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Sewing machine

(17 Posts)
LoveRedShoes Fri 19-Nov-10 15:56:39

Hi - wondering if anyone can recommend a sewing machine for a newbie. Need it for clothing repairs, some felt crafts (christmas stockings!) and potentially curtains, if I am feeling brave.
There are so many different types, and I live nowhere near a John Lewis for advice. Many thanks!

conkertree Fri 19-Nov-10 16:00:55

I have an Elna 3005 which I got for my 21st (am now 29) and I certainly have no complaints. I mostly use it for wee bits of dress making, putting waistbands on kilts,and have done wee bits of curtain things etc. It has an automatic buttonhole maker which has been quite useful for clothes and cushion covers.

There are so many choices though so I don't actually remember how I decided on that one. Think there are lots with embroidery options but depends if you would use that or not.

LoveRedShoes Fri 19-Nov-10 17:44:31


piprabbit Fri 19-Nov-10 17:47:16

I love my Bernina - I've had it for 20 years and it's great. I even went for my free day's tuition and learnt how to use it properly.

Have a look here.

emsyj Fri 19-Nov-10 21:09:11

I've fairly recently bought a machine and I am a beginner. I got the Janome DC3050 and it does most things. John Lewis were doing it for £279 at the time, it was £350 everywhere else. It has lots of features including auto tension - apparently tension is the thing that often makes machines go wrong (i.e. using the wrong tension setting, then you need to go and have it reset or something confused ) but my machine can be set to auto and it will adjust itself. I used it to make curtains for DD's room and it was great. It's easy to use I think - and I am quite stupid at practical/creative stuff.

You could pay a lot less for something more basic if you wanted. The Janome one was recommended to me by a local sewing machine shop as being good for a beginner, but also with plenty of features and stuff if you get a bit more advanced.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 19-Nov-10 21:11:46

I bought one of the pastel ones from JL online for £50 (I have the pink one) and it's great for basic sewing. Really easy to use - I have never opened the instructions!

emsyj Fri 19-Nov-10 21:14:07

On that note, I hear John Lewis own brand machines are made by Janome so should be good quality.

AphraBen Sat 20-Nov-10 01:32:38

I am pretty sure you can call John Lewis and talk to the dept for advice.

Quiltingmoomin Sat 20-Nov-10 03:54:07

I have a Janome Jem and a Bernina Artista 180. The Jem is a brilliant basic machine. its small and light and never breaks. It was about £90 I think. I'd heard the JL pastel machines were a bit iffy when it comes to heavier duty fabrics - is this true?
JL offer loads of advice if you go to a shop with a machine dept you can road test the machines too.

LoveRedShoes Sat 20-Nov-10 20:19:23

Thanks so much for the great help. Will try calling JL, but will def follow up on the recommendations!

MarineIguana Sat 20-Nov-10 20:23:39

I bought [ ne/brother/brother-innov-is-10a-sewing-machine-242 .html this]] on the recommendation of the shop I went to and I love love love it. Incredibly easy to use and versatile - not all-singing all-dancing, but has everything you need and a good price I think.

MarineIguana Sat 20-Nov-10 20:24:09

Oops ne/brother/brother-innov-is-10a-sewing-machine-242 .html here

MarineIguana Sat 20-Nov-10 20:25:09

Gah what's going on

ta-daa! (I hope)

Itsjustafleshwound Sat 20-Nov-10 20:27:08

JL don't sell or service Bernina sewing machines - you will have to go to a specialist shop!

I have a Bernina, my mum has a Bernina and the Bernina machine my mum bought when I was 6 months old is still working.

moragbellingham Sat 20-Nov-10 20:33:11

At both my nearest JL's they have stopped doing any demos or letting you try the machines.
I went to Coopers (online and shops) who said nowhere really does this anymore(?) and they stopped as it wasn't time/cost effectivesad. That is why they offer a 30 day trial and swap if you don't like offer.

When I get my Brother out of the box I'll let you know what it's like. I'm a newbie and it was recommended as good for the price, and they offer prob the cheapest price on Janomes too.

greenlotus Sat 20-Nov-10 20:38:31

You might find a local sewing machine shop/dealer in the Yellow Pages/ though - do you live near any big town at all or are you in the sticks? Somewhere like that would sell you a reconditioned machine which will get you more quality for the money.

amatteroflifeanddeath Sat 20-Nov-10 21:00:50

I bought this recently but I know nothing. I chose it because its a good make and it was a bargin. I have used it quite a bit and it seems very nice but I have nothing to compare it to apart from the machines I used in school 20+ years ago.

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