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I'm looking to buy a simple, sturdy sewing machine. What's simple to use, and easy to afford?


I want to buy a sewing machine to use for beginner-to-intermediate projects. I want something simple to use, but sturdy, and affordable. My budget is $150, but preferably less. I don't need a lot of bells and whistles. I'll be using it mostly for hems and piecing fabrics together, possibly denim, but mostly flannels and jersey. Can anyone recommend a machine?

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Burf5 years ago
Possibly the best information you will find is HERE:

http://craftingagreenworld.com/2008/03/06/how-to-buy-a-used-sewing-machine/
NancySmart (author)  Burf5 years ago
Thank you! I appreciate the link:) This was very helpful information.
lizzyastro5 years ago
I strongly recommend going to your local dealer and seeing what they have in pre-loved machines. Older machines are often more strongly built - the more metal in the construction the more solid the machine will be. If you want to hem jeans & pants go for a machine with a free arm, it will make life much easier. I use a purely "mechanical" (no electronics) Toyota machine that is 23 years old and get it serviced regularly.  I have had to have one new motor and 2 new foot controls in that time,but I do use it a lot.  It even survived falling out of the van when I moved house!

If you are in the US try your local craigslist too, sometimes there are some bargains there, but see if you can try before you buy.

Once you have your machine remember to treat it well - oil it as instructed in the manual, get it serviced once a year, don't be afraid to change your needle and use the correct needle for your thread & fabric - advice here http://www.superiorthreads.com/education/needles/needles-using-the-right-needle

There is some good advice from experienced sewists here http://ickes.us/WhatSewingMachineShouldIBuy.aspx.

Good luck finding the right machine for you and your needs.

Lizzy
NancySmart (author)  lizzyastro5 years ago
Thank you for the link. It was helpful. I'm in the process of trying to track down the nearest dealer. (I recently moved to a fairly rural area, so some recon is required.) Your advice is much appreciated.

I'm looking forward to finding a beast from the past:)
caarntedd5 years ago
I agree with the others. Do a little research.
My wife wanted something cheap and simple to replace our old machine, and bought an Elna "sew fun". It has started to have a few minor problems that I believe would be solved with a bit of simple maintenance, but it has no lube holes, or instructions on how, where or when to lubricate. You basically need to dismantle the cover and oil any moving parts you can find, hopefully not getting oil anywhere that will end up on whatever you are sewing.

Cheaper/simpler is not always better.
NancySmart (author)  caarntedd5 years ago
Thanks for the feedback!