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can you recommend a first sewing machine for my 16yr old daughter?

(18 Posts)
triplets Sun 15-Sep-13 17:22:57

Unlike her mother (grin) who can`t sew a button on, my dd seems to be good at sewing She is into steam punk clothing etc and I thought a machine might be a good Christmas gift for her. I am hopeless and wouldn`t know where to start, what threads etc, lots of help needed please. smile

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 15-Sep-13 18:02:46

My Mum is buying my niece one from John Lewis...they're quite basic and inexpensive...but have good reviews. Otherwise you could get her a reconditioned one...lots of good online stores doing them reasonably and you can get 2 year warranty with them too.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 15-Sep-13 18:03:17

John Lewis Sewing Machines

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 15-Sep-13 18:04:24

Oh you could also get her a sewing box or a tool box to keep everything in....sewing machines come with bobbins and spare needles....but you can get threads for them from the same shop usually....any reel will do or ask in your Habidashery what they reccomend.

SuddenlySqueamish Sun 15-Sep-13 18:07:01

I follow a lot of sewing blogs and people have been giving good reviews to Ikea's sewing machine which is only £45.

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 15-Sep-13 18:08:35

John Lewis have a very good reputation and the staff are allegedly knowledgeable and can offer good advice.

If you don't have a JL near you you could try the Ikea machine as I've heard good things about that one. Cheap (£40) and quite basic but I know 2 people who have it and they're both very happy.

Or keep an eye on Lidl for their SilverCrest machines, which are great. Basic, cheap but solid and good to start with.

I'm no great sewer but I've just bought a second hand Janome from Ebay, having done some extensive research on what would be good for me. It cost me £26, it's a 1980s model but the features are the same as today's models minus automatic threading, and it's fabulous.

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 15-Sep-13 18:09:31

Ha, great minds Squeamish!

spots Sun 15-Sep-13 18:13:25

To be honest you just can't beat the old metal bodied ones for durability and reliability. You can pick them up reconditioned for less then £60 and as long as they do straight stitch and zig zag they'll cover anything you throw at them. IME the cheaper new ones offer lots of fancy stitches at the expense of basic heft, and heft you do need if you're likely to be sewing heavier weight fabrics, even to make jackets or soft furnishings. You can get beautiful old black Singers with an engine fitted and all the fancy gold patterning on the side, which may appeal if she is a steampunk kinda gal. (though they often do only straight stitch and not zig zag). Lovely present idea though, and there's so much free advice and even patterns on the web... smile

OhDearNigel Sun 15-Sep-13 18:18:13

Toyota RS2000. Really lovely to use, its the one recommended for schools. I olve mine

triplets Sun 15-Sep-13 22:20:08

oh...........I lost my Mum last year and we gave away her Singer machine, black body and gold lettering , just remembered it. She used to ask me on Sat afternoons to bring it downstairs for her smile

FabricQueen Mon 16-Sep-13 09:59:57

I have heard both good things about both Brother machines, and even more so, Janome. I'm about to upgrade my Brother bottom of the line (which has been fine and I will still use, but I live between two places and need a machine in each) with a Janome few steps up from the bottom of the line. I really like the look of the Janome J3 18, because Tilly from Great British Sewing Bee used to use one, and I am a sheep blush
Her site is fab, link here:

KittensoftPuppydog Tue 17-Sep-13 12:47:13

John lewis machines. Pretty colours and easy to use. Mine has taken me from beginner to quite complex projects.

triplets Tue 17-Sep-13 14:55:22

Yes, they have a purple one which I am interested in smile

marissab Tue 17-Sep-13 16:09:17

We got the basic £100 janome one and it's fab! I love it. Has zig zag, straight, button hole and a few fancy stitches.

KittensoftPuppydog Tue 17-Sep-13 16:26:49

I really love my john Lewis. She's called rosie. It's the 100 quid one and does everything I've asked of it. You can get janome bits for it that will fit if she wants to get quilt foot etc.

myfriendbill Fri 20-Sep-13 17:22:13


LoveSewingBee Sat 21-Sep-13 23:04:38

I would have a look in John Lewis. I would choose one with a number of different stitches and a number of feet included, so not the cheapest and most simple one, so she has some options going forward.

A few basic colours of good quality thread (also at John Lewis) and some extra needles and bobbins.

Potterer Wed 25-Sep-13 09:58:19

The basic £99 from John Lewis is the one used by the instructor on my sewing classes this one

Personally I think it feels very cheap, sorry and although it does the job it doesn't feel robust enough to last. I have attended 3 x 1 day workshops and everything is demonstrated on that machine simply because they loan that machine on the day to anyone who hasn't got their own machine. So I have seen it in use.

I bought my own sewing machine from Sewing Machines Direct. They have 7 machines all for under £100. You get a 5 year guarantee and they all come with 50 reels of thread, 5 pairs of scissors, 2 packs of needles, and a tape measure which when you are starting out really helps.

I have a Janome, but it was about £250.

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