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Thread: Handheld machine for fleece?

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    Cavy Slave squeakymuse's Avatar
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    Handheld machine for fleece?

    Finally came out of read-only mode, yay!
    Consider me a novice, though I'm a long time reader and fan of your forum.

    Just wanted to ask. I am currently just laying a towel with fleece on top of it and binder clipping every single side down with teeny tiny clips.
    This process takes about an hour. But there has to be something better I can do!
    I've been thinking about learning some really basic sewing to do some really basic hemming and fixes to some of my fraying clothes but also to make hammocks and pads for my piggies. But as I'm just learning, I'm guess it might be an overkill to invest in a sewing machine. Recently I discovered these little powerless handheld sewing machines that look like staplers.
    Have anybody tried anything like this? I wonder if they're just cheap and poorly made. Are these any good for small sewing jobs?

    Sorry for such a stupid question out of nowhere, yet still I'd be very grateful if you could share your experience with me.

    - Jane

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?



    Binder spines work well, although some are better than others. Someone one here, but I can't remember who, recommends a particular brand. Maybe they'll see this and join in.

    I just put bricks in the corners and along the long edges of my cage, and it worked just fine. But I didn't have any determined burrowers, either.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    I've never tried the handheld sewing machines but from my experience creating my piggys' fleece liners, my Brother sewing machine had some difficulty getting through all the layers of fabric. I had fleece and two layers of U-Haul pads which are very thick, so I know it was a lot for my machine to handle. I'm also a beginner in sewing so there were probably things I could have done to make it easier.

    I'd look for reviews on the handheld machine you are interested in. Even YouTube a few videos of people using them and see what they think about it.

    If Craigslist is available for you, I'd search on there for a sewing machine. I got mine basically brand new, with a bunch of thread for $30 total, and it was the one I had been looking for in-store. I got the hang of it really quick, and I started off completely new to everything. Meaning I didn't know how to put the needle onto it nor did I know how to thread it. I figured it out in about a week and just recently made fleece liners, pouches, and a hammock for my little ones.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    Towels dry fast by themselves but sewing them to fleece usually makes them tougher to dry. Be prepared to have to dry them for a couple hours every time!
    Although with that said, my homemade fleece liners have a waterproof matress protector on the bottom.

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    Cavy Slave squeakymuse's Avatar
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post

    Binder spines work well, although some are better than others. Someone one here, but I can't remember who, recommends a particular brand. Maybe they'll see this and join in.

    I just put bricks in the corners and along the long edges of my cage, and it worked just fine. But I didn't have any determined burrowers, either.
    Nice idea, bpatters! Thanks for sharing.
    Unfortunately my boys are expert burrowers: sometimes I even think that I got two moles by accident, not cavies

    Quote Originally Posted by sauteedsatan View Post
    I've never tried the handheld sewing machines but from my experience creating my piggys' fleece liners, my Brother sewing machine had some difficulty getting through all the layers of fabric. I had fleece and two layers of U-Haul pads which are very thick, so I know it was a lot for my machine to handle. I'm also a beginner in sewing so there were probably things I could have done to make it easier.

    I'd look for reviews on the handheld machine you are interested in. Even YouTube a few videos of people using them and see what they think about it.

    If Craigslist is available for you, I'd search on there for a sewing machine. I got mine basically brand new, with a bunch of thread for $30 total, and it was the one I had been looking for in-store. I got the hang of it really quick, and I started off completely new to everything. Meaning I didn't know how to put the needle onto it nor did I know how to thread it. I figured it out in about a week and just recently made fleece liners, pouches, and a hammock for my little ones.

    Hope this helps and good luck!
    Thanks for your warm words, sauteedsatan!
    That was the reason why I decided to try handheld one first. From what I heard most of domestic machines have troubles with sewing through multiple layers but I don't have a budget (and skills) to get an industrial one - gosh, it even sounds scary to me! Like, I have almost zero experience with machines, and I'm afraid it would take some time for me to get used to it. Though I'll have a look at Craiglist as well, thanks for the idea.
    Handheld ones on the other hand... well, it's complicated. I already had a look at some reviews (like this and that) and, according to them, it's possible to work with "denim, wool, leather, silks..." etc, but most of them are unable to "sew through thick clothes" so I'm wondering now whether they could handle fleece. I sent a message to the authors, but got no reply, and that's why I decided to ask you first, ladies. I also had a look at Amazon, and, well, lots of bad reviews here and I understand that they are not great for regular usage. Still "made for quick temporary stitching" might work for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Candalalala View Post
    Towels dry fast by themselves but sewing them to fleece usually makes them tougher to dry. Be prepared to have to dry them for a couple hours every time!
    Although with that said, my homemade fleece liners have a waterproof matress protector on the bottom.
    Thanks for the warning, Candalalala!
    Yes, I realise that it will make them tougher to dry, gladly we have electric dryer for clothes which I use from time to time when I'm in hurry and need to change liners quicky.
    But adding a mattress protector instead of towel sounds interesting.
    Just one question - how do you keep fleece in place?

    Once again, ladies, thanks for your feedback!
    I really appreciate this.

    - Jane

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by squeakymuse View Post
    Nice idea, bpatters! Thanks for sharing.
    Unfortunately my boys are expert burrowers: sometimes I even think that I got two moles by accident, not cavies



    Thanks for your warm words, sauteedsatan!
    That was the reason why I decided to try handheld one first. From what I heard most of domestic machines have troubles with sewing through multiple layers but I don't have a budget (and skills) to get an industrial one - gosh, it even sounds scary to me! Like, I have almost zero experience with machines, and I'm afraid it would take some time for me to get used to it. Though I'll have a look at Craiglist as well, thanks for the idea.
    Handheld ones on the other hand... well, it's complicated. I already had a look at some reviews (like this and that) and, according to them, it's possible to work with "denim, wool, leather, silks..." etc, but most of them are unable to "sew through thick clothes" so I'm wondering now whether they could handle fleece. I sent a message to the authors, but got no reply, and that's why I decided to ask you first, ladies. I also had a look at Amazon, and, well, lots of bad reviews here and I understand that they are not great for regular usage. Still "made for quick temporary stitching" might work for me.



    Thanks for the warning, Candalalala!
    Yes, I realise that it will make them tougher to dry, gladly we have electric dryer for clothes which I use from time to time when I'm in hurry and need to change liners quicky.
    But adding a mattress protector instead of towel sounds interesting.
    Just one question - how do you keep fleece in place?

    Once again, ladies, thanks for your feedback!
    I really appreciate this.

    - Jane
    A thought my best friend and I are contemplating is adding buttons to the towels/absorbent material and button holes to the top fleece so they can easily be separated for washing and drying. I'll be attempting this soon.

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    I wouldn't do that. The pigs are apt to gnaw the buttons off, and depending on size, they could get stuck in their mouths. Velcro between the layers would be a safer bet.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    I have a homemade grid cage that sits inside a wood frame rather than having the coroplast on the inside. The wood is covered with a waterproof mattress protector, then an absorbent layer of washable incontinence pads, and a top layer of fleece. The cage sits on top of the fleece so there's no place to burrow under. If this type of setup isn't possible, how about throwing some large fleece pieces over the bottom fleece for your boys to burrow under? Then you'd still have fleece on the bottom layer.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    I wouldn't do that. The pigs are apt to gnaw the buttons off, and depending on size, they could get stuck in their mouths. Velcro between the layers would be a safer bet.
    I'll definitely pick up some velcro. I just worry about the wicking

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    You haven't mentioned wicking. What about it worries you?

  11. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    You haven't mentioned wicking. What about it worries you?
    Wicking through velcro seems weird. Idk, I could always have the buttons on the underside or do snaps, my boys like to potty in the corners though

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by angelfoxdesigns View Post
    Wicking through velcro seems weird. Idk, I could always have the buttons on the underside or do snaps, my boys like to potty in the corners though
    If you are envisioning wicking through a layer of velcro (I've never seen it), then I agree. However, I think that @bpatters is referring to velcro around the edges to hold the layers together. Your piggies would have to be really adept at backing up to the walls of the cage to soak that area.

    Why not also make some small pads (with an absorbent center) to place in the areas where your boys like to urinate? That way you can change out the pads without having to change the entire liner and perhaps go longer between cage changes.

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    Re: Handheld machine for fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    If you are envisioning wicking through a layer of velcro (I've never seen it), then I agree. However, I think that @bpatters is referring to velcro around the edges to hold the layers together. Your piggies would have to be really adept at backing up to the walls of the cage to soak that area.

    Why not also make some small pads (with an absorbent center) to place in the areas where your boys like to urinate? That way you can change out the pads without having to change the entire liner and perhaps go longer between cage changes.
    I'm probably gonna actually use some metal snaps to hold the pieces together with some potty pads after I rearrange my cage. I kinda made it wrong in the first place, my grids are on the inside of the coroplast... I'm gonna be upgrading them with a new cage when I get my next check and said cage will be on a stand.

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

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