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Beginner….graandma with 7 little girls

SandraChapman | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am wanting to begin making simple jumpers for little people. I had a machine years ago, but found sewing made me nervous & never really used it. Now, I want to learn!! I hope the new computerized machines will help a lot. I didn’t even like to thread the machine or work with bobbins. I want an inexpensive (relatively) computerized machine. I don’t want to have to use a foot pedal.I am looking at a machine on sale for around $150.00. Can anyone tell me about the Brothers’ CS 100T or Brother BC 1000 ? Thank you immensely. Sandra


  1. Crazy K | | #1

    I don't know where you're located but if you in the US and have a Hancock store anywhere near you, they have a Janome 39-stitch sewing machine with needle-threader and 4-step buttonhole on sale for $129.99.  I was in the store just today and a lady had just gotten one of these and came back in for another........she loved it.  I don't have them, never have used that model but Janome does make some good little machines.  As for the foot pedal.....I don't know how you'll get around that on a basic machine........not familiar with that at all. Anyway, this is a Janome model 2139N and possibly not on their website as it may be an exclusive for Hancock.  I just bought a juno serger (basic, inexpensive for backup) and I couldn't find anything about it on the Janome site but it was on the Hancock site with specs, etc.

    Hope this helps you some............altho, I guess if you're not in the U.S. it may not be valid info.......


    1. SandraChapman | | #2

      Thank you, Kay. I just happened to see some Brother machines on the internet today that were on sale. ( It seems lots of machines are). I live in the south east U.S. and am familiar with Hancock stores. I would love to be able to make some look a like jumpers for these little cousins. Several of them are in my area, and I think they would really get a kick out of it. My mother use to make my daughter and her first cousins such cute little things. I retired early due to an accicent and think this would help keep my mind active and would be something I could work on a few minutes at a time. I painted little clothes for a while, and have gotten a bit tired of that. Thank you for the time you spent writng me. Appreciatively, Sandra

      1. Crazy K | | #3

        Oh, you will love sewing for the little girls.  We have 22 grands and I have had my share.  Now the first batch of girls is getting too old and have their 'own' style preferences that are things I wouldn't/couldn't sew for them.  I now have two little ones coming up that will still appreciate my efforts for a few years to come.  Sewing for the kids is probably my favorite.......they don't have the fitting issues that we grandmas have! LOL  I've made little dresses, shorts and t-shirts sets, pants and shirt sets, pjs, blankets and other little things.

        I'm in the upper midwest.......Mpls/St Paul area.  We've lost our neighborhood Hancock but there are still two not too far away that I visit.  You can check out the machine I wrote about by going to their website.  The only issue would be the foot pedal.........

        Good luck in your search and have fun sewing!


        1. SandraChapman | | #4

          Thanks, Kay. Sounds like you're a busy grandma! sandra

  2. Teaf5 | | #5

    Most foot pedals can be mounted on the inside of a cabinet or table so that you can operate them by pressing them with your knee.

    A few very specialized machines have handcranks, but they are hard to find, and I can't imagine a beginner being able to give up one hand just to get the machine going.

    When you get your new machine, spend some time with a needle but no thread inserted, "sewing" along lines drawn on paper.  You can learn to speed up, slow down, turn, and stop easily this way; children love to learn this, too, and maybe one of those cute grandchildren will learn to sew with you!  It's surprising how patient very young ones can be, and how fun learning can be when you've got their company.

    1. SandraChapman | | #7

      Hi, Teaf5,

      Thank you for your comments. Using the machine without a needle on marked paoper is a great idea for learning. Yes, little ones are eager to learn all kinds of things. I am a former educator and specialized in early childhood education. My older grandchildren might enjoy learning to sew. They are 13 & 10. Unfortunately they live about 9 hrs. away. There mother doesn't sew much, but when they visit we might enjoy some easy things together. Appreciate your feed back, Sandra

  3. jjgg | | #6

    A computerized machine is not really going to make sewing less nerve wracking for you. You will still have to "work with a bobbin". The machine may have a needle threader on it, but you are still going to have to thread the machine up to the needle. There are some machines that have start and stop buttons, but most people find a foot pedal easier to use (unless you have some type of handicap and can't use one). The computer part just helps you to select stitches, on some it can adjust the tension when you tell it what type of fabric you are using,and tell you when you are out of thread in the bobbin. But, the machine won't sew you garments without you operating it. YOU still need to do all the prep work.

    Wanting to learn is the first step. The best thing is to go to a store where they will give you lessons, both on the machine and on sewing. A store that has quality service and support. You won't find this at Wally World or Hancocks. You might pay a bit more for the machine, but the support you will get when you are frustrated with something will be worth its weight in gold.

    1. SandraChapman | | #8

      Thank you for your note. I'm sure all you said is quite true. Unfortunately, I'm not very close to a large city. We live out on a lake an hour from a larger city. The ride back & forth is a bit difficult. If I find I need it, I will sigh up for lessons.I'm not sure if the foot pedal will work too well for me. I'll look at one with a stop start and see what I think.     I don't think I'm going to get a cabinet at this time.

       Have a good remainder of the week-end. Sandra

      1. Crazy K | | #9

        I don't mean to be a wet-blanket and I don't know what kind of disablities you may be contending with so I may be speaking out of turn.  If that is the case, please forgive me.  On the start-stop buttons on the machines.  I feel that they are mostly for embroidery purposes where you are not going to sit at your machine riding that foot-pedal for long periods of time.  For general sewing, the stop-start buttons lend to frustration and anxiety because once you push....it's going, full-speed ahead with no regard to where you might want to stitch around a curve, etc.  With a foot pedal or knee lever, you have more control to start and stop.  I would say a knee lever appartatus (some Janomes have them) would be much better for you.  You can sew slow or fast.....as you wish, not whatever speed the machine wants to go. 

        Just my nickel's worth.  Just hate to see you looking for something that isn't going to work as you need.  And, unfortunately, some dealers (even in reputable shops) will sell you the machine without giving you all the pros and cons...........they figure you'll find that out for yourself!  Sorry if I sound cynical but I've been the route and learned a very expensive lesson that way.

        Good luck as your pursue your dream.  If you take you time and look and research carefully, you will find something that will work for you.  As a side note.......JoAnn stores have independent sewing machine sales within their stores and most of those do give lessons.  The ones around here sell Husqvarna Viking and now Singer. 

        1. SandraChapman | | #10

          Thank you for your last comments, Kay. We have been in Fla the past week checking on my mother-in-law & her sister.I will probably get something with a knee press and foot pedal, if you can get both. I have problems all over, actually, and might want to use different positions at various times. I don't sit well for too long, so think sewing will be something I can work on & leave. I did painting on shirts, etc. for little people & have gotten in to hair bows & ribbons at various times. Thank you for all you suggestions, and no need for regrets of anything said. Appreciatively, Sandra

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