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I'm excited, but I need your help...

I'm excited, but I need your help...

Old 02-11-2012, 10:38 AM
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Default I'm excited, but I need your help...

Our 27 yr. old granddaughter contacted me from Charlotte, NC asking for assistance in choosing a first-time sewing machine. I am excited that she is finally interested in my favorite hobby, but I want to make the right suggestions. She said, "I want to learn to sew, Grandma, but I need help choosing an inexpensive sewing machine to see if I like it." I have a Pfaff 7570 with an embroidery unit which is my travel machine. I could allow her to take this home with her when she visits in May. But perhaps it has too many features to confuse a beginner. I don't want to discourage her before she begins. I also thought I could research what dealers are in her area. Just not sure where to begin. I would appreciate hearing any suggestions you might have. This is the first of 4 girls who has shown any interest.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:48 AM
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How low budget? If you can go about $250 the Bernette 46 is a good basic machine. On the other hand if under $200 you may end up with one of the Brother or Singer models that will teach the basics but leave a lot to be improved on. I also like the White Jeans machine from long ago. Any machine that is in good working order, has a manual and someone near at hand to help will work. The Bernette has a dial stitch selector that you turn. The manual has a lot of tips and of course if there is a Bernina dealer there will normally be classes available. Best wishes to her on this new adventure!
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:57 AM
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Suggest going to a dealer to see what trade-in's they have available. A nice basic machine. Does she want to start with quilting, or does she want to start with garment making? If quilting - pretty easy as all she will really need is a straight stitch machine and not a whole lot of extra presser feet. If she wants to make garments she will a need a little more (especially in the way of feet). Also check Craigs list, but I would start with a dealer as those machines have been serviced and she'll get some (albiet limited) support. I was at my dealer yesterday in fact and they had three nice old machines for $75 - a Kenmore, a White, and something else I don't remember. They were cleaned, serviced and ready to go. If she's coming in May (and is willing to wait that long for a machine), research the dealers now and if they don't have one available "today" leave your name and number with them if anything should turn up.

If she spends less now on a machine to see if she likes it, she can spend more on other needs (fabric, thread etc), and if she likes it and wants to jump to a machine with more bells and whistles, she can keep this one as a backup (we all need a backup machine!).
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:28 AM
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I think it will depend on budget and what she wants to do with the machine.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:02 PM
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That would be a sweet gesture for you to send her home with your machine, but I do think it would be overwhelming. She needs a basic machine to start out on. I sure didn't know you could get anything in the Bernina line for $250.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
Suggest going to a dealer to see what trade-in's they have available. A nice basic machine. Does she want to start with quilting, or does she want to start with garment making? If quilting - pretty easy as all she will really need is a straight stitch machine and not a whole lot of extra presser feet. If she wants to make garments she will a need a little more (especially in the way of feet). Also check Craigs list, but I would start with a dealer as those machines have been serviced and she'll get some (albiet limited) support. I was at my dealer yesterday in fact and they had three nice old machines for $75 - a Kenmore, a White, and something else I don't remember. They were cleaned, serviced and ready to go. If she's coming in May (and is willing to wait that long for a machine), research the dealers now and if they don't have one available "today" leave your name and number with them if anything should turn up.

If she spends less now on a machine to see if she likes it, she can spend more on other needs (fabric, thread etc), and if she likes it and wants to jump to a machine with more bells and whistles, she can keep this one as a backup (we all need a backup machine!).

What wonderful advice! So many people buy too much machine in the beginning and never get the hang of it. Classes can be too overwhelming to someone who has never made an apron or such (like we did in Home Ec. thousands of years ago).
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:45 PM
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I think she might surprise you as to the bells and whistles she can handle. Yes, she may not need them all now, but remember she likely grew up with computers, and can do more on a computer and cellphone than most of us. Kids today are very tech savy.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:06 PM
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You're right about the kids today being a lot more tech savvy, and with a comfort zone surrounding all things computerized. Still, this will be her sewing machine. I really think you need to know more about what she wants to do with it, and then help her make a good choice. Once you know her intentions, you can line up several machines for her to look at and try out. Would any of us buy a machine without giving it a test drive? Especially when it's so important that she like it and is comfortable with it? I wouldn't make the decision for her. Take her around and let her try out several machines, and let her decide what she's comfortable working on. The best thing you can do to help ensure success here is to involve her in the decision making process.

Anyway, that's my 2 worth.

Cheers!
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:51 PM
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I bought this machine for my daughter while visiting her in San Antonio, TX. I fell in love with it myself! It is an excellent first machine for a beginner and I would buy it for myself actually! Lightweight also so she can take it with her places if she decides on lessons.

http://www.hancockfabrics.com/Janome-3128-Sewing-Machine-Standard-Sewing-Machines_stcVVproductId81913199VVcatId539684VVview prod.htm
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:29 PM
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I have love my basic cheapo brothers forever, learned how to piece on them and still use them to this day. You don't want to spend a lot of money and find out she doesn't like it. Also if its just an occasional hobby these machines will last for years. I have one 19years old that still works perfectly as it did the day i received it for christmas as a child.
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