Sewing machine advice?

I'm looking for a sewing machine. I'm not advanced or anything, but I'm familiar and comfortable sewing. I have a somewhat limited budget, let's say $200 max, and I don't need anything fancy. Basically, I'm looking for a basic, easy to use, relatively inexpensive sewing machine. I'm planning to make pretty basic clothes, bags, etc.

It would be a great help to have some sense of what models would best meet my needs (new or used). Thanks!!

I don't really have any preference in brand or anything, but I have this Brother sewing machine. (it actually looks like it is cheaper now from when I bought it, $155 now)  I haven't used it a lot a lot, but so far I like it and it works well.  

Don't forget to get the right bobbins when you get a sewing machine.  I never knew machines used different ones, but they do!
stncilr4 years ago
Look at salvation army/ goodwill stores, i got an sears sewing maching to suit my needs for about 20$. made in the 80's it is build like a tank, alot better than the cheaper built recent models.
mole14 years ago
Consider looking for a used machine. A lot of people have switched to computerized models. You may be able to find an older strictly mechanical machine within your price range. For today's fabrics you'll want something with a zigzag stitch. You might check Craigslist and want adds and estate sales as well as dealers. Make sure that you get to try it out. Take regular (un-starched) fabric with you, so you can make sure the machine runs and does what you need. Dealers usually have starched fabric samples that won't tell you anything about tension. If I were looking today I would look for a 1960 to 1980 totally mechanical Bernina.
If you live in the US then go to a Joann Fabric and craft store and talk to the Viking reps there. They can point you in the right direction and recommend a good machine for you.