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Help to find a local sewing machine

(17 Posts)
Laurarj84 Wed 11-May-11 22:32:24

I'm new to sewing and I'd really like to find a machine locally to get me started. Does anyone know a good place to look? I can't find much locally. I've tried Loot, EBay, Preloved, Freecycle, Gumtree, you name it. I'd like to sew clothing long term but I'm starting on simple, square stuff for now! ny suggestions would be great, thank you.

wednesday13 Wed 11-May-11 22:43:27

How much is your budget? There are loads on ebay, do you live somewhere remote or do you need a steer on what to go for?

I would think any machine that works, is a normal domestic type (not industrial) and isn't obviously an antique black-and-gold one would be OK. My machine is 30 years old but it does straight, zigzag, various patterns etc.

For instance within 10 miles of me there is a lovely Bernina for £40, bargain.

SewCrafty Wed 11-May-11 23:09:41

you could ask around, saying how eager you are and see if anyone has one stashed in a cupboard that they haven't used for years and could they loan it to you until you get one yourself?? I'm based in High Wycombe we have a sewing machine shop there and they stock second hand ones. Or maybe if you have a machine repairer advertising in the press/yellow pages, they may have some second hand ones for sale?

overthemill Thu 12-May-11 12:54:25

i suggest looking for a local sewing machine shop. even john lewis sells cheap new basic ones. i'm about to sell my much too complicated one to go back to a basic one which i know i will use more often!

moominthecorner Thu 12-May-11 13:03:07

I'd agree re ebay, you have to be patient and they will come....

overthemill Thu 12-May-11 13:15:55

i'm hijacking but what do you all think of this for a basic machine (I want one my kids can use you see)

overthemill Thu 12-May-11 13:16:29

should add as there is one for £40 near me on ebay!

Laurarj84 Thu 12-May-11 16:40:49

He he! I'm watching that one on ebay!!! I'm in London wednesday13, so yes, should be easy to find something, but I'm just overwhelmed by the choice. I would like the following, bearing in mind that eventually I'd like to be making decent clothes:

A one step buttonholer
Overlocking capability (ok, big ask I know, perhaps a zigzag stitch option would be more reasonable and I know most machines do that)
A free arm thingy so I can do sleeves, patches on trousers, etc.
Plenty stitch options

Forgotten what else I was after but it'll come back to me.

I think budget-wise, I'd only want to spend around £50 to get me started and I can upgrade once I know better what I want and can do. I think I would spend more for a good machine though.

I think I'd like a Janome, don't know if I'm aiming for the stars with my budget though. My mum has an old Bernina but it doesn't do very much and I'm borrowing that at the moment.

Overthemill what is your machine that you want to sell and cheeky question, what would you sell for please?

Thanks all for your help.

wednesday13 Thu 12-May-11 19:19:01

I bought my machine from Battersea Sewing Centre, years ago. Looking at their website it looks like they're still going. They have a choice of new and used and really know their stuff, they do servicing too. And being in South London they will probably do you a deal grin.

I would definitely go for a secondhand machine, anything other than a "toy" machine will be over £100 and there's nothing worse than finding it doesn't have the ooomph to hem jeans or sew a bag. And after using it and sewing a bit, you will have a better idea of what you want to splash the cash on.

Quite a few machines do a mock-overlock stitch and a good auto buttonhole, even 10 or more years old. I would steer clear of computerised and go for one that doesn't feel to plasticky.

wednesday13 Thu 12-May-11 19:19:39

oh, link oops

overthemill Thu 12-May-11 19:41:15

Laurarj84 my machine is a singer concerto 9217. It is not new but hardly used by me since buying it for £199. I have had difficulty winding the bobbin from time to time but it seems ok apart from that - and that is just a question of getting the hang of it. As I use it so infrequently i forget ! I just want enough to replace it with a second one that has less features - all i do it make home stuff and mend things - my days of coat making and tailored trouser making are over (sometime in the mid 80's tbh). And I'd like to use one with the kids so they learn how to sew.

I'd be happy with £50 - 75 if that would get me something from ebay.
I'm in bedfordshire if you are interested near a motorway and a station!

overthemill Thu 12-May-11 19:53:00

ooh have just gone onto ebay and am very drawn to really old machines just like the ones I learned on at school in needlework!

wednesday13 Fri 13-May-11 15:00:47

There are reviews of different sewing machines (as of everything in life) on

Laurarj84 Fri 13-May-11 19:34:08

Just looking into the singer, thanks! Also, what do people think of the janome 1580?

Thanks wednesday for that site, I had looked on there actually, now I've done a bit more research I might not be so boggled by it.

On a separate note has anyone done any baby sleeping bag making?? I was wondering whether polyester wadding or bamboo organic blah blah is best and I can't find out what tog either of them are!

EldonAve Fri 13-May-11 19:44:44 have a big shop in Tooting Bec

overthemill Mon 16-May-11 12:00:03

Laurarj84 are you interested? Fine if not, i'll ebay it! But rtaher MNers had first pick!

only1lucylocket Sat 04-Jun-11 12:05:01

overthemill, I too have been looking at the Janome 1024 too, I have a Riccar macine, which i am having trouble with, I also like the look of the brother 2100, this was 'which best buy'

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