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a first sewing machine

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I have never seen a child's sewing machine that works well. Price-wise you are better off getting her an inexpensive adult model. If she's 10, she'll be fine with it after some instruction. My DD is 5 and I'm teaching her to use my machine. I had a Brother machine that I bought at Wal Mart for around $80. It lasted 14 years. I've seen sewing machines made for children going for that price. You could get a cheap starter machine for under $100 on sale.

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Sewing Machine dealers sell used/reconditioned machines at great prices... often you get FREE lessons when you purchase the machine!


I suggest getting a used/reconditioned machine over an inexpensive one from Wal-Mart... the reason is that the 'big name brands' of the past have sold out and many are now made in China--need I say more?


When I graduated from high school my mother gave me a 'cheap' $100 Brother sewing machine--that thing is still going strong after 25+ years--although I use a fancier Bernina as my primary machine now.


Current Brother (and Singer and Kenmore) models found at Wal-Mart and basic fabric stores are NOT the same as they used to be--they are plastic junk---and will only promise tension issues and trouble...


If she begins to sew on a machine that works her sewing future will be much brighter!

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for sewing machines last Christmas time. Spreadsheets, interviews, the whole deal. I'm sure there are some here who know more than I do, but here's what I found out.


I was looking for one for a 15 yo (serious sewer, clothes mostly, not quilts), and my 8 yo, who is a pretty smart cookie, and had shown a propensity to really stick with it.


The search started because my 15yo was using a 15yo Singer, and it kept breaking with heavy fabric. The Sewing machine store snob (I mean salesperson/repairperson) told me that I really needed a good one to keep this from happening. After looking a lot online, here are some basics of what I learned, and what I ended up buying.


1) First, I was SHOCKED at the prices.


2) More recently(last 15 yrs or so), the internal workings of most sewing machines have been made with plastic parts. If working with thinner fabrics, that's probably not a big deal, but my daughter (excuse, me "DD" - I'm still a larvae, you know) was breaking hers while trying to sew tri-folded denim. So, you have to get a nicer brand(more $), in order to get the metal innards.


3) Bernina and Pfaff were the two finalist brands - for their quality, and the fact that each brand had a distributorship in Charlotte, so we could get everything from tech support to lessons to accessories at an actual store with real people. In the end, we ended up going with Bernina, because their store was 30 miles closer. If the store that sold the Pfaff was closer, I probably would have bought those.


4) I wanted to get one for 15yo DD that would last her for years and years to come. So, I bought a Bernina Aurora Anniversary Edition. With additional feet (I added a walking foot - that seemed to be a big deal), I think the total was about $3500. She has already made several dresses of her own, and other projects. So, I feel good about the purchase. The store offered 8 free classes to new owners, which were very helpful.


4) For 8yo DD, I bought her a (Bernina) Bernette 66, which was about $300. In just a few yrs, our 15 yo will be out of the house(along with her very nice machine), and this machine is a good basic one for mending, etc. This has been a good machine for her to learn on, and it works very well. She got to go to several of the classes with her older sister. That was neat. But, its a good adult, very cabable sewing machine.


Bottom line, though, is that if your 10 yo already loves to sew, then I would get her a good adult machine. Toy or kid machines are just that.

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