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Forum > Sewing Machines > How do you know when you have outgrown your beginner's sewing machine? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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How do you know when you have outgrown your beginner's sewing machine?
How do you know when you have outgrown your beginner's sewing machine?
Char in KS
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Char in KS
Advanced Beginner
KS USA
Member since 7/9/10
Posts: 131
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Date: 8/6/13 12:50 PM

I have had my Singer Touch and Sew 7462 for 4 years. I am beginning to wonder if I have outgrown my machine. I was making a garment and sewing the elastic on and noticed it was skipping on the zig zag stitches. Also, it doesn't let you pick the width of the zig zag which I could have used on my project.

I have thought it may just need some more maintenance other than oiling the bobbin area but my manual doesn't really get into that type of care. I spent around $250 for the machine (I am not sure if that is important).

I mainly do garment sewing, a little bit of craft stuff like reusable bags and light home decor stuff.

How do you know when you have outgrown your beginner's sewing machine?

Thank you for helping me decide whether to invest in my current machine or a new one.

Skittl1321
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Skittl1321
Advanced Beginner
IA USA
Member since 9/9/07
Posts: 1110
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Subject: How do you know when you have outgrown your beginners sewing machine? Date: 8/6/13 12:53 PM

Skipping on zig zags might be a needle problem more than a machine one. Were you using the right needle for the fabric, and a new needle for the project?


For me, I upgraded from my first machine to the second because after 15+ years the first one broke. I upgraded from beginner to "nice" because I wanted more features: I wanted a bigger harp, more power, and the ability to set needle down.

If your machine doesn't do what you need (width of zig zag, for instance), and you are using it more than once or twice a year, that is when it is time to upgrade.


BTW- I LOVE my new machine. I don't know how I went with a lower-end one for so long...

skae
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skae  Friend of PR
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Subject: How do you know when you have outgrown your beginners sewing machine? Date: 8/6/13 12:56 PM

It may need a tune up. But while its getting
Looked at look at. Take a look a some other
Machines and try them out

------
Ecclesiastes 11:7,8 Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the morning sun. Even if you live to a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day, because darkness will come and will last a long time. (CEV)

sewingGB
sewingGB
Intermediate
WI USA
Member since 6/10/13
Posts: 136
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Date: 8/6/13 1:58 PM

I started thinking of a new machine earlier this year (have my current Bernina 240 for about 3 years); it started with a simple goal - wanted a bigger harp for more space to the right of the needle.
I now have that and more with my 640E I recently picked up at my local dealer used - can't wait to start sewing more on it now that I've taken my initial guide classes and have learned some functions other than just how to turn it on and off :)
I believe you reach a point that your skills have grown or the projects you want to make have changed, so just keep a little list of what you can't do on your current machine to help narrow down what is a must on a different one. I personally went the pre-owned route this time to save $$, and feel I can spend a few years with this one before I'm ready to trade up again. But then it's a matter of personal preference and how much $$ you can lay out at any given time.

------
Bernina Activa 240, and the newest family member Bernina 640E

DonnaH
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DonnaH
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TX
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Subject: How do you know when you have outgrown your beginners sewing machine? Date: 8/6/13 2:15 PM

I tend to make do with what I have (I'm cheap that way, lol), except for getting a serger (which I mulled over for several months). I agree with what the others have said:

Make a list of the things you can't do, but would like to - and include how often that would be (once a month, once or twice a year, on nearly every project, etc.), But also make a list of the things you do that you don't want to lose. Not sure what features you have, but think carefully about this - don't take it for granted that a newer machine will have every feature you use.

Give yourself a budget - how much are you willing to spend on this. You can amortize it over several years - but if you do that include how much it will cost in extra parts (feet, needles, etc.) and service (including gas/time to and from distant repair shops).

Look at machines that can do what you want - and if they are not in your price range, ask yourself if the extra $$ will be worth it. If the features you gain help you do many things that you'd do regularly, it may be. But be honest - it will help you avoid buyers remorse.

aprilla
aprilla
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Subject: How do you know when you have outgrown your beginners sewing machine? Date: 8/6/13 2:23 PM

I tend to agree with DonnaH.

But maybe you've been thinking about a new machine for a while and the skipped zig-zag stitches are just the 'final nail'. A time does come I guess....

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/6/13 2:29 PM

Get that T&S serviced and make sure it is in good shape, then ADD to it with a modern machine after doing your home work about machines and all that. Good for you for sticking with a machine and letting it work for you.Your machine will stay doing good things for you if you take care of it, and it won't mind an addition to the family.

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

Char in KS
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Char in KS
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KS USA
Member since 7/9/10
Posts: 131
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Date: 8/6/13 8:03 PM

I believe I was using the correct needle. I was working on the Bombshell swim suit and the pattern suggested stretch needles so that is what I used. So that is why I was wondering if I was going beyond what the machine was designed for.

I will have to think about this some more.

LynnRowe
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LynnRowe  Friend of PR
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In reply to Char in KS <<
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Date: 8/6/13 9:02 PM

When it threatens to call the SPCSM on you for demanding it do things it was never born to do.

------
I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

poorpigling

poorpigling
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TX USA
Member since 12/28/07
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In reply to LynnRowe <<
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Date: 8/6/13 9:07 PM

Quote: LynnRowe
When it threatens to call the SPCSM on you for demanding it do things it was never born to do.




A lot of help you are.. But darn it. you are quite right.. When your skills will allow you to do more than your machine will do.. then upgrade.. Or when your machine is out of service so often you wish for a different hobby.. To put it plainly.. you will know when its time to upgrade..
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