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Looking for my first sewing machine.

rwpitt | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on


I am finally breaking down and getting my first sewing machine.  I want to get one that will last me for quite some time.  I am looking for a basic sewing machine with several stiches.  I am not looking for an embrodiery or quilting machine.  My grandmother and mother were always pro Singer, but from what I have been hearing lately (including from the Singer dealer) they are not what they used to be.  I have looked at a wide assortment of sewing machines and have decided that I do not want a computerized one.  I was thinking about either an Elna 3000 series (3003, 3005, or 3007) or perhaps a Janome 4618 LE.  The price that I can get either for are very close, though the Elna dealership offers “unlimited” training and continuing education courses.  I was wondering if anyone had any experience with any of these models or brands.  I am also open for any kind of suggestions or ideas as to certain features I should keep an eye out for.  I have sewed shortly on all of the machines I looked at, including Elna, New Home, Kenmore, Janome, and White.  I look forward to any comments, opinions, or suggestions.  I have also read most of the sewing machine FAQ’s out on the web, but sometimes it is just better to ask for people’s opinions.


Robert Pitt


  1. cy991 | | #1

    I recently purchased a Janome 4623 LE and am very happy with it. The only trouble I've had has been with the zig-zag stitch : on some fabrics it tends to pull the material between the stitches into a ridge ... This can usually be corrected by fidgeting with stitch length, width, needle tension,etc. but it does take some extra work... Also, the automatic buttonhole is pretty good but not all I'd hoped for- but then again I haven't had time to mess around with the variables yet...

    I'm not sure what features the 4618 LE has, but I've found the speed control and needle up/down features to be well worth the extra money. I bought a Janome on the recommendation of a sewing teacher who has been using the same machines in her classroom for ten years. I figure that's a pretty good indicator of dependability.

    The Elna deal sounds pretty good too...

    Good Luck !

  2. BEECHSUN | | #2


    I would consider buying a used machine, something like a Bernina 801 for $300 on ebay. You would get a basic machine that is swiss made, and they don't make them like that anymore. Try to find a copy of John Giordano's The Sewing Machine Guide, or find any of his articles in Threads on sewing machines. Good luck, Olga

  3. user-61403 | | #3

    Viking and Pfaff both make wonderful basic machines with lots of "extra" stitches.  I am on my second viking, this one I will admit is a Designer 1 embroidery machine, but I still won't part with the old one either.  Both do a wonderful job on any fabric you can imagine to sew on.  I have done everything from a Wedding gown to Boat Canvas on my older one, and never had any trouble.


    1. rwpitt | | #4

      I ended up getting the Elna 3005.  So far I am very happy with the machine.  It has enough features to keep me busy but also seems to be a good work horse.  Thank everyone for their responses.



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