Sew, What's New?

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I am a newbie to sewing.  I've mostly done some amateur work deconstructing old t-shirts in the past on my Kenmore machine.  I am wanting to make my own Outdoor Gear which will require a machine that can go through Nylon and Neoprene type materials.  Any suggestions?  My budget is pretty tight.

 

-C

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wow, interesting! Welcome to sewing! I've never sewn outdoor gear, tents and stuff like that. I have done Sunbrella and boat canvas. I guess I'd suggest visiting a couple sewing machine shops to educate yourself about what kinds of options, feet, machines would a. sew those materials without ripping, laddering or skipping stitches; b. what machines you like the look/feel of, and c. what brands of machines can you readily find parts for. Then after you do your homework and decide on what style, kind and brand of machine you want... check back with the shoppes to see if they have any used models for sale. Don't buy new... you cannot afford it - and honestly, if you have a used machine cleaned, it's good. Don't be afraid to consider older models, even vintage machines... if they have the options you need, and even stitching. Your sewing shop dealers can tell you. Check on ebay, craigslist, with relatives and friends. I admit that I love to dream about the 'new' machines... but I buy 'last years' discontinued models for a fraction of the cost. You just have to know what you want, and know what to look for. As with buying anything used: Be careful and smart when buying a used machine. Good luck!
My singer heavy duty has worked well for repairing stuff like backpacks. And I have sewn canvas with it. Didn't pay much for it, but that's been several years ago. My mom purchased an updated model from HSN a few months ago. She loves it. Right now they're $199 With some attachments if you are on a tight budget.

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