Sewing machine

I want to attempt to make a pair of curtains and roman blind. I need to buy a sewing machine but don't want to pay to much.
Any ideas on what sewing to buy bearing in mind I have never used one before.
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I would buy a pretty basic model that only does a few different stitches, running, zigzag etc, some are capable of embroidery but I don't think you would ever use that option. When you get one spend a few hours getting to know it, how to thread it and the tensions of the cotton etc and how to change the bobbin and needles for different fabrics. I think a pair of curtains would be a good introduction as it's all straight stitching and adding the heading tape. The Roman blind I think is for an intermediate seamstress as you will have to insert rods and deal with the pulley lines.
Argos have a Brother sewing machine for £79.99 which has very good reviews and I think would be good as a first machine.

ikea do a basic machien for 45 quid. could be worth a punt.


I've seen loads up the local amenity site or try asking on freecycle

Lidl and Aldi have well rated ones fairly frequently. Keep a look out.
Also have a look in the deals section as some good deals pop up.

Pandora's upholstery is great for lining fabric.

If you change the type of thread then remember to change the needle (the thread makes an indent into the hole in the needle so when a different type of thread is introduced it can catch on the indent which breaks the thread which is such a pain!).

Check out eBay for fabrics, you can get some awesome bargains.

I'm new to curtains and went feet first into making a roman blind. It's ok but not perfect! Everyone else thinks it's perfect but I wish I'd done the stab stitch style of roman blind. I'll try that next time. There are loads of tutorials online and on youtube but make sure you read it through when not too tired as it can be confusing. Take your time and read it through twice.

Give the curtains a go first.

When you make the roman blinds, I would recommend the kits from Terrys Fabrics. They come with everything you need apart from the fabric, lining and thread! You will need a junior hacksaw, cheap from amazon, to cut it to size.
There's both the cable and cassette types. I have done both and much prefer the cassette ones but I'm not sure they're worth the extra if it's for a spare bedroom or somewhere which won't be used much.

The reviews online for this are excellent


If you're planning on taking up sewing a fair amount I wouldn't go too cheap on your first machine as you will probably want a better one soon after you get the sewing bug. Get a fairly good one to begin with and it will suit you now and when you improve.

Original Poster

Thanks for all the tips.

The roman blind will be for my sons bedroom along with the curtains. The blind will be drawn morning and night so got to be robust. I was thinking of maybe have a go at making a roman blind for my front door first as the window it is only tiny.

Im torn now over cost as dont want to buy an expenive, ish one incase i dont like sewing BUT if i do like sewing then i need it to last.

Try John Lewis - my niece bought a sewing machine from there and the lady booked her in for a free one hour tutorial on how to get started and included a few free scraps of material to practice on.

Original Poster

Thank you David. A tutorial would help greatly.

I'm still using my mothers 50 year old brother machine, they were built like tanks, although I can't vouch for build quality now, but at least with argos if it doesn't measure up you can return it.


ikea do a basic machien for 45 quid. could be worth a punt.

My sister bought one of these a few months ago to replace a hand driven singer (works like a charm, but requires patience which she doesn't have).
Its a damn good little sewing machine for £45. She's used it to make children's cloths, duvet covers, pillow cases and a bunch of other stuff.
Very simple to use and while I'm not a fan of electric sewing machines (tbh I'm not a fan of sewing in general) its something I would definitely recommend.
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