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Lisa Kay
01-03-2007, 02:31 AM
DH got me a sewing machine for Christmas! :cheering:

He put quite a bit of thought into the whole process...there was a separate present for me from each of our four children, and I had to open the presents in a particular order. They were my "clues"...first a tape measure, then some thread, then a starter sewing kit, and then a sewing machine maintenance kit. Hmmm, what could be next? But the box was way too light and too small for a sewing machine. Inside was actually a poem that sent me off in search of my gift. Found it hidden in the garage, all wrapped up and hiding over by his workbench. Brought it back in the house to open and :happydance: yep, a new sewing machine!

So now I'm doing some sewing machine research because DH said not to open the sewing machine he got for me yet (a Singer Protege 2639). He wants me to look around and be sure to find the one that I want (within reason :wink: ). I haven't done any sewing in 20+ years, back when I was in high school, using my mom's sewing machine. This will be my first and I'm very much a beginner all over again, but I don't want to be completely frustrated a few years down the road if I've surpassed the capabilities of my machine. Right now I'm thinking I'll use it to do some children's clothing and to learn how to do some quilting. Not like my list of future knitting projects isn't long enough already...now I'll have a list of sewing projects as well! :roflhard:

So I'm looking for any recommendations and opinions on sewing machines.

What features can't you live without?
What do you love about your machine?
What do you hate about your machine?
What do you wish you had known before you got your sewing machine?

Thanks for any suggestions! I'm so excited! And I'm very impressed with my DH...this was never a direct "Here's what I'd really like for Christmas." He just picked up on random comments over the past few months. In the busy-ness of everything, I had actually forgotten about a sewing machine and suggested all he needed to do was go to the LYS and get me a gift certificate. I was very surprised. :D

MoniDew
01-03-2007, 05:55 AM
can't live without zipper foot, buttonholer, and blind hemmer attachments.
________
Yamaha Tdm850 History (http://www.yamaha-tech.com/wiki/Yamaha_TDM850)

susies1955
01-03-2007, 06:09 AM
I don't know anything about sewing clothing BUT as a quilter I love the needle up/down feature, the knee lift that lifts the pressure foot just by moving your knee on a lever so you can quickly turn fabric pieces, a good light, quarter inch foot, walking foot, and thread cutter.
Susie

blueeyes28
01-03-2007, 07:40 AM
I am looking for a sewing machine too but just for very basic use ie hemming,lining bags and seams I want something inexpensive but durable any thoughts??

misstialouise
01-03-2007, 08:08 AM
ONE TOUCH BUTTONHOLE!!!

You also want a decent stretch stitch and a faux overlocker stitch. This is, of course in addition to straight and zig zag.


Well, I just had a look at the website, and it's a GREAT little machine :D Has all of the above :D

I like Singer machineys.. :D

ETA: I'm a dressmaker.. just so's you know I kinda know what it's all about :D

TeeJay
01-03-2007, 09:31 AM
Hey--I am a new knitter, but I love to sew. Is it possible to go to the Singer store and try out the model he bought you? Are you sure they have a good return policy? I recommend bringing all the types of fabric you may want to sew on, sheers, quilting cotton, knits, denim, folded up denim (remember this may need a heavier needle), whatever, and just sew on them, turn them, gather them, etc. Try out the satin stitch, etc. Remember that you may need to make some adjustments to tension when you do some of the decorative stitches. See if you and the machine "bond". Bring "squishy" knits like fleece and sweatshirt material and see how the machine handles that. You can even bring small versions of what you might be sewing like just a mini- armhole and sleeve head and see how you like turing corner while putting it together, put in a zipper, hem a section of fabric. Don't just run a square of fabric through a straight stitch, try to simulate what you will be sewing. Spend some time, a good store will understand and encourage you. Some stores only have fabric to try that is practically goof proof--you want to try the whole range of fabrics. Good luck! You have a wonderful and thoughtful husband--Lucky you!!

bjc1050
01-03-2007, 11:11 AM
What a coincidence, lol. I recently got interested in a newer sewing machine, too. I love the Singer Style Mate that I already have, but really would like a free arm machine and when I saw that the newer models have a see-through plate for the bobbin, I became obsessed with seeking a newer machine. Haven't made up my mind yet, but the Singer Protege 2639 had a positive review at the Target.com website. Still not sure if I really want an electronic machine or just a good used mechanical one with a free arm. Good luck on your search. Another site that might be helpful http://www.sewforum.com/
especially their comments about machines in the General Sewing category.

mrs desert rain
01-03-2007, 11:15 AM
what i love: definitely the buttonhole feature.
what i don't love: a few of the key pieces are plastic.

i'm totally in :heart: with owning a bernina -- expensive, but the ultimate quality!

have fun!

Lisa Kay
01-03-2007, 03:06 PM
Thank you everyone for the suggestions!

i'm totally in :heart: with owning a bernina -- expensive, but the ultimate quality!

That's what my mom has, so that's what I learned on all those years ago. Now that my last sewing experience was over half of my lifetime ago, it will be interesting to try out a variety of machines and do some comparing. Also "interesting" since the 15-year-old me could sew pretty well, but the pushing-40-in-a-few-years me may as well have never touched a sewing machine. :teehee:

Anyone else have a particular sewing machine that you either love or hate?

Quiltlady
01-03-2007, 03:22 PM
Two years ago I bought my second sewing machine. My first one last me for 20+ years and was a Singer. My new one is a computerizied BROTHER and I just LOVE it. I got it at Walmart.

My favorite feature is the needle up and down position, and the way the machine threads the WHOLE machine not just the needle. I like having the decorative stitches right on the front of the machine so I can easily see them and punch in the number of the stitch that I want.

Mine was under $400.00 and I love it. I'm a quilter and I am very happy with this one. :cheering:

janelanespaintbrush
01-03-2007, 03:26 PM
I just have a low-end Brother that I think I've used twice. :teehee: If I ever wanted to get serious about sewing, I'd probably read some reviews from sites like these:

consumersearch (http://www.consumersearch.com/www/house_and_home/sewing-machines/review.html)

epinions (http://www10.epinions.com/Sewing_Machines/_redir_att__~1)

Consumer Reports (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm) is one I always like to check, but requires a subscription.

Here's a sewing-specific site that seems to have lots of machine reviews:

patternreview.com (http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingMachine/Reviews)

Googling "sewing machine reviews" will bring up more.

Lisa Kay
01-03-2007, 03:42 PM
Thanks for the replies, Quiltlady and Jane! :waving:

I only had time for a quick "sewing machine reviews" Google search right after Christmas. I'll have to do more looking now that January is here. I'm grateful to be able to get opinions here, too, from knitters. :D

suzq85
01-03-2007, 04:01 PM
Just my humble opinion, but I love Janomes. I have one and really like it. I've sewen for 37 yrs., so I have a little bit of experience. Berninas are nice too. I'm sure you will find the one that's just right for you. I also have a Sears one, which has done well by me too. I use two, one regular and one serger. I think you'll love whatever you decide. What a nice hubby!

Deeknit
01-03-2007, 06:49 PM
Okay, here's my two cents worth..


Find a local sewing shop (Bernina, Janome,Singer, Pfaff, Viking, whatever) Find a good supportive shop that offers classes, service etc. That will be one of the best things to help you love your machine no matter what brand.

They will often have good quality used machines that folks have traded in for newer models. This way you can get a really cool, good quality machine for a decent price.

I personally love my Bernina 1630 and grown up on them...but part of that reason was we had a really good sewing store who really helped you learn and use your investment.

JoeE
01-03-2007, 08:04 PM
I'm a huge Viking fan. I like the bobbin in front. I like the thread hiding under the cover. Mine is the bottom of the line Viking, and so far it does everything I need.

One thing I can't live without is a blind hem stitch. No way I'm gonna hem by hand. I mean, for Pete's sake, if you're going to do that, why not sit in front of a cave and cook over a fire. Odd, I never warmed up to hand sewing. I like other "crafty" things.

Joe

mrs desert rain
01-03-2007, 11:58 PM
One thing I can't live without is a blind hem stitch. No way I'm gonna hem by hand. I mean, for Pete's sake, if you're going to do that, why not sit in front of a cave and cook over a fire. Odd, I never warmed up to hand sewing. I like other "crafty" things.

Joe

:roflhard:

Sara
01-04-2007, 01:02 AM
I have a 60 year old Singer model 603 (I inherited from DH's grandma), and I will never give it up. DD has a recently purchased White brand sewing machine that I'm not going to let her take to college. :teehee: I like her White because it has the nice hem features, clear foot plate, and the presser foot is adjustable to the thickness of the fabric you are sewing, which is really great if you're going to be quilting.

My mom has a Husqvarna that my sis and I were going to fight over when she's gone, but we decided that she gets the sewing machine if I get mom's record collection. :teehee:

TeamBettendorf
01-04-2007, 01:18 AM
I have a $1000 Janome, a $80 Janome and a $500 Huskyvarna. My advice? You get what you pay for. I prefer my machines in order of expense. If your dh has given you a certain amount of money to spend I suggest buying a used machine. I second the other poster's idea that you should go to a sewing machine shop and try some out. They usually have lots of used machines because you can trade them in like cars. :)

Things I can't live without:
One push button holer.
Wide range of widths on the zig zag for applique.
Drop in bobbin.
Oh oh!! My machine checks the bobbin for me and beeps at me when it is almost out. That is GREAT!!
My machine will also leave the needle in an up or down position when you lift off the peddle.

Lisa Kay
01-04-2007, 08:35 PM
One thing I can't live without is a blind hem stitch. No way I'm gonna hem by hand. I mean, for Pete's sake, if you're going to do that, why not sit in front of a cave and cook over a fire.
:rofl: Exactly!

Oh oh!! My machine checks the bobbin for me and beeps at me when it is almost out. That is GREAT!!
Oooooh! I like that idea!

Thank you all for being so helpful and giving me your 2 cents worth. I have a wonderful list of ideas started. :cheering: