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Recommend a Basic Machine?

Ashley123 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hello, I am new to this board and hoping to get some input. I love to sew, and want to learn more. I had a Singer machine a while back, but due to a move I had to leave it behind. I would love some recommendations for a new machine. I don’t need anything fancy or electronic… I basically like to sew blankets and clothing. I need something that will go through a few layers of fleece or denim. I am also on a budget (unfortunately) of about $200 or less. I have been reading up on reviews and information about the different brands. I have heard that Janome has a good machine for the price. Can anyone make suggestions? Especially on model numbers, because I know that a brand can vary widely. Thank you so much!

Edited 5/9/2008 4:43 pm ET by Ashley123


  1. Palady | | #1

    Dare say you can expect a plethora of opinions.  Each sewist generally like the machine they use. 

    Your mention of janome is well said.  MO, currently it's make that is well received.  Certain makes of kenmore's are made under Janome umbrella.  I've read the serial # but it excapes me at the moment.

    Personally, I've had success with Kenmore's.  Bought one when I upgraded from a portable to a console back in 1958.  Currently there are 3 of the make in my family.  Plus 1 an exDIL took with her in 1998.  My grands tell she still uses it.

    If you can take the time, go into Advance Search using the bytes - sewing machines.  You should find a menu of the previous Threads on the subject.

    Were you to be able to test run a machine, all the better.  Do you have a dealer/repair shop  near?   Working through one might get you a quality machine.  Granted some of these places are better than others, but it is a consdieration for you. 

    When you decide, please post and let us all know which you chose.


    1. Ashley123 | | #2

      Thanks for the information. I was impatient and went out and bought a Kenmore 15343 from Sears. So far, I really like it. It was so much easier to set up than my previous Singer. I haven't had any problems with it yet. Hopefully it will stay that way! I will update everyone and let you know how it continues to work.

      1. Palady | | #3

        Delighted to read your enjoying your Kenmore.  If I may, I urge you to pay close attention to the maintenance specified in the manual.  Follow this faithfully.  It matters in keeping the machine in working order.  You might also consider keeping a record in the manual of when you last maintaned the machine.

        A lengthy downtime - read months - would mean the machine should be cleaned/oiled if the manual specifies this is required.

        Likewise guard the manual.  Keeping track of it sometimes gets way-laid by some.  This is unfortunate.   Believe it or not, in my many years of sewing, I reach for my manuals on occasion. 

        Some fabrics - terry cloth among them - leave lint in the race big time.  Be mindful of cleaning out the left-behind.   

        Realize the motor on your machine may be limited in the type of fabric it will handle.  Fashion material will work very well I'm sure.  Were you to get into heavier or multiple layers, remember to sew slowly.  How well a sewing machine handles the latter will depends on the motor.

        Most of all enjoy!



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