I've been discussing industrial machines for weeks with my friend Cindy (who I met at pattern review weekends in LA and Portland), and finally invited myself over to her house last night for dinner, machines, and sewing chat. We've been scouring craiglist for used deals, and while I decided on a Juki DDL, she wanted something that was made for heavier duty sewing. She found this Consew walking foot/needle feed combo a couple weeks ago and I think just picked it up last weekend. I got to see it in action last night through no less than 8 layers of denim, and we were both a little scared of the 'beast' after polishing off a bottle of wine.
The walking foot is what you would imagine, a 2-piece presser foot that feeds from the top as well as using the feed dogs on the bottom. But if you've never seen a needle feed before, it's pretty cool. The entire needle bar stabs through the fabric and moves front to back, taking the fabric with it, then raises after forming the stitch, and stabs the fabric again. If there was any chance at all of fabric layer slippage, this machine would eliminate it. The previous owner had made upholstry with it, and the needles it came with were HUGE. It was hard to believe the machine could punch that monster through that much fabric but it had no trouble.
Cindy's other new toy is this Tacsew T-500 blindstitcher, which she's had for a few weeks now and has had more time to play with. I'd never used one before so she pressed a hem into some scrap woven for me to try and it worked great! But then we both tried to figure out what the problem was when using knits, and neither of us could get it to work. The knit gets sucked up into the area where the stitch forms after a few stitches, and then doesn't want to feed out the back and gets caught between the feed dogs. We couldn't find any adjustment for foot pressure or feed dog height, so we're stumped as to why the knits won't feed properly.
Thank you Cindy for a fabulous evening and I hope we get to do it again soon!!!