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Very new to this wonderful world of sweing

AlishaW | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hello All, My name is Alisha. I just got excited to see this forum on sewing!I am very new to this. In fact, it has been maybe 15 years since I have even made eye contact with a sewing machine. I am asking my Husband for a sewing machine for Christmas. I would love some feedback on what brand or different types would be good for a newbie. 🙂 Of course I have many ideas in my noggin on what I would like to make.. I think I want to start off with something simple, like a pillow case. ( wait.. is this simple?)  🙂 Thank you all in advance!


  1. SewistKitty | | #1

    Re: Sewing machine


    I noticed that no one had responded to your question so I thought that I would.  Making a pillow case is a simple project which is good for a beginner.

    As far as purchasing a new sewing machine you will need to figure out your budget and what kind of sewing that you will be doing.  Pattern Reviews is a site where people review their own sewing machines and sergers.  Some people still have hung onto the belief that Singer sewing machines are top notch.  For the most part the quality of these machines is not what it used to be.  I also would steer away from machines purchased at the big box stores such as Walmart, Target and Sears because you will not be able to get service for your machine.  You need to go into a few sewing machine shops that sell Janomes, Pfaffs, Berninas, Brothers, etc. and try the machines out.  Bring in scraps of fabric that you might want to sew on.  The shops tend to want you to use their prestarched scraps and avoid giving you more difficult to sew on fabrics such as knits, silk, rayons, fleece, etc.  Note how patient the sales people are or how pushy they are.  You will need to have a relationship with the seller of your machine so if you don't like that person or the vibes of the shop, leave.  Ask as many questions as possible.  Compare prices if possible at other shops.  The sticker price is usually negotiable.  See if you can get free lessons upon purchase.  I own a Bernina 930, Bernina Activa 220, and Janome 509 as well as a Babylock Serger.

    My favorite is the Janome 509 because it is impossible to mess up.  It is 3/4 size which may or may not suit your needs.  I used it to teach my beginning students how to sew because of its durability.  It is not electronic.

    Hopefully this information will help you.


  2. stillsuesew | | #2

    I agree - buy from a dealer and not a big box store.  They may have "name brand" machines but they will not stand behind them if something goes wrong - and something will.  Also - your husband can give it to you for Christmas, but , please, choose it yourself.  If you are just starting you will want one that does straight stitch and zigzag and a buttonhole.  Having extra stitches is great and allows you to grow and try new things.  I especialy like the three step zigzag and the blind hem stitch.  I agree with everything the previous answer stated.  You might buy some sewing magazines that include many easy to sew ideas.  And there are many ideas available on line.  Happy sewing.

  3. Pattiann42 | | #3

    Buying A Sewing Machine

    I love Babylock.  But, I also have Singer and Elna sewing machines that sew just as well. 

    As a matter of fact, all three brands sew just as well as the high priced Berninas that I owned, used and sold.

    Make a wish list that includes buttonhole and blind hem stitching along with budget limitations and then begin visiting sewing machine dealers.  Tell them what is on the wish list.

    They will show, demo and then let you take a test drive.

    Take notes and then go back to the dealer you liked the best.  That dealer will be the one you will be interacting with if there is a question, if you want to take classes and when the machine requires service. 

    Buy a couple spools thread in neutral colors as you are shopping.  Make sure the thread is for machine/hand sewing and not hand quilting, craft or machine embroidery.

    When you get the machine home.  Open the manual first.  After the first two pages of warnings (after all we are a simple minded breed), set down at the machine with the opened manual and as you read, apply.  No skipping.  Read and apply each step of every feature of the machine.  This does not take very long to go from front through to the back of the manual and it will save you a lot of frustration during the actual sewing process.

    Here is a link to making a pillowcase. http://quiltbug.com/PDF/hotdog.pdf

    Happy shopping and exploring!

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