Monday, April 2, 2012

Let’s Discuss Sewing Machines

One of the questions I get emails about probably 2-3 times/week is “What kind of sewing machine do you have or what kind of sewing machine do you recommend buying?”

So I thought it would be a good idea to discuss sewing machines today.
Then we can always have this post to reference if anyone wants to research sewing machines before buying.

1. What kind of machine do you have and about how much does it cost?
2. What do you like about it?
3. What do you dislike about it (if anything)?

I’ll go first.
I have
a Singer 2662.
My parents bought it for me at Wal-Mart as a Christmas gift over 12 years ago. It was probably around $100.

I didn’t sew at the time. If you want to know how I got into sewing, you can read up on my story HERE.
I pretty much used it to sew things like throw pillows and other straight-line stitching projects.
It’s a very basic machine. It gets me by. I like that it was inexpensive.

Now for what I don’t like about it…
- It can’t do buttonholes. It’s supposed to, but it doesn’t.
- It doesn’t do any of the other stitches besides straight and zig-zag. Again, it is supposed to, but it doesn’t. I’ve tried the blindstitch and blanketstitch and neither work.
- It comes unthread very easily when you start sewing. This makes me grit my teeth more than anything!
- There isn’t much variety with stitchlengths. I usually sew about 2.5-3 and it only goes up to 4, so this can make things like gathering/basting a little difficult.
- The universal ruffle foot I bought doesn’t fit it.

Those are the most prominent things I can think of. So you’re probably wondering why I use it. Like I said, it gets me by. The only reason I notice some of those things is because I have become a more experienced seamstress. Again, it’s a very basic machine and it works great for almost every thing. For other things, I have fabulous neighbors and/or family members that I can borrow their machine. Maybe one day if I can get Bernina to sponsor me or something, I’ll get a new one. Smile

So now it’s your turn. Even if you have never commented before, will you please take a quick second and tell us about your machine if you have one?

Thanks everyone!!! Happy sewing!
Tam

49 comments:

  1. I have a Bernina Activa 125, and I LOVE it! It has a few extra stitches it can do, but I don't use them that often. I love that it has metal (not plastic) parts underneath, so it will last longer. The only thing I wish was different is that I had more feet for it, like a walking foot. There really isn't anything I don't like about my machine.

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  2. I have the basic Bernina, and it's wonderful! It was a college graduation present, so I didn't really have to worry about cost, but we did get it during a summer sale so it was cheaper. My mom, an avid sewer, has a basic Bernina from her high school graduation, and she still uses it.

    I really like the stitch memory on my Bernina, because it remembers the length and position settings, so you can switch between straight and zigzag (etc) and it will remember how long you want your straight stitch or how wide you want your zigzag.

    The only real downside to Bernina is that you can't find parts and accessories at most sewing stores. You have to buy them from Bernina dealers.

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  3. I have a Brother LS-2160, which was around $250. It is a very, very basic machine. It does straight and zig-zag stitch, and I think blind stitch, though I've never used it. It can do button holes, but not well. The stitch length is also very limited, however the longest length is fine for basting.

    I love how easy the machine was to learn. I bought it with money my grandfather left me when he died, per his instructions, and after trying and failing to use my mothers much more complicated janome machine, this one was a breeze.

    The only thing I don't like about the machine is the lack of stitch options, but like I said, when I bought it I wanted something to learn to sew on, not some huge complicated monster.

    I am actually in the market for a better machine, as well as a serger, so this post is extremely timley.

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  4. I have several machines but the two I use most often are my Janome DP1600 and Brother CS600i. I LOVE the Brother machine for lots of reasons. Many stitches, easy buttonhole maker and it is so light weight it is easy to drag around with me. It comes with a quilting table, lots of feet (including a free motion foot), it has a needle down feature, can drop the feed dogs and has a built in 1/4" stitch (the needle moves into place for a quarter inch left or right). The only thing I wish it has that it doesn't is a built in thread cutter. (I am spoiled.) I love my big Janome but it IS big and that is what I use mostly for heavy duty projects and quilting. It has a large harp so you can stuff a quilt in pretty easily. I love the built in thread cutter, easy bobbin winder and knee lift. The only things I miss is that it is a straight stitch only machine and the feed dogs don't drop. I paid less than $150 for the Brother machine and it was some of the best money I have ever spent.

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  5. I am new to sewing. For several years I borrowed my mom's "$50 Singer" but it was acting up and I decided to buy my own. I tried a Brother, but had it only 2 days when it quit working so I took it back. I finally bought a Janome 8550 and absolutely love it! I spent $250 for it and it is wonderful! It has everything I want in a sewing machine - quiet, several stitch options, speed options, up/down needle, thread cutter. LOVE IT!

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  6. I have a Bernina 1000. My hubby bought it for me our first Christmas together when I was just learning to sew and I love it. We were poor, but I'm glad he splurged. Growing up my mom had a cheap Singer which she battled with for 30 years and she hates to sew.My machine doesn't have a computer or do anything fancy, but I don't have to mess w/ tension, jams, broken threads etc and I think that's why I love to sew.

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  7. I have a Bernina Inspiration plus 1650, and it will be pried from my cold dead hands, my husband at a loss for gift giving ideas has offered to get me a fancier/newer machine several times since he bought my current one for me while we were dating in college over 12 years ago, but I am an old dog, and don't want to have to learn the quirks of a new machine (I can hear when the bobbin thread is about to run out my machine and I are so attuned!) As far as sergers go, I would never own anything but a Babylock....... ever, seriously if you are ever in the market go to Babylock, you will love me forever for telling you that!

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  8. I have a Pfaff serger, and I LOVE it. It makes projects so fast, easy, and they stay together! The tensions are automatic but so easy to adjust, and threading is a dream! I just got a new Viking Emerald sewing machine, as an update to my Singer. My Viking is so quiet and has so many more options than my Singer. I am so happy with my Viking.

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  9. I have a Bernina 1030, circa 1986. It's my mom's old one that I borrowed and apparently kept too long, so she decided to buy a new one! I recently got the choice to pick between that and a newer Brother (I don't remember the model number, but it was a quilting edition), and I choose to stick with the Bernina. My one complaint is the harp space. I've started doing a lot of quilting and it is really hard to quilt on. It doesn't have any of the new "fancy" features, but she works great!

    I would like a new, bigger machine to use for quilting, but I'm having a hard time committing to anything other than the Bernina 830, which is so far out of my price range, it's not even funny. I know everyone says other brands are good too, but Bernina is all I've used and I'm afraid I'll be disappointed if I get something else.

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  10. I have a Husqvarna/Viking Madison sewing machine. It was a limited edition machine, so I don't think you can buy it new anymore. I bought it about 6 years ago when I was first married and it has been a great machine. It's very simple to use & has been a great machine to start with. Now that I am sewing a great deal more, I would like to upgrade, but I'm just waiting until I have a bit more money saved. I definitely won't be getting rid of this machine, though, because I think it will be great for teaching my daughters to sew. It is able to handle thick fabric, & I've even used it to sew soft leather baby shoes. It's durable, quickly adjusts to a different stitch, and rarely has problems. I have noticed lately that it doesn't back stitch as well on some of the thinner fabrics. Usually when it has a problem, I realize that I didn't thread it correctly, or I've made some other mistake. The machine rarely has problems of its own. I love it & I'm so glad I bought this machine!

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  11. I have Brother CS6000i. http://www.amazon.com/Brother-Affordable-60-Stitch-Computerized-Free-Arm/dp/B000JQM1DE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333388349&sr=8-1 It was my first machine, and I've had it for about 6 years (7?). I like it for the same reasons as the poster above. Good beginner machine with enough extras to grow well with you if you're learning.

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  12. I have an old school, all metal (Heavy lil' sucker!) Singer 401A and I LOVE IT! I've used a few different machines that my mom let me use, but they always had problems, and this one just rocks! It's old but is easy to use, has quite a few different stitches, and will go through anything without a problem. These aren't horribly hard to find but go quick cuz people want them...I got mine for $150 on ebay...score!!!

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    1. Tara, I had to reply on your comment! My favorite machine is my Singer 306W from 1957, metal, mechanical, and runs like a workhorse. I can get it to do anything, and I'm not terrified of a repair bill because I can oil and maintain it, and even do simple repairs. My husband found it at an auction and got it for $15, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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  13. I have a Kenmore that I bought from sears a few years ago for about $120 bucks. I later found out that Janome makes the Kenmore machines, so essentially I have a Janome for a lot less. And I have the Sears warranty and repair stuff, which I haven't needed. It's metal, and heavy, and I like it because it doesn't feel like it will fall apart if I sew too fast or have too many layers. I don't do quilting, so I've never tried to use it as a quilting machine. But for standard stuff and slightly more stitch options/features, it's pretty dang good and I'd recommend it any day. I also love the drop in bobbin and the thread-assist, which were new to me features when I bought it!

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  14. I have a Bernina Activa 145 and I love it!!! I've had it for about 10 or 11 years and it's been a great machine. It has lots of decorative stitches and the button hole is easy to use. I get it tuned up every year and have never had a problem. The Bernina in Provo, Utah let me upgrade from my first Bernina (that I bought there) and put the price of that machine toward the one I really wanted. I don't know if they still do that, but it saved me about $500. And any new machine came with 6 free lessons from the store. The only thing I don't love is that I'm still saving up for the walking foot. It's about $100. Maybe for my birthday.

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  15. I have a NEW Bernina 350 (squeal). My Brother XR9000 quit on me after 2 years, so I decided it would be worth it to upgrade. I have only had it a few weeks but I LOVE it. It doesn't have TONS of extra stitches (though it has everything I need and then many more). I use my machine at least weekly, and I needed a machine that will be around for the long haul.

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  16. I have a Brother CE5500 (It's the "Limited Edition Project Runway" model from walmart). It was about $140. I am no professional seamstress by any means, but I love the machine. It has 80 different stitch options, does I believe 8? different button hole styles, is easy to thread (never knew how much I would LOVE the self threading needle option!) and came with all the different feet needed to use all of the stitches. I love the utility stitches - the overcasting stitches give the finished look of a serger, but without the expensive machine! There is even an extra spool pin in case you want to sew using a double needle. I am just learning to sew on this machine and have found it to be very intuitive, and I don't see myself growing out of it anytime soon.

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  17. I started sewing on an old Kenmore. It did the job but after having it for 4 years my mom took it back & gave me my grandmothers old Singer. I couldn't get it to sew a straight line so I broke down & finally purchased a Bernina Activa 230. I absolutely love it. The only problems are generally user error. I do wish it had a bigger throat as I am a quilter but I'm learning to quilt even larger quilts in it. I dream about the day I can upgrade to one with a embroidery module on it. That's my only regret in purchasing the one I did but was already at the highest of what I could spend. Bernina is quite expensive but after having issues with the previous 2 machines I'd rather spend more for a great product. It also helps that the Bernina dealer locally is excellent.

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  18. I started on my mom's Bernina 650 that she got back in the 80's and it's still working really well today. I got my own Bernina Inspiration last summer. It is a used 90's model that I bought from a certified Bernina dealer. I knew that I would never switch to a different brand having sewn on a Bernina for my whole life and although I might have gotten it cheaper from an owner I wanted to make sure that it had been looked over before I bought it. Even though the model I bought is 10+ years old, it was top o' the line when it came out (probably costing $1500+ when it first came out), I paid $750 for it. You might say a bit much for an older machine, but I looked up my mom's basic Bernina that is about 25 years old and it's still worth about $300 and she paid about $600 when they bought it new. Bernina's don't loose their value!

    Plus as I bought it from a dealer, the dealer gave me a 1 yr warrantee with the machine to bring it back if something wasn't working. So far I haven't had to! I know others have good luck with other brands...but I am Bernina all the way.

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  19. I have a little Singer Prelude, that my hubby bought me for x-mas a few years ago, for about $90. When I got it, I didn't sew at all. But it does what I need it to do. I LOVE IT! All the basics, which work well for me. I like a simple sewing machine. The "big ones" are just to complicated for me. But he did get me a Singer perfect finish Serger for x-mas, to go along with my machine. I'm all about the simple things, lol.

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  20. I have a Singer Stylist 7258 that I got at target earlier this year. I am returning to sewing after a 23 year break so I wanted something super easy to use and this machine is just that. It has 43 automatic stitches that it does beautifully as well as buttonholes to die for. I love how the needle position and stitch lock buttons are right up front so I can do it while I am sewing. I've been experimenting with applique using the tight zig zag and it's not bad. Now If I can just work on my own sewing skills (and sew a straight line) I will be all set. I wish it had a better guide for seam allowance and I'm not crazy about the thread having to be sideways but those are small things. All in all a great little machine with lots of versatility.

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  21. I use to use a VERY old Singer. You know, the old brown ones you can find in antique stores now. :)Yeah...It was my grandmothers, that passed down to my Mom and then me. Oh, how I hated it. But only cause I was inexperienced, it totally worked for my mom. Singers now days don't stack up to what they used to be (in my opinion). I now use a Husqvarna/Viking Emerald 118. My MIL and my Mother are both very talented seamstresses. They both recommended a Viking. You will pay more for it. I pretty much got the base model. I LOVE IT! And will never go back to using anything else. And my sewing talents have grown tremendously since getting my Viking.

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  22. I have a Brother CS-6000i I bought it brand new for $177 free shipping and no taxes last year. It works like a charm, its very easy to thread, all of the stitches work as well as making a button hole. This is definitely getting me by until I want to upgrade. This was worth the purchase when I bought it as a beginner sewer and its a champ. It sews through heavy duty stuff like heavy duty canvas fabric. This thing will last forever as long as I continue to take care of it.

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  23. I can't believe you just posted this today, I literally just bought my first sewing machine on Sunday! I'm so excite to use it! I put a lot of time and research into buying one, so I hope it pays off. Many of the reviews I read on Singers had said that almost every machine failed to live up to its' promises, so I went with a Brother. My mom is a very experienced seamstress and had recommended I buy an all digital machine for its' ease of use for things like auto button holes, and various stitch settings. I bought the Brother CS770 but I have yet to dive in a familiarize myself with it. Right off the bat I was impressed with how lightweight it is and the automatic threading is a breeze compared to my mom's 35 year old Viking machine.

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  24. I have a Brother XL2600i. I bought it about a year ago from Amazon. I got it because it was affordable and got really great reviews. I love everything about this machine. It is very easy to thread and I never have a problem with the thread tension/length. It has worked well in every single project I have used it for. I've hemmed up jeans as well as refashioned some clothing with it. I've tried every stitch the machine can do and they all work wonderfully. Plus, it's pretty light weight and easy to move around. I absolutely would recommend this machine to anyone that is looking for something simple to use and affordable! http://www.amazon.com/Brother-XL2600I-Affordable-25-Stitch-Free-Arm/dp/B000F7DPEQ

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  25. I have a Brother NV-950D. I love it. It is computerized and has a machine embroidery function so that I can add cute pictures to what I make. I purchased it in November and have been sprucing up my abilities since then. The manual that can with the machine is very helpful and explains the function of each stitch. It also can with 8 different feet, zig-zag, buttonhole, zipper, blind stitch, embroidery, overcasting, monogramming and a button foot. It is also able to handle heavy loads. It is also has an automatic needle threader and also cuts the thread for me when I'm done stitching, which are fairly basic features on most machines now. I learned how to sew on my mother's machine(from her mother), a singer. It is old and many pieces are missing, so my new sewing machine is a welcome change.

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  26. i am a bernina girl through and through. i have an 1130 that i bought almost 19 years ago and would not trade it for anything. if i ever get a new machine they will sit side by side. i have sewn everything with it-leather,parachute fabric,knit,paper and metal! it is a fabulous machine.

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  27. I have several. first off, my big girl: a pfaff 7550 from 1995...she's still kickin' and I see no reason to get a newer one. Okay, I see lots of reasons but they are all just about being new. LOL
    I have a janome aqs 2009 that is a small travel machine. it works great. got it really cheap becasue they don't make them any more and I had some amazon points. I've had it since oct 2010...it's been a very good little machine and it makes killer buttonholes....killer!
    I have an elna serger that I got used in 1999....love
    I have two singer featherwieghts that I got 15 years ago so the kids could sew, but they didn't and I don't use them all that much. I would get a long arm quilter if I could, or at minimum, a table machine with a really deep throat.

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  28. I have a HuskyStar C20 by Husqvarna Viking. Seems to be an Australian model? My mom loved it so found one similar in America. anyway, LOVE it! Does buttonholes beautifully, has 9 "basic" stitches and then a bunch of decorative stitches including the alphabet. The only things that bother me are it sometimes comes unthreaded when starting stitching, the backstitching is a button not foot fed so is VERY slow if you need to backstitch for more than a couple stitches (like going back and forth over ribbon or elastic or something) I've made quilts and blankets and clothes and love it. =)

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  29. Well well..I when I started sewing in July 2010 I was using a singer esteem from target my MIL bought me! I burnt the motor in it about 3 months later sewing Amy butlers messenger bag so my mum told me to go out and buy a Viking! So I did! And I luv it! The ladies at the Husqvarna Viking place are wonderful and so I have upgraded to a used ruby. Luv luv luv it and am having a blast!

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  30. I have a Janome Memorycraft and a Bernina serger. I love them both - I've even named them Jane and Nina respectively. Nina can be a pain in the butt when she unthreads herself, but I've heard that's a pretty universal complaint with sergers.

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  31. I have a Bernina 330 and LOVE it. It was around $1000 which is high but worth the money. I like that I have had zero issues with it, it will sew through anything, and there are plenty of accessories (such as feet) to purchase if you want more. I honestly can't think of anything that I don't like! I did invest in a walking foot which is also worth the money, in my opinion. If you want to read more specifics about the machine, check out my posts on my blog. (http://sewingnovice.com/2011/01/18/the-bernina-330-my-new-machine/ and http://sewingnovice.com/2011/08/25/walking-foot-and-bernina-330-update/) Hopefully this helps others.

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  32. what an interesting topic. i am sure every response will be different. I have always had lower end machine. sometimes they would work great and others...... i have had several singers. my grandmother always said to buy singer. I now have her 301 singer, it just does straight stitch but what a workhorse!!! singers today are not the same. about a year ago I bought a used 440 QE bernina. my pay check went towards paying it. OH MY GOSH!!!!! ladies there is a difference. I had no idea. the cost used was over $2000. I feel I am such a better sewer. my seams are consistant, my quilting has improved 500%!!! it does all the stitches I have been frustrated with, does wonderfully now. there is no comparison. I know those darn budgets have to be kept. we need o stay within our means. but if you are looking, try to spend a little extra. make a list of what you want your machine to do. take the type of fabric you want to sew on with you to the store where you are getting your machine and try the machine. make sure it will do what you want it to do. do not let the sales person intimidate you. know your budget, and stick to it. then when you get it, read the manual, take any classes offered. keep your machine clean and oiled if needed. USE GOOD THREAD!!!!!!! if you take good care of your machine it will take good care of you! sorry this is so long, but this is a important topic! love your blog!

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  33. I use a Baby Lock and I really love it. I hate to admit, but I don't remember the name of it.

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  34. I started on a 1962 Elna Super Blue Top - just like my mom's and my grandmother's. It's a fantastic little work horse, but I did upgrade a couple of years ago, handing my mechanical elna down to my daughter.

    I bought a Juki TL-98Q about 5 years ago for around $1000. Straight stitch only, long harp and cuts threads at the touch of a button. Love it for quilting and piecing. Not great for apparel as the arm is wide and cuffs/hems/sleeves won't go around it. Metal construction and super sturdy. Came with a walking foot - now I've used one, I won't go back!

    Last year I was lucky enough to get a Bernina 350 PE for around $1150. Wow. I seriously didn't know what I was missing. No tension problems, easy to thread, runs like a dream. And oooh the buttonholes. So simple! About 75 stitches and 2 alphabets in its arsenal. Shorter harp space, but free arm with detatchable table is great for apparel (I make clothes for my daughter).

    It's funny, I really resisted the Bernina. But when I researched new machines, I looked on Craigslist to see what people were selling. Nobody is selling their Bernina....made me think perhaps they are as good as people said they are. Hint: they are THAT good!

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  35. 1. I have a Janome Memory Craft QC 4800 (Quilter's Companion). This model is no longer being sold today.

    2. I love it for most everything. There is one thing that irks me.

    3. Contrary to the name, "Quilter's Companion", it does not quilt well. It's perfect for sewing and piecing; but, trying to quilting sucks. After much research, I discovered I could buy another bobbin holder that is preset (tension) and should make quilting itself easier. I have it; but, have not tried it out yet as it is a pain to change out the bobbin holders....

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  36. I was a home economy drop out. More specifically, I was removed from the class for crimes against sewing machines, kitchen appliances, andnthe fire Marshall made them do it. Lol! So for 20 years, I just thought I couldn't sew.

    However, I became good friends with several quilters and frankly wanted in on the action. So for Christmas,I decided I wanted a machine. But I wanted not only to sew, and to possibly quilt, but I definitely wanted to be able to embroider! And I wanted a machine I could grow into and that could grow with me.

    Lots of research later, I settled on the brother se400. Its amazing! No more jammed machines because I don't know how to thread the needle. No more trashed tension. It's user friendly, does 4x4 embroidery, hooks up to a computer to download more embroidery patterns, and there's a program I can buy later that will let me digitize any picture, any of my kidlets dragon drawings, anything! Into an embroidery pattern.
    Itndoes button holes and came with the button hole foot, I think it came with a walking foot, but I haven't used that one yet. The needles are super easy to switch out (working on a denim and flannel raggedy quilt for Kidlet) and its just been idiot proof!

    It was $325 on black Friday on an amazing sale, but i had typically seen it anywhere Tom $325 -$487, depending on if it came with q case or a stash of embroidery floss or what. I didn't get any of those extras, but my machine will soon reside on a permanent table in my own craft room, so a case wasn't necessary as long as a dust cover.

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  37. i love talking to people about my machines! personally, i have 2 very old machines and you couldnt pay me to get rid of them! my first machine was an old Husqvarna 945 that i bought off of eBay back in college. it's about 20 years old and the machine still runs like a dream. my reason for buying that particular model is that it's one of the last years that Husky/Viking made all metal machines. when my husband's grandmother passed away, his family asked if i would take her old machine. imagine when i found a holy grail delivered to my house! it's a Bernina 830 record electric. it's almost 40 years old, but she still had ALL of the original notions, notion box, carrying case AND extension table! ive only had to purchase one thing and that was a walking foot. i completely fell in love and now im a Bernie Brat. i take both machines in every 2 years for a professional tune up (i dont a small one about once every couple of months myself). and EVERY TIME i take it in the technicians comment on how incredible my machines work and how they just dont make them like this anymore. when friends ask about what machines to buy, i recommend looking online for an old one. my gf ended up choosing to spend $200 on the same model Husqvarna that she found and she says she never looked back. you just cant compete with the metal work horses. they dont have fancy computer parts, true, but that also means repairs are much more simple (and cheaper). i have a large number of stitches on my Bernie and my machine can run multiple layers of denim like it's quilting cotton!

    dont discount the old stuff! it's much better than the newer models, IMO.

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    1. I also have a Bernina 830 that I purchased used over 20 years ago. It's never had a tune up and it's definitely in need of one! I learned on my Mom's 830 and then had to sew on Singer machines in high school. Yuck! What a difference. These machines are work horses and I would never trade it. I even got my Mom's much newer, nicer and fancier Bernina, but I don't use it. I highly recommend the Bernina 830, as well! Oh, and I just sewed a leather belt onto some thick European grain sack to make a messenger bag. All it took was a leather needle. Try doing that with a cheap machine!

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  38. I have a really basic Singer as well. Again, only really does 2 stiches, and the automatic buttonholer is kinda lame. Even after 2 years of sewing, I feel like I am already outgrowing it! My mom have a really nice machine from the 70's or 80's that does rolled hems and all of that goodness, I think I may have to do more projects at her house for a while.

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  39. I have a Singer Futura model 900. It is old, I think from the 70s. I bought it used, and non-working, late last year. Every penny of the $150 to repair it was well spent. It does at least a dozen different stitches, and I am still learning how to do some of decorative ones. It does button holes, darns, has a slow or fast stitch speed. I really can't say enough great things about it.

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  40. I am in the market for a new machine. My mother had bought me a no name machine for my 15th birthday but it has since died. Any reccinendations that wont break my bank :) I want to start sewing againg as I live near the fabric district in my city super excited!!

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  41. I have an old Bernina 830. I think it was made in like 1980, maybe even earlier. It was my grandmother's machine, and she gave it to me not long after I graduated from high school. I love Bernina machines. They are built to last! I use my machine almost every day for my Etsy business, and I have never had any problems that aren't solved by a good cleaning. Regardless of the machine, cleaning is really important. Even the best machines will mess up if they aren't properly maintained. I have lots of the specialty feet, but the ones I use the most are the zipper foot, blind hemmer, pin tuck foot, and the walking foot... I love the walking foot.

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  42. Thank you thank you thank you, for this post! It is so timely as I'm in the market for a new sewing machine. I've been sewing since I was 11yrs old, first learning from my aunt who was a professional seamstress, and then taking courses in junior high school. My mom owned an old heavy black Singer she got from her mom, from the 1930's. She didn't know how to sew, but her sister would make clothing and aprons for us every time she visited. I learned on the old Singer to do the straight stitches. When I started high school, 1970's, mom bought a new singer in it's own table. It was new and pretty but I immediately noticed the difference in the machines. The newer one would jam up and the thread would often break. So I used the older one much more often. I always used Singers and sewed not only home decor but also all of my clothing. Then in 1999 I bought a 1yr old Necchi from a friend who was moving out of the country. I had never heard of a Necchi, but it sewed beautifully with many great stitches which all work. I never had a problem until a year ago when the motor just gave out. I had a backup Singer 600E that was given to me from a neighbor which has all the stitch disks, needles, feet, and instruction book. Unfortunately, the thread pin, which is molded to the top of the machine broke off. I tried to cement it back on, but no go. After a year of searching, still couldn't find a replacement part, so got rid of it. Thus the search for a new machine. I so appreciate the comments from everyone on their different machines. This will definitely be helpful to me. I'm having sewing withdrawal symptoms! : )

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  43. Forgot to mention I'm a new follower and found you via Sew-vivor contest. : )

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  44. I started out with a old used Singer that I got for $10 at DI (my local thrift shop). It did the job while I learned to sew, but after about a year of sewing on it I knew I needed something better. I saved up my birthday pennies, and bought myself a used Bernina 1008 from the dealer. It came with classes, and everything that would have come with a brand new machine. My machine had been used in a school, and when Bernina puts machines in schools they service them very well, so it was still in great condition. I spent about $400 including tax, but it was SO worth it. This machine is all mechanical, so if you want a fancy electronic one this is not your machine. I personally prefer mechanical machines because they will never be outdated, and things tend to break less. This thing is all metal, and it's going to last forever. I LOVE this machine because it sews beautifully, I can change my stitch selection quickly (it has a chart built right onto the machine), it has a few decorative stitches, and it has an overlock stitch. The buttonhole is a 6 step, but it works great with a bit of practice. I did have to replace my pedal after about a year and a half of using it (the machine was already about 10 years old when I bought it), but the dealer gave me a great deal on one because I hadn't had it very long.

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  45. I have 2 (dont hate me :) ). My main machine is a brother innovis 1200. I LOVE it. It does just about everything and is great for dress making, home decor and quilting. So quick and easy to learn and use thoroughly. I bought it nearly 2 years ago when I got into sewing seriously. Before that I had a sewing machine with the same history as yours. I never thought I would be able to afford my machine when I first went looking but they were bringing out another model and put it on clearance. $799 down from $2500. That was still a lot for me to spend on a sewing machine at that point but I've never regretted it! There is a huge difference on quality between that spec and the lower end brothers. For my "back up" or second machine it is a 20 year old pfaff tiptronic. I bought it second hand last year (well, ahem my husband did techcically as a birthday present but I chose it LOL.) And that is also a great machine. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles but it sews like a dream and has a good range of stitches. If I was in the market for a main sewing machine again I would probably go for a bernina. Only because I would like the stitch regulator for quilting that's all. Otherwise I'm more than happy with my brother.

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  46. I have the brother LS2125i. I have had the machine for a good bit right now and use it often. I was my grandmothers and was sitting in her basement for about 2 years. So I cleaned it up and was happy that I didn't have to fork out any money for one. It is a very simple machine that will get the job done, sometimes. I like all the different stitches. They all work, since it's not very old. Things I do not like about it is that you cannot can't the stitch length. The foot pedal is annoyingly sensitive, it either goes too slow or too fast, it's so hard to get a nice in between constant speed. It's hard to sew through many layers of fabric with this machine also, which you would know makes things difficult with more advanced crafts. Overall it's a nice machine especially for beginners. Soon I will be getting the brother SQ9050 though and once I have it awhile I may post about it here.

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  47. I have a Brother xl2600i. I bought it a month ago, its very easy to operate. Try it! :)

    Kind Regards,
    Dorothy Parker


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Where I am no longer blogging, this blog is for reading purposes only. I am afraid I just can't keep up with it anymore, therefore, I may not be able to reply to all comments. Thank you.

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