Sew, What's Up

Sew What’s Up Presents

The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: anis
Date: 01-04-2005, 02:49 AM (1 of 21)
I'm looking to buy a new sewing machine (first time) with a budget under $200 and would like asking pls for your help.
I'm not targeting to do profesional work just have fun and to sew for the kids.
I saw the Janome JS 1008 at $159 - any thought? or other recomendations?

Thanks in advance happy New Year!,
User: anis
Member since: 01-04-2005
Total posts: 3
From: anis
Date: 01-04-2005, 06:08 PM (2 of 21)
OK, so I'm new ..over 25 read but no ONE replay? come on pls help

User: anis
Member since: 01-04-2005
Total posts: 3
From: MaryW
Date: 01-04-2005, 07:13 PM (3 of 21)
Hi Anis and welcome to Sew Whats New. :bluesmile

I can't answer becuz I don't think there is a machine worth buying new at $200.00 or less. Maybe a used, reconditioned one. Come on girls, what is your opinion. If you had $200. what would you do?
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: HHH
Date: 01-04-2005, 07:23 PM (4 of 21)
Hi Anis,

I didn't reply the first time I read your post because I can't for the life of me think of any machine for under $200 that would last very long or do a very good job.

For what it's worth, if I were in your position I'd try to save up a little more money and search out a good used top-of-the line Bernina, Janome or Phaff; something in that category. You'll end up with way more machine for the buck, and have something of value to trade up with when the time comes. A reputable dealer will have, or can find, something to match your needs, and be there for you when you need service or parts.

What ever you end up with, post back with any questions or problems; this group is a great source of help and inspiration.
User: HHH
Member since: 02-10-2004
Total posts: 87
From: j222b
Date: 01-04-2005, 07:40 PM (5 of 21)
Hi Anis,
Search for reviews of new sew machines in your price range. Many like Brother (WalMart), I have had several Kenmores (liked 'em), I have a Janome 9000 (like it-but it's too expensive) and am thinking of buying the little Janome for classes. Little Jamome got several good reviews elsewhere on internet. Also I have bought second hand machines from newspaper advs. and yard sales. If you are new to sewing a new little cute Janome machine WITH lessons might be good. Sewing can be frustrating as well as fun but without a background in how your machine threads etc, sewing can be a real nightmare, also a Janome dealer in your area could help with problems that might crop up. Also that's why people like Sears products b/c there is always a Sears around-and they give lessons with new machines. Lots of luck and fun. Janet
User: j222b
Member since:
Total posts:
From: HHH
Date: 01-04-2005, 08:04 PM (6 of 21)
Hi again,

It just occurred to me that I ought to explain why a $200 sewing machine is probably going to be junk:

Some manufacturers will sell the rights to put their names on lower-quality machinery. Janome is a great machine, but believe me, that $200 model at Walmart wasn't made by Janome, but some other outfit who bought the right to use the brand. If I live to be a thousand, I'll never understand why a company would jepardize their reputation like that, but I guess it's pretty lucrative.

Same is true of fabric. You may see the identical prints at both Walmart and a quilt shop. The quilt shop will want $8 - $10 yd. for it, and Wally-World maybe half that. Nine 1/2 times outta 10, it ain't the same fabric! Same print, but lesser quality. Buyer beware :whacky: .
User: HHH
Member since: 02-10-2004
Total posts: 87
From: Sherri
Date: 01-04-2005, 08:25 PM (7 of 21)
I would suggest if you are looking for an inexpensive machine look at Mfr. model #505S-21BH of Kenmore

My website
User: Sherri
Member since: 02-07-2001
Total posts: 357
From: anis
Date: 01-04-2005, 09:02 PM (8 of 21)
Hi Girls and tnks so much for your feedback :up: as said I'm just starting to do my first step on this incredible world and want to do it step by step.
I actually saw this cheap Janome at a Janome dealer here in Portland, OR and the great about this is that at any time up to a year from the purchase date they will take the machine back at the purchase price and upgrade for a more professional Janome.
...I didn't check pricing at the level you are at, but how much are you talking about in order to be considered an enjoyable sewing machine?

Many tnks,
User: anis
Member since: 01-04-2005
Total posts: 3
From: Mother in Law
Date: 01-04-2005, 09:09 PM (9 of 21)
Well when I first started out I got the Euro Pro sewing machine and it was great for just playing around making clothes for me and the kids. I made quilts and lots of things on it. It had a blindhem foot that came with it and a button hole foot, a button foot and a zipper foot. I still have it and get it out every now and then when mine was in the shop, It's a good little machine just to piddle around with. It was on sale at HSN for 99.00 when I got it. It's called a Euro Pro Demium and silk. IT has a free arm sewing feature and a few zig zag stitches. Check them out at
User: Mother in Law
Member since:
Total posts:
From: Mom of Six
Date: 01-04-2005, 10:00 PM (10 of 21)
I bought my girls Singers for $79 each for Christmas. I figure they are good learning machines & if they want to upgrade later they can but if they decide sewing isn't for them I am not out a lot. I think if you check the machine out good & understand it might not last forever whatever you buy will be fine. The most I have spent for my sewing machines was $150 but that was 23 years ago. I have bought some at Garage sales & Auctions & the cost to repair them wasn't always worth it so be sure to check them out good if you go used. My favorite machine is from Montgomery Wards 23 years ago. I have used it for everything & work it hard when I sew. The most important thing on any machine is keep it cleaned & oiled or it will give you trouble.
These are my opinions. I don't do sewing as a proffession just for fun & relaxation.
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: Londa
Date: 01-04-2005, 10:10 PM (11 of 21)
I would say, too, to look for a good used machine. Preferably at a dealer, but don't forget the infamous eBay! YOu just might be surprised at what you might find... Good luck!
User: Londa
Member since: 05-26-2004
Total posts: 39
From: HHH
Date: 01-04-2005, 10:56 PM (12 of 21)
OK, I confess to being a machinery snob. Be it sewing or woodworking, I want the best quality tools (& materials) because in the long run it pays off. Woodworking is still a hobby, but my sewing machines earn their keep; I take very good care of them, and they work very hard for me.

For occasional or light duty sewing, these budget machines may be fine. And the maintanence advice you're getting is right on; regular cleaning & oiling is very important for any equipment, but I still believe a quality machine would be a better investment for you.
User: HHH
Member since: 02-10-2004
Total posts: 87
From: DragonLady
Date: 01-05-2005, 12:36 AM (13 of 21)
I have a Euro-Pro machine and so far I love it. I think it's a good machine for your budget.
"No more twist! No more twist!"
User: DragonLady
Member since: 11-10-2004
Total posts: 152
From: Kylnne2
Date: 01-05-2005, 03:13 AM (14 of 21)
Best buy for $199 in my opinion is the little Janome Jem Silver. It is a 3/4 machine built like the big ones. It was made for quilters to take to class. Don't confuse this machine with the look alike smaller models. This machine has a horizontal spool, needle threader and a top loading jam proof bobbin. It has several stitches including straight zig zags,blind stitch, stretch stitch and makes a beautiful 4 step buttonhole. They are sealed units that never need oiling. You can purchase it on line and it comes with a little travel bag. Both the machine and the bag have the (ASG) logo on them. This machine is the same exact machine as the Jem Gold but different in color and was made by Janome to honor the American Sewing Guilds 25th anniversary. The Jems are made for the quilters to pack around and take to classes etc. They are top quality and original price was $399. A quilters kit and quilting table can also be purchased for it. Local dealers no longer sell this machine and I was told by a dealer "you cannot get them anymore." Ah, but you the on line dealers. If you do a search and you will see that several internet dealers offer them.
User: Kylnne2
Member since: 07-10-2004
Total posts: 629
From: DorothyL
Date: 01-05-2005, 07:25 AM (15 of 21)
I'm gonna go against the main stream here --
If your financial situation limits you to $200 and you are not sure how much you will really use the machine I'd say go for a low end brand name machine. I've enjoyed both Brother and Singer low end models. You can always trade up.
There was one woman on here making a dress all by hand. It's not the machine you use but your own creative soul that makes it an art form.
Sewing can be, but doesn't have to be, an expensive hobby.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: paroper
Date: 01-05-2005, 08:26 AM (16 of 21)
If at all possible, it is a good idea to buy from a dealer. Even on used machines, some dealers will still give a few lessons on using the machine and best of all they will normally guarantee the machine for a period of time (even if it is used). If you buy new and the machine is a lemon, the dealer will be there to back up the warrenty and work to make you happy. Most dealers will give a trade-up-trade-in policy on their machines which allows you to sew now on what you can afford and bring the machine back within the year and move to a little higher model (if you want to do that). There is nothing wrong with buying a basic model. It is like buying a car...the higher models have lots of bells and whistles. If you are comparing a low-end machine with lots of extas, with a low end basic machine, you may find the basic machine to be a better buy. Some companies put a lot of extra features on those machines to hook the buyer but the more extras they have, the more they have to go wrong.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Kylnne2
Date: 01-05-2005, 10:46 AM (17 of 21)
I have one of the Jem Silvers I posted about. I can say that this little machine is definetly worth $199. Rather than trade up to a better machine this is a great 2nd machine to take to classes etc. and many people own more than one machine and are buying these for classes, travel and their 2nd machine and they love them. Some sewers have posted they like the Jems better than some of their regular machines. They are so light weight to carry and also fit just about anywhere you wish to sew. I recommend one of these little machines that are built with the specifications of the big Janomes over buying a cheaper bottom of the line machine that does not give the same quality results. You can check out the reviews on these at PatternReview and also Quilters Review but there they might be listed as the Jem Gold..but are the same machine.
User: Kylnne2
Member since: 07-10-2004
Total posts: 629
From: toadusew
Date: 01-09-2005, 10:51 AM (18 of 21)
I'm new here, although I've lurked for a while, and have enjoyed it. :smile: The talk about sewing machines here and on another thread has prompted me to jump in and join the fun!

I agree with these posters that most good quality machines will probably cost more than $200, but you sometimes can buy a good machine on sale. I'm familiar with Janome and can attest to the quality of their machines. I don't have the Janome Silver, but in my opinion, you couldn't go wrong if you purchase that brand. Also, I agree that buying from a reputable dealer is a good thing to do because you will get dealer support and often get free classes as well.

Also, in my opinion, you need to assess what your own sewing needs are and see which machine fits those particular needs for you.

User: toadusew
Member since: 01-08-2005
Total posts: 369
From: esrun3
Date: 01-09-2005, 01:30 PM (19 of 21)
I happen to like Singer. My old Singer stylest just gave up the ghost after 30 years so have orderded from a new Singer 2662 which included the important stuff to me-auto tension, auto needle threader, top drop in bobbin & 1 step buttonholer as well as a free arm. It is a basic machine but actually a step up from the stylist machine I had. The machine is $158 (cost at a singer dealer is $209) and the dealer said I could take lessons there for a nominal cost.

I then went and put the one I really wanted on lay-a-way a Singer 9940.

There's my 2 cents worth. The best advise I can give is go to the dealers & fabric shops that sell and test drive them, decide what features you really need/want and buy what you will be happiest with because, as you can see, everyone has their own preferences in machines.

You can check out the Singer machines at

Happy sewing!
User: esrun3
Member since: 12-02-2004
Total posts: 2345
From: MyGirlFriday
Date: 01-10-2005, 10:36 PM (20 of 21)

I know that it is difficult to purchase a new machine...I did that myself back in early December.
The ladies on here were VERY helpful with all of the information about the different machines on the market. Looks like you have gotten lots of good and helpful info.

The thing to remember is only you know what you are going to be sewing. If you are wanting to do something specific then you do need a machine designed for that..but seems to me that you are just wanting a basic machine. I think the Janome Jem is a nice inexpensive machine...I believe they also sell those at Handcock Fabric.

Like Dorothy said this doesn't have to be an expensive hobby.

Have fun and let us know what you end up getting~

mgf~ :bluewink:
Blessings & Smiles

Frogs have it easy....they just eat what's buggin' them.
User: MyGirlFriday
Member since: 12-05-2004
Total posts: 288
From: MartySews
Date: 01-11-2005, 01:16 AM (21 of 21)
My first recommendation is to visit dealers in your area and to look for a previously owned machine. A lot of times, one can get more for their money plus a "same as new warranty". However, it that isn't possible, look at thrift stores. I was lucky to find a good solid vintage Kenmore (circa 1942) for $10. I spent another $50 having it serviced and bought cams and extra presser feet. It makes a great back-up machine for those rainy days when I don't want to use my computer machine. For servicing, I looked at the dealer that had been in business for over 30 years. I feel as if I have a gem. It sews a neat stitch and is a little louder than my Pfaff but is a good machine. Hope this helps. Happy Stitching!
Marty :up:
It takes one moment to change a life.
User: MartySews
Member since: 02-23-2003
Total posts: 504
Sew, What's Up
Search the “Sew What’s New” Archive:
Visit Sew What’s Up for the latest sewing and quilting tips and discussions.
This page was originally located on Sew What’s New ( at