Can I have a little advice please?

Jammy22January 21, 2013

Hi. I'm new to this whole sewing area and I don't really want to seem like some unknowing noob that is just here to bother people but I could really use some advice on what kind of of sewing machine I should buy. This would be my first time buying one but not my first time using one. I like making outfits and work with my schools drama department so I would like something that could handle heavier fabrics and maybe even denim and could also have a few different stitch patterns. Also I kinda need one that isn't all that expensive. Sorry if I seem bothersome but there are just so many different machines and I don't know were to start.

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No need to wory about being bothersome.These forums are for sharing information and offering help.
I think most people are reluctant to name a brand because we all get attached to whatever we have. Just don't buy a cheap machine and also don't get talked into something that has features you won't ever use. I think all the good brands have basic hard working machines. The rule of thumb seems to be "try before you buy" as you would do when buying a car. Visit the various dealers tell them what you want and a price range you can afford. Try sewing on the various machines. Collect the information and take it home and think about it. A good quality machine will last a lifetime.
Also check out the internet sites of the various machines so you can be somewhat informed when you go shopping .

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 10:05PM
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I think the best value for the money is a used better-quality machine than a new one form a big-box retailer. $300 spent at a dealer on a used model will give better results long-term than a new one from walmart, etc. As chickadee said, try before you buy, whatever it is.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree about buying a used machine. I still have my mother's singer 401 from way way back and that thing is a work horse and incredibly still does many many stitches that rival today's machine. It wont do the fanciest stuff like adjust pressure foot pressure or give you an option for stopping with needle up or down like modern machines do, but it will handle most anything you can throw at it....back then, they made the machines out of metal too, so they really are workhorses....

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 6:31PM
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I think it depends on how much you will be using it. I am an "occasional" sewer, so I bought a White which has served me well. I bought it at JoAnn's many years ago, and they gave me $25 for my big old clunker too. Some things I looked for were: ease of threading and ease of bobbin insertion/removal, plus a few different stitches and button hole capability.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 10:55AM
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Thanks everyone. I was thinking about buying a used one and i don't really care about being a really old model. Up until recently I have been using my great-grandmothers old sewing machine but it finally died and I don't know what brand it was because the paint either wore off or chipped off. As I was looking around I saw a old singer model from 1908 is that to old? The one I was using before was about that old but I don't know. Also does 'singer' still make adequate machines? My neighbors moving away and she can't take everything with her so she is having a garage sale and she has this one singer(I forget what model but is a recent one) that she only used a few times and is willing to sell it to me for $40. So what I am asking is would that be a good buy since i know I shouldn't buy a bad one but I'm getting restless just looking at all my half finished projects.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 5:12PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

For $40 for a fairly new and unused machine sounds like a real deal...I'd go for it...the most you have to lose is $40 bucks.

Yes 1908 sounds way too old....would not have the flexibility that you need to do most modern type sewing. My mother's old machine was from the 1960s, so modern by comparison.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 10:44AM
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Do not buy a Singer unless it is an industrial one (sets into a table and has a motor bolted to the underside of the table) The household ones tend to be awful and the service from dealers non-existent.

Do not buy a "commercial" or "industrial" machine on ebay. Most of them are just regular machines that the seller is lying about. If you go to there is a sewing machine review page that can help you make a decision.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 5:43PM
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Get that $40 Singer from your neighbor! That's a steal. And it'll be fine. If nothing else, it'll get you doing again. And you can decide what it's missing (for you, and your actual sewing patterns), and then you'll feel happy about buying a second machine, because you didn't pay much for this at all.


(I've never seen an industrial Singer--I'm not a fan of that particular piece of advice.)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 11:07PM
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My Singer 221 is really old (1950's?). It's super small, lightweight, and it works like a dream. For the past 34 years, I've used it for clothing, drapery, and currently for upholstery. If you need different stitch patterns, then it couldn't do that.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 12:19AM
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For theatrical use you would need one that can do a zig-zag at least. Take along some fabrics you know you want to sew and try out the machines.

Good older machines if they have been well maintained: Pfaff with the pushbutton stitch selectors, Vikings with the dial selectors, Singer Fashion Mate (237 series)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 12:52PM
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I bought a new machine just over a year ago. I did my homework and read the reviews. I sew professionally- kids boutique clothes. I was just starting out. I had never used anything but a Singer. But the reviews were awful. I had a low budget but needed a macine right away.

Singer has terrible reviews. I ended up with a Brother SE 400. It came from Wal~Mart. It has been a little workhorse for me and hasn't given me a minutes trouble. A local shop owner here also has one and loves hers too. It is also an embroidery machine , although I still need to learn that part of using it!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 6:33PM
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