Sewing machine rec?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by vuatson, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    Can anyone tell me what would be a good but not too expensive brand/model of sewing machine to get for a beginner with a couple of simple projects? I have some mending beyond my extremely limited hand-sewing skills that's been piling up, and also a couple of craft projects - I want to make a rag rug out of old t-shirts and maybe a small decorative quilt or wall hanging out of the screenprinted designs from those tshirts. Plus maybe I'll have to make a cape for a cosplay or something one day, idk. Currently I have absolutely no idea what I might want to get. Any recommendations?
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  2. Aya-non

    Aya-non Well-Known Member

    So, I have a Janome 124 sewing machine, and my mother has a Brother-brand machine that I don't remember the model of. I can recommend both brands, for certain. Both also have some decent cheaper models. My machine (the 124) is probably sufficient for the T-shirt quilt, and most mending and cosplay, but may not be sturdy enough to handle the rag rug or mending/sewing particularly thick fabrics. If you have access to a local craft store, it might be good to get some recommendations from them.

    As an added note, according to Mom and other people I've spoken with, Singer, despite being an old standby brand, has gone down in quality recently, so I'd advise against going in that direction.
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  3. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    Local craigslist has about a dozen vintage singer machines up for fairly cheap for some reason, but they seem like they take up too much space for me and also would be more difficult to care for. I did also come across a couple Brother brand listings, so I’ll look further into those.
    • Like x 2
  4. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    I've got a Brother 2800 and my mom has...Many sewing machines, but her main workhorse is a Janome, I think. Mine's been very reliable, when I've used it.

    One thing: if you're considering doing a quilt or a rag rug, it'll be a lot easier if you have a walking foot or a quilting foot to use. The walking foot will let you rotate the piece you're working on without having to stop and lift the foot entirely every time you're doing this (which is helpful for when you're attaching the two halves of a quilt together), while a quilting foot is just specifically intended for working with layers of fabric. (A walking foot's a more specialized variant of quilting foot.)
    • Informative x 3
  5. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    The rag rug is actually going to be crochet, the sewing machine is just for combining strips of t-shirt into a crochetable length. I could use it as an opportunity to practice hand sewing and i probably will do some that way but. lazy.

    How do you know if a machine has a walking foot or quilting foot? Does it say on the box? Is it a separate attachment you have to buy?
  6. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    It was a separate attachment for me, yes! But it should say on the box, or list in the manual what parts the machine has and what other parts you can get for it. And the stores are generally pretty helpful, in my experience, in terms of trying to help you get what you're looking for. It might be expensive to get one, though; it's really more of a quality of life thing than a completely necessary item, so don't feel like you have to buy it right away.

    I honestly would Not hand-sew lengths of fabric together to crochet them later, not if there's an option to just use a sewing machine. It's a lot faster and way easier to make sure the stitches won't come apart after you toss the finished product in the wash.
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  7. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    Ok I found a brand new Kenmore 16221 for $30 relatively near me on craigslist, so that's probably the one I'm going to go for (assuming it's still available). I looked up a couple of reviews and they all seem positive.

    edit: nevermind, already gone :(

    edit x2 combob: well the dude just called me back and offered to give me an unspecified Singer machine he just found in his attic for free, so. Win? Assuming it works, anyway.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
    • Winner x 5
    • Like x 1
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