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March 7, 2013 at 12:06 PM #9674the_professors_assistantKeymaster
Hi. I’m in the market for an upgrade. I bought a Brother VX-1120 many years ago and never learned to sew. I have started up again but now my machine is kinda obsolete. I want a machine with various stitches/functions and it MUST have a 1-step button-hole stitch. I really don’t require anything else fancy. I have seen some Singer and Brother that are computerized and I’m intrigued. I also see people using brands like Bernina, Janome, and Pfaff which seem pretty expensive. Is there a good yet affordable machine I can purchase for under $200? Thanks so much.March 7, 2013 at 12:07 PM #9675the_professors_assistantKeymaster
Hi there! Those are all really good quality machines that you listed. I would also add the machine I use, which is a Husqvarna. Unfortunately, their machines will probably run you more than $200. Also, these machines are not normally sold by vendors online so you have to search to find a physical dealer of these machines. You might get lucky and find an affordable, used one through craigslist or ebay. One machine that might be more affordable is the Brother CS-6000i as it seems like it have good reviews and has the one step buttonhole that I know you’re looking for. 😉 Don’t be so quick to toss yours out. Even if it may be a few years old, fortunately for us, sewing machines are not like computers. They don’t really become obsolete, at least I don’t like to think that. My sewing machine is over 10 years old and still running strong. My mom is still using her 30 year old Bernina. Some people actually prefer to work on older sewing machines because their parts were made of metal and, therefore, more resilient than our modern day machines with plastic parts. In fact, many people who service sewing machines warn about even sewing heavy fabrics such as denim and canvas on new machines, because they just can’t handle the fabric and can possibly break the machine. Regardless of what machine you use, as long as you take good care of it, it should last for years. I would actually recommend using your current machine to get comfortable with sewing and comfortable with your machine. Trust me when I say that once you know your machine well, you can easily move to a different machine and quickly get acclimated to it. After you’ve been sewing for awhile, you’ll know what you like to sew and therefore what you need in a machine. My machine has all kinds of fancy stitches and I only utilize about 10% of its functions. I could get by on a much simpler machine. If the main thing you want to do is machine quilting, then you only need a basic machine, because you’ll mostly be doing straight stitches. If you want to mainly work with denim, then you’ll need an industrial machine. For apparel sewing you can get by with a basic machine as long as it has our favorite, the buttonhole stitch. Want to make bathing suits? Then you’re probably going to want to invest in an overlock machine. I would only get a fancy embroidery machine if you see yourself consistently wanting professional looking embroidery, but those tend to be the most expensive machines. Not only that, but then you have to buy the embroidery cards separately. Anyways, I’m sure that’s more than you even wanted to know about machines but I hope it helps in your decision. 🙂
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