Please help me choose a new machine
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?
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
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.
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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