Saturday, January 29, 2011

Seeking Advice...

About sewing machines.

I've kinda-sorta mentioned this before, but I HATE my sewing machine.  I swear that I spend at least as much time fighting with it as I do sewing with it.  It's a cheap-o bottom of the line Singer that was awesome when I got it 3 1/2 years ago.  Mostly because it was a sewing machine and for the two or three (easy) projects I had time to tackle a year, it did what I needed it to.  Which was: make it so that I didn't have to hand sew the whole thing.

Fast forward to now, where I sew just about every day, it's causing a blood pressure raising amount problems.  I'm so tired of fighting tension, needles, fabric, TENSION.  ARG!

I've been saving up to get a serger, because, let's be honest, I need one of those too.

So here's where the advice seeking comes in:  Do I get a new and MUCH better sewing machine first or the serger??

The hubster thinks I should get the serger because I already have a sewing machine so getting a new one can wait.

I'm starting to think that I will go crazy if I have to keep fighting the darn thing.

So, my sewing friends, what to do?

Any machine recommendations will also be VERY welcomed.

I seriously appreciate any insight you have.

Thanks all!


  1. Sewing machines do need to be cleaned, tuned up and oil regularly.
    If your machine is about 3 years and it hasn't been cleaned or oiled... it just may need a bit of TLC. Be sure, that you find someone who knows what they're doing with sewing machines... ask around, ask your friends who sew of who they take their machine too.

    I hope that this will remedy your situation.

  2. I was in the same boat last summer. I had a bottom-of-the-line Singer that was great during college, but I had outgrown its capabilities. I ended up getting a used Husqvarna Viking Sewing/Embroidery machine for the same price that my mom bought her Pfaff sewing machine (also used). While it will not cut off the edge of a material, it will finish the edge. (see my post for handkerchief skirts and the finished edge here:

    There are tons of different stitches to choose from, and I think it is just about the best decision I ever made!

    I am saving for a serger right now because I would like to be able to cut off the edge while I sew and have a more finished edge.

    I hope this helps! Let us know what you decide.


  3. 3 years ago I bought a refurbished brother sewing machine on for $130. I thought it would get me by for awhile until I could afford a better machine. But it has been the best sewing machine. I sew on it almost daily and when I have any trouble with it, all it takes to make it work again is cleaning the lint out, under and around the bobbin. I would totally suggest a brother, even though they don't cost much, mine has been a total work horse.

  4. For myself, I've sewed on old machines, cheap machines, and pricey ones - all with varied results. My new $400 machine annoys the heck out of me. I wonder if sometimes it is my lack of patience or knowledge about how the machine is meant to work?

  5. Thanks for the advice guys! Karianne, I agree with you, it prolly does need a tune up, but I don't know that it's entirly worth paying for a tune up. I've really outgrown the machine. I need something that will handle thicker fabrics. I need something that won't have constant tension issues. (Which it's had from the beginning. But it wasn't as much of an issue then cause I didn't use it as much. Outta sight outta mind right? lol.)
    I really do need a more versetile machine.
    I have been looking at the Viking line. I haven't looked too in depth though because I know that I need around $500 more dollars to get the one that I (probably) need/want. I hadn't thought of getting a referbished one though. In reality, I didn't realize that they sold refurbished ones. Of course I know that you can buy used ones, but with something like a sewing machine, I didn't want to buy one that was completely messed up but not realize that it was messed up til too late, you know?
    Buying a refurbished one from someplace like Overstock doesn't feel as scary as buying a used one from some random person that was selling theirs.

    I seriously appreciate your comments/thoughts guys! Thank you!!! :)

  6. I don't have a serger either - its on my wish list. I have a Pfaff machine and I love it! I do find I have to clean the lint out regularly but I do a lot of quilting so that builds up the lint quickly. Have fun choosing!

  7. If I were in that position I think I would buy a cheap sewing machine for now and get a good serger, too. You can always use the cheap machine as a spare once you save money to get a better one. I think a serger is so important to make good quality clothing.

  8. I have to tell you that I had my Singer for like 19 years and finally decided to get something a little more fancy....I have NEVER shopped HSN but it caught my eye and they had a Singer sewing machine and serger combo....I debated for a couple days...looked online....priced individually and finally just ordered it...the serger came with almost $200 worth of extra feet attachments and both with tons of accessories and dvd's of tutorials and inspirations. HSN also gives you a 4 or 5 month payment plan, which worked out perfect for me and I absolutely love them both and do a LOT of sewing....I went back about 6 months later and was checking out embroidery machines and ended up buying the Singer futera embroidery machine with around $300 worth of software... they don't offer it anymore but I love it also and made my money back double and have only had it a year....the embroidery machine jammed up right around Christmas and when I called Singer they said to ship it to them and they'll extend my warranty out so it wouldn't cost me anything....they did just that! Anyway, i'd check out HSN to see what deals they have, regardless if you don't take them at least once a year to get tuned up they won't last very long, especially they way we wear them out sewing and styling everything we see!
    Good luck and let us know what you decide!

  9. I'd go with a new machine. I personally took a chance on a brand I didn't know well and have regretted it. I bought a Juki; they do make nice machines, but not the 'cheap-o' one I bought. Sigh. If I had to do it again, I'd go with a Viking. I used to use my MILs ancient Viking machine and it was fabulous. I've never heard anyone complain about them. She now has a lovely Bernina embroidery machine that I also enjoy using, but it's not really in my price range!

    If you want to get a nice machine you might want to consider buying a used one from a reputable dealer.


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