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Buying a new sewing machine.

pakrat | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I am an intermediate sewer of apparel mostly for myself.  I am addicted to cotton knits because they’re great for daily wear.

I  have an old Brother sewing machine that has just pooped out on me.  Could you recommend a new moderately priced machine that is good for the occasional sewing I do?

I’ve ventured into sewing machine stores in Southern California (more spefically Orange County) and have been accausted by aggressive sales people much like used car salesman.

I think we all hate that feeling of being cornered.

If anyone could also recommend a store or other perveyers of sewing machines that they have had a good experience with that would be great.  Thanks in advance for your help.




  1. sewchris703 | | #1

    Do your research before hand and know what features you want and what price range you are willing to spend before you go shopping for a new machine.  Take your own fabric into the store with you and sew on the machine/s you are interested in.  Then buy the machine that you are comfortable sewing on.  Ignore the hype from the dealer but do answer questions about your sewing experience and plans for the new sewing machine.  Those questions help the dealer to steer you to the right machine model.  And stick with the dealer who is willing to help you after you have bought your new machine.  After sale services are priceless.

    That being said, I love Kenmore sewing machines from Sears.  No dealer help or after sales services but then I don't need them (I've sold sewing machine and I have over 40 years experience in sewing, 34 of them professionally).  I went in to Sears already knowing which model I wanted to look at when I bought my last machine (9 years ago).  The clerk watched my 3 yo son while I sewed on the floor model.  She was more valuable to me as a kid minder than as a sales clerk.  She rang me up and I went on my way.  I ordered the extra feet I needed at home through the Sears website..

    1. pakrat | | #3

      Buying a new sewing machine

      That was a very useful reply to my email.  Thanks so much for your help and wisdom on purchasing a new sewing machine. 

  2. lou19 | | #2

    I recommend buying an entry level machine by Bernina or other great name over a  another brand sewing machine with more features.

  3. Ralphetta | | #4

    buying a new sewing machine

    Most of the publications I've read, reccommend checking out patternreview.com.   By spending a little time at the site it might help you decide exactly what features, machines, etc. that you want to test.

  4. pakrat | | #5

    Buying a new sewing machine

    I took a test drive on a Brother NV40 yesterday and was impressed with many of its features (i.e. automatic needle threading, one click foot change, etc.).  I know the inside parts are nylon and not metal although it is in an alluminium housing.  And, yes, it is pink and  Project Runway appears prominently on it.  Is it one of those machines made for  "planned obsolescence"? The salesperson was already attempting to lead the conversation, telling me that  I may wish to "trade up" in a year or so for a machine with twice the function and  price.

    Consumer Reports has written a favorible review on the machine.  I would really love to know what you think about this machine.  I know you said you have a Kenmore.  How does it compare with the Brother NV40? 

    1. sewchris703 | | #6

      I have no idea how they would compare.  Patternreview. com that someone else mentioned would be the place to go for reviews.  However, I've never traded up my sewing machines.  In fact, when I bought my "new " Kenmore (10 years old now; cost $300 new), I traded down.  I've been sewing for over 40 years now, the last 34 of them professionally, and my most expensive machine cost $500 through the Sears catalog 30 years ago.  And while it was electronic, it still had built-in cams for the different stitches.  I use maybe 5 of the 30 built-in stitches on my machine--straight stitch, zigzag, blind hem, stretch zigzag, and overlock sitch.  And that was before I had a serger.  I did buy extra feet for my machines.  I buy the straight stitch food, button sew-in foot, narrow hemmer, the ruffler, open-toed foot, and darning/embroidery foot as well as the all purpose/zigzag foot, the zipper foot (if it's adjustable; if not, then I buy an adjustable one), and the buttonhole feet.  I change feet more than I change the stitche dial.


  5. Greytquilta | | #7

    Buying a new sewing machine

    Regardless of what brand you buy, and you should test drive a few make sure the sewing machine store has good service and offers classes in case you need them.  But I feel good service is the most important aspect of the deal and poor service is a real deal breaker.

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