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Thread: Looking for a reliable backup machine

  1. #1
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    Talking Looking for a reliable backup machine

    I am looking for a reliable backup sewing machine for those times that mine is in the shop getting a tune up or heaven for bid has an issue. I will search craigs list and my local vendors but am wondering if anyone has any suggestions about a machine and about what it should run. I am just looking for something to do piece work - nothing fancy.

    thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    How about a Singer Featherweight 221. Get one of the older ones, not the new plastic ones. They are small, very portable, very reliable. They do a straight stitch, that's it, but is great for piecing. I've gotten all mine from eBay for less than $225 (which included shipping & handling), or you can get one from a reliable dealer for $350-$400.

    If you want a newer machine that has a few bells and whistles, the Janome Jem is a good one, as are the Berninas. My suggestion is to start looking around and trying out the machines.

  3. #3
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    Check with your local Sewing machinee dealer for a used one. sometimes you can get a good bargain if they have a machine they took on a trade in.

  4. #4
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    You need to determine how much you have to spend before getting carried away!!! The Featherweights are wonderful machines (I have one) but their smallness is sometimes a liability too.

  5. #5
    JLe
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    Also, check local shops for school buy-backs. Sometimes the schools don't take the machines they order and you can get a very good machine for bargain prices.

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Schools don't order machines anymore, at least not in this area. The machines are bought by the teacher out of her budget for the class. The ding dong teacher here, bought one embroidery machine with her home ec part of the budget even though most of the machines are broken or non working, all plastic portables. She said she wanted the machine for the class to do monogramming on bought clothing but the kids weren't allowed to use it, only her. A few parents complained but nothing was done about getting the machines fixed.
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
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    May also be able to find one at a thrift shop. Just give it a good look over. Check your local newspaper, my friend got a Featherweight for $50.00. One of the relatives couldn't get it to work and gave her a garbage bag full of scraps and parts to the machine were thrown in. She said she made out like a fat rat and she did. The machine's bobbin case wasn't in correctly. needed cleaning and she's been using it for about 6 months. She love's using it. Just gotta look!

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    my faithful back up machine is a 1956 singer 99-K...picked it up for $20...it stitches the most perfect straight stitch imaginable- is a little work horse- I love it!...best $20 I've ever spent! when I bought it made a large lonestar and for the first time ever ---every single point is perfect, every seam meets perfectly- it is my 'dream machine' (I do have a nice $800+ Janome that is a nice machine too) but for a nice straight stitch- piecing machine the singer is great.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  9. #9
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    I was hoping not spend more than 350.00 - I will start looking around. I was so upset when I thought I would have to go a weekend without sewing. My husband got a good laugh outta that one! He was able to fix my issue and I was up and running again. I do not want to be there again!

  10. #10
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    I have a brother sq9050 that I love and it runs around $240 at walmart. It comes with all the quilting feet too.

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I forget many quilters only have one machine! I carry a back up for my take to class/sewday machine.
    Got fabric?

  12. #12
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meldmac View Post
    I have a brother sq9050 that I love and it runs around $240 at walmart. It comes with all the quilting feet too.
    This is my back up as well as my machine for class. and I love it as well
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  13. #13
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    My backup machine is a 1952 Featherweight. I find that I am now using it daily for piecing. I use my Bernina for machine appliqué and FMQ. I love that Featherweight and the fact that I have been able to make all needed repairs. In the beginning, I did not like the fact that it has to be oiled so often and in so many places; but I have become accustomed to oiling and actually enjoy it now.

  14. #14
    Super Member cathylynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    This is my back up as well as my machine for class. and I love it as well
    can't go wrong with a Brother sewing machine! have loved everyone I've owned.

  15. #15
    Super Member Girlfriend's Avatar
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    This was rated best small machine in Consumers Guide

    http://www.brother-usa.com/homesewin...W#.UZsHUZVCS0s

  16. #16
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    Too bad were not closer i bought our school machines! They had 3 dont need them all!! Ones just sitting in my basement in its table!!

  17. #17
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I purchased a husquvane viking 100 at a price range you mentioned. I bought it new from create and craft tv site when it was a bank holiday weekend special offer. May bank holiday is coming up keep your eye on the web site and see if any offers .
    Finished is better than a UFO

  18. #18
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    I'm on to my second Janome (bought new one for more features/portability). I prefer it to my fancier Pfaff.

    You don't say what brand you have at the moment, but given the choice, I'd be buying the same brand so your existing feet and bobbins fit
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

  19. #19
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    I bought an inexpensive Singer machine as a backup. It's been in the repair shop once already. If the gears weren't made of plastic, probably wouldn't have had to take it in.

    Our local sewing machine repair offers good used machines (with metal gears)... prices range from $100 up. Rather than pay to get the Singer repaired again I will buy a good older model.

  20. #20
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    I'm in the vintage Singer school of thought. I love my Viking - has plenty of bells/whistles for me. Have a fw for classes/travel. Have a 99 in a table that I picked up for $35 and an electrified redeye 66 that needs to be refurbed for $50. That one will go into an existing table that I have.

  21. #21
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    My favorite machine is my featherweight which I use for just about everything.

    The one I gave my daughter who is a novice sewer is the inexpensive Brother machine that is under $100 at Walmart. I have had several of these thru the years and have passed them on to various friends and family who want a machine.

    My sons search the yard sales for machines and last week one of them found a nice Montgomery Ward machine (that weighs a ton) with a 1984 date on the serial plate for $2! It seems to work just fine. The lady said it had some bobbin tension problems, but I think that is probably because there are three different style bobbins in the storage section and I'm sure only one is going to be right for it. They said they had not yet tried out any of the decorative stitches on it.

    Good luck in your search!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knitette View Post
    I'm on to my second Janome (bought new one for more features/portability). I prefer it to my fancier Pfaff.

    You don't say what brand you have at the moment, but given the choice, I'd be buying the same brand so your existing feet and bobbins fit
    I have a Laura Ashley Innov-ís NX2000 so I am leaning towards a brother now that you mention the sharing bobbins, feet etc between machines. Great advice - thank you all!

  23. #23
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I just bought another equal machine. I use one for piecing and the other for FMQ. Both are equal and I can switch to the other if needed. I do have two old ones and one about 18Yr.s old. I like the newer ones and they don't eat fabric at the beginning of the seam. Both of my always use ones are straight stitch only. That is all I do.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  24. #24
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I received a Singer 401 Slant O Matic for Christmas. It's a 1960 sewing machine. I finally used it last weekend in a quilting class and found it makes the most beautiful straight stitch ever. It has many decorative stitches and it came in a case with lots of feet for $195 from a second hand store. They had three of them.

    They are awesome machines. Real workhorses and inexpensive and will last forever. I grew up sewing on one and traded it in on a Viking. I realized later what a mistake I made, so my husband bought me this Singer 401 to make up for my error. I'm a happy camper again.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  25. #25
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    Brother cs6000i

    I have had this machine for almost two years and use it every day. It is a tremendous workhorse and you can get it at Walmart for about $150. Can't say enough about this machine. It's fabulous!!!

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