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Recommendations for combo machine as birthday present for wife
jk500
jk500
Beginner
South Australia Australia
Member since 8/2/14
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Date: 8/2/14 11:51 AM

Hi,

My wife's interest in sewing and embroidery has exploded recently, and hearing her swear at her old sewing machine tells me that she'd probably like a new one! Which is lucky for her as her birthday is coming up soon.

So I'm after recommendations for a decent sewing+embroidery combo machine

Budget is us$500 including shipping (we're in Australia)

My initial research points at the brother SE400, but was wondering if I should be looking at anything else or if there are any higher specification used machines that would be in my budget (and links to any good sources for used models besides ebay).

thanks!

TeeGee

TeeGee
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International CANADA
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In reply to jk500 <<
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Date: 8/2/14 1:47 PM

Hi,I wouldn’t buy the the Brother SE400,it has only a 4” x 4” embroidery area.I would save up more money and buy a Brother PE770 stand alone embroidery machine instead,it has a 5” x 7” embroidery area and lots of good reviews online.I bought a stand alone embroidery machine with a 4” x 4” embroidery area several years ago,thinking a 4 x 4 hoop size was good enough.Not !

Most embroidery designs I like are larger than what my machine can embroider.If your wife needs a new sewing machine I would let her choose her own sewing machine.There are good reasonable priced sewing machine brands available.She can always buy a stand alone embroidery machine she likes with a larger than 4 x 4 hoop later.Im not familiar with sewing machine prices in your neck of the woods,I think they are more expensive than in North America.

If you have sewing machine dealers within driving distance I like to suggest to visit different dealers and let your wife try out several models in your price range.Some dealers sell good once very expensive used sewing machines they take in trade for higher priced sewing machines that are in good working condition.Dealers can give a time limited warranty on good used sewing machines too.I would never buy a sewing machine I couldn't try out myself first !

I wouldn't like it if my DH surprised me with a new sewing machine of his choice.He wouldn't like it either if I bought him something for his hobby or a drill he didn't ask me to buy ! One can always buy pretty flowers and a nice Birthday card with a hand written surprise note inside,(I like to take you shopping on "date" and let you pick your own sewing machine,or similar words).
-- Edited on Today at 1:49 PM --

JTink
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JTink
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Date: 8/2/14 2:13 PM

I agree with TeeGee about "surprising" your wife with a new machine. I wouldn't want anyone to choose the machine I was going to be working on. Perhaps a gift card or the cash and a note saying it's for her new sewing machine?

Hubby went out one year and bought me a new stove...I was not a happy camper. Not to say there wasn't a chance I would have picked out the same one, but I'm the one who does all the cooking...it would have been nice to have had a say in picking out the stove

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to JTink <<
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Date: 8/2/14 2:58 PM

Quote: JTink
I agree with TeeGee about "surprising" your wife with a new machine. I wouldn't want anyone to choose the machine I was going to be working on.

Add me to the list. Even with the best intentions and budget, I wouldn't want my husband choosing my sewing equipment. Let her choose and you pay.

------
iPad's auto-correct is my enema.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to jk500 <<
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Date: 8/2/14 3:12 PM

Although your heart is in the right place, you are venturing into deep waters.

Choosing someone's elses machine would be like someone else choosing your personal tools, mechanicals or auto.

Actually, $500 does limit the choices. The SE400 is the bottom of the list as far as what $500 will purchase. The sewing and embroidery may be fine, but the embroidery area is limited. Some beginners think all they need is a larger hoop for larger designs. Wrong. Each embroidery machine is designed with limitations. You just cannot pour 100 pounds of cement into a little bucket.

It may be much better to tell her your plans and to make a day of it, include a sewing/embroidery machine shopping trip as well as lunch or dinner.

This will give her time to do some research before entering the shops that sells these machines.

May the day turn out to be very happy for the both of you.





-- Edited on Today at 3:13 PM --

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 8/2/14 5:20 PM

There are a lot of Aussie ladies on here.
Re-enter your inquiry noting "Aussie ladies-help!" so they will notice it and advise on local machines--then you don't worry about postage and delivery time.

Find a BIG box to wrap up pretty. You can surround it with fun stuff like poly pellets, crushed foil, fake flowers.
Find another that fits inside of that.
Get another that fits inside the 2nd, etc. etc.
When you get to the smallest, put in a picture of
a sewing machine and say, "Go shopping, your choice!"
(Of course, a very small box may indicate some precious stone inside!)

Another clever way to wrap is put a Gift Certificate inside foil.
Wrap it thickly with colored duct tape to make a ball.
Wrap again and again in foil, tape, fabric, colored papers until it's really big--takes time to open to the suprise.
-- Edited on Today at 5:25 PM --

AngelaSews
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Date: 8/2/14 5:58 PM

You had a lovely idea. I'm sure your wife will be thrilled.

I agree that it's probably best to let her choose. But your market research could be part of your gift, giving her a starting point for her selection if she doesn't already have an idea of what she wants.

Sorry, I don't any advice to offer on machines as I've never looked at combo machines.

Good luck

------
sewmore.blogspot.com

Arlene1995
Arlene1995  Friend of PR
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Victoria Australia
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Date: 8/2/14 7:50 PM

What a lovely gesture, BUT as the other ladies have said - a gift voucher at your local dealer would be a better option.

Janome have a trade in special at the moment, I saw the brochure yesterday, sorry cannot remember exact trade deals, but I remember thinking wow the 350e for $800 after trade - as I tried to remember which salvo store I saw an old machine for $25 I could trade.

For $500 you will not get a good combo machine in Australia.

The brother PE770 costs approx $1000 in Australia, again it is embroidery only.

With the janome trade in deals, I think they run until end of August, maybe check with your local dealer to see if they got any good trade in's in your price range.

Good luck.

Tanya

sewbusy888
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sewbusy888
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In reply to jk500 <<
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Date: 8/2/14 11:01 PM

jk500 - you really are sweet and thoughtful.

Only you know your wife and whether she wants a surprise (the item on the day) or to opportunity to choose her present (go shopping together etc), so I will leave that part to you.

As for recommendations of where to find second hand machines, you will need to have an idea of what Brand and models are right for your needs, then:

1) you should have other online sources for second hand machines (gumtree.com.au). You can also put in a "ISO" - in search of (wanted) ad. There is an online group on yahoo (sewitsforsale) also.

2) find where the sewists are: sewing groups/stores etc and ask them does anyone have a machine they want to sell.

3) dealers - search for a few dealers that might have trade ins etc.

IMHO sewists can often outgrow their machines and are more than willing to sell second hand. Many sewists at sewing groups etc have more than one machine and could be a potential seller.

My own "warning" do the research (your wife really) to find out what is she interested in and what does she want from a machine, research brands/models ------ then you will know what you want and how much you should pay.

HTH

sew4grands
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Date: 8/3/14 11:53 AM

My hubby set out to buy new kitchen cabinets for me as a surprize, thank goodness the sales person told him that would not be a good thing, and that I should pick out my own.

Same goes for a sewing machine, give her money or say lets go shopping and let her pick out her own. After all she will be using this for a long time, most of us do.

That said, I love my Brother machines, they are easy to thread and are user friendly.

She should sit down and try out any machine she is considering.

------
Nancy B.
I sew with 4 Brothers and a Featherweight
Babylock Serger

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