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If someone lovely was going to buy you a sewing machine, which one would you get?

(31 Posts)
Daffyboobface Fri 08-Mar-13 11:39:40

My mum has said she wants to get me one. I have used her Brother machine for various projects, but am in no way proficient.

I'm thinking of taking a class to help me to stop swearing at it become more adept. Probably shouldn't be too spendy as it's not my money. I have a pipe dream of making children's clothes and selling them online.

Any help, oh wise ones?

wonkylegs Fri 08-Mar-13 11:46:15

I've got a janome one and it's treated me well. I use it for curtains, clothes and crafts. It's plastic so not as robust as my mums Elna one but it's light enough for me to move about.

I have a janome too, I love it!

BeCool Fri 08-Mar-13 13:29:42

another Janome owner here - It's OK. I learnt on my Mum's ELNA and love it. She still has it in good condition 40 years on.

I think the main thing is to go for a machine with a TOP LOADING BOBBIN (where the bobbin loads directly beneath the needle & is horizontal in position). Engineering/design wise this is a better/less troublesome design that those where the bobbin loads at the front.

There are lots of reviews online re specific brands & machines.

I got my sewing machine when I was a teenager and still use it now, 20 yrs later. It's a very simple janome, no fancy bits, and its great. I've made everything from Christmas gifts to curtains on it, used it on leather and oilcloth no problem, and it's probably only had 2 or 3 services in that time.

I've saved a fortune in that time too just taking up hems, altering things and repairing things.

Personally I wouldn't go for the all singing and dancing ones that do embroidery shapes and a million different stitches. After the novelty wears off I would say you prob won't use them. But then it depends what you want it for really.

TomDudgeon Fri 08-Mar-13 13:47:15

A Bernina
I would get second hand one so you can get better for your money

Daffyboobface Fri 08-Mar-13 16:49:59

Thanks all. Looks like a Janome is probably the most popular. Will have a peruse brands. Really I need something truly idiot proof!

LexyMa Fri 08-Mar-13 17:15:31

don't know where you are but if you go to John Lewis on oxford street in London and buy a machine there, you get a free lesson back there with one of the staff on the actual type of machine you bought (it gets delivered to your house).

orangeandlemons Fri 08-Mar-13 17:16:46

Bernina all the way. Rock solid. The Rolls Royce of sewing machines

Handsfullandlovingit Fri 08-Mar-13 17:21:34

Juki here, sews curtains, dresses but no fancy embroidery stuff on my model. It never breaks or jams, easy to figure out (it has pictures and arrows on it to remind you how to thread etc)

MuddyWellyNelly Fri 08-Mar-13 17:54:46

Bernina. My mum has an industrial one and it is about 25 years old and still top notch. Mil has the same but domestic and also loves it. I don't have one as I just get them to sew for me wink

DieWilde13 Fri 08-Mar-13 18:09:21

I have a pretty simple Husqvarna Viking which I am generally happy with.
The only thing it doesn't have is a mock overlock stitch.

If you do want to venture into children's clothing and start sewing with jersey that is something I would look out for.

Depends what her budget is...??

HalleLouja Sat 09-Mar-13 21:44:08

Look at sewing machines direct. They have some good Janome's mine was the one that was £250 and came with threads and all sorts.

Daffyboobface Sat 09-Mar-13 22:59:13

Mock overlock stitch <takes notes>

Budget Probably much less than £250. Am pretty green about all this. Just had a brief look at JL and thought 'oh, that'll be about a hundred quid then' blush

What would your benchmark be? Maybe second hand is the way to go.

Daffyboobface Sat 09-Mar-13 23:04:46

Oh my actual god. Just looked at sewing machines direct. I see I have been naive about the cost of these things. Although they do have some £150 type Janomes which I could get started on ...

rockinhippy Sat 09-Mar-13 23:54:08

Go for a good solid older second hand machine, if you go to an independent shop you will get a reconditioned one with a guarantee that is a good solid old work horse, with all the basic stitches (flat zig zag & maybe button hole)you need for around £50-60 depending on where you live - jones, Faff, Frister Rossman, Singer are all good & if you can find a second hand Bernina grab it, but expect to pay more. - make sure it has an adjustable tension wheel though, most do, but there the odd ones that don't - you will need this for gauging/gathering up frills etc

You don't need the fake overlock, its just not that good, - save your money & put it towards buying a 4 thread over locker for sewing jersey & finishing seams & doing frilled hems, something such as a Janone, later when you have more confidence & really know you want to make & sell clothed & are fast enough to actually make a profit

Good luck smile

rockinhippy Sat 09-Mar-13 23:57:08

PS - if you are sewing a lot of things, or anything big such as curtains, you really need to be eventually sew at speed, that's how you make more profit - trust me the modern light weight machines will drive you nuts, they bounce across the table if you even try to go fast - the old heavy metal models don't bounce wink

jchocchip Sat 09-Mar-13 23:58:30

I'd go for a second hand Bernina off ebay older the better

I totally agree with rockinhippy. Find a 50s-60s machine and spend the extra money having it tuned up and/or a serger. You can get complete bargains on ebay. If you are interested I'll help look for some for you, I've owned a good number of vintage machines. Many older machines are much better made than new ones, especially in your price range. They can be heavy but that is because the insides are solid. Some of them have real personalities.

three step zigzag and triple stitch (stitches same place three times) are nice bonuses on top of regular zigzag and buttonhole. Adjustable pressure foot pressure is really handy for sewing on knits.

I personally am not a Bernina fan. I don't like them and the feet are pricey.
I like Vikings and Pfaffs, also vintage singers. Janome and Brother are fine, but I think viking and pfaff are better.

Becool, DS#1's machine is a 1960s Elna lotus. Lovely lovely 3/4 size machine.

Oh if you are sewing children's clothes a free arm is very handy.

I bought a janome when I started and I love it.
saying that, I love the look of the old black Singers. (sigh)

Becool, several of my machines are vintage ones with vertical bobbins and I've never had any problems with them in that respect. My rocketeer is vertical for instance and that thing could sew rocks. My old pfaffs (1471 and 1222) were verticals too. Fantastic machines.

Delayingtactic Sun 10-Mar-13 06:12:59

Pfaff or bernina. I've got my mom's old pfaff and its really good. She bought a replacement bernina which works exceedingly well. Don't go for a cheap singer. My previous one was incredibly loud and tensioning was an absolute mare.

HalleLouja Sun 10-Mar-13 11:18:55

If you are looking at a new one my DH did his research and Sewing Machines Direct are good value, plus they come with longer warranties than standard I believe.

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