Monday, January 2, 2012

Sewing Machines

The nice thing about my wife never reading my blog is that I can readers for help in figuring out which sewing machine to get her and have no risk that she will find out about my plans!  She has been borrowing my daughter's sewing machine (a Kenmore we bought at Sears maybe fifteen years ago).  She would like her own sewing machine.  Nothing fancy--she mostly makes Elizabethan outfits and does a little repair of clothes.  Automatic threading is important.  It doesn't need a computer, or 89 different stitch patterns, or embroidery options, or the ability to start thermonuclear war.  She needs a basic sewing machine.

Singer has something called a SINGER 3116 Simple Sewing Machine, but the reviews on are very negative.  The reviews for this Brother CS6000i Sew Advance Sew Affordable 60-Stitch Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine
are quite good and in a machine that is reasonably priced.  The SINGER 2259 Tradition 20-Stitch Sewing Machine
seems to have positive reviews, and is only a bit more expensive than that the Simple.  The SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Model Sewing Machine
, in spite of the name, really isn't, although most reviewers indicated that it worked pretty well.  (Perhaps so called to distinguish from the not very functional Singer Simple, for the same reason that at some fast food chains, there is no "small" soft drink?)  It does have a metal frame and stainless steel bed plate, unlike the Brother.  My first reaction is that this is somewhat important, but perhaps one of you sewing experts can enlighten me.


  1. I've got the Brother model you link to. After years of using well maintained borrowed straight-stitch machines dating from the '50s and thrift-store purchased machines even older, I find it simple and reliable.

  2. I have a babylock crafter's choice and love it. Nice stitch selection (many utilitarian with a few decorative), bobbin winder, drop in loading for bobbin, and automatic threading that is easy to use and works quite well.

    It might not be a lower cost machine but it is easy to use and feels like it will last a long time.

  3. Beware of Singer .. IIRC the successor company sold the naming rights to group that slapped the name on very cheaply made imports. That may have changed since I was watching the market closely (late 1980s-early 1990s) but I'd be careful.

    My ex-wife does a lot of sewing and has used Babylock machines for a number of years. I'd also look at Brother and Husqavarna.

  4. I have a Pfaff with a very helpful top presser foot (I believe Pfaff calls it "IDT"), which I like.

    I can't comment on their current lineup, by my Tipmatic, purchased used, is an excellent machine... but not quite in the $150-200 price range, even now.

  5. i would stick with one of the less expensive Janome or Bernina machines. You will pay more, but the quality is much better than Singer or Brother.