New to sewing, denim questions

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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby Karens Krafts » December 9th, 2017, 6:48 am

Those belt loops become so incredibly thick, and denim is so tightly woven that even a single layer challenges sometimes. I would not think an inexpensive machine will do the job. Just my opinion. But if I was in your situation, I think I’d be looking for a really old metal machine, perhaps at a yard sale, or a thrift store. Be sure to carry a piece of denim with you, and test the machine to make sure it sews before buying. The new ones with all the plastic parts just are not made for heavy duty work
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby Rosieq » December 9th, 2017, 7:24 am

Having done a lot of repairs for my railroader husband on his work clothes, I am holding a very strong second to Karen's thoughts.

Seems like if I sew heavy things on my Baby Lock, etc I am in trouble.

You will also need a lifter made of cardboard to climb onto those belt loops and across seams. Some people do this when hemming slacks and jeans. I think you can google to find this. If you are near a JoAnns, they probably have a plastic piece for this same purpose.

Recommendations for a machine: stay away from old Singers....some of those have rubber on the feed dogs that has rotted. Bernina still makes a metal machine...see if you can find a Bernina dealer; they will have a lot of trade ins. However, I am not impressed with their newer inexpensive machines; they have a very narrow workspace.

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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby brims » December 9th, 2017, 10:30 am

I do not know what happened to my original post, I was unable to log into my account this morning and I had to re-register.

I will mainly be doing thinner material on my shorts but I do have several pairs of jeans that need repair so I want to get a machine that will handle the thick denim. I'll keep looking for a Bernina and check out a local dealer. Thank you for the tips, it is much appreciated.
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby nonie » December 9th, 2017, 11:43 am

I would agree with Karen, try out the machine to be sure it does what you want/need it to do.
I have no clue as to where your post went :roll: Glad you signed in again and please do feel welcome.
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby brims » December 11th, 2017, 2:46 pm

I found an 817 for $275 that is said to work, does this sound like a fair price?

I notice now that this model is made to be used in a built-in table setup, (I'm sorry, I don't know the term for this) it looks like it sits just find on top of a table from the pictures, is this correct? I believe in my searches I've seen homemade bases for similar machines, in which case I could fabricate something so it's more of a stand alone unit. Thank you again for your help in this matter.

Edit: Sorry for all the extra posts, I thought something was wrong on my end.
Last edited by brims on December 12th, 2017, 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby brims » December 11th, 2017, 3:24 pm

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Last edited by brims on December 12th, 2017, 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby brims » December 12th, 2017, 10:11 am

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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby nana judy » December 12th, 2017, 2:30 pm

Having sewn jeans from a heavier cotton denim a. It if advice is put a cloth between the fabric and use a hammer to flatten the thick areas. That is a tip I found somewhere and definitely a good tip.
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby brims » December 12th, 2017, 3:18 pm

nana judy wrote:Having sewn jeans from a heavier cotton denim a. It if advice is put a cloth between the fabric and use a hammer to flatten the thick areas. That is a tip I found somewhere and definitely a good tip.


Thank you, I will take note of this tip so I can be successful in my attempts.
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby brims » December 12th, 2017, 10:37 pm

This should be my last questions about which machine to get, would a 730 Record or an 817 be easier for me or more suited for pant repair? I know the 817 mounts in a table whereas the 730 sits on top of a table, I can't find a comparison of the 2.

Price wise, a 730 for $325 with proof of maintenance or an 817 for $275 that is listed as working?

Thank you for taking the time to help a complete newcomer out.
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby angelalee511 » December 13th, 2017, 3:54 am

It depends on whether or not you want to spend the extra money to make the machine sit in the table. I honestly don't know that it makes a huge difference. My machine sits on top of my table ( I have a Viking) and the only time I really wish it sat in the table is when I'm working on quilts or long drapery panels. But for pant repairs, I think it's irrelevant. I think I would be more focused on whether you have someone in the area who can service the machine when needed. If you are buying a used machine, I'd have it serviced first.

Be sure to use a jeans needle too when stitching. It helps pierce the fabric easier and you'll have less breakage. I use the hammer trick like Judy, and I also just fold up fabric to put either in front of or behind the thicker material to keep my presser foot even. You may even want to hand crank the wheel.

There is a Craftsy class online by Angela Wolf that you may want to consider getting while they are on sale. It's called Tailoring Ready to Wear, and she demonstrates how to hem jeans and make alterations to waist bands on thicker fabrics.

Hope this helps.
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby brims » December 20th, 2017, 12:03 pm

I purchased an 817, it has a couple of issues I need to figure out. The zigzag knob doesn't go from 0 to 4 and the needle rubs the foot when the knob is on 4. I'm currently trying to find a repair shop that'll make the neccessary adjustments. I'd do it myself if I knew what to adjust. I used the store locator on Berenina's website but none of the shops say anything about repairs. Does anyone know of a good repair shop in the Los Angeles area?
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby Karens Krafts » December 20th, 2017, 1:53 pm

Most shops that sell machines have repair guys. Give a couple a call. I’m sure they can direct you to the right place.
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Re: New to sewing, denim questions

Postby brims » December 21st, 2017, 1:23 pm

Karens Krafts wrote:Most shops that sell machines have repair guys. Give a couple a call. I’m sure they can direct you to the right place.
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I'll call around, thank you.
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