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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Machine Recommendations ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Machine Recommendations
machine recommendations, reviews
Fenix409
Fenix409
Intermediate
NY USA
Member since 10/3/06
Posts: 1
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Date: 5/3/13 7:14 AM

Like so many others, I am looking for recommendations for a new sewing machine. I've read a lot of the other posts but it seems everyone is looking for something specific and since I am too, I thought I'd post what I'm looking for as well. I wanted to get as much information as possible before heading to a dealer to test out different machines (which I do plan on doing!).

I learned how to sew on my mother's old metal Viking and it's been just about the only machine I've ever used. I have sewn on her serger (I think it's a Janome) as well as my grandmother's brand new electronic machine (don't know the brand). What I am looking for in a machine is:

Easy to use, easy buttonholes, quiet (this is important since when I do sew, I usually get consumed and end up staying up half the night. I live in an apartment building with very poor insulation), can be electronic (and I do like the drop in bobbin as opposed to front loading) but could also be mechanical, doesn't need a lot of bells and whistles, under $300. I sew garments though I sew rather sporadically - usually a dress or two a year and then my Halloween costume, which is actually what's encouraging me to finally buy my own machine Basically, I'm looking for a rather average machine that will get me by on a few projects a year.

I thought about the Brother CS6000i (at $150 you can't beat the price) but read reviews on here that it's loud and finicky. So, before I head out to a dealer to talk with them, what're some recommendations? I'd prefer to have as much knowledge as I can before I go - I'm in NYC (originally from the midwest) and find that sales people here can be pushy, in a hurry and unwilling to listen to what you actually want as opposed to what they want to sell you. Though I haven't been to a sewing machine dealer yet, maybe they're cut of friendlier stuff.

Thanks!

biochemistress

biochemistress  Friend of PR
Advanced
VA USA
Member since 11/8/05
Posts: 367
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Date: 5/3/13 7:40 AM

I'm happy to report that you can probably find the machine you're looking for. You seem very realistic in what features you'd like and what your budget allows.

Most of the mechanical machines do not have automatic buttonholes; they would probably have a 4-step. They're not hard, they're just a little finicky. If you want truly automatic buttonholes and a drop in bobbin, I'd look for an electronic machine.

The Brothers they sell in dealers are supposedly better than the ones they produce for mass retailers, so I wouldn't rule out a Brother, just go to a dealer to test them. They make a huge array of machines at all price points. Unfortunately I'm not terribly familiar with the individual machines.

I am, however, familiar with Janome. The DC series machines have lots of features and are geared toward the occasional sewist. The DC1050 is on sale right now at SewVacDirect (NAYY) for $299. The Magnolia series are also nice, and come in mechanical or electronic.

For your budget I'd look at online retailers to narrow the field by price point, but go to a dealer to test and buy. A dealer may charge a little more than online, but you get help and honoring of the warranty without fuss or shipping if you buy from a dealer.

Good luck and please let us know what you end up with!

rebe
star
rebe  Friend of PR
Intermediate
FL USA
Member since 2/28/05
Posts: 412
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Date: 5/3/13 7:58 AM

I bought the singer 9960 quantum off of Amazon for $329, free shipping. Great machine for the money.

------
Rebecca Pitts
Bernina 430
Singer xl-6000
Singer 9960
Babylock Imagine
Elna 740 Excellence
Ellisimo

Artsewer
Artsewer  Friend of PR
Intermediate
NY USA
Member since 3/2/11
Posts: 1650
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In reply to Fenix409 <<


Date: 5/3/13 8:37 AM

Fenix I sent you a PM with dealer recommendations around NYC
They often have trade ins are very nice, and knowledgable.
Tradeins are great as you get the warranty and a bit more bang for your money.
-- Edited on 5/3/13 1:38 PM --

------
Bernina 750Q, 635E, 380, Serger 1100DC

AminaHijabi
AminaHijabi
Advanced Beginner
Member since 10/22/10
Posts: 1100
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thumbsup 2 members like this.
Date: 5/3/13 11:02 AM

There are actually quite a few mechanicals with 1-step button holes. They just only have the one kind. I bought a Viking Emerald 116 for ~$300. I has a one step buttonhole and has done everything I asked it to do very well. For more stitches you can get a Janome Sewist 500 which also has good reviews and a one-step buttonhole. I've sewn on a Janome Magnolia 7318 and really liked the test drive, but it has a 4-step. All of those machines will be ~$300. Amazon has listed a Brother PC210 for $330, it also has good reviews. It's cousin the PC420 gets good reviews. I haven't sewn on either of them.

For a very low price, I had a Janome 2212 ($150) for over 2 years before I sent it to my sister. I really loved that machine. I sent it to my sister because she's too cheap to use anything but the most horrible Walmart Singer. Had to save her from her misery you see.

tgm and Kittys
star
tgm and  Kittys  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
WI USA
Member since 3/8/10
Posts: 7970
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Date: 5/3/13 11:57 AM

As mentioned above the Janome 2212 is an excellent mechanical , I like mine allot! Also if you find a good Kenmore 18221 or similiar I think you would be pleased. .... I am not familiar with many computerized sm. .... I think it depends on what is really important to you.

------
Home of the adorable Baby & Mittee girl >^,,^<

2 shots in DH eye down, 1 more to go. We hope the tumor is shrinking. Orthopedic surgeon for DH on Thursday... sigh...

"Dear God...Help me out please!" ..Fr. Eric

tgm and Kittys
star
tgm and  Kittys  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
WI USA
Member since 3/8/10
Posts: 7970
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In reply to AminaHijabi <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 5/3/13 11:57 AM

2212

------
Home of the adorable Baby & Mittee girl >^,,^<

2 shots in DH eye down, 1 more to go. We hope the tumor is shrinking. Orthopedic surgeon for DH on Thursday... sigh...

"Dear God...Help me out please!" ..Fr. Eric

CocoLocomotion
CocoLocomotion  Friend of PR
Beginner
NC USA
Member since 9/14/12
Posts: 7
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 5/4/13 1:36 AM

I second rebe's recommendation of the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960. I realize that the sewing machine snobs look down on the newer Singer machines, but I love mine. I bought it in late November 2012 and sewed my first buttonhole ever... perfectly!

The 9960 has a choice of 13 automatic buttonholes so no need to get bored. Also, the 600 stitches and 19 included presser feet cover any project that I would attempt - garments, animal rescue items, my dreaded mending. The best part is how quietly the Quantum 9960 sews. The loudest part is me when I make a mistake!

The display is large enough that I can choose my stitch settings without reading glasses. The only negative for me is the basting stitch - quite different from my old Kenmore, but actually more versatile and not something I use often anyway. The price was $330 at Amazon until recently when oddly the price increased. I would expect the price to steadily drop as a model ages, but demand must be strong.

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