What kind of sewing machine for me?
I have been sewing since high school. Am now sixty +. Majored in Home Economics in College, taught home ec before my children came along (many years ago). I have used my basic Singer which I received when I graduated from college (over 40 years ago), plus a serger, and a cheapie Necchi machine I purchased about ten years ago. I love to make clothes for my two little grand-daughters (1 year old and 3 months old) and for my grandson (7 years old). Also have made many window treatments for my home and for my childrens’ homes. Have made many Christmas tree skirts, bed skirts, etc. I love sewing. Now I have decided I would like to purchase a new sewing machine, and I have looked at a lot of models (computerized models) at many dealers. The dealers can not or will not give me any comparisons of their models to competitive models. I am very familiar with the old mechanical type sewing machine, but these new computerized models frighten me, but I think that they have some very impressive features. I have downloaded the Sewing Machine chart from Threads (on this website), but I am looking for some expert advice from users of Pfaff, Elna, Viking, Janome, you name it to perhaps get a better understanding of a good starting point to decide the best way to go. I am not into embroidering, so I assume I don’t need a sewing/embroidering machine (or should I consider one?). Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Emmy, get thee to http://www.patternreview.com You will find dozens of sewing machine reviews. It's a great site, full of information from some very active sewers. The latest "must have" machine seems to be the Janome 6500P which you can check out at http://www.janome.com It doesn't have a free arm, though, which could be a disadvantage if you're doing a lot of sewing for children. NAYY. HTH.
The best way is to try out as many machines as possible - go to the different dealers, get lots of literature, and see whch machines feel best for you. Sometimes it's the way it sews, sometimes it's the interface that makes it seem more appealing than another model. Selecting a machine is personal so don't be swayed by brand names. I have a Viking D1 and also a mechanical Pfaff 1540. One is all bells and whistles and sews the best buttonholes I've ever seen, the other is just a good basic sturdy machine that I can travel with. Technology has come along way since you got your Singer. Personally, I would go with a brand that is made completely in a name factory with a dealer that offers classes, an upgrade option and service.
There have been sewing machine reviews or rather, comparisons that just show different models/makes with each their features in Threads and Sew News, not sure which issues. Maybe you could make a list of functions and features that are most important to you then read the comparisons... if a certain make/model doesn't have that and it's high on your "must have" list then you'll consider elimnating that one in favor of another, or you may find alternate things on a machine you didn't know were available based on the charts that would make you want to try those. Whatever ones you decide to look at be sure to take samples of your own fabric to see how they sew on the things you like to make!
You've gotten some good advice here, got to the dealers with scraps in hand and test drive the machines. See if you can do what you want to do as easily as they make it seem. Try the buttonholes, try the automatic threader. Decide before you go which features you want, whether you want an embroidery machine or an electronic sewing machine. Generally speaking, the more stitches, the more $$. Do you want a drop-in bobbin or a vertical bobbin?? In some lines a drop-in bobbin is considered an "advanced" sewing feature.
Don't forget the Kenmore machines, they are currently being made by Janome and offer some excellent prices.
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