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Best value sewing machine for making curtains?

(15 Posts)
TremoloGreen Tue 04-Aug-15 21:40:49

I am about to blow my life savings on an old wreck of a house and need to update everything on quite a tight budget, saving money wherever possible. We only own one pair of curtains as our old place had shutters/blinds everywhere, but I was reasonably adept with a sewing machine back in my school days, so I reckon I could run up a few pairs of curtains (please don't laugh at my naivety!)

I don't own a sewing machine and obviously don't have much spare cash to spend on one. Looking at the cheapest cheapy ones though, I don't know if they would work well with several layers of medium-weight fabric. I know my friend bought one of those colourful ones from John Lewis and said it wasn't up to much.

Down the line, I might branch out and make a few childrens costumes with it if I don't end up bashing it in with a big mallet after failing to make curtains...

What's the cheapest I can get away with that will do the job?

TremoloGreen Tue 04-Aug-15 21:41:51

Oh yes, also... any advice for a good website/library book/youtube channel that will give me some curtain-making pointers would be very gratefully received!

JoffreyBaratheon Thu 06-Aug-15 18:57:26

£10-£15 old Singer hand-crank from car boot. If it has a problem - there's a million YouTube videos on how to sort it. Chances are it won't have a problem. Spares are cheap and readily available and these things were designed for anyone to maintain and fix. I have bought several at car boots and all only needed a quick clean and a new needle.

They only sew in a straight line as a rule - fine for curtains. I do all my sewing on vintage machines, though, even more complex stuff and it's fine.

Notgrumpyjustquiet Thu 06-Aug-15 22:15:01

I got a John Lewis one a few months ago, not the ones that look like a kid's toy, the next one up I think it was £90 and it's bloody fab. Practically threads up and sews stuff by itself. My most recent make was a patchwork cushion cover which involved several layers of denim, old pillow cases etc, no problem.

Notgrumpyjustquiet Thu 06-Aug-15 22:17:54

TremoloGreen Fri 07-Aug-15 10:07:55

Thanks both for your suggestions. Notgrumpy, that is the one my friend has, that she has had trouble getting it to do thicker fabrics! If you've got any tips, I'll pass them on to her... she said it kept getting jammed.

Joffrey I am starting to think that second-hand might be the way. I have seen an old Janome New Home 539 on ebay that I might bid on today. It is only £9.99 so far with £15 for postage. It actually has adjustable stitch width and length which most of the cheaper machines don't have and the insturction manual is online and looks simple. I do think the older ones were probably more built to last, I know my mum has one that is older than me that she still uses, she only got a new one more recently to do embroidery on and so she can lift it without getting a hernia!

Notgrumpyjustquiet Fri 07-Aug-15 16:16:42

Tremolo I'm not sure what sort of fabric your friend was using but mine has never jammed. Has she got the tension too tight? As I say it sailed through two layers of denim and 3 of polycotton no trouble at all, didn't even slow down never mind jam, so I can't see it struggling too badly with proper curtain fabric. I've also done curtains on it with cotton drill which was fairly thick especially at the edges when it came to attaching the curtain tape but I just hand wound it past the folded in/ folded over bits right at the edges IYSWIM, then whizzed away across the rest of it.

Notgrumpyjustquiet Fri 07-Aug-15 16:27:00

I believe that Janome also make the JL ones?

TremoloGreen Mon 10-Aug-15 10:39:49

Notgrumpy, I just looked at them in JLew the other day and realised that the one my friend has is the 'mini' version of yours! I keep losing out on EBay, so it might be worth getting one of these as it seems to only be another £30 or so for something new with a 2-year warranty. Thanks for the recommendation.

Haggisfish Mon 10-Aug-15 10:48:01

I got this one-free home delivery and if sign up to their newsletter before you buy it, you get 15% off taking it to a great price. You get some bobbins with it and a few accessories too.

Haggisfish Mon 10-Aug-15 10:48:19

Notgrumpyjustquiet Tue 11-Aug-15 20:26:43

Tremolo honestly I'm so pleased with mine, go for it, treat yourself! Let us know how you get on smile

Notgrumpyjustquiet Tue 11-Aug-15 20:29:52

Alternatively I don't know if you could find a way of getting a new one on the cheap e.g. from Tesco Direct by doubling up your points? They quite often do deals on electricals but I don't know if they do sewing machines.

TremoloGreen Wed 12-Aug-15 13:15:26

Great idea notgrumoy. Failing that, we are not moving until November, so I will just wait until Christmas and ask Santa very nicely!

Oh, yes and I envisage I'll definitely be back here begging someone to tell me the differnece between bump and dommett grin

Notgrumpyjustquiet Wed 12-Aug-15 14:04:59

I also noticed a code on the most recent MN email offering 20% off at Hobbycraft, might be worth a gander? wink

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