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What sewing machine would you recommend to someone who plans to use it for only very simple, very occasional sewing (like sewing linings for the purses I plan to knit, maybe the occasional quilt)? All I need it to do are straight lines and zigzags, nothing fancy.

CK
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No. of Recommendations: 2
What sewing machine would you recommend to someone who plans to use it for only very simple, very occasional sewing (like sewing linings for the purses I plan to knit, maybe the occasional quilt)? All I need it to do are straight lines and zigzags, nothing fancy.

Even if you are not planning on sewing much, I would very strongly recommend AGAINST getting a cheap-o machine that only does straight and zig-zag stitches. Get one that will do a decent amount of stitches, I think most worthwhile machines do at least 17 stitches. No matter how little you think you will use it now, you will wind up using it a lot more than you think unless you get a crappy machine (in which case you will never use it).
I highly recommend eBay, but if you are uncomfortable with eBay, if there is a Sears near you, see if they have a last year's model of machine. I picked up my old Kenmore for about half of it's original price simply because I caught it at the model change-over. You should be able to get away with spending about $150 (give or take) for a machine that will do what you want it to do well.
If you decide to use eBay, I can give you the name of a seller that I've bought from and been very impressed with.
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My wife just got a Singer "Basic-Featured" machine.
The Singer 4830.
It is a 32-Stitch Function Sewing Machine.

http://www.singerco.com/products

Amazon sells it.
List Price: $250.00
Price: $129.99
You Save: $120.01 (48%)

There are mixed reviews on Amazon (either love it or hate it)

My wife seems to be enjoying it so far and has had no problems.

Hope this helps,
Jimmy
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All I need it to do are straight lines and zigzags, nothing fancy.

AND automatic button hole AND stretch stitch AND some sort of overlock stitch AND blind hemming (which comes in handy). These are the bare minimum for a machine to be really useful. Also make sure they throw in as many "feet" as possible; as a minimum you need a zig-zag foot, a zipper foot, a button hole foot/attachment (each machine is different). If you want to quilt, get a quilting bar and walking foot now whilst the machine has a full range of accessories.

Also, make sure the machine is heavy enough so that it stays in one place when you sew fast. My mother's old machine used to "walk" due to the vibrations it generated....

- Pam (the quilting bar for my machine was really hard to track down because it isn't a current model)
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I like my Brother PS1000. It was $240 new, and came w/a 10 year guarantee from the shop, plus a 2 year maintenance plan. I'm sure you could find a better deal used.
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I just purchased a Pacesetter NX-200 by brother, over 40 stitch types, 5 different feet, and a great warranty. I paid $400 for it, but I'm certain it will last a very long time.
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