Need Sewing Machine Recommendation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-31-2010, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What sewing machine and/or price range do you recommend for a novice? I'd love to learn to make my own clothes and possibly things for my children. When I was in middle school, I did a little sewing in a home ec class. I couldn't thread my own machine. Nor could I sew in a straight line. I'm sure that modern machines must be easier to handle?

Also, what features do you think are important to have and which one can a beginner do without?
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#2 of 9 Old 09-03-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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One option would be to buy a traded in machine through a local dealer. They usually offer free lessons along with the purchase of the machine.

If you're buying a used machine, basic is good, I'd make sure it has zig-zag capablities, and possibly an automatic buttonhole function.
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#3 of 9 Old 09-03-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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I have a Brother machine (a 6000-cxi or something like that, but they make many models that are similar) that has a speed control. So if you feel like you are unconfident at the machine and you don't want to accidentally push down on the pedal and have it run away with you (or you want to start your kids out on the machine) you can choose slow, medium, and fast speeds. So on slow, no matter how much you push on the pedal it won't sew faster than 1 stitch per second. I also like the drop-in bobbin that doesn't have to be threaded at all, you just drop it in and put the cover on and start sewing. Oh and the instructions on how to thread the machine are actually printed on the machine, so you never forget and it has a needle threader too.

HTH!
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#4 of 9 Old 09-18-2010, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AMum View Post
One option would be to buy a traded in machine through a local dealer. They usually offer free lessons along with the purchase of the machine.

If you're buying a used machine, basic is good, I'd make sure it has zig-zag capablities, and possibly an automatic buttonhole function.
A traded in machine through a local dealer! I never would have thought of that! How would I find such a dealer?

Thanks for your advice!
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#5 of 9 Old 09-18-2010, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by UmmZaynab View Post
I have a Brother machine (a 6000-cxi or something like that, but they make many models that are similar) that has a speed control. So if you feel like you are unconfident at the machine and you don't want to accidentally push down on the pedal and have it run away with you (or you want to start your kids out on the machine) you can choose slow, medium, and fast speeds. So on slow, no matter how much you push on the pedal it won't sew faster than 1 stitch per second. I also like the drop-in bobbin that doesn't have to be threaded at all, you just drop it in and put the cover on and start sewing. Oh and the instructions on how to thread the machine are actually printed on the machine, so you never forget and it has a needle threader too.

HTH!

This sounds like JUST what I need! Thanks!
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#6 of 9 Old 09-27-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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Just wanted to say DON'T buy the Singer Simple (the "walmart special" as my Singer shop calls it). It works fine but you'll be ready to upgrade in 8 months.

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#7 of 9 Old 09-27-2010, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to say DON'T buy the Singer Simple (the "walmart special" as my Singer shop calls it). It works fine but you'll be ready to upgrade in 8 months.
Good to know! Thank you!

Do you recommend any of their machines?
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#8 of 9 Old 09-27-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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Good to know! Thank you!

Do you recommend any of their machines?
My Singer shop, which also sells Juki and Brother, recommends the Singer Confidence for beginners. (It's the one with the peach-colored front panel.) They had it on sale for $199 but I think you could find it elsewhere. They also recommend a Brother, but I can't remember the name of it.

I'm pretty much a beginner myself, but when I'm looking to trade up (soon hopefully), I'll be looking for a better quality foot pedal, one of those switches that adjusts the speed of the pedal, a one-step button hole option, auto needle threader. Embroidery options are not important to me. I'd like a larger work area (what's that called, platform?), and a way to adjust the height of the needle.

Let us know what you choose!

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#9 of 9 Old 09-30-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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What type of sewing do you want to do. Are you limiting yourself to just garment or do you think you want to quilt or even do embroidery in the future. Do you think you will like sewing? What features are important to you? I'm going to recommend you find the best used machine you can afford. Get a pre 1980's all metal machine. Learn the basics. Initally you only need a machine that does straight stitching and zigzag (and you could get by without the zz). Ask around, post on CL or freecycle and see if you can get one inexpensively or cheaply. Once you figure out what you like and what features you really want you can start shopping for your "real" machine, although you might find you really like your vintage machine. I personally think the brand that is right for you is the one that you yourself like the best. I like Brother. I have friends that wouldn't part with their Janomes or Berninas. Neither of those were the machines for me. If possibly test drive the machines and check out the dealer. They are part of what you're buying and can be a great help after the sale if you find a good one.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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