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Forum > Sewing Machines > What is a good machine for a beginner? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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What is a good machine for a beginner?
Bernina 1000 vs Fashionaire 2360 for beginner
stali
stali
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Member since 4/15/13
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Date: 4/16/13 12:07 PM

I have no knowledge whatsoever about sewing or machines but I'm going to learn and want a good quality machine that I can grow with. Right now I'm planning on sewing clothes for my kids but want a versatile machine that can do good with anything from silk to jean material. I'd like to stay in the $300-$500 price range and don't really want a more electronic machine like some I've seen. I'd prefer an older model without all the bells and whistles so I can learn how to do different things myself. There is a Bernina 1000 for sale on craigslist for $375 and a trusted friend is selling her Fashioniaire 2360 White with hard case, directions, pedal, bobbin kit and extra needles for $150. Are either of those options good deals? If anyone has any recommendations I'd appreciate it! All input is welcome!

sewfrequent

sewfrequent
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Texas USA
Member since 6/27/03
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Date: 4/16/13 7:56 PM

Stali I had to look up the fashionaire 360. It appears to be much newer and well...would not be on my watch-list. The Bernina 1000 is very high quality and also VERY basic with 6 or 7 stitches and a manual buttonhole. It will handle jeans fabrics well but you would want to test for the lighter fabrics bc it has fixed pressure. This is not usually a problem with the older models. If the 1000 has been well-cared for and is in nice shape..and you don't expect to wish for more stitches or features, then its a work-horse and will hold its value very well. Be sure it has manual and standard feet. Bernina's feet are wonderful but they are very expensive to buy. $375 is definitely on the high end but much depends on what comes with it. You will eventually want a walking foot and those are $150-ish but often used machines come with extras like that which would make the price much better. Also, if it has recently been serviced, that spares you another $100 to have it gone over, cleaned/oiled/checked. Once that is done, it probably won't need service again any time soon IF you oil it every 3-4 bobbin changes. And-- if you do pay a premium price, at least you can know they hold their value better than most. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

sewfrequent

sewfrequent
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Texas USA
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Date: 4/16/13 8:38 PM

Stali, after telling you 375 was kind of high, i went to look on ebay and recent sales on the 1000 range from 230-500 so really, let your instincts be your guide. Its probably worth 375 if in nice shape and complete.

figaro
figaro
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In reply to stali <<


Date: 4/16/13 8:42 PM

I'll put in a good word for buying through a dealer. A good dealer offers support and classes on how to use the machine (usually free). These would be excellent for a beginner.

If you've got a Janome dealer nearby, take a look at the HD3000. It's in your price range, comes with half a dozen feet, and has 18 different stitches plus a one-step buttonhole. I got a previous version of this machine when I started sewing close to fifteen years ago, and only upgraded this year when I needed a larger machine. It does a great job on a wide variety of fabrics, from delicate sheer fabrics to heavy-duty canvas. And I've never once had to have it repaired.

Find out what comes with the Bernina, but don't give up on finding a good new machine in your budget.

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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California USA
Member since 9/18/04
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In reply to figaro <<


Date: 4/16/13 9:00 PM

Quote: figaro
[...]
If you've got a Janome dealer nearby, take a look at the HD3000. It's in your price range, comes with half a dozen feet, and has 18 different stitches plus a one-step buttonhole. [...]

I was not familiar with this Janome model, HD3000. Very nice features for the price.

I found this video demonstration. Granted, it's a sales pitch, but he does spend about 9 minutes going over the features, so you get pretty good idea of what it can do.

He talks about a built in "serging" stitch, but I would call this an overlock stitch. You don't need a gazillion stitches, but if you get a machine that also includes a selection of a few knit/overlock stitches, you will find those stitches very useful.

CMC
figaro
figaro
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In reply to CM_Sews <<


Date: 4/16/13 11:24 PM

It is a sales pitch, but I didn't feel he was exaggerating anything in it, including the claim that it'll take twelve layers of denim. I make purses and other types of bags, and occasionally I've sewn through that many layers (or more) of denim or canvas.

(You're right about him calling it a "serging" stitch when he should call it overlocking, but it's useful. I'm a little surprised he didn't use the overedge foot. That's something I used quite a bit before I got a serger.)

Overall, it's a versatile machine - easy for a beginner to use without being limited to beginners.

stali
stali
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Member since 4/15/13
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Date: 4/17/13 0:47 AM

Thank you all so much for the input! I should have done this in the original post but here is the link for the Bernina 1000:

http://anchorage.craigslist.org/for/3745541634.html

In the pictures it looks like it comes with extra accessories although I don't know what everything is. I'm waiting for a reply from the owner. If anyone can take a look at the pictures in the link and let me know if it includes any of the costly accessories I may need in the future that'd be great!

I'm not sure if we have a local Janome dealer but I will call our local fabric store and inquire if they sell them there or can point me in the right direction and will definietly look into the HD3000

Thanks again everyone! I'm so excited to learn

sewfrequent

sewfrequent
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Texas USA
Member since 6/27/03
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In reply to stali <<


Date: 4/17/13 9:47 AM

Stali, I do see the seller has the walking foot, manual, etc. So this becomes a much better deal for you IF you want a solid mechanical machine. The HD3000 is a wonderful choice too and one I'd have recommended also if you had not stated you preferred a basic mechanical. If you're willing to look at that as an option, you would be getting more stitches useful for sewing knits, an automatic buttonhole, needle up/down, variable needle positions, adjustable presser foot pressure and a higher lift. The last one might be most important to you if you plan to sew heavy or thick fabrics. You can get a jeans' hem under that foot on the 1000 but anything much thicker would do better w/ the Janome. Motor size is about the same, but the Bernina will have slightly more power. These will feel totally different in use so you owe it to yourself to sew on both to see which one feels like the better fit. Both are good choices!

Artsewer
Artsewer  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/17/13 5:58 PM

Im not sure what the price is on the new portable Pfaff that is coming out, but perhaps look into it. It will be on the higher end of your budget. Also would you consider a Pfaff Select mechanical machine?
Maybe a Bernina 1006 which will give you a few more stitches then the 1000. Pretty much any Bernina from the 1000 series is going to be a good machine its mostly what is offered in the particular model.
The feet are old stlye and not as expensive as the new style feet.

------
Bernina 750Q, 635E, 380, 1630
Serger 1100DC

B

B
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Date: 4/17/13 8:20 PM

There is a (blurred) copy of the Bernina 1001 manual on the Bernina website: Bernina 1001

This may be similar (with different numbers of stitches) model, I am not sure. It says electronic.

The old Berninas are great, but only you know if you want new or need dealer support. It might sell for a similar price if you decided to sell later, where most newer ones depreciate a lot as soon as you buy them.

------
Janome serger 634D, Brother PC6000, Singer 500A, Kenmore Mini-Ultra, vintage Bernina 600, White Rotary treadle, New Homestead A VS treadle

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