General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Who has a tabletop-model sewing machine to recommend?

Asked by Jeruba (55568points) November 16th, 2012

My old-old Sears Kenmore sewing machine (bought used in about 1979) is a great machine, top of the line in its time, but it is also a piece of furniture—a table model. I use it so seldom that I really don’t want a commitment to the furniture space (which just ends up covered with stuff), and it’s so heavy that moving it around to a usable location is a chore I avoid.

I haven’t stitched anything in many years.

I’m ready to go for a new machine, not for major fancy projects such as long dresses with lace bodices, inset panels, and covered buttons, but ordinary things like hems and placemats and throw cushions.

I know the machine needs to be heavy enough to stay in place and move fabric through. I’ll find someone to lift it for me.

I suppose I also have to put up with electronic controls of some sort even though the old-fashioned mechanical stitch templates work just fine.

Can you recommend a solid, practical, moderately priced tabletop (portable) model with a good track record?

Many thanks.

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8 Answers

jca's avatar

I asked a similar question about 4 days ago.

Jeruba's avatar

So you did, and I missed it. Thanks. Do we assume that your question is all about portable models? It doesn’t say so, and that’s my focus here.

jca's avatar

@Jeruba: I am pretty naive about them, and I assumed they’re all portable now. Good question.

Unbroken's avatar

I have a babylock I have never really used. Ok to modify a hem sure. It’s:
lightweight, I doubt it is over 10 to 15 lbs
Small, 12–18 in length, 6–9 in wide, about a foot tall
Easy to thread
The controls are very basic
It works.

If I were interested I could do quilt tops, most clothes patterns, but I am not.

It has limited stitch options, no fancy embroidery or decorative stitch mode. Which if you were doing placements might be tantalizing. But the machines for that get much more expensive and complex.

Adagio's avatar

I used to sew a lot, it was in my blood, I cannot recommend a particular model but will say that both my sewing machine and overlocker were made by Janome and always equal to the task. I have no idea whether Janome machines are available in the US.

Unbroken's avatar

@Adagio I don’t think so the top names seem to be Bernina, Pfaff, Singer, Brother.
Oh and as to portability wise, most regular machines without the bells and whistles are portable quilting arms would be the other extreme they eat up a room literally. Some of the Pfaffs I have seen are quite heavy and bulky and like an tv you would hate to drop them.

jca's avatar

@Adagio: My friend who is a sewing machine collector and expert sewer swears by Janome, and she also has nice things to say about Kenmore. She does not recommend new Singer (old Singers are good) or Brother, but sadly Singer and Brother are the most common ones.

jca's avatar

I just googled Janome and they have a site where you can find a store or find an internet retailer.

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