Advice Time: Sewing Machine

(image above from flickr – this is not my actual machine)

About a year ago, i inherited a beautiful midcentury sewing table from my great-aunt, complete with late-1960s-Singer machine. We gave it a test spin last spring at which point we were greeted to a giant “CLUNK” everytime the needle went up and down.

So, after a summer full of home reno, i decided it was finally time to take the old gal to the sewing machine doc. Well, not such good news. The cost of the repairs outweighs the cost of the machine. It still has its original belt (which at this point is probably fused in place), and needs a plethora of other parts. If this was TRULY an antique i would probably pay to have it fixed, but since it exudes sort of a disco era charm, i think its probably best i just get a new machine.

But there are SO many out there. The lady at the store tried to sell me on the Brother “Project Runway” edition, which i’ll admit, is tempting but i think its just way more than i need. I’m halfway tempted to get a non-computerized version, just something mechanical for starters. The inspiration line by Singer seems simple and straightforward.

Then i read reviews of how easy the computerized ones are to used and its like, maybe i should stop be so stubborn. It just seems like if i’m going to sit down and sew, its sort of an analog experience.

So, i know several of you readers (ahem, Joelle, Jen) are avid seamstresses. Please chime in here. What do you have? What do you wish you had? What features should i look out for? Lets put me in the novice category for now. I can sew forwards and backwards on a single layer of cotton but thats about it. I am willing to pay extra for quality because the sewing machine doctor is expeeeensive and i don’t want to have to see him or her every time i complete a project.

Help!

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6 thoughts on “Advice Time: Sewing Machine

  1. Do not buy a Brother. My mom works at a quilting store and the best sewing machines (i.e. worth your money) are pfaff (which I have and love) and Bernina (which are the best sewing machines in the world now, and most are ridiculously expensive). It all depends on how much you’re going to use it, but Brother will break quickly and their customer service is awful, they are Walmart machines. Hope that helps.

    E

  2. How about if I ship the Singer in the closet out for you and Danielle–we NEVER use it!!!! (I have offered it to Danielle before!!!)))

  3. Older Singers are also really great because they were made metal on metal. The newer machines are all (except Bernina) plastic and metal together, so they are kinda not made to last.

    I forgot to address the computerized vs mechanical issue too. I have an old mechanical Pfaff (like 1970’s) that has literally never broken and has only had to have routine maintenance. All I use mine for is clothing and bags and stuff, so I don’t need all that computerized embroidery and stuff. Everyone I know with a computerized one loves it and if you buy it from the right store they will teach you how to use it, so it’s more what you want/need and what you’re willing to spend on it.

  4. i have a Husqvarna, Viking sewing machine which you can see here: http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/us/6119_6123.htm

    this machine is a tank. i couldn’t afford a Bernina and wanted a machine to learn on and make sure i enjoyed sewing. it has plenty of stitching options and i haven’t found anything it couldn’t sew. you are always welcome to come give it a try if you would like.

    i love it… it’s my baby!

  5. There was a time when I found myself wandering through the aisles of “sewing world”. It was then that I noticed a very polished brand named Husquavarna, which is very nice (and Swedish). Don’t be afraid of the computoor.

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