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Sewing Machines
Need help in choosing new machine for low vision!
julieb458
julieb458
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Vermont USA
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Date: 1/7/13 0:32 AM

I have macular degeneration and have finally come to the
conclusion that I need a new sewing machine! Among other things, I can no longer thread the needle. I have been looking at the Pfaff Creative 4.0 and the Creative Performance. I have not purchased a new machine in over 30 years and they certainly have changed. I sew garments and quilts and I am interested in learning about embroidery. I own all mechanical machines, Elna, Viking, Benina and an assortment of older Singers (221, 301, etc.). Frankly, I have not sewn very much in quite a while because of my vision and I miss it terribly. I am hoping there are so good choices in computerized machines. Good lighting and automatic threading are really important, in addition to high quality, user friendly machines that are not finicky! I have enjoyed reading all the great posts and helpful opinions on this board. I look forward to any advice you have to offer! Thank you!

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Sunshine is a matter of altitude.

-Viking Lily-Viking 630-Elna AirElectronic SU-
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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to julieb458 <<
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Date: 1/7/13 1:24 AM

A former family member had this same problem and I noticed he liked LED lights the best. You can purchase a stick-on type LED light bar to go on the arm of your machine, and then get a machine with an automatic needle threader.

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"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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beauturbo
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In reply to julieb458 <<
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Date: 1/7/13 2:56 AM

Do you know about or have tried the sewing machine needles you can thread in a machine through a slot in the side of them, rather than just only the needle eye? This would be one kind of them:


more about it here http://www.schmetzneedles.com/category/Needles-Household-Carded-2/rec/10

Lots of new and newish machines have more automatic needle threaders too, but you might want to try those on some of your older ones also. I don't think they are quite as good as a regular needle, if you don't really need them, as a bit more possibility of becoming unthreaded a bit more easy than one not that way, but still, if you need it, you need it.

Also if you have one of those special prescription large magnified rectangular book reading devices, (the name escapes me on those right now, but my Mother used one for reading) that has the lights built in under it, that you can slide along the pages of a book, and if you use one of those anyway, there might even be some way to use the same one, on some sort of stand, (maybe more a hinged or swing away stand, that someone could make for you?) set up in front of the needle area on a machine, and maybe not interfere with the fabric and your hands there too much even.




-- Edited on 1/7/13 2:58 AM --
-- Edited on 1/7/13 3:05 AM --

sewfrequent

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Date: 1/7/13 8:06 AM

The BEST threaders are on the Brother/BabyLock machines! As long as the needle is in its highest position, there are 2 grooves for the thread and you push a lever on the left side of the machine and VOILA. you don't have to even LOOK at the needle and it can be done with one hand. The bobbin arrangement is also very fast and easy --a top-loader with a couple of grooves and once you know the path (very easy) you could do that with one hand also because there's nothing futzy about placing the bobbin. Brother and BabyLock have quite a few models with these features starting at around $600. Brother-made machines are noted for giving you most features for the money and you will probably get an automatic thread-cutter also which saves time/thread and possibly frustration too if vision is limited. The buttons do tend to be large and well-placed also. Its a good place to start especially if ease of threading is a main goal. A secondary light-source might be necessary but that's true of most machines and there are so many available choices for good lighting--even some that clip to the machine itself. One final thing about the threader is that it works 100% of the time unless you are using fine needles with a smaller eye. the manual states the size needles that can't be used with the auto-threader. I'm excited for you to return to sewing with a new computerized machine with all the nifty features you have missed w/ the mechanicals...needle up/down is a wonderful thing as well as being able to move the needle left or right of center position. Have fun shopping and let us know what you buy!

lgrande
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Date: 1/7/13 8:23 AM

This probably won't be helpful to you but could be for someone else: I read here, I think, on this forum about putting a white card (I use the blank back of a business card) behind the needle to help with threading.
I have bifocals, astigmatism and middle-aged eyes and this has helped me enormously when I have to hand thread my machine.
Don't know who posted that idea but I sure do thank her!

ETA: Just saw it in another thread; it was Jann who posted it.



-- Edited on 1/7/13 8:46 AM --

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Linda

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marplum
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Date: 1/7/13 10:43 AM

I really like my 16231 Kenmore but next machine I get will have better lighting and a larger area between the casing and needle. It is hard to see what you are sewing unless your chair is the perfect height. Not sure what this area is called.

tgm and Kittys
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In reply to julieb458 <<


Date: 1/7/13 6:31 PM

I do not know if this would help but I put an floor lamp ott light to the left of the machine & stronger bulbs in the over head ceiling light plus I got a bendable light that has magnet to put on my 221 & I have similar set up by other sm that I use often.. ...I got the light from April 1930 but lots of places have them. I also use big eye needle threaders I get them from Sew Classic those silver ones at the Walmarts etc just did not work for me anymore.

I think I am going to see if I can find those easier to thread needles too that was mentioned here. I hope they come in various sizes...

Best wishes to you!....

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Home of the adorable Baby & Mittee girl >^,,^<

Oh my..here we go again, no job...Sighing allot..


Julkane
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Date: 1/7/13 6:41 PM

A few weeks ago, at a local babylock and Pfaff sewing store, I saw a Necchi EX30 that has an optical magnifier on it and really large buttons for the stitch selectors. I actually remarked to the clerk, that it was good to see there are options for those having visual issues. See if you can find a dealer around you that may carry it.
Here is a pic:

photo
-- Edited on 1/7/13 6:58 PM --

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Elna Excellence 740, Pfaff Quilt expression 4.0, Janome 300E, Brother 8500D, Babylock Ellageo, Janome 900CPX CoverPro, Brother 5234 Project Runway Serger, Singer Treadle, Singer 66, Singer 99

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emmyhonan
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Date: 1/7/13 6:57 PM

I just purchased this lamp at Office Max as I needed light on my left side and the smaller goosenecks were too low. Even came with the bulb which was ok, but I put a daylight in it. I'm very pleased with it as it has numerous adjustments so the light isn't shining in my eyes.

tgm and Kittys
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tgm and  Kittys
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In reply to Julkane <<


Date: 1/7/13 7:14 PM

Oh WOWEE!!! That is so nice ! ......

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Home of the adorable Baby & Mittee girl >^,,^<

Oh my..here we go again, no job...Sighing allot..


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