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Old 02-20-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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Sewing machine suggestions

I have an old ( I mean from the 70s old ) sewing machine that my mom gave me when I wanted to try out sewing. Well, I think it's dying. I can't get it to sew a straight stitch to save my life, the foot wiggles, the needle hits the foot a lot because of the wiggling and I've had 6 needles break in the last week. If I don't want them to break, I have to turn the rotator by hand, which goes reeeeeeeeeeeally slowly.

So I'm tired of it and I'm getting a new machine. I will be making diapers for sure, blankets, headbands, that kinda stuff. I'd like to get into quilting but I doubt I'll ever have the time-or patience. I was looking at the sewing machine from ikea and it looked pretty good. It's about $70 I think. I'm not looking to spend a lot... Maybe $100 tops. So I'd love some suggestions.

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Old 02-21-2013, 07:44 AM   #2
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Re: Sewing machine suggestions

Have you tightened the shank?

A "70s old" or older machine is your best bet for your budget. They will last and sew better than the box store cheep machines.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:38 PM   #3
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My mom only gave it to me because she thought it was on its last legs. Apparently it moved from Indiana and then all around Tampa, it's been moved and dropped somewhere around a dozen times. I may try to see what I can do. It's just frustrating as all heck since I have so much I WANT to do, but it doesn't seem able to get the job done.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:43 PM   #4
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Well I know this from experience: a $100 cheap machine is not going to hold up well for long-term or frequent use. I just went through the exact same thing as you. My mom gave me her old Kenmore from the early 80s, and it actually worked well but the stitches are limited and it is hard to find feet that are compatible. She had bought a cheap Walmart Singer for learning to quilt on, and decided she doesn't want to quilt and couldn't figure out how to use the Singer and wanted her old machine back. She offered to trade me for the Singer so I took it because of the variety of stitches and lots of accessories that are available. I used it for a while and tried to sew some training pants. The darn thing kept jamming. I thought I was doing something wrong. Surely it couldn't be the machine. Singers are supposed to be the best, etc. Come to find out, the cheap Singers and other cheap machines are made out of mostly plastic without a metal frame that the moving parts are supposed to be attached to. So as a result, the whole thing flexes too much when sewing, which messes up the alignment, and causes jamming problems, etc. Not fixable. So I just yesterday went to a Janome dealer and bought myself a quality mid-level machine that will hold up to diaper sewing, quilting, and everything else I want to do. This machine should last decades. It is worth it to buy quality for something that is going to see a lot of use and won't be replaced every couple of years, you know? If you really can't spend more than $100, try looking for a decent used machine. The quality is going to be much better than the cheap new machines and will save you a lot of frustration. JMO.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeybee1999
Well I know this from experience: a $100 cheap machine is not going to hold up well for long-term or frequent use. I just went through the exact same thing as you. My mom gave me her old Kenmore from the early 80s, and it actually worked well but the stitches are limited and it is hard to find feet that are compatible. She had bought a cheap Walmart Singer for learning to quilt on, and decided she doesn't want to quilt and couldn't figure out how to use the Singer and wanted her old machine back. She offered to trade me for the Singer so I took it because of the variety of stitches and lots of accessories that are available. I used it for a while and tried to sew some training pants. The darn thing kept jamming. I thought I was doing something wrong. Surely it couldn't be the machine. Singers are supposed to be the best, etc. Come to find out, the cheap Singers and other cheap machines are made out of mostly plastic without a metal frame that the moving parts are supposed to be attached to. So as a result, the whole thing flexes too much when sewing, which messes up the alignment, and causes jamming problems, etc. Not fixable. So I just yesterday went to a Janome dealer and bought myself a quality mid-level machine that will hold up to diaper sewing, quilting, and everything else I want to do. This machine should last decades. It is worth it to buy quality for something that is going to see a lot of use and won't be replaced every couple of years, you know? If you really can't spend more than $100, try looking for a decent used machine. The quality is going to be much better than the cheap new machines and will save you a lot of frustration. JMO.
I guess I'll just stick with this old beast and see what I can do with it. Thanks ladies!
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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Re: Sewing machine suggestions

Call a local repair shop, and see if they think your machine is worth saving. Or if you can give the make and model here I can do some digging. A $100 service may be all your machine needs for years of sewing. Otherwise your $100 could buy another great macho e from the 60s or 70s that will last you a good long while.

The ikea machine is decent for its price, but it really won't be a good long term machine. If you can get an old lady kenmore or elna you would be in great shape. A singer 301 or 401 would also serve you well. Craigslist is full of great sewing machine deals.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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Re: Sewing machine suggestions

The problem you describe doesn't sound like a machine that is dying it sounds like a machine that needs a few parts tightened and some basic maintenance.

If you do replace it I would go with a 1969 or older machine. Some of the machines started switching to cheaper parts in the 70's.
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