Sewing machine for beginner sewer

My daughter is turning 17 next week and I'd like to buy her a sewing
machine. What is a good "starter" machine for a fashion conscious,
very creative teen?
Reply to
duckyboy
G'day
It really depends on your budget, but I'd be inclined to buy her one of the Janome machines. If you 'think' she'll stick with sewing then maybe a 6500 or it's recent replacement 6600. These are a heavier machine, great for quilting and last her for years. Maybe you'll find a good secondhand machine.
If you get a machine that is too cheap and doesn't give a good result this could do more harm to her moral, than good, imho!
When my DD was that age we bought her a second hand TOL Bernina )when they were a good machine) and it's still going strong. It cost a little more than an el cheapo but because it gave good results it kept her interested in her sewing.
Janome has been my favoured machine for the last 20 years. Hope this helps? Bronwyn ;-)
Reply to
HC
I was just about to look up the location for the sewing machine FAQ when Penny's reply came up on my screen. You will do your daughter a big favor by having both you and she read it several times. Those of us who contributed to it worked hard to put in the best advice we could come up with. As you see we do not endorse any machine. We each have the one that suits our needs the best. Think through your choices, try as many machine as possible in your price range and stay with reliable dealers. If a dealer doesn't want to let your daughter use her own material, for a trial, run out the door as fast as you can go. Juno/JJ
Reply to
Juno
Thanks Melinda, unfortunately I don't think picking her own machine is an alternative given the fact that she's never sewn on a machine before; all of her sewing has been done by hand. We'd like to keep the price below $400 if possible.
Reply to
duckyboy
Hi Juno, thanks for the reply. We'll plan on visiting dealers this weekend for some test drives. Unfortunately, my daughter's never sewn on a machine before, so we're sitting ducks for unscrupulous dealers. I think Penny's FAQ will be invaluable.
Reply to
duckyboy
P.S. You will get the most bang for your $400 by getting a used machine if that's okay with her -- you don't want to get her a cheap-quality machine or it could ruin her on sewing. Go visit local sewing machine dealers and ask to look at used machines in the $200-300 range or else ones from the 1980s or before -- you will get a good-quality machine that will last a while for less than brand new prices. The dealer might also offer sewing lessons or at least consultations as she learns to use her machine.
And please tell her that she should take one thing and make it several times to learn from her mistakes, then move on to something else and make *it* several times to learn from her mistakes, etc. I took home ec for 3 years in school back in the days when they really taught it, and I hardly learned anything at all about sewing (except for follow-the-leader procedures) until I started doing exactly this. And tell her to come here and ask all the questions she wants, cry on our shoulders, etc.
She might like some of the free projects at
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, too.
Reply to
Melinda Meahan - take out TRAS
Yo Melinda, I'm 38, but I thought this was a very cool website; thanks for sharing! ;)
Lisa
"Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to send" wrote
Reply to
lisa skeen
If she'd never worn a pair of shoes before, would you buy her some without her trying them on?
She MUST try them! More hours of sewing machine misery are endured by those who did not pick their own machine than by those who did - even at the very top of the market! And many others just quietly abandon the poor unloved bought-for-them machine...
Think carefully about what she wants to make:
Curtains, cushions, bags, denim stuff: a hardy used mechanical light weight occasional clothing items: Something with decor stitches Lots of clothing from scratch: something that does really good buttonholes and blind hems, with a choice of needle positions for inserting zips!
For $400 you can get a serious amount of machine in the pre-loved market! Makes to look for:
Husqvarna Viking: you won't see many - we HV fans tend to hang on to our machines! Bernina - some of the older models are still fantastic Pfaff: as above. Personally, I find them awkward to use, but Pfaff fans are as fanatical about their toys as we HV and Bernina fanatics! Frister & Rossmann - some good machines there, though not as tough as the above Older all metal Singers - buy a pre-1964 model! Look out for plastic gears and avoid...
If she just MUST have new (or has a real reason to need a light weight drag to classes machine), get back to us.
Reply to
Kate Dicey
Since she's never used a machine before, she may be better off taking a beginner sewing class at Adult Ed. That could be done with the promise that if she enjoys it she can pick out a machine that suits her. She'll get the feel of machines that way and have a better idea of what she wants it to do. As Kate said there are a lot of machines out there that have been abandoned because they just weren't right. I stopped sewing for 10 years because I had a machine that never worked right. I'm sure the resullt will be a better one if she has some understanding of how sewing machines work. Juno
Reply to
Juno
Hi Kate, Thank you for your time and great advice (and sense of humor), and yes, we always buy shoes without trying them on, don't you? My wife is a Swede so I imagine the Husqvarna will figure prominently on our search list. Mark
Reply to
duckyboy
Hi Melinda, Used is always a little dicey with teens, but it won't be the first time. Our Miele vacuum cleaner, which we had for 15 years, croaked a few weeks ago and I couldn't shell out almost $1,000 for a new one, so I bought a used one in excellent condition for $100. So, personally, I don't have a problem with buying pre-owned, convincing a teenager is another matter... Thanks again for your great advice, Mark
Reply to
duckyboy
Your in Manhattan, take advantage of F.I.T. and see if someone there can give you advice and help you find reputable dealers. I'd also check with them on lessons, they may have something that be suitable or again some advice as to where to find good beginner classes. Juno
Reply to
Juno

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