Saturday, May 20, 2017

Good Sewing Machine For a Serious Beginner

I was just asked about what sewing machine a serious beginner should buy, for less than $250.  It needs to be a good, durable sewing machine, that will grow with skill level.

To get a new machine that would be more durable, you’d need to spend at least $700.  There are a lot of new machines that have lots of bells and whistles, but they all have a plastic bobbin case, that can cause a lot of frustration.

You might want to look on Craigslist.com, and see what used machines are available in your area.  For new sewists, I recommend an old Kenmore 10 stitch, or something similar.  I LOVE the old Kenmores!  And you can usually find one in a thrift store for less than $25.  Some only have straight and zig-zag stitches, with a door on top to add cams.  You don’t want that, you want one with built-in cams/stitches.  You also don’t want the old, top-loading Kenmores, as that bobbin/hook system is a nightmare.  You want a front-loading machine with all metal hook and bobbin case, and a few extra stitches built-in. 
 

If you've got your heart set on a "NEW" machine,  Try a Singer "Simple."  It has the metal oscillating hook and some nice stitches.

Most people only use a handful of stitches.  The ones most people need are straight stitch, zig-zag, blind hem and serpentine (or broken zig-zag).  If you’re a quilter, you need the blanket-stitch for applique.  And a nice decorative stitch or two is good.  If you’re sewing heavy fabrics, you need a front loading, metal hook and bobbin case.  The plastic bobbin cases jam when you sew heavy fabric, and the needle goes right through them.  Then you have to buy a new bobbin case.  If you’re doing light sewing, like piecing a quilt, a cheap plastic machine will work just fine.

The auto thread cutters (under the needle plate) seem like a good idea, but they haven’t been perfected yet, and can cause a lot of grief.

To check the quality of a machine, grab the needle bar and try to wiggle it forward and backward.  If it has forward/backward wiggle, the needle hook distance (a timing setting) is variable and you’re not likely to get as good stitch quality.

6 comments:

  1. The blog is very useful especially for beginners.Really loved the information provided. Thanks for the information,keep posting!

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  2. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head.
    keep it up !
    sewing machine review

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. I also like the Singer Simple machine but for a little bit extra money I would go for the computerized Singer Stylist!

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    2. Computerized Singers are not what I'd call a great machine. In fact, the Singer Stylist is pretty low on my list. Don't go there!

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  4. Totally loving your blog and, as a fellow girl mechanic of sorts, value your "just try it" attitude! Wondering if you can suggest a site for these old Kenmore beasts...was recently gifted one and upon opening the bobbin compartment a spring fell out! I need to learn where it goes and it's purpose so appreciate your guidance and thank you again for all you share!

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