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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2005
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    1

    sewing machine????

    Hi! I am totally new to sewing/crafting but am v. interested. Up until now I've been sewing by hand and think it's time for the next step so I've asked for a machine for Christmas but don't know what model would be best.... What I'm hoping for is some advice on a good, entry level sewing machine--nothing too fancy as it would probably be beyond me--that can sew lots of different fabrics incl. vinyl, denim etc., and is not outrageously expensive. Does such a thing exist? Any help would be much appreciated!!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    I was just about to post on the same topic, except I'm contemplating a $700 brother quilting machine. Anyone used brother machines?

    For an easy, entry level machine, I'd probably pick one up at costco. They have some for $200 or under, and they have everything you seem to be looking for.

    You can also find used models on craigslist or sewing machine shops, but it can be frustrating to have a machine with funky, vintage quirks. I have 4 old machines, and they've served me well with sewing halloween costumes and some projects, but they frustrate me now because everything is breaking and repairs are difficult because they are so old.

    Janome gem is supposed to be really nice; a few women in the quilt shop got them for their daughters, and they passed the workhorse test from one of the quilters. Husquevarna (sp?) is also a good brand. My friend is coveting a bernina or an elna; I forget which.

    the brother I'm looking at is comparable to an elna that's twice it's price at the shop, and they've told me it's sturdy.

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Charm City
    Posts
    362
    I have whatever the Sears brand of sewing machine is, and it's been an awesome beginner's machine. The only thing it doesn't do that I wish it gave me more help on is buttonholes. And I've found that as long as I'm diligent about using the right needles for my fabric, I've had no problems sewing through a variety of things, including a couple layers of denim.

    I'm certain my machine was less than $200, but I'm also only using it as a hobbyist. If you're making a lot of items to sell, etc, you may need a more robust machine.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    los angeles county, CA
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    566
    Could it be a Kenmore brand?

    I still have the Singer portable my mother bought me when I started sewing regularly over 30 years ago, and talk about a great "beginner's machine!" I found a place near me that can actually service such an old beastie, and it runs better than it ever has.

    Come to think of it, I've been a beginning sewer for the past 30 years. But that's not the machine's fault! ~~~grin~~~

  6. #5
    Guest
    When I started sewing, I went to my local Joann Etc store when they were having a sale. I bought a White machine for around $200. It's been great and I've used it for baby clothes, home decor, purses, and clothing repair (hemming, etc). I would love to get one of the new computerized models that do embroidery and neat stuff like that, but they are so expensive. I can dream, though...

  7. #6
    Member
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
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    81
    I've been sewing for as long as I can remember and used several different kind of machines. While I am partial to my Bernina, they are VERY pricey for the beginner and hobbyist sewer.

    I would offer this suggestion, visit your local Jo-Anns or Hancock store where they have machines set up. Tell them that you are looking to get a machine for X-Mas; but are unsure of the type. Explain that you are only a beginner and would not need all of the fancy things. If you have a good salesperson they would allow you to use the machines to get a feel for them. If you find one you like and want, ask the salesperson to write down the model name and their name...then tell them that you (or your gift-buyer) will be back to buy it.

    If they really want your business, they will be glad to help.

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    215
    If you want to know the best bang for your buck go to the library and pick up a consumer reports. The last time they evaluated sewing machines it was the January or February issue of 2005.

    I just got a Viking 325(?) but I don't yet know how to use it.

    Tomico

  9. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    347
    I just bought a janome last night. The shop is awesome. I get free lessons, and they gave me some extra feet.

    I can do different stitch designs without having to worry about the tension....and it sews through 8 layers of denim without even slowing down.

    I am in awe of my sewing machine.

    http://www.janome.com/product_show.php?id=626


    If you poke around on the site, they also have a section for project ideas; some looked interesting.

  10. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1
    I had just about the same question :) I haven't sewn with a machine since jr. high home ec but would like to start again, and was going to ask my parents for a basic machine for Christmas. My husband reminded me that like, 8-10 years ago he bought a used machine that should be perfectly good, so I dug around the basement and found it -- a Singer Stylist model 478. Anyone here familiar with that machine? Does it seem like a good one for a newbie to learn with?

  11. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    los angeles county, CA
    Posts
    566
    Most Singers are great for basic sewing. I would suggest you talk to some local sewsters and get their recommendation for a place near you to give it a professional cleaning and tune-up. It will make the learning process a lot more bearable if you have a clean and friendly machine to work on.


 
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