oh man you guyyyyyz! i need sewing help!

HELP ME BUY A NEW SEWING MACHINE!!
or:
PLEASE SIT BACK AND GIVE ME A MOMENT WHILE I TALK ALOUD TO MYSELF ABOUT SOMETHING SO THAT I CAN WORK THROUGH THIS PARTICULAR CONUNDRUM.

Okay. So.

I kind of need a new sewing machine. My old one…is jacked. I tried sewing leather for the first time recently and learned a few extremely valuable lessons! The best trick I learned: baby powder! Tons of it! Like, just throw that shit all over both sides of the leather, all over everything. It makes it SO much easier to sew! But before I learned that, I broke like 6 needles. Well, and also apparently the whole machine. Now, every time I try to go in reverse, and also about 10% of the time when I’m just going straight ahead as well, the needle hits the presser foot and snaps. (I swear to god, if I didn’t wear glasses, I’d be blind as fuck by now. I have literally heard tiny little sharp shards of metal PING off the lenses of my glasses TWICE now.) I think I either bent the actual metal rod that holds the foot, or else somehow misaligned or bent the teeth below? I don’t fucking know. Everything else still is PERFECT on it (well, except for the burned-out light bulb that I never bothered to get replaced) (er, and also the control pedal, which totally still works! …but whose plastic case is broken in half and showing all its guts from when I like fell on it or something once), which makes me loathe to just give up on it and get a new one. But the guy I talked to on the phone said that getting it repaired would probably be around $60-$80 (and all he was talking about was just the misalignment thing), and that it would make more sense to just buy a new one.

And frankly, I have major-league nostalgia for this machine, too, you guys. It’s my very first one! And it was a gift! Like one of those amazing gifts that you weren’t thinking of or expecting or considering at all and you never would have gotten for yourself but someone just FIGURED it would be perfect for you and then it WAS. And it really did work GREAT, for six whole years (and still would, if I hadn’t forced the leather on it), and still works MOSTLY great, for all the abuse I’ve given it. So I was thinking, well, I’ll just bring it in, and if it’s less than $80, then I’ll get it repaired instead of buying a new one. I’m sure there haven’t been that many advances in sewing machine technology since I’ve gotten this one, anyway – so there’s no real need to get the new model. And I’d rather pay the exact same amount to keep my good old nostalgic one, instead of buying a new one.

But…just to check…I did price them on Amazon, first.

And…well now I guess I’m getting a new machine.

The newer model of the one I have right now is only $80 on Amazon right now. So, like, DONE, right? Except…then I started looking around.

YOU GUYZ I DON’T KNOW WHICH ONE TO GET but I know that I want it RIGHT NOW.

The Brother XL2600I is the newer version of the one I already have. I…have pretty much ruled it out already. (MUCH LOVE. BROS TILL THE END. NVR 4GET U.)

The Brother CS6000i is the one I’m leaning toward, I think. For some reason the stupid LCD screen makes me very nervous. Like, that seems like the obvious candidate for the first thing to break, right? I don’t need a computer display on my stupid sewing machine. Just give me a button or whatever, dude. But ALL of the similar and similarly-priced models have it, pretty much, so there’s not really a way to get away from it.

The Brother Designio Series DZ2400 is I guess the next step up from there. Though honestly, aside from the fact that it LOOKS more sturdy and professional-ish…I’m not sure I really see the benefit of this over the other. Like…I get a set of embroidery letters (which I’ll never use) and two extra presser foot options?

And I really like the Brother machines. I know they’re generally not thought of as “professional,” but the “professional” ones all weigh 800 pounds and the repair/customer service/shipping/etc gets complained about a lot on Amazon. I’m sure those complaints are from non-professionals who just don’t know what they’re talking about or whatever, but…I’m a non-professional, too, so.

OKAY NEVERMIND YOU GUYZ I JUST BOUGHT THE SECOND ONE. Thank you for all your help!!

    And here is my advice for anyone out there buying a machine:

1. First of all, just get that first one I listed up there, that I used to have. It’s awesome. Mine lasted for 6 years and would have lasted longer if I was careful and I was literally able to do every single thing I could have possibly wanted to on it. (Well…okay, except for sewing leather, apparently.) Theoretically, someday it might be nice to have a serger, but I’m not even reaaaallly sure that’s necessary; I’ve successfully sewn plenty of knits and stretch material on this thing. I’ve sewn denim, I’ve sewn layers, I’ve sewn silk, I’ve sewn buttonholes, I’ve sewn full-sized quilts. It’s basically great.
2. Nobody cares about the 100 stitches available on one machine versus the 68 stitches available on the other. You will only use 2 of them: “straight” and “zig-zag.” That is all. For realzies. Bet you.
3. Similarly, do not be swayed by any extra presser feet that get offered to you. You will use 1 foot for the first year. Later on, you will probably also add the zipper foot and the buttonholer, if you’re fancy/lazy. Any more than that and you’re just showing off.*
4. 60% of every single machine’s negative reviews on Amazon are later edited to add: “Okay, it’s 3 weeks later and someone finally taught me how to adjust my thread tension, so now this machine works great.” So, you know. Take that with a grain of salt.
5. It’s nice to have a lot of room under the arm. I’m frankly kind of excited about the extendable sewing table space on this new one I’m getting, too. I think “free-arm sewing” means that you can make the table smaller, too, and that’s also good.
6. People who complain about the light being too dim or whatever are pussies. What, you’re too good for a fucking lamp?
7. Sturdy is good, but light is good, too. I think the people who complain about plastic machines are snobs, maybe? Or at least don’t have to move very often and have lots of spare space in their homes and have very sturdy, non-Ikea desks on which to place their metal machines.
8. I dunno. Brothers are good? Most stores I hear will actually let you try them out before you buy them. You should just do that. I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.

Anyway, YAYYYYYYY except that it’s on fucking backorder so who knows when it’ll arrive, so BOOOOOOOOO.

(But YAY!)

* Okay, that’s not really true. Different feet do different neat things. I guess if you’re some badass Mormon prairie homesteader grandma, you wouldn’t need them, and you could do all that stuff with the one foot, but…different feet are indeed neat. But they’re also available as needed for like $8 a shot. Don’t pay an extra $50 for the machine just because it comes with 3 extra feet.

Dooop beee dooo! I HEREBY APOLOGIZE FOR THIS VERY BORING POST.

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  1. Shena’s avatar

    This is much more useful than my “I don’t know, what’s on Craigslist for $30 or under?” approach to sewing machines. I second the number of types of stitches you will actually use.