What sewing machine do you reccomend for a beginner?
I have always wanted to get a sewing machine, and I'm finally getting one after wanting one for 18 years. I usually hand sew everything, so i'm finally looking to get a nice machine, no more than $200 for a beginner sewer. Any suggestions? Anyone know about the sewing machines they sell at Walmart? I live in Hawaii, so my store options are limited. Any help would be great! Thanks!
Anyone have any opinion on the Bother or Singer lines?
Army wife in Hawaii
Question answered by Pouf
I would say go to a sewing machine store for the support, but given your budget that is truly unrealistic. I started with a $150 Brother machine from Walmart. Boy was it a piece of crap. I thought I wasn;t a very good seamstress until I got my new machine and found out it was the machine that sucked so bad. In your price range, I'd recommend getting a Kenmore machine from Sears. They also sell good quality presser feet. Good luck!
Sewing machine for beginner who wants to start designing handbags?
I don't know how to sew, but I am learning so I'm a beginner. I want to start designing handbags and am looking for a great beginner sewing machine for a good price (no more than 200 dollars) that will help me to start. Any suggestions?
Website links would be nice.
Question answered by kay
For most handbag fabrics, you're looking for power, and I can't think of a new $200 machine that will give that to you. You'd be far better off with a good used machine. Be sure, when you're shopping, to bring samples of the sorts of materials you want to sew.
What I want for beginners in sewing:
- a machine that doesn't scare you
- a machine that isn't balky (cheap new machines are often very
balky or need adjustments often and are rarely repairable --
just too frustrating to learn on!)
- very good straight stitch
- good zigzag (4-5 mm is fine, more than that is gravy)
- a method of making buttonholes that makes sense to you
- adjustable presser foot pressure (which helps some fabric
- accessory presser feet that don't cost an arm and a leg
(machines that use a "short shank foot" typically handle
generic presser feet pretty well. Some brands of machines use
proprietary or very expensive presser feet)
If the budget stretches far enough:
- blindhem and stretch blindhem stitches
- triple zigzag (nice for elastic applications)
- a couple of decorative stitches (you won't use them nearly as
much as you think)
- electronic machine because of the needle position control and
because the stepper motors give you full "punching force" at
slow sewing speeds -- mechanical machines often will stall at
Please go to the best sewing machine dealers around and ask them
to show you some machines in your price range, *especially* used
machines you can afford. You'll get a far better machine buying
used than new, and a good dealer is worth their weight in sewing
machine needles when you get a machine problem -- often they can
talk you through the problem over the phone. While you're trying
things out, try a couple of machines (sewing only, not combo
sewing-embroidery) over your price limit, just so you can see
what the difference in stitch quality and ease of use might be.
You may find you want to go for the used Cadillac. Or you might
want the new basic Chevy. Might as well try both out.
Suggested reading: John Giordano's The Sewing Machine Book
(especially for used machines), Carol Ahles' Fine Machine Sewing
(especially the first and last few chapters) and Gale Grigg
Hazen's Owner's Guide to Sewing Machines, Sergers and Knitting
Machines. All of these are likely to be available at your public
Used brands I'd particularly look for: Elna, Bernina,
Viking/Husqvarna, Pfaff, Singer (pre 1970), Juki, Toyota
New "bargain brand" I'd probably pick: Janome (who also does
What sewing machine would you recomend to me?
I am looking to buy a sewing machine. I am a beginner and I will be using the machine to make clothes and purses. What kind of machine would you recommend?
Question answered by wisepati
I prefer vintage sewing machines that are mechanical and nearly all metal to the electronic ones. Especially if you want to sew heavier materials in a purse, you may want a machine that will stand up to that usage. The newer machines are built with a lot of plastic gears and parts and have a planned life expectancy. And this include the machines costing thousands. Part of our throw away society.
Some good machines to look for would be Singer 401, Singer 500, Elna 62 (or Star) series. Also the older Kenmore machines, but try to avoid the ones with the super high shank attachments. There are several groups on Yahoo Groups that discuss vintage sewing machines and the pros and cons of each type.
The newer ones do have a lot of features and depending on how much you spend, they may have a lot of fancy stitches. So a lot depends on what you are seeking to do and how long you want the machine to last.
What type of sewing machine should I get?
I am new to sewing but eventually would like to be making my own dresses, pillowcases and blankets. I do not want to get an overly extravagant sewing machine, but I also do not want something that will need to be upgraded fairly quickly. What are some good, sturdy sewing machines around that I can get?
Question answered by Linda S
As mentioned go a a sewing machine dealer to buy a machine. They will offer operation lessons, they will help you if you have problems, take care of any preventative maintenance and they will have replacement needles, bobbins that fit your machine and accessories such as specialized presser feet for special sewing purposes. As a pro, I always buy from a dealer. I have ten machines and they represent a big investment and they have to work well. my dealer keeps them in tip top condition.
For most sewing projects you will need the following stitches straight, zig zag, three step zig zag, stretch stitch blind hem, buttonhole, and some type of over-edge/overcast stitch. I've been sewing for many years and those are the stitches I use the most, I have some stitches I've never ever used. Look for a machine that allows you to adjust the pressure on the presser foot, that's an important feature. Sewing special fabrics and special techniques are often a matter of the accessories for the machine such as needles and presser feet, so you'll need a machine can take special feet and has a good variety of needles.
My favourite line of machines and the one I recommend most often is the Janome line. The Janome line of machines are excellent for most sewing applications and are reliable performers. They have a large variety of machines in many price points with a range of stitch packages. The instruction manuals are in clear and easy to read with clear illustrations. With a good machine that does the basic stitches, you can sew a variety of projects and any upgrading will need to be in the accessories only.
Janomes take low shank or snap on presser feet, so most of those fancy feet in the notions catalogues will fit the Janome. They take standard household needles and they come in everything from extra fine microfiber needles to extra heavy canvas needles and everything in between. Sewing special fabrics is more about the proper needles and thread than it is special machines or stitches, so invest in good needles and use the tools that are out there.
Here's their sewing machine web page, complete with a little quiz to help you select the best model for your purposes. Thre's also a message board where you can ask for clarification if you have questions about any of the models.
What kind of sewing machine is best for a beginner?
I've taken sewing classes in high school before and I'd like to actually dabble a little in making and alternating some of my things. What is the best sewing machine for me and why?
Question answered by Bobaloo
Sewing machines are an investment. You can get really inexpensive machines but you do get what you pay for.
If you plan on doing very simple sewing and nothing more, you could get by with a machine from a box store. However, I strongly recommed going to a sewing machine dealer because of the fact that they specialize in sewing machines and sell machines that they can stand behind...Walmart may have good prices but do they have any kind of support for you if you have questions on how to use your machine? Is there someone there to show you if you threaded it wrong or you have problems winding a bobbin? Customer support is very important to me.
A good machine will allow you to sew more than just a few seams now and again. If you think that you might be interested in quilting, clothng construction, home decore, you will need to think about a machine around $300-$400.
Look for specific things while you look. When you look at the bobbins, check to make sure the bobbin is a full rotary bobbin. You want to avoid an ocillating bobbin...the bobbin that rocks back and forth. The wear and tear on the back and forth motion will cause the machine to wear out sooner than later. A full rotary bobbin is one that goes in a circle and will last longer.
Don't worry about plastic parts on the outside. Be more aware of the mechanics of the machine. Are there metal parts where metal parts are necessary? There are new teflon type bobbin casings that are designed so the owner no longer needs to oil the machine..it's not to be cheap, it's to improve the workings of the machine without relying on owners to oil. (You'd be surprised how few sewers remember to keep their machine oiled!)
Listen to how the machine sounds when it is sewing. Does it have a smooth sound or is it loud and clunky. As you listen to various machines you will hear differences!
Look at buttonholes. How easy are they to do? Do they turn out nice?
Can it sew denim? Can it hem a pair of jeans easily or does it chug and struggle over the seams? The other test would be how well it sews on slippery fabric, knit fabrics etc.
The amount of stitches are not nearly as important on the ability of the machine to sew and sew well.
What modern sewing machines are comparable to a Singer Featherweight 221?
I love my 1955 (?) Singer Featherweight 221 sewing machine but more and more it gets finicky about sewing. I would like to find a comparable basic modern model-preferable Singer. I don't need any fancy things but would consider it. I'd like to pay about $200. Any suggestions?
Question answered by pattiann42
All the major brands will sew as well. But nothing will compare.
The Featherweight 221 sells for around $300 and sometimes more. It would be worth having it serviced. Even if you do purchase a new machine.
The best way to choose a new machine, is to visit as many sewing machine dealers as you can. Tell them what you like to sew and they will help you choose a model to fit your need.
Tell them you have a Featherweight 221 and they will begin to salivated!!!
Don't trade it in. Keep it and if you do have to sell it, put it on Ebay and you will get your asking price and possibly more.
What kind of sewing machine do you recomend for a beginner? Do you use yours?
I have wanted to learn how to sew for a long time, but never bought a sewing machine. I was afraid not to be able to teach myself and have it sitting in a corner collecting dust. Now I am taking a class and am planning on buying one soon. I was wondering if you have any advice on sewing machines. Also, I would be interested to know whether you get good use out of yours and what kinds of projects you use it mostly for (home decorating, new clothes, adjustments, repairs, etc...). Thank you for your input!
Question answered by kaltienne
My mother bought me a Janome Gem Gold when I was younger and I absolutely love it. She liked it so much she also bought one (simply to have a "To-Go" sewing machine she could tote around).
I've used mine for everything from quilting to sewing thin leather (they have special needles you use for it) so it can really handle just about anything. Now I do home decorating quite a bit and it can definitely handle nearly every type of fabric I've come across and has NEVER needed a repair (I've had it for about 5 years at least). In fact, I have liked mine so much that I have gone out and purchased two new machines (a serger & a sewing/embroidery machine) and made sure they were both Janome.
Furthermore, these Janome Gem machines are relatively inexpensive and incredibly easy to use. I strongly suggest getting one of them. Brands I would stay away from include White (you'll see these at Walmarts) and sadly Singer. Singer used to be a good name but has since been quite run into the ground. My mother & grandmother both had Singers & would definitely not purchase any of the models that have come out in the past 5-10 years. Old Singer machines are still good but the newer ones are machines I would steer clear from. =\
In addition, though I have three machines now, I still use my Janome Gem Gold from time to time because it is smaller and easier to get out & use than my larger machine. If I ever would travel with a machine - it's also the one I would choose hands down.
What kind of sewing machine is good for a beginner?
I want to start sewing, but I have no idea how to pick a machine.
Also, are there any websites that have information and tutorials for sewing?
Question answered by pattiann42
All the new machines from the major companies are super easy to use. They all come with manuals for how to use the machine.
However, you still need to learn to read patterns and apply the instructions along with the actual sewing.
The sewing buddies videos at Simplicity classroom are good, but it would be best to know a few basics first. http://www.simplicity.com/t-sewing-101.aspx
Many sewing machine dealers offer lessons.
Make a list of what you would like to learn to sew. Add your budget for purchasing a sewing machine.
Visit the dealers in your area (if you are a minor, take a parent or guardian). Explain to the sales staff that you need to purchase a simple sewing machine and you are looking for lessons to learn to sew.
Major brands of sewing machines: Bernina, Babylock, Brother, Elna, Husqvarna/Viking, Janome, Pfaff and Singer.
Avoid the cutesy little machines.
what kind of sewing machine should you buy for someone who has never used one?
My sister wants a sewing machine for her b-day. She has never used one before and I am not sure what to get..I wanted to stay at or around $100.00 is it worth it to get one that cheap or would a gift cert. be a better option?
Question answered by GERALD S. MCSEE
It/they may cost a little more than $100 but Sears, and Singer machines are good. They have a variety from beginner to professionals.
One source for info is go to your local high school and speak to a Home Economic teacher. Another good source would be a Sewing machine repair shop. They would have used/rebuilt ones cheap. Or visit your local second hand/used stores.
In the second hand stores where people donate them for tax they often work fine. You could try it out there first and/or take it to a repair shop and often they will check it out for free and advise you.
Even if it needs some work done on it often it is only a matter of cleaning/oiling and minor adjustments.
At one time I developed a business of "Fixing" machines and all they needed was oiling and adjustments.I have picked up many working for a moving company and people would just give/throw them away. They would be perfectly good working machines.
But the fact that she has never used one makes no difference because she can buy a basic sewing book to learn on or often the high school, adult centers, and material stores have beginner classes.
What kind of sewing machine can you sew with and embroider?
I've never had a sewing machine before- I'd like to find one that can sew just about any fabric and do embroidery. Is there a reasonably priced machine that a beginner could purchase that has the mentioned functions?
Question answered by suellenlynn
Just about any machine can do this for you. You will need a machine that has a zig-zag stitch and one that you can release pressure of the foot. This might not make sense to someone without basic knowledge of a sewing machine. To sew use the instructions, to embroider put the stitch setting on zig-zag, the stitch length as small as possible and release the foot pressure to zero. The little teeth that normally pull the material along will now be retracted into the machine. You must put your hands on the material on either side of the foot [put the foot down] and you can use them as the guide to move the material any way you like. The cloth must be thick enough to hold the embroidery, you can use purchased interfacing for this. Just put it in the back or inside the item your sewing.
I use this for writing, pictures, or anything else I want to sew onto things [oh, and it's great for sewing patches on] just grab some material and experiment. Have fun.