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Beginner Sewing Machines - How Much is Too Much?
MaryG7765
MaryG7765
Member since 3/22/13
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Date: 3/22/13 7:06 PM

I'm interested in purchasing my first sewing machine and have been doing a lot of research but I'm not really 100% sure what I should be looking for. I'll mainly be using it for making cloths, mostly dress shirts and dresses. I saw this Brother machine which seems very popular, and it seems like it will do exactly what I need it to. I'm really just wondering what the major difference is between it and something like this Singer machine for $200 more. It definitely seems higher end, but for what I'll be using it for is it worth the extra money? I'd like to get the Brother and save some money if I can, but I don't want to regret not buying a better machine if the Brother will break down or cause any issues due to not having certain features or capabilities. I'd really appreciate any advice you can give me, I'm just a beginner! Thanks so much!

Julkane
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Julkane  Friend of PR
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Pennsylvania USA
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Date: 3/22/13 7:15 PM

My advice would be that whatever lower end machine you buy, that you buy from a dealer so you have their support. You also get free lessons at most so if you are a beginner this would be advantageous.

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Elna Excellence 740, Pfaff Quilt expression 4.0, Janome 300E, Brother 8500D, Babylock Ellageo, Janome 900CPX CoverPro, Brother 5234 Project Runway Serger, Singer Treadle, Singer 66, Singer 99

http://juliannasjourney.blogspot.com/

jannw
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In reply to MaryG7765 <<
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Date: 3/22/13 8:05 PM

I was going to ssay to check the reviews here, but I couldn't find any for the Singer..it is a fairly new model ,I believe. If you want to see it in person, JoAnn's Fabrics carries them and my local one has it on display.

Other than that, I would go with the Brother. For a reliable machine, they are near the top. I've had several of the inexpensive Brothers and had never had a problem.

Just with a quick look, the Brother has way more stitches than the Singer.. One of the reasons I love my Brothers is the fact that I can get features that higher end machines have for a basic price.
Brother's onstruction manuals are also eay to understand and use.

If you have to buy a machine online, Amazin is a good way to go as items can be returned...often not easy with a dealer.

Brother Reviews
-- Edited on 3/22/13 8:07 PM --

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2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

missthreads
missthreads
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Member since 2/14/13
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Date: 3/22/13 8:25 PM

Mary, I would NOT buy the Singer for one reason ...... they no longer make the parts to service them. This is not something new, since the company was sold a few years back, they just don't make the replacement parts like they used too.
I'm also in the market for a new machine and I'm looking at the Brother CE 8080 PRW for only $150.00 and it can be ordered from Wal Mart on line and sent to your local Wal Mart for FREE pick up! Just go to their site and look this machine up. I think you'll really like it too. It has an automatic button hole maker! You'll love that feature.
-- Edited on 3/22/13 8:26 PM --

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This is me with 2 of my 4 GK's.

bluefly
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bluefly  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/23/13 8:18 AM

I agree with Julkane, buy from a dealer. They can also advise you as to which machine holds up and has the least repairs. I would not buy from WM. word is that the machines sold there are made to lower specs with cheaper parts to meet WM price point. They break down quickly especially the Singers. Have you seen Janome Magnolia series? Dealers should have them. Good luck, let us know what you decide.

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"Let's make the most of this day"
bluefly

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/23/13 11:32 AM

Try out the machines especially the buttonholes on fabric you typically use.

Ambimom
Ambimom
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Date: 3/23/13 4:01 PM

Buying a sewing machine is like buying a car, what feels right to one person, will be all wrong for the next. You've got a very ambitious plan for the machine, but keep in mind, sewing is a skill and it take a lot of practice. Buy the best machine you can afford because the truth is the lower end "bargains" are rarely worth the money. They often come out of the box with tension and timing not quite right. If you are not experienced, you won't recognize this and spend hours fiddling with it rather than sewing. Yet, there are some excellent purchases in the $250-$300 range. When you first begin, you don't need a lot of stitches. You need a straight stitch, stretch stitch, zig-zag, buttonhole and maybe two or three decorative stitches. Nowadays most machines come with needle threaders whether mechanical, electronic or computerized. Buying from a dealer depends on whether the dealer knows how to sew or not. A lot of them don't. They will try to sell you the most features for the highest price they think they can get. Keep that in mind. You don't need a fancy-schmancy machine. After you've made a few garments and learn a bit more what you like and how you sew, you can always upgrade to a fancier model. But I suppose if you have no one to advise you, and if the dealer is close by, then by all means see what they have to offer. Online retailers offer excellent deals. Amazon has the lowest prices for sewing machines around. Stick to the brands people stand by: Brother, Janome, Elna, Viking, Babylock, Juki. Singer too. Their newest models are a big improvement over the junk they sold during the 1970s.

Irina Grace
Irina Grace
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In reply to MaryG7765 <<


Date: 3/23/13 4:14 PM

If you are a beginner and never sew on a machine before - Brother for $150 is perfect. I am not a beginner, but I am still with my old cheap Brother XR-40 and making pants,dresses, skirts, tops and sewing for my home. My machine has many different stitches but I never used them - I just do not have need too use them..I am hemming almost everything by hand except items that I can hem with a straight stitch. And I never sew from a knit fabric - this is something I am going to try. My machine sews silk chiffon and charmeuse fabric without problems.
It also depends on what you are going to sew. For yourself, children, things for home? I am avoiding making clothes with buttonholes because I know my machine will not make them absolutely perfect. But I make buttonholes in duvet covers and for duvets they are perfect. As I progress, I will be looking for better machine so I can sew coats and jackets with buttons.

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Irina Grace
English is my Second Language

missthreads
missthreads
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Ohio USA
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In reply to Irina Grace <<
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Date: 3/23/13 6:37 PM

Irina, when you do decide to upgrade make sure you get one that makes "automatic'' buttonholes! It's like a serger, once you have one, you'll wonder how you ever sewed without one!

I've sewn for over 40 yrs. now and I've had expenise machines and I've had the cheaper ones. I've made my decision on the one I plan to buy next........ the Brother CE 8080 PRW for $150.00 .... It has all the feathers I want in a machine at the price I can afford. I've read tons of reviews and it has a 4 ~ 5 star rating. It will work just as well for me as a $2000.00 machine!

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This is me with 2 of my 4 GK's.

Sewncooknmom
Sewncooknmom
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In reply to MaryG7765 <<
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Date: 3/23/13 7:03 PM

To be perfectly honest, I would get neither. I've had a Brother. The needle would constantly break. I was just using fleece. The one good thing about this sm was that it helped me realize that I love sewing and really wanted to get into it.

I have friends who have the new Singers. Pieces of junk. Singers are not what they used to be.

Perhaps a good older sewing machine. Or how about a Janome? My friend who teaches sewing for a living loves Janome sm. She says that you get a lot of bang for your buck.

And, yes. Please buy from a reputable dealer.

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