Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Computerized Sewing Machines

Jan | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I’ve been hearing so many bad things about Singer sewing machines but they all sound like statements made by other vendors. I’ve used Singer for 30 years and love them – but when considering buying a new $3,000 one want to be sure. Would like to hear from those of you who have personal experience with Singer. Thanks for sharing!


  1. Marilyn_in_CA | | #1

    First machine was a Singer with cams-got it in 1965-used it for about 10 years. Next machine a Pfaff tiptronic which was used until this year and is still a good basic machine. The Singers did not even begin to compare with the stiches and buttonholes on the Bernina & Pfaff. I bought a Bernina 1530 after doing two years of research and sewing on many, many machines. Took my own fabric-some batting etc. to use when trying different machines. Do lots of research on the net-it is available. Read Threads-back issues-lots of good input. Go to sewing world and talk to sewers there-also the bernina, pfaff sites-lots of good information. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Do you quilt-do embroidery-all things to think about. Hope this helps. Marilyn

    1. connie_ward | | #2

      *Jan, I had an OLD Singer in the 60's that had a good stitch, but was a very basic machine. I replaced it in the 70's with a new Singer with cams, etc. YUK!!!! It never had a pretty stitch, nor did it hold its timing or tension. I now have a mechanical Viking that is a great sewer. IMHO Singer prices for the name they USED to have and not the quality. Viking, Bernina, Pfaff, and New Home (Janome) are the machines I hear most of the good things about these days. Just make sure like Marilyn says, take lots of fabric and do lots of sewing on any machine you are looking at buying. And make sure you are dealing with a person who is interested in letting you try the machines and will service you in the future. Know what you want to do with the machine and go for that. If you, for instance, are not going to embroider, you don't need a fancy computerized machine that does that. Just a thought. Let us know what you decide.

      1. Jacquie_ | | #3

        *I purchased a Singer Quantum XL 1000 in June and have been very impressed with its performance, both for embroidery and sewing. I think sewing machines in general went through a bad period several years ago. I had a Kenmore with all the cams that was totally useless. I finally purchased a Husqvarna about 8 years ago which is an excellent machine..handles any kind of fabric, but it did not have enought fancy stitches to suit me, so that was my reason for buying the Singer. I have absolutely no complaints about it. I have tried all the stitches, built-in embroidery patterns, on many different fabrics and have found it to perform very well. I am glad that I made the decision to keep my Husqvarna though, otherwise I could not sew while my Singer is embroidering.

        1. Sylvia_Gildenvan | | #4

          *I just bought my first Threads mag. this week-end because of the article about 'Test Drive those Embroidery Machines'. I am interested in the combination machines and only tested the Pfaff 7570 today and liked the dual feed. Had no idea what has happening with sewing machines of late. Thought I was going to waltz in and and spend about $400.00 and replace my old Singer that just broke after 32 years. All this new "stuff" makes me really want to have some 'real fun' with out the old hassels. Does anyone have good recommendations for the machines they have bought during the last year or know of comparision articles I can read and where they might be found? Thanks!

          1. sheri | | #5

            *I, too used a Singer for years. It was my mother's from the early '60s and BOY! what a workhorse. When I decided it was time to replace it, I was shocked at the amount of junk that was available. Singer is certainly not was it used to be. I looked and tested every popular brand for almost a year before buying my Husqvarna 500. After all they build really great motorcycles and my friend who builds log homes swears by their chainsaws. :) I've found the Husqvarnas to have the most consistency without fooling around with tensions. I love the jam-proof feature and the ease of operation. Everything is simple to set up and fast to change feet, bobbins, etc. Of course, I'm rather 'gadety' and love the fact it's computerized. I'm not an embroider nor have any interest in it. However, if I did, I would have bought the #1 or the Rose (again, both Husqvarna) That's why I stayed with the 500. It gives me all the pictograms I need and I can program a vast array of decorative stitches. In fact I loved my Husqvarna so much, this month I bought the 1001L 5-thread Serger to replace my old Husky 340D. I thought my sewing machine was impressive! Now I don't have to change plates or perform major surgery when I need to serge a rolled hem or change thread color. Again, it's computerized, giving me a perfect stitch every time. My advice is to spend the very most that you can afford. If you can manage the top of the line, buy it. But stay as close to the top as you can. We tend to outgrow our machines quickly, and then spend years wishing we had many more options and features. Not only do we want our machines to be practical and utilitarian, but they should be FUN! Go to as many trade shows as you can. Ask professionals what they use and why. Watch the various sewing shows on T.V. and take note of what the are using. I guarantee it's not Singer. Good Luck!

          2. judi | | #6

            *The Oct 98 issue of sew news magazine had a tear out comparison chart of sewing machines, very clear and comprehensive. I've been checking out various machines for about a year now and have decided on the Husquavarna lily 550. I'm not into embroidery, but since all the good machines are a lot of money, I've decided to spend a bit more and get all the bells and whistles and, some day when I've retired and have more time, I may want to try embroidery.

          3. connie | | #7

            *Sheri, I agree with you, but I have to add the reason certain machines are used on TV sewing shows is not usually choice of the hostess, but rather sponsorship....there are good machines out there not used on those shows, just as there are good ones that ARE used on TV. I like my Viking, but I've sewn on some good machines in the last year that are not the BIG name nor TOL machines. I'm getting my grandmother's old 1938 Kenmore (White) operational this winter....that will be fun. (It sews a nicer stitch than my 1980 White!!!!)

          4. S._Roman | | #8

            *Just to keep in mind..Singer is not made the same as it was 20 years ago. I believe it is now made (or put to gether) in other countries just as all the others. But that would mean that you have to look at the machines on another level. Look for what you want it to do, and how much you can spend. I have used Viking, Kenmores and now own a Bernina. I would never buy anything else but a Bernina. I work closely with the store that sold it to me and have had long conversations with the store owner. Bernina is 100% behind their product. So.. you really must do some shopping and be sure to go to a store that sells sewing machines and not an appliance store that sells refrigerators etc also.Happy shopping.

          5. Lee_K. | | #9

            *Different makes of sewing machines, like cars, have different "feels" to them.Singer makes its machines in Asia, as does New Home/Janome, Kenmore, Baby Lock, Brother, Necchi, Simplicity, Jaguar, and the current Elnas (they used to be made in Switzerland like Berninas).The more expensive Berninas are Swiss, the cheaper ones and the Bernette line are made in Thailand.Viking makes their machines in Sweden, and Pfaff makes theirs in Germany.I'm talking about the TOL or close to TOL machines, here. They can't afford to make the cheaper ones with European labor. In fact, I wonder how much longer anyone will be able to manufacture in Europe. They will use European designs but cheaper Korean and Chinese labor.You can't compare a line's cheap machines to the TOLs. I have tried the Singer XL-100 and it is a very nice machine, comparable to other good Asian embroidery machines like the New Home 9000. Its embroidery speed is quite fast. I suspect it will hold up as well as any computerized sewing machines. If you want something that will last 50 years, look at all metal mechanical machine made in the 1970s or before.Also consider used machines. You can find out the reliablity and track record for used machines. Some of the used machines out there are better built than anything you can afford new.Singer and Pfaff are under the same ownership now. It will be interesting to what technology they share. Singer has been concentrating its worldwide efforts on industrial machines. The domestic market is really quite small.

          6. Debbie | | #10

            *Sylvia, Open Chain Publishing, which publishes the Creative Machine Newsletter, also has a sewing machine survey that you can purchase. It is a compilation of user comments. Their phone number is (650) 366-4440 NAYY

          7. heather_blair | | #11

            *Excellent information there Lee. I left a message for you on Sewing World's Other Machines forum. May I say thanks on behalf of everyone for the info you provide.

          8. judi | | #12

            *reading these messages prompted me to finally go out and BUY that lily 550. Guess what? Nobody wants to sell me one. We don't have a dealer in our area. I checked Husquavarna's home page for next closest and sent emails to three. Only one responded, but they only gave a price and didn't answer my questions about warranty work (rather important, since I would have to ship the machine somewhere). I sent an email to Husquavarna, they didn't reply. If this is indicative of their client service, then maybe this isn't the machine I want after all.

          9. Melanie_Rife | | #13

            *I have owned a Singer Quantum CXL for about 8 years now and I love it. It has NEVER been in the shop for repairs and I have to admit it has never been serviced either. I oil it and clean out the lint on a regular basis and that is all. I haven't even replaced the light bulb. It gets lot's of heavy use, as I make most of my own clothes and most of my youngest DD's clothes. I had a Kenmore before that with all the cams etc that I purchased new in '79 and used it heavily for years. It too never gave me any trouble and now my SIL has it. I believe you will find all machines are very good these days and it is more a matter of personal preference and dealer support that dictates what to buy.

          10. Georgia_ | | #14

            *Jan, If you have not already found your Singer replacement machine, consider checking out the new Elna 6004. I purchased mine about a year ago after using my mother's 1960-something vintage Singer with cams for many years. I chose the Elna because it provided me with computerized technology and a medium price that I felt I could afford. I know the Bernina is a wonderful machine, but priced beyond my budget. I was not looking for embroidery, even though my Elna does have two alphabets and I can do free-hand quilting, etc. with it. I love the tie tack and needle up/down feature. I agree with others who have responded, that you need to find a machine that can be serviced close to home and a dealer who can answer your questions. I know! I live in a fairly remote area of Eastern Oregon and the dealership accountability is a very real item to consider. Good luck. Oh, did I mention that after a year of sewing and quilting, I still feel I made a great choice.

          11. Catherine_Sammut | | #15

            *I am thinking of buying a new Pfaff 2020, I do not do embrodiery, but house hold decor, and some of my clothing. Can anyone out here help me?any recommendations or suggestions??Tks Cathy S

          12. Linda_H. | | #16

            *I've owned a Pfaff 6270 since January and am very pleased with it so far. It's computerized but since I wasn't interested in embroidery, did not get a higher end model. In choosing my machine, I was thoroughly confused at first but gradually narrowed down my choice. What does anyone else think of this machine? I have a year in which to upgrade it but, at this point, this one is fine.

          13. TJ | | #17

            *Last year I bought a new Viking (Lily) 550, and I love it. It replaced a 1975 Necchi Lydia, which I got when they were still made in Italy, solid and practically indestructible. (This is the issue with buying a name you like because you love an older machine; most of them are no longer made by the same hands or to the same standards. I would not buy a Necchi now, nor a Singer.) I was finally lured into getting a new machine by some of the new technology, such as more precise buttonholes, needle up/down setting, and some of the play stitches such as Venetian hemstitching (will I really use them?!?). The Viking dealer (Nashua Sew & Vac in Nashua NH) is terrific: every place I asked (45 minutes south in Mass.) about where to get my old machine cleaned recommended them. You "buy a dealer" and that is important, because machines can need tuning, repair, etc., which make them SO much more pleasant and reliable to use. So far I have been really pleased with the Viking for dressmaking, piecing/quilting, some fancy stitching on linen scraps for fun. Good, clean design, easy to use display, had the right configuration of features, and reasonable cost (it does what a Bernina costing twice as much does).

          14. BT | | #18

            *I bought a New Home/Embroidery Machine and have thousands invested - machine, scanner, memory cards, and accessories. Now I want to link with my computer. My New Home dealer tells me I need to buy a new machine and scanner, but they won't take a trade in. Yesterday, I discovered that the Kenmore Embroidery Sewing Machine is made by New Home. The memory cards look just like the ones I have. Would the Sears scanner (computer link) work with my present machine? Wish I had known about Kenmore/New Home years ago because the price difference is significant.

          15. Suzanne_Gentes | | #19

            *I'd like to make a dressy brimmed hat in polar fleece but I've been unable to find a suitably stiff interfacing that would allow the brim to stay up on one side, for instance. Does anyone have a recommendation? A web site for a supplier would be even better! Thanks.

          16. Christine_Frietchen | | #20

            *b Looking for '99 Sew NewsHello! I'm a freelance journalist working on a new buying guide for sewing machines and (hopefully)sergers. I am including information on both computerized and non-computerized models. I know that Sew News has a monthly equipment feature (usually around pg.75 in each issue, but I'm having a terrible time finding issues from 1999 and the comparison chart from theOctober 1998 issue. I have tried online and at six libraries, including the Fashion Institute of Technology and no one archives the magazine. I'm hoping that some who own these issues might send me the pages I'm looking for- I will happily pay for them!By the way, Sew News will have a new chart in July 2000... Thanks!

          17. Mary_Swanson | | #21

            *My sewing needs are pretty basic, but I'm trying to decide which new machine to buy and need some advice.I sew garments, so buttonholes...really good ones, easily made, are very important. The other thing I plan to do is machine quilting...not embroidery, just quilting free hand with the machine. Price is always a concern of course, but straight sewing, the best buttonholes and free hand quilting are the main criteria. Any suggestions? Thanks.

          18. Lee_Knott | | #22

            *Mary, I'd get an old straight-stitch Singer, like a Model 15-91, a 301 or a 201. Get one with dropping feed dogs. You already know they have a fabulous straight stitch - look at the Featherweight. And for buttonholes, get a Singer buttonhole attachment, makes beautiful buttonholes. If you want a zig-zag machine with decorative stitches, try the Singer 401 or 500. Spend anywhere from $60 (or less) to $200 and you are a happy camper. Ellen Ann Eddy used a Bernina 950 - so that or a 930 would do you if you have a spare $1500 on hand...Some of the older, less fully-featured Berninas are nice. I have an 807 mechanical and a 910 electronic. The 807 does not have a built-in buttonhole and the 910 is rather a pain. But just slap on that $10 Singer attachment and away we go! Keyhole buttonholes, oval, you name it. Step on the gas and when it stops, we have buttonholes.The Janome-made machines have a very easy computerized buttonhole, and are not terribly expensive. They are found under the New Home, Elna or Kenmore name. The ones I've seen, however, sew the beads in two different directions. If it's important to you to have a 5-step buttonholer, you will have to go computerized and you will have to pay more, it's a TOL feature.

          19. Lee_Knott | | #23

            *Jan, the Singer XL-100 and XL-1000 are made in Japan by Juki. They make an excellent quality product and are highly reliable.

          20. Madeleine_ | | #24

            *I'm looking at purchasing a machine and have never used a computerized machine before. My biggest concern is reliability. Do computer electronics in sewing machines crash often? I'm looking at a New Home Memory Craft 4000 for a very reasonable price on the internet. Anyone have advice on this particular machine?

          21. lindayurick | | #25

            *Madeleine - I purchased that exact machine from the internet. Ebay for about $500!!!! I couldnt have been more pleased with the purchase. The transaction was easy, the dealer that I bought from was very accomodating and I can't say enough good things about the machine. In fact I own 4 Janome/New Home machines and wouldn't sew on anything else. Let me start from the beginning; I bought my first Janome Memorycraft 7500 used from my local dealer - I immediatly fell in love with the machine and the brand. When I saw the Memorycraft 4000 for sale on the internet for a VERY reasonable price I didn't hesitate to buy it. Because I loved the computerized machines so much I then bought a MX3123 mechanical and then a very basic NewHome 373 flatbed to fit into a cabinet that I have. The Memorycraft 4000 is an awesome machine. It has tons of decorative stitches that I'm find myself using even with bobbin work, the lettering is perfect and the speed control and needle up/down are now indispensible for my sewing. The 4000 has literally all of the features I wanted in a machine and sews sooooo smooth and quiet. I knew I didn't want to spend THOUSANDS of dollars on a embroidery/sewing combination machine yet I still wanted to have some of the fancy stitches available. The Memorycraft is my dream machine - and I sew EVERYDAY. I do sew on different machines for different projects. Anyway all together I bought 3 machines from the internet. I didn't need classes or lessons that you would get from a dealer. I did send in my warrenty card to the manufacturer for each machine. You will love the Memorycraft 4000 if you buy it. Email me if you want any more info. Hope this helps.

          22. Sandy_Smith | | #26

            *I am in the market for a new sewing machine. I am a long time sewer and have used a Singer for 20 years. I am considering a Viking Lily 535 or a Babylock Espire. I don't find much feedback on the Babylock brand machine, well known for their sergers. The Viking Lily doesn't come with many accessories and the extra feet, especially the walking foot at $75, are a bit expensive. If anyone has any suggestions or comments I would truly appreciate them. Either machine is a good chunk of money and I plan for this to be the last machine I buy. Thanks!! Sandy

          23. Audrey_Wharton | | #27

            *I am mourning the death-by-lightening on my "old" Singer 6268 (vintage 1986). I am considering a Singer Quantum Elegance 9240 which I can get a great deal on - does anyone have and information on this machine - is it durable?

          24. Patricia_Read | | #28

            *How did you like the New Home 373 flatbed?

          25. sandra_stovall | | #29

            *Does anyone know anything about Jaguar Sewing Machine dealers or where they are made? I have a Jaguar Epochlock serger and can't find anything on it.

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All