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Thread: Sewing Machine?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Quilter Day-by-Day's Avatar
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    My Niece is wanting a sewing machine for Christmas and she is 12 years old and hasnt sewn before so I'm looking for advice on what would be a good starter machine for her. But one that would last for awhile in case she really gets into sewing but not real pricey. Help Please! :-D

  2. #2
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I can recommend the Brother LX-3125 that WalMart has for under $100. It is a good basic machine. A few choices of extra stitches, but nothing really fancy. I have had mine for awhile now and really like how it sews. The only problems I've had have been with things like thread breaking when I use the cheapie stuff, vinyl not feeding smoothly, etc...not machine specific type things.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sylviak's Avatar
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    If you want an inexpensive one that would do a good job and last awhile, buy her a used, older one. I know when you think "Christmas" you think you have to purchase something new, but some of the bottom of the line new ones just aren't made to last.

  4. #4
    sgtmom's Avatar
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    I purchased a Janome 4623 for my 12 yr. old granddaughter for Christmas last year. It was apx. $239 which may seem high, however, it is an easy machine for them to learn to use AND it has some decorative stitches and other features for more advanced sewing down the road. She completed a small quilt and pillow and very quickly learned how to wind a bobbin, thread the needle, and use the needle up/needle down function. I had to puchase a walking foot separately, but it was well worth the $30. This is a great machine, very portable, very sturdy, and very easy to use.

  5. #5
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    I'd go with the idea of buying a sturdy used machine. You can find some really nice older Singers like the Touch N Sew for reasonable prices.

  6. #6
    Senior Member spinnergs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sylviak
    If you want an inexpensive one that would do a good job and last awhile, buy her a used, older one. I know when you think "Christmas" you think you have to purchase something new, but some of the bottom of the line new ones just aren't made to last.
    I agree totally! The older models are still great if heavy but she probably wont be traveling with her machine anyway. Find a good older model, can find them cheap too.

  7. #7
    Spring's Avatar
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    I agree with an older model as well. I was given an old zig zag by my Grandpa when I was younger and I used the heck out of it. When it finally gave out my husband let me order a fancy expensive sewing/embroidery machine.....That machine was a nightmare. After it had an "accident" I bought an older model on craigslist and I looooove it. Best $60 I have ever spent.

  8. #8
    Senior Member quiltnmom's Avatar
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    I would go with the Brother XL3750 which is $119
    88 on line at Wal-Mart or the Brother CE5500PRW $139.00 or CE5000 $149.00 both at Wal-Mart also.

    You said your niece is 12...I have a 14 year old daughter and 15 year old niece. My daughter is not into sewing but my niece is a little. I know what they gravitate to when we look at machines in the stores. I agree to some extent with the older machines. They are more sturdy and usually more reliable and would be great to learn on. But, she is a 12 year old. They usually like buttons and fancy stitches. Also, any of these 3 machines are lightweight.

    Unless you know she will definitely be leaving it in one place, she will probably want to take it from your house to her house. She may even want to take it with her to a sleepover with her girlfriends and have a fashion party. That's what my daughter and niece used to do. They had great fun when they were younger making dresses, pocketbooks and hats then modeling them for me and my husband.

    You may also want to think of what you might want for a back up machine incase she decides sewing/quilting is not what she thought it was.

  9. #9
    np3
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    Power Poster np3's Avatar
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    I would not get a used machine for someone of this age. Not for Christmas anyway. She isn't likely to appreciate the gesture. I vote for a starter machnine like the Brother at WalMart.

  10. #10
    lazyquilter's Avatar
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    Between Pfaff and Jenome, you get a very sweet machine from $150 to $400 and they both have a beautiful handling, threading, etc. And IMO, the less that can go real, is prize. Moving from $100 to above $150 will also give her those extra fancy stitches that can something that's she doing very much more personal. I do agree on the used older machine's but the problem that I had with these was the fact they were a bit heavy when taking back and forth to classes. But I am very sure that your eye will catch on to something and you will know what's right.

  11. #11
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    a brother machine from walmart is a good place to start...prices range $89-$139 they are user friendly, will hold up for a few years til she's ready to up-grade, and if she decides down the road she's not all that 'in-to sewing' it's not a huge amount to spend. and will last for longer ... she may not use it for a few years then get it out and start again...i did that a number of times over the years. the brother's are great beginner machines! :thumbup:

  12. #12
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    i agree - brother from walmart. i have two brothers, one is an embroidery. my gd wanted a machine she got one of those $59 ones from joanns - lost interest within 2 months.

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    I hate to disagree with so many but I would definitely not buy a machine from Walmart. They are not of the same quality as those you get from a dealer. Most major brands have lower end machines that are just as good as the more expensive ones just with less features. My 3 young grandchildren have Janome sew minis which are very sturdy and do a straight stitch and zigzag and are great starter machines for young ones. I know that Janome has some great lower end starter machines as well. No matter what brand, I would buy through a dealer. A machine that doesn't work well and is not fun to use will not encourage anyone to sew, in fact, they will probably sew as little as possible. I had a machine that I didn't like for a very long time. - Never again. I love my Janome machines.

  14. #14
    Super Member topper1's Avatar
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    just bought my dil a brother cs6000i, from joanns online a 500 dollar machine for 200 dollars , i tried it out its nice a good machine would last a beginner for quite awhile.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    I agree with pollyann. Buy from a dealer. That way, she can take advantage of any instruction classes they have, and you know if something goes wrong, they will be able to take care of it, because service is probably on site. Janome has some really nice machines attheir lower end. So does Baby Lock.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Robinlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter Day-by-Day
    My Niece is wanting a sewing machine for Christmas and she is 12 years old and hasnt sewn before so I'm looking for advice on what would be a good starter machine for her. But one that would last for awhile in case she really gets into sewing but not real pricey. Help Please! :-D
    I agree with any/all of the comments. As an extension educator, I taught some beginner quilt classes, and by the end of the 3rd lesson, had about 5 kids out of 12 that got machines for christmas. Most bought the Walmart brand and had no trouble with them. A few of the others got grandma's hand-me-downs, which they enjoyed as ever bit as the kids whom got new. Just take sometime, investigate, and you will know how much your niece really wants to enjoy this "hobby". Then also check out the 4-H group in your area, lots of great "Learn by doing".

  17. #17
    sgtmom's Avatar
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    I agree, totally. The saying "You get what you pay for" especially applies to sewing machines. There are plenty of good used machines out there, but the advantage of buying a new machine from a dealer, outweighs buying a good used machine. Warranty for one. Most new machines have a 25 yr. warranty. Service for two. You get service geared to your specific machine. Try getting that from Walmart. Free classes for 3. A person can learn to quilt, make clothes, etc., etc., and the people teaching the classes know your machine and what it can and can't do. I know the frustration a person experiences when a machine behaves badly and I did now want my granddaughter to go through that. It was worth it to me to get her a good machine from the get-go. It's not like you're buying a toy that they'll lose interest in next week. This is a machine that will last beyond its 25 yr. warranty. It is an investment in their future sewing interests.

  18. #18
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    I have a friend who sews a lot,really a lot.she bought a walmart cheapy-killed it in 3 mos.got another one-same thing.they are for light use not for a sewing junkie.you do get what you pay for

  19. #19
    Senior Member Bubblegum0077's Avatar
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    Janome has a line of great machines and they fit everyones pocket. It's also a great brand. I wouldn't part with mine for anything. I got mine at Fabric Art Shop in Lake City FL. Go on line to call them and see if they can ship you one of their cheaper models. You won't be disappointed.

    Any of the cheaper stuff at WalMart will break down in no time at all and the repairs will cost more than just buying a new machine. If she truely shows a good amount of interest, make the investment of a Janome with one of their simple machines. They run smooth and are the simplest ones to use. Their manuals are easy to read with great pictures. Please let us know what you get and how well she receives it.

  20. #20
    sgtmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolph33
    I have a friend who sews a lot,really a lot.she bought a walmart cheapy-killed it in 3 mos.got another one-same thing.they are for light use not for a sewing junkie.you do get what you pay for
    I used to work in a sewing machine/fabric store and it is unfortunate when a person brings in a $100 machine for repairs that are going to cost $80 and may or may not last. That, for me would be a key consideration. For an additional $50 a person can get a new machine with a great warranty that will provide a great deal of pleasure to work with.

  21. #21
    Super Member pojo's Avatar
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    I agree with the Walmart ones for starting out.

    Sometimes they offer a cheaper price one on Black Friday sale. But it usually has the same amount of stitches as the 89.-100. one.

  22. #22
    Senior Member jdeery's Avatar
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    I think I would go to the local sewing machine repair shop
    or some dealers, and look at old used ones, then tell her
    if she ends up not sewing she can give it back to you (ha, ha)
    No, really I got mine at a yard sale, spent $45. to get in
    fixed up, and it is my joy. Get a good basic machine, nothing
    worse then being frustrated with the machine, then she
    won't want to sew.

  23. #23
    Senior Member retired2pa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by np3
    I would not get a used machine for someone of this age. Not for Christmas anyway. She isn't likely to appreciate the gesture. I vote for a starter machnine like the Brother at WalMart.
    I agree. I don't think a 12 year old would want an older machine. I have an inexpensive Brother that I bought a few years ago to take to classes with me and I love it. Start her out on something that is new :)

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