I'm would like to start sewing but I need to know a decent & affordable sewing machine to buy. Any suggestions?

3

I want to learn how to sew. i want do be able to make dresses for my two little girls and start selling some I make but first I need a sewing machine. I saw a Singer Futura CE-150 Sewing and Embroidery Machine at walmart because I would also like to embroider but costs $539 and I cannot afford that. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good sewing machine.

For embroidery, consider learning to do free motion embroidery on a sewing machine… any sewing machine will do. Here's a pro working — though his setup is a little easier, it's the same idea:
http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3833/video-manuels-free-motion-embroidery-technique
And something less fancy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8hFRab26BE

As far as a sewing machine, I'd definitely suggest you want to get a model with a blindhem stitch… otherwise my basic suggestions are below. Please note that using a home sewing machine for business voids the warranty (they're not meant for the duty cycle of sewing for a business), and that as soon as you learn the basic machine operation, I'm going to strongly suggest that you want to borrow Carol Ahles' book, Fine Machine Sewing, from the library and at least learn her methods of machine blindhemming — it'll save you lots and lots of time.

If you truly are going to use home machines to make stuff to sell, I'd buy a basic sewing machine (see below) and a decent 4 thread serger ASAP. Add computerized embroidery to that if you wish later.

My basic beginner sewing machine rant:
Take a look at Kate Dicey's essay on choosing sewing machines at
http://www.katedicey.co.uk (and take a look around at her site…
there are a lot of nice little tutorials there!). The FAQ she
refers to is at http://preview.tinyurl.com/l5rzu6 now.

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
handling issues)

– 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
slow speeds.

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 at a
specific price 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
library.

Used brands I'd particularly look for: Elna, Bernina,
Viking/Husqvarna, Pfaff, Singer (pre 1970), Juki, Toyota

New "bargain brand" I'd probably pick, if new, decent and budget
was my choice: Janome (who also does Kenmore).

Filed under Embroidery Library by on . Comment#

Comments on I'm would like to start sewing but I need to know a decent & affordable sewing machine to buy. Any suggestions? Leave a Comment

December 3, 2012

kay @ 7:06 am #

For embroidery, consider learning to do free motion embroidery on a sewing machine… any sewing machine will do. Here's a pro working — though his setup is a little easier, it's the same idea:
http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3833/video-manuels-free-motion-embroidery-technique
And something less fancy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8hFRab26BE

As far as a sewing machine, I'd definitely suggest you want to get a model with a blindhem stitch… otherwise my basic suggestions are below. Please note that using a home sewing machine for business voids the warranty (they're not meant for the duty cycle of sewing for a business), and that as soon as you learn the basic machine operation, I'm going to strongly suggest that you want to borrow Carol Ahles' book, Fine Machine Sewing, from the library and at least learn her methods of machine blindhemming — it'll save you lots and lots of time.

If you truly are going to use home machines to make stuff to sell, I'd buy a basic sewing machine (see below) and a decent 4 thread serger ASAP. Add computerized embroidery to that if you wish later.

My basic beginner sewing machine rant:
Take a look at Kate Dicey's essay on choosing sewing machines at
http://www.katedicey.co.uk (and take a look around at her site…
there are a lot of nice little tutorials there!). The FAQ she
refers to is at http://preview.tinyurl.com/l5rzu6 now.

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
handling issues)

– 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
slow speeds.

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 at a
specific price 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
library.

Used brands I'd particularly look for: Elna, Bernina,
Viking/Husqvarna, Pfaff, Singer (pre 1970), Juki, Toyota

New "bargain brand" I'd probably pick, if new, decent and budget
was my choice: Janome (who also does Kenmore).
References :
50 years of sewing

coffee_pot12 @ 7:30 am #

Go to the thrift shop..at the humane society thrift shop just the other day I saw a nice singer in the case, looked good and was $25. I have a sears kenmore free arm with all the attachments from the thrift shop that I only paid $10.

The thrift shops always have things donated, most sewing machines are in good shape or you could take it to a sewing place for a clean and tune up which would still cost much less that a new one.

I also rescued a Necchi from the dumpster the other day, nothing wrong with it!! Just could not see the poor thing thrown away in such a manner.
References :

Echo's Mom @ 8:14 am #

There are several good machines out there. Wal-mart also sells brother sewing machines which are quite good. they have many stitches that are already program in. I would go to Joann's Fabrics and look at what they have, check out Craigslist for sewing machines. Then last go to thrift shops. You will pay about $200.00 to $300.00 for a basic brand new machine. If you check out Craigslist or the thrift shops you could pay around $30.00 to $200.00 for a used machine.
Make sure that the machine has a few attachments, that you have these stitches: zig zag, button hole, blind hem and a few embroidery and quilt stitches. You can adjust the tension. That the feet can be lowered or raise. You can always go to a sewing center and see what they have in sewing machines but go with a budget and stay in that budget. Look at the following brands:
Singer
Brother
White
They do have basic sewing machines for around $200.00.
References :
over 35 years of sewing and quilting experience

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