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Thread: First machine for Granddaughter

  1. #1
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    First machine for Granddaughter

    My friend is looking for a machine for her12 year old Granddaughter. I saw this today and wonder if anyone has this machine? Is it good for a first machine? I know it has a lot of designs, etc. that she might not use right away, but she does sew a little, and will "grow" into it. Also, can it handle hemming jeans? It is a good price, but is it worth taking home, so to speak?

    http://www.costco.com/Brother%C2%AE-...yword=xr3140&l

  2. #2
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    I love my Brother machine. It is a real work horse. Walmart has a great sale on sewing machines. She needs to check the prices out at their on-line site.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

  3. #3
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    My first machine was a similar Brother, also from Costco. I used it almost daily for 4 years until I upgraded. It still works great. Never had a problem with it. I like that this one comes with an extension table. Looks like a great beginner machine.

  4. #4
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    I would buy a good vintage machine. If she needs more than straight stitch, a simple Kenmore 158.1350 or so is a solid, reliable, strong machine. The plastic ones are throwaways, jump a lot at higher speeds and have plastic gears. My 158.1350 has a free arm and 10 stitches, a presser foot that raises extra high, made of metal, and a wonderful all around machine. It will last for years and years without issues. Just clean and oil. I do my quilts on Singer 301s and 15s. I had bought a $2200 machine and it was unable to sew reliably, went vintage and am never stuck.

  5. #5
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    +1 to what lswan said. Find a nice, clean Singer 301, have it serviced and you'll have a great machine that will last for many years for less than $150. The 301 is aluminum, so it's only a bit heavier than a Featherweight (but it's full size) and it has a built-in handle for carrying. Elegant design. Manuals available for free online. A sewing machine that you have to oil regularly is a good way for a beginner (or anyone, for that matter) to bond with it and understand a little about how it works. The 301 is the best machine on Earth for piecing quilts.
    Last edited by Manalto; 12-04-2015 at 04:29 AM.

  6. #6
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I would look for a good used machine. They just don't make them like they use to.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  7. #7
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManiacQuilter2 View Post
    I would look for a good used machine. They just don't make them like they use to.
    True. But that is like telling a first time washing machine buyer to get a wringer washing machine.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  8. #8
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Taking a chance here to respond that I have 3 mechanical Brother machines. They take any kind of thread and sew through anything. One of them is 12 years old and came from Costco. It has never been in the shop. I also have a bunch of vintage machines including a 301. It has taken me literally years to accumulate them. Depending on where you live you might not come across one quickly. It has been said that just some oiling will take care of them. None of mine except the two featherweights were that easy. They required a lot of work and products to clean them up. So if it were up to me (and I played with the machine you linked to yesterday at Costco) I would say it is a good choice. Sometimes it is okay to disagree.
    Alyce

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    True. But that is like telling a first time washing machine buyer to get a wringer washing machine.
    It's more like telling a first-time car buyer to get a Mercedes.

  10. #10
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    Even though vintage machines are reliable for the most part, to a 12 year old a vintage machine might just look old. Most 12 year olds like new things to look new, and be new. I bought a Brother Project Runway for my DIL and she lives it. I have a mechanical Brother , and it's very reliable and easy to use. I think she'd be happy with a Brother or entry level Janome.

  11. #11
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    Today's kids are very computer savvy, so I would not be concerned about the Brother in the ad being too much for the 12 year old. In fact, she may be brave enough to keep trying all the bells and whistles to do some really fantastic work. I agree that they may just view a vintage machine as being old and thus disappointed.

  12. #12
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    I salute those who have the ability to get into the head of a 12 year old they've never met and decide what she's going to like and not like.

  13. #13
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    Here's a concept: ask the kid.

  14. #14
    Super Member SuziSew's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=yngldy;7393685]My friend is looking for a machine for her12 year old Granddaughter. I saw this today and wonder if anyone has this machine? Is it good for a first machine? I know it has a lot of designs, etc. that she might not use right away, but she does sew a little, and will "grow" into it. Also, can it handle hemming jeans? It is a good price, but is it worth taking home, so to speak?

    I saw a Janome in the Bed Bath and Beyond catalog - looks like a nice starter, is $70 and comes in great colors, especially cool for a tween! Also BB&B has coupons for a discount on an already good price!

    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/stor...s?ta=typeahead
    Sue

  15. #15
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    I have this machine, and want to tell you it sews a beautiful stitch, every bit as good as it's big sister, Symphony by Baby Lock, and the Quattro by Brother. If you can get one, it's an excellent price and an excellent machine.
    Creative clutter is better than idle neatness.

  16. #16
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    I wouldn't presume to guess what any particular person would want, but my nieces (10 and 14) have no interest in any of my vintage machines, but will spend hours creating on my newer, computerized machines. They are easy to thread, have speed controls so they don't have to master a foot controller right away and they both find needle down and the knee lift for the presser foot very useful. I'll happily sew along on one of my 301's, 500's or assorted 15 clones and maybe someday they'll come to appreciate them as well. But they are much more comfortable with the 'fancy' electronics.

  17. #17
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    I bought a hot pink. Janome online from Joanns for my 10 yr old granddaughter. It is really basic and adorable. I also bought a carrying case all for about $100. It is so cute and will get her started.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  18. #18
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    I have this machine and I really enjoy using it. No problems except the differences between this one and my other one. I read reviews before I purchased this. Reviews I saw were very favorable. I think this would be a wonderful gift.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=SuziSew;7394391]
    Quote Originally Posted by yngldy View Post
    My friend is looking for a machine for her12 year old Granddaughter. I saw this today and wonder if anyone has this machine? Is it good for a first machine? I know it has a lot of designs, etc. that she might not use right away, but she does sew a little, and will "grow" into it. Also, can it handle hemming jeans? It is a good price, but is it worth taking home, so to speak?



    I saw a Janome in the Bed Bath and Beyond catalog - looks like a nice starter, is $70 and comes in great colors, especially cool for a tween! Also BB&B has coupons for a discount on an already good price!

    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/stor...s?ta=typeahead
    I do not need or want another machine, but those ones at BBB are really beautiful colors.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    True. But that is like telling a first time washing machine buyer to get a wringer washing machine.
    I don't agree with that at all. Wash machines are very different. The old sewing machines do a very good job and are very quiet if well oiled. I have several from the beginning of the last century, and would just a soon sew on them as on my $2000 machine.

    The 301 would be a great machine.
    Last edited by maviskw; 12-05-2015 at 01:58 PM.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  21. #21
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    I myself have serviced one of these machines. No it cannot handle hemming jeans. It very light and full of plastic. It easily rips out of time, meaning it will start skipping stitches or not make stitches at all. These are cheap frustrating throw away machines. Their ability to last over time is a game of luck. Every part they have in them is screwed into plastic, meaning the ability to service the machine is non existent, well honestly service. I have a few suggestions for a sturdy affordable machine. The Elna sew green is a simple strong machine with a full iron casting. For christmas you can easily find these for $199. I know it more than the costco one but the extra $50 is well worth it http://www.elna.com/en-gw/model_sewing_sew-green.php
    I also recommend the full size hello kitty. Unlike most kids machines this one is not a toy. Its a full size machine with a full metal casting. this listing has it at $189 which is a great deal.
    http://www.hayneedle.com/product/jan...FU8XHwodXdQEgQ
    You can still find new machines built as well as the old vintage ones. I have nothing against the vintage ones but when it comes to kids, she will have more parts, feet and options available to her with a current machine.

  22. #22
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thelazyquilter View Post
    I myself have serviced one of these machines. No it cannot handle hemming jeans. It very light and full of plastic. It easily rips out of time, meaning it will start skipping stitches or not make stitches at all. These are cheap frustrating throw away machines. Their ability to last over time is a game of luck. Every part they have in them is screwed into plastic, meaning the ability to service the machine is non existent, well honestly service. I have a few suggestions for a sturdy affordable machine. The Elna sew green is a simple strong machine with a full iron casting. For christmas you can easily find these for $199. I know it more than the costco one but the extra $50 is well worth it http://www.elna.com/en-gw/model_sewing_sew-green.php
    I also recommend the full size hello kitty. Unlike most kids machines this one is not a toy. Its a full size machine with a full metal casting. this listing has it at $189 which is a great deal.
    http://www.hayneedle.com/product/jan...FU8XHwodXdQEgQ
    You can still find new machines built as well as the old vintage ones. I have nothing against the vintage ones but when it comes to kids, she will have more parts, feet and options available to her with a current machine.
    just want to say again that I have had no difficulties with my mechanical low end Brother machines. I am wearing one of a number of pairs of jeans I have hemmed with it. I have made costumes with all kinds of fabrics. I even sewed sticky Velcro on before I knew not to. It gummed up the needle but the machine did fine. The one at one of my sons(newer) has sewed costumes, jeans, felt, and has mended back packs and zipper packets on jackets. I also have vintage machines. But I just want to put in a word about the Brothers. Many of us have them and don't find your situation to be common. And we also have heard about issues with higher end machines. Doesn't mean no one should buy them. I would still be happy with a Brother
    Alyce

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchnripper View Post
    just want to say again that I have had no difficulties with my mechanical low end Brother machines. I am wearing one of a number of pairs of jeans I have hemmed with it. I have made costumes with all kinds of fabrics. I even sewed sticky Velcro on before I knew not to. It gummed up the needle but the machine did fine. The one at one of my sons(newer) has sewed costumes, jeans, felt, and has mended back packs and zipper packets on jackets. I also have vintage machines. But I just want to put in a word about the Brothers. Many of us have them and don't find your situation to be common. And we also have heard about issues with higher end machines. Doesn't mean no one should buy them. I would still be happy with a Brother
    I’ve had many experiences with brothers that were just fine, but as far as this particular model goes my experience is common. I’ve been repairing machine for 10 years and when I come across a machine that is too light it usually has timing issues. Unfortunately every brand makes these kinds of models, even Janome and Bernina. Each brand has their ups and downs as far as models go. I’m not saying don’t buy a brother but perhaps avoid this particular one

  24. #24
    Power Poster JuneBillie's Avatar
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    I have an older machine that is the heavier one gave to me by my mother, and I also have my brother machine that is computerized. My brother has been used a lot, and I am now in my 4th year of using it with no problems. I want to get out my other machine soon, and get it sewing again too. It had been missing stitches, but I think I just need to get everything adjusted.

  25. #25
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    Great machine. I bought my grand-daughter one last year and she loves it..

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