I've got $200 to spend on a sewing machine! Send me all your recs! - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-04-2010, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

I am a beginning sewer and my in-laws are buying me a sewing machine for my birthday. So yah! But where to begin?

What brand?
What to avoid?

Looking for easy thread/bobbins etc.
Durability.
Using it mostly for simple kids clothes, curtains, alterations.
Not planning on embroidery or quilting with it but maybe one day!

Please send me your suggestions!
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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did you do a search in this forum? I only ask because I see you've had quite a few views with no response. Your question gets asked about once a month and I think if you search you'll find quite a bit of info. Good luck machine shopping.

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Originally Posted by calendula View Post
Hello,

I am a beginning sewer and my in-laws are buying me a sewing machine for my birthday. So yah! But where to begin?

What brand?
What to avoid?

Looking for easy thread/bobbins etc.
Durability.
Using it mostly for simple kids clothes, curtains, alterations.
Not planning on embroidery or quilting with it but maybe one day!

Please send me your suggestions!

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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Old 04-04-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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buy a Janome; you wont be disappointed. Sears sells Janomes marketed as Kenmores, and they are having some great deals right now. This is a great deal:http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...00100600&aff=Y and this one:http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...00100600&aff=Y Or check out the large selection of Janomes at GREAT prices at Overstock.com.

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Old 04-04-2010, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Ms. Shell!
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:10 AM
 
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I think the reason you're not getting a lot of responses is your budget. Personally if I were to replace my machines right now, I'd go with a workhorse Singer like the one at The Vermont Country Store - something simple and built to last without a lot of modern technology to break down. But, even that is outside your budget.

One of my machines I got for about $200 - it's a Bernina, but I've had it over 20 years. You can sometimes find rebuilt Berninas from a local dealer, and the older models are seriously good quality - again, before computerization. Personally, while there's a part of me that would love an embroidery or quilting machine, the fact of the matter is that I straight stitch or I zig-zag 98% of the time, and you don't need a computerized machine to accomplish that.

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Old 04-05-2010, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are lots of machines around $200. I thought this was a forum open to all, not just "professional" sewers. Why would a beginner spend more than that?
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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How exciting!

I have the first machine ms.shell linked to and am very pleased with it so far (still learning the ropes, it is replacing a similar but much older model). It does all the basic things it should, and some fancier things, but isn't so fancy as to be overwhelming to learn to use, and it's priced very well. With it on sale, you can still afford to buy a matching case and some notions and keep it around $200.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calendula View Post
There are lots of machines around $200. I thought this was a forum open to all, not just "professional" sewers. Why would a beginner spend more than that?
Since this was apparently addressed at me... who's a professional? I never said I was, and I most certainly am not. Just because i happen to have opinions about the computerization of sewing machines doesn't mean anything other than the fact that I have an opinion. Last I checked, the OP was asking for opinions, so I offered mine. I happen to believe in spending a little more to get quality, something that's going to last, rather than spending a little less and having to repair/replace every couple years (which is very common in cheaper computerized machines). That doesn't make me a professional. I'd definitely rather spend $300 on something that's going to last me 10+ years than spend $200 on something that I'm liable to have to repair/replace every 2-5 years. All I did was offer that opinion.

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Old 04-06-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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Quote:
What brand?
What to avoid?

Looking for easy thread/bobbins etc.
Durability.
Using it mostly for simple kids clothes, curtains, alterations.
Not planning on embroidery or quilting with it but maybe one day!
The janomes have needle threaders and horizontal, top loading bobbins, which are features that make sewing much easier...you can see how much bobbin thread you have and dont have to take it all apart to reload.
i think i agree with what cristeen was saying about the computerized machines...i think a mechanical machine is what you should get. that $129 kenmore is what i would probably get (the $199 one is partially electronic), or else another mechanical janome from overstock.com. I would get one that has the 1 step buttonholer and is all metal (the cheapest janomes have some plastic parts, but they are still great machines; i have been using a pretty loaded one like this for 5 years now nearly everyday and it has served me well, although i was happy to upgrade). I would also try to get one that does a blanket stitch, and if i was trying to decide between similar (janome) machines, I would get the one that came with the best foot package and/or the most stitches. I would personally not buy a Singer, only because they put their name on a POS toy machine being labeled as a real sewing machine for girls that doesnt sew....it has caused a lot of little girls to be sorely disappointed; but i havent sewn on a Singer myself. I have used many different machines, though, and i personally will always buy Janome, as they are absolutely the best machine for the money. I recently did buy their entry serger and also a computerized machine with some embroidery and in shopping and deciding i read a whole lot of reviews and also talked to several sewing machine repairmen in my area and they all agreed Janome makes a great machine and that doesnt require many repairs. In 5 years sewing on my first Janome, every single malfunction i encountered, i was able to handle myself and it has never been in the shop.
I wish I had learned to sew on a Janome; i first bought a Brother machine and had such headaches and screaming frustration, which i thought was just learning to sew, but once i got the janome, with the needle threader and easy bobbins, i realized all that frustration was because of a poorly designed crapola cheapo (but i could have gotten a janome for the same price, probably) machine and learning could have been infinitely more pleasureable. I hope YOU have a GREAT time learning to sew!

Mama to 3 boys 

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Old 04-07-2010, 02:34 AM
 
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I have a Janome-made Kenmore. I it!

When I researched and talked to people I came in contact with in the sewing world, Janome got the most recommendations (based on repairs/shop time, quality for price paid, etc). The Janome-made Kenmores get good reviews over on patternreview.com. Sears runs sales pretty often. Some stores actually let you sew on one before you buy it. Also, Sears has that 30 or 90 day return (can't remember at the moment) policy.

GL
HTH
Happy Sewing!

eta-I have not heard nor have I read anything great about new Singers. I don't believe they are nearly as good as the older ones. jmo.

All natural sahm to dd1(12yo) and dd2(6yo). Married 16 years.

Time for the Master Tonic! thumb.gif

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