Post # 1
Greetings, Hive! I’m hoping some of you can weigh in on this question.
Recently I’ve gotten interested in learning how to sew, and a friend of mine has gotten me started with a lesson and a couple of beginner projects. I would like to be able to eventually make my own clothes, design costumes, etc. I don’t necessarily have an urge to learn how to quilt, but I wouldn’t totally rule it out someday.
I am in the market for a machine. On the one hand, I would love to get a secondhand one from Craigslist if I can find a good one. Pros: older machines are often better-built than some of the newer ones, I could get a higher-end machine for less and may be able to negotiate the asking price, I like the idea of giving an older machine a new chance to do its thing. Cons: older machines sometimes have maintenance issues and won’t come with a warranty; selection is limited to whatever happens to be on Craigslist at a given moment, and if you don’t like what you see you have to hang out and keep looking while you wait for the right machine to come by; etc.
I’ve also been looking at options online and in retail stores, since I’ve seen a few recommendations for just buying an inexpensive starter machine and then upgrading down the road if I get to the point where I need a machine that does more. There are a number of options and price points out there. On the one hand, that suggestion makes sense, and you can get a warranty for a new machine. On the other hand, I don’t really want to trap myself into the upgrade game.
One option DH and I are looking at: we have a certain amount of store credit at Macy’s from our registry, and they sell sewing machines through their website. They are a little pricier than the basic ones I was looking at elsewhere, but the store credit would help offset that, and for about the same amount of money out of pocket (~$100) I could get a significantly nicer machine with quilting capability by applying the credit to it. (And there’s nothing else that DH and I really have in mind that we would use the Macy’s credit for, and it will expire at the end of the month. I mean, I could go buy some shoes or clothes or something just to use it, but … maybe this is a smarter way to use it?)
So, recommendations? Any favorite brands/models or brands/models to avoid? Should I aim for a little better machine or start off with one of the really basic ones?
Post # 3
All my machines that i own are brothers. I love them! I started out cheaper and then upgraded to the dinsey brother which does many things in one. I guess if you buy more expensive and love sewing the machine will pay off but if you buy cheaper and not many options and you are better at sewing you will have to upgrade. So id say buy a good one right away. Brother machines are easy to thread and there website is very helpful as well. Good luck!
Post # 4
I have a brother sewing machine as well. They have a good range of functions, aren’t too expensive, and are pretty user friendly. I know some of the local stores around me offer free sewing classes if you purchase your machine from them, but I purchased mine from amazon.
Post # 5
This is good to hear – the ones we’re looking at on Macys.com and thinking of using the store credit toward are Brothers!
Post # 6
This one is mine. It’s a limited edition from Kenmore that i purchased at Sears over Christmas / Boxing holidays.
I love it. It’ sreally user friendly, has tons of stitch types…. it’s super easy for a beginner but it is also suited for varuious jobs, even jeans.
There is a girl that teaches sewing in my area and she only has her students use that machine.
I only had one lesson on it and already made few things by myself…
Investing in one is a really great idea! I never knew how much it comes in handy until one day on my way to work my hem came out from my pant leg and FI’s daughters shirt needed fixing.
I spent 180$
Post # 7
Get the very, very best machine you can; something that is cheap but is a chore to sew with will keep you from developing the hobby.
You really only need two stitches – straight, and zig-zag. (ok, maybe a buttonhole stitch too). Anything else is extra. So for someone starting out I would recommend the most basic model of the best quality machine they could get.
I personally sew on a Pfaff. German-made, fairly expensive, but easy to thread and sew on. I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner unless they were committed to the hobby.
Go check out PatternReview’s reviews and anecdotes on machines. That’s the best online sewing community I know of.
Post # 8
Thanks, all! I woke up this morning and went to macys.com to order my machine, and got a lovely surprise: they are on sale! So, between the store credit and the reduced prices, I was able to get quite a nice machine for a very reasonable out-of-pocket cost.
NB: Macy’s does charge more than Amazon for the exact same models, so if we hadn’t had the use-it-or-lose-it store credit from the registry, I probably would have bought it through Amazon. I’m very happy with how things worked out, though, and so is DH. His mom (who is wonderful – we get along great) loves to sew, and she is really excited to have a daughter-in-law who is interested in learning. He’s happy that this is something we can share.