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sewing machines

memaryz | Posted in General Discussion on

I need a new sewing machine. Which one should I get?

Edited 5/26/2008 4:08 pm ET by memaryz


  1. Crazy K | | #1

    Boy!  You opened a can or worms with THAT question!!!!  What are your needs??  Do you do lots of different types of sewing and want all different sorts of stitches and bells and whistles or are you looking for a basic, no-nonsense machine that doesn't require you to mortgage the house?

    I have had basic Janomes MemoryCraft 3500 and now the Memory Craft 9000 (which also does embroidery)........good solid machines.  I bought a Sew Precise for a granddaughter and she loves it.  That machine was under $300 because I caught a sale.  I now have two Viking Designer SEs which I love........they are definitely my 'dream machines'.  They were expensive but I feel I got what I paid for so I'm not complaining.

    Others out there have their favorites as well.  Probably the most important factor is your dealer........find a reputable one that lives close so you can pop in for classes (some offer free ones when you buy) and to ask questions as you go along.  Having a good relationship with your dealer is very important.

    Good luck in your search.


    1. memaryz | | #2

      Thanks for the response. My machine is 20 years old and currently not working. I really just want a reliable machine that sews a great straight stich.

      1. Crazy K | | #3

        Check out your dealers.........and buy from one that you feel will 'be there' for you when you need help, repairs or whatever.

        The  Janome Sew Precise that I bought for my granddaughter seems to be a great little machine and not expensive.  But again.........find a dealer near you and go in and visit with them.  If they make you feel pressured or uncomfortable.....leave and seek out another.  You'll know when you get to the right place........then you can find the machine that suits your needs......and your pocketbook.



  2. LizPf | | #4

    I just went through this ... my old machine was 30 years old, and though it still worked, it was getting old and cranky. My daughter wants to sew, and I was afraid to let her work on the old beast.

    I started by listing what I liked about my old machine, and what modern features I thought I'd make good use of. For me, this led me to a non-embroidery machine with a permanent reverse stitch, needle up/down, great buttonholes, sideways needle positions, that would take my collection of low bar presser feet.

    I then went web shopping. I found out that most sewing machine web sites were awful, they told you nothing of any use about the machines. But Janome and Brother have user manuals online, and Viking had detailed info about many models. Janome doesn't have a permanent reverse, and that is very important to me. [I can't recall how many times I wished my old Kenmore had this. You probably have different features you want.] Brother machines just didn't "speak" to me.

    I also read machine reviews wherever I found them. Eventually, I settled on a Viking Platinum 775 as the best combination of features, good engineering, great reviews, and price.

    I then called all the local Viking dealers, to see who could give me the best deal. As part of my research, i learned sewing machine dealers are like car dealers — you need to do your homework and negotiate on price.

    I brought my 775 home on Friday, and I'm glad I bought it. Sewing is fun again.

    1. memaryz | | #5

      Thanks for the great information. I now have a sort of plan of attack. I couldn't agree with you more about the information on the models online. I guess you need to go to the dealers and "test drive" the things.  I know that I don't need all the fancy stiches and stuff - a good straight stich is very important to me. I will make my list today of exactly what I require.

      1. damascusannie | | #7

        Go find another old machine, lightly used. I sew on treadle, straight stitch machines, at least 50 years old and usually much, much older. The older you go, the better the steel in the machines and the less likely they are to be worn out.

  3. sewchris703 | | #6

    One you will actually use.  That being said, make a list of what you want your new machine to do.  Then go shopping.  Buying a sewing machine is a lot like buying a car.  Compare features, prices, and dealers.  Is having a dealer who will give great after sale support important to you? 

    I bought my newest sewing machine from Sears.  I happen to be partial to Kenmore sewing machines (I have 3).  The most important feature for me was that my new machine had to have feed dogs that dropped down and that it fit my old Singer buttonhole attachment (short shank).  I did my research on the Sears website, went to the store and sewed on the machine I had pre selected while the saleswoman watched my son (then 4 yo). 


  4. Betakin | | #8

    The question is much like asking, I want a new car, which one should I get. many different brands and models will be recommended by others. I think first you have to go with your budget, see the different brands and models and what features they have and choose a model with the features you prefer and one that fits your budget.

    You can check out different brands and models on line, than go see the models that you liked the most at your local dealers. Then give a test drive. Just like cars, machines don't test drive the same. I could recommend the 4 different brands that I own and they might not appeal to you just as I could recommend my Ford LOL, and I don't think that would appeal to you.

    You might wish to look at reviews by owners of different machines on line at PatternReview.com, Epinions and QuiltersReview. I do hope you find a machine that you love.  

  5. Ckbklady | | #9


    I just caught this thread and want to say, "You want only ONE?" :) I'm a firm believer in having a stash of sewing machines as well as fabric. Like Damascus Annie, my most beloved machines are 50 years+. But I also enjoy buying machines for $10 in thrift shops, flea markets and Craigslist, and fixing them up to sew. You may prefer a machine you needn't have such an involved relationship with.

    I wish you happy sewing and good bonding with the machine you choose, so that your creativity can flow!

    :) Mary

  6. ladyinred | | #10

    Threads did an article about choosing a sewing machine a few years ago- I think they checked about 30 models. They commented on some features that they liked. However, at the end, they didn't say which machines did which things best so the article was really not useful for narrowing the field (for example, they talked about sewing on multiple layers of denim but didn't say which machines did it well)... It was frustrating! Maybe there was additional info online, but that wasn't really clear to me. I'm still wondering which machine would do good basic sewing.

  7. twreeder | | #11

    Sometime ago Sew News magazine had a pull-out chart listing several sewing machines of various price ranges.  It also gave all the various functions of each machine  along with number of stritches, needle positions, etc.  Very informative.  This article did not do any testing.

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