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To ask for your help if you sew?

(14 Posts)
confusedandemployed Wed 04-Jan-17 15:40:40

Blatantly posting here for traffic.

I have up to £250 to spend in John Lewis on a sewing machine (vouchers mainly).

Can I ask for your recommendations? I'm a complete beginner but in due course may like to try my hand at curtains.


Knitella Wed 04-Jan-17 15:51:40

Ooh exciting! The best advice I can give you is to 109% try out the machine and be open minded about how much of the spend you make in your machine. Do you have a local JL which can demonstrate? You may want to spend a little less or, budget allowing, add to that.

Personally within that price range in JL I'd probably go for a Janome. Aside from curtains what might you like to sew? Look at the feet and stitches you get with machines. Feet can be an expensive add on purchase at a later date. Some machines are geared towards fancy stitches and patchwork others dressmaking and mending.

I have a Bernina I saved up for after many years of sewing. I tried some out before I bought and didn't buy what I expected to.

Have fun!

RobotLover68 Wed 04-Jan-17 15:53:56

Yes definitely go in there and try them. I was given an Elna when I was 16 and it is still perfect more than 30 years later. Brother are very good too. Good luck!

MrsBush Wed 04-Jan-17 15:55:46

I run my own sewing business and have a Brother machine. It's 15 years old and never had any problems. They are good for beginners. Singer are very good too. Happy sewing, curtains are easy once you learn the maths

dustyanswer Wed 04-Jan-17 16:02:35

Don't pay extra for gazillions of fancy stitches that you will never use.

I've sewn for most of my life and have 3 machines, the newest 2 being a mid-range JL own-brand (though they're made by Janome) which unfortunately they don't sell anymore, and a Janome which cost about £350. My JL is a cracking machine & cost under £200 at the time but the Janome has - bliss! - a needle threader and an overcasting foot, which finishes off raw edges beautifully.

DON'T whatever you do, get one of the 100 quid coloured John Lewis ones. I taught a sewing class where these were the provided machines and they are extremely basic and flimsy. Better to spend a bit more for quality (my JL machine was the next price bracket up from those but as I said they no longer sell them).

Definitely worth going into a John Lewis or proper specialist sewing machine shop and having a word & a try-out.

Good luck!

confusedandemployed Wed 04-Jan-17 16:06:10

Thanks. I was in JL earlier today and there was no one around to ask advice or try them out. I live about an hour's drive away so I would ideally like to have a really clear idea of what I want before I go back.

I'll probably be mainly dressmaking (after the obligatory cushion covers and bunting to start myself off!).

I was looking at these in there today:

Any I should discount straightaway?

confusedandemployed Wed 04-Jan-17 16:06:58

Aha xpost dusty.

Thanks. I wasn't convinced myself.

dustyanswer Wed 04-Jan-17 16:10:35

Have only looked at the Janome one & can see it's got an overcasting foot & a needle threader so that's good. As long as it's solid & not plasticy I think that looks like a good buy. I love my Janome.

I'd say it's probably worth a punt to buy online as it's free delivery and you can always return it.

70ontheinside Wed 04-Jan-17 16:12:12

Janome, Singer, Pfaff or Bernina are good makes, buy the best that you can afford and try the machine out, as PP suggested.
All you really need as a beginner is a straight and a zigzag stitch. If you are likely to venture into jersey, see if the machine has a "mock overlock" stitch (that will make your sewing look more professional).

dustyanswer Wed 04-Jan-17 16:14:21

Ok, I've just looked at the other 2 you linked to.

The £99 Jl one: no, for the reasons in my pp.

The Brother: I don't know... looks like a bargain - you'd need to check it out in store. BUT I see it does 4-step buttonholes whereas the Janome does automatic ones. Once you've done an automatic buttonhole you'll never want to go back!

70ontheinside Wed 04-Jan-17 16:14:50

X post, I'd go for the Janome!

confusedandemployed Wed 04-Jan-17 16:19:41

Ok Thanks! I will take a punt and order the Janome. As you day, I can always send it back.

HecateAntaia Wed 04-Jan-17 16:27:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JBJ Wed 04-Jan-17 16:30:45

I have the brother one that you linked to and I think it's fab. My initial thoughts were that it was too lightweight and I was worried it would move about, but I've sewn curtains etc on it with no problems.

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