East Dulwich (Mobile) Forum

Sewing machines

Help

1. I was banned from taking GCSE textiles for breaking the one and only electronic sewing machine our school had

2. I am not particularly creative or dexterous (see 1 above) but I like making crafty things which are 80% good 20% crap such as aprons, drawstring rucksacks, purses etc

3. So far I have got by thanks to wonder webbing and some pretty dodgy hand sewing but I now want to do things with stretch fabric and thicker fabrics

So am I mad to even consider getting a sewing machine? I could probably stretch budget wise to about £100 or a little bit more. If I were to get one, what make / model do the wise people of the family room suggest? And aside from the machine itself, what other accessories do you need to make the thing work?
I bought a sewing machine last year and it is one of the best purchases I have ever made! I was pretty terrible at textiles at school and was forever getting the machine in a tangle but I think the machines these days are much more user friendly and hard to break.

I spent £120 on mine (John Lewis own brand) and it does everything I need it to do and more. I have made curtains and cushions and even some clothes for my baby. You can get a basic one for sub £100, but it seemed to me that if you can stretch to £120/130, you get a lot more machine for the extra £20. You might be able to get a bargain in the summer sales maybe?

Good makes are Jenome ( who also make theJL own brand I think) , Singer and Brother. The woman in John Lewis Oxford Street was extremely knowledgeable and helpful when I was looking for mine.

They normally come with everything you need to sew basic things. You might want to buy some extra bobbins, and a zipper foot if you are going to do any dress making. Hope this helps!
I second Janome as a brand having just invested one myself. The one I got is slightly out of your budget but you could probaly find a second hand one on ebay (or even on here!). Like KVT, I think they make the John Lewis own-brand machines too.

The John Lewis website has a guide to buying sewing machines on it and the sewing machine listings can be filtered according to budget and level of skill, so it might be worth having a look on there. I found it very useful.
[www.johnlewis.com]

Another option may be to hire one to try it out? This site has a list of places which hire out sewing machines, although I don't know how up to date the list is:
[www.thegoodwardrobe.com]

Regarding accessories, most machines will come with everything you need for basic sewing but as KVT said you may need to buy a few extra bobbins and a zipper foot, depending on what you are planning on sewing.

Hope this helps.
Another vote for Janome. And agree re buying from John Lewis, really helpful.
You are welcome to come round and have a go on mine on a Friday or a weekend.
Try getting a second hand Bernina 1008, they're really hardy, built like a tank and really easy to use. You can get them on eBay but might then need a service (£60). Could still be over your budget but they are worth the investment and will last you forever.
klove Wrote:

Try getting a second hand Bernina 1008, they're
really hardy, built like a tank and really easy to
use. You can get them on eBay but might then need
a service (£60). Could still be over your budget
but they are worth the investment and will last
you forever.

Hi do you know anywhere local that does services?
Isn't there a sewing machine repair shop in Peckham - just past the Nigel Road turn off, heading towards the station. He isn't often open but there is a sign with a phone number or saying, drop in a message or similar.
Ludoscotts recommended Bernina to me.

They are so solid they are near impossible to break. I managed to get on second hand on ebay, it's very easy to use and seems bomb proof.

They hold their value well so you may need to shop around.

Ludoscotts, there is a chap here that services Bernina's, come and visit smiling smiley
Pretty sure that sewing machine place off Nigel Road (Taggs?) has gone now.
There's a proper sewing machine shop in Deptford. I'm sure they do services.

[www.sewingmachinesuk.co.uk]
Yes, I bought my overlocker from the shop in Deptford and they have a range of machines and are happy for you to have a go. Also they sell ex-display models at slightly cheaper price.
Taggs is still there and still working but I think it is just him so the best thing I've found is to phone and arrange a time to drop the machine off. I had an old singer serviced there recently for £30.
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Sounds like things have improved since the days of the sewing disasters of the early 90s, so I think I'll go for it.
I've got a virtually unused Janome Electric Sewing machine for sale - an old friend barely used - New Home Janone Model JA1508 if you are interested
Might anyone have an overlocker you'd like to sell on please? Or can recommend a good secondhand one to buy? Many thanks HXx
Helpful Thread.
You can take your machine to Really Maria (next to Sweaty Betty on Lordship Lane) and they will have it serviced/mended for you.

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