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Advice on sewing machines, please?

(10 Posts)
whenim64 Sun 10-Jun-12 15:30:17

I've been looking for a new electric sewing machine - not had one for years, but now I've got the time, I can make dining chair pads, cushion covers, curtains, bedding and the odd skirt or top. I want one that has a top-loading bobbin, automatic threader and will do stretch stitches so I can sew jersey or wool skirts. The one I like the look of so far is Janome, and reviews say some Singer and Brother machines aren't as good as expected.

I don't want to quilt or embroider on it at present, but might get the accessories if I get the sewing bug. Can anyone recommend a machine, please? I'm thinking round about £150 should get me what I want.

Maniac Sun 10-Jun-12 18:59:50

Sewing machines are much cheaper than they were.I bought an Elna in1987 which cost me £350 small and beautiful- Swiss engineeering.Still functioning well -gave it to DD1 several yers ago.
For my DD2"s 50th I bought her a Janome for under £150 which does all you need.There is a good sewing machine shop in Macclesfield-not too far from you I think. .They were extremely helpful.
My DD and GD(age 11) are both enjoying use of the machine.
P.S.Kirsty Allsop has a Janome-recommended it on her craft programme.

whenim64 Sun 10-Jun-12 19:45:33

Thanks Maniac that's helpful - if it's good enough for Kirsty Allsop I'm sure it'll turn out some equally beautiful soft furnishings for me! (I wish). I've seen a couple of Janomes on offer so I'll check out the Macclesfield shop for their prices and decide tomorrow. X

Jacey Sun 10-Jun-12 19:52:56

Also check your local Argos ...I got mine from them is light enough for me to carry if I need to ...but I will not be able to use it for machine embroidary. Be aware not all mchines can be upgraded by adding attachments.

Lots of sewing shops will let you try the machines before you buy ...often they run courses too.

I think John Lewis are a major seller of janome machines.

The GNHQ police aren't going to tell me off are they for mentioning these two stores?? confused

Quiltinggran Sun 10-Jun-12 19:55:33

I have a Janome too and love it. My sewing machine service man says they're the best! Good luck with deciding which one to buy, whenim64

whenim64 Mon 11-Jun-12 08:38:04

Thanks, everyone. I've found a recommended website that sells Janomes and it provides good customer service, so I'm phoning them this morning. If they can offer a better deal than the Macclesfied shop Maniac told me about, I'll get it from them, as there's a free sewing kit with the Janomes. They deliver the day after the order.

specki4eyes Mon 11-Jun-12 22:06:07

I bought an Elna 6001 10 years ago. It has paid for itself over and over again. Its very easy to use and there is one stitch that Elna invented in 1976 called the double overlock, which finishes raw edges with two rows of stitching and a zig-zag in between. You just trim off the excess afterwards.
I've made heaps of heavy curtains, bedspreads, valances; I've altered clothes and even made new seats for our sun loungers.

whenim64 Mon 11-Jun-12 22:45:31

I noticed the Elna specki - the basic one was quite expensive for what I want to do - my sewing skills deteriorated years ago. I eventually ordered a Janome which has a few bells and whistles and it's being delivered on Wednesday. I want to make a new seat cover for my garden bench, dining chair seat pads, some kitchen curtains and then I'll get on to bedding. Going fabric shopping tomorrow morning - there's a good fabric shop a couple of miles away, so I should be busy soon.

Joan Tue 12-Jun-12 05:18:03

When you get one, don't forget to oil it occasionally. My old singer was going wrong, so in desperation I bunged sewing machine oil down every hole I could find. it worked.

whenim64 Tue 12-Jun-12 08:05:28

Thanks Joan. It comes with sewing machine oil and a few other freebies. I didn't know until this week that sewing machines collect lint and can get bunged up.