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Verlager
2005-10-26, 00:50
Due to budgetary constraints. I would like to buy a sewing machine from eBay that would allow me make and repair my own nylon hammocking equipment. My circle of close female friends aren't really into sewing and are unable to offer guidance or to suggest brands, prices, etc.

Given that I want to make a hammock sock (http://www.geocities.com/jwj32542/HomemadeGearHammockSock.html) as my first project, can I get by with acquiring a (new) ~$100 Brother or Singer mini-sewing machine at eBay?

Are these mini-sewing machines rugged enough to sew nylon or are they just tink and plastic trash, suitable only as toys for ghetto children?

dropkick
2005-10-26, 02:04
In my opinion..

The only time you want to buy a sewing machine on eBay is when you either have a lot of knowledge about sewing machines (so you won't pay to much/buy a dud) or you know alot about one specific model (owned one before and want to replace it with the EXACT same model).
(eBay warning: mini Singers only cost around $20 new)

Never buy a "mini" sewing machine as it won't have enough power to do any serious sewing or even work very well on a small amount (personal experience).

If you want a new machine try Walmart - they have a fairly good selection of inexpensive machines ($90 and up - and no shipping - plus a warranty).

Or if you don't mind used, go to my favorite store - Goodwill. I just bought a very good machine from them for around $10.

Hint: a walking foot is a very good investment for sewing nylon - get this from eBay (you should pay less than 20$ - total, shipping included).

dropkick
2005-10-26, 02:22
One more quick opinion -
Check the neighborhood vac and sew stores to see what they have, but don't get sucked into buying from them till you check around some more.
I bought my first (used) machine from a sewing machine repair shop and I spent too much.
Since then I have looked around - and all the sewing shops in my area have either extremely expensive new machines or overpriced used machines and nothing else.
I would buy new from a store (Sears, Walmart, etc.) before buying used from them again.

-Your locals might be different though, just be careful.

Verlager
2005-10-26, 11:38
Wow.. thanks for the insights. Charlie Chan said, "Experience is good school, but fees high." There are many pitfalls in selecting a sewing machine, as I suspected. If I know what machine to select, I can budget $150 for the purchase, if the extra $$$ buys me more than an array of useless fancy stitches. I'm looking for quality of construction and the power to sew nylon cordura, taffeta, and ripstop (for repair or making backpacks, tarps, etc.)

But I suspect that a $150 sewing machine couldn't sew a bar tack join thru two stacked pieces of 1" nylon webbing. Those heavy duty tasks are reserved for $2000+ professional machines tailors use.

I'll get the nylon first, and also check both Sears and Walmart. I have a bad feeling about Walmart, though. Last month I bought a kitchen blender from Walmart for $29, and returned it as too junky. Then I bought a B&D (!) blender from Home Depot for $50, and it was much nicer!

Seeker
2005-10-26, 15:14
around here, the walmart craft/sewing/fabric department ladies are pretty experienced... all three of them have over 10 years working for walmart... they're great to me... maybe you can find similar help...

a pawn shop might be another possibly good source for sewing machines... just have to know your stuff...

dropkick
2005-10-26, 17:07
Actually webbing has never caused me a problem while sewing, corderoy (sp? - jean material) has. Take some thread and material and try the machine out before you buy.

Try 3 layers of jean, take some webbing, anything else you can think of.

I could survive with just a straight stitch, but I WANT a zigzag.
The zigzag is a stretchy stitch and you will find that you use it alot - especially on outdoor gear. (also keeps material from unraveling, and used for buttonholes).

The other stitches are mostly just a snazzy waste of space (they can be fun but are unneeded).

Verlager
2005-10-27, 00:20
I'm looking at the Euro-Pro 7500XH Craft N'Sew (http://www.epinions.com/Euro_Pro_7500XH_Mechanical_Sewing_Machine). I don't think EuroPro has as good a history of making good sewing machines as does Singer. But even Singer makes some cheap plastic crappy sewing machines. I can see the saleslady at the fabric store giving me that "Never heard of it!" look when I ask her for replacements parts for a Euro Pro sewing machine.

And, after paying $200 for the sewing machine, I must order nylon which I will pay dearly for because I am not a manufacturer buying in bulk. You have to be connected from on high to the Prince of Darkness to get camo ripstop nylon, probably classified as a munition (like MS Windows). Tom Hennessey doesn't sell those nice HH made in two types of camo to the general public. I believe you have to be active military to order one.

I will need thread, extra needles, etc. Then I will have to make prototypes and test them all to see if they fit my 3 hammocks (HH, Speer 8.5, and mosquitohammock JH).

My point? It's just that I'm doing a lot of work as an amateur, when I would almost rather pay somebody who has done this and is expert at it. The two $20 hammock socks I make will end up costing me $150 each.



We all like nice gear, but not all of us like making it ourselves.

dropkick
2005-10-27, 02:14
I'm looking at the Euro-Pro 7500XH Craft N'Sew (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000068U62/002-2311915-9056047?v=glance&n=284507&v=glance). I don't think EuroPro has as good a history of making good sewing machines as does Singer. But even Singer makes some cheap plastic crappy sewing machines. I can see the saleslady at the fabric store giving me that "Never heard of it!" look when I ask her for replacements parts for a Euro Pro sewing machine.

And, after paying $200 for the sewing machine, I must order nylon which I will pay dearly for because I am not a manufacturer buying in bulk. You have to be connected from on high to the Prince of Darkness to get camo ripstop nylon, probably classified as a munition (like MS Windows). Tom Hennessey doesn't sell those nice HH made in two types of camo to the general public. I believe you have to be active military to order one.

I will need thread, extra needles, etc. Then I will have to make prototypes and test them all to see if they fit my 3 hammocks (HH, Speer 8.5, and mosquitohammock JH).

My point? It's just that I'm doing a lot of work as an amateur, when I would almost rather pay somebody who has done this and is expert at it. The two $20 hammock socks I make will end up costing me $150 each.



We all like nice gear, but not all of us like making it ourselves.

Don't know anything about this machine. Good luck.
I did make a quick search (your link wasn't working) and found someone selling them for $89.99. Link below:

http://www.northmont.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=30079

Don't know if this is a scam or a really good deal. Caveat emptor


Found this seller of fabric through a recommandation in another thread (don't remember who or what thread though) - good prices but I haven't tried them yet. Once again caveat emptor.

http://www.owfinc.com/Fabrics/fabricmain.htm

Maybe once you start you'll end up like me and enjoy sewing.
I got started by buying a machine to patch the holes I kept ripping in my clothes, and I wanted to make a rucksack.
I now make quilts (and other things) as a hobby.
-They also make great x-mas presents.

Quick suggestion: If I were you I would buy some cheap nylon and practice sewing it before I started on the real stuff - try the dollar bins at Walmart.

GuffAbbott
2005-10-27, 14:54
My wife, who knows something about sewing, told me that unless you plan to do many fancy projects very frequently, the Brother sewing machines do a fine job. I think she spent about $100 at Wal-Mart on the one we have, and it has performed extremely well.

I have also bought other Brother equipment (printers, multifunction devices, calculators) over the years, and all have been top-notch.

If you're just sewing backpacking gear, then I'd go with a Brother.

Good luck on your search.

j.johnson
2005-10-27, 18:31
My family has been in the custom drapery business for 30+ years and and I have found Bernina or Phaff machines to be the best. You may be able to find one at a thift shop or flea market. just a note I found an old singer all metal machine with a solid oak cabnet for $20.00 and have can sew denim at least 4 layers. I have gone through 3-4 machines in the past 10 years, all the ones that I paid full price for didn't last but a year or so with regular use, they all have plastic gears or a cheap clutch mechanism. older is better in my oppinion.

Seeker
2005-10-27, 18:43
i'm not being a jerk... just heading off a question when he goes to google 'phaff'... it's actually spelled pfaff... :)

no worries.

j.johnson
2005-10-27, 21:45
sorry about that, it's been a very long night.

Seeker
2005-10-28, 12:11
i write for a living, and know what you mean... some days you just can't type anything write. right. correctly.

Verlager
2005-10-30, 01:29
OK, I went to Target and saw the Euro-Pro line of sewing machines. They seem well made, heavy and I wanted the Euro-Pro 7500XH. But Euro-Pro is a garbage company, and I wouldn't have anything to do with them. My next candidate machine was a $200 rig, the Necchi 3101 Sewing Machine (http://www.sewvacdirect.com/necchi3101.html), but instead I spent a little more and got the Craft Master 4500 Sewing Machine (http://www.sewvacdirect.com/cm4500.html) for just under $300, which is not a lot to pay for a sewing machine.

With my hammock repair bills @$100 a pop, this thing should pay for itself in short order.