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considering singer xl 1000 or baby lock

arlena07 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hello all,

I am relatively new to sewing and want to buy a new machine — I have an older mechanical machine and I’m ready for a serious upgrade. I definitely want a machine I can grow into and one with embroidery capabilities. Mostly, I hem pants, make skirts, curtains, table runners, just started a bit of quilting, etc.

I’ve been looking around at local dealers and I really like the Singer XL 1000 capabilities. I love the idea of embroidering and mongramming! But I’d also like a machine I can use when I begin my first quilting class in the spring. I’ve been teaching myself some basic quilting with a couple books. I’d like to add some embriodery or monogramming to my quilting projects.

Does anyone have any experience with this machine? I’d appreciate any opinions. I’ve heard there are problems with Singer customer service which scares me a bit.

One other machine in the back of my mind is a Baby Lock ellure. I’d have to buy a card reader, cards, and some software for that machine to get the monogramming and embroidery capabilities I want without upgrading to the $2600 esante (out of my price range).

If you have any other advice on a machine that you may think would fit my needs, I’d appreciate that info as well.

Thanks so much!


  1. lovestosew | | #1

    Hi Laura,
    This may or may not be a factor that you need to consider but can you lift the Singer XL 1000 easily enough (for transportation back and forth to your spring quilting class)? And, I have found both absolutely awful and wonderful Singer customer service here where I live. Three years ago when I was looking for a new machine, I went to a Singer store that's very close to where we live. That's where I ran into the nastiest sewing shop owner I've ever heard of - the woman was rude and strange. At first, she refused to let me test drive the model I was most interested in and she got upset when my husband asked her why customers weren't allowed to test drive the machines. Anyway, we walked out of that store and have never been back. But, last year, I was fortunate enough to find a great shop here that has the best sewing machine repair people around. I am so happy with their service that I recommend that place to everyone I know.
    Sorry for rambling on and on - sewing is one of the few subjects that I am still passionate about. Good luck with your machine purchase.

  2. ctirish | | #2

    Hi, I have the Baby Lock Ellure. It is a very good machine for the money. The new ones even have a USB connection and maybe a knee control which is helpful.  I had a Singer prior to this machine(30 yrs old) and that was a workhorse, I have not heard the same thing about the newer Singer machines.  Baby Lock is a good machine, Brother is pretty much the same machine. 

    The Ellure  machine does beautiful embroidery. I did purchase the software system that goes with this machine. I am not sure I would do that again. I would buy the one that lets you write to the card you need for the embroidery but not the Palette 6.0.  There are several other companies that offer software to digitize designs (not as easy as they make it seem). And there are many that will convert designs to another format. There are so many sites on the internet where you can purchase quality designs without getting into creating them yourself.  I recently purchased the Dakota Alphasizer program and I really like it.  My software from BabyLock may do the same thing, but after 5 years I still haven't figured it out. And I worked in computer programming for many years. Good luck with your decision. My only other comment is do not go out and buy the very expensive cards that run about $130.00 each made specially for the Ellure. Look around and do searches on the Internet and try some of those designs before spending that much on one.

    1. zuwena | | #3

      Boy, your information was very helpful.  I just ordered the New Ellure with the knee lift and USB stuff because I didn't think I wanted to get into all of the Palette stuff yet I wanted something that would offer enough to make it worth my while for the long haul.  I was beginning to have "buyers remorse" until I read your comments and felt a little validation for the assessment I had made about the embroidery and the machine overall.  I particularly liked the self-threading mechanism that seemed to work better (more consistently) than some of the others--anticipating a fnear future need.  Z

      1. ctirish | | #4

        You will love the self threading mechanism.  You don't realize how annoying it is until you use the threader for a while and then forget and go back to threading the needle yourself.

        I hope you enjoy it.  There are so many places online where you can try free designs or buy 2 or 3 designs or a whole pack if you want. Just remember to back them up as soon as you install them. If you don't have a PC that writes to CD's just put them in a file under a different folder. I have actually gone back a year later and Emblibrary still had my designs in my files on their site for me.  Enjoy and if you have any questions, let me know, jane

        1. zuwena | | #5


          Thank you so much for the reply and advice.  Would it be a bother to explain the downloading or storage of the embroidery designs?  I don't have the machine yet (in 2 weeks) and I can work the computer (but would not consider my self very sophisticated.)   I would love to use the waiting time exploring and building a design library.  I have a friend that loves cats and a few others with "special" likes and now I can plan something special for them.  Thanks again.  Z

  3. Josefly | | #6

    I own an old Singer zig-zag Touch 'n Sew (1966) machine that has been wonderful...still my only machine, and there's a great repair shop here that helps me with it when I need service or accessories. BUT the owner of the shop, in business for many, many years, told me that Singer does not make the same quality machine they once did. He said that the Singer brand is re-franchised every 5 years...so a different manufacturer gets the contract to make the machines every 5 years. He sells several kinds of machines, including Singer, because, he says, the brand loyalty for Singer is enormous, and people insist on it, but he recommends other machines for quality. I have no experience with embroidery machines, but I pass this on to you because I would want to consider it if I were buying an expensive new machine, and I would want to know that my new machine would not be obsolete or un-serviceable 5 or 10 years from now, and that the manufacturer is concerned about a long-term reputation for excellence, not just relying on a former reputation. You might want to check this info out, and maybe some more-recent owners of new Singer machines will chime in with their experiences.

    Also, (and this is admittedly a very small example of the lack of continuous excellence in Singer products) when I buy the rather unique Singer plastic bobbins required for my machine, they come in packages of 2, for $4. Invariably one of the 2 bobbins is worthless, will not accept the thread when I try to wind it, and I have to discard it. (Whereas I still have the original bobbins that came with my machine and they always worked perfectly - never had to throw one away.) A 50% failure rate - that seems like poor quality control to me!

    Good luck with your selection process, and I hope you find a machine that will bring you as much joy and satisfaction as my old machine.

    1. arlena07 | | #7

      Thank you to everyone for your comments and suggestions!

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