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Topic: Sewing machines that are good but cheap?  (Read 1843 times)
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« on: November 14, 2005 05:37:13 AM »

Anyone got any recommendations for a good first sewing machine?  It can't be too expensive as I am a poor student but I really want to make some clothes! Thanks. Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2005 09:07:18 AM »

I can't tell you brand, but get one as simple as you can. If it doesn't do anymore than a straight stitch and a zig zag, that will do you just fine if you don't have alot of experience. My first machine was my Grandmother's from the 70's and she was almost professional. The machine had so many cams and wheels and settings that I couldn't even do a straight seam by myself. I gave up and didn't sew again until necessity determined that I start. I now have a very cheap and simple and cheap and breakable and low quality machine that I love sewing with, even if it is only a straight seam or zig zag.
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2005 05:13:19 PM »

Get yourself off to www.freecycle.org and join your nearest group.  They may say you have to offer something first, but it can be anything someone else can make use of, like even an odd dining chair or unwanted clothing.  Then put on a WANTED post for a sewing machine.  You don't have to take the first one if you are offered more than one.  You can just say it's not right for your needs.

I was lucky, my fiance [before we split Grin ] bought me the lowest in the range in John Lewis's.  Their own brand.  It was a ton [100] and has a two year guarantee.  It's not bad if you take it gently.  It gets a bit rattly if you hammer it, which I put down to it being a cheaper machine.  As long as I treat it gentle, it's okay.  I sometimes forget and welly along like I used to when I was a machinist which isn't good.  The other thing was that it'd only cope with light fabrics.  I broke several needles before I borrowed his mums all metal hand crank machine to do the belt loops on my jeans.   Embarrassed

Then I got lucky and was the favourite reply to a woman who put her mums old machine on freecycle.  It's very basic but incredibly robust and quiet.  Took it to be looked at by my local v. friendly sewing machine repair dude and paid a measly 8 quid - I know!!!! *grins like a mad thing* to get it checked over and the wheel lock released.  [it just needed taking off and oiling - very easy job that I now know how to do]  He said it didn't need anything else and even told me I had the tension set up perfectly. Cheesy

Oh, by the way, my older machine is a 'Merritt', some of which are 'Singer's in disguise.  Singers - older ones, maybe 25+yrs, are solid workhorses, but don't just dismiss others coz of the name.  Sometimes good makes have a bad machine, sometimes 'bad' makes have the odd great one.

And if you don't get on with it, just give it back or put it back on Freecycle!


If you try it and it works out, let us know, yeah?

chicky xx

« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2005 05:16:10 PM »

If you get one from freecycle or buy one used from the thrift store or a yard sale, you can have it serviced. I bought my machine used and then paid $60 to have it cleaned and serviced. Now it runs really well. You can also order a lot of older manuals online. Mine was $10, but a lot of them are free.
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