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What do you need from a sewing machine?

(15 Posts)
Charliepw Fri 17-Oct-08 23:21:53

I'm in the market for a new sewing machine but i'm not totally sure of what a nice new sewing machine can do.

Up until now i've made do with my very very very old Necchi BU that only went forwards and backwards and zig zag, that was it, i had no additional feet so i couldn't sew button holes or a zip etc...

Recently i broke the belt and although i've now fixed it, an opportunity to purchase an 11 year old Husqvarna sewing machine that has apparently hardly been used, has now come up.

Does anyone know anything about these machines?

This particular one is a Model 350, and the man from Husqvarna says it's equivalent is the Sapphire 830 at £649!

My question is, what else might i need from a sewing machine?
I'm wondering if i'm going to buy a new sewing machine perhaps i don't want one that is 11 years old, perhaps i want to spend a bit more and get one that is computerised (the Husq isn't)

What do you think?
What are all the marvelous things you can do on a new fancy sewing machine.

Your opinions will be appreciated

warthog Sat 18-Oct-08 12:32:22

you can get lots of embroidery stitches, and can even design your own on your computer and upload it to your machine.

some berninas will monitor how fast you're feeding the material through and make sure all the stitches are the same length.

automatic button hole programmes.

inbuilt thread cutters.

all sorts.

have a look at bernina, jenome and toyota sites to get an idea of what's possible.

Charliepw Sat 18-Oct-08 14:41:50

Thank you
Oh my an automatic button hole program, that sounds very fancy indeed.

Anyone got any more suggestions?

ranting Sat 18-Oct-08 14:56:16

I always look for automatic button holer, adjustible stitch widths and lengths.

I personally would avoid anything with computer embroidery on it, simply because if I want to embroider, I'd rather do my own creations, than use a pre programmed one. And I always think that the more complicated the software, the more there is to go wrong.

I test drove both the Bernina and the Janome recently and I have decided to get a Janome, there is not a lot of difference in terms of how they felt but, I could get more 'bang for my buck' with a Janome, simply because you pay a bit more for the Bernina name.

katch Sat 18-Oct-08 15:02:27

A service engineer recently told me Benina are no longer made in Switzerland, the same factories make them as make all the others, fwiw.

moocowme Sat 18-Oct-08 20:35:37

it depends on what sort of sewing you want to do and how much. I used to (not so much now working full time with a 1yo) make all my clothes myself. including lingerie and swimwear so having a range of stitches is very helpful. i bought a janome MC 9000 a few years ago off ebay and must say i am very pleased to have moved up. I am just hoping one day to be able to use it a bit more without the sewing machine fairy changing stiches while i am sewing.

so depends on what you want to do with it really. but i would always say buy the best one you can afford.

AMumInScotland Sat 18-Oct-08 20:49:21

I've got a fairly old Singer, which wasn't one of the fancy ones even at the time, but it does everything that I've ever felt a need for - variable stitch lengths, variable widths for the zigzag, adjustable tension, and a few fancy zigzags - 3 stitch each way zigzag, one which stitches and edges all in one and works for stretch fabrics, one which gives a sort of herring-bone effect, and one you're meant to use for hemming and does 3 small zigzags then a wider one. It only has a several-step buttonhole though, which I would probably find a pain if I ever did buttonholes!

Charliepw Sun 19-Oct-08 09:52:22

Thanks for all the comments,
i am thinking this Husqvarna may well be just what i want.

I can embroider myself so i guess i don't really need that function and on top of that this Husq does have some embroidery settings.

It has a button hold setting and button hole foot apparently, i'll investigate if it is one step or several steps. ( i suspect several steps)

It has several stretch stitches which i think will be useful when sewing jersey, which i do.

I will check about the stitch width and length cos i think that would definitely be an advantage.

'moocowme' you made your own lingerie and swimwear! wow-flipperty-wee.


moocowme Sun 19-Oct-08 20:51:39

yes well when you lived in rural queensland and where very well endowed getting clothes to fit nicely was very difficult. easier and cheaper to sew your own stuff.

recently been making my little man his first paris of shoes. nice soft leather and suede, fit very nicely.

if only i did not have to work i would have more time for the important stuff.

lucykate Sun 19-Oct-08 21:07:54

go for the husqvarna saphire 830, i've tried out that machine twice, very nearly bought it, but changed my mind at the last minute and got the bernina activa 240 instead. i loved the sapphire, it is a fab machine for the price, and i loved the automatic foot raising sensor bit. sometimes i wish i had got it instead of the bernina, but i'm slowly bonding with the bernina.

warthog Mon 20-Oct-08 13:50:07

so lucykate, why did you go for the bernina?

lucykate Mon 20-Oct-08 16:13:25

the quality of the straight stitch was ever so slightly better on the bernina, and as i work as a textile designer, it was a really important factor for me, oh, and the fact that the light is a daylight bulb, better for colour work, but they were the only reasons.

the things i did like about the sapphire were the larger work space, the two lights as opposed to one, and the alphabets, it did lower case as well as upper, the bernina only does upper case.

warthog Tue 21-Oct-08 22:44:27


Charliepw Wed 22-Oct-08 18:38:00

Wow that Saphire sounds wonderful, somehow i don't think the 11 year old Husq 350 will be quite as good as the new equivalent Saphire 830. I think it will be missing lots of the new improved bits, but hey hopefully it will be really good.

LucyKate, your blog is lovely, lovely lovely work.

lucykate Thu 23-Oct-08 08:37:18

i think husqvana's are good all round, my previous machine was their cheaper brand, huskystar and it lasted nearly 20 years and saw me through my degree and beyond, it served me very well for about £150, i've still got it, it will always be my back up machine.

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