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Please help me find my first machine!

Tara | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi everybody! I posted a message before about finding a good machine and got some great advice but when I went looking today dealers told me so many differnt things that I didn’t know what to get! I’m looking for a basic starter machine that I can sew bedding and slipcovers with for around 200.00 or lower because I’m very new to this and on a very limited budget. I found a White and a Janome in this price range.Also is there a brand that’s called Nake or Nekke? I feel so dumb for being so uninformed. Please help!


  1. Patty_W. | | #1

    Tara, about five years ago I bought a basic Pfaff machine. It's great. It does straight, zizgag, and satin stitch, and I think blind hem stitch but I've never used that one. It was in your price range. I don't think Pfaff makes this one anymore and I do not know what their price is on the basic machines now. Hancock Fabric sells White and I've heard people in the store talk about how good they are but I've never used one. I've also heard people talk about how good the Janome machines are. One thing I looked for when I bought my machine was how easy it was to thread and how easy the bobbin was. I had a machine once that was really awful in both these areas. Do you have a friend that sews that can maybe go with you? This might help or maybe go to your local fabric store and get some recommendations from them. Good Luck with your choice.

    1. Tara | | #2

      *Thanks Patty!

      1. Ghillie_C. | | #3

        *Be assertive with the salesman! You want a machine that is good at what it will spend most of its life doing - going forward straight and steadily.Look for a machine that starts smoothly and will go slowly. Everyone needs to go slowly at some time, so do not be shy of insisting on seeing it demonstrated and trying it yourself. A machine that sits around and then lurches off at top speed is temper destroying and could even be dangerous. I would sacrifice any number of special features for a very basic machine which always does exactly what it is told.Are controls like the presser foot lifter and stitch reverse where you like them? Various makes have them in different positions - the 'traditional' design is better for a left hander like me, but there is a choice. I think the make that you mentioned is a Necchi - Japanese possibly? I have never tried one.Have courage!

        1. Ginna | | #4

          *Tara - Decide if you want lessons. If you do check out what the dealer has to offer for lessons. Your dealer can be very important with regard to lessons, repairs, supplies, etc. Make sure the dealer is one you like. I refused to do business with one dealer who started bad mouthing another, just didn't like his attitude. I found that the dealer being bad mouthed was very nice and truthful.If you don't want lessons you might check out the machines that Sears sells. They are made by Janome and from what I hear are considerable cheaper. The only problem with buying from Sears is that there are no lessons that I am aware of. You can buy an extended warranty there but it is extra while some kind of warranty is usually included in the dealer's price. Also you could order from Allbrands, an internet seller of many brands of sewing machines.I have learned my machines on my own but I'm sure there is a lot about them that I don't know and might have learned in a class. If you buy your machine from someplace that does not have classes find out if you can take classes, maybe at a local dealer, and what they will cost. Some dealers only offer classes to people who buy machines from them.HTH.

          1. TJ | | #5

            *A note: Necchi is an Italian make, and used to be VERY good (I just "retired" my faithful 1975 Necchi "Lydia" in favor of a Viking 550 "Lily"). I understand Necchi are no longer made in Italy, but now in Asia somewhere, and I have the impression that they are no longer nearly as reliable as my old, solid, mostly-metal Lydia. Anybody have a newer one to report on?

          2. Enid_Shapiro | | #6

            *Whatever you do, don't buy a Kenmore from Sears. I had a terrible time with it. Finally returned it for CASH, (Sears was good about this) and bought a basic Pfaff. Couldn't be happier.

          3. Enid_Shapiro | | #7

            *Please please don't buy a Kenmore at Sears Terrible. Finally returned it for cash, and bought a basic Pfaff which is wonderful

          4. Betty_Kershner | | #8

            *There is very good advice in the above messages, but I would like to add to check with your friends. Someone you know sews and I'm sure would help you buy a machine. Sometimes a good used machine is a good idea. you can get a lot more machine for a lot less money, and there are tons of places that sell machines, garage sales and Selvation Army to name just 2. Take along some fabric and a new needle. plus do not buy a used machine without the book. I have helped several friends and friends of friends buy machines. You might even hire a seamstress to check out machines. There is big savings for a beginning sewer out there. Don't forget every brand has lemons and every brand has gold. Good luck and let us know how you made out.

          5. silkscape_ | | #9

            *Tara, I received an old Necchi from my aunt. It is one of the "Supernova" series, about 40 years old I would guess. If you can find one from a relative or at a garage sale do pick it up. It has a beautiful, smooth, powerful stitch, and the speed is very controllable. Even if you buy a more modern machine for the automatic buttonholing and variety of stitches, I wouldn't pass up on the opportunity to snag a Necchi Supernova. Please, if you experience frustrating problems when starting out, send an e-mail and I will try to help. I learned so much from friends myself... Best of luck to you!

          6. Chantal_Da_Rosa | | #10

            *Hi, you say you have a good Pfaff? what is the model #? I am also shopping for a quality machine specially to hem jeans, my local store offered the Pfaff 6091...any recommendations?THANK YOU.Chantal Da Rosa

          7. Chantal_Da_Rosa | | #11

            *Which Pfaff model? I am also shopping for a machine.Thanks

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