Recently, I’ve been asked a few times what my thoughts were on sewing machines. For beginners, for people not wanting to spend much, etc. I have to admit this question sort of makes me giggle because what do I know about sewing machines? Not much! But since I’ve been asked more than once I thought I’d put my thoughts here so I could reference it instead of looking things up multiple times.
My sewing machine is a Bernina 1080. It’s about 15 years old and is a workhorse. I’ve only had to get it fixed once in the five years I have owned it and I don’t know that my mom ever had to get it fixed, so I think it holds up well. The time I had to take it in was when Boo got his hands on it (he loves dials!) so I really need to make a cover for it! I just keep fabric draped over it at the moment.
I know you can find those machines used, especially since many sewing machine stores have trade-in programs. I’ve read they’re a very popular used model since they hold up so well. I’ve never had experience with any other machine as we’ve had that one for so long!
There are lots of other good brands out there though, of course. I’ve heard good things about Singer, Viking (?), Janome, and even the White cheap-o brand that I think they carry at places like Walmart. It sort of depends on your expectations, I think. If I were shopping for a new machine I’d go try them out first. I don’t know anything about the fancy pants ones because I’ve never needed one of those. Although I wouldn’t mind a fancy pants serger 🙂
I’m sure there are more useful links out there, but should be a good place to start. I’ve also found that some online forums might have peeps to talk to. For example, I think I’ve read about sewing machines at The Babywearer. I’m sure there are sewing forums out there too, I just haven’t looked for them.
So that’s pretty much all I have! My mom pretty much taught me everything I know about sewing, and then I’ve learned more as I’ve read and tried out different projects, mostly inspired from the internet. There are SO many good ideas out there!
ETA: Heather Bailey of Freshcut fabric design fame recently posted her thoughts on sewing machines.