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Sewing Machine Recommendations Please

(6 Posts)
TheFurryMenace Mon 18-Jan-16 18:02:07

I have never used a sewing machine in my life. But I am about to start a 4 week intro to sewing class in the next few weeks. I got some money for birthday and am very keen to buy a sewing machine with it.

I dont want to buy a cheap one only to replace it in a year or so, I want something that I will get good use out of. Im not particularly keen on dressmaking, but I would like to do simple alterations - hems (including jeans), sleeve lengths, taking in elasticated waists, and simple toys, cushions and in an ideal world eventually make some curtains and blinds, so I would need something that can handle a heavier fabric.

I have looked at some and wondered if anyone had experience of any of these please. Im quite keen on a computerised one, and the ones below that are computerised say suitable for beginner as well as experienced, but I think real life recommendations are best.

I'd be grateful for advice if none of these are in fact suitable:

many thanks

TheFurryMenace Mon 18-Jan-16 18:03:07

Oops, should have said - budget is up to £300.

mydutifullaunderette Mon 18-Jan-16 18:27:13

Do you need to have one to take to the class? If not, I would try out the class machines for a few sessions and see what you like/dislike about them. If there's a sewing machine shop near you, they will often let you try a few models in store, and sometimes also sell re-conditioned ones.

Everyone's got a favourite type they swear by - if it were me I'd buy the best Janome you can afford; don't worry about whether or not it's computerised, but do try and get one where you can vary stitch length, as well as stitch type (and ideally one that comes with a zipper foot, buttonhole foot, and standard foot as minimum). You'll change the needle too for heavier fabrics, but that's not tricky - promise! Good luck and have fun smile

TheFurryMenace Tue 19-Jan-16 07:08:37

Thank you for your advice MDL, I will look out for the features you mention. I can use the sewing machines provided on the course, but I just wanted to start my own research, I doubt that they would have computerised ones anyway.

mydutifullaunderette Tue 19-Jan-16 12:08:52

I had a basic Janome that did me fine for well over a decade (still works, but is semi-retired as I have a new toy!) making curtains, cushion covers, beanbags and clothes. I upgraded to a fancy Janome for a "milestone" birthday, and love it too. I have done a couple of different courses in different places, and the class machines have always been Janome, so I have just stuck with what was familiar - but I know others on this board love Bernina brand, for example.

Some machines have a speed limiter, where you can set the foot pedal to fast or slow, which allows you to learn gradually how to control the pedal when you're beginning. I've never had one, but they sound good!

TheFurryMenace Tue 19-Jan-16 22:32:14

Thanks again MDL, I like the sound of the speed limiter, I'll probably need that. I will hang on and se. How I like what they use on the course, but I just wanted to get others advice too.

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