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Sewing machine advice please

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I'm looking at getting my first sewing machine!  I've settled on the Janome brand as it gets great reviews, and I've got a budget of about £150 or so as my birthday is coming up.  Something I want to make sure I can do is free machine embroidery/quilting, and I've heard you need a special foot for that plus you need to be able to remove the 'feed dogs' (is that the same as having a drog feed?  I have no idea!) to do freestyle.  I would like a machine that isn't too high maintenance and has a front loading bobbin as I've read that means less tangles.  I've only used a machine a couple of times in high school which was years ago, so I really don't know anything about them or how to use them.  I was hoping someone on here might be able to advise me to help make my decision easier.  I'll be doing normal sewing projects on it as well as the free machine embroidery/quilting.  I'm debating over the Janome JT-24 as it sounds really good; I'm just not sure if it has everything I need.  I know there are some experienced sewers on here so any advice for a beginner would be much appreciated! :)

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Your best bet is find a shop that sells machines and try one .I've had 3 Brother machines over a period of 48 yrs each one is still going. . Passed on to family when I went for newer model. .first two were front bobins new one is a top loading which I Went for as I have arthritis and was finding the front loading fiddly...not had any tangling issues with the top loader....for freeform work you need to be able to lower the feed dogs this is a switch on base of machine. ..special feet are usually purchased separate although you can work without .remove the foot but remember to still lower the foot lever as this engages the sewing mechanism. ... you can find video on-line telling how to machine embroidery or quilt.

 

Good luck and enjoy

Edited by Elizajane

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Your best bet is find a shop that sells machines and try one .I've had 3 Brother machines over a period of 48 yrs each one is still going. . Passed on to family when I went for newer model. .first two were front bobins new one is a top loading which I Went for as I have arthritis and was finding the front loading fiddly...not had any tangling issues with the top loader....for freeform work you need to be able to lower the feed dogs this is a switch on base of machine. ..special feet are usually purchased separate although you can work without .remove the foot but remember to still lower the foot lever as this engages the sewing mechanism. ... you can find video on-line telling how to machine embroidery or quilt.

 

Good luck and enjoy

 

Thanks :)  Unfortunately I can't get to a shop that sells them so it'll be online advice and products I'm looking at.  I emailed Janome and they recommended I get a darning foot, so at least now I know what I'm looking for with that - there seem to be loads of different feet! 

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Your first sewing machine!! How exciting! It is better if you could get the chance to try a few out as Elizajane said.

I too swear by Brother machines. I much prefer a drop in type bobbin. Much less fiddly& never had issues with it.

For free motion embroidery, even if you get a machine where you can't drop the feed dogs (the metal teeth on the plate bit that push the fabric through-please excuse me if I'm over simplifying) you can get a plastic plate that fit over the feed dogs as I did with my old Toyota rs2000. £99 from Argos years ago, goes like a bomb, couldn't fault it.

My advice though is keep an eye out on gumtree, or your local newspaper for anyone selling one. Most of us sewing types would throw in a free lesson with a machine, or let you try it first!!

Good luck, and please let us know what you get!! Hope I've helped you a bit!

Best wishes

Sarah

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non expert opinion: i've got a sewing machine from ikea. it looks like a childs toy. i've found it to be *awesome*. it's £45. after buying, and not using for a few months, i did a search on google for reviews. it's got loads of raving reviews.

 

but... go with what the others say - i'm no expert - the only thing i need is a straight line or a zigzag stitch. lol

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