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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Sewing machine recommendations for wedding gowns, alterations and uniforms ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Sewing machine recommendations for wedding gowns, alterations and uniforms
Sewing machine recommendations
Katlin1224
Katlin1224
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 2/1/14
Posts: 3
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Date: 2/1/14 2:04 AM

Hi! So my cheap brother machine has sewed its last stitch and I'm on the hunt for a good machine that will last but not cost me an arm and a leg. I am just wondering what machines you would recommend for sewing heavier fabrics? I am looking into sewing wedding dresses, doing alterations and sewing patches on my husbands uniform. I would probably like to go with an industrial machine with preferably a foot pedal, it's just what I've always used. I don't want a computerized machine or one with embroidery, just a basic single straight stitch. My budget is around $500 but I am willing to spend more if the machine is worth it and will last for a substantial amount of time. And I am also looking for recommendations on sergers, I've never owned my own but definitely plan on getting one after I find the perfect sewing machine for me. Thanks in advance!
-- Edited on 2/1/14 2:18 AM --

ryan's mom
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ryan's mom
PA USA
Member since 11/30/04
Posts: 4678
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Date: 2/1/14 6:42 AM

For the past four years I've been working on prom and bridal dress alterations. It was a big reason why I upgraded from my $500 Janome MC3000 to a Janome-made Elna 740 (Janome has an equivalent).

What was huge for me was having the straight stitch plate and Accu-feed system. The straight stitch plate virtually eliminates fine fabrics getting sucked down and under the needle plate. Worth it's weight in gold. I realize you want to stay in that $500 price range, but for around $1K-2K, there are some incredible machines that will handle bridal sheers to leather and heavy denim with ease. The feeding system on machines in this price range are excellent.

For a serger? I DEFINITELY go with a BL Imagine or Enlighten. It makes a world of difference when working with wedding dress.

I understand you don't want computerized, but that generally eliminates oiling which would be done by a tech when having your machine serviced. One less thing for me to worry about--getting an excess oil on a wedding or prom dress.

------
Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing/Embroidery Combo Machine: Janome MC15000. Sewing Machines: Elna 740, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

My blog: www.phatchickdesigns.blogspot.com

Katlin1224
Katlin1224
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 2/1/14
Posts: 3
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Date: 2/2/14 0:30 AM

Thank you so much for the reply! It is a big help!!

SewLibra
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SewLibra  Friend of PR
Intermediate
CA USA
Member since 12/2/08
Posts: 703
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Date: 2/2/14 1:44 AM

I recommend the Bernina 1008 for a heavy duty and reliable mechanical machine. I think you may be able to find a used one for $500. However, if you want to purchase the infamous Bernina feet for it, those are expensive. I bought mine one at a time over the years and now have all I would ever use. This machine is frequently used in schools and prisons and can take a lot of use and abuse!

For a serger, the Brother 1034D is an affordable machine that is easy to thread compared to regular sergers, and it is only $200 or so brand new. There is another conversation today called "Sergers for Dummies" that has some good opinions on sergers.

------
SewLibra
Brother SB4138, Bernina 1008, Brother 1034D, Janome Harmony 9102D

Sheseams
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Sheseams
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In reply to ryan's mom <<


Date: 2/2/14 7:39 PM

I wasn't looking necessarily for a new machine, I own a Janome Harmony 2049 manual which I love

However, income tax season is upon us and....Now am looking at a Janome DC 1018 or a 8050 Both or which are electronic with extra features mines currently doesn't have.

------
Keeping myself together one stitch at a time.

http://sheseams.blogspot.com/

mgmsrk1
mgmsrk1
Intermediate
NY
Member since 12/16/12
Posts: 178
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In reply to Katlin1224 <<


Date: 2/2/14 8:24 PM

If you want an industrial just search for "industrial Sewing" and any name brands(Juki, Consew) you can think of in your local Craigs List. They come up a lot and tend to go fairly cheap, unless the person who has it is clueless. I picked up my Juki 8500 with extras for $300, the week before I missed one for $125.

------
1968 Kenmore 158. (AKA The Hulk)
Bernina 230
Janome 6600 (for sale)
Janome 7700
Juki 600
Elna serger
Kenmore serger
Janome 1000 CoverStitch
Juki 8500 Industerial

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 4531
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Date: 2/2/14 9:56 PM

I have a Pfaff Select that I use for all my home dec projects, including slipcovers with piping, I also sew on my husband patches, but I prefer an narrow zigzag for that. It's a mechanical machine.
I have been considering a Janome semi-industrial because they sew faster, such as the MC6300 and the 1600P.

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

Katlin1224
Katlin1224
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 2/1/14
Posts: 3
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Date: 2/3/14 1:18 AM

Hmmmm semi industrial is a good idea. I'm always a little weary of buying a machine on Craigslist, but I am definitely going to try it because I'm going a little stir crazy with no projects during my down time! I've heard a lot of good things about Juki. Are they easy to get parts for?

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