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Head Zookeeper
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I have had a Singer school model for several years now and it's been nothing but a headache since day one! Does anyone have any suggestion for a good, simple workhorse machine? Or maybe you would suggest certain machines to avoid? Thanks.
 

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I love Bernina. They have all sorts of machines and prices. A good machine is worth spending the money on. I have never had a problem with my tension or anything else.

My local store often has great sales and folks are always "trading up" so a good basic machine can be purchased reasonably.
 

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Big Front Porch advocate
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http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=198198&highlight=sewing+machine


http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=196267&highlight=sewing+machine

The above are two fairly recent threads about which sewing machines that might help you some.

Again, I’ll say any Janome/New Home that is from a sewing machine store. I have about 5 of them and my daughter is using the one bought in 1989 as a 2 year previously owned machine.

Consider a trade in, if you are on a budget, or just don’t want to pay the new price.

I recently was talking to a dealer, where I got my last two machines, and he said that Janome is the manufacturer of most all sewing machines that cost under $1000. Of course, they would be to the various brands specifications.

I also have a Brother machine, computer and it’s nice and treads very easily. I still like the Janome brand best.

What level of sewing and what type of projects are you anticipating? What kind of budget are you anticipating.?

If a basic machine. Take a look at Janome 405 usually sells for $149
If more, but still mechanical and has needle up/down and can change the speed of the sewing, try a Janome 4623LE, this is a work horse and I’ve used it for a few year.

If we know what you are wanting, others will be along that can tell you about machines they have and machines they’ve had in the past.

Also, check the machine reviews on http://sewing.patternreview.com/

Angie
 

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This is my life
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traded my singer for a Bernina when I started quilting and have not had any problems.

that being said, if I had it to do over again I would have gotten something with a longer neck for the room. It all depends on what you want the machine to do.
 

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I have a fairly basic Kenmore machine that I got about 5-6 years ago. Love it very much. Then I went to the AQS quilt show in Paducah a couple years ago, didn't spend all the money I had squirreled away for the trip, came back all inspired (right?) and bought a Baby Lock Crafter's choice (which was more than twice the cost of the Kenmore) and I absolutely HATE it. I made myself leave it out (poor Kenmore sitting on the shelf) and know what? I haven't finished a quilt in over a YEAR! It's feels like it's a lightweight bouncy machine that likes to snag my fabric down it's throat. PITA. As of a few days ago, the Kenmore has resumed it's place on my sewing cabinet! I can't seem to spend enough time sitting at it. I was so relieved to not be uncomfortable sitting at my sewing machine. I've entered the BOMC and already have 2 blocks made, plus started something else.


Having said all that, I would LOVE a Bernina, with the stitch regulator, please...:)
 

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Dandish - does your Kenmore model start with 385? If so, Janome made it.

And I bought a Babylock Xscape 3/4 sized computer machine, and I just couldn't like it and it was expensive (like yours), it had that bouncy feeling also. I took it back and got a Brother NX-600 (full sized computer machine), and it's much better. But I still favor my Janomes'. I've put some thru some serious paces and they can keep up.

I'm glad you put your good Kenmore back in it's rightful place, and we'll be looking to see what new quilt you finish, when you get it done.

Angie
 

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Well I bought an upscale Bernina last year. I am not veyr happy with it. If I had it to do over I would not have bought it. I had an old work horse of a Pfaff and I love it. Unfortunately it is about 28 years old and seen better days.
I would go for a Pfaff if I were you.
Alice in Virginia
 

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Dd uses an Elna, I don't know which model, cost about $799 retail, but she got a deal. I love it. However, Angie sent me one of her Janome's and it's a very nice machine. I've been using it to peice quilt squares and it does a great job.
 

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AngieM2 said:
Dandish - does your Kenmore model start with 385? If so, Janome made it.

And I bought a Babylock Xscape 3/4 sized computer machine, and I just couldn't like it and it was expensive (like yours), it had that bouncy feeling also. I took it back and got a Brother NX-600 (full sized computer machine), and it's much better. But I still favor my Janomes'. I've put some thru some serious paces and they can keep up.

I'm glad you put your good Kenmore back in it's rightful place, and we'll be looking to see what new quilt you finish, when you get it done.

Angie
Yep, starts with 385... Thanks for that info!

When I got it, I went intending to buy a machine that was on sale for $199. Unfortunately (fortunately for me!) it was out of stock. So was the next model up. Sears has (had? Don't know since K-Mart took over) this policy that if the item you wanted to purchase wasn't in stock, they would bump you up to the next model for the same price. So, I got bumped up 2 models and got a $399 machine for $199. It's not really fancy, but it can definitely get the job done and I don't feel like it's "finicky" like the other one is. I really didn't realize how much the Baby Lock had to do with me not sewing.

I would never buy another machine without sitting at it for some length of time and sewing on it, several different types of material too.
 
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