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What sewing machine do you recommend?

(71 Posts)
Gr07 Thu 27-Sep-18 09:57:59

When I was young I loved to create clothes on my own..I had a good sewing machine and lots of textiles! A few days ago I decided that I will back to my hobby. I wanted to ask you what sewing machine would you recommend? I know that times change so maybe people who know more about sewing will help me.

Izabella Thu 27-Sep-18 11:16:09

Mine is a Janome, basic but reliable. I have returned to dressmaking (last done aged around 16!) This weekend I am taking myself, said machine and a variety of materials to a workshop on how to use it. The machine is around 8 years old but rarely used. I seem to remember it was bought from John Lewis, but whoever sold it to me was extremely helpful at the time.

JudyJudy12 Thu 27-Sep-18 11:22:25

Mine is a Brother, I bought it off of a Facebook site for £25 and it looked unused. You can often get good second hand ones as people buy new then never use them.

Maybelle Thu 27-Sep-18 11:46:40

My current machine is a Brother. Very happy with it.
Is there a sewing machine shop you can visit that has several different makes and models. You can then try out some to see what is best for you.

J52 Thu 27-Sep-18 11:56:09

I have a 37 year old Brother, which is sturdy and works well, but has limited stitches.
I recently treated myself to a Janome with many more stitch patterns. I avoided the computerised machines, as they are more complex with more things to go wrong.
I bought my Janome from John Lewis when they had it on a reduced offer.

Ilovecheese Thu 27-Sep-18 19:30:49

I would say that Brother, Janome, (who also make John Lewis own brand) Singer are all good machines. I have used and taught on quite a few different brands and the only one I think I would avoid is Silver. I would also not recommend those darling little cute ones that sell for around £50, they just don't do enough.

Mechanical machines are:
less expensive
can be repaired
easily maintained.
Some have a lot more stitches that others, ask yourself how many you will realistically use.

Computerised machines are:
more expensive but not as much as they used to be
As expensive to repair as to get a new one.
Are easier to use as they have speed control (good for teaching children)
Always stop with the needle down.
Don't need the thread to be pulled to the back when starting a seam, so less likely to snarl up.
Can have automatic thread cutters.

If there is a shop near you, as others have suggested, it is good to play around with different ones.

A word of warning about computerised machines. Once you have got used to one you will never want to go back to mechanical!

Marydoll Thu 27-Sep-18 20:17:25

There was a thread a few months ago on buying a sewing machine. I was trying to find it, but without success.
I have a Janome and I'm very happy with it. Nice and light.
I had a NewHome (also owned by Janome) for forty years before buying my present one.

Farmor15 Thu 27-Sep-18 20:30:15

Definitely suggest going to a sewing machine shop where you can try out different models and get some instruction.

Fennel Thu 27-Sep-18 20:37:47

I think it depends on you budget, and how much you use it. and for what kind of projects.
I don't do much sewing now (old age) and have a basic but modern Singer.
What I don't like about it is the shuttle threading system - the pickup from the needle is awkward. so it takes me ages to change threads.
I found the oldfashioned boat shuttle easier.

Bathsheba Thu 27-Sep-18 20:59:58

I have a Brother computerised machine. I've had it for over three years and love it. What I love about mine (not sure if this is true of all modern machines but I suspect it is) is that it is pre-packed with machine oil and never needs to be oiled. It does need to be cleaned regularly, but no more messy oiling and running it on scrap fabric to mop up the excess!
You probably can't go wrong with a Brother or Janome, although having said that I recently bought a Janome second hand - a model that is still in their catalogue, only 2 years old - and had nothing but trouble with it! But generally speaking they have a very good name for being reliable machines.
One feature that is definitely worth looking for is an auto threader. As I have got older and my eyesight has deteriorated, this has been a godsend.
It could be worth your while buying a reconditioned second hand machine from a dealer - you're likely to get a better machine for your money that way.

NotAGran55 Thu 27-Sep-18 21:03:03

I have recently returned to sewing after man6 many years and didn’t know where to start with a machine .

I visited 2 John Lewis branches and got lots of help and advice from them . I got to try out 3 different ones and settled on a Janome that has an automatic needle threader .
It’s so easy to set up and use and I’m delighted with it.

Bubbe Thu 27-Sep-18 21:46:03

I have been very happy with Bernina.

oldgaijin Sun 16-Dec-18 08:43:38

I love my Pfaff tiptronic...more than 20 years old but still going strong. Great for basic sewing or fancy stitches and quilts beautifully.

Thingmajig Sun 16-Dec-18 10:42:45

I've used Brother machines in my sewing life time, but on a whim bought a computerised machine in Aldi a while ago. Best machine ever as it resets itself on switch on so doesn't annoy me with tension problems as the normal machines always did. Just choose which stitch I want (don't do anything fancy!) and off it goes, perfect every time. Oh, and it can even thread the needle for you! Think it cost £150 so an absolute bargain really! smile

Lisalou Sun 16-Dec-18 22:13:13

Another fan of Bernina here, a bit pricey, but marvellous machines

M0nica Mon 17-Dec-18 08:32:15

I have a Janome. A straight forward and simple one. I have just bought a very similar model for DGD (aged 11) for Christmas. I bought it on ebay for just over £100. It is a current model and costs £300 new. I am feeling very smug about that.

It is in good order and serviced, but lacks the accessory pack. It has cost us less than £20 to replace that.

ayse Mon 17-Dec-18 08:46:27

As others have said it depends what you want to sew and how much you want to spend. I’ve had two Berninas with others for supplementary sewing and as a spare. The power of the machine and flexibility of types of fabric. Bernita continues to make spares for 25 years. I’ve had both manual and computerised and tend to prefer the basic Bernina model. Apparently they now make a basic machine again.

To be honest, unless you want to make heavy curtains I’d go with John Lewis to try out different machines or go to an independent if you have one close by.

Just an added thought-there are lots of interchangeable feet and fit most modern machines. Bernita has their own feet which are somewhat more expensive, so you may want to factor this in.

Happy sewing, whatever you decide

H1954 Mon 17-Dec-18 16:09:47

I bought a Janome from John Lewis recently and I love it. It's crucial to clean it regularly though as a build up of fluff in the nooks and crannies can really clog things up! It's the same with anything I guess, you get what you pay for so my advice would be to establish what you want the machine to do in terms of fancy stitches etc, look at the beauty diet and take it from there. Happy sewing!

Ilovecheese Mon 17-Dec-18 16:30:02

Every machine needs de-fluffing regularly and most important, CHANGE THE NEEDLE !

craftyone Sun 24-Feb-19 07:03:36

I have had several machines over my lifetime, from singer treadle at a very young age. All have been good in their own way, cleaning, servicing, oiling is key. Elna was the worst and my present machine, bernina is the best

I have a babylock serger too and am now in machine heaven

craftyone Sun 24-Feb-19 07:06:01

I want to add that I bought all the bernina feet, when I was treating myself. They sit in compartments in a labelled box. I have been through the archived machine syndrome in the past, with unavailable parts, not going to happen with my bernina

Nannarose Sun 24-Feb-19 09:19:17

I would do 2 things:
Get along to one of the shows where you can see a lot of machines and chat to people about them (one coming up at th NEC in March)
Look for a local old fashioned sewing machine shop, the kind that sells reconditioned machines and does servicing. They will give you their opinions and let you try machines. Most large towns have one.

Missfoodlove Sun 24-Feb-19 09:21:13

I have recentlypurchased a machine from Hobbycraft. It was a Brother and cost under a £100.
With every machine purchased Hobbycraft give you 4 1 hour one to one lessons in store.

RosieLeah Sun 24-Feb-19 11:15:21

I was happy with my basic brother machine until recently. I started doing patchwork and quilting, so needed a machine with more features on it. I bought a Novum machine. I believe this is a new company, so they are selling their machines cheaply to get into the market. So far, I'm very pleased with it. It has all the extra features I need. However, it isn't of the same quality as the Brother, so I don't know how well it will last. I won't be selling the Brother, just in case!

Bagatelle Sun 24-Feb-19 11:48:12

Mine is a Janome and I love it. It copes well with furnishing fabrics that I use for tunics, coats and jackets. I make most of my clothes because nothing 'off the peg' fits.