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Thread: Best First Machine for 13 year old

  1. #1
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    What is a good machine to get a young girl who wants to sew but doesn't have any experience except one session with me last summer?

    My granddaughter wants a sewing machine for christmas and neither parent sews plus they don't live close by. Basically she will have to be self taught. It can't be too expensive either.

  2. #2
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    In my opinion a lesser expensive/cheap machine will always be a cheap machine, often frustrating in its need for constant adjustment and lack of stitch quality. Over the yeasrs I have encouraged many people to seriously look at a Bernina Record 807 or Record 830 machine (used, these were made in the 1970s) and they have been delighted they did so.

    You can't hurt these machines! They are all solid metal (which means they are heavy!), made in Switzerland, have an extension table for larger sewing surface, can be easily maintained at home by a knowledgeable person, and have enough stitches to keep your grandaughter sewing for years into her adulthood. They are straight forward as to threading and changing the bobbin.

    Right now there are several available on Ebay; search "Bernina Record 830 sewing machines" or the Record 807 - which has fewer stitches and is more basic than the 830. (Do not be confused by Bernina's NEW 830 which costs a much as a car!!)

    She'll thank you for a long time if this is her first sewing machine!

    Jan in VA

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Does it have to be brand new? I would also opt to getting a sturdy, older machine if possible.

  4. #4
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    No it doesn't need to be new and I like that idea. It reminded me I have an old Elna machine that needs some work on it...maybe I should see what that would cost to fix and give her that. It was a great workhorse for me. I don't recall the model but it used Air to sew. Does anyone know anything about how that would be for her?

    It seems she is going to need lessons on what ever she gets...that could be a problem on an old machine if it doesn't come with the original books.

  5. #5
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    You can download manuals from the net on almost any machine.
    I gave my 11 yr old GD an older Singer but she sneeks in a sews on my FW. I have started looking for one for her.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Born2Sew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treasureit
    No it doesn't need to be new and I like that idea. It reminded me I have an old Elna machine that needs some work on it...maybe I should see what that would cost to fix and give her that. It was a great workhorse for me. I don't recall the model but it used Air to sew. Does anyone know anything about how that would be for her?

    It seems she is going to need lessons on what ever she gets...that could be a problem on an old machine if it doesn't come with the original books.
    I have an Elna air electronic model 68. Love that machine, and I am hard pressed to say which I like best, it or my Bernina 830. If you have a good service person available for the Elna, by all means I think she will love it.
    It is great for light weight or heavy fabrics. Go for it!

    Jan's advice regarding a quality machine is the best advice anyone can give. When my first Elna "bit the dust" courtesy of the repair shop, I bought a cheapie. Big mistake on my part and will never do that again. I was lucky and sold it to a gal who just wanted to sew bandana's and make pillows with them. It was great for that, but not much else.

    A quality machine makes a big difference especially someone learning. If the machine does a good job, they will enjoy sewing. If not, they may become discouraged and decide they don't want to sew after all... Just my 2 cents...

  7. #7
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    What ever you do, don't buy her one of those cheapie machines. They are a waste and only chain stitch. This will be a big turn off for her, when she begins sewing.

  8. #8
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntiehenno
    What ever you do, don't buy her one of those cheapie machines. They are a waste and only chain stitch. This will be a big turn off for her, when she begins sewing.
    I so agree the new cheapies will only make her hate sewing not love it. been there done that

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treasureit
    No it doesn't need to be new and I like that idea. It reminded me I have an old Elna machine that needs some work on it...maybe I should see what that would cost to fix and give her that. It was a great workhorse for me. I don't recall the model but it used Air to sew. Does anyone know anything about how that would be for her?

    It seems she is going to need lessons on what ever she gets...that could be a problem on an old machine if it doesn't come with the original books.
    I have an Elna 500 Electronic that uses air to sew and when our guild sponsors a sewing day for children ages 8-12, my machine is the preferred machine by several because the speed can be controlled and they can sew at the turtle's pace or whatever they feel comfortable with.

  10. #10
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    i bought a machune from sears a couple yrs ago made by jamone used it for retreats and classes it was about 75 or $80 nothing fancy but sews good i then bought 2 grand-daughters each one they love them 1 grand was 10 other is 16 don't want to drag my computerize one out

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