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Thread: Machine for 11 yr-old

  1. #1
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    Machine for 11 yr-old

    My 11 yr-old granddaughter has been sewing/quilting with me (during school breaks) for about 4 years. I am looking for suggestions for a easy-to-use, and reasonably priced machine to gift her.

    Her mom knows nothing about sewing machines so I need something she can trouble-shoot also. This will be a change, since she has been sewing on my Babylocks (now a Unity)

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I am still sewing on my old Bernina 1530 so you might want to check with used machines. It is a hard decision to make. The new ones are just made out of plastic now a days and are mostly computer driven.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  3. #3
    Super Member jetayre's Avatar
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    How about a Janome "Hello Kitty" ? it is small, simple and a work horse. Know several who use it to travel with.

  4. #4
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    Vintage Singer: 15-91, 201, 301, or 401/403 which has zigzag and decorative stitches.

  5. #5
    Super Member quilter2theend's Avatar
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    Have you been to a store that repairs sewing machines? A lot of them have used machines for sale at very reasonable prices. I would definitely start with a simple one as her mom does not sew. Let us know what you find.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    My granddaughter has the 3/4 size Hello Kitty made by Janome. I bought it for her when she was 8 and she still uses it and she is 18 now. It's the same as the Janome Jem Gold.
    The 1/2 size Hello Kitty is a toy, don't buy that one.
    The full size Hello Kitty has all the bells and whistles. The Janome Jems are easy to operate and trouble free.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  7. #7
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    If she is comfortable with your Babylock, I would stick to Babylock, Brother or Juki. They are all made in the same factory. While they are not the same machine, they all "work" the same way. Adjusting tension, changing stitches, even button placements are all similar. I have all three brands. I can tell the differences in the quality of the machines, but their basic functions are the same. Watch Craigslist. I got my travel machine, a Babylock Decorators Choice, for $225 because the seller didn't like modern machines and wanted to stick to her vintage machines. It was barely used and runs perfectly.

  8. #8
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    I started sewing at 7. I used my moms machine. a low range Sears model.
    At 8, I got my son a cheapo machine, He said it was garbage and to give him mine, and for me to go out and by the machine i really wanted. Smart kid, I took his advice, and got a combo emb machine. Kids don't want a piece of junk. Buy for the future for her. You won't regret it. Make sure it does buttonholes for cloths and has a handful of fancy stitches to play with. This will be the best toy you ever got her.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  9. #9
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    Any of the Brother/Babylock, Janome or Juki machines operate pretty much the same and have very similar bobbins, etc so are easy to move between. They all make quality machines that will last for years and provide trouble free sewing. I personally would avoid the very bottom of the market because they are basically 'disposable' machines made for very occasional light duty.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the suggestions! I didn't realize the connection with Babylock, Brother and Jukki.

  11. #11
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    Check the Janomes. I got my niece a Janome 123. My niece was 8 almost 9. I walked her through it along with her grandma. We made her go through the manual from start to finish. This will be her second Christmas and she maintains along with her mother's boyfriend's help. She does a lot of things with it. She gets on You Tube for apparel sewing. She is looking for a used embroidery but not in a hurry unless she can get a good deal. We paid $50.00 on sale price at Hancock's. She and some of her latchkey friends had a fundraiser.

  12. #12
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    I would recommend a Singer 301A. I have 3 of them. My DGD (8) and DGS (10) love sewing on them. They have been sewing on them for 4-5 years with me nearby. They are learning to thread them right now. When they have learned to thread them, including the bobbin, change the needle and a few other necessities they each will get a machine for their use in their homes.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by SewExtremeSeams; 11-29-2015 at 01:25 PM.

    Linda

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  13. #13
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I also like the idea of a Brother/baby lock/Juki. The lower end brothers are very popular by people who have and use them. I have 3 of them. All a little different. The issue with a vintage machine is that they are not always readily available and unless you have an interest in fixing up a vintage machine you will have to take it someplace. I also think an 11 year old who has been sewing on your machine will hardly appreciate a black headed vintage singer, as sturdy and fine performing as they are.
    Alyce

  14. #14
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    Most of the vintage machines I've found (and I have many) only needed oil.

    I'm always amazed when people can state with assurance what a kid they don't know will or will not like. I have a hard enough time with kids I know well!

  15. #15
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Yes of course you are right Manalto. I retract my comment.
    Alyce

  16. #16
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    I learned to sew I was 8 and learned on my mom's 15-91. The only toy machine I sewed on belonged to a friend - my mother didn't believe in wasting money on a toy. If I were to buy a machine for a child, it would be a machine she is already familiar with, so that she knows how it works and knows how to take care of it already. Also, you said her mother knows nothing of sewing, so it would be best if you are familiar with the machine to help her when she needs it. I don't know if you can find a used machine, and to buy it new would be out of the question, then I would consider a low end Brother with multiple stitches and feet.

  17. #17
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    My brother from walmart has been an absolute workhorse of a machine. I believe it wouldn be a great entry level machine with a little growth. I think mine has since been replaced with the SQ-9185 but it gets good reviews as well. If you want something a little nicer the PC-420 off amazon is a good buy
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  18. #18
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Buy a machine which is more up to date. Although the singer old models are sturdy workhorses as her mum doesn't sew she wants one easy to use and correct problems at a distance over the 'phone.

    I'd go for a small janome which could be the go to granma machine.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  19. #19
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manalto View Post
    Vintage Singer: 15-91, 201, 301, or 401/403 which has zigzag and decorative stitches.
    Vintage Singer 99. or a 404 are very simple and only do straight stitches. They are all metal and won't fall apart on the first project. They are very easy to maintain and parts are still available. Each use common easy to find needles and bobbins. The 99 is small but not as small as a Featherweight and usually much less expensive. The Singer 404 is usually fairly inexpensive and it is light weight but harder to find. They were used in schools when people actually learned how to sew. Those are two of my choices for learning and my DGKs love them. If they hate sewing the machines hold value pretty well unless you over pay.
    Last edited by miriam; 12-01-2015 at 03:49 AM.
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  20. #20
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    A real workhorse machine is the older Bernina 830. It is a mechanical machine rather than computer. I had mine for 30 years and it was heavily used. I finally sold it to a friend but still miss it. It never gave me a problem and was simple to use. They can be found on Ebay and Bernina stores. They are all metal construction. Beware of the low cost machines of any brand that are mostly plastic and nylon parts because they warp with heat and can never be repaired properly. If you choose a used or refurbished machine you most often get a lot of feet and attachments which is a big plus. I am amazed at what new feet cost!

  21. #21
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    GOD bless you for passing your talent on to your granddaughter. I agree with the Hello Kitty by Janome

  22. #22
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    I have seen a lot of deals offered lately on both Brother and Janome...it seems to be a perfect time to purchase one.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  23. #23
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    When my GD was eleven we took her my Singer I had bought in Japan. It had all the feet some extra bobbins and I took her a box Guterrman thread that I had bought on sale at Joanns.

  24. #24
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    Is there a book you could recommend for a 9-year old and her first sewing machine?

  25. #25
    Super Member fivepaws's Avatar
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    I travel with a Janome Gem. It goes with me to classes.
    All my grand-children have paws.

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