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Industrial Sewing Machine Versus Domestic Sewing Machine For Clothing Alterations

Let me tell you a story. When I opened my first clothing alteration shop, I started out with a borrowed over locker from my sister in law, and my very old mini Elna sewing machine. I remember an Asian gentlemen walking up to the door of my shop and saying to me “You can’t do clothing alterations on that machine! You need an industrial sewing machine!” As the business grew, I got more domestic machines, and when I opened my second shop, I put domestic machines in. I did buy a semi industrial blind hemming machine, but I can tell you we had an exceptional reputation for superior workmanship. We had customers coming to us from the other side of Sydney. So I had domestic sewing machines in all my shops, except one. That one I put 2 industrials in but the shop was sold soon after to people who believed in industrial sewing machines.

My favorite domestic sewing machine is the Janome My Excel which isn’t expensive and does everything that I need to produce high quality clothing alterations.

Industrial sewing machines were designed for factory work. In particular piece work. The machines were in rows and the seamstresses using were sewing just one particular part of a garment, and another person was sewing another part of the garment. They are very fast, so for piece work they are excellent. I actually find them too fast. Let me explain. If I am re stitching the facing back on to a gown after I have taken the straps up, I am only sewing a section of say 2” or 5 cm. With my domestic machine I lock off at the beginning, sew the seam and lock off at the end. With an industrial machine, you have to slow it down because it would sew too fast, and you wouldn’t get the machine sewing into the seams as you need to.

People who use industrial machines, and have worked out how to stitch in this way I admire. My hat goes off to you. Personally I could never control the monster.

The other reason I like domestic machines is the fact that they can do zig zag and many other types of stitches. Most industrial machines can only sew straight stitch. You can get industrials machines that do other stitching, but why have so many machines when you can have one.

Yet another reason is the fact that the domestic sewing machine has an arm on it for sewing sleeves and hems with ease. The industrial machine has a flat surface to work on. This means you have to try and lay the fabric as flat as possible to sew correctly.

With the domestic machine you can slip the hem over the arm of the machine and stitch around with ease.

All my step by step manuals will be on how to do clothing alterations on your domestic sewing machine. I will also go through what you need to perform an alteration with the same workmanship that I performed in my shops.

Submitted by:

Judith Turner

This article is written by Judith Turner, founder of GenieCentre.Com. Judith Turner has spent the last 9 years developing a professional clothing alteration system. She is also the Author of The Art of Pinning. Now, she’s developing self teach alteration manuals for anyone with a domestic sewing machine.

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