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Sewing machine: a must have


stveee

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Back into sewing again as I picked up a new Singer machine today. For years, this has been absolutely essential esp. when on a budget and utilizing thrift stores to find women's and girls clothing that will fit and flatter. Don't even bother with the dressing room either, because the other plus is as skills improve, clothes that don't make the cut serve as remnants when upcycling or constructing new styles.

That's the part I love the most, as a natural artist I can have my own unique style and experiment and have things that are custom-made. It's nearly impossible to find things that are the right fit, especially if one does not have a propertioned body.

 I forgot really, how fashion can be so much fun. Usually I am just lowering necklines or raising hems, or taking in seams and even some men's clothing can be feminized! So again, there's no limit at the thrift store, it really comes down to not buying too small, the fabric of choice and season. Again, my local thrift stores are stocked with both summer and winter all year long, and for a time, I was utilizing clothes dye too if it needed done or I didn't like the color.

The one challenge for me was finding women's pants or trousers that are comfy that are not jeans, so basically that may amount to taking in the waist a bit at the side seam. Hopefully I will have some new styles to share here as I go.

 

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There are also stores that sell make-it-yourself patterns that are a lot of fun too.  Halloween is coming, and that perfect costume is just a couple hours away.  If you get a good enough one, some upholstery work is fun and gets you what you want in a bunch of stuff, not just clothing.  I learned to sew on an old Singer Foot Treadle machine, before they became electric, still works fine.

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Buying a new sewing machine was my 2021 New Year’s resolution. I had never used a machine to sew until recently. I am planning to buy a new sewing machine to do some of the jobs that I have been doing by hand over the years. I’ve always enjoyed doing custom tailoring and hemming but lately some of my projects have become very cumbersome doing them completely by hand.

 

My sister came for a visit this summer and gave me her old Riccar sewing machine. It’s a very basic single stitch model but is like new. It’s been fun to tinker with it. I still plan on buying a new one later this year. I need one with a few select stitches for thicker and stretchy materials and an arm for doing sleeves among other things. This Riccar has been good as a starter though.

 

Susan R?

239DA0AD-F3A3-4F7F-9CDE-3EF6F0E21402.jpeg

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5 hours ago, Susan R said:

Buying a new sewing machine was my 2021 New Year’s resolution. I had never used a machine to sew until recently. I am planning to buy a new sewing machine to do some of the jobs that I have been doing by hand over the years. I’ve always enjoyed doing custom tailoring and hemming but lately some of my projects have become very cumbersome doing them completely by hand.

 

My sister came for a visit this summer and gave me her old Riccar sewing machine. It’s a very basic single stitch model but is like new. It’s been fun to tinker with it. I still plan on buying a new one later this year. I need one with a few select stitches for thicker and stretchy materials and an arm for doing sleeves among other things. This Riccar has been good as a starter though.

 

Susan R?

239DA0AD-F3A3-4F7F-9CDE-3EF6F0E21402.jpeg

That's lovely. Even just to have for an interior deco piece itself. 

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When I began my transition I realized I would need one.  I'm still trying to learn to use it.  My seams are a mess.  But it has been useful for modifying things.   I hope to get a little more proficient this winter since I'll be stuck inside more.

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6 hours ago, Susan R said:

 

239DA0AD-F3A3-4F7F-9CDE-3EF6F0E21402.jpeg

 

way cool @Susan R , sure nice to have around.

 

C

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2 hours ago, Jani said:

You can't beat those older machines @Susan R.  That one looks like a keeper!

 

Absolutely! 

 

I bought a used Singer many years ago.  (In hindsight, that in itself should have told me something!)  I deliberately chose a used older model rather than a newer fancy model, because I wanted metal parts that would last, not cheap plastic parts.  It only does a straight stitch, but I have made all kinds of clothes and other stuff on it. 

 

Back in my cross-dressing days, I made some nice skirts on it.  I even made a carrying case for my hammered dulcimer on it.  Thirty-some years later, it is still going strong.  Most recently, I made some covid masks and hemmed some curtains.

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9 hours ago, Susan R said:

Buying a new sewing machine was my 2021 New Year’s resolution. I had never used a machine to sew until recently. I am planning to buy a new sewing machine to do some of the jobs that I have been doing by hand over the years. I’ve always enjoyed doing custom tailoring and hemming but lately some of my projects have become very cumbersome doing them completely by hand.

 

My sister came for a visit this summer and gave me her old Riccar sewing machine. It’s a very basic single stitch model but is like new. It’s been fun to tinker with it. I still plan on buying a new one later this year. I need one with a few select stitches for thicker and stretchy materials and an arm for doing sleeves among other things. This Riccar has been good as a starter though.

 

Susan R?

239DA0AD-F3A3-4F7F-9CDE-3EF6F0E21402.jpeg

I used to have an old singer like that, it would sew through 4 layers of vinyl without much trouble and thin leather as well.  You'll probably want to hang on to it, the newer models aren't as tough in my experience.

 

Something else to keep an eye out for, serger... saw one at a thrift store recently.. handy machines, might get one soon.

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Yes I was undecided on whether to get an overlocker / serger or standard type of machine when I got mine as I intended to sew quite a bit of stretchy material rather than more traditional things. In the end I decided on a good standard machine and bought additional walking and rolling feet for more problematic jobs. These are expensive addons with manufactures parts but the cheaper aftermarket ones I bought work well. I still need more experience though but it's not something I use a lot.

 

Tracy

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On 9/14/2021 at 1:46 AM, tracy_j said:

Yes I was undecided on whether to get an overlocker / serger or standard type of machine when I got mine as I intended to sew quite a bit of stretchy material rather than more traditional things. In the end I decided on a good standard machine and bought additional walking and rolling feet for more problematic jobs. These are expensive addons with manufactures parts but the cheaper aftermarket ones I bought work well. I still need more experience though but it's not something I use a lot.

 

Tracy

I guess sergers are better for professionally finished edges and I suppose if one were making clothes or tailoring and retailing them that would be the choice. But it seems like there are several stitch options on my machine for all sorts of applications, and for personal use anyway. For stretchy fabric, I just use some sort of zigzag stitch and stretch the fabric while sewing, the same as sewing in elastic.

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