Sewing Machines

All of the following Sewing Machines I have owned, used and would recommend. I no longer use them however, now I use a vintage Kenmore (I will post pictures and review later).
Some of my sewing machine reviews can be found at patternreview

Janome 11558
http://images.patternreview.com/sewingmachines/janome/11558.jpg

First of all this is the EXACT same model as 15358 sold by SEARS under Kenmore logo, I looked at both and tried them they are the same machine! I sewed with it almost everyday for a year before going on to a new machine.
I loved how easy it was to use! So straight forward and simple. It sewed through Everything I put it through, but I didn't really use it for super thick or tough stuff on a regular basis (the thickest I sewed through was a double layer of hemmed denim). I liked the variety of stitches they were basic and yet had some decorative touches to them as well, I never had one problem with them at all.
The bobbin was easy enough to use, but after having a drop in bobbin with a clear plate I see what I was missing!
The pressure foot is NOT adjustable, but it was surprisingly good adjusting itself to all thickness of fabric.
This machine does clunk when sewing just a bit more than i like but not enough to make it a bad thing.
All in all this is a great machine! And definitely worth the buy! If it had adjustable pressure then it would be perfect and I would have kept it forever, since it doesn't I have moved on to a newer machine (but I REALLY miss it and kind of wish I hadn't gotten rid of it).
 


What I do not like about this machine
First off No Adjustable pressure; I sew a lot with knits and no matter what I did the hems of my shirts ended up a little WAVY. It wasn't a problem so much with thinner knits (like T-shirts) but any kind of thickness and it happened.
Second the "Automatic"- buttonholer; I always had a problem on the third step with it getting stuck then I would have to unpick it :( It didn't always happen but it happened often enough that I wished it had a 4 step instead, much easier in my opinion.




Janome 11574


I had the 11558 and got this in its place, so I will be comparing this one to it.I love the decorative stitches and... well... all of them really! One feature that is really great is that when you pick a stitch it has the recommended length and width written on the the dial thingy so you don't have to look up it up in the manual. At first it was a little bit of a learning curve since it is a bit more complicated than my previous machine (honestly I can't believe people are buying it for nine-year-olds it is much harder than I would have liked at that age!).
It has sewn through everything I have given it with very few problems, but I kind of was expecting more than I got.
It has free arm capability and the part I am loving is the compartment on the free arm it opens so easy and it has a place for 4 bobbins!!!! I LOVE that!!!!!
The measurements are very nicely placed and written.
All in all it is a nice machine but I'm not completely in love with it. It is easy, not as easy as a lot of other machines and I'm not sure it is one I would try to learn on; to many options for a beginner.  

What I do not like about this machine
1. This machine it seems less powerful than the 11558, when I push the pedal it doesn't go quite as fast or feel as strong.
2. The buttonholer is automatic and I wish it were a 4 step instead.


Bernette 705

This is good machine for any level of sewer!
It has 6 actual stitches, but they each can be varied through width and length.
It is a solid machine! Metal on the outside and inside (I couldn't see any plastic parts).

The thing that sets this machine a part from other very basic machines is the fact that it has an adjustable pressure foot! I haven''t seen that on very many machines that are made more for the beginner. With this feature alone knits are easier, delicate fabric a breeze and you can sew through really thick layers much, much easier!
It has a 4-step buttonholer which is my favorite (I really do not like automatic buttonholers)!
It has a vertical bobbin and as far as I have been able to tell it takes class 15 metal bobbins.
I think this machine will last a long time and be perfect for anyone!

See the stiches?^^
What I do not like about this machine
1. The pressure foot is by the light and only assessable by undoing the screw on the front part of the cover, not very easy to get at while sewing. Really though this feature is such a big one in my book that its not really a negative just annoying.
2. It is a mechanical machine and it clunks a bit not really bad


Brother LS-2000
Brother Sewing Machine LS2000 (affiliate link) 
This is a very basic machine there is not an automatic buttonholer or even a four step, but it does have very good insstructions in the manual how to make them. I was surprised how easy it is to make them without an attachment! It is only has straight stitch, varying zig-zags (See bottom pics vv) and you can put the needle in three positions. I was impressed with this machine it seemed very durable and didn't feel like a piece of plastic.

What I did not like
Nothing really, it is just a very basic machine.


Kenmore 17741
This is my vintage Kenmore! I don't really have a name for her I call her a few things like Vinny, Kenny or Vintage Kenmore! And a few other things when I mess up.....
I bought her at a thrift store for $30 she was missing a pressure foot and some other things I wanted so I purchased more accessories on eBay for $30.
She has adjustable pressure, can drop her feed-dogs and has all the the basic stitches plus some stretch ones, without using any cams.


I put cams here to add more stitches.


The buttonholer is so easy! I hook everything up and push the pedal, yes it is that easy! The only downside is that I have to do the sizes shown on the rectangle thingy on the right, luckily I have two so I have 8-9 options to choose from.


All of my accessories are stored in this little box. The one I bought has everything! Even a nifty foot called a Q-foot, it is made for sewing with knit fabric and I LOVE it!
The discs are my cams I have more but that is all that fit in this box.


See all the stitches it can do? Some of my favorites are the fish, trees, hearts and the vines. I only did a few of them, there are just too many!
For $60 I got everything on my wish list. I know lower entry Berninas (aka Bernette) sell for at least $300 and doesn't have all the features this does! Did I mention it sews great? Well it does. I haven't had one bit of trouble with it even when quilting.


Kenmore 19110
 This machine has a lot for your money! I was impressed with all of the features such as needle up/down speed control and the actual stitches are great because there are so many!
 This machine was really good but I was not in love it from the beginning. I sew a lot a knit fabric and it simply did not preform the way I wanted.
 I have heard that a walking foot makes it better but I never did purchase one.
I loved free motion foot with this machine it was much easier than any of my previous machines had been.
A very good machine and I didn't have any problems with it. I just didn't really love the machine.


Singer 237
 This is a Singer 237 fashion mate.
I got this for free and with a little work it ran very smoothly. It really is a great machine! It is run by a belt and everything is all metal. There is very little this machine can't do. It can drop the feed dogs, you can adjust your needle in 3 positions and can it zigzag tight enough to make a button hole.
 It only has a straight stitch and a zigzag, no decorative stitches, but it can vary greatly in the width and length of each. Another bonus is that it has adjustable pressure it is a good feature to have and it is not seen on many machines nowadays in a low end price range (I have only seen it in one machine under $400 and 2-3 machines under $1000) it really makes a difference in sewing!

 
This one even had a a case which is very handy!