Friday, January 17, 2014

Cosplay Guide | Getting a Sewing Machine

Hello Everyone ! (*´▽`*)

Today I would like to share about the types of sewing machinery that I'm currently using ~ I do get lots of messages asking me what type of sewing machine do I use , how much is it or what sewing machine do I recommend ~ well I hope that this post will answer all your questions ! 



I have two types of machine at home , this is my sewing machine !

It's a SINGER , model 8280 which I think is the most basic and cheapest portable machine available at Singer's. This precious sewing machine of mine has been following me since 2008 when I first started making cosplay costumes. I got it for RM 700 , brand new. ( ´∀`)

( she even flew over to KL with me from my home town ! )

All the cosplay costumes that I made so far , is by this sewing machine. I'm surprised at how well she can hold up. ( Yes , my sewing machine is a she lol ) So far I only fixed her once , when I overworked her when making Luka's gown years back.

One thing about thing about this sewing machine is that it can only be used for light sewing projects. You can't really use it for long hours or else the motor will " explode ". Replacing a new motor cost me Rm 200. /sigh / (╯︵╰,)


Here you can remove the small compartment ( where you can keep your sewing supplies ) and this part is used to sew armholes. It's really convenient and useful for me because the armhole part of a costume is extremely difficult to sew lol. ( ≧Д≦)


There are different types of sewing machines , and some are more expensive because of the number of function and stitches that the sewing machine can do. For example , mine can do 7 types of stitches and also button holes.

For me , I don't think other stitches other than a simple straight stitch is important. I do use the button hole function quite often , when I make my costumes. But if you are lazy , you can always bring it to sewing shops for it to be professionally done ! (iДi)

This is a video of my sewing machine doing one of the stitches !


Here are the examples of the stitches that my sewing machine can do. 

But honestly , I don't find it useful. A straight line stitch is all you need ~ 


The second machine I have is the Overlocking Machine or also known as a serger.

This , is the best thing in my life !!! 

Do you know how the fabric would fray if you do nothing to the edges ? Well this machine can do the edging for you and ta-da you will have nice , clean + neat edges !

An overlocking machine is twice the price of a sewing machine. The brand new one would cost RM 1 300 but I am a super lucky girl because the day I went to look for it , they had a second hand one for sale ~ got it for RM 650 !! \(@ ̄∇ ̄@)/


With this , I can make costumes faster now because I don't need to trim the edges myself using scissors nor I need to go to a sewing shop to get it done.

It's really convenient and useful for me ! (^ω^)

Portable Overlocking Machines have two type , one with 3- thread and another one with 4-thread . The difference is that a 4-thread machine can do edging for stretchy fabric like t-shirt.


This is how an over-locked edge look like. Of course , you can also change the color of the thread for the overlocking machine to match your fabric color but a gentle reminder - An overlocking machine is very difficult to thread lol.


Commonly asked Questions + Answers

Q.What sewing machine should I get if I want to start making my own cosplay costumes ?

A. If it's just for making cosplay costumes , I think the most basic model / portable sewing machines would be good enough. Unless you want to make 100 costumes in a week , then you can opt for an industrial sewing machine that can work long hours ! (*≧▽≦)

Q. What brand would you recommend ?

A. I am a SINGER user and I'm pretty happy about it. Once in a blue moon , it does need servicing but it will make it last much longer ! Some of my friends uses BROTHER because the basic model is cheaper compared to SINGER. I think both are reputable brands !

Q. How much is a sewing machine ?

A. For SINGER , the most basic model is RM 700 ++ , and more expensive ones can go up to RM 2000 ++ . While for BROTHER , I think you can get one for RM 500 ++.

If you are tight on budget , you can always source online for a second-hand unit. It might work just as well ! 


Q. Do I really need an Overlocking Machine ?

A. For me , I make costumes regularly and I need it for my college assignments too so it's worth buying. But if you don't sew much , you can actually get your edges done at any sewing shops for maybe RM 8 ++ for a costume , depending on how big your costume is ! So it's entirely , optional ! 

Q. How long can the sewing machine last before taking a break ?

A. Normal portable sewing machines shouldn't work more than 4 hours ? You might overheat the motor if you sew for long hours non-stop. It's best that you sew for awhile let it rest , and resume your work again. (°∀°)b

p/s : never ever rush your costume overnight , the sewing machine " might " fail you lol


Is this post useful for you ?
Hope that it's beneficial to you ! \(@ ̄∇ ̄@)/

With Love ,


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