I'm a long time lurker but since I don't quilt, I'd never have anything to offer.
May I ask if you could recommend a reasonably priced sewing machine..something less than $400.
I do sew to the extent that I'm the family repair person; Cub Scout badge sewer, etc. My only REAL requirement would be that it be able to handle denim. My newest craft project is sewing flat (rather than jointed) charity stuffed bears and I plan to use the stash of jean material I've gathered.
I've been using various hand-me-down machines but the repairman tells me the expense of repair now outweighs the usefulness of the machines.
Thanks for any help you can offer.
We all have our favorite brand, mine is Janome. This topic comes up every once in a while. Instead of repeating myself, I'll just give a couple of links to previous discussions.
Hope this helps you choose.
janome for me.
Here's a link to a recent discussion on this: http://boards.hgtv.com/eve/for...503936857#1503936857
Go to as many dealers as you can and try as many brands as you can. Take some of your own fabrics to test drive. All machines do well on that stiff demo stuff. Get the best that fits your budget. A good trusted dealer is important too. Look for one that also has user classes. Maybe either other classes that will teach you new techniques.
I am a Bernina gal. I also have a nice BabyLock that I like a lot too. A friend bought a low end BabyLock that she didn't like. She had a high end Bernina. She sold it to a friend who really likes the BabyLock.
Have fun shopping. Let us know what you decide upon. Don't make the decision too quickly. Think it through, so you will be happy for a good while.
Friends divide our sorrows and multiply our joys.
Thank you for the discussion links and recommendations. I knew this couldn't be the first time this has been discussed.
At 62, I'm hoping this will be the only machine I'll ever need to buy. Generally, I'm more the prep person for my sewing friend. I search for patterns, cut and fabric pen the face on her various charity stuffed animals.....she does the sewing.
I'd have to wonder if what the repairman said about the hand-me-downs is really true. If the machines are all metal, I'd think about fixing them. Some of the older machines are great, even when given a second lease on life. So you might want to get a second opinion?
I have a Bernina & love it, but it was way more than $400. My friend has an inexpensive Singer but drools over my Bernina & has borrowed it for things her Singer can't do well. Somewhere between, there must be a machine that's right for anyone & the way they'll use it.
I love my Janome Magnolia, which was $399 or so, watch for sales (I got attachments, etc. thrown in for free)... I also have the equivalent model without the flowers (forget its name), which I picked up for $250 refurbished online.
I was considering a second opinion but he only charged me $20 rather than the already approved $90 for cleaning, etc. He doesn't believe is repairing a machine that won't last another year. I agree about the old machines. My Mother had a 1950's heavy duty Singer until she died and it never gave her any trouble (with regular cleaning and maintenance). Unfortunately I believe the motor blew when my Dad felt the need to fiddle with it after Mom died. I would have loved that old machine.
My husband says to just buy the machine I want but there's no one to pass it on to when I'm done...I don't know who's going to sew the seams and make the repairs, etc.
Another thing to consider when deciding if the old machine is worth repairing is the question if they can even get parts for the old machine.
As for your mending needs. I have Pfaff machines and have found them to work great for the mending that I have done--with jeans in particular. I have mended the rips in the back pocket and center seams and have been able to run my machine at full speed in a zigzag stitch and not need to worry about poor stitches when the zig is on the thick edge of the pocket or seam and the zag is on the single or two layer area of the mend. I don't need to use a jump leveler or slow down the motor. The dual feed is wonderful for all the things I do. I have used it with denim to satin and chiffon sheer. I wouldn't go to any other brands from the ones that I have.
Yes, make sure you have a good dealer to work with. You might need a bit more than $400 but the entry level machines at Pfaff have been great too.
When you go try out a machine, take some denim with you. You want to be certain that if it's advertised as sewing through 6 layers of denim - that it WILL sew through 6 layers.
Does this hat make my butt look big?
I've been thinking about this statement that you made. I certainly hope we never make anyone feel like what they do is not good enough to share here. This is the quilting and needlework board - not just quilting. I like to hear about and see pictures of all types of sewing so please feel free to share with us.
Being a long time lurker & sometimes poster I want to welcome you to the neighborhood.
I know we'd all love to see pics of anything you make. That's what inspires me..Everyone sharing what they do. So, show us pics! Hurry! Love teddy bears.
YES! Show pictures of your bears and those Cub Scout badges sewn down! Quilting AND Needlework. This forum covers all sewing!!
Back in my young skinny days, I made all my "painted on" jeans complete with zipper fly just like store bought jeans on a 1952 Singer my DM gave me when I married. I even did fancy stitching on the pockets.
Does this hat make my butt look big?
There are some used METAL machines on ebay that I would seriously look at if I was in the market for another machine.
I was in a quilt show in another town this past weekend and they had 2 older Bernina for sale...as I say I don't need another machine, but they were both under $400.00 and worth every penny. I'd check out seond hand, maybe put an add in the newspaper.??? Just a thought.
If life hands you scraps make quilts
Welcome to the board ... it's already been said - we aren't all 'just' quilters ..just saw a lovely dress a couple of days ago by all means join in. My daughter sews bustiers and jocks for dancers - and uses a lot of denim and leather and foofoo stuff as well ... she has a new Brother machine, not the high end either - her main reminder would be to use JEANS needles and a heavier thread. I'll ask her how it's going ..
BTW ... quilting becomes habit forming - an addiction ...every now and then someone starts a thread with "Hello, my name is Quilty and I'm a fabric addict .."
I cannot change 'things', but I can change how I feel about them. Me.
Wounded Warrior Project
Hi, I'm back. While the repairman didn't think the Singer was worth repairing, I also have a Montegomery Wards UHT J 1949 that is heavy enough to use as a boat anchor. Since it was made in Japan I don't believe it can be any older than 1954 if I've done my research properly but it's worth $20 for him to tell me if it can be fixed. I can move the needle up and down by hand but the foot pedal seems to have power (I can hear something) but the needle doesn't move.)
My girlfriend has an OLD Singer that once belonged to a Singer repair man that she's passing on to me. We'll see how it works. Otherwise, I'll be shopping for a sewing machine.
Busy cutting Hospital dolls (and their hospital gowns). My friend, Martha, is a for charity-sewing whirlwind.
Thanks for all your thoughts re sewing machines.
Hospital dolls?? Could you show photo? Also of your flat bear? I think I know what you mean, but I'd like to see.
BTW, Welcome to the board, like the others said we are interested in anything sewing. Just join in. Pat
Unfortunately, I don't have any of the completed bears or hospital dolls at my home. When they're done, Martha donates them to various organization in Fayetteville.
I am happy to share the patterns we use, however.
I'll see if I can find a link to the hospital gown and the bear. Otherwise I'll try to remember how to upload to the photobucket??? I created to share some yo yo patterns a few years ago.
Thanks for the welcome. You can try this link to my photobucket. The bear and a jacket for it that I hope to size to fit should be there somewhere. Martha uses her fabric stash for the bears...sewing then turning. I hope to make raggedy bears by sewing the jeans back to back and washing to fringe. I have my nifty EZ quilting fabric markers for the faces.
http://dollmakersjourney.com/jh.pdf has one version of the gown
http://www.carewear.org/newsletters/june2012.pdf shows a sewn doll with crocheted dress but I believe the hospitals prefer a fabric gown with either bias tape closure or perhaps Velcro. I BELIEVE they also prefer a variety of skin colors but no print dolls nor any facial features or trim.
Not only do I have a dead sewing machine, but now I can't work the computer either. EGADS.
One last link. Care Wear has a new pattern "book" you can download. Care Wear just appends to be based in my City (Frederick, Maryland)but their good works are nationwide. There are lots of local participants and occasionally a call goes out for fabric or yarn. Since it's usually a wrestling match between me and the machine, I'm happy to donate the fabric and count it as a win.
Mary Ellen, thanks for posting those links. I have made NICU quilts in the past and it is good to be reminded of things that are needed by so many people. I have so much unused fabric in my stash and tons of yarn under the bed! I could be doing something useful with it all. Most of these items are so small and take so little time, it doesn't take a huge commitment to make something.
This question comes up regularly. My suggestion is buy the best you can afford and my a local dealer within xxx miles. Take your own thread/fabric and give the machine(s) a drive just like buying a car.
I love my Janome machines all 5 of them. I doubt I'll ever ever but another brand again. they sew beautifully and are real workhorses. Many own them so there's always help around the corner.
You are most welcome. I'm the designated searcher of the internet....looking for ideas, gathering graphics, etc.....at the ready to produce posters, invitations, etc. at a moment's call. I'm always happy to be Martha's prep person. In addition to the hospital dolls, she/we also work on Salvation dolls and "flat" stuffed animals she gives out at Trunk or Treat every year (with a day after Saturday school invitation). We've done the bears, dogs, frogs, fish, ducks and some I can't even remember. Keeps us off the streets and mostly out of trouble.
I'll be happy to email any of the patterns if you have a problem....I just can't get photo bucket to take a pdf. The bear we use is in photo bucket rather than the Care Wear bear. We find it has a particuarly nice shape.
Martha and I agree...there are only so many aprons, potholders, etc., and holiday items any one needs.
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