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Thread: Sewing Machine Recommends for Beginner?

  1. #1
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    Can't afford top of the line right now, but I want one that works and won't break easily.

    -- all I really need is one that does the basic stitch, though other stitches would be nice
    -- good quality so it doesn't jam or break easily
    -- should be able to use a quilting foot (so does that mean it has to be able to do a quilting stitch as well?)
    -- prefer not to go over $300, prefer to pay $200 or less, if possible
    -- MUST BE NEW. I don't care how good a used one is, I don't want used.
    -- will be used for regular sewing and maybe upholstery sewing as well as quiltmaking

    I'm in no rush. I can take time to research and wait for sales/deals. Seems like a good idea to start my research now, though.

    What do you use? How do you like your machine?
    What do you recommend for me, given my requirements above?
    What should I stay away from and why?


  2. #2
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    All I have ever used is a simple Singer, cost about 100.00. Never any problems.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    Thanks, marsye. How long ago did you buy your Singer?

    I remember when they were the name in sewing machines, but I've heard so many people say their quality has really declined.

  4. #4

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    Lisa...I bought my first 'real' machine from Hancock's...a Janome 3022 and it is still perfect. Very basic for I didn't want all the bells and whistles just wanted to sew, sew, sew!:)I even quilted on this w/several of my quilts....which took a good deal of talent in rolling the sides of the quilt to squeeze it in...but, it did a great job. I still love to piece on this one and now have to fight the kid over it sometimes:)I picked it up on sale there for $299...sounds like your kinda price:)And it's a toughie:)Skeat

  5. #5
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Here is mine
    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...sewing+machine
    I've had it for a year and a half now, and it is sweet - needle up/down, stitch in place to lock edges, and lots of fun stitches. I got it on sale for a little over $200, but they raised the prices afterwards.

    I like the threader, and how quiet and well-behaved it is. The Janome tag on it would make it the Red Machine.

  6. #6
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    I think any basic Singer or Brother would do you well Walmart has some nice machines and not too fancy. I got my new Brother there for $130. It has 50 stitches and is electronic. I love it. I still have my older Singer which I bought accessories for quilting. You can usually buy accessorites for most machines on line.

  7. #7
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    http://www.consumersearch.com/sewing-machines

    Check out some reviews - that's what I did when I bought mine.

    I have a low-end Brother to lug around. The gals at work have Janomes and they love them.

    It sounds like you have a list of requirements.

    Happy shopping,

  8. #8
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    [quote=Lisanne]Thanks, marsye. How long ago did you buy your Singer?

    I've had this one about 9 years.

  9. #9
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Whatever you get, I would highly recommend one that has infinitely variable stitch width and stitch length adjustments. If you ever get into invisible machine applique, you will thank me for that recommendation! Basically it just means that you have a dial available to adjust width in as small an increment as you want, and another dial available to adjust stitch length in as small an increment as you want. Avoid machine that give you fixed stitches with unadjustable length and width.

    Needle-down is a feature that most quilters really like, but I don't think you can get it in your price range.

    You might be able to get some needle positions, though -- meaning you can adjust the needle to the left or right of center.

    I'd probably go to Sears for the type of machine you are looking for.

  10. #10
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your answers!

    The salespeople I've spoken to make it sound like low-end machines are made so poorly, they'll break right away. How much of a difference in quality have you noticed with machines with plastic vs. metal parts? Bobbins for example.

    Prism99, your suggestions of features I might really want is very, very helpful. I don't need every fancy stitch, but I do want a certain level of functionality. Your info is a great guide!

    MadQuilter, thanks for the link. Those reviews will really help.
    It's not that I have a list of requirements. I'm trying to keep that to a minimum because I do have a price limit. Mainly I want a reliable machine. Once I know what I'm doing on a basic machine, then I'll probably have that list of requirements.

    marsye, thanks again! Nine years works for me.

    Darlene, I'd love to just get one from Wal-mart. Years ago I got one for $99 from a Wal-martlike store and the thread immediately tangled in the bobbin area and somehow broke something... I thought it was my fault, but too many people have told me over the years that that is common with cheap machines. I'm trying to avoid that happening again. Though your post and marsye's are reassuring.

    Moonpi, thanks for reminding me about Sears! Of course I was aware that they have sewing machines, and Kenmore is a reliable brand.

    Skeat, I'd never even heard of Janome until a month or so ago, but everyone I talk to who has one seems to be happy with theirs.

    If anyone has other suggestions about features I really need, I'd like to hear them. Also more experiences, good and bad, with your machines.

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