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Thread: sewing machines

  1. #1

    sewing machines

    Can anyone advise what to look for when buying a sewing machine please?

    I've been sewing a fee things recently, (girls' dresses, a play tent, and other little things), I've been using my aunt's very old machines, 1960s I think, which is very limited, I also have one of those 20 little machines from Lakeland but don't find that very good.

    So what should I be looking for as an upgrade? There seem so many options, do I need a computerised one, what kind of fabric should it handle. Are there any other features that are a must have? And what kind of price should I be looking at?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
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  2. #2

    Re: sewing machines

    I got mine from here recently: http://www.sewingmachines.co.uk/index.htm. I highly recommend, they were very quick, brilliant help when the courier messed up. They also sent me 5 thread packs, so I have every colour I'll ever need. Tbh, having never used a sewing machine before, it hadn't occurred to me I'd need thread until it arrived

    I was totally clueless when I got mine. I think I had a look at prices, as I didn't want high end, but I didn't want something too basic that I'd outgrow. I also didn't want too fork out too much in case I never got round to using it!

    I think most are computerised these days. Mine has a little LCD screen which select stitches and sets stitch width/length, but everything else is the same. I didn't get hundreds of stitches- I think mine has about 20, your basics, some stretch stitches, a few fancy ones, and a couple of buttonholes. I knew I wanted to do stretch fabrics like lycra, so I made sure it could do that.

    I got the Brother FS-20 in the end and am very happy with it.

  3. #3

    Re: sewing machines

    Some great tips, thanks, sounds like I need something similar to you I think.

  4. #4
    Snorks 6, Mr Baby 3! parkejm
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    26,965

    Re: sewing machines

    I was just searching before posting a thread on how to choose a sewing machine and spotted this thread.

    minigirl - what have you gone for? Would you recommend it?

    Faith - have you taught yourself? Was it easy to get to grips with your machine?

    I can take lessons locally and was wondering if it would be best to buy something similar to what we'd be learning on. Or is it quite easy to switch between machines?
    xx Hermie xx
    xx Snorks xx
    xx Mr Baby xx

  5. #5

    Re: sewing machines

    I've been sewing for years and used various second-hand machines only buying my own about 4 years ago. I have this one:

    http://www.sewingmachines.co.uk/Janome419_info.htm

    It does everything I need and more to be honest but I am now hankering over a computerised upgrade after seeing the new machines at my daughter's school. They have about ten of these:

    http://www.sewingmachines.co.uk/Janome301_info.htm

    Not sure that it will really do any more than I already have though.

    Janome is a good basic "Ford" type of machine (they make John Lewis machines) but if you wanted top of the range BMW you would look at a Bernina who I think offer free classes with their machines. Don't know why I compare them to cars but always have!

    As for prices... you can get a basic machine for about 99/130. But I'd look to spend maybe 150/250 personally.

  6. #6

    Re: sewing machines

    Yes I taught myself completely. I even had to sit with the instructions to figure out how to thread it! It was really easy to get to grips with, the manual has little tables with which fabric/needles/stitches to use so I went with that.

    I reckon if you know the basics, stitch length, which stitch, needle etc, swapping machines shouldn't give too much trouble. Bit like different cameras, or as BM says, cars , The same functions are all there, just maybe a little different.

    I'm still really happy with it, but only really do a few things- I make the stuff in the link in my sig, curtains, but I don't really have time to be doing loads. People have been very nice about the stuff I make though, and seem to be happy with the quality.

    I am thinking about getting a proper overlocker now, but only because it will give that professional finish along the seams, and apparently make it loads quicker, as well as being easier for stretch fabrics.

  7. #7
    Snorks 6, Mr Baby 3! parkejm
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    26,965

    Re: sewing machines

    Thank you both

    BM, It was the Janome ones I was looking at coincidentally. I'm going to put one on my birthday list and I'll get some money to put towards one.

  8. #8

    Re: sewing machines

    I did a dress making course recently and they had that janome cl301 that is linked to above. It seemed really good and easy to use and I thought they must last a while if they are constantly being used in their classes. I'm hoping to get one for my birthday

  9. #9

    Re: sewing machines

    I have a Brother one - probably the pre-curser to Faith's in that it does everything but isn't computerised. My Mum bought me it second hand from a Sewing shop (yes its an old one, do we even have dedicated sewing shops anymore?!)

    If you can narrow down what you are after, I think 2nd hand is quite a good route (as long as you know its been serviced or can find somewhere to do that).
    A bit like bikes really, sort of thing some people purchase then never really use.
    08-02-04 spa 28-04-06

  10. #10

    Re: sewing machines

    I don't think I mentioned- that link I posted does re-conditioned machines too. Mine was- so had been used for demo's, serviced thoroughly, and came with a full warranty.

    It's a good option if you're unsure about second hand...

  11. #11

    Re: sewing machines

    Quote Originally Posted by Faith View Post
    I am thinking about getting a proper overlocker now, but only because it will give that professional finish along the seams, and apparently make it loads quicker, as well as being easier for stretch fabrics.
    I got a Janome one for 199 and have used it so much. It's a total pain the the ass to thread but you get long tweezers with it to help and I think they are all going to be like that. I only use it to stop fabrics fraying but there is a whole heap more you can do with it like pintucks and rolled edges... oh and those kind of ruffled edges on jersey etc. I keep meaning to do a course but they are always on weekends which I can't do.

  12. #12
    Snorks 6, Mr Baby 3! parkejm
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    26,965

    Re: sewing machines

    ooh do I need one of those too?

  13. #13

    Re: sewing machines

    Whatever you buy... don't get it from Coopers!!! Did you see him on Watchdog Rogue Traders last night?! Evil man....

    http://www.sewingmachinediscount.co.uk/

    http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk/...NG+MACHINES%3F

  14. #14
    Snorks 6, Mr Baby 3! parkejm
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    26,965

    Re: sewing machines

    ooh that's interesting. I'd seen the name mentioned on a forum or two with people advising not to go there but I didn't know why and it was not obvious. Thanks for the heads up

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