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Which sewing machine.

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I have decided to ask the big man in red for a new sewing machine for Christmas.


However, I am already befuddled by all the options out there :doh: What machine do you have? Would you recomend it?


I would like to sew more often, I have made clothes and belts recently but would also like to maybe try things like cushion covers, ringslings, and other more decorative items. It needs to be lightish, as I wont be able to leave it up because of the children and fairly simple to use and operate.



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I have a Bernina very heavy but super and bought it with money left by my dad. They do a lightweight model Activa 230 PSE with free walking foot for £695 but its a lot of money.

I also have a cheap machine that's lighter for workshops that does what I want but the quality is miles apart in smoothness of operation and ease of use.

I think you need to think what features are important and which ones you may use then look at which machines do that. You can try out at local shops and buy online for better prices.


For what you are doing I feel you should look at -

lightweight -under 6-7 Kg

Be able to drop feeddogs

Variable pressure foot so you can do thick, thin fabric.

Basic stitches (they all have that) but where you can vary the stitch length and width

Reverse sewing for finishing and starting.


How about this one, toyota have a good reputation




Or Janome are good how about http://www.sewingmachine-sales.co.uk/sewing-machine/janome/janome-j3-18-sewing-machine-150.html

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Same machine from a different seller. I've had two machines from this company, they are excellent if you decide to buy online. Good customer service and after sales back up.



I agree go for something lightweight and non computerised if you aim to be carrying it to classes. Computerised machine aren't keen on being carried about I believe!

Janome are fab! However, the SMD range from this site are highly recommended - they are their own models, made by Frisster and Rossman. Someone on here bought one recently as a cheap back up machine but was pleased with it.


They also send you a fabulous started kit of scissors and loads of threads! 8)


Edited to add: it was Plum who had the SMD! :lol: Are you still pleased with it Plum?

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I am going to go into town on Friday and check out the sewing machines in John Lewis :D


I've decided I'd like a hard cover, top loading bobbin, auto threader, drop feed and one step auto button hole (I dont like messing around with button holes and really like the idea of this).


Will this one be able to cope with several layers of fabric do you think?




I would be interested to hear what Plum thinks of hers :D

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My machine is great for what I want it for but it is not quality. Bear in mind I have been very spoilt having a Bernina which is like the rolls royce of machines and only let me down recently probably because I hadn't had it serviced in 8 years :oops: and cost me £68 to service


The SMD has coped with sewing my fabric bowls so guess that is quite a trial, and sews a good straight line with no problems with tension. However, it sews like a cheap machine i.e. sounds noisy and the threads tangle underneath if I don't hold them. I have broken the thread cutter and the needle threader doesn't work very well, the light has stopped working. It cost less than £100 and that was all I wanted to spend.


My advice is go for the best machine, most expensive (you get what you pay for) but get a good deal. Check what features you want and make sure it takes a walking foot :wink: If you are going to quilt then look at the space between the sewing bit and the upright. You can't beat going to a few shops and trying them or going to a stitching show and getting a bargain. If you want to come and try mine you are welcome -where do you live :D

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If you want to come and try mine you are welcome -where do you live :D


Thats a very kind offer but, sadly I am in SW London :lol: Perhaps another time. I shall go to JL I think, they have lots there. I am going to try and persuade the man in red that I deserve it early, so I can sew all my gifts nicely :lol:

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What about this one, from Janome




It doesn't have a hard case but not too worried as it has everything else (I think).


Still trying to get a budget guide from DH but have scared him considerably by telling him that some can be over £1000 :lol:


edit to add another machine....



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That Janome looks fabulous! I can't comment on the Pfaff - have never used them. Everyone at my patchwork class swears by their Janome and that one looks like a reasonable weight. Mine is a couple of kilos heavier and it is a pain!


Have to say I had an 'Esmerelda' and it didn't stand up to the heavy use that I required. I struggled to get the tension right on varying thicknesses of fabric; it didn't feed the fabric straight, I had to keep correcting it, and because it was much lighter it used to drift across the table as I worked. Having said that, my friend now has it and loves it, but she just does a bit of occasional patchwork. It is certainly easy to use.


I'd go for a Janome every time now (at least until I can afford a Bernina :wink: )

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I'm also going to get a sewing machine! Something not too complex but enough to keep me happy. I'm heading off to see the lady at John Lewis on Saturday with 200 quids worth of wedding pressie vouchers :D I'm thinking this should get me going..... :think:


"The Elna 2600 is simple to operate and ideal for keen crafts people. Enjoy the 20 stitch options, 4-step buttonhole function, drop feed dog, drop-in bobbin case and the useful adjustable foot pressure. This sewing machine comes complete with a protective hardcover for storage."


(I hear that drop feed dog and a drop-in bobbin is good. I can neither confirm nor deny this as haven't been within 10ft of a sewing machine since an unfortunate bobbin-tangling incident in the second year :lol: )

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I have a Husqvarna which my dealer recommended when I went in asking for a Bernina and found they were too expensive, this also was quite expensive, about 4 years ago. It sews beautifully and copes with everything, the only thing I would quibble about is because I'm left handed I would like the reverse button and the stitch finishing button to be on the left, but it's on the right of the machine.


I bought my daughter one of these a couple of years ago:




She has been delighted. It is a robust machine and they use these models at our local college as well.


Everyone seems to like a Janome.

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Resurecting this thread because I am SOOOO excited :dance:


Background. I was 40 at the beginning of August. DH gave me a fabulous gift of 6 sessions at my favourite (most expensive :oops: ) salon. He also gave me 6 visits to the Aveda Redchat salon for up to £100 per visit :shock: Now, I am keeping the hair gift, as I love the salon and I've had one visit to the Aveda spa but, though I enjoyed it, I dont really think I'd want to do so often as he has said I can go.


SO. Today, I did a deal with him, and traded my remaining 5 trips to the salon for my new sewing machine, instead of waiting till Christmas he is going to get it for me now. :dance::dance:


It will save him a fair bit too, as the machine is a fraction of the cost.


I am SO excited, ooh I think I might just explode, LOL.

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