A great machine
The only negative thing I can say about this machine is this: It's so much better than my Singer Esteem II that I'm wondering just how much better an even more expensive Singer would have been. Now that I've realized how much fun a better-than-basic machine can be, I'm starting to covet the machines that will do even fancier stitches and do letters.
With that said, I didn't really need to spend more than I did on this machine. So, I'm perfectly happy!
1. The instruction manual is incredibly detailed. My basic Singer Esteem covered many features so briefly that I really didn't know what I was doing. The Stylist manual even goes so far as to explain many of the included 100 stitches. The machine is pretty self-explanatory to get setup if you've sewed before. But it's nice that any questions you have are probably in the manual and won't require a long Google search.
2. It sews VERY smoothly. And it's so much quieter than my old machine.
3. The option to have the needle stop up or down might not seem like a big deal - but it's SO convenient once you get used to it. I love it!
4. The slider to control the speed of the machine without the foot pedal also gives some speed control when the foot pedal is attached. Although my daughter is too young to sew now, I imagine that being able to limit the foot pedal's speed for a beginner will be a great plus. And when piecing together long strips of fabric, in particular, the ability to sew without the foot pedal attached is a nice luxury. I was afraid it would be scary and hard to stop. But the Start/Stop button is located in a very convenient place, making it easy to stop the machine with your finger that's feeding the fabric through.
5. The stitches are really pretty. To bring back up my old Singer Esteem II - it had some extra stitches that looked quite awful and I wondered why anyone would ever use them. I kind of expected that with this model too, but since I sew mostly children's clothing, it didn't matter a lot to me if anything but standard stitches worked. But I have been very pleasantly surprised. I've already found myself embellishing some items with the pretty choices.
6. Can you believe how many presser feet are included with this machine? Really, that alone is what sold me on it. I compared with other machines that offered all the other features except for the feet, and some were even more money. I'd never gotten to use a ruffler foot before this. No more sewing a long stitch and pulling to create my ruffle - the machine does it for me! I've been experimenting with the embroidery foot. They're all awesome.
7. The ONLY problem I've had with the machine is this: When I have the needle in the setting to end "down", and I stop and need to remove my fabric, and I turn the wheel to move the needle, the thread gets too tight (upper thread) and breaks as I pull my fabric out. I've found that the simple solution is to turn the need to the "up" position, do a quick backstitch, and the thread pulls with no problem.
8. I've had zero problems with the bobbin so far. It is super easy to load. It hasn't jammed (which my old machine did all the stinking time!). And, while the plastic cover over the bobbin compartment originally concerned me because of durability questions, I'm really liking being able to see how much bobbin thread I have left. In my old, front loading bobbin machine, I was always surprised to run out of bobbin thread....often after having sewn a very long time without it (a big pain). Now I can keep an easy eye on it without having to unthread it.
So that's it. I love this machine. If you can afford a much more expensive machine, like $500+, then get it. But if you're looking in the $190-$300 range, this one seems to be one of the best. And if you're just starting sewing, skip the $100 machines and just go straight for this model. It's affordable, and makes sewing seem easier because the machine just does what it should.
I cannot say enough about this machine, it is one of the best ones I have ever used, I have a $1000 Necchi and this one blows that one to bits. It is so smooth and Singer customer service, the best out there. They have almost every Singer sewing machine manual on their website available for a free download. Only Brother is another one to do that. I will not consider another brand because of their great staff. Do not hesitate to buy a Singer and this particular model is just wonderful. If, this is a comeback product for Singer, they are on the right track because sewing is coming back big time. People are sick of cheap clothes, and want quality. You can make your own custom outfits in no time with the new patterns out there. Give it a try!!!!!! You will not be sorry.
I am only disappointed that it does not have a lever to lower the feed dogs, you get a plastic plate to cover them, which can jump. I fixed that by using painters tape to hold it down and then it does not jump. Always make sure that you use the right size needle, ie. denim should be at least a #14 or #16, plus use a product called hump jumper or a jean a ma jig that lets you sew right over a heavy seam flawlessly. I also use a Brother SA 176 J foot that has a button on the side to hold the foot flat and it will do the same thing for heavy seams. It is a snap on foot and works fine with the Singer, most snap ons are universal. I have taught sewing for over 20 years, been sewing for over 50 years and am always looking for tools to make things easier.
My First Machine
I researched for a long time before making my decision, learning about drop-in bobbins and zipper foots... but of all the reviews I read none of them told me the things I needed to read as a first-time buyer. I'll try my best to do that here:
1. Set up is simple straight out of the box, you plug in the power and the pedal. You turn on the power. Done... Threading time.
2. The instruction manual has three different languages all on the same page, so threading your machine and learning its functions the first time will be a little frustrating. I really suggest watching the included DVD, even though it's not model specific, it does provide a lot of helpful information.
3. The variable speed has proven to be very useful as a first time sewer. I was afraid of pressing the pedal and having the fabric zoom uncontrollably through my inexperienced fingers. However, the lowest speed allows you time to see and understand how the fabric moves through the machine.
4. My husband hovered over my shoulder during my research days incessantly questioning whether this or that model would handle denim. I have not had a chance to sew actual denim but the machine handled 6 layers of cotton fabric - it groaned and struggled slightly but soldiered through it. I feel confident saying that with the proper needle, this machine would handle it fine.
5. The throat plate does have measurements engraved on it so you can line up your fabric for the seam allowance, however, I wish the bobbin cover also had the markings on it. I have to crane forward to see the measurements and my unfamiliar hands end up pulling the fabric sideways.
6. Automatic threader... ingenious! I didn't read my instruction manually thoroughly the first time (too excited!) and I was trying to thread the needle manually. Stop! Auto-thread! :)
All-in-all, coming from someone who had never sewn anything a day in her life and made an apron and a pillow within hours of getting the machine; this is perfection! A wonderful first-time machine and I doubt there will be many occasions where I'd need anything more substantial. I am very, very happy with this purchase!
A FANTASTIC little machine! Best I've found for the price!
Some background on me....I'm a sewing machine hoarder! I probably own 20+ working machines of all ages and brands. I have machines from a 1901 working Singer treadle to two Featherweights to several (i.e., over 5) modern computerized sewing machines, so I know my way around a sewing machine and know the importance of a machine that is easy to use.
I teach sewing to a small group of 9-11 year old girls who have very little or no experience with a sewing machine, and i've purchased 8 (so far!) of these machines through OnlineShopDealer.com. Every single machine arrives in perfect condition and runs beautifully!
This machine is very user friendly, and I have the girls up and running in no time at all! That's very important to a new sew-er because if there are problems with the machine, they will become frustrated right at the start and then could find sewing a chore instead of something fun. No such problem with this machine! My girls especially love the decorative stitches and how easy it is to switch from one to another with the computerized stitch choice panel. This machine has opened the door to my girls' creativity and is building the foundation for a life-long love of sewing and maybe even a way to add to their income in a few years as they sell what they make. They've been making gifts for people from the very beginning. I've even told them that they can sew their wedding dresses with this machine some day!
Another reason I initially chose this machine is the Singer 25 year warranty, something that you don't see in lower-priced sewing machines. But in the year and a half that I've been buying them and my girls have been putting their machines through their paces, I've never had one issue with any of the 8 that we have!
I HIGHLY recommend this machine! I'd give it 10 stars if I could! If anyone gets this machine and has problems with it, then it's most likely a fluke and should be returned. Or it could be something as simple as incorrect threading or bobbin winding. There is one part of the threading that takes a bit to learn, getting the thread in the correct place on the wire guide and how to lay the thread for the needle threader. A little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature. if anyone has problems with their Singer 7256, before you return it, feel free to email me and i'll see if i can talk you through the threading!
Great machine, especially for the price!
This Singer was for my wife, to replace her ages-old machine. I don't know anything about using sewing machines, but I can tell you that since she got this she's been sewing up a storm! I asked her after she'd had it for a few days whether it sewed buttons on, since that's the one chore I always delegate to her. (OK, shoot me, I don't know how to do it!!) She told me no, then a few minutes later came running into the room to say that, yes, this machine even sewed buttons, not just button holes!
Anyway, I'm a happy camper because she's a happy camper. I wouldn't label my wife an expert seamstress, but she does make her own dresses, and often finds something at Marshall's or TJMaxx that needs an alteration to make it work, and she's great at doing that with this machine. The price was also hundreds of dollars less than others that we evaluated, and this item shipped with OnlineShopDealer Prime.
I can tell you that now that she's had it for a month, she'd purchase it again. Oh, and lessons for this machine and how to use it are all over YouTube, so there are lots of tutorials to get you over most usage questions.
I bought this machine because it had generally good reviews, I trust the Singer brand, and it was reasonably priced. We bought ours online at Costco.com for $145 rather than $180. As noted in the responses below, Costco may or may not be selling this item any more. They rotate products frequently so you'll just have to check for yourself.
My first impressions of this machine were that it was light, cute, clean, and didn't look too confusing. Being a novice sewer, I didn't want something that was going to confuse me too much. It took me a few minutes to figure out exactly how the bobbin tension worked but once I got the hang of that, it was cake. I like that the bobbin stops spinning when it's full. Because this machine is a little smaller than the one I learned on, I feel like the actual work space is a little constricted but it's still big enough for me to thread the needle easily and feed fabric through without a problem. My first project was a baby blanket so there was a lot of fabric and this machine handled it effortlessly. I like that the machine automatically retracts the needle when you take your foot off of the pedal, making it so I don't break my needle forgetting to lift it before removing my fabric. I love all of the different stitch options. It makes it easy for somebody like me, who still kind of sucks, to produce a fun, neat looking project.
The only disadvantage I see to this machine is that the pedal is plastic and so is the leaver that lifts the presser foot is plastic and feels a little cheap. It also came with a "cover" that's merely a piece of flimsy plastic film. My toddler tore it without much effort so that's a bummer. I'll be sewing a cloth one soon. Other than those things, I am in love with the machine. It came with all kinds of neat little goodies, like a seam ripper/brush, button hole makers, the automatic needle threader feature, etc. It's just fun. I feel like I want to sew random scraps because it's so much fun to try the different stitches.
Loved it from the first try!
Before buying this machine I used an older model of Brother Brand. When the Brother broke down I still wanted something reasonably basic but with a few more capabilities than the Brother had been able to do. I was in no way disappointed in the way this machine stitches and runs. The DVD that comes with it is very well done and gave lot's of good information and ideas. The only things about this machine that might take some getting used to is that the power cord and foot control are seperate whereas on my Brother machine they were all connected in one cord and the foot control is less sensitive than the Brother had ben and has some delays if I take my foot off it and then try to make it go again immediately. Those are not bad things but just something that I will have to get used to. Overall it is a very easy machine to use and it truly stitches beautifully and much better than my older machine.
Boy, am I impressed!
I make quilts - a lot of them, mostly pieced but some appliqued. I bought this machine last November - a little shakily at getting it online rather than from a dealer - but it's been a wonderful experience. The delivery was super fast, the price was great, and I have been sewing away happily ever since. Finished half a dozen quilt tops, a couple tote bags, a quilted cover for my Kindle, and a couple wall hangings are shaping up nicely. The manual is great, the machine easy to figure out, and altogether I am delighted that I got it. It isn't the fanciest machine I've ever used, but it does all that I need it to do, and it does it well. What more could I ask for?
I've always had a soft spot for Singer machines - I learned on an old Singer treadle that my Dad had converted to electric for my Grandma in the early 40's and then passed on to my mother, and my prom dress was made on an Aunt's treadle Singer, still going strong in the late 60's. I have another Singer - the "simple" model, that I lug around to classes and stuff - it works well, also, in spite of all the "lugging" in the back of my car!
At first I was a little hesitant to buy a singer sewing machine... the quality of the brand has gone down hill quite steadily over the years. I prefer Janome, but they are way out of my price range. I'm 18 years old, but an expert sewer so it was pertinent that I get myself a good machine, that wouldn't break a college student's bank. I found the Singer Stylist 7258, and thought "Okay, I'll get it, I PRAY it works well. It seems to have all the features that a janome would, minus the drop feed." I was pleasantly surprised the night I got it. It sews great!! The features are delightful. I did have one mishap with it, though. The thread underneath caught and locked up my machine, I looked in the manual how to fix it, but it didn't work. So I called singer and they talked me through fixing it. The customer service department was beyond excellent!!
Pros: Customer service is great, smooth sewing, lots of features, comes with an immense amount of accessories, excellent stitches.
Cons: If it did need to go out to be serviced, there aren't many singer servicing stations... which means your warranty really only goes so far.
I'd definitely recommend this sewing machine!!!
A solid machine for the price - great for beginners
I have owned this machine for a little under a year. I had never sewn before and chose this machine to learn on based on the positive reviews, relatively inexpensive price tag, number of stitches, and the extra feet included with the machine.
First, the positives (and there are a lot of them):
It's very user friendly. The manual is quite helpful and describes how to use each feature the machine has, and also includes recommendations for what needles/feet/tension to use depending on your fabric and stitch choices. Stitches are selected by buttons, and it's quite simple to adjust the stitch length or width. The backstitch button, needle up/down button, start/stop button, and speed control switch are conveniently located and easy to use.
It's quite easy to thread and wind the bobbin, and I've never had any trouble with thread breaking. The tension is easily adjustable with a dial located on the top of the machine.
The needle up/down function quite nice.
It adjusts to a free-arm. A big help when sewing sleeves for children's clothing. The storage compartment in the base holds all the included extra presser feet, as well as a few more that I've purchased separately (note - the button sewing foot is awesome).
It's been dependable. I've used this machine every other day or so for nearly a year, and it has never once jammed. The tension settings have been consistent and the fabric feeds evenly.
The automatic needle threader makes it MUCH easier to thread.
It comes with a bunch of extra presser feet.
The one-step buttonholes are fantastic.
It's quiet. This is important because the majority of my sewing is at night after my kids are asleep.
Now I won't say this machine really has any "negatives"...they're more just small annoyances that from what I've read, are par for the course with an inexpensive machine:
The pressure foot pressure is not adjustable. There have been a few times where it would have been way easier (and the garment would have had better results) had I been able to lighten the pressure of the presser foot.
The start/stop button does not work if the foot pedal is plugged into the machine. I prefer to wind the bobbin with the push button rather than the foot pedal, and it's slightly annoying that to do so I have to unplug the foot pedal first.
With straight and zig-zap stitch settings (not any of the decorative stitch settings), the backstitch button takes one MORE stitch forward before stitching backward. It projects where the end of your seam/stitching needs to be precise, you need to account for this and stop short, then hit the backstitch button to go one more stitch forward. Also, there is no continuous backward stitching function, so you have to push the backstitch button 3 to 4 times.
The machine will remember your adjustments to stitch settings while the machine is on, but the memory is erased once you turn off the machine. You'll need to adjust your stitch settings again.
You cannot drop the feed dogs. Now granted, this is not a machine geared towards quilting, but it would be a nice feature. On the other hand, it does come with a darning plate to cover the feed dogs which makes it possible to do free motion quilting. However, you'll be limitied to small quilts due to the size of the throat.
The lighting could be better, but there are accessory sewing lights that you could purchase separately.
All in all, I'm very happy with this machine. Even if I upgrade to a more expensive machine geared towards quilting (larger throat space, ability to drop the feed dogs, etc.) I will still keep my stylist. It's not too large to travel with or take to classes, and it would be a good machine to teach my daughter with when she is older. I'd recommend it for beginners or anyone not wanting to spend a ton of money on a home sewing machine.