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Light weight travel machine

Light weight travel machine

Old 10-17-2020, 07:02 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 798

I absolutely love my Featherweight. However, they are 60-100 year old machines, so when you buy one it's not guaranteed to run like new. It also requires regular oiling and maintenance, more than modern machines.

If you want a couple modern conveniences, consider the Janome 3160. It's not much heavier than the Jem, but has a larger throat, needle threader, thread cutter, needle up/down, and a couple other features. It also has a nice quiet motor. I'm also a fan of the Pfaff Passport, which includes IDT.

​​​​​​I recommend you try before you buy - you might discover that there are features you want, or things that bother you in a machine regardless of other people's recommendations.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:54 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Gainesville, Missouri
Posts: 218

I am going to go out on a limb here and ask if you've ever considered using a mini-machine.

I have one, it's a Uten uea001 and while it looks like a machine that you would give to your pre-teen, I can assure you, this little girl is an absolute workhorse. I bought her off of Amazon after my big girl (Dressmaker ss2402) went down on me and I needed something fast because I was working on a nine-patch quilt for my fiancÚ and I - it was coming up on fall and all of our comforters were so thread bare that one of them exploded in the washing machine.

She sews straight as an arrow and has a few other stitches, too and she's lightweight - like, I'm almost positive she weighs less than a full gallon of milk, she's that lightweight. On top of that, I'm able to carry her around using just my pinky finger and I have severe carpal tunnel syndrome, with tendon lock and arthritis. I was extremely surprised at how light she is, but she was able to handle a queen-sized nine patch quilt top without breaking a sweat.

My machine is no longer available on Amazon, but there are a lot of other mini-machines available (mine was originally listed at $160, but I was able to pick her up for $45) and the prices are pretty reasonable, even though there still seems to be a little bit of price gouging going on with the pandemic. If you're only going to use the new machine for straight stitching and taking her out and about, maybe consider going the mini-machine route? Whenever I'm able to travel back to Kansas City to visit with my family, my little girl is going with me, without a doubt.
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Old 10-18-2020, 07:03 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,519

I have a Janome Gem Platinum.that I love.
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Old 10-21-2020, 04:49 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 6,729

Whatever machine you decide on, I would not leave it in the trunk of my car. The jarring and bouncing isn't going to be good for it. If it's a smaller machine, you can easily take it in and out of the house.
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:03 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Long Island
Posts: 24,634

I have a 99k that i leave at my friends house for sewing. before that. i had a plastic thing from Walmart. did straight and zig zag. it did what i needed and it was light. for travel, get something not to expensive. will someone try to steal it out of your car/trunk. and what abut temperature extremes.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:34 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Chula Vista CA
Posts: 7,018

I have 2 travel machines. One is a Featherweight, the other is a little Europro that I got from HSN many years ago. It was a whole $100.00. The FW is straight stitch only, so if I know I will need the zig zag I take the Eurpro. Living in So. Cal the car can get extremely warm so I never leave any of my machines in the car. It just wouldn't be good for any of it. But as Lynnie said if someone does steal the machine from your car, you don't want it to be too expensive to replace. I do keep them in a case that rolls so they are easier to transport to and from the car.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 863

Another vote for the Janome Jem Platinum. Great little machine and very light.
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Old 10-22-2020, 01:10 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central FL
Posts: 1,203

I have a Singer 301 and it is my go-to machine for piecing. It only does straight stitches but it doesn't chew up the fabric at the beginning of a stitch line so I save time by not having to use a leader like I do on my larger machines. I can easily service the 301 and parts are still available for it online.
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