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Forum > Sewing Machines > Hemstitch machines -are they hard to find? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Hemstitch machines -are they hard to find?
Am interested in finding one to do heirloom embroidery columns.
ukdame
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ukdame
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Washington USA
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Date: 10/30/11 8:27 PM

The only ones I see online seem to be vintage Singer or Japanese models. Are they hard to find . I suspect they are mostly used as industrials. Are there any newer models made. I am embroidering my own linen towels and would like to add a hemstitch border.

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It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. ~ Franklin D Roosevelt 1843
Janome 19606 ,Janome My Excel 4023, Brother 1034D, White 1750C, Kenmore 158.1803, White 764, Brother 780D.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Oregon USA
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Date: 10/30/11 9:07 PM

I was interested in crocheting a border in the hemstitching. I bought a blank that was hemstitched at a craft store, it was done with the older Singer machine. The company had a website that showed the machine. Some sewing machines have a hemstitch , but the holes don't always come out large enough, even if you use a wing needle. I also bought an old Singer hemstitch foot to use on my vintage machines, but I haven't played with it very much, so I can't really report on it.
I've see the older Singer hemstitchers on Craig's List every once in a while. The prices have been $200.00 to $1000.00.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

Jennifer Hill
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Jennifer Hill
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Alberta CANADA
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Date: 10/30/11 10:02 PM

Dedicated hemstitch machines are single purpose industrials and can be very expensive, especially if they are all set up, serviced, and ready to sew. There must be modern ones available, but I am only virtually aware of vintage Singer 72W models, which is one of the last machines still languishing on my wish list. I'm willing to do a lot of servicing myself, so I want one very CHEAP. And local, since I don't want to pay to ship such a monster. Not that I have any particular need for one, except that they intrigue me, and I love hemstitched linen hankies.

For those who aren't willing to devote the floorspace and $$ resources to a dedicated machine, one can do a passable approximation of hemstitching with a wing needle and certain built-in stitches on a home sewing machine. Or, in my case, I'm working diligently this week to master the vintage Singer Hemstitching attachment. These gadgets are very collectible, since they weren't particularly common, like buttonhole attachments are. I think the reason is that they aren't as useful, or as user friendly as buttonholers.... Like buttonholers, they force a straight stitch machine to zig-zag by moving the fabric side to side. This zz stitching, which must be worked in two passes, secures open big holes that are punched in the fabric by a piercer on the attachment.

Jennifer in Calgary

mastdenman
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mastdenman  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/30/11 11:12 PM

hemstitchers dot com has lots of information on these machines.

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Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to ukdame


Date: 10/31/11 2:09 AM

I think the old Singer 1920's ones are pretty hard to find and pretty expensive most times too. Also heavy. Probably if working, actually most times over $1000 in my area, and not something I would want to freight from afar, as it would be expensive and they might get trashed. via transit too. I saw some new commercial ones (probably made in china or Japan) on either the Tajima or maybe Barudan embroidery websites maybe a year ago (not there now though) but I think even those were in the over $1000 to $2000 range.

You can do a good facsimile with lots of home machines, and a wing needle though often. Using special stitches there in most of the newer computer ones, that have special stitches set up for that. That fall in the same needle holes repeatedly. That would be a lot cheaper probably. I have got some really good results there,doing that. My best results were on very heavily startched linen, with really thin 100 weight 100% cotton thread, a wing needle and also cording it with cotton gimp too, It looked almost like the old 1920's commercial machines would do, except since I had not several separate bobbins going on all at once, I could not actually cut between the stitchings quite the same way, more like to make a hemstitch picot edge like they used to on some more vintage cotton organdy aprons and such.

If I was doing more authentic looking 1920's Mission/Arts and Crafts style reproduction work on linen towels for hopefully a huge income and profit, and selling enough of them, then I think I would actually want a black cast iron real Singer 1920's more vintage one, with the more than one bobbin in it and it might pay for it's self in the end. But if not and doing lesser stuff, then maybe you can just more fake it, with just a more modern sewing machine, and the wing needle instead.

ukdame
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ukdame
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Washington USA
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In reply to beauturbo


Date: 11/2/11 9:27 PM

I guess price wise it would be a lot cheaper to buy ready made hemstitch towels from overseas. Finding one locally may take some time but I will be looking. I think shipping one of these wonderful machines would be very risky unless you are part mechanic , which I am not.

Addendum: I just found this super " Threads" link
http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/13986/how-to-hemstitch-by-machine/page/all
-- Edited on 11/2/11 10:23 PM --

------
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. ~ Franklin D Roosevelt 1843
Janome 19606 ,Janome My Excel 4023, Brother 1034D, White 1750C, Kenmore 158.1803, White 764, Brother 780D.

Fannie Rebecca
Fannie Rebecca  Friend of PR
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Massachusetts USA
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Date: 2/24/13 5:27 PM

The old Singer straight stitch machine with a hemstitcher attachment was great! I made miles of picot stitch (one way only of the hem stitching) as a foundation for a rolled hem. That was a suggestion of Mary Brooks Picken, I think.

The movement of the attachment was to sink a pointy ended pick into the fabric, yank it to the side and place a stitch into it, then follow with a couple more stitches to complete each hole. Two passes were needed for the complete stitch and it was suggested that you pull a thread to begin so it would be absolutely straight. But I used it on circular chiffon skirts with equally good results.

Since that was the successful way the machine did it, I think using an awl would work for a substitute in working the initial row by hand sewing.

Lucille, the designer of lingerie and at home gowns, and a Titanic survivor, told about a famous actress who requested all her dresses have a picot stitch hem rather than a hand rolled one. She suspected it was a clue to her impoverished origins since that was a finish used in cheap ready made clothes and not in expensive ones. She told this story in her autobiography, which was principally written to explain why her husband, Lord Duff Gordon, took up a collection for the sailors who rowed their Titanic lifeboat. They knew the men had just lost all their possessions and this was the only group of survivors who thought of doing something for their rescuers. But the rumor began that they BRIBED them to not row back and save more people from the sea.

Now you know the correct thing to do if you are saved from a sinking ship!

Soolip
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Soolip
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Date: 2/25/13 4:50 PM

I find the hemstitcher attachment makes holes that are too big.

Read "Fine Machine Sewing" by Carol Ahles. She shows you how to use the hemstitches on modern computerized machines using very fine thread and a wing needle. I've used her techniques, and they work! You can even do hemstitches with a narrow hemmer.

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