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Thread: Need a small sewing machine....

  1. #1
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    I've been looking for a small, light weight, durable sewing machine to take to classes, etc. I hate lugging around my Bernina 440QE -- it weighs a ton, it's mounted in a table and I'm always scared to death I'm gonna drop her or have a wreck with her in my van.

    Bernina has a Bernette #56 on sale for $249.00. Has anyone used this machine? It has several stitches, 10 year warranty, and weighs about 15 lbs. (I have a bad back so weight is an important consideration.) I would only use this machine for classes and I can't tell you how often that would be. Right now I don't take many classes because I have to have help to get my machine up and down the stairs (sewing room on 2nd floor) and in and out of the van which just aggravates me to no end. I'm a little on the independent side....

    I think the $249 is a little over the edge for no more use than this machine will receive -- so, does anyone have any suggestions?? Thanks!



  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I worked in a sewing machine dealership years ago and bought my Bernina 1230 at that time. I would not recommend a Bernette; they are just not powerful and are not made well.

    Many people here have mentioned that the Janome Gem is a great portable machine for taking to classes.

    Have you considered buying a used portable? Check all the dealerships around you. Some of the older small portable machines are really delightful, and they shouldn't cost $250. I found a cute little compact 1970's Singer for $25 in a thrift shop -- weighs about 12 pounds and comes enclosed in its own case that holds the foot pedal, etc.; however, you don't run across machines like this very often in thrift shops.

  3. #3
    Esqmommy's Avatar
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    Sew - is that the cute little black one? My LQS has it on sale for $169 or $159 - I debated buying it for just that reason! But, I also want EQ6 or whatever it's called, so I can't justify the money right now. If you think it's worth it, I can buy it here and ship it to you??? Wonder what shipping would be?? Let me know if you want to do that!

  4. #4
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I have a cheap Singer from Wall-mart, and it does great piecing. Is a portable, so easy to carry

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have the Janome Gem for classes. It's about five year old now and I have never had a problem with it. I bought my DGD a Hello Kitty 3/4 size machine and it is exactly like the Janome Gem only smaller. She loves it. Several guild members bought the Hello Kitty machine to bring to classes. It's fun and not a toy. The 1/2 size is a toy. I would certainly check out the Gem line of machines. The newer models have more features now. Check Kenmores, they are Janomes. The portables are identical.

  6. #6
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    I would like to second Bella's comments. Janome has just come out with a Jem Gold Plus, which I just bought. Not only is it small and light, it has a trim stitch section so doubles as a serger. So far, I'm loving it.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Here are some links I found to the Hello Kitty (62 reviews):

    http://www.target.com/Hello-Kitty-Se...76&searchSize=

    the Janome Jem series:

    http://www.sewingroom.com/jem.htm

    and the Janome Jem Gold machine:

    http://www.sewvacdirect.com/janome660jem.html

    Also check reviews on these machines at http://www.patternreview.com

    I think you will find that all of them cost less than the Bernette and get better reviews.


  8. #8
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! Wonderful info! The Janome Gem looks very interesting and the price on SewVac was $199 with free shipping....Now I just need to make up my mind! :D :?:


  9. #9
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    If interested, I have a second sewing machine that works just fine. I just got one with more stitches. What would you be willing to pay for it?? And I don't know what the shipping would be either. You can let me know what you think, if you might be interested.
    Thanxs
    tarbender30

  10. #10
    Super Member bebe's Avatar
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    Here is a modern feather weight
    http://www.sewvacdirect.com/singer132.html

    don't forget to buy the quiltersaccessories 1/4 inch foot, walking foot and dtc

    This one is under $200.

  11. #11
    LynBlair's Avatar
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    The little Janome Jems are really nice little machines. I've been eyeing the 760 as a portable. I think it was about $450 at Pocono Sew and Vac. I don't know that I want to drive that far in the snow, though! :x

  12. #12
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    i have the janome gold. love it to pieces. very basic, but it's all i need for traveling. i got it about 4 years ago with it's good carrying case for under $250 and it's a little workhorse. the price may have gone up since then.
    when we had the beach house it lived there and i used it all the time. it never disappointed me. now, i wouldn't leave home without it :lol:

  13. #13
    lanagan's Avatar
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    Bernia has a new machine out and it's black. Don't remember the item number but it's light weight and only $149 I think. Understand not all the stores received them but my shop did. TheSewingPalace.com.

    It's super lightweight.


  14. #14
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanagan
    Bernia has a new machine out and it's black. Don't remember the item number but it's light weight and only $149 I think. Understand not all the stores received them but my shop did. TheSewingPalace.com.

    It's super lightweight.

    My store did not have this little black machine -- said the company told them they had to buy 10 of them at once and they didn't want to do that...financial problems?? Anyway, they said they couldn't recommend the little black one as they hadn't seen it or used it. Also the warranty wasn't as good as it is on the other Bernettes. But the picture of it was really cute!! :D


  15. #15
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    I have a singer from WalMart. Paid $150 for it 8 years ago and it is great!

  16. #16
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    I have a Brother XL3750 I got at Target for $99. It's a full sized machine and it is VERY light.. and came with a "quilting package".. I LOVE it.. I have a lap quilt on it now quilting it.
    Now I'm looking for one of those metal "luggage trolley" things to haul it on, as I didn't get a case for it.

  17. #17
    Junior Member amocha1's Avatar
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    I have a Janome Gem also for hauling around. I would recommend finding a Janome dealer and go test drive it. It's a great machine and worth having someone around that can service it for free.

    Diana

  18. #18
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    Take a look at the Babylock, Grace. That's what I use for travel.

  19. #19
    Member deltaquilter's Avatar
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    I have the Janome jem platinum and love it. It is a step up from the gold, my dealer gave me a price of $260. Lightweight and great stitch. The feet from my Janome 9000 fit this machine too.

  20. #20
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    My favorite lightweight machine is my Singer Featherweight. It sews the best straight stitch you ever want, and weighs 11 lbs. I have a Janome, a Baby Lock, and 2 featherweights. The featherweights are my favorite - by far.


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