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New sewing machine advice
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alan    Posted 09-26-2003 at 15:33:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm looking for a new sewing machine for my mother. Her old Singer computerized push button early 80's? one finally gave up on her (it's something like a 2010 &/or touchtronic possibly or not, I'm not sure). I'm looking at a free arm, preferably to fit in the fold down hideaway cabinet like the old one. Something strong, nice features, for denim, quilting etc. I'm looking to spend about 2 or 3 hundred or so. Don't know much about them and there are literally two on display within an 80 mile radius. Anyone with reccomendations or comments on a model, and where to "order" one. She's partial to Singer, what I've seen Kenmore might not be too bad. Thanks in advance.

colette    Posted 09-27-2003 at 21:33:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Check out thrift shops and garage sales. A lot of people think they want to sew and never use the machine. I have gotten 3 great machines from thrift shops and they all still sew great.

I found a nice basic 1970's portable Singer that looked like it had never been used (still shiney, with book and all accessories) for about $12.50 at a Salvation Army about 7 years ago. That was my first sewing machine. I sewed a 12' tall cone shaped medieval arming pavillion (tent) out of canvas on it. Broke a lot of needles, but it did the trick.

I found a mid 80's Kenmore, a more fancy model than the singer, for about $45 at another thrift store. Again, had all the parts and looked like new.

My best find ever was a 1970's Bernina in the red carry case with a ton of accessories. It was missing the bobbin case, but I had worked at a fabric store when it was liquidating and had a couple extra. Grand total= $15.00! My mother has kidnaped that one, but it is by far the best quality of the 3. I use the singer a lot, but the Kenmore is probibly my main machine now.I was actually riding a motor scooter when I bought the Bernina, and a kind lady customer at the store drove the sewing machine home for me!

screaminghollow    Posted 09-27-2003 at 20:49:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Most new sewing machines under $400 ain't worth crap. Free arms are nice, no doubt. I bought three sewing machines in my life. A used Pfaff, no free arm, $45.00, $25 to get it oiled and cleaned. Would sew steel I-beams together. All heavy metal parts. Unfortunately, the "ex" got that. Bought myself a old 1962 or 1963 Kenmore, also heavy duty. No free arms, but all metal parts and I sewed my "Bell" tent and fly for Rev War reenacting on it. Also sewed a buckskin dress for my daughter on it. Most recently, a professional seamstress up the road, lost most of her eye sight due to diabetes. When she heard my daughter talking about learning to sew, she gave us an older White sewing machine (1950's?) It had been altered by a machinist to hold huge cones of thread and to do some other stuff, I don't understand. Nice lady even showed me how to clean and oil it properly. That is a very smooth machine. My daughter has made some bean bags, pillow cases and sews her girl scout badges on her sash with it. (I sew my own rev war uniforms and outfits because I couldn't find what I wanted for sale anywhere) I've tried new sewing machines and found they couldn't do the heavy stuff our old machines can do. New is definitely nice, but not always better.

alan    Posted 09-27-2003 at 17:52:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks all! The only place I can actually go to look at any is about 90 miles away, and not many there, but that's probably where I'll go if I don't order online. There is one independent dealer, don't know what they sell aside from Singer, a Sears and a Walmart. Sears has a nice web site with specifications and such, but that sure doesn't tell you how they work. I did think I heard something about Singers, I'll probably avoid them. I'd ask my mother more what she wants, but I don't want her to find out about it! She does do some other "fancy work" as well as the previously mentioned things.

TomH    Posted 09-27-2003 at 04:29:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
My wife says to look at the Sears machines that are made by Janome. Not sure if they are branded Kenmore or Janome but they're good machines in that price range.

RayP(MI)    Posted 09-26-2003 at 17:05:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Singers aren't what they used to be. Basically made by contract manufacturers. Highly recommend Husqvarna. We have bought several in the past few years, have had good success with 'em. Especially the basic machines and the sergers. Wife has a heavily computerized machine for embroidery, and it can get tempermental from time to time. Check several dealers, as prices may vary from dealer to dealer. A few years back, when daughter was getting married, we went looking for machines for wedding present, went to one dealer with "preferred customer" discount card. Checked out their line, and on a whim, checked a dealer on other side of city, they were substantially lower without discount on same machines. We have a very active 4-H sewing club going in our basement, seen 'em all!

Try this    Posted 09-26-2003 at 15:52:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
It's a little higher price range, but these things will sew rocks together

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