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LindaR LindaR is offline
 
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Sewing Machine Recommendations Please!
Old 05-08-2017, 08:46 PM
  #1

My old Singer has completed its course...ready for a new one. There are way too many new machines out there---I haven't a clue where to start! I did hear that Singer isn't what it used to be...

I want just a basic simple machine. I'm not fond of the electronic ones because I want to feel that I have control, so mechanical is preferred. I don't need the bazillion stitches offered, just the basic 12 stitches or fewer.

Under $400 would be nice.

Ideas, please! I'm halfway through a T-shirt quilt project...


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Old 05-09-2017, 04:52 AM
  #2

My 50 yr. old Singer sewing machine was passed down to me. I would have been happy to continue sewing with another simple and easy to use machine too.

Then Hubs bought me a new Brother XR3240 computerized sewing machine for Christmas and I love it. It has all of those bazillion stiches which I am using my brain power to learn about. Wow - one of my fav features is that it has an automatic needle threader which is great for my aging eyesite! Brother also has a great question line with wonderful support people. Oh and if you are a quilter then you will love the quilting stitches on it.

My sewing machine came from Costco and it was under $200. I just looked on their website and there are many to choose from that are under $400. Almost all machines now are computerized with a bazillion stiches so consider one. Technology is changing sewing machines and we need to change too.
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I have
Old 05-09-2017, 07:59 AM
  #3

two Babylock machines. One is the Molly which is your non-computerized basic machine with a few more stitches, some extra feet, and a needle threader which is not automatic but can be quite helpful at times especially when my eyes get tired or the light shifts. It was less than $400 when I bought it, I think. It is a good machine especially for a beginner. I got a quarter inch foot and walking foot so I could do better quilting on it. I have also done some free motion quilting on it with another foot that I bought later. I still use it several times a week for finishing up projects or quick jobs while my other machine is sewing. My favorite machine is my Babylock Destiny for which I purchased the upgrade last Christmas. It does so many things! It can sew, quilt, embroider, and scan designs to be modified or just stitched out. It now has 5 embroidery & quilting hoops with the upgrade. It came with tons of feet and it is the first computerized machine I have ever owned. It is very large and it weighs at least 80 pounds, so it requires some space and I would not want to have to carry it around though I think some people do. Babylock & Brother machines are made by the same company. If it were me, I would visit a local dealer to compare the features on different models. They often run sales as well.
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Old 05-09-2017, 09:48 AM
  #4

Buying a new sewing machine can be both an exciting adventure and a daunting task.
There are so many different makes and models on the market.

I agree with a PP, if it is possible visit a few local dealerships and see what they have to offer. Watch a few YouTubes and sewing shows to see the machines the 'experts' are using. Don't laugh at me too much, but I also watch The Shopping Channel when the sewing machine reps are on peddling their machines. I consider this 'professional development' because I always learn something new whether it is a sewing technique or a new presser foot or tool.
I like Janome, Bernina and Husqvarna sewing machines.

I also agree that you may be quite surprised at how many of the newer machine features can enhance your sewing experience and help produce even better results.

I have more than one sewing machine.
I have my older Janome Memory Craft (about 30 years old) that works well but it is quite heavy.
Last year I purchased another Janome machine that is not as heavy. This is the machine I take with me each week to my Stitchers'/Quilters' Group. Even though it only weighs about 15 pounds it is quite sturdy, has many great features.

My next stay-at-home-machine (and there will be another ) will include a stitch regulator (I am teaching myself to free motion quilt), built in dual feed, a wide throat area to accommodate bulky quilts. Guess I should start making a list of features I want in the next machine.

Happy shopping.
Let's us know what machine you buy.
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Pfaff
Old 05-09-2017, 12:32 PM
  #5

Just bought a machine-Pfaff- through a local shop. I spent $600 which was more than I wanted to spend....:-0
One question they asked me was what I wanted to sew. I want to learn to quilt-- so they pointed out you need to look at the length of the arm or space between the needle and the right end of the machine.

This machine has decorative stitches and is computerized- neither of what I had been looking for, but gosh I am liking his machine- makes me so happy compared to my old Singer.

I also wanted a machine I could take to get cleaned or fixed locally.

Try out various machines to see what you want. I know it's hard with salespeople pushing you to buy, but take your time and find what you're looking for. Good luck!


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One more question...
Old 05-09-2017, 09:27 PM
  #6

THANK YOU everyone for your suggestions AND encouragement to not shy away from the computerized machines. I guess my age is showing when I don't want to let go of "the old way."

***I do have a question about the computerized models...I tried a Janome from Costco (it's still sitting here waiting to go back, but maybe not now that I have been enlightened!). When I turn it on to sew, the light goes on and the settings are lit up. Since I'm working on a quilt, I spend a lot of time cutting, measuring, ironing, etc. so I turn it off to preserve the light bulb. When I turn the machine back on to sew, the stitch settings are back to default and I have to change them. ANNOYING, and I forgot to change it at one point.

Is this how these machines are? I may have to take the time to visit some places to get more of a hands-on experience. I'd rather select something from Costco online, though, if I can know for sure which machine will best suit my needs.

***Do you use a walking foot for your quilting projects?

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:25 AM
  #7

I am not an expert sewer/quilter by any means, just a beginner (well, more like advanced beginner at this point ). I have the Singer Patchwork Quilting Machine. Nothing high end, but it works great for my needs and I love it! It is computerized (that's the only kind of machine I have had). It was around $450, but I got it for $200 during an online sale. The only thing I wish it had was a bigger throat plate area for bulky quilts. I love the needle down position button, the automatic needle threader, and the top loading bobbin. You can sew without the foot petal which comes in handy at times too. It does have a bazilion different stitches and I do use quite a few of them.

Quote:
When I turn the machine back on to sew, the stitch settings are back to default and I have to change them.
As far as I know, there is no way to save your settings when you turn it off. Not sure if all computerized machines are this way or not. Yes this is a pain. While making my last quilt I turned it off and on a million times, and like you, forgot to change the stitch settings more than once .

Quote:
***Do you use a walking foot for your quilting projects?
Yes!! It makes all the difference. I recently made some baby blankets using Minky and I used my walking foot for that too.

I hope you find the perfect machine for you!
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:02 AM
  #8

I have Janome machines.
When I turn it on and off the settings revert back to the default setting.
You will get used to it.
The settings are more precise than the turn-the-knob or adjust-the-lever settings on our older machines.

I really like how I can adjust the needle position to the right or left to make sure I get am accurate 1/4 inch seam.

One little tip ---- I have a piece of masking tape on my machine to remind me of the needle position and stitch length for the best 1/4 inch seam.

I have another piece of masking tape to remind me of the settings I like when i use my walking foot.

I think a 1/4 inch foot and a walking foot are both essential for quilting. Use the 1/4 inch for piecing.
Last week I discovered a Ditch Stitch foot. I am buying one this week. It will greatly improve my stitch-in-the-ditch skill level.

I have posted a picture of my newest Janome.
Is it similar to the model you have purchased?
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Janome
Old 05-10-2017, 10:49 AM
  #9

Peaches, Here is the machine from Costco that I've used a few times. If I do keep it, I hope I can get a walking foot, because the fabric slides too easily. After having a solid heavy metal machine for so many years, it's definitely a different feel.

I'm not able to upload picture from my phone, but here's the Costco site:


https://m.costco.com/Janome-49018-El...100107727.html
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:04 PM
  #10

https://www.juliessewingcenter.com/p...ion-essential/

This is not where I purchased my machine, but this is a link so you can see what my machine looks like.


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Old 05-10-2017, 08:21 PM
  #11

Our Janome machines are not quite the same. Some similar features for sure but not the same model.
I must add that my machine still feels sturdy when I use it.
It also came with a small quilting table that can be added when I take away the tool kit at the front.

ar19's Pfaff reminds me of my other Janome. They both have tops that open for presser foot storage and stitch directions.
Pfaff is also a very good brand.
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