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1st sewing machine for daughter

atlantasteve | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

My 10 year old daughter wants to purchase a sewing machine to make purses out of demin pants.  She is very creative and talented.  I have looked at the entry level Singer and Brother models.  I want to spend less than $200.  Any suggestions?


  1. cookrose | | #1

    Hi. This is the third post in two days I've written about buying a machine, which makes me sound like some kind of expert. I'm not! But I am passionate about getting the best tools you can afford, so I will tell you what I think.

    I think more important the brand you buy is whether the people who sell it to you offer not just a warranty on the machine itself, but help and support as you're learning to use it.

    Having said that, however, I must admit that the brands you mentioned are not my favorite ones. Others may disagree wildly with me and if their experiences have been trouble-free, I'm certainly glad. Ask them to tell you which models they own and when they bought them.

    Sometimes a better machine that's used can be a very good choice. That's what I mean about getting the best tools for the money. Secondhand machines often have not been used much or abused at all, and $199 spent that way, instead of on a new, economy brand, could be a better move. Most machine dealers sell used machines, even if it is not the brand they distribute (for example, I bought my used Pfaff at a Elna/Babylock dealer).

    Is it possible to involve your daughter in the purchase, or were you wanting to surprise her with it as a gift? That may also affect your decision. Hope this helps.

  2. Elisabeth | | #2

    Not all machines will sew denim layers well so do bring samples of the fabric you want the machine to sew for your test drive. Also bring any heavy jeans type thread you might use for topstitching and such. Some machines balk at the heavier thread. A good test drive is essential for any machine you are considering and any good dealer will let you put a machine through its paces to your hearts content. A good dealer will also provide support and instruction.

    A used machine, guess they call them "previously owned" these days sort of like cars?, is a good idea. People often trade up and leave their perfectly good but too simple for them machine with the dealer. My favorite brand is Viking. Good luck with your search.

  3. User avater
    Sewdreamy | | #3

    This is just an idea--although in my recent sewing years I haven't done this, I have found in the past that there are some extremely good deals in used sewing machines--especially some of the better brands--Bernina, Viking, or Pfaff, in particuler.  You may actually be able to get your daughter a very good machine with lots of accessories if you look for a basic good used machine.  I used to have my own fashion design/sewing business and when I hired a couple of people to help, I found two excellent machines for a shockingly low price from people who had bought or been given a machine they subsequently didn't use and decided to sell.  The only problem with this is that you don't usually get any sort of warrenty.  If you do this, you should probably take it to a reputable machine service person and get it cleaned, checked, and put in top shape.  The better machine you can afford for her, the more likely she will be to find sewing fun and creative.  Fighting with a low-quality machine can discourage even the best sewers.

  4. fbksak_fella | | #4

    I agree with Roseana..... Buy used and get the quality. I bought a used Viking Daisy 2 weeks ago for a friend of mine for $125. (4 years old ... the machine not the friend LOL) It works well and it should serve her well for quite some time. Just another thought (having kids of my own) if you buy used and your daughter looses interest you aren't stuck with a worthless machine and you haven't spent a fortune either.

    1. Teaf5 | | #5

      I agree that buying used is a good idea--if you take an experienced sewer along with you to test the machine-- one who knows the correct needle and thread for sewing denim. I would also recommend getting the simplest machine possible--one with straight, zigzag, and stretch stitches but not a lot of other gizmos, which can complicate learning and maintaining the machine.Have you thought about borrowing a unused machine from a relative or friend? I can think of at least five friends and relatives who have a perfectly good sewing machine stored away in a closet; they would be thrilled to loan it to someone who wants to get started sewing. After using any machine for awhile, your daughter may have a better idea of what she needs from a machine to buy.

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