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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Just joined today:) Question about possible new machine. ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Just joined today:) Question about possible new machine.
millshre
millshre
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Date: 9/10/13 1:54 PM

So, here's my story and question: I am new to this site. I hope to stay for awhile, though. I recently inherited some patterns and such from my grandmother's sewing collection after my grandfather passed in June and they cleared their house out. It really made me want to sew again. I haven't actually used a machine since I was very young, probably around 13. Back then I was kind of a natural and I loved it. My grandmother showed me the basics and then I was in home ec where I was the one who everyone else came to for help with their projects. It's really the only thing I've ever been good at without putting years of effort into it. That being said, after my grandmother died when I was in high school, I never sat at a machine again. Fast forward to now, I'm 32, married and a stay at home mom. I'm creative but I need an outlet. I've dealt with a lot of Postpartum Depression since having my son a year ago. I think a creative outlet would really help. I look at patterns constantly and fall asleep at night thinking about fabric and designs. I think I want to make things like bags and accessories and then maybe some day make some clothing for the family.

We're on a very tight budget right now but I'm just dying to get started. My sweet husband put an ad on the office classifieds at his work for a used machine for me. Someone responded that they have a Janome 3125. They said they bought it about 2 years ago and used it once before deciding they didn't want to learn to sew after all. They're offering it for 50. I can't really find a lot of reviews on it. I've read a couple but they weren't really enough to help me decide. What do you guys think? I know some people say that it won't last for ages like other machines will. I'm okay with replacing it as long as it's not for several months. I'd ideally like to be able to use this one until I can save up for another one which might be 7 months to a year away.

Thanks and I look forward to getting to know some of you. :)

solosmocker
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Date: 9/10/13 2:42 PM

I have no information on this machine for you but I would like to welcome you to the sewing community. I know what you are going through with the PP issues as I went through the same many years ago. I think sewing kept my sanity. I hope someone pipes up here soon and you get a good answer. Welcome aboard!

------
http://lasewist.blogspot.com/

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
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Date: 9/10/13 2:46 PM

Hello millshre...so very glad you are here at PR. Welcome!
Hope you stay for awhile as well. It's amazing here!

A Janome 3125 for $50 is about half the price of what they are being sold for now NIB (new in box). If the previous owner didn't damage it by user error...then it would be a nice purchase...IF this sm would suit what you want to sew with it...and you realize what kind of sm (sewing machine) it actually is.

It is NOT a heavy duty sewing machine and sewing bags and such would most likely ruin its motor among other things...like throw off it's timing....break needles...or needle plate strikes.

it's not for hemming jeans...can't get through the thick seam hump...makes tiny stitiches on the hump and the motor strains.

A friend of mine ruined the motor of her Hello Kitty (the green color one) that is actually the "same" sm as this one...just a different outside. She was making sturdy tote bags with it and it was just too much for it.

I have another "same" sm as this one...but again with a different outside look (this is very common with sm manufacturers). So I know about its limitations and its qualities. One of its qualities is that it only weighs 11 pounds...so it's easy to take with you to a class...as long as you are not sewing jeans or making bags! On lightweight material...including lightweight denim...you know the thin stretchy denim...it has good stitches.

This is a very small sm...it's called a 3/4 size sm...but in use and in looks...a 3/4 size sm will seem smaller than only 1/4 size smaller than a full size sm. That makes it difficult to sew larger projects due to the small space to the right of the needle...where your right hand would be.

My suggestion is to go look at this one that the co-worker has to sell....take some fabric and thread with you...ask them first if the sm still has a bobbin and a manual. Thread it up and see how you like it. There is only the buttonhole stitches and a three different straight stitches...and three zig-zag stitches...all which can not be adjusted (changed)...the dial turns to the stitch and that's what it stitches. The specs on this by the mfg will state that it has 6 stitches but not exactly as three of them are just different straight stitch lengths. Some specs will even state there are 10 stitches...but that is counting the four stitches in the buttonhole group....the bottom tack...each side...and the top tack.

As far as lasting...if this machine is not over-worked and not made to sew what it can't...then it could last longer as I've had my 1017 for 15 years...but only use it for light sewing...kept it clean and oiled the needle bar and the bobbin race spindle after each project or after setting idle for a couple of weeks.

Oh...it has a vertical (also called a front-loading) bobbin system...if you are looking for a drop in bobbin then this doesn't have that.

My recommendation would be to save up a bit more...maybe in the $120 range there are some NIB Janome sms that would be more useful to you...such as a Janome 2212 (oops...just checked and the current price on a 2212 is $149)...also has a vertical bobbin though.

Some may well suggest going to sm dealers, Craig's List or thrift stores to look for a good used sewing machine...maybe even a vintage straight stitch only sm. But the positive outcome of that is completely based on what is available where you live. Where I live that is not a happening thing...not at all.

There are 3 reviews in PR Sewing Machines so you might want to read those.

Edited to correct typos...and to say if you sew on this and like it...then offer them $40...always barter on price of used sms.
-- Edited on 9/10/13 3:23 PM --

millshre
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Date: 9/10/13 3:04 PM

Thanks for responding, guys. :)

I think I'm going to pass on the 3125 and see what else comes in in the near future. I'm so impatient, though!

Mole Princess
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Date: 9/10/13 3:14 PM

Your ideas are bubbling over and even before you have a machine, you can be thinking . . . (I sympathize.) How about making paper patterns for the bags you would like to make? Lots of bags are just having fun with taking a curved rectangle, gathering or pleating it to give it volume, and sewing it to a base. Go to stores, study shapes, make sketches, try things in paper or in mockups using an old sheet from a thrift store. (1/4 scale at first if needed to save money, then full scale.) There's lots you can do till you have your machine. Even baste your muslins together by hand to make sure you love them and have the assembly sequence down. Go online for tutorials. Then you'll be ready to do a great job once you have your machine.

HTH! And welcome.

allorache
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Date: 9/10/13 3:28 PM

I think as others have said if you can get the budget up to the $100-$150 range there are a lot of options brand new. I think Singer, Brother and Janome all have machines in that price range. You'll find lots of helpful reviews on all kinds of different machines here. Good luck and let us know what you get! I think we will all agree that sewing is very good for your mental health, and useful to boot.

------
Now a Babylock girl almost all the way - Ellegante 3, Evolution, and Melody. Plus a Sailrite LSZ-1 for those heavy duty projects

bestgrammy
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Date: 9/10/13 3:35 PM

Quote: millshre
Thanks for responding, guys.
I think I'm going to pass on the 3125 and see what else comes in in the near future. I'm so impatient, though!

IMHO (in my humble opinion) that is a good idea.

Are there any sm dealers in you area? You could always go to one to see if they will let you test sew on one or more. Don't have to say that you aren't buying one of theirs...or that the sms there are too much $...just act like you are shopping for a sm...which you are. If you bring you own fabric and thread they will think you are seriously looking.

If you get to test sew...that way you will see what features you really like or don't care about. Just don't get pressured into putting one on lay-away or buy with payments unless that's what you really really want to do.

Not suggesting to go into a Bernina only dealership...those sms are very nice...but extremely...extremely expensive. Did I say expensive...oh yes...I did...and they are.
millshre
millshre
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Date: 9/10/13 6:47 PM

Quote: bestgrammy
[quote] Thanks for responding, guys.

I think I'm going to pass on the 3125 and see what else comes in in the near future. I'm so impatient, though!

IMHO (in my humble opinion) that is a good idea.



Are there any sm dealers in you area? You could always go to one to see if they will let you test sew on one or more. Don't have to say that you aren't buying one of theirs...or that the sms there are too much $...just act like you are shopping for a sm...which you are. If you bring you own fabric and thread they will think you are seriously looking.



If you get to test sew...that way you will see what features you really like or don't care about. Just don't get pressured into putting one on lay-away or buy with payments unless that's what you really really want to do.



Not suggesting to go into a Bernina only dealership...those sms are very nice...but extremely...extremely expensive. Did I say expensive...oh yes...I did...and they are. [/quote]
I think that's a great idea but I don't know if I would honestly ever do it. Not because I shouldn't, but because I sometimes let anxiety get the best of me and probably would never feel comfortable doing it. I might try, though. :)
bestgrammy
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Date: 9/10/13 9:31 PM

Oh no...don't do it if not a pleasant experience! For now put that idea on hold! Don't have to go to any dealerships to look at sms especially if that would cause anxiety.

Shona
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Date: 9/10/13 10:37 PM

I understand the anxiety, so definitely avoid that. You don't want to start with any bad associations. As with many things, starting with a simple to use machine is good advice, as is getting a head start on your ideas by drafting. A long time ago I needed an apron for my cooking class. We had zero money and my mom sewed me one by hand out of some white fabric, probably a sheet, but it held up wonderfully (I still have it) and the stitches are small it's beautiful. So hand sewing is an option, at least for getting an idea of how things go together. Good luck in your hunt and welcome to the site!

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