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Thread: Small portable sewing machines

  1. #1
    Super Member Jackie R's Avatar
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    I was thinking about getting a small light weight sewing machine to use upstairs in my dining room or kitchen once in a while instead of lugging my heavier Baby Lock. Hancock Fabrics has two Janome machines on sale. One is a Sew Mini with a zigzag stitch for $50 and a Janome 3128 with 8 stitches for $90.

    Does anyone know anything about these and if you have one or have used either one, what do you think about them - how they sew, etc.

    Thanks for your info.

  2. #2
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    hmm.. have seen these.. and .. worried about their safety.. maybe not what I am thinking of.. but.. hmmmm.. no. not for me.. good luck.
    Ell

  3. #3
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    I have a Jem Gold that I take to workshops, lightweight and sews very well.

  4. #4
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by May in Jersey
    I have a Jem Gold that I take to workshops, lightweight and sews very well.
    Ditto, this is my current RV machine.

  5. #5
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    Don't know anything about those but I got a small Brother machine from Walmart for $70 which works well and is light enough for me to carry in a bag slung over my shoulder. I wouldn't do much FMQ with it but is fine for piecing and home sewing and carrying to classes.

    Bj

  6. #6
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    I have an Elna 1400, small enough that it fits in my rolling wire cart and weighs very little. I call it my Little Trooper, goes everywhere with me and runs like a top. I keep a walking foot on it all the time so I can set it on the kitchen table for sewing binding.
    One small machine to take along is a good investment, that is why they are called "portable".

    Carol J.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakotamaid
    Quote Originally Posted by May in Jersey
    I have a Jem Gold that I take to workshops, lightweight and sews very well.
    Ditto, this is my current RV machine.

    Me too - also have the Jem Platinum - love them both

  8. #8
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    The small Brother mechanicals seem to do pretty well. I have used one for over 7 years with no problems and another one at my son's house gave me no problems.

  9. #9
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    The Sew Mini was a huge disappointment for me, very pound, AC adaptor got scary hot. But others have said theirs isn't like that... Kenmore Mini Ultra is better, like the Janome Hello Kitty. I got one for $50 from Sears.com, but I actually have used it. I'd go with a small Kenmore, Janome, or Brother.

  10. #10
    cjr
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    Super Member cjr's Avatar
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    I have a 3128. Love it. took to all my classes until I aquired my FW. Also used 3128 for substitute when regular machine got sick. For the money you can not go wrong.

  11. #11
    crt
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    I have a small Brother--I can't think of the model off the top of my head, but it has the embroidery module, and I love it. I got it because it's so small and lightweight just to take to class, but I use it all of the time at home, too. My bigger Brother is great, but weighs a ton. My little one has the auto thread cutter, which I love, and I know it saves me a LOT of thread.

  12. #12
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The portable Kenmore is the best option for the price. I bought DGD a Hello Kitty 3/4 size machine by Janome and it sews great and so darn cute. Two guild members use the Hello Kitty 3/4 size to bring to classes. The Hello Kitty 1/2 size is considered a toy machine.

  13. #13
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    I have been watching this message, as I would like something I can take to my daughter's to make something for granddaughter. And it is light!!

  14. #14
    Honey's Avatar
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    I also have a small Brother that is very light and easy to cart with me. I use it when I go to my quilt group.

  15. #15
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    I'm not sure I would go or one of those you describe.
    Try for a Bernina Nova 900. There is one on ebay for $51.00 It is a great machine and very portable and Bernina quality, and in demand now. They no longer make these. There is also a small Kenmore made in the mid 70s that is also a good machine and portable.
    Also, is there a dealer in your area who sells used machines.
    If so, give a call and tell them what you are looking for.

  16. #16
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I don't know those but we all really like the Janome gem gold or silver and there is a platinum too. We have the one that came with a cary case, small table, walking foot, free motion foot and 1/4 inch foot.

  17. #17
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gollytwo
    Quote Originally Posted by dakotamaid
    Quote Originally Posted by May in Jersey
    I have a Jem Gold that I take to workshops, lightweight and sews very well.
    Ditto, this is my current RV machine.

    Me too - also have the Jem Platinum - love them both
    Only problem I ever had with my Jen Gold was when I ran out of bobbin thread and had to put a full bobbin into the machine, I couldn't seem to get the thread in the right place. That is until a friend told me to loop my thread in a J (J for Jem) and I'd thread the machine correctly and be off sewing in a flash. It really worked for me.

  18. #18
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    I have the Janome Jem Platinum - love it and so does my daughter. As someone else suggested, contacting a LQS for used machines is a teriffic resource. Most of them will have been checked out and you will probably get a better machine for the money.

  19. #19
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    I have a Babylock 9, from LQS and it has been working well for 2 years now as a take-along machine. I just could not afford the Featherweights I've seen.
    Good luck with your search.

  20. #20
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Find out if it can be repaired. Some of the less expensive machines aren't fixable.

  21. #21
    Super Member Becky Crafts's Avatar
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    I have the Brother HS2000 (computerized) with 70+ stitches and I adore it! Have made many quilts on it since June 2010 & it's light enough for my 20 lb lifting limit. It's sewn over denim jean seams with no problem & I've done FMQ on several quilts on it. The harp area is small, but I've gotten some fairly decent sized lap robes through it! One covered the top of my oversized queen mattress!

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