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I recently got accepted into Fashion Design for school and to be honest i have no idea what type of machine to get. I've never sewn with a machine before and would like something easy to use/learn. Is there any way someone can help me or let me know what machine are better ?
I hear that Brother and Singer are one the best ones, but i'm not sure how to go about it.


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I posted this last week, I am not sure if you read it but it will help.

At the last Sewing Machine Convention I attended, I heard several dealers stating that they no longer repair low end Sewing Machines from the "box stores". They tell their customer they are a throw away machine and not worth repairing. This is not the first time I have heard dealers say this. The dealers feel the machines are not worth fixing because they simply knock out of time too easily and they don't want to back up the service they do on them. I feel bad for people purchasing these machines, many "box stores" will not let them return a machine and tell them to bring it to a warranty store. Timing is not covered under warranty. If you are thinking about purchasing a new sewing machine please purchase one from a dealer in your area. Dealers back up what they sell and they will sell better quality because their reputations are on the line.

If you go to a dealer, sew on the models that interest you. Bring your favorite fabrics to sew on. Find a dealer near you that gives a free lesson with the purchase. The more you know about your machine the more you will be able to do with it. The more you understand the extra feet for the machine the easier sewing will be. Every machine has good points and bad points. I have done searches on all different models and found every model has some people who love it and some who don't like something about it. Meet the person who will be giving classes at the dealer. A machine can only do what you know how to make it do, if you can't operate it properly than it will not work properly no matter what brand it is.

One workhorse model I recommend to my students is the Pfaff Select 3.0. It has a built in walking foot, extra needle piercing power for heavy fabrics and a faster speed on the foot control. This machine is holds up strong and will last a long time. hope this helps
personally for a 1st timer I would lean towards Janome for brands, but that aside....
You need a good basic machine with a straight stitch, a zigzag and an automatic buttonhole function,
more than this is nice but not necessary, and honestly if you get the button h*** function you will get lots of other stitches too. Needle up and down is a nice function as well. A good dealer will let you test drive your machine, bring in the fabrics you will work on, ie knits, chiffon, satin, not just the nice sturdy cotton they will have at the store (all machines stitch beautifully on medium weight cotton)

have you considered a used or refurbished machine? if you could score a mechanical bernina that has been refurbished that would be fabulous.

At this stage you don't need an electronic machine or serger,
have fun, it's very addictive....
I would happily purchase a used refurbished machine of good quality such as Pfaff, Janome, Husqvarna, Bernina. They are dependable and dealers will help you with any problem that may just pop up.

I went through this early this year and ended up with a Husquarna Emerald. Its a good starter machine and does everythng you need it to do including some embroidery. Cost, £400.

I understand from ex students that they like the Bernina. The one they mainly have costs about £500.

Hope it helps.
Most sewing machine manufacturers offer a decent machine. I've seen a lot of machines, in my Sewing Machine Operation Class. Brand should be considered, but more importantly features should be considered. When my beginner students ask what machine to buy, I tell them to look for these basic features....

1) One Step/Automatic Buttonhole because of ease and consistent buttonhole sizes.
2) Separate dial to adjust stitch width because you have more flexibility for needle postion
3) A variety of feet - Buttonhole, Zig Zag, Blindhem, Zipper, Overcast & Applique( clear foot) because the feet do the work
4) Basic stitch patterns - Straight, Zig Zag, Blindhem, Overcast, Buttonhole because these are the stitches you will use the most.
5) Speed control is great for beginners and kids, but not necessary
6) Needle threader is not necessary, thread the needle the old fashioned way. Most people break the needle threader because they don't understand how it works.

Vita, you can get a machine with these basic features and sometimes more for around $150 -250. Overstock has some refurbished machines that are inexpensive. I like the Brother and Janome/Kenmore machines.

I hope this helps and have fun at design school
Go with a Bernina machine - they are extremely dependable and very well made (made in Switzerland). There are many different price levels; one for any budget and they are all excellent machines.

I have had Singers before and they do not compare to the Bernina.
As a beginner I would get a vintage machine. The all metal basic staight and zig zag stitch. You will be very happy with a machine that will sew through anything and not have to be throw away in a year. As a design student you will be using your machine a lot. Later down the road when you are better at sewing invest in a pfaff or a viking one of the high end brands. The new brother and singer are not what they use to be. I would not buy one.

I was just looking over old posts and saw the one where you had just been accepted into design school.  Just wondering (probably since Project Runway is on!!!!), how is it going?  Would love to know. Sherri


You will probably be sewing a variety of fabrics.  That does not mean you need a big expensive machine to start out.  I have been looking at the websites of these new "tween" designers, and one in particular who is doing so well, a little girl, age 12 or 13, uses a normal Brother.  Probably about $150 machine.  She sews silks, jersey, you name it, she sews it right there on that machine. I used my mama's sewing machine, which was so long ago, I don't even remember what kind it was.  Then, she bought me a Kenmore.  When I turned 16, my big sixteenth birthday present was a brand new Singer! That sewing machine was a gem! Over the years I've had a Toyota, a Bernette, a little $25 Brother I bought on ebay (new too)!, I am using a Bernina I bought on ebay for about $250.  It's a good machine, but I just knew I was gonna be blown away by its performance.  Well it's turned out to be pretty ordinary.  I also ordered a Janome on ebay, and I really enjoyed it.  DD got married, and the hairdresser (good friends with the family) said she wanted to do all the bridal party's hair, but really wanted a sewing machine instead of payment.  So, I wanted her to have a nice one, and ended up giving her my Jamone.  I miss it.  I truly do.  About a week ago, I ordered me a new sew/quilt Janome with the extension plate. I got mine for $108 on ebay, new.  I don't do a lot of special stitches and stuff.  But so far with all my machines, I have managed to successfully sew everything from fleece to satin, to upholstery, drapery, all the way down to jeans.  I think my overall favorite though, was my Janome.  That's why I got another one.  It's on it's way and can't wait till it gets here.  My advice, a Janome similar to mine would suit you fine, easy to operate, sews everything I have tackled so far, etc. And, if you need to be more advanced with your machine, you haven't invested an arm and a leg in your first machine.  Good luck and please let me know how fashion design goes!


you can find some good deals on Ebay my mom has bought some great brand new still in the bos machines for under $35 dollars.. and includes the shipping... so far they work good.


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