Leave it to IKEA to design and manufacture a super cute starter sewing machine that's appropriate for kids as well and keep the price below $70. Spotted yesterday at the latest IKEA catalog preview, I'm getting one this weekend.
Stuff I find, like for myself and would recommend to a client.
That Ikea machine is very cute, but for about $10 more you could get an excellent starter machine from Brother, the XL2600I Sew Advance. Brother has years of experience making machines, and the Sew Advance is perfect for a beginning-intermediate sewer.
Learning to sew is hard enough on a decent machine. I find cheap machines have problems with tension. I would just spend $100 on the base models you can get at walmart.
I have to agree with the other commenters. As a serious sewist, perhaps I'm biased, but even the $100 Singer my mom purchased me when I was learning was affordable enough to help me decide if I wanted to stick with it, but also had a few features (different stitches and feet, for instance) to help make sewing easier and more enjoyable. This is cute but I think it'd be better as a decoration than a functional piece!
well I'll give it try and let you know what I think. It's got some pretty serious specs, many different stitches and two different feet.My first machine was my mother's and it was COMPLICATED. I like this being a little simpler and more approachable for my daughter.
I have this machine, it's very easy to use. I use it mostly for repairing clothes and refashioning, my next venture will be to sew curtains with it. But so far, as a non machine-savvy person I've been able to figure it out. It's the first brand new machine I've bought and I love it.
That's a good point--sometimes the machine can scare people away! So many modern sewing machines make things too easy, though: I have taken classes with people who couldn't thread their classroom machines because their home models did it all for them. Simple is sometimes best!Whatever you do, don't use the Ikea thread. I bought it years ago, thinking it was an amazing deal. It completely threw my machine off its correct tension, and caused a ton of lint. Get the Coats and Clark, if not something better!
I got a super simple one for $20 at Hobby Lobby. It is pink and designed for 7 year olds, but so far my new pillow covers look great.
I got a 1923 Singer cast-iron beastie as my first machine. The only thing it does is straight stitch, forwards and backwards, in varying lengths. I like that it's super easy to adjust myself (rather than having to go into the shop every time my aunt's old Bernina threw a fit) and that it comes with a very comprehensive manual.It's not the best machine for every situation (since it's straight stitch only, it doesn't sew jersey, for example, though you can get a foot that makes the machine do zig-zag), but I actually do recommend the old cast iron Singer machines as a first machine. I'd be afraid of burning out the little plastic jobbies.
agree with Charlotte... I have a hand-crank Singer made in 1897. Paid £5 at a charity shop. Cleaned and oiled it. Works like a dream.
maybe a dumb question,but what is a good way to learn to sew if your mom/dad isn't around to show you?a manual for a particular machine?books? I get confused by diagramsyoutube?
very cute machine but nothing can turn off a beginner sewer like a cheap machine, they always seem to have issues and can be frustrating. I would go to a local sewing machine dealer and get a good used machine. My first machine was a very old Kenmore that sewed like a dream, when I was ready to buy a new machine I bought a Bernina 1080 Special, that was 22 years ago and thats the machine I sew on now, you get what you pay for. And you won't be throwing out an inferior made product in a year that will just end up in a landfill!!
There are a HUGE number of sewing tutorials on YouTube. Some things (like how to thread the machine) are specific to the machine you're using, and for those things you should consult the manual. But for other things like how to do various seams, etc, YouTube is awesome.If you are interested in books, "Me and My Sewing Machine," despite the cheesy name, is a good beginner's reference book that shows you how to maintain your sewing machine as well as how to use it.If you're in a major city, like NYC, there are tons of places you can go for lessons. That's often the best way to begin if you're a hands-on person. If you're in a smaller town, your local sewing machine/vacuum repair place can probably hook you up with someone who gives private lessons.
thanks Charlotte, I'll start with the book and videos.
An older, simple, better engineered machine is the Holy Grail - even supposedly good brands now produce clunkers (I loathe my new Bernina). I have a Singer Featherlight which sews like a dream, and regret nothing more than selling my old Elna Lotus.
I have this machine and I love it! I had never sewn before - didn't even know what a bobbin was or that the stiches interlock before I bought this. I've made pillows, slipcovers (including one out of suede), curtains, and storage boxes using this machine, all with no issues. It has different types of stitches, more than I know how to use at this point. I would totally recommend it, very approachable. I can use this, but still can't use my mother's or mother-in-law's machines but I am totally comfortable with it.
I appreciate the comments today because I've been eyeing this. I bought a cheapo Singer once and the tension just never did work so I got frustrated and donated it many years later, thinking it was just me. I guess it's been long enough to try again. I'm just looking for basic functionality.
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