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Sewing machine for Fursuiting?

Naughtybit

New Member
Greetings!
I've been looking into trying to make a suit as well as some general costumes for a while now, but i'm having a little trouble getting started. First and foremost, what sewing machine would be best in the price range I currently have. I've had an older sewing machine before (late grandma's, only has 4 stitches functioning even after getting it fixed), but no matter what I do, it doesn't really want to work on any sort of thicker fabrics and I don't want to risk breaking it.

On that note, I'm looking for a machine under 160$ to start, but if needed I can go a bit higher. I've heard both the Singer and Brother are good, but its been hard trying to figure out which is better in the price range I have. Any suggestions on what model/brand would be best?

Side note: Does the size of the zipper matter? Like, bigger or smaller/ metal or plastic? I haven't been able to find much talk on zippers. Or is velcro preferred?

Thanks for reading!
 

Vermilion

Well-Known Member
Joann is having a sale!! :D
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
So, if you're sewing faux fur, you need a very sturdy sewing machine. I'm going to suggest looking for the following:

1) late 50's to early 60's Brother or Singer all metal machine. Sturdy, will sew denim if needed. Do try the machine with some faux fur before buying. If you cannot run the machine before purchase, pass on it. I would still have it tuned up by a pro before use to ensure it runs properly.

2) Viking, Janome or Pfaff higher end machine, used. Again, test before buying or walk if you can't try it out. Do have it tuned up before use.

3) Older used industrial machines, Pfaff, Viking, Singer, Sail-Rite, Nakajima. I have a Nakajima Rex that will sew anything you can get under the presser foot.

Avoid the Wal*Mart Singer offerings and any all plastic Brother machine. They are junk. Do have any used machine tuned up first and if you use it enough, yearly as this will greatly extend the usable life of the machine.

HTH
 

Keefur

aka Cutter Cat
When you sew, use appropriate colored upholstery thread. It doesn't easily break, as in, it will cut into your paw before it breaks. Use the green upholstery foam. It doesn't disintegrate over time. I made my suit about nine years ago and it is still going. Use high temperature hot glue only. On your eyes, if you are using buckram or needlepoint cloth, when you paint the eyes on the outside, use a sponge or as I did, a flat pencil eraser and dab the paint on. Brushing clogs the openings and reduces visibility. Make sure you paint the inside of the eye material a flat black color. Light comes in the eyes and bounces off of your face. If the eyes are light colored on the inside, you won't be able to see much at all. I have lots of tips if you note me. I'm Keefur on FA.
 

Keefur

aka Cutter Cat
A lot of times you can get an older machine that has all metal parts inside. I picked up a machine from the 70s the other day that worked fine. I got it at the Goodwill Bargain Barn for $9 plus tax.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
A lot of times you can get an older machine that has all metal parts inside. I picked up a machine from the 70s the other day that worked fine. I got it at the Goodwill Bargain Barn for $9 plus tax.
Now this is my kind of thinking. Still worth investing a few $$ for a tune-up if it's all metal.
 

GlitchDesignsFA

New Member
I got mine during a cyber-monday sale a few years ago. It's a brother, and has been super good with every kind of fabric I've used. this ranges from linen and broadcloth to dense Sherpa and thin pleather. I would recommend figuring out what kinds of fabric you'll use most, though, as the denser fabrics CAN trash needles and get lodged in the bobbin housing. I also recommend learning how to work one first. It saved me a ton of pain and broken/clogged parts to know how to fill a bobbin and thread the machine before I got one. There are also different models for different things, so do your research first. As for retailers, while I go normally use Joann Fabric, I also suggest Walmart, which also sells basic sewing supplies and notions in most stores.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
I got mine during a cyber-monday sale a few years ago. It's a brother, and has been super good with every kind of fabric I've used. this ranges from linen and broadcloth to dense Sherpa and thin pleather. I would recommend figuring out what kinds of fabric you'll use most, though, as the denser fabrics CAN trash needles and get lodged in the bobbin housing. I also recommend learning how to work one first. It saved me a ton of pain and broken/clogged parts to know how to fill a bobbin and thread the machine before I got one. There are also different models for different things, so do your research first. As for retailers, while I go normally use Joann Fabric, I also suggest Walmart, which also sells basic sewing supplies and notions in most stores.

Here we go, part I'm not so sure now. Do NOT Buy a Wally*Mart sewing machine for fursuiting! NO! Wally* Mart machines are built to a pricepoint dictated by the Blue W. They will point out a $200 Singer and say they want to sell at $110 Full Retail. Before the Singer rep can tell them they are cracked, the Wally Rep says they can build it in their factories in China, cheapen the build just a bit. You might be okay with linen but anything heavier? Nope, not on a bet.
 
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