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Old 12-10-12, 10:41 AM   #1
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sewing machines - advice needed!!

I'm looking for a sewing machine for my wife for Christmas. She is wanting to do quilting, and the like, with some clothing fixing here and there. So, we went to a Brother dealer here in town. Lady told me, "oh, don't buy a sewing machine from Walmart..." she went on to tell me how they are cheap. So, she shows me two machines, $270, and $550. It's the SB700T, and SB3129, respectively. I'm pulling my hair out trying to figure out why I ought to buy these. I attempted a Google to find reviews for the SB700T, and what'dya know, Walmart sells brother machines. Nice... so the lady told me a bold faced lie. So, is what she's trying to sell me a souped up Walmart version? I found a machine on Walmart.com for $200 - model SQ9050. The specs, for what I can tell, seem either the same on some items, and even better than the $270 SB700T. I just don't understand. What's happening here? Is the Brother dealer in town just desperate for a sale, and telling me not to shop elsewhere... or is she truly being honest about the quality of sewing machines sold elsewhere? I'm also frusrated because I can't seem to find *any* reviews on the SB700T or SB3129 models. Help? Anyone?
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Old 12-10-12, 10:47 AM   #2
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PC-420PRW looks like a much better model than the SB3129 (based on the specs). Why does it cost less??!!?? Aah this is frustrating.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:56 AM   #3
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I'd go with the Walmart machine. It's understandable if a small business is feeling pressured by them. People stretch the truth so often, that if our noses did actually grow longer with each lie we told, it would be hard to go around corners in the house. (My nose included.)

Business is a bit of a game. I know one very successful business woman who started her business with a lie. She is quite an honest person, but she said 'Oh well, it's business.'

I've seen this attitude frequently. It's not surprising to me anymore.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:01 AM   #4
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Business is a bit of a game. I know one very successful business woman who started her business with a lie. She is quite an honest person, but she said 'Oh well, it's business.'
Ask her if she would do business with a pharmacy that had that attitude.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:05 AM   #5
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My wife and I both use vintage Singer machines... mine is a 1961 model 403 and she has a mid sixties 500a and we just got my youngest daughter her own vintage Singer 3/4 machine as it shares all the accessories of our machines.

Reason for this is that you really cannot find a better machine than a vintage Singer... their quality started to drop off in the late 60's when they started replacing steel parts with plastics. My Singer technician tells me that the current Singer commercial model is not as good as the 403 or 500a.

I paid $100.00 for my machine which came in a beautiful cabinet with nearly every accessory and the machine itself looked and ran like it was new, my wife's 500a is an absolute Cadillac of a machine and is even smoother than mine although it is not quite as shiny.

I'd look at your local Craigslist and talk to a shop that deals in sewing machines and perhaps you will find a line on a good vintage machine that will make your wife blissfully happy... since she is looking with you feel free to point here to this thread as there are other vintage machines out there that are also excellent and are machines that will still offer a lifetime of service.

The holy grail of quilting machines in the Singer Featherweight but these are very expensive machines to purchase and the accessories are also very expensive...

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Old 12-10-12, 11:12 AM   #6
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What you can get for $100.00... knowing what I do about these machines is that paying many times this amount would have still been a great deal.

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Old 12-10-12, 11:15 AM   #7
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I'd go with the Walmart machine.
I would not buy a sewing machine from Walmart or any other big box store as they only sell sewing machines shaped objects...
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Old 12-10-12, 11:18 AM   #8
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Lord knows my husband got me a brand new fancy schmancy Pfaff in an attempt to get me domesticated. It's still brand new in the box in the closet. I heard it was a good machine (although I know NOTHING about them) might want to check into those.

http://www.pfaffusa.com/25.html
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Old 12-10-12, 11:25 AM   #9
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I was recently looking at machines in a local vacuum & sewing shop and the guy basically said the same thing...the crap (Brother and the like) sold at the box stores isn't designed well and won't last. Sure he has a vested interest but he did refer to some features and why they are a poorer design. I am somewhat anti-big box so I'm inclined to believe him.

I was looking at a vintage Necchi and a new Janome MyStyle 100. $<$100 to $300 range. I know jack squat about sewing and would get one for hemming jeans and some drapes [at first].
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Old 12-10-12, 12:05 PM   #10
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I pulled a sewing machine out of a pile of yard sale leftovers that the neighbors left for the trashman. It was heavy so I thought it might be good. A friend of mine who sews looked at it and declared it a decent machine. I haven't used it yet. I need to learn how.
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Old 12-10-12, 12:26 PM   #11
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So besides buying a vintage machine, I'm pretty much s.o.l. I guess. No one has a review on a store (small business or large business) boughten machine?
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Old 12-10-12, 12:56 PM   #12
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My budddy's wife is into quilting, she has six machines in her quilting room,. One was her grandmothers and is a treadle machine, value priceless. The others cost him in the neighbourhood of 20 grand when she purchased them over the years
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Old 12-10-12, 02:44 PM   #13
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So besides buying a vintage machine, I'm pretty much s.o.l. I guess. No one has a review on a store (small business or large business) boughten machine?
You might want to contact the seller of this White model 77 as he / she may have more machines available than this... these are also an excellent machine and popular among quilters.

The availability of parts is not the same as you will find with Singer machines.

http://peoria.craigslist.org/for/3381430883.html
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Old 12-10-12, 02:47 PM   #14
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What does she intend to use it for? That is the first question you should be asking.
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Old 12-10-12, 02:53 PM   #15
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I have an old White sewing machine you can have for nothing. Hint, I got it for almost nothing.
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Old 12-10-12, 02:55 PM   #16
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I just bought my wife this one.

http://www.amazon.com/Singer-CG590-C.../dp/B002NR6SXQ
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Old 12-10-12, 03:11 PM   #17
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Would the LBS tell you to go buy the $99 Walmart Thruster fixie? Of course not.

My wife has 2 old Singers. One built-in to a small table (needs a little electrical work) and one old portable, which is her go-to sewing machine. We actually flew home with it as carry-on luggage several years ago.

My mom had a beautiful new Singer in the '80s that didn't last very long. What did she replace it with? An old one from her grandmother. Pre-WWI, I think. I believe it's still the one she uses.
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Old 12-10-12, 04:04 PM   #18
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What does she intend to use it for? That is the first question you should be asking.
She wants to start out making a quilt for our soon to be addition to the family.
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Old 12-10-12, 05:02 PM   #19
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I'd go with the Walmart machine. It's understandable if a small business is feeling pressured by them.
You need to be careful. It is increasingly common for large companies to have manufacturers create modified machines with cheaper parts or their own SKUs (that lack certain extras). This allows them to sell the machine for much less money. A classic example is the KitchenAid stand mixer at Costco. Good deals exist, just do your research.

OP: My mom has a Bernina for quilting and loves it. I believe the MSRP was $2k but she was able to buy one new for $600 at a local quilt show. These might be an option depending on budget.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:19 PM   #20
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they have pretty much covered the basics,
i own a machine that is a little older than me and can sew anything that takes a few people to move. I got when a sewing shop shut down, and a five year old machine that came from online that gives me a little grief but is easier to take of.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:23 PM   #21
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Bernina 830, 930 or 1030.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:57 PM   #22
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What you can get for $100.00... knowing what I do about these machines is that paying many times this amount would have still been a great deal.

Believe it or not, I think that's the same model Singer I
bought here in Sacramento a couple of years ago........
You have a nicer cabinet, though, mines a more compact
table on legs.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:02 PM   #23
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Bernina 830, 930 or 1030.
More excellent choices...
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Old 12-10-12, 10:02 PM   #24
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Lord knows my husband got me a brand new fancy schmancy Pfaff in
an attempt to get me domesticated. It's still brand new in the box in the closet.
So the gift has worked well in defining your relationship.............
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Old 12-11-12, 06:52 AM   #25
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Products sold at Wal Mart are built for a specific price point with quality a secondary consideration. Often, the differences between the Wal Mart product and a more expensive one are hard to see until you start using them. Examples would be, How solid or flimsy is the frame chassis? What quality steel are they using? What quality and ind of plastic? All things that are not apparent at first glance, but come back to haunt you later.
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