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Thread: Sewing Machine for Granddaughter

  1. #1
    Clothfiend's Avatar
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    Hi Everyone,

    My oldest son our oldest granddaughter are here visiting from Texas . He wants me to take her out tomorrow to find a sewing machine for a beginner. I want to give her my Travel Mate (circa 1994) but dh says I use it all the time for retreats. If he puts in $200 and I put in $200 what's the best for our money? I'm thinking of going to Sears because I know Kenmores are made by Janome. Any suggestions gratefully received.

  2. #2
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    A friend of mine has a less expensive Janome and she loves it. It has a flower on it... don't remember the name.

  3. #3
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Do you have any local quilt shops clsoe by ? I would start there first if possible. You should be able to get a lot of good advice from them ( the LQS) and with a big name brand if they ever have problems they will be able to get service from another dealer ( closer to their home) . Also how old is your DGD ?

  4. #4
    pookie ookie's Avatar
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    I think the drop-in bobbin, 90 stitch mechanical Kenmore is a good machine. It's only $249 when not on sale.

    Here are some video reviews of it.
    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/3894826/10608672

    Also the mysears site has many reviews both positive and negative.
    http://www.mysears.com/Kenmore-Drop-...ws?tab=reviews

    The negatives of the machine are things like the bulb being too dim for some and the foot not raising high enough for some.

    http://sewing.patternreview.com/ has many machine reviews if you're a member. It's free.

    There's also a computerized Kenmore in the lower range although I haven't tried it.

  5. #5
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    I got a super little Brother at Target, it has a quilting package with it. a nice basic machine. not too fancy, does a good buttonhole, etc. and best of all got it for $99. I think the regular price is $139. It's a Brother XL3750. Then she could have some money left to start a stash and get patterns.

  6. #6
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    Hope you can find a Janome dealer close to you and they have some wonderful machines for the price you are looking at. Good Luck.

  7. #7
    Super Member blondeslave's Avatar
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    I have had this machine for several years that pookie ookie posted a link to and I absolutely love it! It will sew through anything I've thrown at it including the rag quilt my friend Amanda and I donated to basset rescue last year that was a combination of mini wale and brushed corduroy backed with flannel. It is a real work horse and it's easy to haul back and forth to classes. It has a lot of features that are on higher end machines such as needle up down and a start stop button that allows you to sew without the foot peddle. You can also adjust your sewing speed which was great when I was just getting back to sewing. The bobbin winder can be a pain sometimes and I can't seem to get the hang of the threader all the time but for the price this has been a wonderful machine. I did manage to SID a queen sized quilt on it.

    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/3894826/10608672

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    I was looking for a machine for a friend, and found the Janome 3128 for $139.95 at the Janome dealership. I later saw it for less in a JoAnn's or Hancock's flyer (I can't remember which), but I'd rather buy from the dealer and kow the service is included. It's a 3/4 machine, weighs about 11 lbs., and had some built in stitches. Great for a beginner and to take to classes and workshops.

    Also, my sister recommended the BabyLock BL9, which some shops have on sale right now for $99. DS is a Bernina person, so for her to recommend a BabyLock, it must be a good machine.

    I always recommend that you buy from a dealer, because you can try out the machines and they have the service people there.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Also this time of year the dealers have a good selection of trade ins :D:D:D She may be able to get a wonderful used maching with more bells and whistles for her to grow with.

  10. #10
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    Hi, I bought a Janome on sale for $399 a couple of years ago and love it!! I also have a lesser expensive Kenmore that I have had for a few years and nothing has ever gone wrong with it.
    The Janome has needle down, top loading bobbin, auto threader, digital readout, 3 speeds, needle side to side....everything a quilter needs except not as large a number of fancy stitches as the Quilter's Edition. There was a red and white one like mine, as they come out with a new LE (limited edition) each year. You can't go wrong with the Kenmore as far as I am concerned. Good luck with whatever you chose!
    Nancy

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The Kenmore portable is made exactly like the Jamone Gem. And there is usually a Sears store in every town for returns. For $400 you can get a top of the line Kenmore that will have features to last her many years but could be confusing to a beginner sewer. The portable Kenmore is the best option IMHO.

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i used to have a little sewing school, we had 6 machines...3 of which were $79 brother's from walmart...i also had my viking designer one ($5000 machine) most everyone would stand in line to get to use one of the brother's they are wonderful inexpensive beginner machines. all 3 of my granddaughter's (ages 14,13 and 8) have brother machines (for 4 years now) have had no problems with them and i believe they will hold up till the girls are older and ready for bigger and better...for a first machine i would never spend $300-$400 what if she decides sewing is not her thing? if you get a good machine for under $100 it will be around for a long time and if nothing else be good for hemming pants :)

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I saw in Sears yesterday, the portable Kenmore was on sale for $98. Did you know Sears has a great book on how to use all the different feet? It's free if you buy a machine but the salesman will probably give you one if you ask. I got one free. All brands of sewing feet are basically alike and the book has pictures and how tos for each one.

  14. #14
    Clothfiend's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone for all the info. I think I will get her the Kenmore model #16231, which is a Janome. I've been looking for it on-sale, but so far it's list price. I can also buy the exact machine under the Janome name, but have to still pursue this option. My granddaughter is 16 and already made a couple things on a friend's machine. If I can get her a machine for $200-250 that's okay. Anything I've seen for under $200 sounds like a thrashing machine when it sews. I am also going to call our local Viking shop to see if they have any 2nd hand machines. We used to be able to buy a good starter machine for $150. My original Singer, bought in 1962, cost $55 and nearly broke us.

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