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help! sewing machine suggestions

JServaas | Posted in General Discussion on


I’m dying to learn to sew and I’m looking for a good, reasonably priced sewing machine to start me off. I’ve seen some positive reviews of kenmores online — but the model that’s shown up consistently (the kenmore 12916) is no longer on the market.

does anyone have any recommendations?

thanks in advance!!!


  1. suesew | | #1

    Try doing a search on this site under something like "buying a sewing machine" Your question has been asked and answered many times. Buy the best you can afford and buy locally so you have a dealer you can go back to for any problems or information or help you may need. Happy years of sewing.

  2. Elisabeth | | #2

    Have you looked at http://www.patternreview.com ? Lots of machine reviews there. You might also ask the Kenmore people if there is a newer model that replaces the one you were looking for. Test driving is a wonderful way to learn about machines and find out what you like. Try the big brands - Viking, Bernina, and Pfaff - they usually have some reasonably priced models. Ask about used machines. People trade up and turn in good used machines. Just make sure you get a machine that feels right to you. And finally don't let some ungenerous sales person pressure you ever.

  3. kjp | | #3

    Much agreed on the advice to buy the best you can afford!  AND it is important to have a dealer who can troubleshoot and repair any problems.  A good dealer will question your needs and budget to lead you to the right machine.  I agree to look at Bernina, Viking and Pfaff (though this is only a hearsay recommendation).  I love my Bernina and I've worked a little on Viking.  Kenmores are also still a way to go for a simple machine.  You won't get much as much dealer support, but the machines are well reputed.  My mom's old Kenmore from 30-40 years ago and mine from 20 some years ago are still going strong in my sisters-in-laws hands and have never needed repair.

  4. vocrn | | #4

    Use the tools selection from the left hand list on the threads home page...and then scroll through the articles. There is a great article from about 2002 about comparison shopping for machines...and covers 35  machines with a fantastic chart on all their features. This was invaluable to me when I bought my Viking in 2003. If you can't find it...get back to me through the thread...and I'll get you the link.

    1. wench34 | | #5

      Go for a JANOME.  I have had one since 1983 with not one time having to take it to the shop, and a newer one since 2001, with not a problem.  ELNA and JANOME and KENMORE are all related, althought I would recommend getting the JANOME.  I have the 9000 and the 6000.  I had a SINGER once and the motor melted as it was made from plastic-pretty aweful since the only heat around the sewing machine was a small lamp with a 60 watt bulb....and I keep my home cool!

      1. vocrn | | #6

        I think message 3784.6 - the one I'm replying to - click it in the upper right corner - is for you.

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