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Topic: Sewing machines, a buyers guide  (Read 67653 times)
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« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2008 04:14:06 PM »

Does anyone know about Euro-pro machines?

I got a refurbished Euro-pro shark for 39.99 at a discount store around christmas time

it has several stitch types and came with lots of accessories

I just can't find any reviews anywhere and I'd like to get an idea of how long it is going to last me
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2008 02:36:53 PM »

Does anyone know about Euro-pro machines?

I got a refurbished Euro-pro shark for 39.99 at a discount store around christmas time

it has several stitch types and came with lots of accessories

I just can't find any reviews anywhere and I'd like to get an idea of how long it is going to last me

I bought a Euro-Pro for my sister for christmas '07 and it's performing really well for her needs (she doesn't make huge demands of it, she's just been wanting something to sew pyjamas and make repairs on kids' clothes and such) so far.  I did a lot of reviewing before I bought it and the big draw-back was that the warranty demands it be returned to factory for warranty work on it as there is no one around authorised to do warranty repairs on these machines.  Luckily I'm fairly well-versed in tuning and fixing machines as shipping it would cost about half of what I paid for the machine itself and  I did purchase the store's extended warranty for the machine, though.

As far as the rest of the discussion goes I just want to share that I've learned some valuable lessons in letting go of my consumerist, instant gratification attitude (a real trial for me as an ADD kid) when it comes to outfitting my studio with quality tools.  The first machine I purchased myself was the Husqvarna 500 Computer which graces my table to this day.  I hunted around and researched a lot before making that purchase through a store I frequently took lessons from.  Having an established relationship with the store itself definitely helped me to get that machine for half of the original retail price.  It was a 10 month old refurbished, re-warrantied machine and the shop owners gave me another $200 off the price for trading in the Kenmore I got as a graduation gift.  I've just gone through a similar routine with the purchase of my new-to-me but refurbished serger.  It too was purchased for less than half the original retail price but is still under the full warranty. 

The other real benefit to going that route was that both stores offer beginner courses with all of their machine sales (education?  for free?  onto a winner there!) and the machines traded in are refurbished and resold at decent prices.  I would definitely advise befriending and frequenting smaller businesses which offer lessons in the kinds of sewing one is really interested in doing - they know their stuff and are less likely to try to upsell a customer into something they don't need or want because it's really not in their best interest. 


Purveyor of idiosyncratic gastropornography since 1976.
pot stirring
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2008 06:05:55 PM »

Thanks for all the great info.  A lot of it reinforces what I have been learning first-hand this last week: 

My mom has a 40-year-old Singer that is still in perfect condition, so when I bought my machine I went for the Singer.  But, alas, I bought the bottom-of-the-line model from Wal Mart.  I have had it only 2 years, and it has already broken down under minimal use.  I discovered that the Bernina dealer in my town is closing out their classroom machines, and I can get a gently used, warrantied,one step up machine for under $200.  It also includes classes to teach the user every feature of the machine, troubleshooting, and more. 

My little piece of advice is to look around, do your homework, and be willing to make an investment into a good machine, instead of taking the cheap route and being horribly frustrated.

Lord, show me your ways. Teach me how to follow you.  Guide me in your truth. Teach me. You are God my Savior.  I put my hope in you all day long.
-Psalm 25:4-5

PM me if you want to swap!  I need some stitch markers...

Finally got one...
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2008 07:43:32 AM »

The other real benefit to going that route was that both stores offer beginner courses with all of their machine sales (education?  for free?  onto a winner there!) and the machines traded in are refurbished and resold at decent prices. 

Lessons with a new machine are so very important - particularly if it is more than a "very basic straight & zigzag model". The lessons are not really to teach you to sew but to teach you how to use the machine to it's fullest potential. When my Mom bought me a Bernina (to replace the Pfaff that I took when she got her first Bernina) she insisted I take the lessons. I on the other hand said "What, you taught me to sew and I've been doing it for 15 years, why would I need lessons". She insisted and she was correct. She even bought me a notebook and stuff to keep everything in. I can't tell you how many times I've referred to that notebook when doing something that isn't a part of my everyday sewing. The notes and samples beat the heck out of the vague, incomplete directions in the owners manual.

As an aside Bernina's are now made in Japan - under Swiss supervision. Now made of plastic also - they call it something else - but plastic to laymen. If you have the opportunity to get a used "Swiss" Bernina (metal housing, 4 digit number - except the 830 which is 3 digit but a great machine) or a new "Japanese" Bernina (white plastic housing, 3 digit number) I'd take the used.
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2008 02:38:05 PM »

I will bump and add that I got a wicked little vintage number with it's original cabinet and gold/black enamel for FREE from a family friend who purchased it at auction for $1. Yes, $1. And it works like a champ. Auctions are a good source too! I forget the name, it's not recognizable as it got absorbed by a larger company sometime in the late 40's or early 50's - I'll have to see it to remember it... New *Something* or rather...

We seem to be geographically blessed when it comes to ease of finding awesome vintage sewing machines (and vintage stuff in general!)... Found this one at Salvation Army for $20 and it works great:

I've been reading up on vintage sewing machines and have discovered that many mid century Japanese made machines are great because they usually have interchangeable parts (bobbin cases, presser feet, etc) and are thus easy to fix up and get running.

My mom has this sewing machine!  She sort of inherited it.  It doesn't work AT ALL though.  And there are no repair places around here.  So it is just sitting Sad
« Last Edit: March 30, 2008 03:24:07 PM by kategirl - Reason: Please remove the [img] tag when quoting pictures. Thanks! » THIS ROCKS   Logged

To Alcohol!!  The cause of and solution to all of life's problems.
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2008 03:09:48 PM »

I wanted to add one more machine brand not mentioned. Juki. They primarily make industrial machines but are now making some domestic including a few long arm high speed straight stitch machines and sergers. I worked on Juki straight stitch industrials in design school and they are few smooth ( made in japan). I personally own a Bernina but am hoping to ad a juki straight stitch to my machine inventory (I have waaaaay too many)
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2008 06:43:49 PM »

Thank you for the imput Smiley I did know the brand but did not know of home versions available commonly.
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2008 06:53:09 PM »

Atlas Levy stocks them. They are based in Los Angeles and I've been a customer of them for years so they won't do you over.


No Affiliation Yada Yada apart from being a happy repeat customer
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2008 10:51:35 AM »

Hi! I'm also looking for a new machine and my experience of using sewing machine is almost all returned to my teacher.

i dont reside in US. sewing machine is also much expensive than in US. ie an exact model of Brother can be at USD699 but my side is selling at ard USD900 or more.

I am now looking at Brother's sewing machine and I'm not sure if i should get a very basic one or something higher priced with stiches for satin material etc. i am looking at machine that can do simple embroidery work. shld i just get a very basic one to begin with first n then later invest on a stand alone embroidery machine? i am using it as a hobby and not for living

For those wedding gowns embroidery, is it possible to make them from those sewing and embroidery machine? Thanks

The ones i am looking at is NV50/ Innovis 50

NV400 which is similar to PC420 in US (project runway model)

« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2008 11:06:18 AM »

What brands are available to you with local service obviously varies by what part of the world you live in Smiley

I love my mother's Elna but it's hard to find someone locally to service it- they just aren't that common around here.

Janome are Japanese, as are Juki and Toyota. Bernina, Husqavarna, Elna & Pfaff are all western European companies. Brother and Singer are both American companies but neither manufacture the machines in America anymore. Look carefully at what kinds of service are available near you, focus on those brands for your own sanity and convienince.

As far as getting a machine that does fancy embroidery- are you already an experienced sewer? or new all together? This will make a difference in your satisfaction level with what you get.

Embroidering a wedding dress? I would not attempt it with a dinky machine, that's for sure.
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