I want a light weight sewing machine

tropical_thoughtJuly 21, 2012

I read the reviews of light weight sewing machines, but they are mostly all bad. Are there any that are not so bad? I have a good machines at home, but I want a light one to take to things like sewing classes. I have trouble lifting the heavy one due to a strained shoulder muscle. Even lifting it up to the table bothers me.

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mary_c_gw

I have several friends with Janome Jems. They like them, and they appear to be reliable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Janome Jem Google search

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 5:09PM
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tropical_thought

The jem did get good reviews on Amazon. I am not sure I want to pay that much and I don't know how much it weighs. I have a singer 221 believe it or not, but the problem with that is it is often breaking down and costs me 100 dollars to go to the singer place to get it fixed. So a throw away machine would even save money considering the huge cost of fixing them.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 7:05PM
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mary_c_gw

If you think you will get any quality machine for under $200, well, you might need to adjust your thinking.

The Jem is not a "throw-away" machine. It will give you good service for many years.

So you spend $100 to repair your current machine - the cheapest machine I've seen at Walmart is $100. Why not invest in a machine that will run for years?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 8:19PM
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tropical_thought

As I mentioned I have several quality machines at home, but they are too heavy.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 11:58PM
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tropical_thought

I had a bid on on ebay, but I got out bidded for the Sew Cute Mini Sewing Machine by White (model SC-20) pink. I found this positive review. The machine is spring loaded so it is supposed to be good for free hand quilting which I have failed at completely so far. But, it does go on to say, they can't be serviced, so when they break they are done with. But one can buy a new one for less then price of a servicing.

I made a short list of possibles. You need a bobbin winder as the bobbin winders are not suppose to work, most of the reviews said. My machines are actually very iffy on the bobbins and don't work very well on those either.
Janome Sew Mini Sewing Machine 5 pounds
Smartek Sewing Machine 2 pounds
Smartek USA RX-08 Mini Sewing Machine with Pedal Red
New Provo Craft Tools Sew Crafty Mini Sewing Machine (weight unknown)

Here is a link that might be useful: positive review on mini machine

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 11:49AM
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cooksnsews

The Singer 221 Featherweight is one of the very best engineered machines ever made. They do not "break down". They can be subject to thread jams, which are ALWAYS caused by operator error. They are also designed to be user-serviceable. There is absolutely no reason to spend $100 to free a thread jam, when it only takes at most 10 minutes away from your sewing time if you do it yourself. A quick google search will bring up a number of sites which will walk you through the process.

A vintage FW will last for many more generations, unlike the machines listed in the above posts. Brand new under $200 machines are designed to be thrown away, not repaired. Few techs will touch them, as their pot-metal components cannot maintain timing adjustments beyond their warranty period.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 3:10PM
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tropical_thought

I don't think I have a thread jam on that, and I just can't find a lower service price, then 100 dollars. Too bad, I know it's a great machine and light weight and it was my mother's so it has sentimental valve. One thing is it takes a lot of oil and it has a lot of oil point and ports. I can't figure them out, and those manuals are not easy to read or figure out. Someone should make a manual with modern digital photos, so I can see what they are talking about. Those drawings are not possible to figure out.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 3:20PM
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cooksnsews

I'll bet that is the easiest $100 your tech ever makes! If he has a shred of integrity, he will show you how to clear a jam yourself yourself. And while he's at it, he should show you how to prevent it ever happening again. If he refuses, find another tech. Any tech, not just a Singer one, should know what to do. A thread jam will stop up a FW instantly, necessitating the 10 minute intervention. When one of those under $200 plastic machines suffers a thread jam, it could cause fatal damage.

The easiest ways to avoid thread jams (on FWs, or ANY other sewing machine) are to 1) Hold onto both threads when beginning a seam. You can achieve the same effect by using Leaders & Enders, like in the link below. If you don't want to make such a quilt, you can simply continually re-use a few scraps you sew from and onto, and 2) Always make sure the take-up lever is at its highest, or just beyond its highest position before trying to remove your work from under the needle. Don't look at the needle - the take up position is the most telling indicator of when the hook has completed its rotation and released the upper thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leaders & Enders

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 9:24PM
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tropical_thought

I wish I could find a simple repair at a lower price. I did not think it that outrageous to pay 100 dollars for a repair because that is what I have to pay for my Bernina all the time. I was going to Sunset Sewing and Vacuum Center but I found out on yelp they don't service them, they send them out. If I am sending it out, then why use the shop as a middle man? Not only that sewing machine stores try to sucker you into having them serviced once a year at 100 dollar even if it is not broken or anything like that. I wish I could find tech who just works out of his house, because I realize sewing machine shops have to pay for the rent that is the overhead of having a shop. I did get the Singer 221 reconditioned once like 18 years ago, but I had a shop that had a owner who did the repairs himself and he did a good job. It works for a while, but it is likely that I can't find out how to oil it in the proper way due to bad unreadable directions on the manuals that don't have photos. It will surely break again due to the same problem again in time. I did make a few projects with it. But, it is not super light weight. It still has quite a bit of weight. But, is lighter then the Bernina that weights a ton. I can buy three cheapo throw away machines on ebay for the cost of one repair on the singer. It is sad, that we live in a throw away society now a days. So I found the sew cute machine on ebay for 30 dollars and that is what I am getting. I don't know what I think of it until I try it out. I can always do zig zags later on at home on the bernina.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 1:41PM
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evaf555

It's very likely that every woman who owned that machine before you did "figured out" the directions and "impossible" diagrams. There aren't that many moving parts on a Featherweight. Moving parts need oil or lithium grease.

When I was very young, my Mom showed me how to oil a sewing machine. I couldn't have been more than ten or twelve years old when she showed me how to take various casings off and "oil wherever two parts move against one another." This is a doable task. You don't have to do it if you don't want to. Myself, I'd rather spend ten minutes oiling and cleaning than spend the time lugging it to and home from the repair shop, even it they fixed it free. It's like taking a car to the dealer to have it filled with gas because you can't figure out how to work a gas pump.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Gina111

This is my first time of signing into a forum so I hope I am doing this the correct way. I am in my 60's, retired, with time on my hands. Started sewing again, but had sold my many sewing machines, including my grandmothers Singer with the old treadle that you had to pump with foot.
Did lots of research before buying new one. I am not computer saavy so electronic machines are new to me. However, I purchased a Brother CS6000i for 150.00 to start. Lightweight, portable, and easy to understand with lots of you tube videos. I love the different stitches that you just push a button with. It is perfect for crafting, and handles fabrics of all kinds. I have not tried Denim as yet. But for the money and starting all over again I am very pleased. Figured once I get a handle on the electronics thing I can always purchase a more expensive one. My cousin just bought a Viking and after being away from sewing for so many years she is overwelmed with the technology and has yet to sew one thing. She can't even understand the most of the CD that came with it. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:31PM
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tropical_thought

The sew cute machine really did work at least in the short term. It could break, but so far it is working. It is really a sad statement that we live in throw away society. But, serving a machine is really expensive and they more machine one collects the more often they need servicing. I have a Bernina, but that one is really heavy. That is what I would use basically for projects, but for taking to places this lesser machine works.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 9:54AM
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shelleyjr

I purchased a Janome 1050 solely based upon its light weight. I have degenerative disc disease and could no longer lift my Bernina 830. You can find this machine on Amazon and the reviews are pretty good on it.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 9:45PM
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angiepangie

Did you find the machine you wanted? I have the same issues and needed alight weight machine. I initially tried the Singer Vivo- but it broke the second day so back it went.

I went to hancock fabrics and ended up with a brother LS 590. It has good reviews, decent stitch selection and weighs 11 lbs.

I have not used it yet so can't comment on that.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:48PM
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