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I’m getting my first sewing machine

matina | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I’m getting my first sewing machine and
I need advice on which machine is the
best to get
I’d want to do piping, embroidery,
regular sewing. should i get a new/used
machine. and what is a serger? please
help me find my dream machine!!!!!


  1. Ginna | | #1

    Matina - Your first priorty should be a sewing machine. A serger is nice but it does not replace a sewing machine. Everyone's dream machine is different based on what type of sewing they do and their personal preferences. I suggest that you go talk to your local dealers about the various sewing machines. Bring samples of the types of fabrics/embellishments you want to do and test the different machines yourself. Take notes if you need to. Ask the dealers about training and other services that they offer. Ask about used machines that they have for sale. You might be able to get a used machine that suits you better than a new one. If you have the money and want a serger too, ask if you can get a discount if you purchase both. Ask a lot of questions. Visit the dealers more than once, if necessary. Call them with additional questions, if you need to. Don't let them pressure you into a purchase.
    The best dealers want you to be happy with your purchase and give good support. Weigh the dealer's attitude and support in addition to the cost of the machine.

    Just for your information, Janome/New Home makes the Elna and Kenmore brands of sewing machines. Kenmore will probably be cheaper but you don't get the training that dealers usually offer.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Eve_Benoit | | #2

      *I second everything Ginna said. Good advice ! You should also determine your budget first of all.And you should read, read, read on the subject beforehand if you are new to sewing. A great site to visit is http://sewing.miningco.com

      1. matina | | #3

        *thanks for the info. i still don't know what a serger is. what is it? i feel dumb not knowing what it istin

        1. Ghillie_C | | #4

          *A serger (also called an overlocker in the UK) is a machine which stitches a seam and finishes of the edge at the same time. It takes large quanitities of thread from several spools to do it. This technique is often used commercially especially for knitted fabrics. Nobody absolutely needs a serger, I gave up wanting one when I realised that couture houses never use them.

          1. S._Roman | | #5

            *Matina..It sounds like you are very excited about sewing. That is great. What the others have told you is true and good advice. But as far as a serger, it's true that it is not a necessary machine now. But, to me it is a very integral part of my sewing. Whether courture houses use it, is not important as we are not coutures. We are home sewers that want our clothes to look ready made, without all the seams raveling. Also, we don't have a lot of time to spend on binding our seams like couture houses, so the serger is a great way to cut our time in half or more. Get an older model that just finishes off the seams and does not do any fancy stiches. I started with one like that and then after using it for years I learned what special stitches I wanted it to do. Anyway have fun looking. Also, it is a plus if the store does in-house repairs.

          2. carrie | | #6

            *matina - everyone has given you fabulous advice so far, but i thought i would put in my two-cents in support of an older/used machine. i have no information about your budget, but twice i have purchase mid-low end machines on my artist's (read: meager) budget and twice i have burned through them in less than three years. at my grandmothers recommendation, i purchased a used machine (kenmore, circa 1975) and have been thrilled ever since. i highly encourage you to examine your options in used machines. good luck!

          3. judi | | #7

            *Martina: I agree, the advice you have received so far is sound. I recommend that you buy a good basic machine without the frills. I used a basic 16 stitch Kenmore for 15 years and only replaced it because sewing had become a hobby rather than a necessity and wanted something more sophisticated. In truth, I didn't use most of the 16 stitches. In all those years, with a lot of sewing, the kenmore never gave me a moment of grief. I make pretty much all my own clothes now (nothing fancy) and if I didn't own a serger I probably wouldn't sew. Again, a basic no frills serger is a good place to start. Good luck.

          4. Linda_Christianson | | #8

            *I have sewn for over forty years now. It is best to try to sew some on the machine at the store. Make sure you like the way you lift the pressure foot. My mom's machine New Home, has the lift different, in other words not in the back. How does the thread go? Some machine like my 30 year ulna, was bad at not staying in all the hooks,etc. I lived with it, because of budget. I have sewn on some of the above. It took me a long time to make the machine sing. I now have Bernina. It sews great! You can test drive them at some dealers. There is others. But if you really only want to mend, even a Baby Lock will work. I love my Baby Lock of 20 years. It has made many tops to dress. Hope you find the machine you will have fun with.

          5. Chantal_Da_Rosa | | #9

            *where do you find second hand sewing machines? I am also shopping for a good machine!Thank you [email protected] if you prefer.Chantal Da Rosa

          6. grace_paik | | #10

            *I am a first time sewer, needing a machine. I think I decided on a used computerized machine, like the viking 415, or angelica (they say it's the same-is that true?) The only thing is my dealer doesn't have a 5/20 yr warranty on them since she said it's a tradeup from the last customer who owned it. But she does give a 1yr unconditional warranty, and i can trade it up at the end of the year (though I think that machine would be plenty for the rest of my life)The other thing she mentioned is that the viking machines are the only ones that their parts are all made in sweeden, and not like bernina or others that are made not from the country it came from . Is that true as well?I had also looked a the bernina-and there's seems to be priced a lot higher, and you seem to get less for your money, I haven't researched into the low-line or used elna or pfaff. My budget is around 400 the most, does anyone have any suggestions on what machine is the best?I will only sew home decor like curtains, tablecloths, mats, towels for babies, and light quilting as well. Thanks so much. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!Grace

          7. LJB2002 | | #11

            Hi Grace. I just read your posting and your projects sound just like mine! What did you decide on? Lisa

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