Any sewers on?

I am looking to buy a sewing machine. I would like something moderately priced. Any advice as to brands or even specific models? Thanks!

Oh boy… so many to choose from! There are a lot of good machines out there. I love my Janome though.

When you say “moderately priced”, how moderate? Less than say, $500? Or $1000? $3000? There’s a huge range of machines everywhere from $150 to $10000. :slight_smile:

i was thinking in the 100-200 price range :blush:
I am a beginner, for sure

I recommend ‘Brother’ I have a ‘Brother super ace 3’, and it’s S***t hot, but I do do a LOT of sewing, (See signature). At a college course I went to they all had the basic Brother model, and they went through some hard times with those students yet never failed. They are very robust. You can pick up a ‘Brother’ from $135 - well a lot for the top of the range.

The basic one’s come with a good amount of stitches on them and I think for a beginner you couldn’t ask for a stronger more forgiving machine.

Make sure when you get it, you get a couple of lessons. The shop I got mine from gave out a free hour’s lesson. I know a few shops do that but I don’t know about the US (which where I assume you are?)

So what kind of things are you planning to sew? I love sewing it’s my first love, I taught myself from scratch on an antique ‘Singer’! If you ever get stuck let me know, I’d be happy to help.

Hi dovery,
Nice to meet you…That’s great you are a beginner sewer. I’ve been sewing since I was in Jr. HS & made my first “gathered skirt”. LOL. I actualkly leanred on my mother’s 1040’s Singer machine & in 1969 (the yr I got engaged to the man I’ve been married to for 37 yrs!) he gave me a White sewing machine for Christmas. I used that machine for everything…and in 2001, he bought me the top of the lline Husqvarna Viking. White & Viking are under the same ownership now & they have wonderful machines for all purposes. I don’t know much about Brother, but from reading comments made on other bulletin boards, it is a great machine…What type of sewing are you interested in? Some gals like to sew apparel & of course there is home decorating. They also have machines that do have embroidery capabilities.
Good luck researching & let us know what you decided on!
Have good day:hug:

I have a Singer Simple - it was around $100 and it serves. I’m a beginner as well so I didn’t want to spend too much and regret it.

I think going with something in the $100-200 range is a good idea for a beginner - anything cheaper and you’re not going to get what you need most likely, anything more expensive and you may get more than you wanted lol.

I would recommend a Brother before a Singer. I have a little Singer Featherweight II (not the classic old black machine, this is a “new” Featherweight) and have always had issues with it. Sooo frustrating!

Also, before you go buy retail, check Craigslist in your area or the classifieds in your paper. Sewing machines are often in the classifieds and you can get a great deal. I bought my Janome through Craigslist. It’s a $3000 machine, I paid $400. :slight_smile: You may get more machine than you know what to do with, but that’s a good thing!

Believe it or not, I recommend Kenmore (from Sears) if you’re in the US. I learned on a 30yo Kenmore, and I’ve had mine now for about 10 years. Never had a problem with either one! :thumbsup:

I agree with hunterjenn- my new kenmore (about $200) is a workhorse! I took a sewing class at my local JoAnns trying to get my old machine up and running, and the kenmore is what she recommended for a beginner. it does everything I could possible need for the projects I want to do. It came with all the appropriate presser feet for zippers, button holes, and blind hems.

I knew I didn’t need 1800 stitch settings or computerized free quilting/ embroidery patterns and all that lovely stuff, b/c it is so unlikely I’ll ever get that good. And if I do, I’ll buy one then.

And believe it or not, kenmore and Janome are made by the same manufacturers… (according to my class teacher).


Thanks guys! I want the machine to alter clothes, make various projects, and maybe make curtains one day! I went to a Joann’s but I didn’t get very good information from the sales lady. She was under commision for Viking and basically trashed all the other brands.

Yeah, those Viking sales people are really snobby. When I mentioned I had a Singer, she practically laughed at me! At least at my quilt shop (who only deal in Bernina machines) is willing to help me out with my Janome too.

And yes, it’s true that Kenmore and Janome are made by the same company!

Dovey, you can check out local quilt shops, or sewing centers in town. If you can try out several machines before buying, do so. Pick something that YOU like. Don’t let the salesperson convince you to buy something you don’t need or want. Best of luck!!

i bought a basic ($100 ?) brothers model. it has a few stitch options, and came with two feet options. very easy to learn from the book that came with it. i have used it to do very simple sewing too (seaming, heming, ect) the only thing i haven’t figured out is how to do button holes:??

Another suggestion is to go talk to a local repairman. They will usually have good reconditioned used machines available.

I absolutely would not buy a machine used unless it had been inspected by a repairman and that can usually run you at least $75.

There is nothing worse than learning to sew on a machine that doesn’t work well. You end up fighting the machine and hating sewing.

A good shop will also put a machine on layawy for you if you decide to go with something a little more expensive. My recommendation is look in the $300-400 range new or used. You’ll be happier with a more reliable machine.

Also the inexpensive machines are generally lightweight and you’d have trouble hemming jeans or other kinds of heavier work you’d like to do.

For the record, I’m a diehard Viking fan, my main machine is 35 years old and I sew all kinds of things from lingerie to outdoor wear to upholstery and drapery work.


Hi dovey, Have you decided on a basic sewing machine yet? I was interested in reading that Kenmore & Janome are now the same company. I think you sould probably be happy with a Brother (not that I have any experience at all…but based on what I read they make a good basic machine. As LibraryLady said, I too am a Viking fan…I sewed for years on a White (which is now part of Husqvarna Viking) & still love that machine & use it when I’m embroidering & need to straight stitch at the same time.
In a previous thread it was mentioned that the Viking salespeople are snobby…I never had that experience when I was in the process of purchasing my Viking. As a matter of fact the sales help are wonderful, knowledgeable gals/guy (owner) who do not pressure you while they are demonstating.
I hope you find a great machine that serves your purposes & may you have many, many years of sewing. Again, let us know what machine you decide on…It can be very confusing, but if you do it by the process of elimination, with your reasons for purchasing & the cost of the machine, you’ll be happy with your final decision.:cheering:
Have a wonderful Sunday!

Oh, they are skilled sweet talkers when you’re interested in a [I]Viking[/I], but mention any other brand and they will slam it to pieces. They don’t like competition. I don’t mean to imply that Vikings are bad machines, on the contrary, they’re one of the best. But those Viking salespeople are not willing to discuss any other brands whatsoever. Seriously, she almost laughed at me when I mentioned my Singer, like she started to and then caught herself, then she proceeded to tell me how crappy my machine was. And I was in the process of shopping around for a new machine! THAT turned me off to Viking at that very moment. I woulda liked a Viking, but I couldn’t bring myself to purchase from someone like that. :-? Congrats on your Viking though! They are GREAT machines! :slight_smile:

If you want a machine that will last you and give you good service, get a reconditioned Bernina. The dealers have great buys and the warranty will be a plus. Also there’s so many good things about using Bernina products.

I have been sewing since I was 5 … (40 years of professional work) and have used Singers, etc. In our 4-H club we used various machines. I had 2 Singers before the Berninas and you would be amazed at the difference.

I have been a professional tailor (brides, handmade beading, dance costumes, twirler competition uniforms and cheerleader/dance team uniforms. So I do have a lot of experience and lots of mileage on the machines.

Brother has a poor repair history. … Singer does not have the quality control they once had.

Google a Bernina dealer in your area and go talk to them. I got a great warranteed, reconditioned machine for my beloved daughter-in-law and got it for $495. Along with additional treats for her enjoyment.

LEt us know how it works out.


Oh–they’re not the same company. Sears just has other manufacturers make their Kenmore products. Kenmore’s sewing machines are made by Janome. :thumbsup:

Sorry about that…I meant to say that Sears machines are made by Janome…

Hi knitgnat,

When I was considering a new sewing machine after 30+ yrs using a White, I was seriously looking at a Bernina. For a very long time it was my dream machine…As my DH & I learned more about the machines at the time, which was 2001, we decided that a Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 was it!
It is a great idea to purchase a reconditioned machine, or sometimes store owners will put the Demo’s on sale for a great price too!
I honestly think it is an individual thing & of course the price of the machine is one of the major considerations.

You sound like a very talented seamstress & a generous MIL!

Have a wonderful day!

One thing to think about. Is that when your machine might need to go in to be “tuned up” or so it will cost about $75. I bought a cheap singer from Walmart (orignially around $100 although I think I got it on sale for less.) when I first thought wanted to learn to sew. Now just a couple years later the tension is starting to go. I inquired at my local quilt shop about them taking a look at it. I am not willing to pay $75 on a machine that is probably not worth that at this point. After asking about beginner machines from various shops it seems the consensus is to look for a machine in the $300-400 range.