Friday, January 11, 2013

The Growing Popularity of Sewing and Buying A New Machine

There are four ads on Kijiji in my city that list people who want to learn how to sew. I find that so encouraging. I once thought this was a dying art.No more!!! (And of course I offered to stop over and give a 1/2 beginner lesson for one of the girls. It has turned into a 1/2 hour lesson for three 14 year olds, but hey, I love that these girls are trying their hands at sewing!)

Sewing School is a great website for beginners...

I also spent some time this week looking at a computerized sewing machine - nothing expensive. I am attracted to the ease of making buttonholes on these machines. My machine - a Kenmore from the 70s - makes beautiful buttonholes but I find making them long and tedious. I need something quick so that it doesn't hold up my projects....

Sewaholic recently had a long discussion about this....I read the post at the time but I re-read it yesterday looking for information and tips from the discussion. Basically, the popular advice was this:

1) buy from a sewing dealer rather than a box store

2) go for quality rather than bells and whistles that may not work with time...

3) Don't buy in the US or from a US website because we have different models in Canada and the companies will not honour the warrenties....

And to all the readers of that post - I put away $15 /week into my expensive sewing machine fund and I plan to buy a $1000 sewing machine in a year or so...but right now, I need a cheap - read little money - sewing machine to get me through things like buttonholes....

What do I want?

A basic computerized machine that does buttonholes in one-step.

Where to buy?

Believe it or not, you can buy a sewing machine anywhere. I bought a 1970s version last year from Kijiji for $50. I had it tuned up and it works fine. I just want an alternate one to use for things like buttonhole-making....The buttonholes on my machine are beautiful but take forever. And the one-step deals with computerized ones sound soooo great.

I looked at the Singer Fashion Mate, among others  (available for $178 from

It has metal gears, and interior frame and 70 stitches. On the site, there are 53 commenter's who average a 4+ rating. It also comes with five different presser feet.

There is also the Canadian Tire stores. They have a singer on their website but I've heard their is a Sharp one too.

Sears has some too....

And of course, there are sewing stores and Ebay and Craigslist.

Kenmore®/MD 50-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine


  1. I recently found a Janome with automatic buttonholes in a charity shop (thrift store?) for £10 (about $15CAD). It's definitely worth looking for pre-loved if it's a stop-gap machine whilst you save for something lovely. And you can always trade it in on the new one later. Just a thought.
    As for the lovely new husband bought my CoverPro online and we had no end of trouble. I will now only ever buy a new machine from a reputable dealer. Just not worth the aggravation to save a few £.
    PS...I've just realised that I never did receive that envelope you sent me. You might want to chase up with your post office about being reimbursed.

  2. If button holes are what are really key, do you know which of them have the best button holes? I'm not sure I would have thought about Canadian Tire. They do have a little bit of everything, don't they?

  3. The one thing I am sure of is to NEVER EVER EVER EVER BUY A SEWING MACHINE OR SERGER FROM WALMART. Sorry I will stop yelling now. Someone I used to work with bought a machine there, the thing has never worked properly and she has had it serviced several times, and of course Walmart is no help at all. You can't test drive these machine (same as Canadian Tire), so you really don't know what you are getting. I would go to a sewing machine dealer and buy one of the machines they took as a trade in. I often see nice machines for very reasonable prices. Have a look. Don't forget that the Singer brand isn't as good as it used to be.

  4. I bought my brother on the Costco website. It was a great price and I haven't had any problems with it. Plus it makes beautiful buttonholes a piece of cake. It was a great value. If I were more advanced and had a big budget I'd splurge on something nicer. But this works great for me now. Hope you find what you like!

  5. OOOh, where abouts in Canada do you live? I'm about an hour north or Toronto myself...

    1. I'm just on the outskirts of Hamilton...Great to hear from you Gillian!



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