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Buying a New Machine

val | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I have a 17 year old daughter who loves to sew, designs her own clothes, patterns, etc.  I want to get her a new machine for high school graduation.  She hates to read manuals, and I think she needs something that does lots, but that you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out. She would like to be able to do serging. I am looking at a Janome 5018 in the sewing centre in the small town in Canada where I live. Price is $600. Is this likely a good bet? Thanks!

😉 val

Replies

  1. joress | | #1

    A sewing machine should come first, a serger second. A sewing machine that "serges" just has a cutting attachment to trim edges. IMHO, not worth the extra price. My sister does not have a serger and is happy overcasting seam allowances for all of the clothes she sews (which is does often for her daughter) and using stretch sewing techniques for knits.

    Search for lots of other posts about machines--there are dozens of discussions on the "best" machine. There are also lots of comparison charts from Threads, Sew News, and other sources, such as Consumer Reports.

    While you're looking, I suggest you put tops on your list of features the one-step buttonhole, dropped feed dogs, adjustable presser foot pressure, and a needle that can be moved fully left and right, not just to one side. After that, there are lots of choices at many price ranges and with many different stitch options. And after narrowing your options based on price range, have your daughter test them all personally. She will feel more comfortable on some machines than others. I often say, it's a fun, exasperating, exciting, confusing quest. Enjoy it!

  2. joress | | #2

    P.S. I love Janomes. I have a Janome serger and sewing machine. They have a wonderful reputation for reliability. You should shop around as to price and try to compare apples to apples--that is, add in what comes with the price. A great price but no service doesn't compare to a slightly higher price with included service, unlimited lessons, and a future trade-in value guaranteed. (Some dealers will offer full trade-in value within a year of purchase, for instance.) Also, a slightly longer drive is worth it. You really won't have to go to the dealer that often. On the other hand, a dealer far away won't allow you to easily take lessons or participate in the sewing club, if they have one. Sometimes it's a trade-off you'll just have to decide on.

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