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Old 09-30-2014, 09:30 PM
 
3,513 posts, read 4,355,224 times
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For a starter machine, a Brother would be fine. It will probably last you quite a while. Take some sewing lessons if they are available so that you don't do something stupid and screw up the tension by pushing/pulling the fabric through the feed. One of the most important things you can do to increase the longevity of your machine is to keep it covered when not in use...dust kills.

Call around to the local sewing machine repair places that are not solely representing one brand, and ask. They know which machines are worth what. My repair place had good things to say about Brothers and I know they are used at a local sewing school.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Encino, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princesasabia View Post

There is a sewing center near me, but the people who work there aren't friendly including the owner and I hear that their prices are really high.
LOL. Sounds exactly like this place my wife likes to go to. Went in there with her a few times and the owner and other ladies who work there just came across of absolutely persnickity, rude, prudish, etc. They came across like they were wives of very very wealthy husbands and took up sewing and sewing business as something to do. That and they were dedicated distributors of Bernina brand machines that are EXPENSIVE!!!

Definitely take some classes somewhere and also look into publications that could help expand your knowledge of sewing and design. My wife has a subscription to Burda (or Burda Style) magazine and LOVES it. She looks forward to that magazine being delivered like I look forward to computer equipment being delivered from Amazon.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
1,403 posts, read 2,073,281 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings Gambit View Post
LOL. Sounds exactly like this place my wife likes to go to. Went in there with her a few times and the owner and other ladies who work there just came across of absolutely persnickity, rude, prudish, etc. They came across like they were wives of very very wealthy husbands and took up sewing and sewing business as something to do. That and they were dedicated distributors of Bernina brand machines that are EXPENSIVE!!!

Yeah I'm not going any where near that store. I absolutely cannot stand people like that. I'm definitely take some classes somewhere and also look into publications that could help expand your knowledge of sewing and design. My wife has a subscription to Burda (or Burda Style) magazine and LOVES it. She looks forward to that magazine being delivered like I look forward to computer equipment being delivered from Amazon.
I will definitely be taking classes. I like Burda too! I'm going to get that Brother Project Runway sewing machine you mentioned, theres a quilt store where I live that has it.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,260 posts, read 4,504,271 times
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I'm not much of a seamstress but I have one of the Brother Project Runway sewing machines and it has served me well for over 5 years now. I think it is a great machine for someone just starting out.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home...CHICAGO
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A Brother or a White would be good starter machines. I bought my White for $99 and it's a good, sturdy machine.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:51 PM
 
11,426 posts, read 19,438,504 times
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Automatic buttonholer –Great thing to have and especially if you have more than one selection, but you can easily hand sew a button hole -- it's just very time consuming.

Good light – I agree with the light, but you can get a good adjustable lamp, too.

Built-in needle threader – I never use mine. I wet the end of the cut thread, place it between my two pointer fingers with just a tiniest tip sticking out from the top, center my fingers with the needle and push feed it through. Rarely do I miss.

Adjustable needle feature – Very handy

Up/down needle feature – I find it an absolute necessity, but I also make huge quilts with REALLY long seams. Helps with topstitching, so if you stop to pull a pin the needle doesn't jump to the side. But I didn't grow up with it, and I topstitched then, too... so maybe I'm used to it and lost that skill.

Adjustable presser foot pressure – Very handy.

Adjustable feed dog height –I've never seen one that's adjustable.... merely up or down.

Does your Joanns have a sewing center there? Some do and some don't. And have you looked for another sewing center maybe out of your area that you can get to? (We call those ROAD TRIPS! And there's usually breakfast out and thrift stores and big fun day planned)

We have several stores here that sell machines from all sorts of places and most of them sell all price points. But one of the quilting stores out here does have attitude problems.

All machines have to get serviced at some point, so you do need to find a good place to take it...
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:46 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,386 posts, read 50,562,503 times
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You might take a look at Costco, if they have an inexpensive machine it will be one of the better ones. If you are not spending 10-20 hours a week on projects, the less expensive machines will actually do OK, but as mentioned before you might get a good deal on a great quality used machine that's been well maintained. Not unlike I-phones, you might be surprised at how many people have to buy the latest sewing machine. Thankfully not my wife, but her $7,000 Bernina is now 7 years old so the next one can't be far off.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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I wish I had a Costco where I live! I would rather have a new one. I found an authorized dealer for the sewing machine that I want, Ill be getting it next week.
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Old 10-02-2014, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mntns., NC
10,228 posts, read 14,078,239 times
Reputation: 8760
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
I'm not much of a seamstress but I have one of the Brother Project Runway sewing machines and it has served me well for over 5 years now. I think it is a great machine for someone just starting out.

Try to get the better Project Runway machine, the one with the larger sewing bed that holds the fabrics more steady and flat. I didn't know what your budget was when I responded earlier about getting a used higher end machine. I still have my Bernina 930 and a few others, but they were gifts. Buying sewing machines for some of us is like men who buy boats. We keep trading up to get more bells & whistles. But now I'm done; have my favorite Pfaff and won't ever need or want another machine. You should be fine with the Runway machine, just make sure you can get service somewhere if you need it, and accessories like special feet and upgrades if offered. Now, if you ever get into machine embroidery, that's a whole different kind of obsession. Have fun !
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Old 10-03-2014, 09:22 AM
 
3,513 posts, read 4,355,224 times
Reputation: 4586
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
Automatic buttonholer –Great thing to have and especially if you have more than one selection, but you can easily hand sew a button hole -- it's just very time consuming.

Good light – I agree with the light, but you can get a good adjustable lamp, too.

Built-in needle threader – I never use mine. I wet the end of the cut thread, place it between my two pointer fingers with just a tiniest tip sticking out from the top, center my fingers with the needle and push feed it through. Rarely do I miss.

Adjustable needle feature – Very handy

Up/down needle feature – I find it an absolute necessity, but I also make huge quilts with REALLY long seams. Helps with topstitching, so if you stop to pull a pin the needle doesn't jump to the side. But I didn't grow up with it, and I topstitched then, too... so maybe I'm used to it and lost that skill.

Adjustable presser foot pressure – Very handy.

Adjustable feed dog height –I've never seen one that's adjustable.... merely up or down.
^I agree with everything here. I thread my needle the same way, but I have to, sometimes, enlist the help of a magnifying glass.

Quote:
Does your Joanns have a sewing center there? Some do and some don't. And have you looked for another sewing center maybe out of your area that you can get to? (We call those ROAD TRIPS! And there's usually breakfast out and thrift stores and big fun day planned)
Be careful at Joann's. Although they do carry the less expensive brands, the larger stores often have a Viking/Husqvarna section with salespeople. They are great machines but have a heftier price tag.
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