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605 of 611 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A talented "singer" sews up a storm
Introduction

I've been sewing since middle school, and in fact, I used to make all my clothes in high school, being long on height and at the time, short on wardrobe funds. Even now, I like to sew my summer clothes, as it's easy to whip up a skirt in a pretty floral pattern that may take me 20 minutes to sew and cost me next to nothing. I also enjoy making home...
Published on October 25, 2010 by Joanna Daneman

versus
66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good machine for the beginner
If you want a sewing machine to make simple garments, maybe that costume for the kids in school or to fix a hem, this is a good machine. It is easy to thread and bobbin winding is simple as well. It sews a nice seam on light weight fabrics. It also comes with several different types of stitches and feet to do some of the more complicated sewing tasks. However, when I...
Published on December 9, 2010 by M. Kooiman


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605 of 611 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A talented "singer" sews up a storm, October 25, 2010
This review is from: SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Introduction

I've been sewing since middle school, and in fact, I used to make all my clothes in high school, being long on height and at the time, short on wardrobe funds. Even now, I like to sew my summer clothes, as it's easy to whip up a skirt in a pretty floral pattern that may take me 20 minutes to sew and cost me next to nothing. I also enjoy making home decor items and accessories such as bags.

I own several sewing machines, from a very old mechanical machine as old as I am, to a modern electronic machine that embroiders and practically sews by itself. I was interested to see what this basic machine can do, and here's what I found

Type of Sewing Machine

The "Talent" is a starter machine or a basic machine, meaning, it does most sewing tasks, and is suitable for a beginning sewist or for someone who wants to do most sewing tasks and perhaps does not have the budget for a more advanced machine. This is a mechanical machine, meaning you change stitches (say, from straight to zigzag or stretch stitch) via a mechanical knob, not electronically. There is no LCD screen, no touch pad, and no ability to do embroidery. The good news is that this kind of machine tends to be very rugged; no chips to burn out or LCD to go blank. This machine, given good care, should last for years and deliver a lot of sewing power.

The machine is definitely most suited to garment and home decor sewing. It produces a beautifully straight stitch, and has enough fancy stitches to do most home sewing designs.

Features

The "Talent" has a lot of good features

1. One-Step Buttonhole. This is unusual on a mechanical machine. Most mechanical sewing machines rely on a four-step buttonhole, where you stitch down one side, do a bar tack, stitch in reverse back down the other side of the buttonhole, then bar tack the end (hopefully, you were able to end up at your starting place, and that you marked your buttonholes all the same length and the CORRECT length.) A one-step buttonhole uses a foot with a place to insert a button. This tells the machine where to start and stop the bar tacks, making for uniform buttonholes that are the right length for your chosen button.

There is only one style of buttonhole (plain tight satin stitch, straight bar tacks) but the fact this can do a one-step is reason enough to strongly consider the "Talent" as a do-all machine or a great machine to start a youngster on.

There is also an included button sewing foot; this is an open-ended foot that grips a button in place and allows you to sew it on using the machine; handy if making shirts with lots of buttons.

2. There are many accessory feet included. This is generous; my more expensive machine only came with a few feet and these items can add quite a bit onto the base machine price. The Talent includes a gathering foot (great for ruffles on pillows and girl's dresses), a buttonhole and button sewing foot, a zigzag foot (standard) a zipper foot, a quilting guide, a walking foot and an edge cutter, for overcasting and trimming seams. These could easily add up to an extra hundred or so over the purchase price. The feet fit into a nicely design extension piece; remove it to sew narrow hems around sleeves and trouser legs. It is the pull-off kind, not a drawer, and the accessories fit inside, nicely held in place by a lid. Most of these extension piece/storage boxes are simple tubes and the items inside fly out when you pull it off the machine. Very good design.

3. The stitches include basic ones, but sufficient for most tasks: zigzag, rick-rack, feather stitch, stretch stitch, and twenty or so more including blind hem, smocking and edge overcasting stitch. You choose your stitch on the knob selector; one stitch will be adjustable in width, the other paired stitch is selected by the "S" setting on the stitch length knob and is automatically sewn by the machine (for example, the feather stitch.) There are 23 stitches in all. The stitches are even; in fact, the straight stitch is MORE even than my electronic machine costing 3x as much. Partly, this would be due to the fact that this is a mechanical machine, but even so, I found the machine produces excellent stitches with hardly any coaxing.

There is the ability to free-sew by covering the feed dogs (the toothed gears that move fabric beneath the presser foot.) The feed dogs do NOT drop down as in some machines. A plastic plate is included to allow you to either sew on a button or to use the darning/embroidery foot for free sewing. This is something quilters do use frequently.

The machine includes a needle threader. It's made of metal and is very sturdy. It has a side thread cutter which I found a tad dull (could have been a bit sharper) and a clear bobbin window and a drop in bobbin. Easy to see if your thread is running low. Of course, there is a bobbin winder on top.

The side cutter is optional to use, but is included; you can mount it on the side and choose to overcast and trim your seams. It can only be used with overlock or regular zigzag stitch. This replicates part of what a serger does,that is, it overcasts and trims extra seam allowance for a finished effect. A serger sews a seam AND finishes and overcasts all at the same time and sews a lot faster than a sewing machine. This machine is fast but not the fastest on the block. If you need a serger, you need a serger, and at this price, you could add a Brother Serger and between the two machines, you'd be well equipped to sew clothing. I like to use a serger on straight seams and any seams that need finishing; the side cutter is nice to have, but a serger is a lot more useful and faster, too.

There is an auxiliary spool pin, to insert in the top, for using a double needle for top stitching along with a second spool of thread.

The manual is EXCEPTIONALLY WELL WRITTEN, WELL-ORGANIZED and THOROUGH. I highlight this as many machines have sketchy manuals and they are not written well at all. This manual is a short, thick, pamphlet, with lots of illustrations and is written in English, French and Spanish. The Singer Company should be proud of the job they've done on this manual; most of the manuals are not very good and this one is excellent.

What's Not Included

1. This machine does not have a foot-less start-stop. This is a handy feature if you quilt. Nor is there a way to adjust speed except using the foot pedal. Since coordinating free motion when quilting is easier if you don't have to coordinate your foot and your hands, this is not an ideal machine for quilters, although it certainly can be used for quilting. More advanced quilting machines will have the start-stop without the pedal and a speed adjustment bar, plus drop-down feed dogs. If quilting is your passion, you may want to consider a different machine.

2. There is no automatic needle up, needle down feature or needle memory. This is a feature where the needle stays down or up when you stop sewing, and really adds to sewing efficiency. Nor is there an automatic thread cutter.

I did not see a presser foot pressure adjustment, handy for light and heavy fabrics. However, the presser foot has an extra-high lift, which is good for thick fabrics.

Who Should Buy This Machine?

If you intend to sew children's clothing, your own clothes, mend garments, sew home items, and if you don't want to spend a fortune on a machine or if you are a beginner, this is an EXCELLENT choice of machine. If you have a budding sewist, this machine is rugged but full of features that do the job. I found the straight stitch to be extremely regular and even, a failing of many more expensive machines. The light is bright and the controls well marked and easy to use. There are sufficient feet included to make this a great choice on a budget; you don't have to supplement this machine with many, if any, accessories.

Who Might Want to Pass on This Machine?

If you are a very experienced sewist, this could be your battleship machine, something to do rugged tasks. I would not suggest it as a traveling-light machine; it weighs about 12 lbs and is not as light as some of the little 3/4 machines that people use to take to sewing meets.

However, if you are a quilter and sew a lot, the lack of some of the modern features like needle-up-down memory and footless control are a drawback. If you want embroidery, fonts, a lot of decorative stitches, or more buttonhole styles such as keyhole, hand stitched style, stretch, then this is not the machine.

Summary

This is a rugged, feature-rich, and pretty machine with all the right notes for basic sewing. The features have been chosen with care to suit most sewing needs, and this is a great machine for sewing clothing and doing home decor. For the price, I'd say this would qualify as a great value and unless you need an advanced electronic machine, this would be a great choice for most people's basic sewing needs.
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100 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good workhorse. Simple and basic., November 21, 2010
This review is from: SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Singer sewing machine is solid, a real workhorse. It's also simple, basic, without a lot of bells a whistles. It's a manual machine, no digital display, not many stitches. For a novice, it can be a little more daunting than something like the Brother CS6000I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 60-Stitch Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine. One would think not, but I'll explain why.

OUT OF THE BOX

This machine did not come with a hard cover, something I noticed right away. It has a vinyl cover, which is fine by me.

I just had to take it out and plug it in. Winding the bobbin was quick and easy. Threading was a problem. The little hook on the automatic needle threader is not centered properly so that it does not automatically go through the eye of the needle. I need to pull the needle a little with my hand to make the hook go through so that the process is not so automatic. Perhaps I have a machine that has a minor defect.

Basic sewing I could do right away. It feels stronger and more powerful than my Brother. The speed was completely controlled by the presser foot, as opposed to my Brother machine, which has a maximum speed setting for more control or for novices.

When I don't want the fabric to feed through, I need to use a darning plate rather than lowering the feed dogs. I don't like the feel of the darning plate, because it is raised. I like my work area flat.

Since there are only 23 stitches available, but they include a buttonhole stitch, the basic straight stitch and some zigzag and fancier stitches.

THE MANUAL

The manual needs improvement. It is written in three languages, side by side. That makes it a headache to browse. It has a table of contents but no index. It's also not very thorough and the illustrations are not clear.

I am a novice at sewing, but I can sew on my Brother, because I can look everything up on the manual and it tells me what I need to know about this stitch and that, what fabrics, which needles, what foot. There are all kinds of tables. Not so with Singer. If I want a stitch, I have to go to the table of contents and hope it's there.

BUTTONHOLE STITCH

Once I figured it out, the one step buttonhole stitch was easy. Although Brother also has the capability, I never did this on my other machine. The only problem with it is the backward stitches are tighter than the forward stitches, so it looks uneven. If anyone knows what I'm doing wrong, please let me know.

SIDE CUTTER

I was looking forward to the side cutter foot. If I can't have a serger, at least I can make do with a side cutter. Again, once I figured out the instructions, it wasn't too difficult and results are better than my trying to just zigzag along an edge. Love it!

PROS:
+ sturdy and powerful workhorse
+ basic machine, nothing fancy
+ side cutter foot!
+ quick and easy to set up out of the box

CONS:
- not as simple to use for a novice as other machines
- manual needs improvement
- needle threader hook was off center (could be a defect of just my machine -- or not)
- not many stitches available
- no hard cover

SUMMARY

This is a good basic machine like those my mother used to have. No computer screens or lots of fancy stitches, but strong and reliable. If this is what you are looking for and you know how to sew, this could be the machine for you.

For me, I like the option of many more stitches. I like the computer screen on my Brother which tells me what foot to use for what stitch. I like the manual that gives me detailed sewing instructions, what kind of material for what stitch, and charts, an index, better illustrations. For a novice, I like the Brother machine.
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90 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for general sewing use, November 14, 2010
This review is from: SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I grabbed this machine through the Amazon Vine program because, as a causal user, I needed something rugged, feature rich, and above all, easy to use. I had purchased a basic portable Brother machine about 8 years ago at Walmart, and the bobbin began to jam after moderate use, and it had cheap plastic parts.

For perspective, my sewing experience reached its peak in jr high home ec class when I made a down vest. It almost reached the same level of usage when I made some home made pillows and a cover for a large foam cushion for our window seat, and when I made a robe for my son's role as a king in a play (when he told me at 9pm the night before it was due.) I'm far from a great seamstress, but I do love to sew, but only when everything works and is easy to figure out.

The first review of this machine was great, and I don't have much to add as it was quite detailed. And, the writer listed a lot of features that I'm not even familiar with, and others that I've used but didn't know the official names for them. Again, my focus was on ease of use and these are some highlights I found

- drop in bobbin
- easy wind bobbin
- easy to use needle threader
- tons of stitching types - and great, sturdy, and equidistant spaced stitches
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SINGER CO. have really stepped up!!, February 9, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine (Kitchen)
This is my first ever review on amazon. I was really compelled to write this time.

I am impressed with this product. I am a beginner in this sewing business and have never touched sewing machines more than 2- 3 times or so in my life and this is my first ever sewing machine! YAY!

I noticed that generally, Singer sewing machines consistently were getting average to sour reviews and so you could imagine how much doubt I had before buying the Singer Talent sewing machine, which is one of the company's new products. I didn't want my first sewing machine to be complicated, hence my settling for a mechanical one, besides i don't need too many fancy stitches as i don't really plan to do a lot of sewing for now.

The Singer co. really stepped up in the market competition with this one!!

I read and re-read reviews, asked other experienced reviewers and sewers here on amazon (thanks to you all who replied by the way!!),and DID notice that all over the internet, (on Amazon first, Singer website, HSN channel, youtube, Joanns fabric website, etc) it was only POSITIVE reviews for this sewing machine, few as they were.

The PRICE also got me wondering-- Why pay so much for a mechanical sewing machine?-- when i got it, I realized why it cost more compared to the cheaper, bestselling popular mechanical sewing machines, which I'd almost settled for.

This sewing machine feels quite sturdy, is quiet, has good speed control with the foot pedal (you can go as slow or as fast as you like, unlike the popular ones where owners have complained runs like crazy, from 0 mph to 60-100 mph, with the slightest depression of the foot pedal), it comes with various presser feet, so I'm not thinking of adding extra accessories for now.

Also, it might not even need presser foot pressure control because the presser foot can be raised up pretty far as you will need and stay there (favorable for thick fabrics), or as low, lying flat on the needle plate (for light, thinner fabrics).
I've already begun projects on it and so far so good!! something tells me my singer talent machine will last.

The only PROBLEMS I can say I have are one, the MANUAL which doesn't say anything on the machine's maintenance and care. I have to use other singer sewing machine manuals to be getting information on anything that isn't clear. Funny, huh?
Two, putting in the bobbin was easy to figure out, but while playing with the buttonhole foot, i see one side stitches closer than the other. Can anyone please explain what I'm doing wrong?

Anyway, I am truly impressed.

UPDATE: May 1st--- I've had it for over 3 months and I've been using this almost everyday and just sewed denim bags had to go over layers of denim and backing, and this machine did it!!!!!! I used the walking foot and one of the singer size 14 needles the machine originally came with and it worked!I was even a little worried I was pushing my luck, especially as I had no size 16 needles but I was more than surprised!This one's a keeper!!! If I'm buying another sewing machines, it'll just be for fancier stitches.
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66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good machine for the beginner, December 9, 2010
By 
This review is from: SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you want a sewing machine to make simple garments, maybe that costume for the kids in school or to fix a hem, this is a good machine. It is easy to thread and bobbin winding is simple as well. It sews a nice seam on light weight fabrics. It also comes with several different types of stitches and feet to do some of the more complicated sewing tasks. However, when I attempted to sew on medium weight denim, it couldn't handle it and on a knit, it made for some ugly looking seams. The more advanced seamstress would quickly get frustrated. My other complaint is that the foot is too light weight. On a smooth, un-carpeted floor, the pedal slipped out from under my foot. I had to adjust several times to be able to keep even pressure. I moved to a room with carpet and that took care of my problem but it would be nice if it didn't slip around.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Badly manufactured, August 29, 2011
By 
Jaina (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine (Kitchen)
I haven't had a sewing machine since I was a kid and used my mom's old Singer, so I was very excited to get this machine.

Sadly, it was defective. The upper (stitch length) dial, when turned to "S1," is supposed to allow you to choose the stretch stitches on the dial below. But when I used the machine, the stitches it produced were a combination of the standard stitch and stretch stitch selected on the lower dial!

For me, this rendered the machine useless, as I had bought it primarily for the stretch stitches. I am returning it to amazon today. I was worried about ordering a replacement, as sometimes these manufacturing issues are repeated on more than one machine (especially in the same batch from the same vendor), so I looked at the Singers again and realized that the SINGER 7258 Stylist Model Sewing Machine is actually about the same price, got good reviews (except for the bobbin thread tangling, which, in my experience, comes from using cheap thread, NOT from a problem with the machine), and has a LOT more stitches than the Talent. Also, the stretch stitches on the Stylist can be oriented in either direction (left or right), which is handy when trying to sew an overlock stitch.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for basic sewing, April 11, 2011
By 
Emily D. Agunod (East Coast United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I know Singer to be an excellent brand for sewing machines and I knew this machine wouldn't disappoint. I didn't expect it to have all the bells and whistles since it's a basic machine. In fact, the Singer that I bought 20 years ago has better features than this one. What I like about this sewing machine is that despite the overall plastic appearance, it does have a heavy duty metal frame inside so it feels really sturdy. It also has an automatic needle threader, a plus to someone like me who has bad eyesight. Threading the drop-in bobbin is also a breeze. If you need to sew sleeves or cuffs, the machine comes with a removable arm to facilitate that. The spool holder on the top is pretty long so you can use different size spools.

The Singer Talent does not have a lot of built in stitches, 23 including the buttonhole maker. It's a bit old fashioned in looks because it still uses knobs but it does come with a lot of goodies like 8 different kinds of presser feet and an accessories collection including extra bobbins, stitch remover, needles, etc.

I think the price for this machine is reasonable and this would be good buy for someone who is just starting to learn how to sew, or just sewing for home and family use. I like that it runs quietly and straight out of the box. I did not read the directions on purpose to see if it's easy to figure out and it was. There is a fine instruction manual included if needed.

Singer is a brand I trust. Three generations of our family has been using Singers and I trust this machine will last for decades like my older one.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works well, a little annoying bobbin issue., January 24, 2011
This review is from: SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First of all, this is a very "pretty" machine and I like that it has a cover so I can slip it on and no one has to look at it when I'm not using it.
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As far as sewing goes, the only thing that was really annoying about this machine is the bobbin. I guess new machines have plastic bobbins. It was not easy to thread and I had to do it twice (luckily the machine comes with 3 bobbins) before it filled properly. Then, when I actually used it for sewing, it didn't catch right and the stitches came out really sloppy like there was something wrong with the tension or something. This may have been because I am no expert seamstress (I'm a GUY!) and I know there is a lot that can go wrong while sewing if you don't do it right. Even so, I followed the directions exactly and it was still a pain. I currently blame the bobbin since I'm not used to it.
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A sewing machine should be pretty straightforward and easy to use, even for beginners who might make mistakes. Maybe the more I use it the better I'll understand how to do this for this particular machine.
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Aside from the bobbin issue, everything else worked fine. I like that the machine comes with so many extras like extra bobbins, different kinds of feet, pins, etc. That might be standard for machines now, but I have been using a very old one where we have lost all those items. Also, it's good to know if I ever need to sew a button I have a button foot, etc. I hemmed my jeans and a blanket I've been meaning to repair for a long time. I won't be using this thing every day but I like knowing it's there for small projects.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great quality, April 12, 2011
By 
L8z4Cat (Cambridge MA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine (Kitchen)
I'm am a beginner seamstress and this machine is everything I need. It's a quality brand and a huge plus is that it is a 100% mechanical machine- no annoying computer controls that are too expensive to fix. I'm happy with the price I paid and the performance I get. I am new to this, and I think I need to get use to using the foot pedal so I can better control the speed.

I am confident that I will continue to use this machine even as my skill level progresses.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid and reliable, December 29, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine (Kitchen)
Price was great (One of the Amazon X-mas deals). I am a novice seamstress. Had a very old Brother sewing machine that was a HUGE headache.

I love the following:
Bobbin - Simple to load
Stitches - Several to choose from, but nothing fancy
Threading - A snap.
Thread cutter - didn't know they existed, but really like it.

I wised it came with a better cover, but I can sew one myself.

Have used it to sew a dog pillow, hem pants, make a yoga mat bag and a hoodie for the kid. Worked great.

Glad to have a reliable machine for my random projects.
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SINGER 3323S Talent 23-Stitch Sewing Machine
$229.99 $199.95
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