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Author Topic: Regular sewing machine or serger???  (Read 1432 times)
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justinpwheeler
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« on: September 20, 2010, 06:00 AM »

Does it really matter?  Found a Pfaff Serger but was not sure if that would be a mistake.

This would be my first sewing machine into the foray and attempt of kite building.
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Will Sturdy
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 06:17 AM »

A serger is for sealing the edge of a material. If ou look at the inside of a pair of pants, generally the seam allowance is serged to prevent it from fraying. That's all that a serger does.

You can do some straight seams, but lapped seams or tacking down the seam allowance is out of the question. So I would certainly not recommend it as your only sewing machine. They are good at what they do, and can't at all do what they aren't designed to.

What I'd do is look for an old singer sewing machine on craigslist if you're looking for a machine. Any machine with a straight stitch/zig-zag (they were often the same stitch on older machines, you just adjusted width to 0 for straight) and ideally a 3-step zigzag as well (also known as a tricot stitch) is plenty enough. Those old singers are better than just about all machines you can buy off the shelves today.

Some other machines, like an older pfaff with IDT, are also good buys but cost a lot more.
Whatever you do don't buy a new machine with all that plastic fantastic stuff. They're pretty much junk. The older stuff is still better and can be maintained much more easily.
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nckiter
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 06:41 AM »

I'll second what Will S says. A serger by itself will not be a good machine for kite building unless you plan on all one piece kites with the only sewing around the edges. Older Pfaffs with IDT are good machine choices.

Look for 1222, 1222E, 1171, 1371, 1471, 1472, 1473, or 1475 machines. The 1222 series is all mechanical, the 1171 picks up some nice electronic features, needle down, sew slow, low bobbin indicator and is still a mechanical machine. I think the 1371 is still mechanical with a few more whistles, the 14XX series are still basically mechanical but have on board computer boards to drive everything.

Any machine with proper setting, straight and ZZ stitches will make a great kite. I started with a couple of Singers, still have one of them (it's the wife's) and a 1222 and 1171 (they're mine  Grin and only sew kite related items)
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sbrown
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 09:56 AM »

I made a few dozen kites with a $15 thrift store Viking.

I later got a brand new Singer that the salesperson swore would sew anything from silks to leather, but in spite of several trips with the ripstop & thread I used, neither I nor the technician were able to set it up to sew as well as the Viking. It would drop stitches constantly.

I traded the plastic Singer in on a used Pfaff 1221 and am very satisfied with it.
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kiteguy
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2010, 08:15 AM »

What NCKITER said.  However, I would throw the 1211 and 1212 into the mix as well.  Do not over look the 1129 and 1229.  They work fine, and also IDT.

The 1371 is a special edition machine.  It is almost identical to the 1471.
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