Saturday, October 12, 2013

Buying sewing machines in Manila


Obviously, if you want to learn to sew, you need a sewing machine.

There isn't a huge choice of brands for home sewing machines here in the Philippines. For home sewing you need one machine which will do pretty much everything for you: stitch seams, make buttonholes and finish everything off with a zig zag. These are the minimum requirements and they should at least come with a regular sewing foot, zipper foot and buttonhole foot. I also like machine which can do a 3 step zig-zag as that is useful for sewing on elastics.

If you buy industrial machines (which are widely available here), you would need one machine for each of those functions and it would cost you a heck of a lot more! That said, if you are sewing professionally, industrial machines do a much better job than household machines.

If you want to buy a new household machine, your only choice here in the Philippines is Brother or Singer. Brother usually carries 3 to 4 basic machines of varying price levels starting at P9,000. The cheaper ones come with standard stitches.  I usually recommend you get the one where you can adjust stitch width and stitch length manually, so you can adjust your zig-zag to whatever you are sewing, which is especially important if you want to start sewing jersey fabrics. They also carry a home serger/overlocker which is great for making anything out of jersey as well as finishing off seams in one go (they overlock and trim the edges at the same time) but at over P20,000 you have to do  a lot of sewing to make it work while. Brother has the advantage that they are available in most Automatic Centers, although if you have a particular model in mind, then call them first! Brother's Service centre is in The Fort which makes it easy if you live anywhere around there.

Singer has a website showing a wider choice of sewing machines, but I have never seen them sold retail except at their own outlets. You can call the importer MONTEVERDE SEWING MACHINE INC  tel 362.0712 or go down to the depths of Manila (somewhere behind Divisoria) to see the machines. Although their website says that they have an outlet in Makati now as well. I have not yet been there, so can't vouch for what is available there.

I don’t have a particular preference for either brand as I own both. It just depends on your budget and what you want the machine to be able to do. I never recommend you buy a machine from abroad, as chances are that they won’t be able to find the spare parts here. If you do, buy a basic machine and not an electronic one with all the bells and whistles as you definitely won't find spare parts or anyone to repair it if something goes wrong.

If you are on a budget, you can buy a machine in the second hand market down in Manila ( the Port Area, 13th Street off Anda Circle, opposite The Philippine Star). These machines sell for around P3000. They are usually from Japan and 100V so you will need a transformer and they rarely come with a manual! Again, I recommend staying away from any of the digital ones, as if something goes wrong, local mechanics won’t be able to fix them. And unless you do a lot of children’s clothes, you’ll never use all those fancy stitches anyway!

13 comments:

  1. Hi.. Mam, regarding sewing machines brand new and second hand you may want to consider us when it comes to quality and standard we sell refurbished/slightly used machines that comes with brand new table, motor and stand. For price Idea Hi-speed sewing machines ranged from 10k to 11k original machines, but we also have china machines for as low as 7.5k we have all kinds of sewing machines, we also sell Interlining VILENE of Freudenberg we are a sole distributor of VILENE.. We also have sewing threads that comes in 351 colors (Tkt. 120) 5000Y for price inquiry you may call at 0919-2777714 and look for Sherryl Serrano or you may visit our website www.firstsunglobalphils.webs.com for more products. I suggest that instead of buying in PORT AREA buy in a registered dealer and stable company where you can avail warranty and at the same time they can assist you in technical problems.

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  2. I just like sewing and i want to buy a sewing machine with a new and attractive brand. I think you have my choice. This blog is very helpful for me for buying an industrial sewing machine.

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  3. How about those mini sewing machine for starter? Are they good enough just to learn the basic sewing?

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  4. anyone knows where to buy a mini sewing machine less than 1k? message me please beverly.impang@facebook.com

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    1. Mylene, I don't recommend those sewing machines as their motors are not strong enough to sew through multiple levels of cloth. If you really want to buy one, I suggest you test on at least 6 layers of a medium thickness fabric.

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  5. We have industrial sewing machine for as low as 7k.

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    1. Hi Ms Sheryl, I am looking for one. Please send me an email at maria_hycinth@hotmail.com. Where are you located? Thanks.

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  6. Hello! I'm planning to buy a sewing machine, is there any specific machine for making swimwears as I want to make swimwear and dresses

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    1. There are very special industrial machines for sewing swimwear and you might need a few of them for the different processes involved (serger for side seam, special machine for sewing in elastic etc.). so if you plan on making a swimwear line to sell, then you definitely need the specialized machines and the sewers who can use them. If you are making just one suit for yourself, you can actually do it on a household machine which had a zig zag as well as a 3-step zig zag.

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  7. I am seeking to immediately hire a few good seamstresses age 25-50 years old for a clothing company I am establishing in Manila Philippines. Salary will be negotiable depending on experience and free lodging is available. If Interested, please text the word "sew" to me in msg at 09291605008. Thanks! Danny P.

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  8. im ken to buy 2 unit. rivero_martin@yahoo.com

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  9. Hi Ms. WeLoveSewing! I would like to know if you still hold classes for sewing? I am a beginner

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  10. Well, Brother sergers are on top I will say, you can read more here http://usemyreviews.com/serger-reviews-2014/

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