12 comments on “What To Look For When Purchasing a Sewing Machine

  1. Granny Sandy on Jul 15, 2012 1:29 pm | Reply

    I have two machines of the same brand one that does embroidery an 1000 other stitches which I use only seldom, mostly for buttonholes it is so automatic, the other one is a sewing/serger type machine it sews ok .Than I have an Embroidery only machine that I never use . The sad part of all this is that the machine that I REALLY USED,LIKED the best I finally wore out shegave me 40+ yrs of service an they no longer make her she did everything with cams an was a real work horse I wish I had another one like her.So I strongly agree with you take your time an get the ONE that best suits you! Thankyou for taking the time to post these tips ! Granny Sandy

  2. Cherrylmaree on Jul 19, 2012 7:13 pm | Reply

    Hi Rosie,

    I think you have written a wonderfully informative and helpful blog about this subject. I have a ‘workhorse’ Janome which is 34yrs young and I am still finding stitch combinations I haven’t used. I bought it when I needed a machine with several different stitches to embellish children’s clothes for a local shop. Over the years it has literally kept my children fed. It is simple to use and I have recently discovered that there are attachments, still available, which make it even more versatile. I also have an overlocker/serger, 4 thread, also a Janome which I bought about 6 years ago second hand…couldn’t figure out how to thread it properly by myself, luckily, I was able to have lessons at my local sewing shop and now it is a great accessory for my original machine. One thing I would add to you information is that I have found it very important to have a good relationship with the people who run the sewing shop ( I have 2 places that I go to regularly ) there are all kinds of things to be learned and advice to be had from them. I had always wanted an embroidery machine and among people I asked for advice were the ladies at a local sewing/craft group ..I was told NOT to buy a machine which would replace my ‘workhorse’ but, rather, to look for a DEDICATED embroidery machine to use in conjunction with it..the reasoning was that..1)if you are stitching out a lengthy design, you can’t do anything else
    until it finishes and 2) if you are sewing a lot of fluffy items ie; fleece or towels, then you will be forever taking the machine to be serviced and also risk upsetting the embroidery functions. So, I looked around, got my dealer to demonstrate several machines to find the functions I wanted, kept to a budget and waited for the sales..I bought a Janome MC300E and it is simple to use, no USB but is still able to accept designs from the computer software and MAKES lace..I love it. Recently, one of my friends wanted to buy a machine for her grand-daughter for Christmas, so we went through all the things you have suggested and settled on a Brother which has large dials and very simple settings, also threads automatically…I have introduced her to where it can be regularly serviced and it is working beautifully ( making your dolls clothes ) I would advise anyone who is looking for a machine to follow your advice, especially, since no-one has money to throw away on something which is not going to be used and enjoyed, as it was intended. Best wishes Cherrylm.

    • Thanks so much for your feedback Cherrylmaree. Yes, I have heard the same regarding the embroidery machines. My Mom has one and another for normal sewing and she is often using both at the same time.

    • Hi Connie, I’m using a Janome Memory Craft 6500 Professional. I’ve had it for about 8 years now and I don’t think they make this one anymore. It has been terrific and has made thousands of doll clothes, as you can see from the wear.
      Happy sewing

  3. I have a 50 year old Elna – bought it when I was 20 – sews like it is brand new and s Cadillac
    I also have – Phaff – 30 years old and also lovely – so if you can buy secondhand don’t worry about how old as long as in good shape.

  4. I have Elna 5000 computer. used it on and off for alterations and making clothe and home decor, Recently broke when I was working on A thick project. took it for repair and service. I was told the timer is off since the needle wouldn’t catch the Bobbin tread. I was advised to buy a new one since it is almost 30 years old. Should I repair or buy a new one. repair will cost between $130 -$200. Would appreciate your advice.

    • Hi Pira, I’m sorry to hear that your sewing machine needs to be repaired. I’m not an expert in sewing machines so really can’t advise you here, other than to suggest perhaps you could take your machine to another repair person and ask their advice. I feel the older machines that do not have electronics tend to last longer and I’m pretty sure a new machine would cost more than $200 but again, I would talk to someone who knows more about repairing sewing machines. Sorry I can’t give you a definite answer.

  5. Liane Fleury on May 4, 2020 8:36 pm | Reply

    Hi Rosie, I’m trying to find a machine that will handle heavy denim, for personal use. I tried the Brother strong and tough but it can’t handle the bigger needles or thread under 20 weight. I had troubles with it immediately and sent it back. I have several other machines, one just for sewing, one embroidery and a serger, all Brother. Can you offer any recommendations for a heavy duty machine that’s not going to cost a fortune? Thank you in advance

    • Hi Liane and thank you for your question. I have a Janome MC6600P and I know it can handle thick denim and is a real work horse, however it may be out of your price range. I would suggest that you visit your local sewing machine store and ask them for their recommendation for a heavy duty machine or ask around your friends or local sewing groups to see if they can recommend a machine. Otherwise, do some Googling specifying in your search that you are looking for heavy duty machine or one that can handle thick denim. I’m sorry I can’t help you further but wish you luck with your search.

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