or four-stroke engine and I'll have it in parts inside of a half hour, but I'm kinda lost here.