Sewing - University Place,WA

Updated on October 12, 2011
M.G. asks from Fairfield, CA
11 answers

Hi all I'm very new to sewing. I can manually sew on buttons and create a decent enough hem to last a few weeks however I was looking into getting a sewing machine but am unsure where to start. I know I want something very basic that can manage simple tasks such as mending clothing and perhaps sewing large pieces of cloth, say for creating a simple costume. I am a novice to this and I figured tons of you mommies out there might know where I should begin. I am not interested in embroidery, or anything fancy. THANK YOU!

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answers from San Antonio on

I agree with 1stTimeMommy. Also, after you read online about these machines (I read ratings ALL the time), go on craigslist. Likely, someone bought a nice machine thinking they'd use it all the time and it's sitting there collecting dust.

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answers from Dallas on

even though you want something basic right now, you should typically get a machine that is one step above your current sewing a lot of "basic" machines are kind of flimsy for lack of a better word, they arent as heavy & it makes it harder to sew when they shake then entire time lol

I would recommend this one or something similar, it is fairly basic but does more than just 4 stitches which is what a very low end basic model does. & you will definitely want more than that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Hi! I learned to sew about 4 years ago because I had a whim that I wanted to learn to make quilts.... weird I know. My first machine was the Singer Simple from walmart (and Im sure other places). It was as the name suggests, simple. It got me through the confusion and also ALOT of finished products! It was a great starter and affordable too. Good luck and happy sewing!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I found some fabric shops have sewing circles that meet there on a regular basis. I happened to stumble on to one of them because my wife was looking for some fabric to make a quilt. All these ladies got together to sew and gossip and share lunch. They had all been sewing for years and were a wealth of information.

If you found a sewing circle like that they could certainlly give you some real life information on the best machine to buy.

Call some of the mom and pop fabric shops and see if they have a sewing circle that meets in their shop. Then go and meet them.

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

I agree that I got my first and second sewing machine at Wal Mart. I went with Singer over Brother when I read the reviews and I guess I've heard of Singer more as a reputable brand. I make all kinds of quilts and I've had success with my basic machine. The only reason I had to buy a second one was b/c my son broke the back stitch button on my first machine. So... nothing to do w/the product, but Him!!! :-)

I think it's perfect for a beginner! And I agree with what 1st Time Mommy said about just buying a little material to get started. I've been sewing for years and I still get out of control and buy more material than I need. I have a whole box full of random material I don't know what to do w/!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Go browse around Target or Walmart, they have plenty of basic machines, I loved the Singer machines, not sure if they make those anymore.. but any brand is good - costs from $69.99 up to $99.99, depending on the make.

Go have fun looking.. you can't go wrong. It will say on the box if it is an overlocker or if it can do embroidery - so you just dont pick those.. LOL...

But seriously, if you want to spend less than $80 I am sure all you will find are basic machines.

Good luck shopping, and have fun while you're at it.. but dont go bezerk like I did and buy tons of cute fabric, thinking about different projects all at once.. I now have a box full of bits and bobs and fabric pieces I have no clue what to do with it....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Medford on

I work in a theatrical costume shop and what I would recommend is a machine that has as much metal construction as possible. I personally own a Bernina 1008, which is all metal inside and out. They are very durable and dependable. At my work, we mostly use industrial machines that no hobby stitcher would want to purchase, but the few domestic machines we have are either Bernina or Juki. Singer is still a decent brand, but most of the construction is plastic. If you can get a hold of an older model Singer, you may find one that is made of metal. I would also recommend avoiding any machine that has an on board computer for embroidery. It's just one more thing to break and if the computer goes down, the machine is dead, even if there is nothing wrong with the working parts of the machine. They are also much more expensive to service. Happy stitching!



answers from Oklahoma City on

I think the beginning seamstress would find that the easiest patterns are the ones that say "It's Sew Easy", these are made for the beginner. You might also find out if the store offers beginning sewing lessons to those wanting to learn.



answers from Dallas on

I like Singer or Brother for a first machine. Check your local Craigs List. Many people sell sewing machines there.

Have fun learning! :)



answers from Portland on


I used to teach sewing to teenagers years ago and, although I have a fancy and expensive machine, I think what most people need and use the most are machines that have a straight stitch, a backstitch, and a zigzag stitch. I have found that some of the lightest weight machines are convenient, but my experience has been that the plastic tends to break down over time and isn't very reparable. I would check out Consumer Reports as others have mentioned, take a look at different basic machines at places like Joann Fabrics or a sewing shop, determine what you can and cannot live without, and then even consider craigslist as a backup option. Some of the older machines are really great and last a long time for what you need. Best of luck and please let us know what you find! Take care and happy sewing!



answers from Seattle on

Go to the library and check with Consumer's Reports to find the best sewing machine for your needs. Don't just go to a store and buy one. You want one that will operate with out breaking down. There are things like needle placement, gears, etc. that are to be considered. Name recognition is part of it, but price is not as important as longevity. Since you don't want anything fancy that's good. I had a repair man once say "keep it simple--that way there is less to go wrong".

Also consider taking a beginners course at a local store--Joanne's has lots. It will be the best thing you will ever do. You will learn how your machine works, how to thread it, how to thread the bobbin. These things sound easy, but it helps to have someone tell you how to do it, rather to learn it by yourself. They will also help you learn how to read a pattern.

Most of all, have fun sewing. You will be surprised what you can do.

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