Saturday, January 25, 2014

How I Chose My Sewing Machine

Besides cloth diapering, the most frequent question I got is what I sew with. I don't know why I never done a post about it. I think it's personal preference like some people love Nikon some prefer Canon; some chose Honda some prefer Toyota; some heart Kitchen Aid some love Bosch.... you get the point.

If you got one already and happy with it please don't send me a hate e-mail. I am just sharing how and why I chose mine. :)

The process of choosing my baby:
a. Years before I bought her, I bought $80 Brother sewing machine from Wal-Mart. I managed to sew a simple shorts with it but with lots of tears, frustration, and constant jamming. I used to sew with my grandmother's old Singer when I was at Junior High but I didn't remember it to be so frustrating so I returned the machine.

b. Months after, I gathered the courage the try sewing again, I borrowed my friend' Singer. I did managed to make a simple garbage bin cover but the machine was loud and not as sturdy as I expected.

c. So I start reading a lot of reviews. One of the most straight forward and useful review I read was written by a fabric shop owner and sewing instructor here.

I learned that the top of the line {the BMW and Mercedes} sewing machines are Bernina, Viking/Husqvarna, and Pfaff, which cost about $1000+. I knew they are way out of my budget so I look for something else then I found Janome. What convinced me the most was when I read some of my favorite sewing bloggers: i heart linen, Oh,Fransson! and Anna Maria Horner were using Janome too.

d. Finally, I made my choice and decided to buy the machine: Janome DC1050 Computerized Sewing Machine online.

Some more details about the machine {got the questionnaires from Sew Mama Sew}

What brand and model do you have?
Janome DC1050 Computerized Sewing Machine

How long have you had it?
3.5 years

How much does that machine cost?
$249. I bought the refurbished one so it's $50 cheaper but I don't recommend buying refurbished since we never really know if there is something what's wrong with it until we use it. I got lucky with mine but on the past we have bad experience with refurbished phone and DVD player. Some fixtures don't work but by the time we found out it's too late to return them.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
Pretty much all of them. You can see them here

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
Once every two weeks or so...

Do you like/love/hate your machine?
Absolutely LOVEEEEE it. 

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
It's heavy, sturdy, and quiet.

Would you recommend the machine to others?
Definitely!
 
Some more important points to consider:

a. Do not choose a light weight machine. Light weight = shaking and trust me you don't want your sewing machine to shake while you stitch something.

b. If possible borrow the machine or buy somewhere you can try it first. Check out the store's return policy, the longer the better. Some of my friend got their machine at local Vacuum and Sewing Machine Shops. Their price are most likely higher than online but some of them offer free tuned-up service or free sewing class if you buy the machine there.

c. Besides good sewing machine, you will also need a sturdy table to sew on.

d. Some people don't need this but I use seam guard to help me sew straight. Thanks to my friend Sharon's recommendation.

c. If possible, always iron first.

d. A great advise from my quilter friend, Elmi: use either 100% cotton or 100% polyester thread, not combination of both which often caused jamming

That's all from me. If you sew, feel free to chime in your thoughts and input


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