If someone lovely was going to buy you a sewing machine, which one would you get?

(31 Posts)
Daffyboobface Fri 08-Mar-13 11:39:40

My mum has said she wants to get me one. I have used her Brother machine for various projects, but am in no way proficient.

I'm thinking of taking a class to help me to stop swearing at it become more adept. Probably shouldn't be too spendy as it's not my money. I have a pipe dream of making children's clothes and selling them online.

Any help, oh wise ones?

HalleLouja Mon 11-Mar-13 08:56:47

I didn't have any problems with Sewing Machine Direct. I got mine from the shop in North London. It seems fine to me and the service was good too. But mine has never broken down.

Daffyboobface Mon 11-Mar-13 08:46:59

Ooh, thanks! i can't access links on phone but will check out tonight.

Mum v keen on huskvaana (sp?)

Oh and this is the 3/4 machine I bought my son one of

beautiful little machine, real gem. Perhaps too small as a main machine but works fantastically for someone who has to drag something out and put it away again.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Elna-lotus-2-TSP-Sewing-Machine-Swiss-Portable-Vintage-QUILTING-ETC-/400430992056?pt=UK_CraftsCollect_SewingMachines_RL&hash=item5d3b8c0ab8

BTW, don't be won over by fancy stitches. Chances are you might use them once or twice the whole time, they tend to look very homemade on things.

Can I play if I recommend something other than a Bernina? I used a range of them at our local dealer and at sewing class (oh and owned a serger) and didn't like them so didn't look any more.

Hmm, when the budget was 250 I was going to suggest this...
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pfaff-1222E-Heavy-Duty-Sewing-Machine-Pre-Owned-SERVICED-WARRANTY-/330875075953?pt=UK_CraftsCollect_SewingMachines_RL&hash=item4d09b0fd71

Pfaffs have dual feed which is built in walking foot which is like magic, especially for quilting but is great for other types of sewing. Unlike a regular walking foot it works with normal feet too. I had one of these machines and only sold it to repair a newer pfaff.

There is another listed for fifty but has six days to run
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pfaff-1222-Electronic-sewing-machine-/140927949586?pt=UK_CraftsCollect_SewingMachines_RL&hash=item20cff5db12

I would ask the seller some careful questions about how it sews and if there are any problems but would be really tempted by this
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-HUSQVARNA-VIKING-6000-Sweden-Sewing-Embroidery-Machine-in-Case-JAN202-/251227054085?pt=UK_CraftsCollect_SewingMachines_RL&hash=item3a7e4ca005

maybe one of these, no free arm but really easy to maintain and really heavy duty. Great sewers.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Singer-401G-sewing-machine-heavy-duty-excellent-condition-/271168867640?pt=UK_CraftsCollect_SewingMachines_RL&hash=item3f22ec8d38

(the 400 series is basically the same as my 500 series but with different styling)

Daffyboobface Sun 10-Mar-13 18:41:52

Ok. Clarified budget. £150. I reckon £200 at the absolute outside.

Going to go to JL next weekend and have a play. BUT if anyone is bored enough to want to join this game, if you were me, what (if any) Bernina would you get from what's currently on eBay? Mum said that they are indeed very good...

rockinhippy Sun 10-Mar-13 13:08:45

Sorry Halle but you need to be careful with sewing machines direct, there was a thread on here a while back & there have been some horror stories.

& Yes I LOVE my vintage machines, I too have several & I also have a new state of the art one - that was used once & barely survived being thrown out of the window as it despite being a recommended brand at the time it drove me nuts & just doesn't work well at speed or with tricky sewing such as bridal wear - I do love a Bernina though & really regret getting rid of my old industrial when I was an employed designer so not really using it & could get anything I needed sewing done via work - now I'm back to self employed & sewing a lot of my own I REALLY wish I still had it sad

HalleLouja Sun 10-Mar-13 11:18:55

If you are looking at a new one my DH did his research and Sewing Machines Direct are good value, plus they come with longer warranties than standard I believe.

Delayingtactic Sun 10-Mar-13 06:12:59

Pfaff or bernina. I've got my mom's old pfaff and its really good. She bought a replacement bernina which works exceedingly well. Don't go for a cheap singer. My previous one was incredibly loud and tensioning was an absolute mare.

Becool, several of my machines are vintage ones with vertical bobbins and I've never had any problems with them in that respect. My rocketeer is vertical for instance and that thing could sew rocks. My old pfaffs (1471 and 1222) were verticals too. Fantastic machines.

I bought a janome when I started and I love it.
saying that, I love the look of the old black Singers. (sigh)

Becool, DS#1's machine is a 1960s Elna lotus. Lovely lovely 3/4 size machine.

Oh if you are sewing children's clothes a free arm is very handy.

I totally agree with rockinhippy. Find a 50s-60s machine and spend the extra money having it tuned up and/or a serger. You can get complete bargains on ebay. If you are interested I'll help look for some for you, I've owned a good number of vintage machines. Many older machines are much better made than new ones, especially in your price range. They can be heavy but that is because the insides are solid. Some of them have real personalities.

three step zigzag and triple stitch (stitches same place three times) are nice bonuses on top of regular zigzag and buttonhole. Adjustable pressure foot pressure is really handy for sewing on knits.

I personally am not a Bernina fan. I don't like them and the feet are pricey.
I like Vikings and Pfaffs, also vintage singers. Janome and Brother are fine, but I think viking and pfaff are better.

jchocchip Sat 09-Mar-13 23:58:30

I'd go for a second hand Bernina off ebay older the better

rockinhippy Sat 09-Mar-13 23:57:08

PS - if you are sewing a lot of things, or anything big such as curtains, you really need to be eventually sew at speed, that's how you make more profit - trust me the modern light weight machines will drive you nuts, they bounce across the table if you even try to go fast - the old heavy metal models don't bounce wink

rockinhippy Sat 09-Mar-13 23:54:08

Go for a good solid older second hand machine, if you go to an independent shop you will get a reconditioned one with a guarantee that is a good solid old work horse, with all the basic stitches (flat zig zag & maybe button hole)you need for around £50-60 depending on where you live - jones, Faff, Frister Rossman, Singer are all good & if you can find a second hand Bernina grab it, but expect to pay more. - make sure it has an adjustable tension wheel though, most do, but there the odd ones that don't - you will need this for gauging/gathering up frills etc

You don't need the fake overlock, its just not that good, - save your money & put it towards buying a 4 thread over locker for sewing jersey & finishing seams & doing frilled hems, something such as a Janone, later when you have more confidence & really know you want to make & sell clothed & are fast enough to actually make a profit

Good luck smile

Daffyboobface Sat 09-Mar-13 23:04:46

Oh my actual god. Just looked at sewing machines direct. I see I have been naive about the cost of these things. Although they do have some £150 type Janomes which I could get started on ...

Daffyboobface Sat 09-Mar-13 22:59:13

Mock overlock stitch <takes notes>

Budget Probably much less than £250. Am pretty green about all this. Just had a brief look at JL and thought 'oh, that'll be about a hundred quid then' blush

What would your benchmark be? Maybe second hand is the way to go.

HalleLouja Sat 09-Mar-13 21:44:08

Look at sewing machines direct. They have some good Janome's mine was the one that was £250 and came with threads and all sorts.

Depends what her budget is...??

DieWilde13 Fri 08-Mar-13 18:09:21

I have a pretty simple Husqvarna Viking which I am generally happy with.
The only thing it doesn't have is a mock overlock stitch.

If you do want to venture into children's clothing and start sewing with jersey that is something I would look out for.

MuddyWellyNelly Fri 08-Mar-13 17:54:46

Bernina. My mum has an industrial one and it is about 25 years old and still top notch. Mil has the same but domestic and also loves it. I don't have one as I just get them to sew for me wink

Handsfullandlovingit Fri 08-Mar-13 17:21:34

Juki here, sews curtains, dresses but no fancy embroidery stuff on my model. It never breaks or jams, easy to figure out (it has pictures and arrows on it to remind you how to thread etc)

orangeandlemons Fri 08-Mar-13 17:16:46

Bernina all the way. Rock solid. The Rolls Royce of sewing machines

LexyMa Fri 08-Mar-13 17:15:31

don't know where you are but if you go to John Lewis on oxford street in London and buy a machine there, you get a free lesson back there with one of the staff on the actual type of machine you bought (it gets delivered to your house).

Daffyboobface Fri 08-Mar-13 16:49:59

Thanks all. Looks like a Janome is probably the most popular. Will have a peruse brands. Really I need something truly idiot proof!

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