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Sewing is easier than ever. Mechanical machines under $200 have many features. Spend more for an electronic model, and you get more convenience and hundreds of stitches.
New, electronic sewing machines are almost like robots. They can recommend the proper presser foot, divine the right thread tension and stitch length, size and sew a buttonhole, and automatically cut the thread. Combination embroidery/ sewing machines, introduced about eight years ago, combine those features with superior sewing and the ability to produce professional-quality embroidery.
* WHAT'S AVAILABLE
Singer, Brother, and Kenmore sell about 70 percent of all units. Brands such as Bernina and Husqvarna Viking are gaining as the market shifts to more expensive, feature-laden machines.
Mechanical models. They require you to manipulate most controls by hand, …