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  1. #1
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    What Sewing Machine?

    if i wanted to learn to sew but didn't want to drop a metric arse-load of cash on a machine what sewing machine would you DIYer's recomend?

    specific models would be great but even guidance on what features to look for/avoid would be beneficial.

    Thanks!
    Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. ~George Smith Patton

  2. #2
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    I really like my old Singer. I have used an old Kenmore and Brother with good results.

    Check out a sewing machine repair place. A lot of times they have refrub used ones at good price.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  3. #3
    Senior Member cameronjreed's Avatar
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    HR,
    What you want to look for is the basics. Make sure it can do a good straight stitch. A zig-zag stitch is helpful (it helps make bar tack stitches) If you can find one that can change the speed at which the feed dogs advance the fabric that is a helpful feature.
    Brother, Singer and White are all good brands.
    HE is right. Check the sewing shops for refurbs. I found mine at a yard sale for $5. It worked (and still works) like a champ.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Frolicking Dino's Avatar
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    I have two old machines (Morse, Singer) and a newer Ulna (lots of $$$). The old machines are better for most gear projects. Try repair shops or thrift stores. If you get one from a thrift store, do a thorough cleaning and lube before using it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I got a Singer Stylist at a thrift shop for 10.95. It works great! I also found a Singer with cabinet for $20 at another thrift shop. All the machines I found at repair places were in the $50 -$60 range. But, at least you can be sure that the ones from repair shops are in good working order. With the thrifts, it's a gamble.

  6. #6
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    You can always look at Ebay, although sometimes it's a crap shoot on what you get. As others have stated, older machines are usually more reliable if they are set up right. It's also a good idea to check with family and friends. A lot of time they may have a sewing machine lying around that hasn't seen any use in years and they may give it to you.

    I have been looking at getting an older Pfaff machine from a repair shop that is close to me. From what I have heard Pfaffs are some of the best, but they are expensive.

    I bought my machine new from Big Lots for 99.00. I bought for my wife and she never used it. It's a Europro machine and after I got it set up and got the kinks worked out of it, it has been a nice machine.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  7. #7
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frolicking Dino View Post
    I have a newer Ulna
    Is it anywhere near the radius? Sorry, it's not often I get to make anatomy jokes.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  9. #9
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    Yeah, just buy a good used machine. Two stitches is all you need: straight and zigzag. I use an old Necchi.

    What do you consider to be a 'metric arse-load of cash'?

  10. #10
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    thanks for all the info! My mom agreed to let me use hers to see if i like it, and i think my grandmother has a machine that she doesn't use anymore (although i'm told it could be broken)

    @ lunch today i'm going to a sewing store to look at some display models. i'm quite taken with the viking/husqvarna machines becasue i am familiar with their other products (saws, trimmers, etc.) becasue of my background in horticulture but price will probably be a large deciding factor and i don't think their machines are cheap. i know there are a few sewing machine repair shops on this end of town, i'll need to look around and see if any of them have good deals on basic machines as well.
    Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. ~George Smith Patton

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