is a sew and serge machine good for beginner?

haloheavenJuly 12, 2005

HI! I'm a beginner, (read absolutely clueless about sewing),but plan on doing a major upholstery/slipcover project for our house, and want to learn to sew clothes/purses/embroidery,etc. in the future.

and tomorrow(7/12/05), there's a one-day only factory sale of Necchi Educational Model Sew and Serge Sewing Machines for $199, I guess they're usually $529.

the ad lists alot of it's functions, which seem great, but i have no idea if this is a good deal or not, or if I pass it up, will I end up paying more for a machine that does less?

What should a good machine be able to do? It says it has a professional 2-in-1 serging stitch. What does that mean?

It also has a 25 year warranty;is this good?

Thanks guys ! :)

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it means it has a presser foot with a large clunky side cutter, not really a serger at all. Save your money.

beginners especially need good machines because everything is new and they need to be able to make sure the machine is doing the best it can do while they are struggling with general technique. Having a poor machine can really be discouraging.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 10:06AM
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My mom bought a Necchi machine at one of those sales several years ago, and she gave up trying to use it after a couple of tries and put it back in the box. She has been sewing forever, so she knows how to use a machine. I'm not sure what the problem was with the Necchi machine, but you CANNOT return it.

I have an upper model Brother machine that has that foot (theirs is called a side cutter foot). It took me forever to figure out how to make it work; then the one skirt I sewed using it had the seams fray and come apart after only a few washings.

You can get a decent serger for a couple hundred bucks, and WalMart carries several sewing machines that run about the same, I think. I'm with Dayenu that you should invest your money in the best sewing machine you can, then think about adding the serger later.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 10:14AM
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I know several who have bought those & none who have been happy. It is always advertised the same year after year. "Some school cancelled their order & they have only a few to offer at this price. You must bring this coupon".

From my knowledge of Home Ec teachers, there are NO school models. They request dealers to submit bids for regular machines based on the stats they list, then they only view the 3 lowest bids & have a voucher to pay for it.

We also have a truck break down annually with all this ovenware & they have to sell it on the spot from the trailer of that truck. It is even towed in from somewhere right at the time the sale begins...Talk about SCAMS!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 1:29PM
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Thank You guys so much for your help! Ah, so they have these "sales " all the time? yeah, the ad says that they're school models, and due to budget cuts, the schools can't buy them, and to bring the ad for the savings.So thanks for helping me avoid a scam!
I'll read up on sewing machines , as I don't even know what a serger does unfortunately!I'm just hoping for a durable machine, one where the stitches don't fall apart immediately.and one that I won't need to upgrade as I learn.

So I should avoid presser feet and clunky side cutters,good to know!And to look out for that Brother machine.And I should never break for ovenware sales from a truck! :)
Thanks again for your help Dayenu, Msmeow, Joansews4u! :)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 4:02PM
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RUN,don't walk away from that sale.They are the bigges ripoff since the beginning of time.I worked in a quilt store and one of those types asked the owners if they could rent space for a day for one of those sales.We made sure we told everyone that bought them that we weren't affiliated with them in any way.Good thing to.Within days they started bringing them back,didn't work,jams up etc.We told them to contact the company they bought from.Needless to say,there were aot of unhappy people.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 4:29PM
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Wow! Thanks so much Kathi! I'm so glad I didn't go to that sale today! I wonder why I haven't heard of these sales before? I just talked to my Mom, and she said she sees them all the time.Those poor people, I hope they had some way of getting their money back!
Since you worked in a quilting shop, do you happen to know if leather , silk, and denim are the toughest fabrics to sew on? I'm a vegan, so I don't use silk or leather, but should I make sure that my machine is capable of sewing silk and leather?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 5:03PM
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You don't have to beware Brother machines, just the side cutter foot.

I have owned two brother machines (my current is a PC 6000 ) and it is wonderful.

I think that your sense that you should buy a slightly more sophisticated machine than you can handle now is right. A good machine will help you fall in love with sewing and it's a hobby you can do forever.

Good luck and welcome to the fold :-)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 5:05PM
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Look for a machine from a local, established dealer with a good reputation. That way, you will get lessons with your machine (be sure to ask about lessons) and on-going help. I would suggest a sewing machine first (they will do more for you, like buttonholes which you can't do with a serger), then if it looks like something you'll stick with, add a basic serger later (no less than a 4-thread serger). Don't buy the absolute "bottom of the line" sewing machine,though...get a machine you can grow into. Also good dealers will take your beginner machine in on a trade if you bought the machine from them in the first place. Sometimes you can get the purchase price back on a trade-up if it's within a short time.

Just my humble opinion. Hoping you will enjoy it as much as I have for lo, these many years!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 5:31PM
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There are alot of good books on machines and what they do at the library....look into what you want your machine to do and make a list....then when you go looking at a reputable shop take your list and talk to the clerk...asking does this machine do this, this, this...then consider your purchase...don't buy something that is too can upgrade later on. Look around, talk to sewers...see what they like and dislike about their machines...brands, models....if you take the time you will get a machine or machines that will serve you long and well and you will be totally happy with.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 2:32PM
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Also if you go to a reputable dealer,you can ask about used machines.They usually have some of those in stock that they've refurbished,and will show you how to use it.This may be a good way to start.Then as others have said,you can upgrade later on.A good basic machine will sew on most all fabrics,you will have to change the needle for some of the heavier fabrics.

Don't be intimated by all the bells and whistles.Just tell the dealer that you want a good basic machine.One that sews forwards,reverse,buttonholes,zig zag etc.Most basics do a little more than what i listed,but those are the things you'll need.I have sewn for over 50 years and at least for half of those i didn't own a serger.I got my first serger in 1983 and still have it.So you see while they are nice to have,they aren't a necessity.
So just get yourself a machine and some simple patterns,make sure to watch for the pattern sales at Joann's fabrics,and have a good time.
Let us know what you get and how you are doing.Remember there's always someone here to help you ,should you run into problems.
Good luck

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 5:58PM
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My machine (Brother NX 400) has a lot of stitches that I thought I'd never use, but I do. And I love having them. I agree that it's important to get a good dealer who you can go back to with questions. do a very good class called "the tools of the trade" which teaches you how to get to grips with your sewing machine and use it to it's maximum capacity. Have fun with your search and make sure you try loads take your time and you'll be really happy with your choice.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 3:05AM
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Definitely go with a good machine. And like the others have mentioned, find a local reputable dealer. I live in SoCal (I don't know where you are in California) and there's this one dealer in Santa Ana called Wheeler. They were the only ones who were able to deal with my old Riccar (I'd had that machine for 25+ years before finally buying a new machine)Âthey overhauled it, etc. When I went to get a new machine, I went back. They offered all these used, refurbished machines and I knew that anything that was purchased there would come with a good service plan. I bought my New Home machine there and also my serger (speaking of sergersÂI have this great one and have only used it occasionally! Probably didn't need to get one after allÂ). My mom, who lives quite a distance away, got her serger at Wheeler as well (she loved mine). I took lessons on both the new sewing machine as well as the serger. I can go back as often as I need or want for more lessons. My girlfriend loved my machine but didn't want to spend the money so she shopped online. She had nothing but problems and had to send her machine back twice (computerized machines are a bit more sensitiveÂ)

So, as far as getting the machine, go with a good dealer. You might get a 'better deal' online but you can't beat the service. And, get the best basic machine you can afford.

As far as fabricsÂwhen you get the machine, try out these types of fabrics so you can get a feel for how they sew. My old Riccar was a Stretch machine (specifically designed to sew on stretchy fabrics) so denim and silk were awful to sew on although I did sew these fabrics (despite needle changes and all that). I love my New HomeÂin fact, I just hemmed some new jeans yesterday and was commenting on how wonderful it was that the machine just whipped right through the denim without any hesitation!

Good luck and have fun!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 12:15PM
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I agree with tdogmom to bring lots of different fabrics to test how it sews on each. the feel of a machine is vital, it's like test driving a car. each machine feels different. and one that one personn loves may not feel good for you.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 4:28PM
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So did you get a machine yet???

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 4:55PM
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Hi there, I'm a student at FIDM and very "beginner" to say the least. I'm currently taking an apparel process class that made me absolutely fall in love with sewing. I love my sewing machine and ready to own my own serger. The serger at school is an industrial one and obviously works really well. I was considering to buy a household machine but am unsure as to what would be right for me. I'm looking at a 4-thread machine that does the basics, but with such a variety of brands (& PRICES) to choose from, I want advice from fellow sewers about their personal experience with their own machines. Please be specific with models so that I can better compare them when i'm out hunting!

Thanks a bunch, you guys are so helpful!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 3:08PM
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I have a White serger which I love. If I were going to buy a new machine, I would buy one with a cover stitch. That way you can make hems on the serger. Colleen

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 3:34PM
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I have a very old Basic Pfaff Overlock. It is l8 years old and has never given me a hint of trouble. Lots of nice fancy machines out there but for my needs I can't justify a newer overlock. I would go for a Pfaff again, no question about it. Budster

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 8:23PM
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I just want to add to this posting a bit. My wife and I own a small quilt shop in Oklahoma, and we sell Necchi Machines, the Necchi Company dose not run or support these so called school over run sells or any type like it. Necchi is not along in being abused by jerks that run these scams, Singer is the biggie in our area that seems to show up having these sells, other makers get hit hard by these sells too! Often these machines are counterfeit's, and not worth the boxes they come in!

Necchi has very good machines, and stands behind them very well! I service every thing we sell, and I have very little trouble of any kind with my Necchi!

if anyone has an old Necchi BU that want to get rid of let me know : )


    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 7:22PM
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Thank you!!! I'm so glad I have checked before I go to this sale - I was just about to go - NO Thanks!!! Whenever I need a new machine, I will buy it from a local store - that way I will know for sure what I am getting. I have never heard about these sales before! Glad I did see this. I am sure Necchi has good products, like every good supplier, but we should always buy it from a real store!!!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 4:33PM
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