Educate me on sewing machines - Mothering Forums
Arts & Crafts > Educate me on sewing machines
heather+mike2005's Avatar heather+mike2005 09:33 PM 06-19-2009
Hi all! I want to get in touch with my crafty side and I'm really interested in sewing. I dream of making my own stuff. Are there any that are relatively inexpensive machines that are recommended for beginners? Also, are there any online resources with instructions on how to sew?

Thank you, thank you!

haydensmom06's Avatar haydensmom06 12:17 PM 07-09-2009
I highly recommend Kenmore sewing machines from Sears. They are actually built by the same company that makes Janome machines, but they are much more reasonable in price. I have the cheapest one and I love it. I think my dh spent $80 on that thing a few years ago and it's a total workhorse. I have a shop on etsy and spend hours each day sewing and it hasn't quit on me yet. It is the easiest machine to sit down and just start sewing. You read the fairly thin manual and get to work! I sewed a blanket that my son still uses the first day I got the machine. They are really terrific!
Treasuremapper's Avatar Treasuremapper 10:57 PM 07-09-2009
I also recommend Kenmores. Look for a model with a drop in bobbin if possible.

Check out CL if you know what you are looking for and if you can find one that is still under warranty.

Have fun!!! Also check out http://www.sewing.patternreview.com -- they have forums that have tons of information and reviews about different machines.
haleyelianasmom's Avatar haleyelianasmom 06:51 PM 07-10-2009
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sabrinat's Avatar sabrinat 08:14 PM 07-10-2009
You didn't say what your budget, but I think for your $ you can't beat a vintage machine. I have several vintage machines, but 2 of my favs are my Bernina 807 and 801. I paid less than $100 for each of them. They each have the basic 6 or 7 stitches you need for most any sewing. However they are all metal and have the legendary Swedish engineering and unrivaled stitch quality. I got one off ebay for $10 (it was missing the foot pedal which I bought off ebay for $65) and the other I got off CL for $80. I'm a strong believer that a good all metal vintage machine is the way to go hands down. You can care for it yourself and generally they were built to last.
haleyelianasmom's Avatar haleyelianasmom 10:21 PM 07-10-2009
It sounds like Berninas are a solid choice based on what I'm reading here. Are they better than Janome or Viking? I take it they're better than Singer or Brother?

And do many machines do overlock? I was using my MIL's machine for a while, but she wanted it back so now I'm searching for what to get. I'm pretty clueless as to what I need to look for. And what about sergers? Are they worth it?
KariM's Avatar KariM 05:50 PM 07-11-2009
I'd recommend a used Singer from the 50's or 60's if you're looking for a basic workhorse of a machine.

That said, most days I'm sewing on my low-end Singer I bought from Target about 3 years ago. I sew on it nearly daily and it's holding up fine for me!

Re sergers, I bought the Brother 1034D through Amazon a few years ago and LOVE it. I use it at least once a week and am amazed now how I ever sewed without it before.
sabrinat's Avatar sabrinat 11:26 PM 07-11-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by haleyelianasmom View Post
It sounds like Berninas are a solid choice based on what I'm reading here. Are they better than Janome or Viking? I take it they're better than Singer or Brother?

And do many machines do overlock? I was using my MIL's machine for a while, but she wanted it back so now I'm searching for what to get. I'm pretty clueless as to what I need to look for. And what about sergers? Are they worth it?
An overlocker or serger is a different machine altogether. It cuts, trims and finishes a seam all in one, but does not take the place of a sewing machine. It's a compliment to your sewing machine. Some sewing machines say that they have an "overlocking" stitch. It's not a true overlocking stitch such as you would find on a serger.

I can't say Bernina's are "better" than another brand. The right machine for you might not be the right machine for me. When I was looking for my main machine years ago, I purchased a Janome on recommendation and strong reputation. I didn't like it at all and ended up returning it for a Brother which I simply adore. So if you were to ask me I would say a Brother is a great machine. I've owned 2 and both were fabulous in my opinion. However many people hate the Big Box lowend Brothers but I also know many people who are pleased with them. There is no doubt that Janome enjoys a solid following and reputation. It just was not the machine for me. I felt it was kind of clunky and just didn't enjoy sewing on it. I say all that to say that no one but you can pick out the machine that's right for you. You need to go test driving. Look at all the brands, make a list of features you want, see what the dealer has to offer and consider used since many sewer will upgrade and you can get a great machine for much less. Good luck!
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