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  1. #1
    Senior Member dufus934's Avatar
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    Input on a new sewing machine

    I am looking at getting the Brother XR 7700. So, of course, I want to know what all the people smarter than me think about this site. Will it do all the functions that I will need? And at 142.99 will that be a good machine for me to get?
    God Bless,
    Kyle
    willky1@gmail.com

    "Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
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    Dutch's Avatar
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    Long answer....

    Kyle I think there is 2 levels of sewing machines. First level is the ones that we see at Sears and other department store. They have many of the same functions and some of them have some more fancy stitches that you probably won't need. Also in this first catagory you can upgrade to have a digital screen to show you all those stitches you don't need. The second level is commercial sewing machines. They are morevheavy duty and can sew through layers of material and webbing. They are nice and cost many more $$$$$. I think most of us are using the first level and then most of us are only using 2 stitches. Straight and zig-zag. All machines have these 2stitches. So rather than look at the number of stitches you won't ever use, look at motor strength instead and most machines have the same size motor. The machine you picked out sounds like it will probably do very well. If the difference between the $125 model, the $142 model, and the $189 model is simply the number of stitches you won't ever use, the $125 model is more appropriate to you. I never used a computorized one, but I don't see how that can make me a better sewer, just makes me more broke.


    Short answer...

    Kyle that machine will work fine.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member dufus934's Avatar
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    so what are some examples of your "level 2" machines?
    God Bless,
    Kyle
    willky1@gmail.com

    "Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
    Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
    With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
    But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle" - Casting Crowns

  4. #4
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    I have no experience with that machine, but it looks like it will do everything you will need, plus 58 other stitches.

    The things I would look for in a sewing machine are
    • Straight and zig-zag stitch
    • Forward/reverse
    • Enough power to sew through several layers of thick material
    • Free-arm if you plan to sew small things like stuff sacks
    • Automatic needle up/down for convenience
    • An intuitive user interface and an intuitive bobbin winding and threading scheme, so you don't have to read the manual if you don't use the machine for a few weeks. In my opinion, you should really never ever have to open the manual, unless you want to use one of the 58 functions you hardly ever need.

    I have made a lot of gear on a really cheap Singer machine that had a lot less functionality than the Brother you are looking at. I did end up ditching the Singer in favor of something more convenient and powerful. My therapist tells me that that was financially totally unjustified, and that if I cannot cure my gear addiction, I should at least keep it limited to less costly things like stuff sacks...

  5. #5
    Mule's Avatar
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    I agree with Schneiderlein, I have to have the auto up-down needle feature. I would not have tried some of the projects I have done without the new machine. I have basically a Janome on it's sold as a Kenmore by sears, It cost me $279. The $600 one has more stitches etc, but open the front access door and they are identical there.
    Tools are half the fun of anything. Mule
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by skskinner View Post
    Tools are half the fun of anything. Mule
    I agree with that. My wife asked me to do some trim work a while back. Of course, I had to get an air compressor and a nail gun...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schneiderlein View Post
    I agree with that. My wife asked me to do some trim work a while back. Of course, I had to get an air compressor and a nail gun...
    Being single I can't top that one.

    But I like the old industrial ones myself. Sewing machine repair places are great places to find 1950's era heavy duty machines.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
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    I think an important point on a sewing machine is metal gears.

    After killing a couple of cheap Brother machines (probably around $90), I learned they had plastic gears. Then I bought a White "Jeans Machine." It has metal gears and has been working well for around 10 years. I just finished, 30 minutes ago, a G4 pack with lots of heavy stitching.

    What ever machine you get, use at least Singer-quality needles. When I started the G4 pack, I bought the cheaper machine needles from Walmart and broke five of them in quick succession. Switched back to Singer and haven't broken even one.

    I mainly use just straight and zigzag stitches, even though this one has a dozen or so. I never found a use for most of the fancy stitches except when I was sewing fancy little girl stuff. (Said little girl is 21 now, will have to wait for grandchildren <g>).

  9. #9
    Senior Member dufus934's Avatar
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    What are some machines with metal gears that would be good options for sewing gear? I have looked on ebay and can't make heads or tails of anything to do with sewing machines.
    God Bless,
    Kyle
    willky1@gmail.com

    "Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
    Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
    With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
    But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle" - Casting Crowns

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dufus934 View Post
    What are some machines with metal gears that would be good options for sewing gear? I have looked on ebay and can't make heads or tails of anything to do with sewing machines.
    Look for older machines or commercial ones. The commercial ones are NOT cheap, but you can find old singers all day long at thrift shops or machine repair shops. The ones at the repair shops are nice because you know they've been cleaned. Thrift shops are a gamble, but mine cost $10 and works like a charm.
    Trust nobody!

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