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buying a sewing machine for my little girl!
Brother or Kenmore?
emciuk
emciuk
Member since 7/16/12
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Date: 7/16/12 11:16 AM


Dear All, I could really use some sound advice as I am new to sewing and no nothing about sewing machines. However, my daughter has displayed keen interest in sewing, cutting and clothes desgin, and we want to get her a sewing machine for her 11th birthday. Our budget is $150. An acquaintance suggested the Brother CP6500, on sale at Amazon for $139. She recommended it because she said it's very easy to use, does many stitches, but also, has some safety measures. Antoher acquaintance told me to stay away from the Brother and get a Kenmore instead because they are more durable and better machines in general-but she did not say which Kenmore and was not sure about safety for a child and which model I should look into because she bought her last machine 10 years ago. So now I am lost and do not know what to do. I'd appreciate any advice you might have for me. Wishing you all a great day. Emciuk

tgm and Kittys
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tgm and  Kittys
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Date: 7/16/12 11:38 AM

Kenmores are no longer being carried by Sears. They stopped manufacturing them last year. You can still buy them new but you have to look online for them. They are made by Janome.
May I suggest the Janome 2212 . I have one & I do like it allot. It is a full size machine & has many nice features, it is sturdy.
Also what might be a real cute & well sewing machine is the Janome Hello Kitty .. green or the newer one that is white... full size not the mini Hello Kitty. I have Hello Kitty green & it is a very good sewer & user friendly too. A beautiful stitch too. The only thing is Hello Kitty is not made for heavy heavy fabrics so if you think your little girl wants to sew say lots of blue jeans or such then I would not get Hello Kitty. .... I hope this helps. Also Janome has a great warrantee & the feet & bobbins are very reasonably priced too.
I hope you find a sm that she will love to use for a long time..

------
Home of the adorable Baby & Mittee girl >^,,^<
Santa Kitty is on the move... Meowy Christmas everyone!

Oh good, DH has now getting a nice part time job. Avg 20 hours a week.
The sewing workers:
Hello Kitty Kate (green), Hello Kitty Valerie, Dottie Kenmore, Bubba Kenmore the traveler.

Be still & know that I Am God +
Dear God...please help us out..Thank you..+

a7yrstitch
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Date: 7/16/12 12:03 PM

I cannot make any machine recommendations. I would like to suggest a sewing class or camp targeted at young folks. Perhaps, even, as a gift?

It would be a great way for her to have hands on experience with a machine so she will have some idea of what worked well for her and what might have been uncomfortable or a problem area with the class machines.

------
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RipStitcher
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Date: 7/16/12 12:11 PM

Hi...

If you want to keep it down to $150, I suggest you start doing a search on Craigslist about 4-5 times a day until you snare a screamin' good deal. :)

If your daughter is 11, she's gonna be in Junior High/High School before you know what hit you. If at all possible, I think it would be good to get a machine that will be a joy for her and carry her through those years.

If you do a search here in the boards and sewing machine reviews for Elna Lotus, you will find some stuff I wrote about a month ago regarding getting my granddaughter one for her 7th birthday. I had originally gotten her a "Sew Fun" mechanical Elna but then traded it up to the Lotus in less than a month.

I am a super-huge fan of Craigslist... but remember... if a screaming deal gets posted, it also gets sold FAST usually.

If you're seeing ads that have been on CL for weeks - it means the item is probably overpriced or it would be gone already.

I wouldn't be afraid to go down the Brother, Janome, or Elna roads .... but on Craigslist, you might find an outrageously good deal because the seller doesn't even know what they're selling (like relatives selling something after a death or divorce, etc).


------
Video of how the Bionic Gear Bag works is here: www.BionicGearBag.com
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Date: 7/16/12 12:13 PM

Visit all the dealers you have in the area and try out their machines. I know your budget is tight, but they might make you a good deal for a young daughter just learning the ropes. You never know. Janome is a good choice in your range. Not sure if Babylock will have anything. Singer has some new models that are in your range. Do you have a JoAnn's or a Hancocks near by?

I would start with dealers. I do not know anything about Brother. Classes would be a good idea for her, so this is why I recommend going to a dealer. Most will teach her how to use it and what it can sew. Some have more classes on projects. Others only sell machines and do the "learn to use it" lessons.

Hope this helps. I know, there is always online, or Walmart, but I prefer a dealer in case I need help or servicing in the future.

We miss Kenmore machines, as they were great. I would have recommended them instantly. Hard to come by sometimes.

Oh yeah, Elna is a great choice too.
-- Edited on 7/16/12 12:14 PM --

------
Bernina 630, my much loved main machine
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JEF
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Date: 7/16/12 12:18 PM

My opinion: at 11 you don't need to worry about special safety precautions. Yes, you'll need to explain how to position hands so she won't get a needle through the finger but at 11 that explanation is all you'll need.

I bought my then-8 year old a seing machine. Completely cured her of her desire to sew :). I chose the one I did so it would suit me as a backup machine. You might want to make sure you think you'll like the one you buy since it might end up being yours!

JEF

------
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." --Abraham Lincoln

poorpigling

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Date: 7/16/12 12:43 PM

Before you buy any machine anywhere other than the dealer. be sure that the parts for the machine are readily available.. Sometimes machines sold on net sites or at a place such as Costco may need servicing which cannot be completed without the needed parts.. Not always the case.. but your dealer can tell you ..

lisalu
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In reply to RipStitcher <<


Date: 7/16/12 1:28 PM

Quote: RipStitcher

If you're seeing ads that have been on CL for weeks - it means the item is probably overpriced or it would be gone already.


Maybe, but not necessarily! I recently bought a machine that had been listed and re-listed for weeks. I kept the accessories I really wanted (because she wouldn't sell them separately) and then I turned around and made a $150 profit when I re-listed the machine on CL. I sold it within 2 days at twice the price even though her listing had been there for weeks.

Just goes to show....

But back on topic: I do agree that a sturdy, reliable used machine on CL may be a better buy than a lower end new machine. For $150 you're not going to get much in the way of quality in a new machine. For an 11 year old, she is old enough to work safely on a good old mechanical machine that is basic and easy to use. And hardly anything she does "wrong" while she is learning would be likely to damage the machine. Heck, for $150-$200 you could get her a vintage Featherweight. Super simple, easy to use and easy to maintain. (Also ultra cool and ultra fun, you will want to use it yourself!) All she needs is a good straight stitch to learn to sew and this machine has a low frustration factor because it is very straightforward and nearly indestructible. But you will have to watch CL like a hawk to pick one up - or maybe look for a "lovingly used" model on eBay that is affordable.

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
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Skittl1321
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Date: 7/16/12 1:30 PM

People on this site are very into dealer machines. I have one now, and they are right- they are definitely better than mass market machines.

That said, I got a Walmart machine as a little girl and kept it through marriage. My interest waxed and waned, but it was always there when I wanted to sew. I did a fleece blanket that had like 10 layers, and I had to go very slow, thought it was going to break, but it managed. (Blackout curtain material killed it- but I think it was my fault. I didn't know there were different types of needles, and only changed them when they broke.) I replaced it with a $200 machine, and kept that one for 5 years until I decided to get my dealer-level machine. I sewed tons on both these machines, don't be scared away from them, especially as a "just seeing if she is interested in sewing" type machine.

The only current walmart machine I know about is the Brother CS6000i (cheaper on amazon, I think). I've used one, and it was excellent for that kind of machine, and I know many sewers who have had it for years and knocked out garments, quilts, and bags on it. It doesn't sew through heavy layers like butter, but will if you take it slow. It has tons of accessories and is a great intro to sewing machines.

There is nothing wrong with buying a mass market machine, But on this site, the response is always "go to a dealer". At least around here, with a low budget, that isn't feasible.

sewfrequent

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Date: 7/16/12 1:49 PM

I completely agree with JEF. Choose a model YOU like and chances are she will too. Because at 11, she will not need a lot of supervision with the machine's use but she will need help w/ her patterns and techniques. You do stand a fair enough chance of her losing interest. Also consider getting her a machine that can share feet/accessories with the one you have.

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