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Thread: Need inexpensive sewing machine

  1. #1
    Junior Member seazteddy's Avatar
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    Need inexpensive sewing machine

    I need an inexpensive sewing machine to take to class. I tried a viking for about $100. I took it back, it never worked right. I don't want to spend more than $100 if I can help it for something to ride in my car but I hate having to lift my 30-40 lb machine in and out of car. Any help, thanks.

  2. #2
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    Unless you need fancy stitches, how about a vintage singer? Some of the 15's have the nice wooden case and are not overly heavy. Or keep your eyes open for a featherweight at the right price. I got my fw for $40 and she's perfect. Great for classes.

  3. #3
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    It is very hard to find a machine with any quality or flexibility in that price range, but you may want to check out used machines on Craigslist etc. It is out of your price range but I hear one of the class machines of choice these days is the Janome Jem Platinum.

  4. #4
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Definitely check out Craigslist. I had the same problem as you - my trusty 35-year-old Kenmore is far too heavy for me to take to classes and for only $65 I found a newer lightweight Kenmore made by Janome (box says it's a 12102). Only draw-back is that FMQ is a pain because the feed dogs don't drop, but for sewing blocks it's fabulous.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  5. #5
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    I don't think any dealers will have a machine in that price range that you would like to be honest with you. What didn't you like about the Viking?
    I agree with the others - check Craigslist but also check your local thrift stores - make sure you bring a needle, thread and a bit of fabric to try it out before you buy it In my area, you can get a used sewing machine - even newer ones for less than $50, usually half that. If the weight is an issue, I'd suggest getting a wheeled case to take it to and from the car

  6. #6
    Senior Member janegb's Avatar
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    I love Brother machines, they are very reasonable, lots of stitches on the new ones. Older ones I love the best from the 1950's.

  7. #7
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I also love my mechanical Walmart version of the Brothers. I hear so many comments about how bad they are, but, I don't think lots of the comments come from people who even use them!!! I am VERY happy with all three that I use. One is over 8 years old and has given me zero problems and sews through anything. I also have three vintage singers and like them, but really do enjoy my Brother.

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Walmart machines are over $100. They sew fine for classes.
    Got fabric?

  9. #9
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    I'm devoted to my Jem Platinum - but it would be well outside your price cap.
    I bought a pale blue small machine from Sears for $99. It's still in the box so can't give you personal experience but everything I read online was favorable.
    It comes in pink and pale blue.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    Like you, I needed a lightweight machine to haul around. Bought a Singer Basic at Wal-Mart for less than $100. The feed dogs don't drop, BUT it sews a wonderful stitch. I'm happy with it. This is the first Singer I've ever owned, having used Kenmore all my life. I did purchase a couple more feet for it, as it didn't come with all the ones I wanted.

  11. #11
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    You are more likely to find a good secondhand machine in your price range.

  12. #12
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I bought a light weight Brother for $80. Its a great little machine for the price. Got it on Amazon.

  13. #13
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    Kenmore-Janome has pretty good workhorse for around that price or slightly higher. If you don't mind refurbished, you can get it lower. Try places like overstock.com and search for refurbished.
    I have a refurbished Janome (same as a Kenmore at Sears). Feed dog drops, can do simple FMQ, but throat is small.
    Can't have it all

  14. #14
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    I am so glad you said "inexpensive machine" instead of "cheap machine"

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    I like my little Brother I bought at Walmart 2 years ago. Be 3 this winter. I too have 2 other machines too heavy to take to class. The Brother I have has several extra stitches and the feed dogs drop down. If this is any help. I use it at home too when I want to get out of my room and be with the family after supper to watch tv.

  16. #16
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I have heard good things about the Brother Hello Kitty machine and with its aqua color, it's as cute as can be. A vintage Singer 15 is not light enough for your needs. A Hello Kitty as an only machine - no, but as a travel machine - maybe. I do wish it came in a straight stitch only machine. I have trouble with fabric going down in the wider hole on a zigzag machine. Have to love leaders and enders when sewing on one. It's $100 several places online.

  17. #17
    Junior Member totosmom's Avatar
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    Hi Seazteddy. If I were you, I'd be looking on Craigslist for a Singer 301, one that is, what?, cosmetically challenged but in working condition. It's lightweight (about 16 pounds), comes with a handle, and sews a wonderful stitch. The feed dogs also drop for FMQ. As long as it still has the bobbin case, it might be the bargain you are looking for. It's easy to maintain yourself, but I always like to have them checked out by a professional before I use them. They also come up on shopgoodwill.com.

    Whichever way you go, good luck!
    Dorothy in PA

  18. #18
    Super Member TerryQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtsyOne View Post
    Definitely check out Craigslist. I had the same problem as you - my trusty 35-year-old Kenmore is far too heavy for me to take to classes and for only $65 I found a newer lightweight Kenmore made by Janome (box says it's a 12102). Only draw-back is that FMQ is a pain because the feed dogs don't drop, but for sewing blocks it's fabulous.
    I never drop the feed dogs on my Janome 6600--just set the stitch length at 0. That works really well, have had no problems. It's what Leah Day does, she never drops her feed dogs.
    The Trike Riding Quilting Diva

  19. #19
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerryQuilter View Post
    I never drop the feed dogs on my Janome 6600--just set the stitch length at 0. That works really well, have had no problems. It's what Leah Day does, she never drops her feed dogs.
    Oh my! I never knew we could do that!
    I immediately ran to my machine, change to a FMQ foot and tried. It really works! The stitches look better with feed dog up than down. Thanks, I learnt something great today

  20. #20
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    look on overstock.com I got my brother for 109 but test it out immediately because they are refurbishedand my first one didn't work, my second one I have had for 6 years with no problems. It can't weigh more than 12 lbs

  21. #21
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    You can get a vintage Singer 301 that is only 15 lbs for around $100-$150.

  22. #22
    Super Member OKLAHOMA PEACH's Avatar
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    Try garage sales, friend got one for $5. a little Kenmore, Salvation Army and bargain shops, all are fun to go to besides.

  23. #23
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    My embroidery machine and my every day sewing machine and my new quilting machine are all Brothers and I love them! I tend to agree with you~
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  24. #24
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    The thrift stores around here sell sewing machines for about $20-50, and one of the shops in particular is really good about testing the machines. Their machines come with a sample of the stitches sewn on that machine and have tags on the side listing any problems, missing parts, etc. I wish I had a TON more space because I love the looks of all those old machines but really can't find an excuse to buy one! (I still have my own "vintage" backup/portable machine I bought when I first moved out of the house!)

  25. #25
    Senior Member Rubesgirl's Avatar
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    I use an inexpensive Brother I got from Amazon and love it. It weighs about 10lbs and is easy to use and tote around. It is also very reliable. Hope you find what you're looking for.
    Wendy in VA

    If I had a dollar for every time I got distracted I wish I had some ice cream.

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