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  1. #1
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    Sewing Machine Suggestions?

    Looking for a beginning sewing machine. Only interested in making tarps and stuff sacks at this time. Might try a hammock later.

    What is a good entry level machine?

  2. #2
    Senior Member traftonm's Avatar
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    Brothers is a begenner machine, ayou can get it new a Walmart for about $55 It will do what you want and more.

  3. #3
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Just the other week I got a Brother CE-5000PRW at Walmart for $140. It's easy to use, super lightweight and thus far has worked flawlessly. I know the serious sewing machine people will talk about good, solid, metal machines that last a lifetime but I decided to take my chances. I've read online review for this machine from people who put many hours per week on it and have been happy. Of course there are some people who had things go bad right from the beginning but they are a tiny minority.

    I couldn't believe how much easier making gear was with the Brother compared to my daughters Singer Featherweight 132 (another cheapie).
    http://www.brother-usa.com/Homesewin...CTID=CE5000PRW
    Knotty
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  4. #4
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knotty View Post
    my daughters Singer Featherweight 132 (another cheapie).
    ahem... a Singer Featherweight 132 is a classic machine and highly collectible. Very much in demand by quilters amongst others. I have seen a good Featherweight priced as high as $800. That don't count as a cheapie to me. However... it is not a machine that I would want to put a lot of webbing through for any great length of time. While the machine would certainly handle it with ease it is too small for my taste when it comes to making gear of that ilk. For tarps and other large area projects I'd take a featherweight over almost any other machine, any day of the week.

    Edit: ummm... I'm sorry, the featherweight you are talking about is a completely different beastie than the one I am talking about. To quote the beloved Emily Letella, "Never mind."

    Personally I do not like the cheap machines at walmart and other box stores. It has little to do with the non-metal gears and such. Plastic technology has come a long way since they were first introduced. My problem with them is they are so light.. (an assumed selling point) that they don't stay put on the table when they are being used. Get those things cranked up and working fast and you can end up chasing them all over while trying to feed the fabric.

    I _am_ one of those who suggests you go to the local sewing center and pick out a used machine of a certain age. They stay put, they have fewer mechanical components to go fubar and they are usually cheaper than a comparable machine purchased new. However... I _am_ a self-confessed thread injector snob. My wife is a professional level seamstress, who is no longer a professional seamstress, so I am completely spoiled when it comes to thread injectors.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  5. #5
    Senior Member SmokeHouse's Avatar
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    I bought a Kenmore,,, for alittle over $100. works great. Made many shelters with it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member opie984's Avatar
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    saw a singer in Big Lots yesterday for $100.00

  7. #7
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    If you know a bit already about machines ie how to set them up,clean ,oil and maintain them then I would go with Revs suggestion if you are completely new to understanding them buy a NEW entry level one and read the manual fully.I have a new entry level Brother amongst my other two and I think Knotty's looks a good one.Good luck.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Check with family, friends... many people have them that they NEVER use. Then go to Craigslist (I paid $30 for my 2-year old Brother machine... it works fine)

    If you're paranoid of what you'll get, I'd take Rev's advice and go to a shop and see what they've got laying about...

  9. #9
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    I'll second Rev's suggestions. John Sawyer's too. And read the manual.
    "Interesting! No, wait, the other thing.....tedious!"- Bender Bending Rodriques

  10. #10
    Senior Member Coldspring's Avatar
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    I went to my local small town sewing machine store and looked. I wanted something a step up from the K-Mart level of machines. I selected the Janome Magnolia 7318, it was a simple machine for a beginner, seems smooth but knowing that I am going to get serious someday, I wanted something I could stick with for a while. Honesly, I just like the MANLY flowers on it. I've learned that going with the lowest price option usually ends up costing more, so I look for items at a certain price point... with my budget that was a whopping $220. At least I know I helped the salesman and the mom-and-pop store make a few bucks. The store said they'd help me out with any issues I had for sewing, as they have a sewing room with classes, I've just never taken the time to go. Someday, I'll find that certain little old crazy lady that will help me out with all my far out ideas that will revolutionize hammocking, but I've only managed to whip a few few UQs and a topquilt so far with my meager sewing abilities.

    I've heard the lower priced machines have trouble with thread tension, but apparently several HF members think they do fine. I suppose since I went overboard I need to do a few more projects and pay for my machine's expensive price tag!
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