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Unread 11-19-2010, 06:36 PM   #136
Kama
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I have a Janome Heart Truth which is awesome, but it might not be a beginner machine. I've heard amazing things about the Hello Kitty Janome machine. It's basic, but it has very few issues. You can also buy it without Hello Kitty on it, just look for the model number and they make a plain one.

Honestly, I wouldn't buy a cheap Brother machine. I had two when I was first starting out and just wanted something inexpensive. They both broke ridiculously easy and were so hard to use. Second hand is a good idea to cut down on costs, if you check dealers and things like craigslist. Just make sure you can try it out before you buy so you know it works!
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Unread 11-20-2010, 05:13 AM   #137
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If you get a good machine, it will last you a lifetime and do EVERYTHING - so I think a really decent old second hand machine is better than a new, cheap machine. Personally, I swear by the old Singers (The ones from the '50s are particularly good) - if you can get one VERY cheap it's worthwhile getting someone to service it, but overall that should still work out less. I think the 201K I'm getting for Christmas cost £20 including shipping off Ebay, and although it works fine I'm going to shell out the extra £40 or so to have someone come and service it, and this thing is a god-among-sewing-machines. I couldn't buy one this smooth and reliable new, period.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 03:47 PM   #138
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Okay so I found a used Singer 8280A with all the accessories for 40 dollars. Is this a good deal?
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Unread 11-22-2010, 05:07 PM   #139
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It's certainly cheap - Google the model name and see what you can find out. There are lots of forums for Singer enthusiasts and they get quite loquacious on the subject of their machines.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 06:30 PM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burning112d View Post
Okay so I found a used Singer 8280A with all the accessories for 40 dollars. Is this a good deal?
It got pretty so-so reviews all around. Do some research of your own on it. If you have a repair shop, call and see what they know about that model. This isn't to say it will be bad for you, but I know when you're a beginner that having a broken sewing machine is even worse because you don't have any idea what might be wrong. You can also read what features it has and how the bobbin loads or other things you might have a preference on.

Most of all, find out why they are getting rid of it and if you can try it out. $40 isn't a lot of money, but you don't want to throw it away on a machine they are selling because it doesn't work right.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 09:56 PM   #141
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1) What Machine do you own? Include the maker and model number please! I've got a Singer 503A in a cabinet that was my mom's. It was made in 1961 and makes the prettiest button holes. My mom almost didn't give it to because of that. I also have a Brother SE270D Embroidery Machine. My teenagers have their own portable machines (Janome, but I can't remember the model right now).
2) when did you purchase it/how old is it? The Singer 503A was made in 1961; the Brother SE270D was purchased in 2005.
3) How much sewing experience do you have? (how long sewing, how advanced your projects are) I'm in my 40s and my mom taught me to sew when I was very young (she was taught to sew when she was 3 or 4). When I was about 11, I took a sewing class at a local Singer Sewing Center and later during HomeEc, I made 8 outfits when the rest of the class was still on their 1st or 2nd. I took a fairly long break from sewing though & played with stained glass. Since returning to sewing, I've made hakama & haori for a Bleach costume, a lined captains jacket (also from Bleach), jodhpurs & military style jacket for APH, a silk mini dress for Suessical, and a corset & skirt for Lulu (Final Fantasy X). The Lulu costume is still in the works. And I still have my best resource - my mom - to call on.
4) what do you like most about the machine? The 503A I like because it's like an old friend. It sews beautifully (and still has all the original attachments BTW). I bought the Brother to play with machine embroidery. I like it, but wish I had waited for a different machine. I also use the machines my mom has (she currently has 2 regular machines, 1 serger and one that is connected to a quilt rack for machine quilting).
5) what do you not like? It's harder to do close work like sleeves since the 503A is set in the cabinet.
6) Would you recommend your machine to a fellow cosplayer? If one could find one in excellent condition, yes.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 01:51 AM   #142
Kawaii Pocky
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I was wondering what kind of sewing machine any one could help recommend for me? I need to buy a new one because the one I had broke and is a piece of crap and I hate it and want to blow it up. No joke. lol

It was brand new, I think it was the very basic Singer but the bobbin thread always broke (I know it can also be due to cheap thread, but I usually got the better thread, not the extremely cheap stuff that tends to break every 5 seconds, that started to annoy me after a while lol), and every time I put a needle in they broke all the time and I never buy cheapie needles. It wasn't like that in the beginning, it worked quite well, then about a couple months after I used it it started crapping out and I know it wasn't me. I had my aunt who's a sewn since she was married, atleast 20 if not more years, helped me calibrate it and every thing.

I've done a lot of research but just not sure exactly what to get, I loved my aunts old Kenmore tank. It did have it's weird little quirks, having to do this and that a specific way but me and my aunt used to do all sorts of projects so I learned how to use it.

But I need my own since I don't live at home any more.

I'm looking for a good basic beginners sewing machine, some thing cheap but not crappy. Since especially I don't sew that much but I'd like to start sewing again so I can teach myself how to sew things since I would like to start making more of my own costumes. Any thing that any one has used themselves and can vouch for would be great. Thanks.
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Unread 06-22-2011, 11:21 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawaii Pocky View Post
I was wondering what kind of sewing machine any one could help recommend for me? I need to buy a new one because the one I had broke and is a piece of crap and I hate it and want to blow it up. No joke. lol

It was brand new, I think it was the very basic Singer but the bobbin thread always broke (I know it can also be due to cheap thread, but I usually got the better thread, not the extremely cheap stuff that tends to break every 5 seconds, that started to annoy me after a while lol), and every time I put a needle in they broke all the time and I never buy cheapie needles. It wasn't like that in the beginning, it worked quite well, then about a couple months after I used it it started crapping out and I know it wasn't me. I had my aunt who's a sewn since she was married, atleast 20 if not more years, helped me calibrate it and every thing.

I've done a lot of research but just not sure exactly what to get, I loved my aunts old Kenmore tank. It did have it's weird little quirks, having to do this and that a specific way but me and my aunt used to do all sorts of projects so I learned how to use it.

But I need my own since I don't live at home any more.

I'm looking for a good basic beginners sewing machine, some thing cheap but not crappy. Since especially I don't sew that much but I'd like to start sewing again so I can teach myself how to sew things since I would like to start making more of my own costumes. Any thing that any one has used themselves and can vouch for would be great. Thanks.
I adore the Pfaff Synchromatic 1209 that I purchased for $16 at Goodwill. It came with some really useful snap-on feet, extra bobbins, and a cover. The feet and bobbins live inside the machine in a "secret" tray that slides out, and the snap-on feet are great and really easy to use. It sews straight and zig-zag stitches and has buttons for some utility stitches (elastic, overlock, blindstitch, etc) that can be combined to make a few more different stitches. The reverse function is really easy to use; you don't have to hold it as you sew or change your stitch length (reverse and stitch length on my Kenmore 84 are on the same lever thingy). My only real issue with it is that it doesn't sew through heavier materials/really bulky layers as easily as my Kenmore model 84 and Singer 99 do.

The Kenmore model 1941 that I picked up for a friend who showed an interest in sewing and ended up giving away to a lady in need of a cheap machine was AWESOME! I was so excited to find it (rather clean and in a case, too) for $13. Like my Pfaff, it converts from a flat bed to a free-arm machine; however, the flat-bed portion of this machine is metal, not plastic, and you can lift away a top portion to change your bobbin without having to remove the whole bed. It also has straight, zig-zag, and utility stitches. I found the reverse lever kind of annoying, because you have to hold it down while you sew. The other problem I had with it is that it is a super-high shank machine; I did find a nice set of vintage Kenmore super high shank attachments for $15 plus shipping though, so decently priced attachments can be purchased if you don't mind doing a little searching. If the Kenmore's reverse button had been a "set it and leave it" sort of deal like my Pfaff's reverse and if it had come with a set of attachments, I might have given away my beloved Pfaff instead of this machine! The Pfaff, despite being a really nice machine, felt and looked kind of cheap when I set it next to the lovely Kenmore 1941!

I love my other machines, but I can't really recommend any of them simply because they don't have all the same features and flexibility that I've come to love. My Kenmore 84 does a lot of stitches, but you have to insert a plastic cam to get it to do anything other than a straight or zig-zag stitch. It's also set into a table and doesn't convert into a free-arm machine. My Singer 99 is quiet and sews beautiful straight stitches despite having lived in the dank, dark basement level of an antique store for ages. It's got a little rust and some flaking paint, and it had to be re-wired, but it's still going! However, those beautiful straight stitches are all it sews, and it does not have a reverse.

Last edited by mdelgiorno17 : 06-22-2011 at 11:31 PM.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 02:05 AM   #144
Kawaii Pocky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdelgiorno17 View Post
I adore the Pfaff Synchromatic 1209 that I purchased for $16 at Goodwill. It came with some really useful snap-on feet, extra bobbins, and a cover. The feet and bobbins live inside the machine in a "secret" tray that slides out, and the snap-on feet are great and really easy to use. It sews straight and zig-zag stitches and has buttons for some utility stitches (elastic, overlock, blindstitch, etc) that can be combined to make a few more different stitches. The reverse function is really easy to use; you don't have to hold it as you sew or change your stitch length (reverse and stitch length on my Kenmore 84 are on the same lever thingy). My only real issue with it is that it doesn't sew through heavier materials/really bulky layers as easily as my Kenmore model 84 and Singer 99 do.

The Kenmore model 1941 that I picked up for a friend who showed an interest in sewing and ended up giving away to a lady in need of a cheap machine was AWESOME! I was so excited to find it (rather clean and in a case, too) for $13. Like my Pfaff, it converts from a flat bed to a free-arm machine; however, the flat-bed portion of this machine is metal, not plastic, and you can lift away a top portion to change your bobbin without having to remove the whole bed. It also has straight, zig-zag, and utility stitches. I found the reverse lever kind of annoying, because you have to hold it down while you sew. The other problem I had with it is that it is a super-high shank machine; I did find a nice set of vintage Kenmore super high shank attachments for $15 plus shipping though, so decently priced attachments can be purchased if you don't mind doing a little searching. If the Kenmore's reverse button had been a "set it and leave it" sort of deal like my Pfaff's reverse and if it had come with a set of attachments, I might have given away my beloved Pfaff instead of this machine! The Pfaff, despite being a really nice machine, felt and looked kind of cheap when I set it next to the lovely Kenmore 1941!

I love my other machines, but I can't really recommend any of them simply because they don't have all the same features and flexibility that I've come to love. My Kenmore 84 does a lot of stitches, but you have to insert a plastic cam to get it to do anything other than a straight or zig-zag stitch. It's also set into a table and doesn't convert into a free-arm machine. My Singer 99 is quiet and sews beautiful straight stitches despite having lived in the dank, dark basement level of an antique store for ages. It's got a little rust and some flaking paint, and it had to be re-wired, but it's still going! However, those beautiful straight stitches are all it sews, and it does not have a reverse.
I'll look into those. But yeah, the sewing machienes I used had the thing where you set it to reverse and my singer had a lever that you held.

I've been told to look at garage sales and I definately have looked online (i.e. ebay) but just not exactly sure where or what to get since until I know what I'm doing I don't really want any thing fancy. Just some thing that can sew through thick material. My Singer (not sure if it was the machine or the needles) couldn't handle pvc even though I bought a needle set that had needles for specific types of fabrics and it still broke.

I never even thought of going to a good will or some thing like it to look! I definately will check out good will since I want to go there to look for shoes for cosplay.

Thanks. ^_^
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Unread 06-23-2011, 06:39 PM   #145
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Anyone want to recommend a good Husqvarna viking sewing machine or Pfaff or Bernina?

Preferably in the 200-400$ range?

My sewing:
Fashion+costumes
Materials mainly used: light to medium weight. SOMETIMES heavy (ie: jean, but that's mainly to fix a hole)
knits, jersey, lycra/spandex (Would LOVE a machine that can work through spandex!<3), cotton, cotton blends, wool, etc.

Experience sewing: Intermediate-advanced (well not truly advanced yet!)
Wanting to learn embroidery. So something with embroidery but high stitching would be awesome.

Stitches I use often; zig zag and straight, button holes. Would like to play around with tighter stitches for hems.
Front load bobbin is a Must for me. I prefer a machine with minimal repairs and upkeep. (Not that I mind cleaning, but who wants a machine that needs repairs and needs to go into the shop all the time?) Prefer to work on my machine at home; ie: Repair at home. User Friendly. Good needle work and can handle a variety of fabrics of course. Oh and a zipper foot!

Please link me a website, brand and model number. Thanks<3
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Unread 07-17-2012, 06:45 PM   #146
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1) What Machine do you own?: Singer Curvy
2) when did you purchase it/how old is it?: Bought new in 2009
3) How much sewing experience do you have? Roughly 25 years
4) what do you like most about the machine? Its really well round in what it can do.
5) what do you not like? haven't had a complaint yet with it
6) Would you recommend your machine to a fellow cosplayer? Yes

I know most people dont seem to care for modern Singer machines but I bought one a couple years ago and it has been well worth it.
It has twenty different stitches on it, automatic threader and really holds up especially well considering what I've put it through. I use my machine anywhere from twenty to thirty hours a week, have since I got it. Never once have I had an issue with tension going out any other complications.
I've done everything from costumes, standard cloths, purses, plush dolls, upholstery and king size quilts. Very versatile, very durable.
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Unread 10-31-2012, 07:31 AM   #147
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I'm looking for at least a sewing machine that can sew though Jeans (The thickest fabric I can think off) and lasts long for the money. Since It's going to be my first one.
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Unread 11-27-2012, 05:58 PM   #148
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i just thought i would add my opinion here ^^
1) What Machine do you own? Include the maker and model number please!
i had a singer pixie plus and currently sew on a singer anniversay 160
2) when did you purchase it/how old is it?
the pixie plus was a gift.i had it for about a year(before it pretty much broke). the 160 is only about a month old now, but i might as well give you my opinion of it thus far.
3) How much sewing experience do you have? (how long sewing, how advanced your projects are)
i have been sewing since i was about 10, which was roughly 5 years ago. i have only recently begun to make my own cosplays even though i have been interested in cosplay for quite a while.please see question 5 for the reasoning behind this.
4) what do you like most about the machine?
the pixie was tiny and didnt take up too much space on my dining room floor where i left it. the 160 has a great automatic threader, a nice amount of stitch options, has no problem(as far as i know at this time) sewing through different types of fabric, and generally looks beautiful.
5) what do you not like?
that pixie machine might have become the death of me if i had kept it any longer. the thread broke constantly, it got jammed every 5 minutes, had problems with almost every fabric imaginable, and had only 1 speed(which was way to fast for me).its basicallly the reason why my gallerry on here is completly empty. i have yet to find a problem with the 160, but since i have only had it for about a month i really wouldnt know.
6) Would you recommend your machine to a fellow cosplayer?
i wouldnt recommend the pixie to anyone.i had too many problems with it. i quite enjoy the 160 though.it is a pretty good machine for the price(its only about 200 bucks)
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Unread 03-07-2013, 07:55 AM   #149
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1) I'm currently using my mother's, a White 1666. I can't even find any decent info on these things.
2) It's not really mine, and I kind of hate the thing.
3) Personally: Novice. My long-time girlfriend is a better tailor than I am, but she tends to get cranky and rush things. She's also going back to college out of town, so she won't be around at the most convenient times to sew our cosplay pieces...so I best start improving...Cosplay means being a jack of all trades, and a master of none. :P

4) Not much, I hardly use it, and my girlfriend prefers her mother's machine across town. It has a few extra stitch patterns (mostly common ones, I've personally only used straight and zigzag...really the only two I absolutely need).

5) It tends to jam frequently, on all of us, so it's not my fail skills at fault.




Looking to buy: Two, actually. I've heard a LOT of good things about the old Singer 201s (my great grandmother had a treadle-operated one, actually...if I had known what it was 15 years ago when she died, I wouldn't be tracking one down!). I'm looking to sew large amounts of heavy material over the next few months and from what I understand a 201 shouldn't have any problems dealing with leather if it's been properly maintained. While online isn't the best place to look, I found one 200 miles away.

Second, I'm looking at a Brother SE400 for embroidery/applique and anything a 201 can't do on its own. Think crazy patterns like Final Fantasy XI's White Mage class sets, or the front of Zelda's dress. Embroidery because I'm very picky about how I think things should be done. The 4"x4" hoop area is a bit restricting but I'm sure I can work past that somehow.

EDIT: I managed to find a vintage 1954 Singer 15-90/91, and the best part is that my boss has it in her house. Apparently she bought what she thought was just a desk at Goodwill, only to find out the reason the desk was so damn heavy was because it was actually a sewing cabinet, machine included. So I'm probably going to snag this over a 201. They're pretty similar in performance, and I hear the 15s are more forgiving.

EDIT2: Singer 15 acquired, but it's in the shop for the next week or so for rewiring and general maintenance. At 60 years old the wiring (and insulation) is probably frayed/cracked and potentially hazardous. For the $60 price tag, I think I can afford up to $125 to let someone who knows what they're doing work on it that risk screwing up an antique by trying to do it myself.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 08:16 PM   #150
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1) What Machine do you own? I have a Bernina 730 "Record".

2) When did you purchase it/how old is it? My grandmother bought it in the early '70s and I ended up with it after she passed away last year. In other words, it's been in the family longer than I have.

3) How much sewing experience do you have? I'm a noob. :3 I have many half-finished projects and few finished ones. Friends and relatives give me advice and tips, and I go to all the costuming panels at cons. I'm very close to finishing a bodice that I thought was going to be difficult, and I'm super proud of it. So yeah, noob.

4) What do you like most about the machine? It's solid and reliable, and doesn't throw a hissy every time I ask it to sew over an existing seam or through several layers of cloth and interfacing. (Unlike my poopy old early-2000s Kenmore.) It may have sat untouched in its case for ten or fifteen years before I took it out and used it, and it doesn't seem to think that any time has passed. (Confession: I haven't had it tuned up yet!) It's also remarkably quiet. Oh, and instead of a foot pedal, it has a sort of knee lever. I find it way easier to finely control the speed with that rather than a foot pedal.

5) What do you not like? Ummmmm. It has no power switch? :P I have to unplug it to turn it off.

6) Would you recommend your machine to a fellow cosplayer? In a heartbeat, if you can find one. I think I've seen the same model in sewing machine stores for $300-$400 CAD. I've heard of people getting them second-hand from the owner for $200. Of course, remember that if you buy any used machine, you may need to factor in the cost of a tuneup on top of the purchase price. (If you buy it from a shop, ask if that's already been done.) Oh, Switzerland. First the chocolate and the cheese, then the watches, and now this. Is there anything you can't do?
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