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Old 11-24-2009, 07:29 PM   #1
luvmykid28
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Thinking about asking Santa for a sewing machine
I am not a sewer, however, since I started knitting I find myself borrowing a friend's machine often. I like to make bags and purses and need to line them for better functionallity. That has got me to thinkin...Maybe I should ask Santa for a sewing machine...This brings me to ya'll - What type of machine do you suggest? I don't need anything fancy, but want something that is good quality and will do more than sew a line. I probably won't ever really start sewing, but what if I want to do more than line my bags? There are several choices and I know nothing about sewing machines. Santa price range is probably not more than $250. (He also has a coupon from Joann for 40% off.)

Thanks for all you help!! Happy Thanksgiving!!
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:44 PM   #2
missmom31
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Sewing machines
Hi! I have a Husquvarna Viking Designer I sewing machine. It has alot of features that I dont use and never will. I was talked into it at the local sewing machine store. I don't sew clothes either, but I do like to make quilts. It is fabulous for that, but I didn't need to get such a glamorous machine. I do recommend the Husquvarna line, though. They are good machines and need very little repair. Maybe you could look for a used one...often people trade up and are looking to sell their older machines. I would check that out at a local sewing machine dealer. Enjoy your sewing...who knows, maybe you, too, will take up quilting!
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:08 AM   #3
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I don't think you can use your Joann coupon for sewing machines.
I don't recommend Husqvara machines.Janome or Brother make good basic machines...but you won't get a lot for $250 and I agree with the other poster about looking for a good used machine.
Patternreview.com has great reviews on sewing machines so you could start some research there
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:36 PM   #4
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Ooohhhh, MissMom -- what a shame you don't use your D1 features! I love mine, and even though there's another top of the line machine now in the HV lineup, when I needed a second machine, I got another D1. Totally spoiled by mine! I've had businesses from bridal gowns to craft to Irish stepdancing solo costumes, and the D1 is the best one I've used.

No, you can't use the coupon from Joann unless it says specifically that you can -- the sewing machine "departments" in Joann stores are leasers and not actually part of the store chain.

All of the machines (especially the top of the lines) are going to be fairly good machines. The question is which one works for you, because they all have different ways of interfacing with the user. You'll connect with some of them, and others will boggle you totally, so sit down at the machines and try them out to get an idea of what works for you.

For sewing things like bags and purses, you actually need a good strong motor, something that will power through multiple layers of heavy fabrics and stronger than a machine that's just meant for dressmaking repairs and occasional use (such as the White machines). $250 isn't going to get you much of a new machine, as mentioned upthread, although it can buy a good basic machine for repairs and light sewing. If you have a good used sewing machine store around, that'll help a great deal, as will having a good relationship with a good sewing machine repairman. Look for metal machine innards, not plastic. A physically heavy machine will sometimes indicate a good heavy-duty machine, but not always.

My advice is to go round to the sewing dealerships and sit down at the different kinds of machines (from bottom of the line basic to top of the line fancies) and try them all out so you know what you're looking at. Educate yourself first, THEN buy in your price range that will do what you want. If you don't like how you're treated at a dealership, leave and go to the next one, because when you buy a new machine, you want to know that you'll be able to get repairs, advice, classes, and resources from the dealership, not attitude.

Even with a used machine, you want to know that they'll be helping you out, so buy from people you want to deal with. A good dealership (and I used to work at one) knows that a happy customer is a repeat customer and treats you in such a way as to make you happy.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:42 PM   #5
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I have this one: Picked it up from BJs about 6 years ago for about $250.

I like it just fine, although for serious seamstresses I'm sure it is not up to par. I don't use it often but I've made halloween costuems and some bags with it, and a skirt (which I realize I'm not very good at). I haven't used it for knitting projects yet.

I had to get a repaired once, after I messed up the timing, and because I didn't buy it through a dealer the fee was pretty steep for me (I think it was about $75). So if you go through a dealer you will be paying more but get a better deal on servicing.

My mother also has an inexpensive singer, similar to mine but with fewer features. We bought it through Joann.com She sews much more frequently than I do and likes it.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. Just to clarify...I don't want to sew bags and purses. I just want to put a lining in them. Very simple, not layers of fabric. I don't have a lot of space for sewing nor the desire to get into sewing. Knitting is my gig and it takes up enough of my spare space.

Reeny - the machine you have is like the 1 I borrow from my friend.
Thanks again everyone.
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:13 PM   #7
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Ah -- then in that case, $250 should buy you a lower end model that you will want to learn to maintain and take in for a checkup once every year, which should do you. Basically, the rule of thumb is that the more a machine is used, the more it should cost. So if you're going to make a bag lining or repair a hem or some other relatively simple task, a $250 simple machine should be fine. I'd highly recommend the lower lines of a dealership machine, you'll probably get more for your money that way. (But if you can find an old Bernina, pre-80s or so, snap it up immediately.)
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:46 AM   #8
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I sew a LOOOOT.A LOT. I will tell you right now that any sewing machine that does fancy little stitches is completely worthless unless you're embroidering...and even so it must feel like cheating.

I make a lot of clothes and all I ever need is a zigzag and a straight line.Reverse isn't even necessary because you could just turn the work around.You don't even need a buttonhole option on your machine.You can do that yourself pretty easily. If you needed something more elaborate, you would need a serger or one of those machines that basically prints out a picture.

I have only used five sewing machines in my entire life.I learned on a crappy industrial looking Singer from the 80s in my 8th grade Home Ec class.I then used a similar model at home that belonged to my mother until I was 18.It was barely surviving. On my birthday, my boyfriend bought me my first sewing machine to call my own, a hundred dollar Singer Esteem.Someone broke it(probably my half brother who was angry with me) and so I bought another one.I now have a Brother lx-3125. I could have bought a giant expensive machine, but it wouldn't really matter.Eventually, I may get a Serger.If I died before then, I wouldn't be missing out on too much.

The only thing a sewing machine really needs to be able to do is sew in a straight line,evenly.Every machine [that is not broken] can do this
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:12 AM   #9
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Found an old machine...
So I was talking to my mom yesterday and said I wanted a sewing machine for Christmas and she said she still had hers. She said to me, "It's old, but it's a good sewing machine." From when I was a kid. I think it's from the late 60's or early 70's. Anyway , I brought it home and will have a look at it this weekend. Dang, that sucker is HEAVY...I am so excited, I will probably have to have it serviced, but that's fine with me. I'll let ya'll know how it is. Thanks for all the suggestions. I will keep them in mind if this one doesn't work.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:11 AM   #10
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Stellar. Sometimes those old machines are the best old workhorses ever. Def get it serviced, not the least to make sure all the parts are still lubricated. You really really don't want to know what happens to the machine if it isn't properly oiled all the way through!

MeowX3 -- yes, you can survive on a machine that only does a straight line and won't go backwards, but, um, why would you bother unless you like to suffer?
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