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Sewing machine

I want to help my brother get his love a decent sewing machine for Xmas but I know nothing about sewing machines. Help me LJ seamstresses and tailors, you're my only hope! Please email me about this. It is important.

It does not have to be new. If refurbished is cheaper but you get a better machine, that will do.

My brother's lady friend is an avid seamstress and makes clothing for him to wear "just cause" and you can't tell that they are handmade.

Finally, my brother and his love live in the Bay Area. I was hoping to have someone in the Bay Area pick this sewing machine out and deliver it to him.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 12th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
I can't necessarily volunteer deliver, but I'll point Nancy at this entry. She should be able to make some technical recommendations.
Nov. 12th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
Here is first question (I am at a meeting and will be more detailed later): How much do you want to spend? Both my machines cost 2000$+. There are much more reasonably priced "mechanical" machines (electrically-powered but manual interface) in the 300-600$ range and less fancy electronic machines in the ~1500$ range.

Another option is to take said lady friend to a store and let her try machines out (with a specific price cap). I recommend Eddies Quilting Bee in Sunnyvale. For used machines, check out Vac & Sew.
Nov. 12th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, you definitely want to know how much he wants to spend. We've spent easily that much on the newer machines (that also does embroidery). If she's an avid sew-er, she's got some definite ideas on what she's going to want in a sewing machine.

Here's an idea, however....she probably has a sewing machine she really likes. He might want to consider getting her a serger if she doesn't have one already.

And, I second the Eddie's Quilting Bee store. They're pretty helpful people, and all their sewing machines & sergers come with a "free user" class on how to use the machine.
Nov. 12th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
2nd the 'maybe she'd like a serger even better' suggestion. I have only an OK sewing machine, and I'm still really glad we went with buying the serger instead of a better sewing machine. It makes garment finishing, often the tedious part, so much faster.

A place that offers a class with the serger would be ideal. They can be feisty buggers even in experienced hands.
Nov. 12th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
Third the comment of what's his budget.

Does she want a spiffy deluxe machine w/ a hundred decorative stitches or a no-frills basic machine?

If he's in the East Bay, I'll recommend Sew Images on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland. They have new and used models, mostly Bernina brand.
Nov. 12th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
Fourthed re: need to know about budget and intended use, first.

I mean, I've got machines that cost from $100 - $700 (back when they were new which was a while ago, admittedly) and they all serve different purposes...
Nov. 13th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
The Joann's at Crossroads mall has a Viking Sewing Center. This is basically a store within the store that has the most knowledgable people on sewing machines that you will find locally. This is helpful because you can ask questions in real-time.

It sounds like a serger might be better for her, especially if she already has a functioning sewing machine but lacks a serger. Having both is pretty much every seamstress' dream come true.
Nov. 13th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
I buy Kenmore at Sears. My reasoning is that I can buy an extended warrenty for maintance and repairs. I have never had any issues when it came to having to use the warrenty. As bluewingedcat said, if she already has a sewing machine, a serger might be a good option, or even an embroidery machine.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )