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Embroidery machines.....which one?????

(9 Posts)
Sheneverdid Thu 06-Mar-14 11:17:31

I have decided to do something with my spare time (SAHM) which hopefully will turn into a little money spinner!

I would like to try my hand at embroidery and dress making (This is very ambitious for me as I have never used a sewing machine blush), after having a look about I have no idea what would be an ideal first machine to go for. Please could someone point me in the right direction?

VerucaInTheNutRoom Thu 06-Mar-14 11:59:56

What's your budget? You could try your local sewing shop or somewhere like John Lewis to look at and discuss what sort of machine/ features you would like. Embroidery machines seem very expensive.

Hoogally Thu 06-Mar-14 12:11:20

Ime embroidery machines are very expensive. You would have to sell a lot to even make your money back.

Do it for fun but think seriously if the profit is important.

Certainly around me the cost of fabric precludes me ever making a profit. Breaking even would be a challenge. People compare prices to places like primark and you just can't compete.

RavenRose Thu 06-Mar-14 22:36:40

You can get a combined machine or separate embroidery and sewing machines. Embroidery only machines can be expensive, a Janome 350e is around £999. Brother Innovis machines are anything up to £2995 and over although a 750e is around 800. I know a few working dressmakers who use this one. A cheaper one is the Janome 200e but you are limited to designs less than 140mm square. There's also some cheaper brother machines but they have small hoops. I would probably look at the Innovis 750 first.

Combined machines do both sewing and embroidery but tend to be higher priced. The size of what you do is determined by hoop size and the bigger the hoop the higher the price. For a business I would say seperate machines are better as otherwise a machine can be tied up for a bit while a design stitches out. You can get on on another machine while waiting.

Finding a market can be trickier. I can do a pencil skirt, patterns tailored to fit in a fine wool with silk lining but would charge 50 quid and be working for less than minimum wage. Most people would rather get a poly one from primark for less than a tenner. So I've stuck with my day job for now. The trick is finding a niche!

RueDeWakening Sun 09-Mar-14 21:36:32

I have a combined emby & sewing machine, it's the Brother SE400. It cost me about £350 incl when I bought it a couple of years ago. It has a 4x4 inch hoop (basically the smallest one, max emby size is 10cm by 10cm).

The snag that you have with this, is that it's an American machine, and certainly who I bought it from no longer export them to the UK. You also need to spend £30 or so on a converter so it'll run on UK electricity.

If you really want a nice machine that can do both, then see whether any US retailer will ship one for you, it's cheap enough that if you decide it's not for you you've not lost chunks of cash.

The other thing to remember is that to embroider you'll need stabilisers, special threads etc that all cost money too. And you'll go through needles fairly quickly, and while the machine is doing embroidery you can't sew (I keep my SE400 purely for embroidery for this reason).

Sheneverdid Mon 10-Mar-14 17:09:03

Hi thanks for the replies. I have a budget of £600 at the moment but I'm continuing to add to it while I'm still looking around.

I would probably start with it being a hobby anyway, so my Dd 4 will be my guinea pig smile.

My DB has worked in textiles as an embroiderer (obviously on a much larger scale) and has explained about all the extras I'll need and how to get it cheaper or as samples but he got far too technical for me when we spoke about machines grin.

Rue I'm pretty sure I had a look at the Brother SE400, but must say I've never purchased anything from outside the UK because of the customs costs..I must look into that.

Notonthisplanet Tue 11-Mar-14 12:44:13

Watching this thread for tips as I recently bought a brother innovis one and planning on learning a spot of dressmaking along with my other sewing machine. Just have to find the time now with a newborn. Have to say been playing with my new machine and it works very well with the important addition of a USB port to put in your own designs, although not got that far yet grin

Sheneverdid Tue 18-Mar-14 12:22:24

Hi Not you don't seem to of gotten many tips since you started watching grin

How do you find the time to do anything with a newborn? I was whacked enough to 'forget' to have a bath ha ha.

I haven't really been doing much looking at the mo, the bloody car decided to die on us the other day so my funds have just dropped sad I'm going to have a look at the innovis now you have mentioned it. Did you have to buy any software to put your own designs in or is it already on the machine?

RavenRose Tue 18-Mar-14 21:16:16

The machine will come with designs already on. You can also import designs via a USB port via a memory stick although some also link straight to a laptop. I get mine mostly from

Most new machines have a USB port but some will also work with a card reader. You can digitise your own designs. The machine companies have their own software. It's normally extra although there's often special offers going which include the software package. It's also worth looking at

I've seen some good reviews of it but haven't used it myself. I'm tempted though. Even if just for the pattern management bit. However there's editing options in most machines as well. I can flip designs and resize on my machine.

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