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Thread: Looking for a machine for a beginning seamstress.

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Looking for a machine for a beginning seamstress.

    My co-worker is looking for a machine for his wife for a birthday present. She is just beginning to sew and he wants to get a basic machine, that she can grow into. I am only experienced with Berninas and I know enough about them that it is not a good investment for the beginner. I know that Brother has some good lower end machines. He found one on Amazon, a Janome HD1000, I did mention to him that going with a local dealer is always a good idea because of the customer service. Any ideas or suggestions on machines?

  2. #2
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Southern California
    Maybe one of the project runway brother machines would be good, there a little more higher end than the walmart brothers, but they have more room to grow, more durable, and they get good ratings and are nicer on the pocketbook than the berninas. I think that line is more geared towards sewing clothes like the one below


  3. #3
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Yakima, WA
    The Janome HD1000 is a heavy duty machine. I would recommend the Janome Magnolia #7318, it runs around $199, I think Amazon carries it as well. If he wants to go a little higher end, the Janome #8077 is also a good choice and has a couple of "must haves" to make sewing easier - the needle up/down function and the needle threader. It also has the reverse stitch button above the needle which is a lot handier than the push down button that is usually on the right side of the machine. It runs between $299-349.

    The Brother CS6000i has gotten good reviews and it is generally under $200. Rarely available from a dealer unless it is a trade-in.

    Which brings me to the dealer thing. You are wise to suggest going to a dealer to find a machine. That way his wife can get not only a store that will service on the warranty, but she can also get lessons on the machine. And sometimes they have trade-ins that are excellent prices and also include usually a 1 year store warranty and free lessons.
    Thought for EVERY Day: You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them.

  4. #4
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Asheville, Lake Vermilion, Tarpon Springs
    Blog Entries
    The Janome HD1000 is a real workhorse. Only 14 built in stitches. Aluminum body, painted. Front loading bobbin. No built in dual feed. No embroidery, unless you want to thread paint. Kind of a throw back machine. Only one buttonhole, and it takes four steps to do it. No embroidery. Only vertical spool pins. Does have a thread cutter and automatic threader. Does require oiling. Can drop the feed dogs, but the mechanism is under the front of the machine. Has that presser foot holder with the lever on the back that you lift up to release the foot. I looked very seriously at this machine when I purchased my 1600. The HD stands for heavy duty and it means it. You are right to suggest a local dealer, for the classes especially. I also agree with the suggestion of good used machine from a dealer.
    Last edited by Krisb; 03-26-2012 at 08:36 PM.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    western NY formerly MN, FL, NC, SC
    Blog Entries
    for a starting machine, I bought this one http://www.amazon.com/Brother-Afford...2848121&sr=1-1 [but got it at WM]. I like that it has the quilting features, needle threading, and lots of stitches. It forms stitches very well. It also feeds points through without eating them down the hole. I found, though, that I had to adjust where the 1/4" mark is- it takes more than 1/4 directly at the mark on the foot, but I found I just follow where the light shines on the foot instead - very easy to get used to. The light on the machine is not bright enough for me - I put another lamp at the back of the machine to help my tired eyes.
    Nancy in western NY
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  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Outer Space
    I agree, send him to a dealership where she will have classes to learn from and a supported warranty. It would be utterly stressful as a newbie to have something go wrong from a machine purchased over the internet or a big box store.

  7. #7
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Monroe, IN
    Definitely go to a dealer! You can even find excellent used machines that have been traded in (when someone upgrades). I found a great used machine that came with unlimited free instructional classes on the machine as well as free classes on quilting. To have a dealer for repairs and maintenance is very valuable.

  8. #8
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Why don't you suggest - groan - that he give her a homemade voucher or gift certificate. He can even put down something like " For your new sewing machine. One time use only. Limit $$$. Expiration date xx/xx/xx."

    Then either she can go out to the dealers and relax trying out the various machines and checking out the service [lessons, waranty, and future support if needed free to her] and repair available for whateve machine she does get. He can go with her or she can go alone or with friends. She can make it fun and not be rushed.

    What a gift to give. I expect the giver would be amply rewarded just fine.

    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    I'm with AliKat ---- surprise her with a "gift certificate" and let her go to dealers and see who and what she likes best. Not having lessons and the support of a dealer is a waste of money in my opinion - the "Box" stores have noone who can trouble shoot or help in any way.

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