sewing machine for a 13 yr old

nattiNovember 20, 2007

My 12 yr old dd will turn 13 next month--our first teenager!!! She wants a sewing machine and I am at a loss as I don't sew at all. Any recomendations for this age group? She likes to sew pieces into old jeans to make flaired jeans and will probably try to make simple shirts, skirts--nothing heavy. Would like it to hold up to her feminine roughness ( in other words, she breaks things with ease )

I appreciate anyone's suggestions.


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My suggestion would be a kenmore from sears. They are made by Janome and they are often on sale this time of the year. It's a great machine for a beginner, basic enough not to intimidate her but she will be able to use it for a long time. Spend as much as you can afford and she will have it for a long time.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 9:34AM
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Do not buy one of those "rock bottom price, almost a toy" sewing machines. The quality is not the best, and if she's always struggling with the machine just to get it to sew correctly, the sewing experience is more frustrating than it is fun. I speak from my own experience. When I finally bought myself a new machine that did not need the tension adjusted every 10 minutes, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Sewing became a joy.

Stick with big name brands: Sears, Janome, Baby Lock, Pfaff, Bernina, Elna -- I'm sure there are others I've left off my list.

Another option is to check with your local sewing machine dealers for a used machine (or a new machine in your price range). The used machines come from trade-ins. I know that my Pfaff dealer will take any machine on a trade in, but he only sells the best ones as used machines. Buying a good used machine will give you more "bang for your buck".

A dealer can offer you additional services that you can't get at Sears, such as free lessons with your new machine. Some dealers have "How to sew" classes.

Also, Christmas is coming up and most of the sewing machine manufacturers have sales and price cutting promotions to sell sewing machines as Christmas presents, so this is a good time to shop.

I agree with Bonnie's advice to spend as much as you can afford.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 3:16PM
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I am agreed on the Kenmore. Great little machines, moderately priced and work beautifully.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 5:29PM
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I agree with the Kenmore too..The truth is if she likes to sew, she will outgrow a beginners sewing machine so get her one that she will enjoy learning on...I mean you do not want to spend top dollar for a machine until you know, but a cheap machine might discourage her too...

If I were buying...I would buy something like this one

but if I wanted a decent machine and not too much money...I'd buy
this one.

and if I had plenty of money...I'd buy her this one A very nice machine.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 6:00PM
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The little $99 dollar machine would afford her a really decent machine ...basic but good and sturdy...I have my second Kenmore and the first one I replaced just to upgrade to an electronic....Decorating her jeans and shirts, she might enjoy all the extra stitches on the higher priced machines but truthfully...I use my straight stitch and my zigzag 99 percent of the time..

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 6:04PM
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don't buy from a big box store. Most don't offer any classes or help should your DD have any problems. Some don't stand behind the warrenty and such. Be very careful..and don't turn a nose up at a good second hand machine...You don't want a whole lot of fancy things but the odd option is always nice (a fancy stitch or two to play around with) and check into their "trade-in" policy. Given a year or two you may want to trade up onto something bigger and better for her. It wouldn't hurt to have a friend who does sew go with you and look and try it out. Tell the salesperson what you are sewing and your price range...they should be able to direct you. Not too many bells and whistles at this stage, you don't want to overwhelm her.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 7:01PM
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I have to agree with cmc97. Buy the best machine you can, you should be able to get a good brand (Bernina, Viking,Elna, Pfaff)used if you check the dealers. Usually people who buy better machines take good care of them and are trading up. cmc97 is right-if you have to fight your machine you won't enjoy sewing.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 8:48PM
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I live in Northern La. i have picked up 2 used sewing machines this November for 25.00 apiece.One is a Brother like brand new. It was a $100. machine. The other was an older Touch n Sew in a great cabinet. For some reason no one seems to want to sew and are scared of buying used. I had a Kenmore that I love but now the Touch n sew will be mine and the others will go to Grandchildren for Christmas.
Be sure and have them tuned and oiled before giving.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 8:47PM
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Thank you all so much--you pointed me in the right direction. I'll let you know what we purchase.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 10:05AM
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Some great advice here. May I add one more suggestion? Whoever you buy it from - make sure they offer lessons. She will get so much more out of her machine - and also have a resource when she runs into problems.

I think it is wonderful that she wants to sew. It's a wonderful, creative endeavor that will give her years of satisfaction.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 11:04AM
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We bought a Brother ES2000 77 Stitch Function Computerized Free Arm Sewing Machine from Amazon for $124. I have lessons lined up at the local fabric store. She gonna love it!

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 9:57AM
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