by haleymax 25 Dec 2015

I need some advice. My niece wants to learn to sew and embroider. She is 31 years old, a young mother and works full time. She has asked me what type of machine she should get. I have a Bernina 630, but she can't afford one like mine. What is a good, low cost, starter machine?


by cfidl 26 Dec 2015

I bought a used Brother se400 machine. I did not know about embroidery, as I bought it for the quilting stitches. It is a combo machine, which is really great for newbies. It was my workhorse until I dropped a thread and asked hubby to retrieve it! Lol!

by mi30kaja 26 Dec 2015

I have a Brother, actually 2 but think that Janome must be bringing out a New Model as my girlfriend has ordered one (Todays Model) which is much cheaper than I paid for my machines. Possibly selling the machines cheap before the New Model hits the shelves.

by babash 26 Dec 2015

I have Janome machines and love them. My advice for a new sewer is a machine that is light enough to pack away if it has to be because of no dedicated sewing room. It has to be easy to thread and easy to fill the bobbin.
When you are learning if these things take time you will get frustrated and decide sewing is not fun.

by Smokey12 26 Dec 2015

My advice, and what I have told others in my area, is to go to Wal-mart and buy what you an afford. That way, if you don't like sewing, you have not spent a small fortune on a fancy machine. If she finds she really likes sewing and gets into it, then go to a dealer and spend money. I have found about 50% of people didn't like sewing/embroidery work. The ones that did went on to dealers and got better machines when they could afford it. I started sewing on a machine from a PX in Germany. 30+ years later I have very good machines. In my area a cheap dealer Babylock is still over $500.00. Not a good price for young working people who don't know if they will stay with it, especially with long travel distances to the dealer. Just my opinion.

by patt1 26 Dec 2015

Hello, I too must say DO NOT BUY YOUR MACHINE FROM ANYONE BUT A REPUTABLE DEALER!!! And, a reputable dealer will probably have a good buy on a trade in from one of their customers at this time of year....that's how I was able to afford my 180 Bernina and I love it. I've had Babylocks and Janomes too but its really true in my experience that nothing sews like a Bernina...just my opinion. But , please buy from a reputable dealer not a big box store..they won't be able to help if a problem surfaces or answer her questions. Happy stitching...

by haleymax 26 Dec 2015

Thank you, Cuties for the advice.
I am going to get her to come to my home and let her try my machine before she buys one. Not to get her to purchase one like mine, but to give her the knowledge of what it is she would be doing. This way if she doesn't like it, she will not be out a great expense.

1 comment
sewfrenzie by sewfrenzie 26 Dec 2015

Mt daughter (28) is borrowing one of my older machines. She is just learning to sew. The nice thing about lending her a machine is I know the machine and can tell her what she needs to fix a minor problem. I also gave her the instruction book that comes with it. When I am explaining what the problem is I tell her to find something in the book so she can see what I'm talking about and see what I am trying to explain to her. Yes its an other machine Viking Husqvara 400 sewing machine, about 15-20 years old, but its also my favorite sewing machine so I know it inside and out. Very helpful for helping her over the phone since she's over an hour away. I agree with the comments about going to a local dealer after she has decided yes she wants to get a machine. Good quality used machines are much more affordable and in my area they will give you lessons so you can become efficient with your machine.

by dragonflyer 26 Dec 2015

I would also contact my local dealer...lots of good deals this time of year...I love BabyLock...and have some very reasonably priced macines...I would get at least 5x7 hoop if you can...

by anssmile 26 Dec 2015


Please do not buy a machine from any where else - please buy it at a dealer. When starting with a new machine, you have a lot of questions. A reputable dealer would be able to help you to get started, will give demonstrations on how to use the machine, and will help whenever you get stuck. Most of them gives formal lessons as part of the deal of buying the machine from them.

I had times where I could not use my machines for long periods at a time, and then I could not remember how to do certain things on my machine. My dealer helped me every time - and this goes for ordinary sewing machines, overlocks and embroidery machines. (I use a lot of different feet on my machines and often forgets how a certain foot works!)

Do yourself a HUGE favour and buy from a reputable dealer.

(I'm over 50 now and started with sewing machines before I was 18, and I still use a dealer)


1 comment
haleymax by haleymax 26 Dec 2015

I had told her that this would be the best way would be a dealer, because of all the perks. In the area we live, there are no dealers within 80 miles. Being a young mother working full-time, she will not be able to get many lessons. The instructions by phone or internet will be very helpful.

by 02kar Moderator 26 Dec 2015

I agree that her best deal would be to go to her local dealer and look at trade ins or demo machines. The machines are all checked and cleaned before being sold so it is like getting a new machine but at a good deal. And by buying it at a dealer, she will get tech support and lessons. I am a Babylock snob all the way, I will admit, but they do have great starter machines too and as she learns she can trade in and up. Take her to the local dealers and let her test stitch and talk to the dealer/employees. It will be a great lesson for her and open up a whole new world.

by dollygk 26 Dec 2015

Where are you living? In the US you can get a nice machine at Walmart, a Brother sew/embroidery, 4X4 machine, for about $290. It is the smallest of the Brother series and does a great job..... but for some reason the sewing is jerky, even on my Brother 1500 it is the same, lucky that I already had a sewing only, for plane sewing. Good juck!

by sandyqueen 26 Dec 2015

I would check Ebay. First sellers satisfaction rating & # items sold. Then would check machines of interest plus sellers warranty. I bought my Bernina 180 off Ebay in 1999 and it is still going strong. Check out newer models of any brand, hoop sizes etc.

Happy sewing.


by Leaha 26 Dec 2015

The dealers will have some trade ins and sales now, that's when i got my first one. She also needs to take the lessons they will offer and any other perks. I have Brother machines and just love them. :) Good for the young lady.

by katydid 25 Dec 2015

I am a Bernina girl also. Go to your dealer and check out the trade ins. Perhaps she could be lucky. I agree nothing smaller than a 5x7 hoop. Kay

by crafter2243 Moderator 25 Dec 2015

Check for a machine that has at least a 5x7 frame. My first one only had a 4x4 frame and it did not take me long to realize the limitations. I think a Brother would be OK.

by tlp22 25 Dec 2015

Bernina or baby lock. Maybe your dealer would have a good deal on a used machine. I have a brother but as soon as possible i will be trading to a babylock. Babylock is a step above the brother they are made on the same lines but better overall. Bernina on the other hand would be a dream come true.

1 comment
katydid by katydid 25 Dec 2015

I love my Bernina even if it is not the latest model. Kay