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Thread: The little sewing machine that could.... or not

  1. #1
    Junior Member rubia's Avatar
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    I wanted to sew. I had limited resources. I purchased a machine from someone on Craigslist. My expectations were that I'd make a few dresses a year for my daughter, maybe a couple other things, but that was it. Then I realized I like quilting. Trying to sew the thickness of quilts knocks my needle out of alignment and each time I take the machine in for a once-over, it's $90. I might as well buy a new machine for the amount these tune-ups are costing me!

    I have a Brother CS 100. The little sewing machine that thought it could. LOL

    Am I asking too much of my machine?

    Also, once my husband graduates in May and gets a good job, I want to upgrade. What machine would you recommend?

  2. #2
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    I had the same problem, I had a very old sewing machine I used hardly ever, then I discovered quilting and it just wasn't up to the task.

    Lucky for me, my partner works with tools and builds things, so he knows the importance of having the right tools. I have a Brother NX-200 which is great.

    I'd love a long-arm machine at some point, of course. :-)

  3. #3
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    Janome seems to be a good machine for the money but the service behind the machine is really important. Also, does it come with classes?

  4. #4
    mamatobugboo's Avatar
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    i really love my Janome. I have the 1600P DBX, which is a straight stitch machine with a 9 in. throat. I have a little kenmore that I've had for about 5 years which is my "fancy" stitch machine and the one I take to my quilt nights because it is lighter than the Janome.

    I would recommend you think about what you want your machine to do for you and go for the most you can get for the money, without sacrificing quality!

  5. #5
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    I love my elnas. You can get a good elna for under $400. I don't know the price range you're looking for. Also check around at yard sales, thrift stores and auctions. You can get some great buys. If you plan on machine quilting, make sure you can drop the feed dogs.

  6. #6
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    I had my first bernina machine for over thirty years. It was the top of the line and did everything I asked of it. I have every foot they made for it and learned to use them all. That is one great machine to this day.

    Hubby got the bright idea to get me a new janome three years ago. It is a mid range one and I have bought every foot that is made for it. It is a good little machine and I learned to use the computer built in like I had always had that feature. (So easy t learn) And I agree it is a good machine.

    But I missed my bernina quality. So hubby got me a new mid range one last fall. I had never played with the embrodery module before. It is way cool to make custom designs. and to put monograms onto gifts.

    I suppose what I am trying to say is, look around, take your time and get all you can for the price. Even though you don't do something now, doesn't mesn you might not want to do it in the future.

    Often they put machines on sale in the fall in preparation for the new year's models. Sometimes if you get to know the dealer's well, they will let you know when a sale is going to happen. Also, that is when many people trade in thier machines. That might be an option for you to concider??

  7. #7
    Senior Member rismstress's Avatar
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    I have always sewed - since I was 4 years old. Clothing, draperies, slip-covers, quilts, you name it. I had some brother something or other that was fair but caused me fits and it really wasn't what I needed for all the sewing I do.
    11 years ago I took the machine to be fixed. The only repair shop was at a bernina dealer- they took the machine, said they'd give it a decent burial and introduced me to a 10 year old traded- in bernina. Well, that machine does what I want, all the time, and except for fancy attachments, it's great. Get something good even if it's used. I swear by mine and if I ever buy a new machine, I'll look at bernina first. I'm keeping the old one.
    Cheryl

  8. #8
    Senior Member borntoquilt's Avatar
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    I have an OLD Bernina 830 (which I LOVE and can pratically service myself) an OLD Bernina Nova (next step down from the 830), a 1948-50 industrial Phaff that I make sail (sailboat) canvas covers (I had a hand crank put on it so I don't need electricity when repairing canvas out on the water), and an Old Singer feathweigth. The machine I like the least is, ironically, the newest being abt 3 years old. It is a WHITE Quilters Machine. Sold @ JoAnn's. It is kinda "tin-ey" and "seams" hang up on the bobbin case cover. I NEVER use it anymore. Guess I should sell it. Not bragging on these machine but I love them all. NOW! let me tell you abt my measuring cup addiction.... lol!! roll on floor! heh! heh!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    I've had a Sears Kenmore for 22 years, a Janome MC3500 for 8 years, and a Babylock Esante for 4 years, and I love them all. I have had good experiences with them all and (knock wood) not had any problems, other than my own oopsies.

    I suggest you go to a dealer and sit and sew for awhile. I sat at the Babylock dealer's for 4 hours before I decided to purchase it, but I usually have a panic attack if I want to spend over $50. Luckily I have overcome that with fabric, lol.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
    Junior Member rubia's Avatar
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    I'm really hoping to find a machine that I can keep for a very long time. I plan on being very picky about it. I know I definitely need a machine that has a wider throat.

    But when it comes to how "heavy duty" a machine is, how can you measure that really? This machine is a good little work horse for simple seams but it just can't handle layered materials or heavy materials (like the puppy dog costume I made for my son for Halloween).

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