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Please help me choose a new machine

amysg1 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi all!

This is my first post and nearly my first visit to Gatherings, and I was hoping to get some advice from you sewing veterans on the purchase of a new sewing machine for a novice.  I am considering a few mechanical models, definitely on the lower end of the price range from full service dealers in the area.  I will be using the machine for home decor (pillows, window treatments) and possibly for making totes and pocket books.  I would like to buy a machine that can handle going through thick fabric or several layers of fabric, but not pay an arm and a leg. 

Any information or opinions on the Janome 344 or my decor 4014?  How about the white 2037?  Any other suggestions for good new sewing machines?


  1. jensauer | | #1

    Dear Amy:

    You also might want to read the discussion under "What sewing machine to buy." The next issue of Threads will include an article that compares entry-level machines (issue 102 aug/sept).

    Jennifer Sauer, Threads

    1. CretaP | | #2

      Hi Amy-

      I'm a new reader of Gatherings--mostly tune into the sprout off section--

      I've worked with sewing machines nearly my whole life--well, from 12 on (now 53). And sewing was a profession for nearly 25 years--as a Costume designer. I've tried just about every kind of machine on the market. If you want to sew with heavy fabric and all the other weights as well, I recommend a Pfaff that has a walking foot. The foot can also help with light weight and sheer fabrics. I bought mine quite some years ago--but there should be a model on the market similar.

      1. carolfresia | | #3

        Creta, I think what you're referring to as a walking foot is now called the Integrated Dual Feed system. It's available on the mid-range Pfaffs, and up, and is indeed a very nice feature. For non-Pfaff machines, it's often possible to purchase an option walking or, even-feed foot. I haven't really done a side-by-side comparison of the IDF versus a more conventional walking foot--if this feature is especially important, Amy, I'd test-drive a couple of machines at least and see which does the job better for you.


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