I want to learn how to sew but because of my disability I may not be able to operate a foot pedal. Can you recommend a sewing machine that doesn't run with a foot pedal? Thank you.
Not knowing your specific disability I can't say if this would help, but an old Singer machine I once had, had a knee control. The foot pedal was mounted in the cabinet and by pressing with your knee, you operated the machine. I expect cabinets might be made the same nowadays. The only thing is that you have to have your machine in a cabinet as opposed to having a portable.
They have older crank machines that probably only straight stitch with no reverse. I would think it would be difficult to sew & support your fabric while turning the crank with your right hand. It depends upon just what kind of sewing you want ot do but you can find these on e-bay & at estate auctiosn & yard sales.
Handcrank machines can be found or made up with machines that reverse. I'd try Chickadee's advice to find an old-knee control Singer first though. While I love my handcrank machines for piecing quilt blocks, they aren't terribly practical for regular sewing. Models that were sold in knee-bar cabinets were: 99, 66, 101, 201, 15. These are all excellent machines. The 201 was the Cadillac of sewing machines in its day.
My Brother CS6000i has a start/stop button along with a speed control switch on the front of the machine.
I love it and use it exclusively. I never did unpack the foot pedal...
Some machine cabinets come with a knee press. Anykind of machine plugs into it & it plugs into the wall outlet. The newer machines aren't made to drop down into a cabinet so they may not work as well.
Brother machine, Model NX-200 (available at some Walmart locations as well as fabric shops), has hand operation capabilities, and is actually not at all hard to use! It also has some pretty neat stitch settings.
(Disclaimer...I do not work for this company...I have just used the machine and found it quite easy to operate)
I'd suggest trying to find an old cabinet like that at a garage sale, thrift store, or on Craigslist. My mom has one - it's beautiful cherry wood. I thought ALL sewing machines ran by the side of your knee until I got to HS Home Ec class and the machines there all had foot pedals!
You may also luck out and get the kind of machine that tips down on the pins, into the cabinet. Old Montgomery Wards machines did that, as did the old Singers. I had to buy a new cabinet - I had one that had the swing down pins, but broke part of it. The new cabinet doesn't "do" swing down pins, but it DOES raise and lower with an electric lift. A good mechanic could put a knee control in that, but it might put the electric lift out of use.
I have one of the Brother machines that has the front operation button!nThey are really great and easy to use. I don't use the foot pedal that came with mine because the front button is easier. I have been sewing 40 years and think this was one of the best sewing machine inventions!
I also have one of the Brothers with a "go button" that can be used in replacement of the foot pedal (NS-40, one of the "Project Runway" models). At first I thought it was silly. I love it now. I'm not highly experienced with machine sewing, and it is perfect for jobs like hemming pants, where I want to go very slowly so that I don't mess it up. Not paying attention to the foot pedal means that I can focus that much more on getting a straight hemline. I know that I will be using that feature a lot, until I get experienced enough that I can divide my attention enough to work the touchy foot pedal and still stitch straight.
A good sewing store with a repairman should be able to modify something for your use. If you can use a knee pedal you may be able to find a way to attach your foot pedal to a table leg and just use it that way.
Singer, Brother and probably several others have the stop and go feature and a speed adjuster also.