I Need Sewing Machine Recommendations!

Last night my sewing machine died. After 10 years of weekly abuse it gave up. My husband bought this for me when we were first married and expecting our first child. He left it on the kitchen table with a note saying,
“Make something pretty.”
I was thrilled when I came home from work. It was the first sewing machine that was MINE and it worked beautifully. I learned the basics of sewing as a teenager, but didn’t have the time or money to really get into it until later after I was married.
It’s hard to say how many projects I have made on this machine, but it definitely earned its keep.
The notions box broke off about 5 years ago and as you can see so did part of the bobbin spinner. But it was still functional so I kept on. I only had to take it in once when the gears somehow reverted and it would only sew in reverse….that was fun, ha!
But last night it gave up and the price to have it serviced and fixed just doesn’t seem worth it when we didn’t pay much for it to begin with.
And so I am in search of another machine….and soon! I use it on a weekly basis!
I’m tempted to buy another Kenmore since I was pretty happy with this one, but I’d like to look at other options first.
Which is why I am turning to you ladies! I figure if I want some good recommendations I should go to the source.
I don’t need anything fancy and the budget doesn’t allow for a Bernina.
So what would you recommend?


  1. says

    We ordered this Brother CS6000i (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JQM1DE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000JQM1DE&linkCode=as2&tag=helplitthand-20) for our kids for Christmas. We bought it as an inexpensive machine to teach the kids on because it has a speed control button on it. All I was looking for was an okay machine that could go slow. I’ve been very pleased with it. It actually sews a lot better at this point that my “good” machine that is 13 or so years old. You really can’t beat the quality of this one for the price.

    • says

      Thank you Polly! I never thought much about Brother machines, but tonight I’ve had several friends recommend looking at them again because of the great reviews they are getting lately!

  2. says

    I liked your story about your machine. My husband surprised me with a Kenmore when my kids were babies too. He knew it would make me happy to be able to sew clothes for them and it was one of my best gifts ever. I am pretty sure I got a Kenmore because we were young and poor and he had a Sears credit card, but I am still using it 10 years after the 25 year warranty expired so he did good. I bought one of the lower priced Brothers for my granddaughter for Christmas after reading tons of reviews, and have decided that I am going to get a Brother Project Runway to replace my old Kenmore soon. I am looking more in the mid-range but haven’t decided yet if I want to spring for the embroidery model. I have read good reviews and a lot of my online friends are super happy with the Brother embroidery machines too. If you are a Swagger you can use your amazon gift cards and get a great deal there. That’s what I plan to do. Hope you find something soon. I know I would be lost without my machine. I don’t use it every day, but just the thought of not having one would make me feel like I have a million projects I need to do now.

    • says

      Doni, that’s exactly what I am thinking. All of a sudden I am thinking of the cub scout badges I need to sew and projects that I wanted to do in the near future! I am definitely dependant on that machine! Thank you for your recommendations! I was looking at amazon.com tonight and saw the Project Runway machine. So many to choose from, it is kind of fun reading the reviews! Have a great night!

  3. says

    i purchased a used bernina from sewitsforsale, a yahoo.com group and could not be happier … actually i have two older beninas and love, love, love them … and 830 — a veritable workhorse, and the 1230, an electronic workhouse (check them out online by searching — they’re both awesome and can out sew many newer machines) …
    if you are against purchasing used machines online, then go to a dealer and look at their used machines … not only do you get the quality used machine, but you get the dealers help, too …. i would purchase a used machine before one of the newer *other* machines … for one, the older machines are made of more metal, rather than just plastic and will hold together for years and through all kinds of sewing from prom dresses (not there yet??? LOL) to scout badges, etc (on the scout badges thing, i taught my grandson to sew on his own scout badges this past december — he’s 11 — and he loved it … by hand!!!)

    hope this helps …. darlene

    • says

      Thanks Darlene, it does help! Funny you mentioned scout badges….I was sewing on cub scout patches when I decided that my machine was done! I will keep an open mind and look at used machines too. I figured I’d buy new, but I will see what I can find. Either way I’ve decided I want an older machine or a newer one made with more metal. I loved my Kenmore, but it did lose some parts over the years. Have a great weekend!

  4. says

    I also have a Brother 6000 (I’ve had it for about 3 years) and love it! It’s so easy to load the bobbin. Buttonhole are also a breeze :).

  5. says

    I love my Babylock sewing machine, embroidery machine and serger. If you buy from a good store you’ll get free owners classes. My machines are so easy to use, yes, even the server! I’m still learning all that they can do! Babylock has some good no interest financing. It allowed me to buy a better machine, no money out of savings thus I could still get interest on my money and my payments are not high yet the machine will be paid for early. They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse!

  6. says

    We have 4 Viking machines in our Relief Society closet and they sew beautifully. They’re not super fancy or anything, but they really work well. They’re smooth and quiet and I have been really impressed with them. My mother-in-law has a Pfaff and really loves it. I think it was kind of pricey, though. I have a Singer that I like. I haven’t pushed it super hard, yet, though. I have had troubles with the low end Brother machines but it’s probably just because they’re low end. My mother in law also has a Brother embroidery machine, which is really nice and works really well. One thing I should mention in general, though, is shirring. If you are going to buy a machine with a drop-in bobbin (which is SOOOO nice), you’ll have a rough time shirring. So if you do that much, I wouldn’t suggest a drop-in bobbin. I still haven’t figured out how to do it on my machine. I just can’t get the tension right for it.

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