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I'm on the market for a sewing machine that I'll most likely try to get off of craigslist. I have a pretty basic skill level, I took classes when I was much, much younger and can follow a simple pattern. As for projects, what I have in mind are things like curtains, pillows/cases, duvet, heming, and perhaps eventually clothes again.

 

So what should I be looking for? Brand? Are Singer and Brother the two I should look for or something else?

 

Thanks in advance!

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I second Splinky's recommendations, more or less in that order. I really prefer non-electronic machines - there's less to break, and I don't need fancy stitching. The only modern machine that I truly like is Bernina. If you can find an old all-steel Singer, snatch it up.

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i have a Sears sewing machine and always wished i had bought a Singer. but i have had it for over 30 years and i have sewn all the things you have mentioned and even designed my own stuff like kameez and sari blouses. it is not fancy but it can do button holes, which i use, zig zag, and has cams for embroidery, different kinds of foots, zipper foot, all of which i have used one time or another. i had it serviced once as the tension plates did not seem to work right but it is still cranky.

 

Bernina is a great machine as well, i have used my neice's.

i think Singer and Bernina are both very nice machines. you cannot go wrong with either. get all the bells and whistles, and that it is fast. when you go thorough miles of seams when making curtains and stuff you will appreciate it. buy what you love because you will have it for a long time. nothing much goes wrong in sewing machines.

 

 

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i have a Sears sewing machine and always wished i had bought a Singer. but i have had it for over 30 years and i have sewn all the things you have mentioned and even designed my own stuff like kameez and sari blouses. it is not fancy but it can do button holes, which i use, zig zag, and has cams for embroidery, different kinds of foots, zipper foot, all of which i have used one time or another. i had it serviced once as the tension plates did not seem to work right but it is still cranky.

 

Bernina is a great machine as well, i have used my neice's.

i think Singer and Bernina are both very nice machines. you cannot go wrong with either. get all the bells and whistles, and that it is fast. when you go thorough miles of seams when making curtains and stuff you will appreciate it. buy what you love because you will have it for a long time. nothing much goes wrong in sewing machines.

Which brings up my damned machine...It's a 38 year old Sears Kenmore; I won it by filling out a coupon when it was 12...

It's served me well, I used to have it tuned up every so often by an old school repair person, then his daughter; then she closed up shop. I had it repaired to the tune of $100 last year, and haven't really used it a lot since then, becaue I've been busy. But, of course, when I used it last week, it was doing the same thing, "racing' but not going forward...It's like when you disengage the motor to fill the bobbin......I haven't been able to find a good repair person...

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nothing much goes wrong in sewing machines.

 

Not so with computerized plastic. It is my understanding that most machines today are plastic junk. Either spend a lot of money ($1,500-2,000) or get an old metal forty-year-old garage sale one. Your best bet is knowing an old-fashioned machine repairman and buying from him. At one time I had five sewing machines including my mother's treadle. Mine are all old, heavy-duty metal bodies. My favorite is a Singer I picked up at a yard sale for $7.00. My 1960's top-of-the-line most-expensive-on-the-market Necchi is out on loan to a theatre costumer. The computerized quilter models are loads of fun but costly. Thirty years ago the two top machines were Viking (for stretch fabrics, especially) and Bernina. The Sears knock-offs, White and Brother, were fine, too. After they went plastic, Singers just were over-priced junk. Google it. Used ones can be either total junk or wondrous finds from dead seamstresses. Haven't helped a bit, have I? Sounds like your purposes are straight stitching and that's what I use my old $7 machine for. I also got a very wonderful industrial buttonhole attchment for it from my repairman for $75. Not bad for a $7 machine. :rolleyes: You may wish to also add an over-lock machine from Costco eventually, too.

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As far as I can see it is the best possible time to be looking for a sewing machine. Fantastic feature sets at prices one could only have dreamed about just a few short years ago. Mom always got Kenmores because she lived via the Sears catalogue, but Mr. Fly's mom bought Pfaffs.

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I'm on the market for a sewing machine that I'll most likely try to get off of craigslist. I have a pretty basic skill level, I took classes when I was much, much younger and can follow a simple pattern. As for projects, what I have in mind are things like curtains, pillows/cases, duvet, heming, and perhaps eventually clothes again.

 

So what should I be looking for? Brand? Are Singer and Brother the two I should look for or something else?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

Gosh this is very Suzie homemaker. WTF are you going to sew? Oh, I see you already said what...good luck

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nothing much goes wrong in sewing machines.

 

Not so with computerized plastic. It is my understanding that most machines today are plastic junk. Either spend a lot of money ($1,500-2,000) or get an old metal forty-year-old garage sale one. Your best bet is knowing an old-fashioned machine repairman and buying from him. At one time I had five sewing machines including my mother's treadle. Mine are all old, heavy-duty metal bodies. My favorite is a Singer I picked up at a yard sale for $7.00. My 1960's top-of-the-line most-expensive-on-the-market Necchi is out on loan to a theatre costumer. The computerized quilter models are loads of fun but costly. Thirty years ago the two top machines were Viking (for stretch fabrics, especially) and Bernina. The Sears knock-offs, White and Brother, were fine, too. After they went plastic, Singers just were over-priced junk. Google it. Used ones can be either total junk or wondrous finds from dead seamstresses. Haven't helped a bit, have I? Sounds like your purposes are straight stitching and that's what I use my old $7 machine for. I also got a very wonderful industrial buttonhole attchment for it from my repairman for $75. Not bad for a $7 machine. :rolleyes: You may wish to also add an over-lock machine from Costco eventually, too.

 

i have not looked at sewing machines lately but - plastic??? :huh: i appreciate my metal Sears console even more now :lol: my sister sewed up a storm with an old Singer treadle machine that she got from my mother who used it for i don't even know how long.

i generally agree that too many computerized stuff mucks up everything. simpler the better. getting a well used old machine would be a good bet. lack of use can jam up a machine, i think.

but not always true. i remember an old Husqvarna someone gave me - it had great accessories, a solid machine. except it didn't work. nobody could fix it for me.

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nothing much goes wrong in sewing machines.

 

Not so with computerized plastic. It is my understanding that most machines today are plastic junk. Either spend a lot of money ($1,500-2,000) or get an old metal forty-year-old garage sale one. Your best bet is knowing an old-fashioned machine repairman and buying from him. At one time I had five sewing machines including my mother's treadle. Mine are all old, heavy-duty metal bodies. My favorite is a Singer I picked up at a yard sale for $7.00. My 1960's top-of-the-line most-expensive-on-the-market Necchi is out on loan to a theatre costumer. The computerized quilter models are loads of fun but costly. Thirty years ago the two top machines were Viking (for stretch fabrics, especially) and Bernina. The Sears knock-offs, White and Brother, were fine, too. After they went plastic, Singers just were over-priced junk. Google it. Used ones can be either total junk or wondrous finds from dead seamstresses. Haven't helped a bit, have I? Sounds like your purposes are straight stitching and that's what I use my old $7 machine for. I also got a very wonderful industrial buttonhole attchment for it from my repairman for $75. Not bad for a $7 machine. :rolleyes: You may wish to also add an over-lock machine from Costco eventually, too.

i have not looked at sewing machines lately but - plastic??? :huh: i appreciate my metal Sears console even more now :lol: my sister sewed up a storm with an old Singer treadle machine that she got from my mother who used it for i don't even know how long.

i generally agree that too many computerized stuff mucks up everything. simpler the better. getting a well used old machine would be a good bet. lack of use can jam up a machine, i think.

but not always true. i remember an old Husqvarna someone gave me - it had great accessories, a solid machine. except it didn't work. nobody could fix it for me.

...like I said....

 

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  • 4 months later...

Abby, did you get anything?

 

Now i'm looking for a sewing machine - pretty much same reason as yours - i'm tired of wasting money on upholstered furniture covers. They're ugly, not fit well and not durable - pets tear them in no time.

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