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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sounds like the George Foreman Lean, Mean Grilling Machine, but I think you know what I mean. :)

I'm looking for an intermediate sewing machine, so that I don't have to sew by hand, but don't have to have the whole kit and kaboodle. I had a sewing machine, but sold it (enjoying it, Darlene?) because I just couldn't figure the darn thing out. That always made me laugh, because I'm pretty good with machines and technology, but the sewing machine got the best of me.

So, I'm wondering...is there anything out there that I could use that would make my sewing work easier, but isn't quite as complicated (I know it's not complicated for most of you, but trust me, it was for me) as a regular machine?

I'd appreciate any advice or thoughts you all might have.
 

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Walmart has a fair assortment of sewing machines ranging from simple to complicated and I think the price range is pretty reasonable. You could always check out craigslist or freecycle-dot-org probably, too. I have a sewing machine that is kind of complicated and I have to say, I only ever use the two basic stitches (straight and zigzag) and I would have no problem with it if I were to downgrade. :)
 
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Go online and read comments.We ended up w/ targets online machine and I like it ok. It will never be my moms metal hand me down machine. The bobbin winders and self threaders get too cheaply made sometimes. You don't want to get too frustrated. Joanne fabric sells machines and gives classes too,some just on operations.
 

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~I have the most basic machine I think you can get. It's a 20 year old Brother with a straight stitch and zig-zag. It takes 15 seconds to thread it.
I clean out the lint, drop in a little oil and change the needle occasionally(and I'm so lazy that that's every 2 or 3 months)and it's never given me one bit of trouble.
Just get the most basic machine that a good company makes(Brother is a division of Singer I think).
Mine was $60 in 1993 and even though it was a gift, I think it has paid for itself 10 times over.~
 

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bottom of the line janome new home.
 
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I second the Janome recommendation.

www.patternreview.com has tons of sewing machine reviews as well as patterns.
 
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I got a Brother from Walmart for under $100. It does anything I would want. Most of my stuff tends to straight seams, lol. It will buttonhole, um, and other stuff I haven't needed. I've actually been very pleased and I didn't expect to be.
 
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If you sew a lot,and do drapes and upholstery or denim weight fabrics, I'd say look for a used high-end basic (mine's a Bernina 830 from the 1970's). Sometimes the sewing machine stores can help there. If you're an occasional stitcher using lightweight fabrics, go for the lightweight machines.
 
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Janome or Necchi - don't buy from walmart, the price may be right but the reliability and frustration will never be the same as a good basic machine. Singer is ain't what it used to be!

Check out quilt shops and sewing machine repair shops that you trust.

good luck - in my sewing room: pfaff embroidery, necchi mechanical, singer 1949 featherweight, 1930's singer hand crank, 1863 singer treddle and 1930 singer treadle
 

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in my sewing room: pfaff embroidery, necchi mechanical, singer 1949 featherweight, 1930's singer hand crank, 1863 singer treddle and 1930 singer treadle
~Quick thread hijack, but I would love to see pictures of your machines! The older designs are beautiful. In fact, I think I'll start a thread for pics of our machines....~
 

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I'll have to ask my daughter to borrow a camera......my oldest machine has a fiddle base and was absolutely free! When I purchased the hand crank the lady said if you want that one you can have it. Bless her heart! Someone had thrown it out in the street so the cabinet is beyond repair. But I always think about the stories that machine could tell.
 

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I got a Brother from Walmart for under $100. It does anything I would want. Most of my stuff tends to straight seams, lol. It will buttonhole, um, and other stuff I haven't needed. I've actually been very pleased and I didn't expect to be.
I also have this same machine. I don't do a lot of sewing, but have done curtains, baby blankets, mending and have had it for years, it's very simple.
 
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A tribute to my Sears Kenmore sewing machine

I got my Sears Kenmore sewing machine with its own wooden sewing cabinet (looks like a little wooden desk, 1 drawer) on sale from the catalogue in the early 1970's; paid about $150-175??.
I'm still using it today.:thumb:
It's got straight stitch, zigzag, mending stitch, blind hem stitch, is very easy to thread, oil and clean, and use. It does buttons and buttonholes. It has only a few attachments for the various stitches; and includes one for use with light fabrics so the fabric doesn't slip.

I've used it for sewing just about everything:
Clothing, drapes, lingerie, baby clothes and diapers, mending and patching, alterations, hemming, crafts (including plastic), applique (with patience), quilting, sewing leather with a leather needle, sheer fabric with a fine needle, sewing real fur.

Unfortunately, it cannot do the work of a real "serger-type" sewing machine, but I've learned how to use it for some edgings too--just by overcasting an edge with a narrow zigzag, (get the tension right with both hands), and then trimming the threads close to the edge.
 

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I think you'd like one of the old pre-electronic machines. One of my machines is a Singer that I bought second-hand for $50.00 about 30 years ago, and it was several years old then. It is a good, strong basic machine. Try a sewing machine store where they should have some of these recently serviced machines.

I feel that some of the machines available at Walmart just aren't good quality.
 

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I had a sewing machine, but sold it (enjoying it, Darlene?) because I just couldn't figure the darn thing out.
Yep! I need to pull it out soon to shorten some curtains for Marks new apt. :thumb:
 
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get out your phone book, call all the sew-n-vac stores and ask if they have used sewing machines.

Sometimes it is better to purchase a used machine (within your price range) and get a real person to help you when you run into a problem.

You can find a really great older used machine from sew-n-vac stores that has been completely refurbished.

Buying from Wal-Mart, Target, Costco is not a deal at all! actually it ends costing you more when these machines need repairs! there is no one to talk to about how to thread or if you need something explained.

I hate plastic machines! I am an old Singer lover! the best machine on the market is a used Singer Slant-O-Matic either a 401 or 500 (see ebay) or a Bernina. Either one of these machines will last you a lifetime.

You want to be able to grow into your machine. As you learn you find it can do more.

I love my Singer 401 because it will sew leather, 6 layers of denim as well as the finest silk or batiste. All metal gears and though they were built in late 50's -early 60's.. they still run as if they were new.
It is easy to repair, operate, buy parts and accessories for and anyone can thread one of these!
 

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Is there an In Between Sewing Machine

I just got a new sewing machine and I am having a little trouble with it. It is a Brother CS-6000i from Walmart. It sews really well except on the training pants that I am in the process of making. It skips stitches like crazy on the pul. Anyone else have a Brother that can offer some advice. I guess I should have checked with everyone here before I bought it, I would probably have chosen a different brand. Any help please. Thanks.
 

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I just got a new sewing machine and I am having a little trouble with it. It is a Brother CS-6000i from Walmart. It sews really well except on the training pants that I am in the process of making. It skips stitches like crazy on the pul. Anyone else have a Brother that can offer some advice. I guess I should have checked with everyone here before I bought it, I would probably have chosen a different brand. Any help please. Thanks.
~Are you using a fresh needle appropriate for the the PUL?
~Have you adjusted your foot pressure? Sometimes synthetics slip around too much for the feed dogs to grab consistently at normal pressure.
 
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