Sewing Machine Recommendations - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-12-2002, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Everybody,
My birthday is coming up and I am hoping to get a sewing machine. The tradition in my group of friends is that everyone chips in for a big gift. I don't know anything about sewing machines so I really need help with picking one.
I'm looking for the 300-400 dollar range. I am also hoping to get one that does the stitch on the edges of the glad rags, (is that a serger? i don't know)

Anyone have ideas! (especially sleeping bean I know you have experience with this!)

Thank you!!

Knittin', knit.gifsingin', cookin' Sara , newly single, doting auntie.
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Old 05-14-2002, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(bump)
Anybody have any suggestions at all?
Thanks so much!

Sarah

Knittin', knit.gifsingin', cookin' Sara , newly single, doting auntie.
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Old 05-15-2002, 01:02 AM
 
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I just got a serger for Christmas. I love it.
It also seems to me that those Viking Huskavarian sewing machine are suppose to be really good.
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Old 05-15-2002, 03:14 PM
 
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I just went hunting for sewing machines and sergers in that same price range and was shocked!First off Viking's and Berninea's are the best.Kenmore's are cheap but are not made well.A decent machine runs around $700.Serger's can be cheaper though.But on the good side find a sewing store that holds classes and they will sell their classroom models for way cheaper but in near new condition.That's how i got my $800 machine for 1/2 that.I put it on layaway too.
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Old 05-15-2002, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Have you had a bad experience with Kenmores? I have actually heard very good things from everything i've read & from a good friend who is a professional seamstress.

Thanks for your responses, my seamstress friend is going to shop with me so I think that should help!

Wish me luck!


Knittin', knit.gifsingin', cookin' Sara , newly single, doting auntie.
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Old 05-18-2002, 06:32 PM
 
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I'm thinking about buying a sewing machine too, and in the same price range.

Ravenmoon, can you elaborate about Kenmore's? They seem to be all that is available in my price range, and I'm wondering if I should just hold off and save up, or if it would be worth it to have one now even if it ain't the best...

(I'll also check for sewing class machines, thanks for the great idea)

And Etoile, let us know what you wind up with!!!
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Old 05-18-2002, 11:56 PM
 
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I have a Singer sewing machine that is 10 years old and I love it!

I also have a Brother serger machine that I got for my birthday in November. DH bought it at Walmart....it is a workhorse, and I was in Walmart the other day and it was on sale, $20.00 off.

I don't know anything about other machines but I am very happy with mine.
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Old 05-19-2002, 01:22 AM
 
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I JUST bought a new machine from a sewing machine shop.
It's a JANOME and it does all sorts of zigzag stitches that can be used for edge finished and knits. Of course, it does straight stitches too, and also buttonholes!
It cost just $200.
The salesclerk was a teenage boy and he knew all about sewing machines, mechanically and practically. Wonderful!
I was just using it this evening. It's great.
I'm making a quiet-activity book for my little boy, trying out all the stiches and settings.
Sarah
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Old 05-20-2002, 02:03 AM
 
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I am trained as a professional costumer and I have always found that the old machines hold up better and cost less to maintain than newer ones.

I no longer sew professionally, but I use a 45 year old Elna machine that was my mom's and an even older little black straight stich Singer that I bought second hand for $20. I have a three stitch Singer serger that I paid about $200 for.

When I was in college, we were working on costumes for one show that were made from layers and layers of canvas. Even our industrial sewing machines were having trouble sewing through them, but those little black Singers did just fine.
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Old 05-20-2002, 11:08 AM
 
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YES!!! We have an old straight-stitch Singer too, we have saved it to work on paddling and outdoor clothes, boat sails, tents, tarps, sleeping bags....

I am *encouraged* to know that a Serger can be bought for well under a grand. I would really like to have one in the future once I have regained my sewing skills imparted to me by the wonderful practical Sisters of Mary and Jesus during my 'formative years'. (A professional tailor once *admired* my work LOL. Guess those nuns took their teaching seriously. I can still hear them telling me to pull the thread through and tie it, and to rip out that less-than-perfect seam.)

Sarah
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Old 05-20-2002, 11:13 AM
 
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I bought a used commercial grade Elna in that price range - I LOVE it - the thing is like a Sherman tank, it will go right through 8 layers of denim without a falter. The one I have uses the pneumatic air pedal rather than an electronic one. The thing is a work horse. I have seen them on E-Bay but I'd be wary of buying one from there because who knows what kind of condition they are in. Mine is similar to the Jubilee model.
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Old 05-22-2002, 05:17 PM
 
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I have a lower-end Bernina and LOVE it--it doesn't have programming in it. It says it's "Electronic" but I don't know what that means, b/c all the stitches require manual/mechanical settings. Perhaps that just means the pedal. It was a gift. I would pay the money for a good basic machine, then look for a used serger if you're really interested. Many machines have an overlock setting that is "similar" to a serger. I've never used the overlock setting on my machine.

I want the really old kind of "little black Singer" with the pedal that you push down for "nostalgic reasons" (looks cool) but I want it to be workable too. Someday.
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Old 05-22-2002, 05:32 PM
 
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As far as Kenmores go they just are not made well.Vikings and a few others are made in Germany(? maybe Sweden)where they use high quality parts.My Kenmore,from the start was a pain to use.Found out the timing was off and that it is a frequent problem with these machines.Fixing this problem costs as much as it was bought for so obviously not worth doing.But if it is all you can afford they do sell reconditioned ones for way cheaper.My mom and grandma have 20+ year old ones and swear by them.Unfortunatley they were made better back then!

Sorry it took so long to reply but i just had a babe a few weeks ago!
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Old 05-22-2002, 06:25 PM
 
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I do lots of sewing. I used an old used Singer for many years and really loved it.

Now I have a Kenmore - it was new 7 years ago and it has treated me very well.

I don't know anything about surgers, I just staystich everything as I go and it works very nicely.

One of the things I liked about my old Singer that the Kennmore did not have, on my model anyways, - The needle on the Singer could be moved to 3 positions, right, center and left.
The Kennmore you can't move the needle position although it has many neat stitches you can do.
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Old 05-28-2002, 12:49 AM
 
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T T

Congratulations, Ravenmoon ...

- Amy

edited to say I don't know why the little face on the off topic smilie is scowling. Totally screws up the happy-little-baby-next-to-it vibe, but ...
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