10.06.2019

MY Favorite Sewing Machine for YOUR Wallet!


I've just put the full premiere episode of Suit Up! on our channel, and it reminded me about this gem of a machine that I've been meaning to holler at y'all about!

The Singer Heavy Duty came onto set when we realized, at very much the 11th hour, that odd parts for the machines at hand had grown legs and walked away. To boot, the manual for the computerized Janome was MIA. This should have been no problem, as manuals come embedded in the screens of this kind of machine, but I could not, for the life of me, get the computerized Janome to Let. Me. IN! A giant graphic padlock hovered on the display screen, taunting me, while a pile of Superhero prep work cackled at me like it had flipped over to Villain mode. 

Luckily, we were shooting right next to LA's delicious garment district, and when I cried uncle on that padlock, our heroic production manager put on her cape and made a new machine appear. With very little time to find the perfect mate, we went with this model after a Google search showed us what we could get, STAT. I recognized it as the machine a friend had purchased a few years ago (without asking me what to buy first! The nerve!). He was brand new to sewing, and wanted something that could handle heavy materials. He liked it. It was gettable. So I bit, with more than a little bit of trepidation.

The preference for Singer, for those in the sewing know, is usually of the vintage variety. When faced with the solution to this unexpected shooting problem, I raised my eyebrows at myself. Now I get raised eyebrows when trumpeting about this gem in sewing circles! So lemme be clear, I'm specifically recommending the Heavy Duty range. I've found that all the brands I've played with so far--Pfaff, Bernina, Janome, Elna-- aren't flat out fantastic across the boards, no matter what the price point. They all have hits and misses...you have to find the right model.

As you can guess, I was shocked at how much I loved this machine. It took on leather, neoprene, spandex, denim, felt, waffle weave jersey, basketweave pleather, a veritable smorgasbord of fabrics. It packed a punch, and was solid as all get out. Zero slip-sliding that you get from most machines at this price point (heck--even extravagantly priced machines). I turned to Rob on day 4 of the shoot, and said, This is the kind of machine I would kiss on the hood before shutting it off, if we were at home.


(I do that to machines I love. They deserve acknowledgment at the end of a long sewing day. But I decided to go psychic on the kiss in mixed company.)

This particular guy comes with ample feet (including a Teflon foot for out-of-the-ordinary materials, though I show you a trick to turn any foot into Teflon in this episode), automatic needle threader, free arm, extra-high presser foot lift, 23 stitches including stretch stitches & a one-step buttonhole, and three needle positions, giving you a 6mm stitch width. (Nerd talk for a minute: I'm not fond of machines that swing past 9mm wide, at least not for precise straight stitching...which let's be honest, should be the number one job of a sewing machine!)   

Though it comes with a pack of Singer branded needles, I used Schmetz needles that were appropriate to the weight and type of fabric, which is what I'd recommend--Schmetz are just the best, in my book. We weren't sewing any fine materials that week, but I've sewn finer fabrics on it since then; wax print, chiffon, jersey--and again it's all about the appropriate needle size & type, and taking advantage of the adjustable pressure foot pressure. LOVE a machine with user-controlled adjustable pressure foot pressure!

And I really loved that we shot this series with an economical machine. I've stitched on an arsenal of models--some of them come in the "thousands" range--this one comes in at well under 200 bucks, and performs beautifully. You don't have to be Rockefeller to get a brilliant machine.

If you're in the market, you can check it out on Amazon, and if you're in the states, I've seen it at Joanns as well! 

Head over to our channel to see me stitch on this baby in the FULL first episode of Suit Up!, or catch the entire Suit Up! series on Bluprint. Links in this post are affiliated, and go right back into feeding the sewing beast, to bring you more technicolor content!

16 comments:

  1. actually I disagree with your statement about the HD singer.. I find them weak.also not very dependable. have seen 4 come into the place I work and volunteer repairing sewing machines. all have come in with broken gears bad motors they are not greAt machines..they are at best mediocre.

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    2. You can absolutely disagree (though I've never heard from you before this)...but in my personal experience, this machine is a dependable beast of a workhorse, moreso than some machines I've used with a much higher pricetag! I don't holler about anything unless I love it.

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    3. Oona, oh, Oona,
      an ego in distress,
      holler 'bout lovin' me;
      testify and profess.

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    4. YOU. I'm hollering at you RIGHT NOW, you fabulous wordsmith!!!!

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  2. Thanks for your recommendation! I was considering adding this machine to my sewing room. I have the Eversewn Sparrow 30. I like that machine, but it does a horribly job when I free motion quilt small projects. I'm going to give the Singer Heavy Duty a try.

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    1. I wondered how the Sparrow would do in terms of shuffling around! I haven't tried free motion quilting on this model-- but it does have drop feed, and stays steady like a boss in the sewing I've done.

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  3. Thank you for the article. I have been looking at different machines since I decided to replace my 25 year-old Kenmore. I don't know a lot about sewing or sewing machines, and I want to get something that is easy to use and reliable. I appreciate the endorsement.

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    1. Ah, Kenmore! I had an all metal job of about the same age, and loved it until its death. No one had parts for it :( This one is certainly easy to use & solid. Everyone needs the machine that inspires them to create--at this price point it's easier to try!

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  4. Singer Heavy Duty is pretty legit...for a cheap machine. Nothing in that price range is going to hold out as a main machine in a professional setting or even for a higher-level hobbyist. I'm not knocking it though. I have two other $1000+ but my HD 4423 is still a valuable member of the team.

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    1. Mmmm, I don't know--this beats some of my higher end machines hands down! Of course, there are things it can't do-- embroidery, anythign past a standard buttonhole. It's all about what you love to use. Like you, I like having it in my arsenal!

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  5. Love my singer HD 32 stitch!!!

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  6. I have this machine and I love it. I gave a very expensive Janome that I hate. It's been awful ftom the moment I took it out of the box. I have a JukI that I use to do actual quilting with but I piece everything on the heavy duty Singer. For what I use it for, you cannot beat it!

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  7. I use my Singer HD for do-all accompanied by the Singer HD Serger, which does really well with supermarket brands thread. Shopkeepers keep trying to talk me into expensive brands, but no need for everyday sewing and refashions. Have recently added a Toyota Power Fabriq for really thick and powerful stuff, very happy. Just for kicks I made a jersey skirt with it and it worked out just fine. The sewing feet are compatible between the brands, so my collection is complete, still working out what to do with all of them!

    Greetings from Austria

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  8. Oooo, thank you for this review! I will consider this one. (although I was hoping for more stitches) My Singer Sew Mate (which I've never been terribly fond of) has been a bad bad girl lately and will hardly sew at all (skipping lots of stitches) so I'm back to sewing exclusively on my beloved hundred year old Singer treadle, which will sew *anything* and is my favorite anyway but I do kind of miss the stretch stitch and several other specialty stitches.

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!