Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

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Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

New postby Martyp on Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:46 pm

Hi everyone;
I found your site very informative and am very happy to be here. I am new to the sewing world and am actually looking for help in my first purchase of a sewing machine. I want to learn to sew all kinds of things eventually but for now I want something sturdy and strong enough to hem my sons blue jeans and mend pants. I saw a machine in a thrift shop...bought it and found out that it doesn't work...it runs when plugged in but won't pick up the thread underneath. Anyway, there is a no return policy so I chalk that up to experience. So..it lead me to search the net and see what you experienced sewers would recommend. I can get a Kenmore model 385 12312 for $60.00 but I have no idea if that will be strong enough to hem denim jeans. I could really use some suggestions and information on what to buy. I don't want to spend more than $80.00 Canadian because I don't even know if I will be able to learn to sew. I have lots of time on my hands now and am eager to start asap. If you think that this model of machine will do the trick then I will purchase it. It is on a local web site for sale and I don't want to wait too long and lose it if it is a good one. Well, I look forward to all of your great tips and help. Thanks for letting me join.

Martyp
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Re: Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

New postby MartySews2 on Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:24 pm

Hi MartyP, I'm a Marty also in Memphis, TN. Welcome to the group. On your older model that you purchased, it probably needs a good cleaning with something like PB Blaster to remove all of the built up gunk inside of the machine & then oiled with a silicon based lubricant like Tri-Flow. There also could be some parts missing. The problem could be as simple as the wrong type & size of bobbin in the machine. We have several in the group who work on older machines. Maybe if you post in the sewing machine topic, someone will see it & be able to help you. As far as the other Kenmore machine, I couldn't find any information on it. Sorry that I cannot be of more help to you.
Marty ;)
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Re: Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

New postby kjh9835 on Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:58 pm

Most of the old Kenmores have a motor that turns the handwheel instead of a rubber belt so they slip alot, I'm not sure about that one in particular but I've never seen an old Kenmore worth that much. An old Singer with metal gears yes, but not a Kenmore. (This info from dh who keeps all my old machines in top notch working order, has a never ending "collection" of old sewing machines, parts, accessories, foot pedals, cords......etc.) $60 is quite a bit for an old machine depending on if it works, has all the accessories and manual, etc.

Hope that helps.

Kathy (and welcome, welcome, welcome to the board) :)
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Re: Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

New postby Martyp on Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:01 am

thank you Marty and Kathy;
Your info is helpful. My sister in-law (who knows a little about sewing) tried to set up the Singer that I got at the thrift store and she said that the machine makes a lot of noise and she oiled it where the teeth are (sorry I don't know the terminology yet :( ). She said the wheel that adjusts the tension in crooked and lose and when she increases the tension above 1 or 2 the machine siezed. It was donated the thrift store so I imagine that it probably isn't worth fixing? I also found a Singer machine for sale on line for $15.00 but it is missing the power cord. Do you think that the power cord from the thrift store machine would fit another singer, are they just standard cords that would be interchangeable between machines? Sorry, I have lots of questions...I really need to learn a lot. I am so anxious to get a machine and start sewing :D ! Thanks again for the warm welcome and all the great advice!
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Re: Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

New postby MartySews2 on Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:57 am

MartyP, please post your question under the sewing machines topic. I'm sure that Sew-Classic, one of our members who restores old machines, will chime in. She's very familiar with Singer sewing machines & may be able to tell you how to fix the one you first found at the thrift store. You may have a gem & not realize it. There is a yahoo group called "we fix it" that may be able to help you get it running too. Most older mechanical machines are a lot more valuable than people give them credit for being. I'm interested in older machines & have 3 of them that I sew on besides my computerized machines.
Marty ;)
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Re: Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

New postby Martyp on Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:23 am

Ok, thanks Marty...I will do that ...thanks for the help. :D
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Re: Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

New postby lendube on Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:19 pm

Hi Marty, welcome to the site. It's a big friendly group and hope you stick around even if you get your immediate dilemma resolved. We'd love to help you in your progress as a seamstress.
Lennie

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Re: Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

New postby bridesmom on Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:35 pm

Welcome from me as well. I picked up 2 machines from thrift shops which both needed fixing, my dear hubby fixed the first one, and the 2nd one I took to a shop and had it fixed for $50. Turned around and gave that one to my youngest daughter who was thrilled with it. The older machines can be real workhorses! I also picked up an old Pfaff which was used in a school home ec class, and that thing will sew anything! You may consider taking it to a shop and see if they can tell you how much it would be to fix it and whether it's worth it or not. Once you get sewing I'm sure you'll get as addicted as we all are!!
Laura
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Re: Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

New postby SmilieFace on Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:34 am

Hello and welcome to the board. I found this site when I first started sewing two or three years ago, and it's probably the reason I'm still sewing. I hope you find it as useful.

I did some searches on amazon.com and walmart.com, and found a Brother machine for about $75. It has a 4 star review rating on amazon.com, with almost 100 reviews. It's more than your $60 target, but you would have the benefit of not having to pay repair costs, and you'd get the full warranty. If you're interested, here's a link to the Brother LS2125I

Also, you could try Craigslist to see if someone near you is selling a working sewing machine for cheap. What I did, though, is find a fabric store near me that offered sewing classes, and I didn't have to bring my own machine. It allowed me to try out sewing before investing in a machine. Of course, the class alone was about $80-$100...
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Re: Hello, a sewing newbie needs help

New postby jeniwren110 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:50 pm

Hi -
My name is Jenny from St. Paul, Minnesota. I have been an occasional sewer for 10 years or so.
I am often frustrated with fit (myself and daughters, nieces.) but I still love to sew. And buy fabric!

Glad to be here!
Thanks-
Jenny
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