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Buy Nicer New or both Lower and Antique SM?
Advice needed on the best SM for my needs!
darbyi
darbyi
Member since 10/27/12
Posts: 5
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Subject: Buying Advice Needed! Date: 10/27/12 4:03 PM

Hi everyone! I have spent a while researching and I'm starting to feel like my head is going to explode, so I thought I'd skip to the source and ask for help.

I'm trying to decide on a new sewing machine - I'm intermediate and make dresses, costumes, hemming, quilting, etc. and often need to be able to sew thicker fabrics. I don't care about embroidery much, nor do I need 5 million stitches. I DO, however, need button holes and different fabric stitch options, as I use everything from denim to lace to jersey to chiffon. I'd like to spend in the $200-300 range.

So the big question: Do I get a reasonably nice new machine (like this Brother CS6000i, this Singer 7258, or this Singer 160th Anniversary model), or do I get a lower range/older model that can't do heavier fabrics AS WELL AS an antique that can power through anything? My local Craigslist is currently full of old models (Singer 201-2, Singer 2, 1921 Singer, White, Singer 128).

I appreciate any advice! I can't afford to do this wrong and be stuck with one or more broken machines later, and I'm really trying to become more experienced in sewing.
-- Edited on 10/27/12 6:16 PM --

pknord
pknord
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TX USA
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Date: 10/27/12 6:28 PM

Keep an eye out on Craig's List for a nice old Singer 15 in the $20-$50 range, and get one of the old Singer buttonholers in the green pebbly case--they make the BEST buttonholes ever. It will also sew very nicely on denim, and do limited amounts of heavy-duty sewing, although it was made to do the things you want to do, not to sew goat collars all day. As for the other stitches, my Mom was happy with her Janome Gem Gold, and you can pick those up used for very little money.

------
Pat in Rockport, TX
"As ye sew, so shall ye rip."
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tgm and Kittys
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tgm and  Kittys  Friend of PR
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In reply to darbyi <<


Date: 10/27/12 6:34 PM

Welcome to PR!

What sort of stitches do you need? The Singer 201-2 , 128 are both straight stitch only so they have no zig zag or other stitches. You can buy attachments to get zig zag & other stitches but alone they are straight stitch only. .... when working on a budget it is important to really know what you MUST have & then go from there.

I like my Janome 2212, it does have various stitches but it is not computerized. I have done quilting & garment sewing with it & really like the stitch. Also handles mending well, even heavier hubby work pants.... a heavy twill. It has 4 step buttonholes that it makes well too. Also I have used it to sew fleece without problems. I paid $149 online last summer.

But again make a list of stitches you just MUST have, what type of fabric it must be able to sew & go from there. Best Wishes! I am sure others will be along soon to help you.

To add if you can find a good Kenmore like the 16321 us also a very nice sm with some really great features. Kenmore's are now rebranded as Janome's who is the original manufacturer of newer Kenmore's. Some of the older ones also are very good sm. It depends too on if you are willing & okay with buying online... like Overstock.com, Ebay , Etsy & many dealerships. ...hope this is helpful.
-- Edited on 10/27/12 7:03 PM --

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gramma b
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gramma b
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In reply to pknord <<


Date: 10/28/12 8:30 AM

Look for the oldies made in Japan also, when parts were all metal, maybe in Estate sales. I have 2 old Brothers still going strong without time in the shop.

lisalu
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lisalu
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Date: 10/28/12 10:19 AM

If you don't need zigzag, and you see a reasonably priced 201-2 in working order on CL, then you might seriously consider it. It will sew a wide range of fabric types and will give you years of trouble free service (that is why these machines are still around and still in use!)

If buttonholes are important, then I ditto the advice to get a Singer buttonholer attachment for it (or for a 15-91 or other vintage low shank machine.) It is clunky and you have to take the extra step of setting it up on the machine, but the buttonholes are incomparable and perfect every single time.

If zigzag is a must, you won't be happy with a ss machine and zz attachment. If you want to go vintage, in that case, keep an eye out for a Slant-O-Matic such as a 401, 500, 503, etc.

Any of those machines can be had for $100 or less and often come with full sets of attachments.

PS...all these models refer to Singers, of course, since those are the ones I know best
-- Edited on 10/28/12 10:21 AM --

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

darbyi
darbyi
Member since 10/27/12
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Date: 10/28/12 11:50 AM

Thank you all so much! I absolutely need to be able to do straight and zig zag stiches... other than that I'm pretty easy going.

I came across a Bernina 1005 for $200 - everything I've read about that model is good, do you think the price is reasonable?

tgm and Kittys
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In reply to darbyi <<


Date: 10/28/12 12:20 PM

You might want to post your question too on the Bernina Love posting. I do not know what are good prices for Bernina's. ...They are suppose to be very reliable sm though.
Please post what you end up getting....Thank you!...

------
Home of the adorable Baby & Mittee girl >^,,^
DH eye tumor is starting to shrink! Yipee!! This is very good news.
My kid brother had a triple bypass ..he made it.through the surgery okay. Please keep him in your prayers. A long road to recovery ahead, as more heart issues found. Still so glad he is okay.
"Dear God...Help me out please!" ..Fr. Eric
Might I say ..Thank you +



sew2006
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sew2006
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In reply to darbyi <<


Date: 10/28/12 12:26 PM

From years of attending sewing classes I've sewn on the newer computerized machines you mention and they will not sew jean thick materials. As far as the Bernina it would make a great solid machine. Ask the seller to sew test it, bring fabric with you and make sure attachements are included. The price depends on how comlete the machine is and whether a service has been done by a tech. Once you have a solid machine you could add a computer model to handle knits, 1 step buttonholes and stretch stitches not found on some vintage machines. Janome makes nice machines or if you find a Kenmore that would also be a good choice.

------
Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

jzygail
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In reply to darbyi <<


Date: 10/28/12 12:34 PM

If you decide to go with a vintage, snatch up that 201-2. If it doesn't come with a buttonhole attachment, get that. It's a GREAT machine--truly, you'll love it.

This is not to say that it's a better bet than the newer ones; I just have no knowledge of any of them besides that Anniversary model. A friend of mine who sews and loves her new-fangled machine was not that impressed with the features of the Anniversary. She loves (LOVES) the look of it, but thought it was a pretty basic machine when all was said and done.

NM gal
NM gal
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Date: 10/28/12 1:25 PM

My 2 bits.... I started sewing w/ a vintage machine when I was 10... & almost tore my hair out. There was no internet, no vintage manuals. Could not get the tension right no matter what I did. Hated it & started to hate sewing.

Years later I got a computerized machine & it was love love love. They're soo easy to learn on. Easy to adjust the tension. I learned soo much soo fast & became very happy & confident. Only then did I venture into vintage machines & fell in love. I wouldn't have tried another vintage machine if I didn't have a computerized machine first. And it's not true that computerized machines aren't strong enough to sew denim.... I have a Juki F600... you can go down on the Juki & still get the power. Only difference is the number of stitches. Any good computerized machine will be a wonderful stepping stone to whatever else you do in the sewing world. Good luck. There's alot of nice machines out there. You may buy one & grow out of it, no biggie.

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