Reported by Cassandra Darwin
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As an avid paper crafter that also enjoys sewing and quilting, I was hoping to combine the two and start sewing on my cards and scrapbook pages. But being the cautious person that I am, I didn’t want to risk ruining my sewing machine parts or settings with the paper crafting supplies. I purchased this mini Singer sewing machine (the Singer Chainstitch Battery Operated Sewing Machine) a few months back to use solely on these paper projects.
Things started out well, with the instructions being easy to follow and the machine packed pre-threaded and ready to sew – it is marketed to young kids after all. But unfortunately things went downhill from there. I tested the machine on a single sheet of lightweight cardstock and more than half of the stitches “skipped”.
This was about the time I realized that a “chainstitch” (using just one spool of thread) is going to much different than a standard sewing machine with a bobbin and a spool. Because not only does that chainstitch need to be continuous to be effective, you have to tie off the end or the whole thing will pull apart – just like crochet.
After this I tried two layers of cardstock to see if a bit of thickness would help. Just looking at the top, I thought that it had helped, but scroll down to see the reverse where all of the stitches have been skipped.
Then I did three layers just for fun and the machine stopped half way across my test.
Starting to get discouraged, I went back to the test fabric that was included with the machine (blue) and also pulled out a piece of pink felt. Surprisingly the machine worked perfect on both of these materials!
So at this point I’m guessing there is something about the texture of paper that the machine doesn’t like. For my final test I used a piece of ribbon on top of some cardstock and got some improved results.
To sum it all up, the Singer Chainstitch machine is perfect for a little one that wants to learn how to sew fabric. The machine is easy to use and very safe (covered needle and all). But this is absolutely not the machine for paper crafts or other serious sewing needs because of the nature of a chainstitch. I’m not quite ready to give up yet, so I’ll keep testing on ribbon. And if nothing else I’ll save it for my daughter in a few years.
- Easy to use right out of the box
- Works well on fabric and a single layer of felt
- Does not work on non-fabric materials
- Chainstitch can unravel
- Cost of 2 size C batteries is almost as much as the machine
Any one have any advice for someone wanting to sew without using their main sewing machine? Let me know if you have tested other “mini” machines.