I know…I know…money’s tight and you don’t want to spend a lot of $$ on something that could be a passing fad.
Pssst: Chances are it’s not a passing fad – especially if your little stitcher has already been to a couple of sewing events and really, really wouldn’t shut up about the great time he or she had.
While I encourage you to support your local sewing machine dealer, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing your machine from a big box mass merchandiser, internet retailer or your local fabric store.
Purchasing helps for newbie stitchers:
– Keep it simple.
– Mechanical machines like the Janome Jem Gold 660 ($199) are excellent, user-friendly machines. I’ve taught 3 different groups of kids using a Jem Gold 660 or Jem Gold 3. I can say without hesitation that kids really catch on fast to this particular machine. It’s simple to operate, stitches beautifully and comes with a built-in needle threader (more for the adult helper than the kid).
– If you have been eyeballing those < $100 machines at Wal-Mart, I would resist the temptation unless you can actually sew on one before buying. Two girls in my Saturday sewing class brought in machines that fit this category. A very frustrating experience all the way around, plus N-O-I-S-Y!!! Many of the girls remarked how quiet my Janomes were compared to these machines. Instead, look at the Janome JW5622 (similar to the Janome 2222). It can be shipped to the store or might even be at your local Wal-Mart already. As much as I prefer top loading bobbin machines, I am very impressed with this one. (Yes, I sewed on this model, too!)
A vertical front loading bobbin machine will be noisier than a top loading machine. You could stuff a clean dishtowel in the accessory compartment to muffle some of the noise coming from the bobbin area. Adding a drop of sewing machine oil to the hook area might also help. What I really like about this machine was the fact that it has adjustable stitch width and stitch length, a one step buttonhole and a carry handle – all things the Jem Gold 660 doesn’t have. Of course it has a built-in needle threader! It’s also about $60 less than the Jem Gold 660 – making it more budget friendly. If you need a good, all around basic sewing machine for your home – this one would definitely fit the bill, more so than the Jem Gold 660 IMHO.
FYI – sewing machines range in price from < $100 to well > $10k. More bells, whistles and computer components generally mean a much higher price tag for a sewing machine.