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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Pedal to the metal... ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Pedal to the metal...
Speed and the modern machine?
FatMog
FatMog
Member since 6/17/12
Posts: 49
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Date: 8/25/12 11:56 AM

Well, I'm in the middle of a very nice afternoon sewing a simple, princess-seamed jersey top. This is so easy that I've abandoned the instructions and I've built up enough confidence in operating my new Pfaff QE4 to rattle along at full speed.

However...

I have no qualms about flooring it for a simple straight stitch or the baby zigzag stretch stitch, but what about the stretch overlock I like to use for the seam finish? Just what is the deal with these new-fangled computerised machines - can they take it? Is it advisable?

With my old all-metal, mechanical Husqvarna I never even considered it and just hit the accelerator. But I dunno, this machine feels different, I don't know why. It's not that it feels less solid or shows any signs of distress or makes any stitch errors. Maybe it's because it's generally more sensitive than a mechanical machine, I'm using more complicated stitch types and somehow I don't trust it to keep putting the needle in the right place at high speed!

Part of me just assumes that the manufacturer would really limit the speed for tricky stitch types if it was an issue or print dire warnings in the manual, and they don't. So I might as well go for it while it's under warranty. And another bit of me doesn't want to hurt my new Pfaff!

What are your opinions, those of you with more experience of the modern computerised machine? To full throttle or not?

beauturbo
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In reply to FatMog <<
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Date: 8/25/12 12:36 PM

You can sew as fast as you want. But if any machine has a stitch with lots of sideways and reverse movement to it, over just a straight stitch or zig zag, it is just going to take a lot longer to sew each inch, than just straight or zig zag would.

I think the thing to remember though is if you are zooming along real fast, it probably would be/could be a bit worse if you actually ran into and sewed into a pin or a zipper pull or such. Or if you were pulling and tugging on the fabric at the same time, and so bent and deflected your needle and so it slammed into your stitch plate. so just maybe watch out for those kind of things.

For some really fancy more decorative kinds of stitches instead, I actually do feel on most machines, pedal to the metal is not always the best speed though, and more slow and steady might sometimes give better stitch registration and less push and pull and stabilization kind of issues when doing that, if sewing more slow and steady, and if trying to match up fancy stitches next to each other or to make metered corners with them or such.

Baja Susana
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Date: 8/26/12 10:59 AM

When I am sewing straight seams I put the pedal to the metal on my Janome 9500, no issues with speed.
But if I am using anything other than a basic stitch, I slow down as slow as I have to go to ensure accuracy of placement and consistency of stitches. Occasionally if the machine acts confused, or is non responsive, I turn t off wait 30 seconds and turn it back on. It is a computer, and as you know sometimes you have to reboot.
As for hard use, the computer machines can take it.
Keep sewing.

------
Baja Susana
www.susansewsdaily.blogspot.com
Sewing on the beach, what could be better?

solveg
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Date: 8/26/12 12:03 PM

I'm sewing on one of those old metal vikings, and I one of the reasons I like it so much is that I can go so slow on it. I bought an basic babylock but only used it on one project. It was so sensitive and fast, my seams suffered on it.

And I really love how I can go to half-speed/full power when I'm doing blind hemstitching. When I tried blind hemstitching on my babylock, I almost ruined the whole shirt, and ended up cutting off the hem and starting over, hemming it by hand.

Speed really screws me up.

heathergwo
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In reply to solveg <<


Date: 8/26/12 12:51 PM

If it was a newer BL, didn't it have an adjustable speed control? Many machines now have this feature where you can adjust how fast the highest speed is.

Hard to explain, but basically you can adjust how fast the machine will go when you fully depress the presser foot. You can make it very slow so you don't accidentally go really fast and you can speed it up as needed for long straight stitches. It's a great feature that most newer machines have.

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

RipStitcher
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Date: 8/26/12 1:20 PM

Funny topic!

I love having a speed control... another name for it, when it comes to lawnmowers and school buses - is "governor". Even if you have the horsepower, it limits the final output ... err... how fast you can go.

Lacking the speed control on the first machine I bought my granddaughter this summer was one of the main reasons I upgraded her to getting an electronic sm - that new Elna Lotus that came out in May.

Even my ancient Elna 62 (circa 1975) and a "hi" and a "low" switch on the foot pedal to help limit the speed.

I love the speed control on that new Lotus - it's the same as on my Horizon... and I do use it quite a bit. The Horizon has a decent foot pedal that controls speed - but for doing FMQ or even 1/4" seaming or stitch in the ditch work, I'd rather have the speed limited to get the accuracy that I'm going after.

These darn new machines tout doing 1,000 stitches a minute... good grief! I'm not into the speed factor. I love sewing for the act of sewing - and I'd rather enjoy the meditative feeling that I get watching that needle go up and down at a moderate, controllable pace.

The only time I could see me doing "pedal to the metal".. would be doing drapes or something like that. And even then, these new machines go so fast that I wouldn't be able to keep up to properly arrange the fabric that is being fed.

------
My projects (and life and times!) are on www.RipStitcher.com

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Sashiko
Ovation serger
APQS George ... oh heck... go Millie!

2014: Sold the 7700 to make room for a 5.5mm machine alongside side my Ellie.
2013: Wow.. no real new toys - too much family drama!!!!
2012: New Elna Lotus for granddaughter, Red Elna Press, Horizon 7700, Gidget 2 Table, Babylock Ellisimo Gold
1970's: Elna SU62 & ElnaPress

solveg
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In reply to heathergwo <<


Date: 8/26/12 1:28 PM

I don't remember that in the manual....but it's the kind of thing I would have glossed over, really. I'll have to look again. Thanks!

andye
andye  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 8/26/12 3:28 PM

I think the secret of a really good sewing machine is that high speeds are controllable.

That said, the only time I really need to use my machine's full speed (supposedly 900 stitches per minute) is when overlocking--that's around 190-225 stitch patterns per minute. I think I need a serger.

-- Edited on 8/26/12 3:32 PM --

------
Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to FatMog <<


Date: 8/26/12 3:39 PM

Not.

This is like comparing Thunder Road muscle cars to a cushy sedan.

Read the warranty about what is really covered and what is not.

I don't think hot roding is covered.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Canadian Jane
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Date: 8/26/12 3:49 PM

Fatmog - I have a QE4 too and for some reason I like to sew slower on it. No idea why. It just feels right to me. In my case it might be that it took some getting used to the wider feet and the 9mm opening

I have gone full throttle on straight stitching. This machine can take it. But I don't recommend it on some of those really heavy duty dec stitches. My machine does rock a bit if I go full throttle on those.

If you are worried about sewing too fast, it does have speed control. That way if you accidently hit the pedal it won't go full throttle on you.

Do whatever feels right for you.

------
Forgiveness does not excuse the behaviour. It prevents the behaviour from breaking your heart over and over again.

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