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About AlainaZ

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  • Birthday 09/12/1981

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  • Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
  • Interests
    Sewing machine repair, historical sewing techniques

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Not yet!
  • Interested in learning about
    Leather techniques and machines for making fashion accessories
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  1. This is very basic and I'm sure you've thought of it, but I have to mention it because it's something I've encountered a bunch: make sure the motor is set to go the right way. I've seen either a switch (servo) or a plug on the motor (clutch)- if you turn the plug upside down it turns the other way.
  2. If it is indeed a Singer 95 clone I sewed with one of those professionally for years and it was probably the best machine I've ever used. I was mostly doing dressmaking, but I managed a wide range of materials on it, including about 5/8" thick of muslin. The only thing you may not like is it is a small machine so the distance between the needle and the side is less. (Note: it's been 12 years since I left that job so my memory about it could be faulty!)
  3. Can anyone recommend a heavy-duty snap? I just bought some snaps from Buckleguy but they aren't anywhere near strong enough and I don't want to have to keep buying samples. This is for a body harness (as well as motorcycle gear) and will take a moderate amount of stress. Thanks in advance!
  4. I encourage beginners to get a simple but quality used machine, which sometimes means an initial outlay of money. My reasoning is that if you get a cheap machine, you won't know whether problems are you or the machine and you'll be more likely to get discouraged and sew less (nevermind all the hours wasted cursing the machine). I say this from experience! The great thing about used industrials is that they keep their value. If you pay $800 for it, you'll get $800 back even if you've been using it for ten solid years. Personally, I think a Juki is worth the higher price. They are great machines, and most importantly, you can easily get parts for them. I'm so tired of trying to get parts for the Singers I work with! Half the time they send me something that doesn't even fit properly because they discontinued the parts ages ago. Every model Juki I've used has been excellent, so get whatever is available to you that is suited to your needs (probably a walking foot?)
  5. I am making a travel case for my sewing & patternmaking supplies. I would like to use a medium weight leather to cut down on weight. The dimensions are width 24.5", height 14.5", depth 3.5". It will fully open with a zipper. I am concerned about how long the case is, I'm guessing it will probably collapse on itself, and so I was thinking of making two channels on either side of the top long edge and inserting metal rods. I'm wondering if anyone has any other ideas? Metal rods seem a little weird, but I'm new to bag making and wondering if there are materials/solutions I don't know about. The dimensions have to stay the same but I'm open to any other design changes.
  6. I have not tried the Cobra, so I can't answer your specific question. But I've worked a lot with the LS-1341 (helping hundreds of undergrads use it, no less) and found it to be reliable.
  7. Is a WTB post allowed here? I volunteer at a makerspace and I'd like to bulk up their supply of hand-sewing leather tools. Nothing fancy, it's all newbs to the craft. Perhaps you've upgraded and have some old cheap tools you don't need anymore? I'll pay whatever is fair. I prefer to buy multiple items at once to save on shipping. US only, shipping to California. I'm particularly looking for stitching ponies, but also setters, punches, embossing, skivers, etc. Not looking for thread or dye etc Thanks in advance
  8. I second looking up Joe Vais. He's a master with machines and one of the most trustworthy people in the business that I know. (This based on my experience looking for mechanics to supplement my machine work at Parsons. We tried about half a dozen people and Joe was our go-to)
  9. Someone at Juki told me (if I remember correctly) that some decades back Consew was sold and now it's just a shell of what it once was. Maybe records got discarded? Based on my experience trying to get parts from them, they seem to have little interest in helping their customers.
  10. We had a few LS-1341s at the university I mechanicked at, so my answers are not based on experience in a professional sewing space, but I did a lot of troubleshooting for a large variety of materials and projects. 1) we used generic accessories (I'm guessing you mean attachments?) I don't know the Singer 111w, so can't speak to that. 2) the serrated feet will mark soft leathers, yes. They were less trouble with harder leather, especially if you can get the foot pressure adjustment right. Still, smooth bottom feet are available for all the foot types we used (zipper, cording) 3)Juki will sell feet to you, and they are superb quality (I use Civit Inc. for all my Juki parts needs) but the official Juki walking feet in particular can be wildly expensive. Not all their parts are more expensive than generic, but some of the walking feet were. So we ended up getting generic at City Sewing. It's probably not the best source (I don't know), but that's what we used, and the feet and attachments were fine, no problems with them. https://citysewing.com/product-category/attachments/
  11. Is there a tension-release pin? I am not familiar with this particular model. Even if there was originally a tension release pin some people remove it, particularly for leather sewing. To test if this is the problem try manually holding apart the tension disks while you pull
  12. Like nylonRigging suggested, tension would be the first place to start. The top thread is too tight in relation to the bottom thread. So try these tests: 1) loosen the top thread tension by a lot. How did it change the stitch? If that fixes it, stop there. If not... 2) check the tension on bobbin case spring. Over time, if bobbins are pulled out roughly, the spring can straighten out, loosening the tension. If you don't know where the bobbin tension is let me know, I'll see what I can find.
  13. Hey folks, I'm having a problem, hoping someone can help. In forward stitching the tension is perfectly balanced, but when I reverse it the upper thread is very tight. Any ideas why this happens, and what I can do about it? The forward/reverse stitch length balance is perfect, so I've eliminated that as a reason. This is on a Singer 591, but if you know about this issue on any machine I'll be interested, since it's a problem I encounter a lot in the machines I work on (this case is just particularly bad). A video of the issue is here: https://youtube.com/shorts/jY-ETcKG2AM?feature=share I used a lightweight cotton so that the issue would be obvious, but it bunches with lightweight leather too. Machine: Singer 591 D300AD Thanks, Alaina
  14. Thanks for the advice, I'll give that a try. With 1000+ students using our machines, we never know what sticky messes they are putting through them. @RockyAussie, (or anyone else) one more question for you. I received a part that I didn't order...but now I'm wondering if I should keep it. The manual calls it a Knife Shaft lead pipe key (2.23 #1020). Is this a tool I might need? What does it do?
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