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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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I need help from sewing machine experts

I just got a circular from Tuesday morning about a Singer Athena sewing machine they'll have in the stores on Tuesday. It's a $499 machine for $199. I saw it on HSN for $499 and it got very good reviews for the most part. It clearly is not my dream machine but is it worth my getting. I'd really love to be able to do my square this year on a machine rather than by hand and can't afford one I'd really like. What do my expert friends think?

<b>Just Milo and me, and . . . </b>Bailey makes three . . . until Ruby said, "hey, what about me?"
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 05:13 PM
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Hi, Geri:

I am not familiar with quilting using a sewing machine, but I just did a little research. A reviewer on the HSN.com site wrote:

"good machine... caus, PA 11/1/2011
A good basic machine with lots of options but I needed the needle down feature for quilting and this machine didn't have that option so I had to send it back. Loved the value added extras, especially the extension table."

For what it is worth, another website, http://www.sewingmachinesplus.com/si...FRBphwodDk8epg, had this to say:

"The Singer Curvy 8763 is replacing the Singer Athena 2009 as the new popular machine!"

That could be why Tuesday Morning is selling them for such a good price.



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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 05:18 PM
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Will be curious to see if Julie weighs in on this. The old Singers were wonderful. In more recent years, their reputation hasn't been so great. But it seems like I read something awhile back where they were getting better. I shouldn't even comment, as I don't know anything about the current models. When I want to do research on machines, I usually go to http://www.patternreview.com to research. Do you have a quilt shop near you that sells machines. Sometimes, you can get good deals on used ones that people have traded in because they want a fancier model. But I suppose you could also get one that was a lemon. I have one such lemon in my possession - paid a lot of money for it quite a few years ago and it sits, unused, in my sewing room. I was tired of dealing with it.

Hopefully, someone who knows something about these machines will help you out here. I guess I would try to find any reviews of them that are out there and go from those.

Linda, Augie & Finn's Mom
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 05:18 PM
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Geri, my experience with Singer's machines the last 10-20 years is not good. They used to be top of the line. If I wanted a good plain sewing machine, I would go to the antique/collectable shops and find a good old singer--made of metal and not plastic. If you only want it to do piece work--straight sewing--get one of the little portable machines made before 1950. I can't remember what they are called. My MIL still has hers and it works just fine. She has a modern Singer also and has a lot of trouble with it. I bought a singer serger and never could keep it adjusted. I finally bought a Phaff and have never had it adjusted even. I traded my 1970+ singer for a Vicking machine about 10 years ago. Actually the Vicking doesn't sew any better than the old singer. All those electronic stitches are wasted on me and the old Singer did the same stitches, I just had to put in cams or disks for each stitch. I could oil and clean it myself. If anything goes wrong with the Vicking, I will have to take it to a dealer. I am running on, but I have seen old Singer zig-zag machines in a cabinet for $200. I also got crazy and bought an embroidery machine and have never used it and will probably never now. Oh I did a few monograms and names, but that was all. Tried to sell it and got no takers. It is just taking up space in my sewing room now.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 05:28 PM
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Lucile, those older small Singers were called Featherweights. I have one, and it does sew very nice - just straight stitches but nice straight stitches. My mom had a Singer in a cabinet from 1949 or 1950 - my sister ended up with that one. I have my grandmother's old Singer treadle machine. I use a Pfaff and like it a lot - love the built in walking foot on it. Not a fancy machine compared to some that are out there now. My expensive one that sits unused is a Bernina. Grrrrr. I had it in numerous times and just got fed up with dealing with it. I also have a small Janome to haul around that I like a lot.

Linda, Augie & Finn's Mom
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Now I'm more confused than ever. I did read the "needle down" comment on HSN but figured you could always manually put the needle down before trying to continue. Maybe I'm wrong. I actually got my love of sewing from a Singer Treadle machine many, many moons ago in my aunts' high end dress store. They did a lot of alterations for their customers. As a little girl, I used to love visiting the store and walking around with a giant magnet, picking up pins and then sitting at one of the machines, looking at the multicolored threads on the wall and wishing I could create something.

When I got my first machine, it was a top of the line (at the time) Singer that my father-in-law insisted on buying me. He was a coat manufacturer and loved my interest in sewing. I didn't let him buy it for me till I made one dress by hand to see if I really like sewing. I treasured that machine for a long time. Many years later I replaced it with a fancy something or other from Sears. I missed my old Singer.

I know they've had issues lately but I looked at reviews on a number of sites and they were, though mixed, overall quite good. Maybe I shouldn't drive myself crazy and just get out the old thimble. I just dread the hand sewing, especially if the design has a number of elements.

<b>Just Milo and me, and . . . </b>Bailey makes three . . . until Ruby said, "hey, what about me?"
Geri, Milo, Bailey and HRH Princess Ruby Tuesday

If you're thinking of getting a puppy, click here
http://www.photoshow.com/watch/YK8AH4rw
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 06:01 PM
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Are you doing hand quilting or piecing? I have never had much success doing machine quilting. You have to take off the presser foot and guide the material in an even manner and even speed so that the stitches are the same length. I did hand quilting and machine piecing. The Featherweights are around $400 in the antique stores. The needle up/down thing is no biggy for someone that has sewn all their lives. I made all my clothes and my childrens' clothes, but have not done much the last couple of years. I have two quilt tops set together, but cannot do the hand quilting anymore and can't find anyone to do it for me. I could probable get rid of all my sewing stuff and never miss it. But since I have two soldiers in the family one of them would want a patch sewn on if I did.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Nothing fancy Lucile. I used to make clothes for me and my son when he was young. I even made slacks for my husband at the time. All I need it for now, aside from perhaps making a simple window covering here or there and/or throw pillows, is the quilt square I'm going to do for our Hav quilt. It did, interestingly enough, come with a stippling foot, which made me think for a moment.

<b>Just Milo and me, and . . . </b>Bailey makes three . . . until Ruby said, "hey, what about me?"
Geri, Milo, Bailey and HRH Princess Ruby Tuesday

If you're thinking of getting a puppy, click here
http://www.photoshow.com/watch/YK8AH4rw
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 06:42 PM
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Geri, yes you can manually put the needle down. That feature is nice and, to some people, very important. Not a deal breaker for me. I want one that sews well, doesn't make nests in the bobbin, winds a decent bobbin, and accepts more than one kind of thread without throwing a hissy fit.

Lucile, I used to think 'how hard can machine quilting be'.....until I tried it. Not as easy as I thought. Takes quite a bit of practice to get even stitches...and a few glasses of wine or beer! to loosen up a bit. I get very tense when I try it - doesn't produce a nice effect - all jerky and uneven. I like hand quilting, but takes me a long time to finish anything.

Linda, Augie & Finn's Mom
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 07:30 PM
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I say go for the $200 dolor machine. Sounds like it would be fine for what you want to do! Cosco has machines sometimes. I don't even know what kind I have my mom gave it to me in my 20's and then she was a Indian giver. It sewed great Halloween costumes for my kids and a duvet cover! I want it back because I'm going to join in on the quilt square someday and I want to try and make the sisters some stuff.
This is one threw cosco Brother® XM3700 74-Stitch Function Free Arm Sewing Machine
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Last edited by Suzi; 12-01-2011 at 07:36 PM.
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