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Thread: Sewing Machines - new?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Houston, TX

    Question Sewing Machines - new?

    Hi All,

    I have my mother's two old machines - one a Singer treadle (1918) and a 1960's Kenmore that's still going strong. But because I can carry neither of those behemoths anywhere (!) like to a class, DH has been talking about buying me a new one.

    We took the treadle one to a shop for an overhaul last week, and DH had to take the new belt up there today, so I told him to ask the repairman his opinion of which machine was the best. From what I was seeing online, it looked like Brother machines had higher ratings.

    Much to my surprise, the repairman told DH to buy neither a Singer nor a Brother - said that both companies had been bought & sold so many times that neither were anything like they used to be. He said the insides were mostly plastic and would break easily. He told DH that the most reliable ones in his opinion were Toyota (I had no idea that Toyota made sewing machines!), Janome, and another one that DH couldn't remember.

    Has anyone else heard that?

    At this point I'm about ready to just say, forget it, and stick with my '60s Kenmore!!


  2. #2
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Blog Entries
    Brother has machines that are not made for continuous quilting use - rather they are made for light sewing, but there are some nice Brother machines on the market. You get what you pay for. Personally, I am a fan of Baby Lock. Enjoy your new machine - whatever brand she is.
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Front row
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    The repairman really doesn't know what new machines are available. He seems to be like most older repair people, won't bother to know if the new is quality even though it isn't made like it use to be. There are a lot of nice quality lightweight machines now. Not usually in Walmarts. There are only two sewing machine companies that own all the manufacturing plants that make all brand of sewing machines except Bernina. I have two Janome Jems and have been taking them to classes and in the trunk of my car for over five years. Not one problem and many different people sew on them in classes. The new Jems have lots of features. Baby Loc, Brother, Viking, Janome, Kenmore, Pfaff and Singer all have different quality of light weight machines. Some are for craft sewing some are for serious sewers. The ones under $200 retail usually are for craft and very lightweight sewing.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 07-26-2012 at 01:45 PM.
    Got fabric?

  4. #4
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Asking a repairman is always your best choice to start with. However, keep in mind that they only see the problem machines over and over and maybe not the better quality. My sister bought a $300 Brother from Amazon 5 years ago. Sucker runs and runs and runs. She's had to do nothing for it. She is able to clean and oil it herself. Nothing plastic has ever broken. Me, on the other hand, paid $500 for my Brother and it's caused me a lot of problems with the tension.

    When I went shopping for a machine last year, I decided to choose between Bernina and Janome. I had dealers who were not too far away. Repair guys had positive things to say about them. I know a woman who has a Bernina lemon, so I know it's not a perfect world there. I would have gone for the Janome if Bernina did not have a close out on their 440 with O% interest. So, I went with the Bernina. I have no doubt I would have been happy with the Janome. Huskvarna is a great brand, but the closest dealer was 40 miles away, now that Joann's no longer supports them in their store. Same with Pfaff.

    No matter what brand or model, you will find that some people end up with lemons. You need to find out what your dealer will do for you. Unfortunately, this other woman I know, her dealer is very unhelpful, partly because of the customer who didn't tell her there were problems until over a year had passed.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Joy.lynn's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Blog Entries
    I have a Brother Laura Ashley. Beautiful machine. I use it for sewing, patching, quilting, and for free motion. I chose the Brother machine because I have been going to the dealership for years and they cover the warranty. I did not choose the Janome 7700(?) because the shop told me that the warranty did not follow the machine, so if I moved I would be out of luck. Something else to check where you live.

  6. #6
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Southern California
    If you are just using it for class brother will last you a long time. I'm in the opinion that machine snobs need to keep their opinions to themselves as I have the had a plastic brother model for 6 years and never had any problems with it. I have a computerized that I also use for a year now from walmart with no problems whatsoever. I have been taking it to classes every other week and it purrs like a dream. For light use you do not need an expensive machine unless you are taking classes daily.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Outside St. Louis
    There has been lots of opinions on here about what is quality machines. They are like all other opinions, just that. There are lots of people with more money to spend and only buy a certain machine brand and really don't know anything about the others. My Daughter bought a Brother from Wal Mart and used it to make lots of quilts and quilted them on that machine too. It sewed like a champ and still does. We bought her a Brother 1500 and she loves it, has a 9" throat and makes quilting much easier. It would be too heavy to take to classes. She gave about 70.00 for the Wal Mart Brother. I wouldn't think twice about buying one for piecing. Look around and get what you need and can afford.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    New Rockford, ND
    yes there is a toyota my husband bought me one. and i have used it that much
    because i also have a bernia and janome. but i have used it for patching and
    it is a tough little thing. havent had any trouble with any of them .

  9. #9
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    The beautiful Texas hill country.
    His Grace, you mentioned you have a Kenmore now. That's the brand I've always used (my Mother did too) and have been very pleased. Don't know... but does Sears still sell sewing machines? If so, they might have a light weight one for you to take to classes. Just a thought.

  10. #10
    Senior Member pam1966's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Jackson, TN
    I've only ever had Baby Lock machines, so I'm no help. Loved my first one and love my current one.

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