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A machine to fit the job
Recommendation for the best sewing machine to make messenger and duffle bags
Daliro
Daliro
Member since 1/16/13
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Date: 1/17/13 1:02 AM

I'm currently using a Pfaff Smart for making clothes, mostly dresses, it's great for this use. I just made a duffle bag with this machine, it turned out alright, but not the right machine for the job. Please any recommendations for a sewing machine for heavy fabrics and projects would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Isabella LeBeau

knitstitcher
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Date: 1/17/13 6:57 AM

What kind of fabric are you sewing with? Are you looking for an industrial machine or regular machine? I have a sailrite for all my heavy bags. It's a portable machine.....kind of noisy but it will sew through many layers of ANYTHING.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 1/17/13 3:50 PM

I would look for vintage or industrial.

Don't use your good sewing or serging machines for the heavy work.

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

"Isnít it a shame in todayís world you canít tell the truth. If you tell the truth youíre abrasive. If you lie youíre charming." - Bob Huggins/College Basketball Coach

Daliro
Daliro
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Date: 1/17/13 9:49 PM

Thanks for the input:) I'm using fabrics of upholstry/tapestry. Double layer, lined with a fleece and plastic mesh middle for support. Trying to upload an image but not sure how to post here.

Daliro
Daliro
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Date: 1/17/13 9:53 PM

Also, should the seems inside be surged? The tapestry fabrics unravel so much. Is there a heavy duty machine that also surges, or would I need 2 different sewing machines to accomplish this? Thanks

Daliro
Daliro
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Date: 1/17/13 10:03 PM

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to Daliro <<
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Date: 1/18/13 0:09 AM

Quote: Daliro
Also, should the seems inside be surged? The tapestry fabrics unravel so much. Is there a heavy duty machine that also surges, or would I need 2 different sewing machines to accomplish this? Thanks

If you serge the individual cuts this will be an easier task for the serger.

Then stitch the seam with the sewing machine.

A serger is best used for clean finishing. They do not give a good, tight seam.

Test a a couple layers of the fabric and you will see the sewing machine provides a stronger seam than that of the sergers left needle.

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

"Isnít it a shame in todayís world you canít tell the truth. If you tell the truth youíre abrasive. If you lie youíre charming." - Bob Huggins/College Basketball Coach

ThePadre
ThePadre
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Date: 1/18/13 8:11 AM

Quote: Daliro
Also, should the seems inside be surged? The tapestry fabrics unravel so much. Is there a heavy duty machine that also surges, or would I need 2 different sewing machines to accomplish this? Thanks

Most of the bags that I've come across use bias tape on the inside seams. This has the advantage of letting you use a durable material (more durable than the bag itself) on the seam, as seams tend to get rubbed a lot. (Again, looking at the assorted bags and backpacks around here.)
tgm and Kittys
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tgm and  Kittys
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Date: 1/18/13 8:20 AM

Oh boy I tried something close to what you are using & you can easily damage the motor & throw off the timing in many machines. Even my 306 Singer & 201 could not do it ......... had to go very very slow & use heavy duty denim needle. .......... I would be very careful with the new sm........... it is high price to take it to sewing machine repair for motor work, timing, & anything else that can happen... uh bent feed dogs etc...................... wish I could be more help.................
My friend has managed a few such bags on her Neechi that is about 45 years old ... going slow & using heavy duty needle .... very slowly & only straight stitch. ..... first zig zag the edges of the fabric is what she does after cutting out the bag & then sew seams. ....
hope this helps a tiny bit....

------
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It's all about The Baby , about the Baby, about The Babe ....Big Smile! (sung off key ..la la la )

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dscheidt

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In reply to ThePadre <<
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Date: 1/18/13 2:04 PM

Quote: FrBasil
[quote] Also, should the seems inside be surged? The tapestry fabrics unravel so much. Is there a heavy duty machine that also surges, or would I need 2 different sewing machines to accomplish this? Thanks

Most of the bags that I've come across use bias tape on the inside seams. This has the advantage of letting you use a durable material (more durable than the bag itself) on the seam, as seams tend to get rubbed a lot. (Again, looking at the assorted bags and backpacks around here.)

[/quote]
another advantage of using tape on the seams is it lets you do the entire bag with a single needle machine. (With the right attachment, applying tape is pretty easy and fast)

Also, tape will make the seams stiffer, which may mean you can use a lighter fabric and still have a bag that has shape when it's empty. That's true even if the tape itself has no body.
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