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Best sewing machine under $200
Need some advice from the pros
TalonStrife
TalonStrife
Member since 12/29/11
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Date: 11/15/12 4:20 AM

Right now I'm looking to buy a new machine for no more than $200 dollars. I started out sewing for myself on thrift store machines, but demand for my work has increased enough that I need to increase my efficiency.
I work with fleece 90% if the time, but for myself, I do all kinds of things with all kinds of fabrics.
Right now, I'm trying to decide between the Singer Heavy Duty 4423, the Singer Curvy 8763, or the Brother XR9500. I need something durable, I'm fairly hard on my machines. Any features that will save me time are a plus. I don't need lots of fancy stitches, but they're nice to have and stretch stitches would be very useful to me. I've never used a computerized sewing machine before so I'm rather leery about trusting them. Features like auto-adjusting thread tension, presser foot pressure, and motor power sound incredibly convenient, but do they really work as well as they claim?
If anyone has experience with any of these three machines or knows of a better option in my price range, I would really appreciate the feedback.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to TalonStrife <<
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Date: 11/15/12 4:27 AM

I think best to avoid any computerized machine sold new for less than $200. Just becuause somethings got to give to get all that in there at that price, and when that happens I think it's mostly the quality of it and the lack of expense of even making it. So I think probably the best under $200 machine (mechanical or computerized) would be even be a previously owned and used machine that once cost several times that much too.

iSewQuiltArt
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iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 11/15/12 4:55 AM

Oooh yes another vote for a quality used and serviced machine over a new sub $200 sewing machine with computerisation.
Go for a nice solid mechanical workhorse and test it with the fabrics you sew and with the level of bulk you sew. Check you can get a walking foot for it as well if you sew lots of knits, you may need it.

------
Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Florida USA
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Date: 11/16/12 5:02 AM

Sorry. I can't offer feedback on those models but if they are computerized I fear you will be crying over your purchase soon.
All the features you mention work wonderfully on machines- mostly in the $500+ ranges. Based on experience you won't find they last on $200- models.
Rather than throw away $200 on a new computerized machine of questionable quality you might want to look at putting that money down and financing something closer to $500.
Or like others suggested, a very sound used mechanical machine.
I am looking at adding a mechanical machine and have searched for a few months now. The new one I want is $400 (too high) and used ones are $250-400 (too vintage).
That said, if you feel good about the machines you are looking at and trust the seller to stand behind your purchase you may be fine.

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

VicSews
VicSews  Friend of PR
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In reply to TalonStrife <<
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Date: 11/16/12 7:05 AM

I bought my machine from Amazon and am very happy with it. It is a Brother XL2610 - I'm not sure they still sell that model, but I'd check out what they have. They are reasonably priced and I have no issues with mine. I sew almost every day and it has been working fine for over a year.

------
VicSews

ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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Date: 11/16/12 10:28 AM

Have you seen the reviews here for those machines? That would be a good starting point. Also, I like to read reviews (when available) from Amazon and Walmart.

Brother 9500 on Amazon

Singer Curvy 8763 on Amazon

Singer 4423 on Amazon

(Something I've noticed - as I've eyed those Singer Heavy Duty machines in the past - is that the 4411 has better reviews than the "upgraded" 4423. Something to consider.)

My main machine isn't one of the above; it does come from a dealer. But it's a simple, low-end Bernette. I've sewed carefully on it, used new needles, matched tension and thread to fabric choice, and oiled and dusted religiously. I think if you do those basic things, you could have very good success with even an under-$200 machine. I'd love to see what you eventually decide!

heathergwo
heathergwo
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California USA
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Date: 11/16/12 11:14 AM

I bought the Singer Curvy as my first machine for exactly $200.

While it was GREAT as a first time machine, I found myself wanting to upgrade within 10 months, especially when playing with other machines, I noticed how loud it was and just didn't have the finesse or polish of some higher end machines.

I didn't have any problems with it, however, mechanically speaking and I still have it (just in case) and would recommend it, but probably NOT for an experienced seamstress.

HTH!

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

Charbucks
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Charbucks
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Alberta Canada
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Date: 11/16/12 11:34 AM

When I was machine-shopping I got a number of recommendations for the Janome HD1000. It seems to be $299 everywhere, but it might be a good one to keep in mind if you could find the extra cash or run across it used.

ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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In reply to Charbucks <<


Date: 11/16/12 12:43 PM

Quote: Charbucks
When I was machine-shopping I got a number of recommendations for the Janome HD1000. It seems to be $299 everywhere, but it might be a good one to keep in mind if you could find the extra cash or run across it used.

I was thinking of this one, too, if you could swing the extra $100. I actually am trying to decide between this and the Bernette 15....

It's a very, very solid workhorse of a machine.
SandiMacD
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Date: 11/16/12 6:51 PM

Just found out the BL 9 is on sale for $99.

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

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