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Need advise on buying new machine

Need advise on buying new machine

Old 12-13-2020, 04:43 AM
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Default Need advise on buying new machine

I'm wanting to get my wife a new sewing machine and don't know anything about them. I have a $1000 budget and i know she would like to sew, embroidery and quilt. Any help greatly appreciated as I will surely screw this up on my own.
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Old 12-13-2020, 05:05 AM
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It's very hard to buy a machine for someone else, what I would suggest is to bring your wife to a dealer and let her pick her machine that would be in the price range. Janome and Brother, even on the "low" end have good reputations, but personally speaking I would stay away from a new Singer.
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Old 12-13-2020, 05:09 AM
Join Date: Apr 2019
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What a lovely gift. What is she sewing on now? Has she been checking out some specific models?

This is a personal choice, of course, but I will throw out an initial suggestion. Try comparing a few on a site like SewVacDirect to learn what features are available. For example, the Brother SE1900 looks like a lovely machine with good features and fits your budget. Brother is known for their friendly embroidery systems. It has a nice color screen, a clean look, thread snips, etc. Looks like a great all-around machine.
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Old 12-13-2020, 05:14 AM
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There are so many machines out there, it's like a giant maze. I would buy some sewing magazines and get a nice card and write a note to her telling her that her gift is waiting at the store for her to pick out. That way she can test drive them, and decide which features she really wants. Each machine has it's own features, number of decorative stitches, auto thread cutter, auto threader, low bobbin warning and the list goes on and on. One of my friends received a sewing machine last year for Christmas, it wasn't the one she really wanted, it wasn't even the brand she had hoped for. Unfortunately the store would not let her return it and they had nothing she liked in her price range.
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Old 12-13-2020, 05:51 AM
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I would also like to emphasize this is a machine your wife should pick out. It might be better to get a machine that doesn't do everything. It will do everything mediocre while if you choose a machine that does the things she wants to do most you will get a better machine. Most people find that they don't use the embroidery part of the machine and it's better to have a separate embroidery machine anyway. IF this isn't her top priority she may want consider foregoing that aspect.
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Old 12-13-2020, 06:04 AM
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I also agree that your wife should test drive machines and select one she likes.

Does she already own a sewing machine? If not, it is good to read some articles on what to look at when testing out a sewing machine. Bring some pieces of fabric that are typical weights of what she wants to sew and test those out. (For example, sewing denim for making jeans is different that sewing quilt weight cotton fabric.) Try out threading the machine.

Think about what features are most important. If sewing clothing, home goods (pillows and curtains) and quilts is most important, skipping the the embroidery capability gives you a lot more choices. I've seen a lot of people get embroidery capability and then hardly ever use it - I suggest making sure you can actually name a good handful of embroidery projects you want to do before buying the capability.
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Old 12-13-2020, 06:14 AM
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Also chiming in to recommend letting your wife pick out this awesome gift. In fact, you could make it a surprise trip, if you have a dealer who you can visit that sells multiple brands.

Now, you are going to get a lot of responses here of "I love my XYZ", and while they're trying to be helpful, a sewing machine is a very personal choice. Does the user find the controls intuitive or confusing (or worse yet, intimidating)? Is the sound like white noise or fingers grating on a chalkboard to the person using it? One sewist's Chevy is another's Ford.

Kind of like golf clubs (how does it look at address? How does it feel at impact?) Does the machine inspire confidence or create insecurity? That is a personal thing.

So please, let her pick.
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:10 AM
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I would find dealers in your area that have different brands. Then see how much the machines are and what the sales rep says are the best or most popular features

While you may not know everything about machines these places will. Then you can ask questions based on what one place says about their machine

Not that this matters to you - but I have 2 Janomes and really like them. They have been virtually trouble free. And I knew zero about sewing machines when I was shopping (and now I don't know much more than zero ha ha)
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Old 12-13-2020, 09:03 AM
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I am joining the chorus here to recommend you surprise her with her choice. If you have a specific budget in mind, you could always give her money with a card telling her it is for a sewing machine and supplies.

The service at sewing machine stores can be an important element to consider when purchasing a sewing machine. What is their reputation online and in the local sewing community? If there is a problem, will they service the machine at their own shop, or will they send it out? Would you need to pay for shipping for repairs done during a warranty? How much do they charge for basic maintenance on that machine compared to other shops in your general area? Are they knowledgeable about sewing? Do they offer sewing classes? How long have they been in business?

Also, even if there appears to be a good deal, it might be better to sleep on it before taking the plunge into ownership. A night of research can be very convincing one way or another when shopping for sewing machines. There are plenty of reviews online and videos on YouTube. If a readable manual is available online, I think it is worth the time to read it. Prices of desired accessories can be researched, as well.

For me, I prefer vintage Bernina mechanical machines with knee lifts and needle-up features. Most sewing machine shops have pre-owned machines, too, often serviced and including a warranty. Used is used, so these are not for everyone. Personally, I have purchased about 16 used sewing machines in the past two years. In general, sewing machine brands that draw me are Bernina, Juki, Janome, Pfaff and Babylock. Of these, I do not own a Juki, nor a Babylock, but I would buy one. I like my old Kenmore machines, too, some made by Janome. Everyone is different. Some people keep an old (or new) mechanical machine for certain work, and have a computerized machine for other work. That could be an option for your wife, too. Good luck, and please keep us posted!
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Old 12-13-2020, 09:34 AM
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You could make a certificate on the computer and give her that. Then take her shopping and let her chose her own. I would recommend a dealer and not a big box store. It will be her favorite gift!!!!
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