Need a new sewing machine!

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Flowerfairy
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Need a new sewing machine!

Postby Flowerfairy » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:45 pm

I inherited a really good Pfaff sewing machine from my Mum which I've used for years, but just recently it's seemed to be a bit unwell. I took it to a local shop for servicing and it turns out that a gear wheel has split, it's a major job to fix and there's no guarantee that after I've spent the £150 getting it fixed that something else won't go wrong. After a conversation with the lady in the shop who was very helpful, it looks like it might be a better idea to just buy a new sewing machine. Now, this is something of a dilemma as I wasn't planning on buying a new one, I don't use the old one that much and I don't have £150 waiting in my back pocket to be spent in the sewing machine shop. However, I am trying to encourage DD1 to make some of her own clothes and it is useful to have a sewing machine so I'm not completely averse to the idea. What I don't know, though, is what sort of sewing machine I should go for if I replace it.

My Pfaff sewing machine had all sorts of fancy stitches on it which I've never used, but I don't want to go for something too basic as it would be a shame not to have the option of doing something more technical if DD1 really gets into dressmaking. The lady in the shop was offering me a Frister + Rossman cub or a Janome (J3-18 or similar) as a replacement which would cost around the £150 I'd have spent on the repair. She also said they have some second hand machines that would have been more expensive but are obviously cheaper as they're second hand.

Does anyone have any advice on what's a good sewing machine brand? The shop lady said that spares for European sewing machines are very expensive (so that's Husqvarna, Pfaff and maybe F+R?) and Janome is a Japanese brand which I have no experience of, so I'm stuck! They also sell Elna but I've never heard of those either!
I blog at http://www.winwickmum.co.uk and have created the Sockalong, a series of tutorials to teach beginners how to knit socks

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perigeri
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Re: Need a new sewing machine!

Postby perigeri » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:28 pm

Hya FF some of the old machines are proper good old work horses and last for years , seems like yours is ready to retire and like you said theres no guarantee it will last and £150 sounds a lot for a repair even if it is a Pfaff...

anyway we just bought my niece a lovely Janome sewing machine for £99 has about 20 different stitches on it , and I know for a fact she will not use hardly any of them , as with a lot of sewists :smile: I`m sure some of the lady sewers on our forum may disagree :smile:

Have you got a Dunhelm mills near you they have a really good selection of machines at the moment , from £60 and Janome have a pretty good reputation , dont know if this is any help ..

I will say as long as it does straight stitch and zig zag and if your lucky buttonhole stitch thats about all you will use...unless you specialise in embroidery or want the fancy stitches .hope it helps
Geri

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Aisles
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Re: Need a new sewing machine!

Postby Aisles » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:16 am

I had the same thing with one of my singers and got told it would cost £160 to repair.

I then found the singer sewing machine website which told me how to change the cog myself and I only paid just under £10 for the little cog.


It's the sewing machine engineers time you'll be paying for and some of them charge a heck of lot for a 10minute job and they'll overcharge on the parts as well grrrrr.

I agree about older machines often being built to last much longer than a lot of the new flimsy machine's that are out now adays. Just make sure you've got one that's been looked after ie had good regular services.

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Flowerfairy
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Re: Need a new sewing machine!

Postby Flowerfairy » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:39 pm

Thanks for your replies, Peri and Aisles. We do have a Dunelm Mill store quite close by so I might go and have a look there. I'm going to pick my machine up from the shop tomorrow so I'll see what they're offering me there for the money, but to be honest, I think it might end up being a Christmas present now. It's a bit of a nuisance as DD1 was just getting into the idea of making clothes for herself, but my car needs new tyres and I can only spend my money once!

Aisles, I've had look on Google to see if I could do the replacement myself and I don't think it's possible. Apparently the manufacturers are now only producing one of two gear wheels (so I'd be stuck if the other one broke) and it's really awkward to get at which is why I'd need an engineer to do it for me.

I like the look of the Janome machines better than the Frister + Rossman the lady was telling me about, so I'm pleased to know they've got a good reputation. I'm tempted to just try to keep running my Pfaff until it refuses to go any more - Christmas is only a few months away, after all!
I blog at http://www.winwickmum.co.uk and have created the Sockalong, a series of tutorials to teach beginners how to knit socks

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ContinentalCat
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Re: Need a new sewing machine!

Postby ContinentalCat » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:16 pm

If you don't use the fancy stitches, go for a simple one, with straight stitch and zigzag. Are you able to trade in your Pfaff? My dealer will make me a good deal, as he uses old and partially broken Pfaffs for parts.

I have no idea if spare parts for European machines are more expensive, and of course you could argue if European machines still exist; almost all brands outsource production these days, and one of the few still made on the continent is Bernina, but that will cost you an arm and a leg anyway. Here is a great blog post on different brands and what's what these days.

I've heard good things about Janome, and as for Japanese made machines: my Melson from the mid-fifties is still going strong and one of the best I've ever had.

Personally, I would go for a secondhand every time: they're better built and more sturdy. Car boot sales, flea markets, the local village news; all could help locate a second-hand one. Or tell people you're looking for a machine, chances are a lot of folks have one in the attic.

I rescued an old Pfaff from the scrap heap earlier this week: it's from the mid-fifties, built like a tank (made in Germany) and still works. The OH promised to fix the power cable for me, and then it can be added to my ever growing collection. It was just sitting in someone's attic and got donated to our village flea market, but nobody was interested.

3314

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Flowerfairy
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Re: Need a new sewing machine!

Postby Flowerfairy » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:40 pm

Thanks for your thoughts, CC - I've just read the blog post and now my head is reeling! :smile: I think I need to do some careful research before I launch in and buy a machine - after all, I don't really want to buy another one unless we find that we need something technically superior - and I always like to think I've got a good deal for my money. Who would have thought buying a sewing machine could be so complicated!
I blog at http://www.winwickmum.co.uk and have created the Sockalong, a series of tutorials to teach beginners how to knit socks

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ContinentalCat
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Re: Need a new sewing machine!

Postby ContinentalCat » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:15 am

It is complicated, isn't it?

Fingers crossed your Pfaff will hold out for a bit longer; and maybe you and DD1 could try and decide what you both want from a machine and take it from there, possibly by looking out for used ones (imo, always the better value for money).

Even if you're really into dressmaking, you don't need fancy stuff - unless you like it, of course! I sew a lot these days, but I don't use any fancy options. Most of my sewing is done on the old machines (straight and zigzag) I bought a used overlocker/serger a few years ago; it's only 3-thread, but that suffices for finishing seams and such. I don't need a coverlock, as I use a twin needle in my Lewenstein for what I call 't-shirt' hems. But lots of seamstresses can go without overlockers, as there are so many other ways of finishing to a high standard.

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artNat
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Re: Need a new sewing machine!

Postby artNat » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:54 pm

I have the same problem :shades:

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Fillip
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Re: Need a new sewing machine!

Postby Fillip » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:57 pm

Hello! I have many machines. No machine can beat the Singer featherweight for straight stitching & it is so portable. You can choose Singer Start 1234 or Singer 7258 100-Stitch. I found an interesting review here http://bestsewingmachinesguide.com/. Maybe, depending on your sewing, everyone may have a slightly different dream machine.
Last edited by Fillip on Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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artNat
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Re: Need a new sewing machine!

Postby artNat » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:38 pm

Thank you, Fillip :knit:


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