I am looking for a basic sewing machine.
I do not need any "bells or whistles."
I was in a sewing machine shop and they showed me some Brother machines.
Cheapest was around $500.
I do not need 26 varieties of stitches and programmability.
Here are my wishes.
1. Able to wind the bobbin
2. Be able to stitch heavier fabrics like denim
3. Use generic items such as bobbins, needles, etc.
Good questions. I might also consider
electronics vs non-electronic in a basic new machine.
I have had quite good luck in finding older machines
that are in very good condition - including Swiss made
Elna from early 1970's ; German made Pfaff
< from 1990's I think > Bernina seem to demand a premium
in my area. My price range to purchase is ~ $ 25. - $ 50.
One of the Elnas came in a beautiful sewing desk for $ 100.
I bought my 195x Husqvarna at an estate sale for $3.00 and later on
found a box of genuine Husqvarna attachments at a rummage sale for
$1.00. It has oilite bearings (no oiling required) and a stump-pulling
low gear. Uses Singer bobbins and probably attachments too. It's heavy
as hell and I love it. I also have a Husqvarna motorcycle :-)
I gave my 195s Singer straight-stitch machine to my granddaughter, but I
bet she never uses it. Those things are bulletproof too. Things in
general were simpler and better back then. OTOH, I haven't tried a new
sewing machine so maybe I'm wrong.
That being said, My cheapest-model Brother laser printer has been going
strong since 2009. It feels light and cheap, but it hasn't failed me
yet and I've run through 2.5 toner cartridges so far. If I were going
to buy a new machine I'd probably go with a Brother from WalMart.