Sarah
Sarah
  • Hometalker
  • Brooklyn, NY
Asked on Nov 15, 2019

Can you recommend a sewing machine?

Lydia Weikel CoxLaura CooperFlipturn
+10

Answered

Since there's so many types and brands, from computerized to embroidery - curious to know which model do you own? And are you glad you purchased the one you did?

10 answers
  • Cher @ Designs By Studio C
    on Nov 15, 2019

    Hi, Sarah!

    I have several machines that I love from Janome. I have a computerized embroidery machine as well as a serger. They were definitely worth the money as I’ve had them for several years! I also have an inexpensive Brother Project Runway model that does an excellent job (it’s the one I’ve been using most often, lately!) For an inexpensive machine, it is fantastic and I’ve had it for several years, as well! I hope this helps!

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    on Nov 15, 2019

    I have a Singer heavy duty because I sew denim an do quilting. It's around $125 on black Friday and has held up very well. Depends on what you want to do but I'm very pleased with mine.

  • V Smith
    on Nov 15, 2019

    I have 4 sewing machines and two sergers but my machines are older. I have a Bernina 140 that is very strong and can chug over anything I have asked it to sew but it drives me mad that it only stops with the needle up and that I can't change that. Also the accessories for the Bernina are expensive and not interchangeable with my other machines. I have an Elna that is also a strong machine but I don't like it's button holes. I have a Baby Loc serger that is also impressive with its strength and a Singer serger that is less than wonderful. Both sergers need to be threaded by hand which can be a pain in the *** when a thread breaks or you change colors. I also have an inexpensive Brother that is the lightest one to haul around and it is my favorite for simple button holes but the upper thread tension wonders if I don't secure the knob with tape. My suggestion is that you figure out what you need from a machine and start shopping from there. For instant, I do mostly home dec sewing so I need a strong machine but not a lot of decorative stitches. But I also have to hem everything to fit my short stature and I like a blind hem stitch and a free arm. Todays self threading sergers make me green with envy as do the embroidery machines. Make your list of must-haves and go to the shops or look on-line and have the machines demonstrated for you. Depending on your demands it could be an expensive indulgence. All in all I would repeat purchase the Bernina, the BabyLoc, and the Brother. I would not buy the Singer serger again, but I have gotten many years of service from the one I have. The Elna is a good machine too.

  • Robyn Garner
    on Nov 16, 2019

    I also own a basic Brother sewing machine. It does not do embroidery other than very basic stitches. It does have several different feet, auto button holes, etc. It's held up for years and does all the basic things I need it to. It ran me only about $50 on sale and I'm happy with it. Best of all, it's light and easy to move and store.

  • Stacey Bible
    on Nov 16, 2019

    I have a smaller Janome for quick fixes but my favorite is my Brother sewing/embroidery machine combo. If I purchased another machine it would probably be a Brother machine.

  • Debi53
    on Nov 16, 2019

    When I was looking for a new machine, I ran into someone who had worked for singer for many years. She told me that it wasn't so much the brand to be concerned about, but to buy one that has metal parts and not plastic. She said that this type of machine would last so much longer than a plastic one. I have had mine for many years and have never had a problem with it. Hope this gives you another piece of information to consider.

  • Flipturn
    on Nov 17, 2019

    Good point raised by Debi53 about metal vrs plastic parts. Years ago, all parts were metal, and sewing machines were heavy. Now, many parts, especially on the lower priced models, are plastic, and the housings on most machibes are plastic, making for lighter overall weight. The speed that the machine sews is often much faster on newer models, compared with older machines.

    IMO it is essential that any lighter weight machine be anchored down correctly into a cabinet. This will counteract the lighter and faster machine's strong tendency to 'jump around'.

  • Flipturn
    on Nov 17, 2019

    Keep in mind that paying more for a machine that 'comes with' specialty presser feet is not always cost effective. Now with availability of parts and accessories on line, a full array of presser feet and attachments can be purchased individually as you need them.


    High end brands often require their brand of presser feet due to the size and method of attaching to the shaft. Medium or lower end machines usually fit universal attachments which are less expensive.


    Don't be lured into paying more initially for claims that one machine can sew leather, canvas, etc. It is not so much the machine, but moreso the proper dedicated presser feet and specific quality brand needles that will enable any machine to sew certain fabrics.


    One of my machines is a 38 year old heavy Kenmore, one of the early free arms. My other machine is a 5 year old lightweight Babyloc. I am able to adjust the tension of the shaft and presser foot on the Kenmore. Because the Babyloc does not have this feature, I find that it is not as versatile in sewing a wider range of fabric or seam thicknesses. The Babyloc has the snap on presser feet though, which makes changing feet much faster than the Kenmore's old school screws.

  • Laura Cooper
    on Nov 17, 2019

    If money is no object, you can't go wrong with a Pfaff. The German engineering is far superior. Old Pfaff machines are still in constant demand as heavy duty canvas and denim machines and the newest ones have all kinds of bells and whistles.

  • Lydia Weikel Cox
    on Nov 17, 2019

    I concur with Debi53’s advisor on older metal machines with metal parts, and with another poster about brand names. Singer Co no longer exists so “Singer” machines of today are trading on the value and durability of their brand from the late 1800’s until about the 1960’s. MANY of those early models are still around and working with great precision, and those that are not often just need a good cleaning and oiling, new appropriately sized needle for what is to be sewn and good thread. Sears NEVER manufactured their own machines, but contracted with other sewing machine manufacturers to make machines for them & put the Kenmore name on them. White & Brother sewing machine companies, as well as a division of the company that made Jaguar cars made a number of Sears machines. These too are often fine machines though decades old. I service sm’s for a local thrift store and if wiring is good, these older machines frequently only need the previously mentioned cleaning of their under parts, oiling with ONLY sewing machine oil, and new needles & good quality thread. They can be found for as little as $10-25 and sew better than many new machines. Some of these are highly prized by quilt makers, who will pay up to $500 for some models! If other oils had previously been used (kerosene, 3 in 1, or WD40) dried residue may need to be cleaned off before fresh sewing machine oil is applied. Oil your machine every 6 months, or after every 8 hrs of sewing time for best operation.

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