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I'm wanting to start sewing and need help in choosing a machine.

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I sewed as a child in 4-H and even went to the state fair with an outfit I made when I was about 10. After that I stopped because I didn't really like it. I had to sew a drawstring knapsack in home-ec class in high school. I wasn't that great at sewing then, but did okay. I sewed lots of those easy quilts (where you sew together blocks, fill with batting, and tie the quilt at the end) for a Children's Hospital. I was 15 or 16 the last time I sewed. I'm 30 now. But, I really want to start sewing again. Now I think it would be fun. And I would love to be able to sew my own summer dresses, skirts and shorts, sew some curtains for the kids' rooms, sew some comfy blankets for the kids, etc. I'm quite short, so it's often hard to find pants and dresses that fit me. I'd love to be able to do my own hemming or just make the clothes myself.


So, first, how hard is it to get back into sewing after not doing it for years? If I recall, the bobbin was my worst enemy in the process. And, what kind of machine should I look for. How much do they cost? Is it better to buy used or new? My dh is actually pretty skilled at sewing on buttons, making repairs, etc. I think he might be better at sewing then I will be. But we'd both like to try. Any advice? Thanks.

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I got my daughter a Husquarna at a JoAnn store. The advantage is that they have a Husquarna outlet in the store (separate from JoAnn's) and they sell/service and teach you how to use the machine. Plus if you want to upgrade at a later date they will give you a credit if you trade in your old machine. My daughter was able to take lessons for months to get used to the machine.


We have a basic machine and I love it! Its so easy to use. I was so worried we would not be able to thread it or thread the bobbin. My 12 year old daughter does it with ease.


And it was not much more than a machine from Target or Wal Mart, etc.

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I wish I could help you with your machine choice. Unfortunately, my choices run to the $4000 variety:tongue_smilie:.

I did want to comment about sewing clothing. If you happen to fit a popular pattern company's shape, sewing some simple garments would be fun. However, if your particular shape doesn't line up, learning to fit garments can be extremely frustrating. Ask me how I know. My sewing skills are quite advanced, but fitting a commercial pattern to my particular body requires major adjustments, often *not* successful. Sewing curtains, pillows, blankets, doll clothes, unfitted clothes for kids can be very rewarding.

Good luck, and I hope you get some good advice for machines.


Lawana (who has a closet full of smocked and embroidered dresses I made for dd but can't hand down because they fit *noone* else.)

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Well, I am 42 and I hadn't sewed since my early teens, either, until a couple of months ago. You are never too old to learn new things!

I joined the SCA (medieval re-enactment society) and wanted to learn to sew to make my costumes- and for my family too. I asked dh for a sewing machine for my b'day in May. He found this one on special:

Jenome Decor DC3050


It has lots of embroidery stitches, which is perfect for what I want it for. It also threads its own needle, and is very easy to thread up and to make up bobbins. They were the things that always intimidated me and scared me away from sewing- but I think you will find lots of the newer machines are much easier to use than older ones. It really is very easy.

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It seems that Berninas, Janomes, and Husqvarna Vikings are all good machines. I replaced my antique Singer with one of the latter (a basic machine, not a fancy one with 1001 embroidery stitches--did not need it!)


The key selling point for me on the Viking was customer service. The store where I bought it offered a new owners class and I can bring the machine in anytime to ask questions. A secondary selling point was the heavy duty nature of the machine. While I wanted the machine primarily for basic sewing, I occasionally sew canvas. Testing a machine with lightweight fabric did not suffice for me. I also tested how it worked on several layers of denim.


I would suggest you examine your needs before you go to a store and get swept away by cute embroidery stitches or dreams of quilting. Most people do not need to spend thousands on a sewing machine. Secondly, many of the sewing machine stores allow you to trade up so if you find after six months that you need more in your machine, you can purchase a fancier one with nothing lost on the first purchase. I would certainly ask if the store has this kind of policy.


One of my favorite websites, Sew Mama Sew, has had several blog entries this month on sewing machines. This one is about buying a new machine while this one covers buying and using an older machine. Other entries in the month are worthwhile reading as well.


Happy sewing!


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