I recently helped pick out an industrial sewing machine for my friend Jess. We decided on a Juki DDL-8700, which is a pretty simple medium-weight straight-stitch machine. It's commonly seen on serious-crafter blogs, and I think it's a great introduction into the world of industrial sewing.
I got this from Gregg at Keystone Sewing in Philly. Great customer service and price.
Jess'll be using this to make cute hats and li'l bags for knitting kits for Looped Yarn Works in DC. And maybe I can give her some projects I don't have time for. Ha.
Does that Juki have a walking foot?
Went to the suppliers webpage - but cant tell. If not, isnt it better to have a walking foot for thicker weight material?
The 8700 does not have a walking foot. It's what's called a drop feed machine, which means that only the feed dogs move the fabric. A walking foot is nice, but not essential, for thicker materials. It will, however, give you the best stitches when sewing multiple layers of slippery, uneven materials like nylon. The 8700 is definitely better for lighter materials, which Jess will be using it for. But that's not to say it won't sew through thicker things. I believe WIG Bags uses one for certain heavy things.
Hey Cory, thanks for the reply and the blog. I guess Im trying to determine a one-size fits all machine but I saw somewhere (on here) that you have a different machine for nimbler/artistic detailing than the Sailrite. Im leaning towards the Sailrite for an all-round good machine for various jobs (although expensive at around $1000). Can the Sailrite be ok for lighter materials?
I'd say that for someone who wants to sew heavier material, the one-machine goal is a chimera. That said, the Sailrite is pretty flexible, especially with the zigzag model. It can sew lighter materials, but it is clunky and will need adjustment. When I was sewing on my Sailrite I always used an old Kenmore or Singer for lighter materials. If you're going to be doing a lot of sewing, I would recommend getting a compound feed machine (needle feed + walking foot) and an old Singer for lighter stuff. More questions: email@example.com
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