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Forum > Beginner's Forum > What sewing machine to choose???? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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What sewing machine to choose????
Sewing machines
Paulinemorgan
Paulinemorgan
Member since 8/21/12
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Date: 8/21/12 3:30 AM

Please can someone help. I am, at the moment, not even a beginner machine sewer yet because I don't even have a sewing machine! I really want to buy soon but what to buy is the big question! I'm hoping I can get some advice from other sewers on here! There are so many brands and then each brand has so many machines it's hard to know where to start especially when you're clueless! My budget would be $400 (Australian) max. I would also like opinions about buying online v buying from a shop with regard to repairs etc. it's a bit cheaper online but maybe it's better to buy from a shop and build a relationship with them for hands on help and for maintenance. Thanks in advance, Pauline

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Ohio USA
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In reply to Paulinemorgan <<


Date: 8/21/12 10:49 AM

Stick with a local shop.

How can an online dealer provide lessons (most shops in the US offer lessons and classes)?

How can you test drive a sewing machine online?

Make a list of what you want to be able to sew and visit the local shops.

After the visits, if you still want to buy online at least you will have more knowledge about brand and model is right for you.

When location is included in the member's profile it is easier for those offering suggestions to be more specific to what is available to the member.

Good luck and best wishes for many successful projects.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

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

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Vermont USA
Member since 8/14/05
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Date: 8/21/12 10:53 AM

Are you close to a large metro area? There are lots of members here on PR who live in Australia, and a really great forum thread called: Sewing Down Under...and I am sure you will be guided well by so many on that thread as well since they know the market where you are.

Sewing Down Under

If you can do it, try out as many machines as you can, and don't forget about used machines - those can be such good buys at dealers. :)
-- Edited on 8/21/12 10:53 AM --

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

I have sewing machines

Red Dragon
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Red Dragon
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Australia
Member since 2/4/08
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Date: 8/22/12 4:38 AM

Hi Pauline,
At that price you should be able to pick up a good basic machine by Janome or Brother. It may be mechanical ie not computer controlled. If you have a think about what you might sew with it, it will give you a better idea of what to ask about at a dealer eg if you want to make bags, quilt or sew leather you will need a heavier duty machine than for just basic garment sewing. The latest Janome catalogue has the DC2050 for $399 which is a basic computerised machine and the RE1306 basic mechanical for $199. I have a 9 year old Janome 4816 mechanical which I have used for all my sewing including quilting and jeans. It was cheap basic and has served well http://www.janome.com.au/sewing_machines.php
Brother has a bunch under $400 too https://www.brother.com.au/products/home-sewing-machines
Others will recommend Bernina, but I can't find their prices online and they are a bit pricier.
Hope that helps a bit; feel free to come chat on Sewing Down Under like Muffet says. We don't bite

------
Tracy, Canberra

Janome 7700QCP, Janome 4618QC, Husky S25 overlock/coverstitch

Screaming Mimi
Screaming Mimi
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Date: 8/22/12 1:32 PM

If you're going to take sewing lessons, do that before you buy a machine. Even going over to Craftsy and taking the free on-line class Sewing Machine 911 would help. The point is, knowing a little bit about machines makes it much easier to choose one. Any time a potential student calls me about beginner lessons, and they tell me they don't yet have a machine, I always suggest they take the class before they go shopping so that they'll have a better idea of what they're looking at.

I also agree with the others who are encouraging you to buy local rather than on line if this is your first machine. Too many variables for a first time buyer to figure out without a little guidance.

Rtionnei
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Rtionnei
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Date: 8/23/12 9:29 PM

The brother project runway series sewing machines are great for beginners. They are affordable and come with different stitches and great manuals. The manuals help you step by step and have pictures and diagrams to make sure you are doing it right. They also come with instructional DVDs. Singers are the worst to be a beginner on. I highly recommend brother.HIGHLY.
-- Edited on 8/23/12 11:30 PM --

hoofoot
hoofoot
Member since 8/22/12
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Date: 9/2/12 3:43 PM

I recently decided to try my hand at sewing. I have absolutely no prior experience and have been going into this completely blind.

After much research, I bought a Brother CS6000i off Amazon for $150 USD. The reviews for it on this forum are positive, and it's widely considered to be a good beginner machine. However, people here do caution that you'll probably want to upgrade to something fancier if sewing becomes a serious hobby and you want to delve into complicated projects.

As for me, I'm satisfied with my purchase. It's extremely user-friendly, which is important for a novice like me. The instruction manual is detailed and very helpful. It's easy to tote around to the beginner sewing classes I'm taking. For someone in my situation (new, and not willing to invest hundreds of dollars into a machine until I'm much more experienced), I'd definitely recommend it.
-- Edited on 9/2/12 3:47 PM --

marymary86
marymary86
Intermediate
Georgia USA
Member since 7/20/08
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In reply to hoofoot <<


Date: 9/2/12 3:52 PM

If I knew then what I know now, I'd start with a great vintage machine like an old Singer.

I don't know how easy they are to find in Australia or how much they cost though.

I just bought a Singer Featherweight and I use it all the time now. It was $200 and had all the attachments plus a buttonholer. The stitch is exquisite and I love its slim presser foot.

My other machine was a top of the line Bernina 1130 that I paid $1394.00 (American dollars) for. It was a used machine when I bought it. It still sews well but I enjoy the Featherweight so much more. I've owned the Bernina over 20 years and I can do quite a bit with it. But it was overkill for what I needed. I just didn't know.

------
Mary


Screaming Mimi
Screaming Mimi
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California USA
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In reply to hoofoot <<


Date: 9/2/12 4:48 PM

Quote: hoofoot
I recently decided to try my hand at sewing. I have absolutely no prior experience and have been going into this completely blind.



After much research, I bought a Brother CS6000i off Amazon for $150 USD. The reviews for it on this forum are positive, and it's widely considered to be a good beginner machine. However, people here do caution that you'll probably want to upgrade to something fancier if sewing becomes a serious hobby and you want to delve into complicated projects.



As for me, I'm satisfied with my purchase. It's extremely user-friendly, which is important for a novice like me. The instruction manual is detailed and very helpful. It's easy to tote around to the beginner sewing classes I'm taking. For someone in my situation (new, and not willing to invest hundreds of dollars into a machine until I'm much more experienced), I'd definitely recommend it.
-- Edited on 9/2/12 3:47 PM --

I think it's wise to start with an entry level machine as you did...the more the features, the more intimidating it is for a newbie. Even if you want to upgrade a few years from now, you'll probably end up keeping the original machine...I'd be willing to bet that most of the people on this board who have "fancy" machines, also have a little mechanical machine tucked away somewhere in their house.
Aixoise
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Aixoise  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/2/12 5:20 PM

I heartily recommend the Janome Magnolia. Many of my beginning students have purchased this model and love it. I also spent a week sewing on one and was quite impressed. It's a sturdy little workhorse with just enough features to give you some flexibility. The price is modest (mid $200's last I looked).

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