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Old 06-29-2007, 12:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dovey View Post
Thanks guys! I want the machine to alter clothes, make various projects, and maybe make curtains one day! I went to a Joann's but I didn't get very good information from the sales lady. She was under commision for Viking and basically trashed all the other brands.
Yeah, those Viking sales people are really snobby. When I mentioned I had a Singer, she practically laughed at me! At least at my quilt shop (who only deal in Bernina machines) is willing to help me out with my Janome too.

And yes, it's true that Kenmore and Janome are made by the same company!

Dovey, you can check out local quilt shops, or sewing centers in town. If you can try out several machines before buying, do so. Pick something that YOU like. Don't let the salesperson convince you to buy something you don't need or want. Best of luck!!
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:33 PM   #12
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i bought a basic ($100 ?) brothers model. it has a few stitch options, and came with two feet options. very easy to learn from the book that came with it. i have used it to do very simple sewing too (seaming, heming, ect) the only thing i haven't figured out is how to do button holes
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Old 06-29-2007, 02:27 PM   #13
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Another suggestion is to go talk to a local repairman. They will usually have good reconditioned used machines available.

I absolutely would not buy a machine used unless it had been inspected by a repairman and that can usually run you at least $75.

There is nothing worse than learning to sew on a machine that doesn't work well. You end up fighting the machine and hating sewing.

A good shop will also put a machine on layawy for you if you decide to go with something a little more expensive. My recommendation is look in the $300-400 range new or used. You'll be happier with a more reliable machine.

Also the inexpensive machines are generally lightweight and you'd have trouble hemming jeans or other kinds of heavier work you'd like to do.

For the record, I'm a diehard Viking fan, my main machine is 35 years old and I sew all kinds of things from lingerie to outdoor wear to upholstery and drapery work.

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Old 07-01-2007, 07:47 AM   #14
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Hi dovey, Have you decided on a basic sewing machine yet? I was interested in reading that Kenmore & Janome are now the same company. I think you sould probably be happy with a Brother (not that I have any experience at all..but based on what I read they make a good basic machine. As LibraryLady said, I too am a Viking fan..I sewed for years on a White (which is now part of Husqvarna Viking) & still love that machine & use it when I'm embroidering & need to straight stitch at the same time.
In a previous thread it was mentioned that the Viking salespeople are snobby..I never had that experience when I was in the process of purchasing my Viking. As a matter of fact the sales help are wonderful, knowledgeable gals/guy (owner) who do not pressure you while they are demonstating.
I hope you find a great machine that serves your purposes & may you have many, many years of sewing. Again, let us know what machine you decide on...It can be very confusing, but if you do it by the process of elimination, with your reasons for purchasing & the cost of the machine, you'll be happy with your final decision.
Have a wonderful Sunday!
Veronica
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by knit4u View Post
In a previous thread it was mentioned that the Viking salespeople are snobby..I never had that experience when I was in the process of purchasing my Viking. As a matter of fact the sales help are wonderful, knowledgeable gals/guy (owner) who do not pressure you while they are demonstating.
Oh, they are skilled sweet talkers when you're interested in a Viking, but mention any other brand and they will slam it to pieces. They don't like competition. I don't mean to imply that Vikings are bad machines, on the contrary, they're one of the best. But those Viking salespeople are not willing to discuss any other brands whatsoever. Seriously, she almost laughed at me when I mentioned my Singer, like she started to and then caught herself, then she proceeded to tell me how crappy my machine was. And I was in the process of shopping around for a new machine! THAT turned me off to Viking at that very moment. I woulda liked a Viking, but I couldn't bring myself to purchase from someone like that. :-? Congrats on your Viking though! They are GREAT machines!
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:40 AM   #16
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You get what you pay for
If you want a machine that will last you and give you good service, get a reconditioned Bernina. The dealers have great buys and the warranty will be a plus. Also there's so many good things about using Bernina products.

I have been sewing since I was 5 .. (40 years of professional work) and have used Singers, etc. In our 4-H club we used various machines. I had 2 Singers before the Berninas and you would be amazed at the difference.

I have been a professional tailor (brides, handmade beading, dance costumes, twirler competition uniforms and cheerleader/dance team uniforms. So I do have a lot of experience and lots of mileage on the machines.

Brother has a *poor* repair history. .... Singer does not have the quality control they once had.

Google a Bernina dealer in your area and go talk to them. I got a great warranteed, reconditioned machine for my beloved daughter-in-law and got it for $495. Along with additional treats for her enjoyment.

LEt us know how it works out.

c
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Old 07-01-2007, 02:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by knit4u View Post
I was interested in reading that Kenmore & Janome are now the same company.
Oh--they're not the same company. Sears just has other manufacturers make their Kenmore products. Kenmore's sewing machines are *made* by Janome.
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Old 07-02-2007, 06:54 AM   #18
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hunterjenn,
Sorry about that..I meant to say that Sears machines are made by Janome..
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:05 AM   #19
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Hi knitgnat,

When I was considering a new sewing machine after 30+ yrs using a White, I was seriously looking at a Bernina. For a very long time it was my dream machine...As my DH & I learned more about the machines at the time, which was 2001, we decided that a Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 was it!
It is a great idea to purchase a reconditioned machine, or sometimes store owners will put the Demo's on sale for a great price too!
I honestly think it is an individual thing & of course the price of the machine is one of the major considerations.

You sound like a very talented seamstress & a generous MIL!

Have a wonderful day!
Veronica
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Old 07-02-2007, 02:50 PM   #20
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One thing to think about. Is that when your machine might need to go in to be "tuned up" or so it will cost about $75. I bought a cheap singer from Walmart (orignially around $100 although I think I got it on sale for less.) when I first thought wanted to learn to sew. Now just a couple years later the tension is starting to go. I inquired at my local quilt shop about them taking a look at it. I am not willing to pay $75 on a machine that is probably not worth that at this point. After asking about beginner machines from various shops it seems the consensus is to look for a machine in the $300-400 range.
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