Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: SINGER 8763 Curvy Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine
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Style Name: 8763 with 30 Stitches|Change
Price:$179.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on December 18, 2010
Before reading, please understand that this is my fist sewing machine. So while I do not have a lot to compare it against, I can provide what I've learned through my research that led me to choose this product, as well as my experiences with it so far.

After doing a lot of research, I chose THIS sewing machine for some pretty specific reasons:

1. It's pretty heavy, weighing in at 27 pounds. Why is this a benefit? It's sturdy, very sturdy, with a metal frame inside. Everything I've read leads me to believe that the lighter plastic machines simply don't last, while the old-school metal monstrosities keep working forever. I feel that this one has the best of both worlds. It looks sleek and classy, but can still sew through multiple layers of denim or thick fleece with no trouble.

2. The controls are all analog, with no digital programming to malfunction. You just push the buttons to select your stitch and go, and there are sliding levers for stitch width and length. It seemed that the digital models are wonderful, but sometimes they go wrong, and I just wasn't willing to deal with that.

3. It got good reviews. I read all the reviews for a number of different machines I was considering by Brother, Singer, and Janome, literally thousands in total. Considering that I was trying to come up with something that would LAST and be an investment without spending an arm and a leg, this one beat out the others. I also considered % of reviewers who rates it 4 stars or higher vs. 3 stars and under for each machine. They all have some 1-star reviews for some reason or another, but at the time of both my purchase and the writing of this review, this one seems to have less than its share of unhappy buyers compared to other similar machines here on Amazon.

Now, I'll share a bit of my actual experiences and observations now that I've been playing with this thing for about a month...

Pro's:

-Threading is incredibly easy. It does not have the "1, 2, 3..." instructions printed on the machine, but it does have little diagrams with arrows to remind just how the thread should go through each step. The auto-threader to get though the tiny needle hole is VERY easy, and the bottom bobbin is easy to put in right.
-The built-in light is bright and well-placed, making it very easy to see your work from all sides. It comes on automatically when you power on the machine.
-There is a reverse function to lock your stitches... just push once and it completes a stitch in reverse for you.
-The storage compartment is roomy enough for 5 regular spools of thread plus needles and the darning plate and bobbin cover discs and felts.
-The stitches are illustrated on the front (as you can see in the product photo), so you can just look for what you want, press the button, and go.
-It's really easy to use, and the tension seems to come out right just set on "auto." However, if needed tension adjusts by turning a dial on the top.
-Comes with CLEAR and EASY TO READ instructions with good diagrams/drawings to help you figure stuff out if you don't want to deal with the DVD.
-Also comes with a DVD tutorial! How cool is that?
-The stitches all seem to come out beautifully and effortlessly. It pulls the fabric in at the needed speed, so all you have to do is guide it side to side. There is also a darning plate that easily pops into place for "free form" work if needed. (Like if you wanted to sew in a circle or tight curve... wide curves you can just guide without the darning plate.)
-The foot-pedal is easy to operate. You can vary from one slow stitch per second so you can see what it's doing, to wound up going really fast. Apparently some are rather "all or nothing" in their control, but that has not been the case for me with this one. Barefoot or with shoes on my feet, it has been very easy to get used to it, so that now I can get it to the exact speed I wish for effortlessly.

My only "con" is that it has a limited number of stitches, and already I have seen a stitch called for that was not available exactly. However, it seems that all of the basics are here, plus several decorative ones.

So, overall, 5 stars. The only other thing that I think is worth mentioning is about the thread. From my research, it seems that using quality thread is highly important in helping your machine last a lifetime. Don't buy bargain threads - it's just not worth it. You can evaluate the quality by pulling to test for breakage, and also by looking at the thread under a microscope. Lots of stray fibers will wear away at internal components of your sewing machine over time. The most perfectly smooth thread I've been able to find is "Coat's Cotton" which is 100% Egyptian Cotton, and "Coat's Extra Strong" for denim and jeans, both by Coats & Clark. I would imagine their silk and polyester would be ok too, and they are available at any and every fabric store in the U.S.

I hope this helps you in making your decision! There are so many machines out there that it took me forever to decide on this one, but I am 110% delighted with it, and would recommend it to anyone. I was also VERY pleased with Amazon's service in getting it here safely and promptly. It was very well-packaged and arrived as pristine as if I'd carefully brought it home from a local store. Truly, I am a very tough customer, yet couldn't be happier.
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on July 25, 2010
I bought this machine on Dec 21 of last year. The machine is sturdy and I agree with other comments that threading, tension adjustment and most sewing is very easy with this machine. The reason it doesn't get a 5 star is because Singer (the company) cut corners on it. Most machines at this price point (mid-tier) have enough features to take you to intermediate sewing levels. One key feature that differentiates beginner sewing from intermediate sewing is the ability to create perfect straight stitches. The most difficult straight stitches are in curves (as in princess seams) and in difficult to sew or sheer fabrics (i.e. slippery silks, chiffons, organzas, lace, etc). That's when you need to use a straight stitch throat place in your machine; not doing so invites skipped and uneven stitches. Singer chose not to build an additional throat plate for this machine.

Most machines brands similar in price provide this plate as an accessory you can buy. I assumed Singer would as well so I bought the machine without checking. Now I'm stuck with a machine that's overpriced but still performs at beginner levels. Make sure that if you're going to pay more $500 or more on your machine, this machine will allow you to sew for at least 4-6 years. Assuming your sewing ability will increase, the machine should have all the features you will need by the end of its useful life.
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on February 22, 2010
This is the first new sewing machine I've ever bought and I love it. I've been sewing for 40years, quilting for 30 and never treated myself to a decent machine. When my second hand-me-down died I decided it was time. I love the nice bright light, the auto needle threader, and the drop in bobbin feature. The foot pedal took a little getting used to, as my old one was wider, but it works well.
I've sewn several different kinds of fabrics both light and heavy and it handles them all great!
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on January 25, 2010
Got this as a Christmas present for me from me! I love it, lots of feature, many decorative stiches. So far using it for quilting and Zhu-Zhu clothes for the grandchildren. It's more complicated than machines I've had before (basic mechanical Kenmore, Singer) This was a real upgrade for me. no problems at all, except when I didn't read the instructions - it's new and as with any new "toy" it has it's own way of doing things. Once I went through the instructions it worked just like I wanted it to. There were several feet that came with it that I didn't recognize, I called Singer, gave them the model number and they sent me individual sheets on each of them. Well worth the money.
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on June 29, 2013
I'm an experienced sewer who received this machine as a gift about 5 years ago and have used it to sew a few dozen mid-weight fabric projects (many alterations, a few dresses including my wedding dress, throw pillows, a small quilt for my baby, etc.). It gets the job done, but I actually had to lower expectations from the 30+year old Singer machine that I learned on at home.

Here are the main problems with this machine:

-The stitch length nob slides from 1 to 7, with 1 hammering out stitches less than half a mm and 7 making about 3.5mm stitches. Two problems here: first, this arbitrary numbering system does not correlate with either of the commonly used stitch length systems that you'll run across in patterns (SPI or stitches per inch, and millimeters), so you have to do a little trial and error to figure out where you need to set your slider nob. Second, the longest stitch, at 7, is still not as long as you need for a basting or gathering stitch on sturdier weight fabrics like courderoy.

-The needle rests at its highest position when you take your foot off the treadle rather than at its lowest position, in the fabric, which makes pivoting around points (used often in quilting) more difficult. You have to manually wheel the needle into the fabric every time you want to lift the presser foot and pivot the fabric.

-The machine does not make even stitches or perfectly straight lines, which isn't a huge problem if you're sewing for yourself. However, I couldn't trust my machine for any school sewing assignments and I wouldn't use it for any commission sewing, which meant that I was always in my college's sewing lab finishing things even though I had a machine at home.

-My needle threader AND bobbin winder got misaligned somehow in the first few months of use. I don't need a needle threader, so I don't care, and I can still get the bobbin winder to work if I brace it with my fingernail. But the quality of construction materials is flimsy.

All in all, the machine works, but these problems will annoy you and increase the construction time for your projects. I think there are better machines out there at this price point. Happy sewing!
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on September 23, 2008
I purchased my Singer Curvy Sewing Machine in August 2008 after taking sewing lessons learning on a Pfaff machine. After getting accustomed to some of the convenient and easy to use features on the Pfaff machines, I set out to find an equally convenient, easy to use AND affordable sewing machine. My research led me to the Curvy, and I have no regrets. I have completed many projects with this machine, all of which came out beautiful. Best of all, the machine is easy to use and has many convenient features. All in all, the Curvy has proven to be a great value to me and I will be enjoying it for a very long time!
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on April 1, 2013
Well after owning this machine for 2 years I have had enough with the timing on this thing. It is most frustrating, to be sewing a straight line to find the last 2 feet haven't picked up the lower bobbin thread. Back to the shop have the timing re timed once again at the cost of $89 each time. Enough with this thing. Something the repair shop said was Singer's machines all continue to have timing problems. They are very sensitive to you turning the wheel backwards. It really throws them off. So for my next machine I guess I am headed back to a Brother. Too bad. My first machine was a Singer, my Mom's machine was a Singer, and my Grandmother's machine ( with peddles) was a Singer. My last machine was a Brother and this Singer Curvy caught my eye as something basic with a bit more flair if I wanted it. I don't quilt, I don't embroider I basically make clothing, costumes and curtains/drapes. On to something better.
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on December 6, 2009
After many decades of service, my wife's old Singer finally went kaput so we researched several different machines before deciding on this one. Not only did Amazon offer the best value, but my credit card had barely cooled when the machine and case arrived - super fast shipping. I know, I know - guys aren't supposed to give APPLIANCES as gifts but that's what she wanted and that's what she got.

Although this was a Christmas gift the wifey has been dieting and had quite a few outfits to alter before the holidays, so I encouraged her to open the boxes and get acquainted with her new machine. Right away, we were struck by just how much larger this machine was in person than when viewed on the web site. It's not really huge, just a bit bigger than we's envisioned. The machine works great, and she is still learning all the functions and features.

One curiousity - there was no instructional DVD with this particular machine, and nothing in the product description to indicate there would be one included, but it sure would be helpful - especially for a guy like me that is not very sewing machine savvy. Beyond the presser feet described on the web site, ours came with a whole 'nother bag of different presser feet - 4 or 5 others that we have not yet identified. Not sure if this was a packaging mistake or what, but it was a bonus. Singer *should* at least include a descriptive sheet of the different presser feet along with the intended use for each one so we'd know exactly what we're working with here. My bride is no stranger to Singer products, but this has even her a bit baffled. There's a double fistful of presser feet and are left to discover their useful functions on our own. This is the only reason I only rated this product at four stars instead of five.

Overall, first impressions are very favorable and we are both pleased with the purchase. Whether you are new to sewing or a wily veteran seamstress I think you could do quite well with this middle of the line machine. Buy with confidence, but do your homework first.
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on January 6, 2009
We purchased this machine for our 86 year old quilting mother. She loves it and can work more independently. This is a dream for her. We combined this with other vision aids and it seems to be working like a charm.
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on December 2, 2011
I consider myself an advanced seamstress. I sew around 20-30 costumes a year, ranging from all different kinds of fabrics. Silks, cottons, spandex, denim, leather, ect, as well as the common crafts (pillow cases, stuffed animals) on my spare time. I purchased this Machine back in September of 2008. It was a little bit on the heavier side, which I thought meant it would be more heavy duty, less plastic parts. At first is was a breeze. It was very simple to use, and had tons of options. About a year and half into owning the machine and in the middle of crunch time for multiple projects, the bobbin was completely screwed up, knotting and tangling and making a mess of my stitch. I got it repaired and $50 later, it was working quite well again. A year later it started to act up again. The thread is constantly breaking, and I need to rethread it at least once every stitch, which progressed into it leaving gaps between stitches and now it won't even sew. It's going to cost me $100 to get it fixed this time. Having spent $150 on repairs in 3 years isn't okay. I should have just spend the $150 out right and got a better machine. What would be next? By next year about $150? I will have spent nearly as much on repairs as I did the machine and only had it for a few years.

I don't doubt that this is a could machine for people who just like to do little projects on there spare time, but it will not last if you are using it constantly on big projects.
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