The Sewing Place

Best sewing machine for dressmaking?

annieeg

Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« on: September 14, 2021, 15:37:07 PM »
What's the best sewing machine for dressmaking?  (for someone who doesn't quilt and only a bit of curtain-making).

Ploshkin

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2021, 16:14:53 PM »
Something of your preferred brand with straight stitch, zig zag and buttonholes.  You don't really need anything else.
Life's too short for ironing.

Helen M

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2021, 16:20:44 PM »
If I had to buy again I'd buy a Janome 5024 from J Lewis. It's mechanical and the latest version of the workhorse I have which is the 4618LE. Has everything that Ploshkin recommends. Only one style of buttonhole though if that's going to be a problem for you.
Stash Busting 2021
Goal: 35 metres
So far: 8 metres sewn, 13 metres sold

annieeg

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2021, 17:32:31 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.  I've been thinking about how little I use the hundreds of stitch options in my ofaff QE4.2 :ninja:

Celia

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2021, 17:46:48 PM »
If you need good button holes watch out that is one of the things you end up paying a premium for.  If you don’t do buttonhole not such a problem

Gernella

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2021, 18:13:54 PM »
I wouldn't swap a machine for that reason @annieeg  not much point really, never say never really. I think you will find that most people do not need a quarter of the stitches on offer unless they are into embroidery.  The criteria for me is a good straight stitch, automatic buttonholes, IDT and never gets cranky (unless user error).  All the rest is luxury and showing off rights. 

I seem to remember reading, but no idea if true, that Pfaffs with Quilt in the name were set up differently for quilting, but I have never heard anybody complain who doesn't quilt.
Stash extension 2021 - 15.5 meters
Left at the end of 2020 - 47.5 meters

annieeg

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2021, 19:13:06 PM »
Thanks @Gernella for your valuable advice :thumbsup:

Ploshkin

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2021, 19:27:46 PM »
@annieeg I have the Pfaff QE4.2 which I use for everything, more dressmaking than anything else
Life's too short for ironing.

BrendaP

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2021, 20:06:09 PM »
A decent buttonhole and a few utility stitches.  Zig-zag, triple zig-zag and blind hem are the only ones I seem to use, though if you don't have an overlocker an overedge or overcast stitch and the lightening zig-zag would be useful.  All the other fancy stitches are there because the machine can do those basics.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

Esme866

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2021, 20:13:52 PM »
If you have a machine and it is working well, straight stitch and zigzag is all that is necessary. At least one automatic buttonhole is nice/convenient to have, but beautiful high quality clothing can be made without it.

If the machine is too cumbersome, why not keep an eye out for something used? There's a Brother machine being offered here locally for $50. Approx. $150 -$175 to buy an equivalent machine now. Seller states "it's been taken out of the box once - but never used." My sister has a machine that would meet that description had her daughter and I not borrowed it. This way, you can try out something different and decide if IDT or something else is important to you, before buying something else you're not satisfied with.

All that is important to me is a good stitch, reliability, one quick buttonhole, and a stretch stitch - but I could live without the stretch stitch if I had to.

 My serger sat unused in its box for almost 20 years. Received as a gift, I didn' t use it until I started sewing a few knits.

So long as a machine is working properly, the quality of clothing produced is 100% dependent on the skills of the sewist - not on the type of machine used.

Is your machine working properly? Does it hold tension correctly? What is it that you don't like about it?

There's a woman named Evelyn Wood on YouTube, I think she's out of NZ, that has extremely good videos about sewing. She also has an online school. Check out her free YT videos and see if maybe taking classes might be of assistance.  There isn't a sewing machine made that will take the place of skill and experience - and those require time and practice to develop.

annieeg

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2021, 20:16:29 PM »
Thanks again to all of you for your feedback  0_0
It's helped me restore a sense of proportion  -  it's just that I look at the physical space the QE4.2 takes up and wish I used it more so it (and me) could justify the house room it takes up.  0_0

Esme866

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2021, 21:16:03 PM »
That I definitely understand!

My grandmother offered me an industrial machine - for free - in my late 20's. Over 30 years later, I still don't regret turning it down. I've yet to live anywhere that would have enough space for it.

If you get another machine, do you have space to store that one for a bit to make certain you won't need it?

Lachica

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2021, 22:06:47 PM »
Pfaff's are lovely, so solid. The IDT works so well I wouldn't consider another brand now, and I'm not usually brand loyal. I don't use mine to its full potential but wouldn't give it up, it's so much better than any of the other machines I had before. The stitching on the Bernina 730 was exquisite but the Pfaff is as good. For punch power the old Pfaff 22(??)  bought to mend a boat cover is the only one to come anywhere near.
Mary
2020 stash: not gonna count, not gonna feel guilty.

Gernella

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2021, 16:37:17 PM »
-  it's just that I look at the physical space the QE4.2 takes up and wish I used it more so it (and me) could justify the house room it takes up.  0_0

It's probably only seems larger @annieeg because of the harp space and that's the bit I like the most.  Having said that how many machines have you got under that skirt of yours?  :laughing:
Stash extension 2021 - 15.5 meters
Left at the end of 2020 - 47.5 meters

annieeg

Re: Best sewing machine for dressmaking?
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2021, 16:55:55 PM »
@Gernella The collection is growing a little, I must confess - a brilliant viking husqvarna 21 which was given to me; the QE4.2; a Pfaff 1475, a Brother CS-8080; and 2 x babylocks:  Eclipse in GWO; Evolve which has to be manually threaded.
Also - another eccentric spontaneous purchase - a Brother Home Locking Machine (3-thread but not differential feed).
THe Brother has been a wonderful surprise, because its very efficient and quiet.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I have now bared my soul to all of TSP! :ninja: :ninja: :ninja: :| :|