First sewing machine

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
What's the advice from you experienced sewing peeps re sewing machines?
I seem to remember reading on here that good ones are at least x pounds but can't remember the amount.

I want a foot pedal, a hard case, to be able to sew zig zag and straight.

I seem to remember Janone is good from what I've read on here (and JL own brand are made by them - see I do pay attention!)

What about this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Janome-2200XT-Sewing-Machine/dp/B003ELWJBA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356767409&sr=8-1

or this one

http://www.johnlewis.com/230626655/Product.aspx

or

http://www.johnlewis.com/231340608/Product.aspx

I want to make little sewing projects like needle rolls plus be able to adjust clothes (preferably inc jeans and stretchy jersey dresses as that's what I usually wear).

I don't have masses of storage space so want the smallest machine I can get away with. Also I don't want loads of features I'll never work out how to use, I think I'd suit a simplier machine.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm going to get one soon, too, so I had a word with my mum and sister (long-standing seamstresses), who recommended this Janome for what I want to do (make simple clothes and church / house accessories)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    I'm going to get one soon, too, so I had a word with my mum and sister (long-standing seamstresses), who recommended this Janome for what I want to do (make simple clothes and church / house accessories)

    You know when it says there is no foot speed control, does that mean there is no pedal? How do you make it go? Also what does mechanical mean? Do you still plug it in? It looks good value and I could afford to buy it now rather than wait.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This thread from earlier in the year might help, and also links to an older thread where I say loads that I haven't got the patience to type out on my phone keyboard!

    Also, if you plan to be sewing a lot of jersey, consider investing in a walking foot. It's not an essential, by any means, but keeps me from losing my shit when sewing stretch on stretch! And for jeans you'll need jeans/heavy duty needles :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    You know when it says there is no foot speed control, does that mean there is no pedal? How do you make it go? Also what does mechanical mean? Do you still plug it in? It looks good value and I could afford to buy it now rather than wait.

    Foot speed control "gives greater control", Mum said it doesn't really mean much.

    I don't know about the mechanical thing. I thought it was electric, so not sure of the difference between mechanical and electronic in this case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think, on reflection and reading lots of reviews, I might go for this one. Mum has always had Singers and it gets good reviews along the lines of "bought it for a beginner and intended to get a better one for me but it does everything I want it to", which appeals.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kaff wrote: »
    This thread from earlier in the year might help, and also links to an older thread where I say loads that I haven't got the patience to type out on my phone keyboard!

    Also, if you plan to be sewing a lot of jersey, consider investing in a walking foot. It's not an essential, by any means, but keeps me from losing my shit when sewing stretch on stretch! And for jeans you'll need jeans/heavy duty needles :)

    Ah thanks - I remember there was a thread but couldn't remember when it was from.

    Thanks alot.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    It gets good reviews along the lines of "bought it for a beginner and intended to get a better one for me but it does everything I want it to", which appeals.

    In fairness, any decent "beginner" machine will last much longer than you expect. Most people only use straight and zig zag stitches most of the time anyway, and if you've never had stuff like auto tension and auto needle up/down, you won't miss it! I have known people make all sorts of amazing things on very basic machines.

    As long as you stick with a decent brand, the difference between a £100 machine and a £200 machine is probably not worth the extra money.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kaff wrote: »
    As long as you stick with a decent brand, the difference between a £100 machine and a £200 machine is probably not worth the extra money.

    OK, so the Janome £89 would be just as good? I have used auto tension before but I'm probably not regular enough to miss it.

    The ones that say they're for lightweight fabrics still seem to have been used by some people for upholstery; is that just a matter of taking it slowly and using the right foot/needle?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Actually comparing the two, I'd be tempted to spend an extra tenner to get auto tension! I just wouldn't pay £100 on top of that for features you likely won't use, like decorative stitches.

    Usually when a machine says it's for light/mid weight fabrics, it's cause the body is made of plastic, as opposed to industrial/heavy duty machines which have a metal body and will sew through ANYTHING. My machine has a plastic body, and I have sewn all sorts with it. Like you said, it's just a matter of taking it steady. And yes, the right needle is crucial!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm going to John Lewis on Monday to get it!

    Also I found a beginners sewing machine workshop to do on 12th January. Now I just need to convince my mum that she wants to do it with me and she's about that day or find someone else who can assist me as I'm too unwell to do a course by myself. Grr.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kaff wrote: »
    Actually comparing the two, I'd be tempted to spend an extra tenner to get auto tension! I just wouldn't pay £100 on top of that for features you likely won't use, like decorative stitches.

    I did just that. I gots it from JL earlier. Squee!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    I did just that. I gots it from JL earlier. Squee!

    :D

    I'm well-jel. I can't get to JL til Monday as I'm at my parents for Christmas so got to go to the one in Reading.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I thought I'd decided on the Janome 7025 (£199) at the top end of my budget but now I'm thinking of the Brother xn1700 (£119 plus need to buy seperate case which is about £17), both are from John Lewis. The Brother one comes with different feet whereas the Janome I'd have to buy them seperately.

    http://www.johnlewis.com/231340608/Product.aspx

    http://www.johnlewis.com/231648865/Product.aspx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    I thought I'd decided on the Janome 7025 (£199) at the top end of my budget but now I'm thinking of the Brother xn1700 (£119 plus need to buy seperate case which is about £17), both are from John Lewis. The Brother one comes with different feet whereas the Janome I'd have to buy them seperately.

    http://www.johnlewis.com/231340608/Product.aspx

    http://www.johnlewis.com/231648865/Product.aspx
    In the end I got the Janome 7025 as it turned out it did come with various feet and had more stretch stitches (as I wear a lot of stretch jersey dresses these days) and some other stuff the sales woman said, she seemed to know her subject well.

    So far I have done a few straight lines, a little bit of reverse and forwards again on a scrap of fabric. I'm still at my parents and my step mother is kind of particular so I didn't want to get the iron out so I haven't started the projects yet. The manual is pretty easy to follow so I managed to get the thread on the bobbin and thread the machine by myself just following the manual instructions.

    Also I got given some pinking shears and threads that belonged to my step-grandmother who passed away recently and they are really nice quality ones as well.
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