So I have been kicking the idea of picking up a machine since last summer some time. I have been kind of getting the urge again. Maybe going to pick something up with a bit of tax money.
I went to a local shop and told them what my intention was and the most likely materials I would be using. They pointed me towards a Janome My Excel 23L, she also referred to it as the 3023. They had it priced at $219. Came with all the included feet, from what I could tell but I couldn't tell you specifics on them they were all lettered, and some other accessories. They said it was cleaned and gone over before getting put on the floor. Is this a fair price? I saw the newest model of the 3023 on amazon for between $350-450. Similar prices on ebay, all the newer model.
Before today have never touched a sewing machine.
I'm not sure this is going to be a regular thing, or just a passing fancy, but I can't see myself being happy with cheapie from wally world. The other side of it is, I'm not sure I want to put down 200 bones for something that may end up sitting in the case a majority of the time if I end up not being that into it.
Would this machine hold it's value should I not want it anymore? I've been looking on the local craigslist, but I'm even less sure about some of the stuff on there.
I'm sure there may be more questions going forward, but any help would be cool. Thanks.
Forgot to add the quick pic I snapped while at the store.
Are you mechanical? I was unsure what to get or what to do. I bought a singer stylist zigzag 476. Thought it was all metal because it was heavy. Ran fine in the goodwill store. $13. Got it home and the first time I put fabric in it the upper gear crumbled and the reverse was stuck. I paid $6 for the gear and spent a few hours tinkering with it ( with a lot of help from this forum, gmcttr mostly) and now it runs perfectly. I also had fun playing with it and learning. I then bought a singer 15-91 and am almost got that polished up and running. That machine is very pretty. Prior to this I had never touched a sewing machine before. Now I have 2 skills I will put to use and practice. I may keep looking for machines I can fix and polish to resell, or like gmcttr said collect.
In looking at cl I found these 2 in seconds. I am jealous at whats listed in your area. Much more then by me. There were many more from 30 and up. As always with cl shoot a low offer and see if they bite.
I would consider myself mechanical. I serviced credit card embossing equipment for 9 years, and now install commercial office furniture. Gas powered RC car addiction for years, misc trades work and the list goes on. So I don't shy away from anything mechanical. Just wasn't sure what I was looking for in the CL ads. Also currently, as a renter of a smaller duplex, I don't really have the room for a machine that has the desk/table attached. That's what had me looking for something I could put on the dining room table. But those 2 are more of a price range that I'm more comfortable with.
There was actually one very similar to that Singer at the local goodwill for 20 bucks, but looked very incomplete, and in need of plenty of polish.
I can see an interesting future for you with gear for thread injecting. I have a White machine which I have learned to adjust and clean. I also live in a duplex, and have this one on a small table in my place. I have used it to make a custom bridge hammock and other gear repair. Fun and games.
Originally Posted by ErickSaint
I happened upon a machine at the Salvation Army that serves me well. It's a plain stitch kenmore, forward and reverse, that's it. For $22, it doesn't owe me a thing. I now have my mums old singer 328 as my go to machine, but that old kenmore is still here and still running perfectly. Make sure you check your thrift stores, there's some real gems to be found at rock bottom prices
Thanks Davy. I tend to jump into stuff like this with both feet.
Debi, I checked 2 thrift shops and the sewing shop on my way home tonight. One thrift had the old singer I mentioned above and some other singer I think, big box store variety, but it was missing most parts including power, covers etc. Really missing too much to warrant the $25 price tag. I have a few other thrifts to check out this weekend. Crazy windchills coming, so no snowshoeing this weekend, I'll be out looking for a machine though. :)
Not too knowledgeable on thread injectors and am not a big tinkerer. To me, having a relationship with a local shop to provide knowledge and repair services is worth something. Since getting my first machine a month ago I've gotten some lessons on the basics in my local shop and some valuable advice, and I've had fun making stuff.
All respect to Miyank and the guys who learn to tear em down and rebuild. But if I'd have bought something on Craigslist, theres a fair chance I'd still be trying to fix the darn thing or have spent a small fortune getting it right. I learned that lesson when I bought a bicycle at a flea market a few years ago and spent almost the new price by the time it was overhauled.
Learning to make gear is enough of a learning curve without having to first learn to repair these things. IMHO, I'd rather spend my time learning to inject thread. But hey, that's just me.
The 476 I purchased came in a carrying case, but fits into my table. I believe most machines will work outside ofmthe cabinet just fine. Some of the really older machines might not but even those you can buy a box to sit it in. You sound more qualified then me to repair a machine and I didnt struggle to fix mine. The reverse issue I fixed required me to take apart half the machine, this gave me insight in how the mechanical actions effect the sewing. The upper gear should have required me to take the rest of it apart but I managed to switch out gears and reset the timing without issue. If you find something post the model on here someone will be able to tell you yes or no. From what I see on here if you stay away from knock offs, and obscure makes most are repairable. Singer, brother, kenmore, pfaff, nechi are all good if you getting them before they switched to more plastic or electric boards.
Originally Posted by ErickSaint
The good thing about buying from shops is they likely will have a warranty and offer free lessons. Look for a simple machine with a handful of basic stitches. For what most of us do, you don't need a lot of fancy stitches. It's actually amazing what you can do with just a straight stitch.
I bought my machine from a local sewing store and although I probably paid a little too much, they gave me some lessons and I have a 5 year warranty on it. My main goal when I went looking was to find a machine that was older. Typically the older machines had more metal parts and were more durable than the newer machines that often have plastic gears and such. You probably have seen this yourself in the various machines you have worked on.
Good luck finding what you are looking for. Once you get it, I wager you'll use it more than you thought you would.