After taking 2 days to make my very first small tote bag (instead of buying them) which is 100% cotton and a cool black (and a day of carrying and admiring it), I’ve decided it is time to go get a machine to help me out. This just is not productive.
Into Alice’s rabbit hole I fell.
From Pfaff to Singer to Brother and Bernina, I spun. And those are just the brand names. The models are even more, almost like genuses of some new species (I remember those days in Anthropology 101) I had to remember. It was impossible to find a conclusive model to buy.
Never mind my mother and brother both have ancient Singers, all in good health ready for use, which they insist they need to keep. Mom: “It is worth 1000 dollars if I sell it now, and I do use it. Occasionally.” Right. Bro: “I still want it.” Okay.
At Great World City I found a nice craft lady who wore a measuring tape like a necklace. She said they sell Janome and recommended me the entry-level Jem at $262. Gosh. I was looking to spend no more than $120.
Then the advice online. There seems to be a consensus that you can’t do wrong by Bernina and Pfaff but they’re worth more than what I earn in a year (now). Brother and Singer are all apparently plasticky and made in China now, and they’re erratic from model to model – I hate that.
There’s a woman selling a Brother XL-2220 on Ebay for $120 now and I can’t find a single review on that model. Other forum advice points to Ebay being overpriced although generally we noobs are better off buying second hand higher end machines than new entry level machines.
So this is what I have decided.
1. Go look around in live shops and touch the machines.
2. Find one I like that isn’t plasticky.
3. Consider seriously if I will be using that machine much.
4. Try to convince mother and brother to part with theirs.
5. Look at the Bernina Bernette series and the Janome Jem, which seem to have the most thumbs ups so far.