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mscarmen
05-28-2007, 05:36 PM
Hey all! :hug:
Is anyone here in the know of sewing machines? I really want to buy one as I am taking a dress making course soon. I have loads of designs and things i want to try out, including knitting and sewing onto fabric ( any opinions on that? ). I thought I'd get one that isn't cheap and would break down in a week but a mediocre one, not too expensive ( 150-200) but for that money will guarantee me a loyal sewing machine that will do the job perfectly and I might one day pass it onto my daughter. So am i asking too much..? I've looked online and (what you would think is a dying industry) there are just waaaaay too many choices.
So a little help, pointers, share some experiences and no doubt you guys will shed some light like always!
carmen :muah::muah:

Quiltlady
05-28-2007, 06:24 PM
I have a computerized BROTHER sewing machine and I love it. I live in the States. You could check out your local sewing stores and see what they have to offer.

There are a lot of wonderful brand names out there. I also bought a BROTHER embroidery machine from the website...
www.allbrands.com (http://www.allbrands.com)

I've been VERY happy with their service. Good luck

kayeknit
05-28-2007, 06:30 PM
Hello. I've been sewing for years on an older (1980s) model (Simplicity) machine which belonged to my grandmother. It works okay usually, but I do have some troubles with the buttonholer...and with tension, of course (who doesn't need help there?). There are lots of excellent sewing machines out there in your price range, and I suggest you round your choices down to a few, and then check for reviews online (try epinions.com, or just type in the name of the machine you're considering and the word "reviews"). Some local shops may even let you try out some of their machines before you buy, and they can probably advise you about the best machines for what you want to do. Good luck!!

marykz
05-28-2007, 08:20 PM
I recently got a kenmore (Sears brand). they also make Janome (int'l brand). I love my machine!! It was on sale for US $199, usually US $245? I recently took a class, and what the instructor said was most important features were a 1 step button holer, and the 9 basic stitch functions. from those, you can do most anything! I think mine came with 5 different feet for zippers, blind hems, button holes, etc. HTH, MKZ

cathoo
05-29-2007, 06:31 AM
My mom and sister swear by their old Elna machines (not the new ones). When my sister was getting hers, the lady at the sewing store said to test the machine before you buy it, to make sure that it works the way you expect, and doesn't break right there in the store.

Don't forget to check 2nd hand stores! My sister's came from a person who bought all the accessories for the machine, used it a few times, then put it away in the closet for years. It's like new, but several years old.

mscarmen
05-29-2007, 09:19 AM
Thanks a lot all!!
Its still very confusing, there are really so many types out there. I'm trying to buy one off my friend who bought it thinking he will make his own clothes, but he's never even turned it on! yet he is reluctant to sell it to me! I do like the idea of a computerised one, but knowing me it would probably be too confusing.
Does anyone know any good UK sites to go to apart from the obvious ones that come up on google?? I checked those out and actually the prices aren't discounted by much. but then again maybe comparing to the argos catalogue isn't too smart :think:
And also what is an overlocker?! It says on the website it neatens edges and stops fraying but i thought you could do that on any sewing machine?!
Carmen

DeAnzaJig
05-29-2007, 09:38 AM
Maybe you could wait until after the first day of your class and get some input from the instructor and other students on what brands/types of machines would fit your needs and are available in your area? Or maybe email the instructor in advance if you don't want to wait that long?

I took my first sewing class last fall, and my instructor had lots of suggestions. I just use my grandmother's old Singer sewing machine, but hope to get a Serger (overlocker) sometime soon. My SIL has one and it's really slick. You don't have to trim your edges, it does it for you! :lol:

I know it's off topic, but I hope you'll post some pictures of your finished objects here. I would love to see them!

cftwo
05-29-2007, 11:08 AM
I have a Brother sewing machine I found at a garage sale. It works great and does everything I need it to do. That might be your cheapest way to go, if you just want a basic machine. If you want the computerized stuff, it will cost more.

Singer has been a good reliable brand for decades, and still is. Even knowing that, I drool over the Pfaff machines (German made). They even sound great and the quality is excellent. They distribute in the UK http://www.pfaff.com/uk/ . The Hobby line are their basic machines. Hopefully you can find a store where you can try out a few and see what you like.

On overlocker/serger is a special function that binds off the ends of knit fabrics in particular. (Take any good quality store-bought tee-shirt and check the seams. It will look like there's a straight seam about a quarter of an inch in, zig zag stitch between that seam and the edge, and some threads along the edge, too. It takes a special machine to do all that in one go. My machine does basic zig zag, and straight stitch, but doesn't serge. In my opinion, you should get a basic machine first, and if you find you're doing a LOT of sewing, get a serger.)

Nobones
05-29-2007, 11:09 AM
I have a brother super ace 3 that I do my sewing on. I love it. I wouldn't get your machine from Argos. Find a shop, that way if you have any problems they can give you advice. The shop where I got mine gave you a 2 hour lesson. A lot of places do that. Have you tried looking in the magazine 'Sewing World'? It's a great magazine with tips for beginners, they have adverts for sewing machines in there.

Good luck keep me posted on how your getting on, I love sewing as much as I love knitting.

Petals
05-29-2007, 11:34 AM
I recently purchased a Pfaff 2048 machine. Read on their web site about the IDT. I highly recommend getting a machine with this feature! I have other machines that work beautifully but this feature makes a difference when it comes to quilting, sewing through several thicknesses, etc. If you are looking at years of sewing ahead it would be worth the investment. In my opinion, I don't think most people use all the fancy stitches so the extra $$'s spent on that may not be worth it.

I guess bottom line is think what you might be using your machine for in the future and get the best affordable and reliable repairs at the time.

Sarahc409
05-29-2007, 12:40 PM
i have a singer hubby got me as a chistmas present. it's not expensive nor the cheapo kind but it's simple and not computerized. I LOVE my machine. it does just exactly what i need it to do without all the frills of a computerized one and it's simple to understand.

Holly
05-29-2007, 02:26 PM
Another vote for Kenmore! For years I have been using a Singer middle of the road machine (under $200). In recent years, however, I was having a lot of trouble with tension, threading, etc... I just bought a Kenmore 16231. It was on sale for approx $200, and it is so easy to use, and has many nice features. I mostly quilt, and don't think I need all the embroidery type features that you get with an electronic machine. However, this machine has 90 stitch functions, 1 step buttonhole, etc... I just used the blanket stitch for some applique work, and it worked great. Simple operation -- didn't have to look up much in the book, just plug and go :-) Good luck!

Holly

P.S. I met a lady while shopping who bought the same machine as me, but she ordered it online from Cosco

Silver
05-29-2007, 04:20 PM
I have a Janome Memory Craft 9000, which I upgraded to from a basic little Singer machine. I can't say enough for all the bells and whistles this thing has. It is a joy every time I sit down to sew something.

There are lots and lots of really good brands of sewing machines including Bernina, Janome, Pfaff, Husqvarna, Baby Lock... the list goes on and on. SO I suggest finding a local dealer of whatever good brand is around and buy from them. You'll get lots of personal support from a local dealer.

For the model itself, go ahead and get the most you can afford. If you like to sew, and you're anything like me, you WILL find a use for all the things it will do. :)

mscarmen
05-29-2007, 07:12 PM
Well an overlocker sure sounds great! I have to say it might actually be necessary as what i want to do involves knitting with fabric underneath. So if you can imagine making ( almost like netting) stockinette stich on say 10mm or even bigger needles then having fabric lining it. I thought the seams would be tricky as if i needed to cut the knitting i'd have to sew it down so it wont come undone. either that or have really precise knitting so no cutting would be necessary, but in my experience thats very tricky with large size needles!
I looked at the pfaff website and had a read, they really do sound tasty and i fancy one of the expressions type they have. the IDT feature sounds fantastic. I;d love to go to a shop and have a tutorial that sound ideal! I live in north london, though I have MS and am disabled i'm not able to travel a lot ( hence the knitting and sewing! ) So i might just wait till my course and try out whatever they have there. and also get the opinion of my tutor. Still means I'd have to buy online though :rollseyes:
carmen :muah::muah: