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Thread: What sewing machine is the right one to buy for sewing fabric & neoprene tails?

  1. #1

    What sewing machine is the right one to buy for sewing fabric & neoprene tails?

    So getting my dream silicone tail looks to still be out of reach so I'm considering other options. While I could pay someone else to make me a fabric or neoprene tail it seems kinda silly since I know how to sew. Last summer however I had issues with my mom's & grandma's old machines not wanting to sew some of the spandex material I had purchased. I did eventually get one tail made but have yet to finish the other because I just don't wanna deal with the machines again.

    So I was thinking the money I was gonna put towards a silicone tail, that probably wouldn't get as much use as I really would like anyways, I would just put the money towards buying a new sewing machine, material & paints and make a few fabric tails so I have options to choice from when it comes to tails. I'd also like to be able to sew neoprene and make myself a new monofin kinda like the way FinFun makes theirs...different shape of course.


    So, long explanation leading to this question. What sewing machine have you other tail makers had success with in making your own tails at home?
    "Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." ~Sophia Loren

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Euro Pod Toxotes's Avatar
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    My mom's sewing machine had no problems with spandex material. What kind of issues did you have?
    But because that machine was shared between me, my mom and my aunt, I bought one myself. I still have to test it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member North Pacific Pod Raayvhen's Avatar
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    This is what I have. It handles neoprene (even covered in silicone) like a champ and I didn't need to take any extra steps.

    http://www.amazon.com/Brother-Featur...Sewing+machine

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Did you change the tension? Sometimes its not the material that's the problem, its the sewing machine tension.

    I got this. Its a very basic model and does what I need to do, zigzag stitch.

    http://www.janome.com.au/sewing_mach...306&gid=RE1306
    Formerly known as ireneho

  5. #5
    It wasn't the tension. We played with all that. It would straight stitch in the material but not zigzag. We're pretty certain the material was too thin. It was spandex but super thin. It worked fine on my thicker spandex. The machines are old too so it and spent years out in storage in the Texas heat.

    It's just time to replace them.
    Last edited by AmbrGlows; 01-19-2015 at 08:28 PM.
    "Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." ~Sophia Loren

    Sessilee means "Blind to Self Beauty"

    Website: http://mermaidsessilee.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MermaidSessilee
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/SessileeStrfish

    Formerly known as MermaidAmbrGlow

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Raayvhen View Post
    This is what I have. It handles neoprene (even covered in silicone) like a champ and I didn't need to take any extra steps.
    Thanks Raayvhen! It's even on sale right now...hopefully it will be on sale for a bit longer.
    "Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." ~Sophia Loren

    Sessilee means "Blind to Self Beauty"

    Website: http://mermaidsessilee.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MermaidSessilee
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/SessileeStrfish

    Formerly known as MermaidAmbrGlow

  7. #7
    I have an old 60's domestic machine, and it'll sew through just about anything. That includes two layers of 3mm neoprene. The important thing is that the machine has a zig zag, even better if it has several different choices of zig zag.

    In the theatre shops, we did all the dance costumes (made of spandex, lycra, and stretch velvet) on your average domestic Pfaff.

    It can also help to get stretch-thread if you plan to sew lots of spandex or stretch material.

  8. #8
    I bought a Singer 4411 at the Joann by Merfest so we could make our tails...it was pretty heavily on sale and I guess clearance because it's not even on their page anymore, but it's basically http://www.joann.com/singer-4432-hea...+heavy&start=3 with fewer stitches (I believe they had that one there too, and for $70 more, that's all we could determine the difference was, from the packaging anyway) think mine was $129 and that one was $199

    Was great, sewed through 2x3mm neoprene like it was nothing. Might be worth a look to see if your store has them.

    Also at least as important was getting the right needles: got standard heavy needles, and ballpoint needles for the neoprene (much pointer than I was expecting) Felt like 'regular' needles would have been just fine for the spandex.
    Last edited by OrcaMatt; 01-19-2015 at 09:14 PM.
    Serious Sirenetics

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Raayvhen View Post
    This is what I have. It handles neoprene (even covered in silicone) like a champ and I didn't need to take any extra steps.

    http://www.amazon.com/Brother-Featur...Sewing+machine
    Purchased the machine at about 3am and it was just delivered to my house. Can't wait to give it a test run this weekend!
    "Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." ~Sophia Loren

    Sessilee means "Blind to Self Beauty"

    Website: http://mermaidsessilee.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MermaidSessilee
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/SessileeStrfish

    Formerly known as MermaidAmbrGlow

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