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Forum > Sewing Machines > Need Help Choosing a Sewing Machine ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Need Help Choosing a Sewing Machine
meldensey
meldensey
Member since 2/26/13
Posts: 7
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Date: 3/4/13 2:05 PM

I have been using my grandma's old Kenmore 1941 for several years and am ready to upgrade, but am so confused by all of the options! I mainly sew garments, but I sew a lot - often several hours a day. I have started sewing more home decor projects, so I need a machine that can handle heavy fabric. I have dabbled in quilting, but it's definitely not my primary focus. I am considering starting a small online business to sell sewn accessories, so my machine could be getting even more use than it is currently.

I know that I want a machine with an adjustable presser foot, adjustable foot pressure, and metal parts. Beyond that, though, I'm not sure what I need, and I'm kind of overwhelmed by all of the options.

I have only used mechanical machines since I learned to sew, so I'm kind of nervous about using a computerized one. I would love to hear any feedback about pros/cons.

I have been looking at different Janome models, and was interested in the HD3000, because it seems just like an updated version of what I already have. Plus, super affordable. However, the (much pricier) MC6300 caught my eye, with it's 1000spm and other extras. I don't have a ton of money to spend on a sewing machine, but also realize that it might be better to shell out a lot now and have a great machine for years to come.

Thank you so much for your help with this! I'm new to the forum and have learned so much just from reading threads. I would love any feedback that you knowledgeable sewers have to offer!

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 5/28/11
Posts: 2503
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In reply to meldensey <<


Date: 3/4/13 2:40 PM

I went from a Kenmore to several Janomes. I like them. The 6300 is similar to my 6600 but with fewer features and it does not have a built in walking foot. The platform and size is the same. Several people have bought that and talked about it on here. I love my 6600.; it is solid and dependable. I can sew anything on it including knits. I was recently looking at the HD3000. It looks like a very nice machine as well.

meldensey
meldensey
Member since 2/26/13
Posts: 7
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In reply to Marie367 <<


Date: 3/4/13 8:55 PM

Thanks for your response! Right now I'm leaning towards the hd3000 - it seems like a better fit for my budget and current needs, and I can keep it around for heavier jobs once I'm ready for a fancy machine. I guess now I'm just trying to figure out if it will be enough of an upgrade from my Kenmore to warrant buying it, since my Kenmore is in great condition and kind of a workhorse in its own right.

TamNearPDX
TamNearPDX
Advanced Beginner
Washington USA
Member since 1/16/08
Posts: 214
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Date: 3/5/13 0:41 AM

A feature that I like is that I can set the needle to stop in the 'down' position with my computerized machine....

Invisigal
Invisigal
Intermediate
Member since 11/7/09
Posts: 626
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In reply to meldensey <<


Date: 3/5/13 9:04 PM

Have you thought about a used industrial machine? There are so many out there now at good prices. My machine dealer had a 1985 Singer straight stitch. I do a lot of home dec. and other heavy sewing, so it's great for that, incredibly fast and has sewn through anything I've tried so far.

In the 90's I bought a TOL computerized Viking. It's been a great machine and I still use it regularly, but I realize that I don't use nearly all of its features and I don't expect to be able to spend that sort of money on a machine again. I think I would consider one of the fast Juki machines. There are a lot of reviews and topics about these machines here.

Also you might look on Youtube at some of the machine demonstration videos. Take your time, read reviews and test a variety of machines. Decide how much dealer service means to you.

meldensey
meldensey
Member since 2/26/13
Posts: 7
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In reply to Invisigal <<


Date: 3/5/13 9:42 PM

Invisigal, that is a great suggestion! I have never used an industrial machine and don't know very much about them, but will definitely look more into it. I'm not in a huge rush to buy a new machine since I already have one in good working condition, so I can take time to research.

Invisigal
Invisigal
Intermediate
Member since 11/7/09
Posts: 626
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In reply to meldensey <<


Date: 3/5/13 10:50 PM

If you're seriously considering a business and portability is not an issue, it might be the way to go. The thing about most industrial machines is they do one thing and do it well. My machine would be considered for use with light to medium fabrics, but not thick leather, for instance. It sews through two layers of outdoor vinyl with ease. It does straight stitch only with reverse. If you want something for really heavy use, you might want a walking-foot machine. If you are able to test out some industrial machines, take a variety of samples of the type of fabric you would be sewing on and be sure to include enough "thicknesses."

Some machines have what's called an oil pan and some don't. I don't mind the oil pan at all. It's just another factor to consider.
There are also lots of industrial machine demos on Youtube.

Juki Girl
Juki Girl
Intermediate
Quebec CANADA
Member since 1/11/13
Posts: 25
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In reply to meldensey <<


Date: 3/7/13 7:45 AM

I too was using a Kenmore, basic 27 stitch and aut button hole. Then met and fell quickly in love with a JUKI F-600. Yes it was a little more expensive but couldn't be without her...computerized, thread trimmer, amazing button hole options, knee lift, extension table, and I could go on...
Depending on the amount you want to spend, you could also choose the F-300 or F-400.

diane s
star
diane s  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Oregon USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 4877
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Date: 3/9/13 0:41 AM

I would suggest a Pfaff Select. That is my go to machine for all my home dec projects. The IDT is wonderful feature when making yards of cording. You can engage it with the zipper for insertion. I've made slipcovers, outdoor cushions, pillows and curtains with this machine. It's a mechanical model with a limited # of stitches. I have a fancier machine too, but this is the machine I prefer for home dec.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

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