It's time for a sewing machine upgrade

26 comments

For Christmas 2009, my husband surprised me with a Brother sewing machine. He didn't know if I would actually use it (ha!) and I didn't know what to look for in a sewing machine, but the gift was perfect! I dabbled in sewing for the first two years, but more recently I have become more "serious" about garment sewing and my current machine isn't cutting it. My biggest complaint is with the stitches, they are inconsistent regardless of how much I mess with the tension, change and rethread the thread, or change the needle. Well, there are more issues than that, but that one is the most annoying!

On Saturday my friend Krista and I are going to look at machines and hopefully test a few out. I wanted to see if any of you have any tips for me or have a machine that you love and can't recommend highly enough. Thinking about finding the perfect machine when there are so many out there is kind of overwhelming!

26 comments :

  1. Any machine you're interested in will likely be reviewed on Patternreview.com which is free to join. I used that to decide what machine I'm going to save for for my quilting and sewing (Juki Exceed Quilter)

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  2. Yay!! :)
    I am very happy with my Janome. I got this one: http://www.amazon.com/Janome-HD1000-Heavy-Duty-Built-In-Stitches/dp/B001I1IZ2K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356035091&sr=8-1&keywords=janome+hd1000

    I wanted a mechanical machine (rather than computerized), and I wanted one that had a simple/classic shape and color (i.e. plain--no graphics or funky colors).
    I would recommend the Janome brand to you--nice stitches and none of the headaches I had with my previous Singer, and the price is reasonable.

    If I was gonna spend big though, I would totally get a Bernina!!

    I went in a store and test drove several more expensive computerized Janomes, which were great, but I went home and ordered the mechanical machine from Amazon (way less expensive!) and I have no regrets. Hope that helps, can't wait to see what you pick!!

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  3. I have a Husqvarna Viking and I love it. It has a top loading bobbin, and I must say that it is the best thing ever! I had only ever sewn on machines with front loading bobbins before this one and I always had thread jamming/tension problems. Not with this machine. I highly recommend looking for a machine (probably any brand) with a top loading bobbin.

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  4. It just sounds as if your old machine really needs a service. But that said it's a pain to fork out for a service to have the problem not fixed and need to get a new machine anyhow. In Australia its about $130+ to get a service and I was told it should be done once a year! Ackk! Anyhow I went with a Janome, the best model I could afford and I am very happy with it. I found giving the models a test drive really helped me choose as they all feel different when sewing. Happy shopping. It's an exciting purchase and you won't know yourself with a good machine.

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    1. The cost of the service would probably cost more than my machine, so I'm going to buy a new one :)

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  5. I have a basic mechanical Janome that hubs gave me as a gift, and it's really been consistent and problem-free.

    http://www.amazon.com/Janome-Magnolia-7318-Sewing-Machine/dp/B001I1D1VA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356040434&sr=8-1&keywords=janome+magnolia+7318

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  6. oooh new machine!!! Noice. That said, were I in the market for a new machine, and knowing what I know now about sewing, I would want a machine that allows you to adjust the tension of both the feed dog and the foot (my current machine only does the former). Oh, and a one-step-button-hole is an absolute must - I love that function! It makes doing buttonholes a super easy and quick thing to do. Do let us know what you end up going with :)

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  7. Oooh exciting!! I am looking forward to seeing what you get, and what your decision will be based on! I've just got an old, second-hand Singer, very basic - I wouldn't know where to even begin looking for a new one! ^__^

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  8. I have my mum's old Janome from the early 90s and it is still kicking along well. My only complaint is there is the buttonhole is four steps. One step is a must!

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  9. For Christmas several years ago my mom got us both a Singer professional heavy duty at a close-out store's sale. I absolutely love my machine. It's consistent and a true work horse. There aren't any fancy bells and whistles, but it's got all I need to crank out clothes and home decor.

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  10. How exciting, a new machine!! Agree with the above commentd on the buttonhole function. Mine has a sensor one step one and it is brilliant. The other thing I really like on my machine is the option for straight stitching to start with a locking stitch, super handy. Mine is a Janome and has been going strong for well over 10 years now.

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  11. How wonderfully exciting! I remember when I upgraded and I have never ever regretted it! I'm sure you'll feel the same way. I think the most important part is to try several different machines with at least 3 different fabric types - lightweight, medium weight and heavyweight. I ended up with a Bernina 230 and I love my machine so much - its glides smoothly through so many different types of fabrics and can really bring it when I need it! Having just finished a seriously heavy duty coat project, it held up like the champ it is! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for the tips, Sunni! I'm going to test a machine out on Saturday and I have my fabric ready to go! :)

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  12. all I have to say on this topic is to get a Bernina if there is any way you can swing it!!! It's a long story, but I basically ended up with a beautiful early 90s bernina that a family member wasn't using (for reasons NOT related to how beautiful it sews!!). It sews so beautifully that when I started sewing I did not have to worry at all about the machine-- just reading the pattern/etc. (which is enough to get your head around!). Then I started reading sewing blogs and noticed how many people complain about tension problems. I wondered for a while if I had tension problems and didn't know enough to know it. HA! no way! not on my bernina. :)

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  13. I just got my first serious sewing machine too- a combination birthday/Christmas/every other present for forever because I wanted it so bad. And it's really everything I dreamed of- a brother innovis Laura Ashley nx2000 (even the name sounds fancy!). It came with lots of extras, and my hubby calls it a "sewing machine meets iPhone combo". The best thing about it is it automatically detects and adjusts tension for perfect, even stitch length. I've had it for three months, and I can't imagine a day without it. Ok, yes, I admit it, I'm in love with my sewing machine. Just don't tell my hubby, ok?

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    1. Oooh I like that it adjusts the tension, that's way cool!!!

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  14. I'm glad you posted this because I just read every comment! My aunt's viking is 25 years old and I LOVE it. I'm going to hate giving it back to her, but hopefully I can find a nice upgrade from mine.. that is not even a year old! Ha!!

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    1. Hopefully your machine will be ready when we go in on Saturday!

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  15. Yay! I am soooooo excited for you - a new sewing machine!

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  16. Ohh did I mention I got my machine for Christmas on Christmas 09 too... I hope you find the machine of your dreams and I'm looking toward to see your makes x

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    1. That's rad! We are Christmas sewing machine twins!

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  17. YAY I love upgrading! I have a Janome overlocker (DREAMY) and Brother Straightstitch, but forget which one... both were around $400 - $500 here in Australia, and are solid machines I've had for at least 4 years each! Happy shopping! My advice is don't fall for the fancy stitches or the quilter's arm or all those extra things if you aren't interested in doing that kind of sewing... I pretty much use straight stitches, hemming, button holes (I would avoid the 4 point button hole machines too, just get the all in one) and zig zags, and whilst I thought I'd use the 'flower' stitch, I just don't make those kind of decorative clothing...

    YAYAYAYAY!

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  18. A new machine is so exciting! Hope you find the perfect one. Please give us all the dirty details when you get it. By the way, a little off the subject, but you have the greatest wardrobe of ballet flats I have ever seen. Where do you get them? I look for them everywhere, but I never seem to find ones I like. I am all about the flat shoe! Any advice welcomed.

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    1. hahah thank you! I get my shoes everywhere from local boutiques, to Target, to Payless! I recently decided that I should pay a little more money to make sure I get a quality shoe, so from here on out I think I'm going to be shopping at local boutiques more. Which is good because I should be supporting local businesses anyway! :)

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