The Sewing Place

need help selecting a sewing machine for wife

Iminei

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2020, 09:36:22 AM »
Yes I do @Bodgeitandscarper  ... But I think its too far above @kaps86  budget.
Its also very much geared towards quilting with the extension table, extra feet and IDT ...

Maybe if Kaps's wife finds a decent starter machine and gets the bug she could upgrade to it but first things first ...
The Imperfect Perfectionist sews again

Gernella

« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 13:12:39 PM by Gernella »
Stash extension 2021 - 13.5 meters
Left at the end of 2020 - 47.5 meters

KayK

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2020, 13:56:25 PM »
Sewing Machine World are also very helpful, I spent about an hour in their shop a couple of years ago, trying out machines, and nothing was too much trouble for them.
Oh they are indeed, always helpful, my favourite place!
I just love sewing!

Sara-S

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2020, 16:03:20 PM »
Consider some features to look for.  Most machines have a built-in light, but some inexpensive ones don’t. I wouldn’t buy one without a light or an automatic threader.  I also like top, drop-in bobbins. They are easier to use. All of my Brother machines have the features I have listed.
You can't scare me. I taught high school for 32 years.

Mr Twingo

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2020, 17:41:15 PM »
The Janome machines are good. Janome also makes Elna machines, and those sold under the John Lewis name.

Take a look at the John Lewis JL 110 range which are well within your budget, and of decent quality.

Marniesews

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2020, 18:15:40 PM »
If you really want her to her to have a brand new machine for the Christmas excitement and are happy for her to keep it for a year or two and then be prepared if she gets the sewing bug to look at getting a better quality used machine you'll serve both needs without too much risk of making a big mistake. You don't get much for your money with a new machine I'm afraid. I've a range of machines but the old top quality machines that I bought used give me many many times more pleasure to use than my cheapest new machine that cost £400 - twice the price of the oldies.

Some of this comes down to many of us having a strong physical reaction to our machines, much as many people do to the feel of driving a particular make or model of car.  This can be amplified when you're learning a new skill too. My DGD is learning to drive and simply cannot get on with her mum's car. She has no problem driving her driving instructor's car and she's spent years in the passenger seat of her mum's car but when driving it herself she says it just doesn't feel right to her at all. Having driven her mum's car I understand why too although I don't have a problem with it myself and her mum loves it more than any other car she's ever had. Sadly it's not helping her driving experience one bit.

Fortunately a sewing machine isn't as big a financial outlay but not having the feel for a particular machine can make a big difference, so it makes a lot of sense to give her the chance to try a few out and make the choice guided by how it feels in use before attaching the bow on it.
Trying to coax myself back into making rather than just looking and dreaming!

SewRuthieSews

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2020, 22:14:01 PM »
I previously had a Toyota sewing machine from Argos. Not glamorous but really did what I needed at the time. Upgraded to a Janome for my main machine quite a few years later. But I used the Toyota for evening classes for a while and eventually donated it to a centre helping people with life skills.

Argos don't sell those anymore, but there are lots of sewing machines on the Argos website in your price range new. They may not be quite what is being recommended here, but Argos is all over the country and ive generally found them to be good for returns if there are problems  -just keep the receipt.

The Argos ones have reviews and many seem to have satisfied customers. So if they have stock that may be a good approach for you.

https://www.argos.co.uk/browse/sports-and-leisure/sewing-machines-and-accessories/sewing-machines/c:30677/

Unfortunately a lot are showing out of stock at the moment. Covid affected production in china
« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 22:20:17 PM by SewRuthieSews »

Iminei

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2020, 09:05:03 AM »
@Marniesews  Youve got that exactly right!

Both with cars and sewing machines and thats Why Im selling the Pfaff ...
Nothing wrong with it at all, sews beautifully but I just dont 'like it'.
The Imperfect Perfectionist sews again

Acorn

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2020, 10:20:59 AM »
Like @SewRuthieSews I did a lot of sewing on an inexpensive Toyota before I had a fancy (and the money) for something posher.  It was absolutely fine - maybe a bit noisier than one of the bigger brands, but gave a great introduction to sewing and made some good garments and even quilts.

If I was buying a first sewing machine for someone starting out I would probably look at the John Lewis website, as someone else suggested.  I would assume they were going to be helpful if anything did go wrong!
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

So Chic

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2020, 11:18:16 AM »
All I can say please use your local sewing dealers otherwise they will disappear and it will be impossible to have machines serviced.  The local dealer sold up about a year ago and I had to drive about 50 miles to find someone to even look at it.
So Chic
Bernina Artista 630, Bernina 800DL, Janome Cover Pro 1000CP and an elderly Singer Touch & Sew 720G as a back up

Ohsewsimple

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2020, 12:50:05 PM »
I so agree @So Chic.  These shops have knowledgeable people and are usually happy to help in any way they can.  Where I worked closed last year as owners and me retired.  We once worked out that between the 4 main staff there we had over 120 years sewing experience in different areas. 

Deafoldbat

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2020, 19:25:13 PM »
It is lovely to have a box to open on Christmas Day, but...what if the contents aren't quite what you had in mind?

Does your wife know about this proposed gift? Has she had any input into the requirements?

Less exciting on the day, but perhaps worth thinking about is a gift wrapped 'voucher', promising to take her to a real sewing machine shop to look at, try out and decide just what she wants (subject to budget of course). As others have said, a sewing machine is a personal thing - it has to work the way you understand, not insist it knows best; it has to have the features that are important first, any other bells and whistles are purely incidental. The other advantage of a real live shop (not necessarily a department store, though that might fit the bill) is that you can talk to someone who knows the products and should be able to show you the various features and explain anything you need to know. It may also happen that your wife might after all be more amenable to a pre-owned machine that does exactly what she wants rather than a new one that isn't quite right. Second hand machines usually come with some sort of warranty, and establishing a relationship with a shop that can provide advice, servicing and extras is a good thing.

Goth Gardiner

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2020, 19:56:35 PM »
Why not take her to a real shop before Christmas if lockdown loosens (make an appointment now).

On Christmas Day give her a box of sewing stuff - which she will need to go with the machine, so you need to budget for them for her to start this new hobby.

If that's a good idea we can give you a list.
Stash busting: 3.75m in; 4.25m sewn  | UFOs finished: 1 | Items repaired: 1

There's no workman, whatsoever he be, That may both work well and hastily

Lowena

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2020, 21:50:53 PM »
I believe @Deafoldbat that the task of choosing an appropriate machine was delegated to him by his wife. She didn't want to do it.
Triumph of hope over experience :D

Gernella

Re: need help selecting a sewing machine for wife
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2020, 13:08:33 PM »
I believe @Deafoldbat that the task of choosing an appropriate machine was delegated to him by his wife. She didn't want to do it.

She's very brave @Lowena , I wouldn't let DH choose a sewing machine, he'd just go for the cheapest model they had, or  the one that looked the prettiest.  You have to specify exactly what you want and don't let him buy clothes, safe with jewellery and perfume.  Which is why if I need anything large/more expensive, buy it myself in early December, never disappointed then.  Unfortunately Jaycotts have sold out of those chairs or that would have been on my to me list.  But, I'll settle for the new sewing machine.
Stash extension 2021 - 13.5 meters
Left at the end of 2020 - 47.5 meters