I would like to get a very simple, even I can use it machine all I want to do is make slip covers for dog beds, sew bindings round some horse blankets and trim out some saddle blankets, all very simple stuff.
I have no idea on makes, models, new used etc etc, obviously don't want to spend a lot just for bits and pieces, so any thoughts, ideas, recommendations?
Whatever you buy, make sure it is a metal base. The more steel the better. The plastic ones not only don't last, they put all kinds of static in your fabric.
Stay away from the new fangled computerized crap. Just more stuff to break and you won't use any of it. All you need is forward, backward, straight and zig-zag in various spi (stitches per inch). Make sure you can set your pressure foot tension -- that's because when you are stitching stuff that is thick you don't want as much pressure on the foot or you'll have trouble feeding through the fabric. Get at least one spare belt right away. Lastly, if you come across one with a free arm, that's easier to work with for blankets. All it means is that there is more room between the stitch area and the vertical housing on the right for the mechanical (belts) to the electric motor. But I have done king size quilt work on my normal machine.
If you plan on doing anything thick (like those blankets), make sure you practice first. There's a special touch needed to get those to work!
Singer is good and I have a a Nelco. I bought the Nelco because it's all metal and has just what I need and no more, plus had a 20 year warranty. When I had a problem, I called them up and they told me how to fix it over the phone. Great! I bought that machine in the mid to late 80's and it's still ticking along just fine! I doubt I'll ever need another.
New or used? Well, I guess that depends what you can find used. Some outlets will sell used ones that have been retuned. If it's a quality machine, that's fine. But if it's crap, well, then it's crap regardless if it's new or used. :)
Hi Golden Horse. If you are near Regina, check out Sears Bargain Centre on Broad Street. They frequently have scratch and dents on the floor. They're Kenmores but the price is reasonable and there is some warranty with them. One of mine is a Kenmore and I've used it long and hard. In my experience I have found electronics and bearings go first - something to consider if buying used. Also, if looking at used, try and look out for signs that it has been well maintained. Most machines, especially the older simpler models need an oiling every once in awhile. If you do decide to go used, take it for a good test ride. Try to go longer than just a couple of minutes and of course go through all the stitch options to make sure they are working. You want to run it for more than a couple of minutes because there may be problems that will not show up until the machine heats up with usage. Singer, Pfaff, Brother, Kenmore makes are the ones I see most frequently for sale in classifieds and at auctions in Sask and they are all pretty good machines if they have been looked after. Good luck.
Hi Chevaux, we are not to far from Regina, I'll go take a look at the scratch and dent store LOL. I'm a little reluctant to buy used I have no idea what I'm looking at, haven't used a machine for machine for many a year
My mom got a rather cheap one ($100 or so) about 10+ years ago and still use it. :) Unfortunately I don't know the brand. I'd be careful about used ones unless you know for sure what to look for/how to check if it's in a good condition.
I have a 1950's Necci, it is all metal and it is like a tank.
It weighs a ton and it will go through anything short of leather.
All I do is go forward and backward, but it did come with a box of accesories.
I bought it for $50 in 1975. I love it.
I agree with many of the above posters, metal and no computers.
I LOVE this new machine, It is extremely user friendly, durable and sews the heavier stuff like a champ. Just make sure you have the heavy duty needles appropriate for that stuff. But, it will also do finer stuff too. I have been teaching my daughter in law to sew on this one, since the others are just too complicated. You should be able to order online, and they are pretty affordable.