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how to find used sewing machine

robbi | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I live in the New Haven, Connecticut area and want to try out sewing machines before buying a new one.  I want to buy a reliable used machine from a reputable dealer with a good warranty.  I want a machine to sew silk fabric with zigzag, overcast, and/or blind hem stitches.  Are my goals possible?  Any suggestions on how to start my search?  Robbi

 

Replies

  1. Elisabeth | | #1

    Definitely possible. I suggest trying the top brand dealers such as Viking, Pfaff, and Bernina. They will usually have used machines for sale in their brand. A good machine will sew fine silk better than a clunker, for sure, and there will be feet to help with certain stitches. Viking (and surely others too, I just know Viking) has an overcast foot with a pin that the outer stitch goes over which helps the fabric to not get so scrunched by the stitches. The light weight fabrics will want to scrunch up some with a zigzag type stitch. Thread tension top and bobbin, pressure foot pressure, needle type, and thread type all affect this and with a good machine you can easily adjust the settings to improve results. Machines have slightly different feed dog arrangements and that will affect how the silk is pulled through. You will have to bring some china silk or such to test drive and see what works for you. Remember to try different threads as the poly stuff that the dealer probably has on isn't the best tool for silk.

    You might try using some sort of stabilizing when sewing zigzags on silks, maybe using tissue paper that is pulled off after you sew the seam. There are other stabilizers that could be useful, I am not familiar with stabilizers but I am sure someone here knows lots about them. Even spray startch has been used on silk to get it to behave for sewing but that has to be a washable silk of course. Maybe some of these ideas will help with the machine you have now so you can at least have some sewing satisfaction for the time being.

    1. robbi | | #2

      Elisabeth,

       

      Thanks for the advice.  There is one Viking dealer in Old Saybrook which is not too far away from my home.  I will contact them on Monday for classes, demonstrations, used machines and advice regarding silk sewing.  I recently bought and subsequently returned a Janome, Sears and Kenmore sewing machines-mechanical but with multiple stitching options.  None did the stitches on silk.  Roberta

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