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Conversational Threads

Favorite Sewing Machines?

Linda_in_Colorado | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

What are your favorite sewing machines, and why?


  1. connie | | #1

    Linda, what a loaded question!!!! There are numerous brands on the market, you can name them all probably. For each one you will find a myriad of satisfied owners who claim it's the best machine and the only one for them. You will also find several people who put down the same machine and/or manufacturer because of a lemon they had. You need to decide for yourself and what needs you have. To be sure, you will not get something for nothing, so be prepared to pay. Machines are not cheap. These are the things that you need to keep in mind:
    1.) Know what you want a machine to do. Don't buy less...is there a need to buy more just because a dealer wants to sell you something. Know what your needs are.
    2.) Find a dealer who is really interested in servicing you. You'll know within minutes of entering his/her shop and looking at the machines with him.
    3.) Take a wide variety of fabric and a small project that you will be doing on "your" machine. A dealer interested in you will be happy to have you play around on his machines for a few hours.
    4.) Each machine (even exactly the same models) sews differently from every other. Be sure to sew on the machine YOU BUY...

    Hope this helps. I'm sure you will get additional comments in the coming days. Good luck and happy sewing.

    You might hop over to http://sewingworld.com for some comments. It's a really great site, but it's going down Monday the 15th for cleaning out, so keep trying if you can't get in to begin with.

    1. AmyJeanne | | #2

      *A year ago I treated myself to a new machine. I was using a 20-year-old Bernina at the time. I went to the dealers for Bernina, Pfaff, and Husqvarna Viking, and spent an hour or more at each store playing with the models that were within my price range. I made notes of all the features that I liked and disliked, and then charted them all out. (Okay, I got really anal about this.) Then, I took all of those features and selected the ones that were most important to me. For example, I am not a quilter, but am a garment sewer. Therefore, a good buttonholer is more important than a 1/4 inch foot. I ended up with the Husqvarna Viking Lily 550. I didn't need the machine embroidery models, but the 550 has enough special stitches to allow creativity with thread.

      1. Jen_Donnelly | | #3

        *I have an inexpensive White sewing machine and serger. The sewing machine I found on clearance seven years ago at Service Merchandise, for about $135 dollars. My serger is a White 1600, which I just bought this Christmas for $300. Both are great machines, but simple. I sew clothing, and I don't like embroidery on my clothes, so my machines do everything I need. My sewing machine has never given me any trouble, and is easy to thread and maintain. I haven't had the serger long, but it's easy to thread, and so far has handled everything I've thrown at it with ease. My mom has a top of the line Bernina, and the only thing I envy is needle up/needle down, where you can specify whether you want the needle up or down when you stop stitching. Hers will also tell you which foot to use, what stitch length you need, etc., but my sewing is pretty straightforward, and those toys would be wasted on me. I think there is a lot to be said for simple, mechanical machines. My mom still has her 30 year old Kenmore, which she pulls out when her computerized baby is in the shop- and it is occasionally in the shop. I think if you have access to a good dealer, you could go with a computerized machine, but if you would face a long drive or have to ship your machine, you should at least have a backup. The more gadgets, the more chance something can go wrong.

        1. Debi_Pelletier | | #4

          *I too am considering a new machine, but I want one that has some of the embroidery features as this is a big investment for me. I have been looking at the Singer Quantum 1000 and the Viking#1+. The new Viking Design 1 will be way over my price range. I have been to the dealer several times. They are very helpful. I just need to know if there are any major problems any one has encountered with either machine. Your input would be very helpful to me. Thanks

          1. connie | | #5

            *Debi, you might hop on over to Sewing World at http://www.sewingworld.com. They have folders on each of the major brands where you could get quite a bit of input on either of these machines. They were down for maintenance yesterday so they might not be back up yet and this would include a cleaning out of folders so you might have to go back into last months to read some stuff before posting in the new ones. You'll see what I mean when you get in.

          2. Ghillie_C | | #6

            *I am left handed. Many makes of sewing machine have moved the presser foot lever round to the right, presumably to make it easier for right handers. I HATE this and have stuck to a machine with the 'traditional' design. (A Bernina)

          3. judi | | #7

            *Debi. A few weeks ago I upgraded from my old mechanical kenmore to a viking 550. I spent about a year researching different machines (and feeding the piggy bank). I live in northern canada, 1500 miles from any dealer, so that was a challenge. I purchased from a dealer in vancouver, because they were so helpful answering my questions by email (2 other places never bothered to answer, so they lost a $2k sale right away) and they even telephoned to clarify some questions. The oct 98 issue of sew news has an excellent pull out comparison chart of several machines. Incidently, the only problem with my new 550 is that I haven't more time to use it. It's been an excellent buy.

          4. sheri_post | | #8

            *Hi gang!I love my Pfaff!Years ago I was using Singers and went and gotthe Quantam 1000, I HATED it...the hole where you put your fabric was tiny in comparison toother machines, and also, you had to hold in thereverse button while you went in reverse. I donthave 3 or 4 hands. I returned it immediately!I went on a sewing store binge and trying everything. Price was no object..I wanted whatI wanted...reliability and even stitching.I went back to the Pfaff store twice and thenmade my decision. Reliability, not as heavy asthe Berninas and New Homes and Vikings, incrediblestitches, and if you want 5 sts to the inch, youwill be able to count em! I love getting up in themorning and being able to work with my machine.I bought the CD programmer thing, but I havenever used it. I am not a big embroiderer butthey have some outrageous designs.Oh! Another thing...the stitch width is afabulous 9mm, compared to other machines toppingout somewhere about 5 mm wide.I dont know if I have a rocking bobbin or arotating one, but the stitch quality is the bestI have found.I am thinking of trading in now for the new 7570. I will get a very nice trade inallowance on my old machine. I consider it wasa smart buy on my part.good luck with any machine you get!regards,sheri post

          5. Marilyn_Smith | | #9

            *I bought a Bernina 1530 last fall-after 2 yrs of research. Previously had a Singer (1963 TOL) and a Pfaff Tiptronic 1047 which still sews like a dream. I do not do embroidery-but do use some decorative stitches on pillowcases etc. The 1530 has the most wonderful stitch and buttonholes. I sew clothing, quilt (alot) and do home dec type stuff. I agree with Connie-take your own variety of fabric and sew, sew, sew. Also use the resources available at SewingWorld. Good luck in your search. It takes time but you will have your machine for years to come.

          6. brenda | | #10

            *Linda, in the past I've had a Singer TOL and 2 Elnas. My latest is a Viking #1+ and I love it. It has two lights and that is important to me because my eyesight isn't what it used to be - I still supplement with task lighting and special light bulbs. The buttonholes and dealer were what sold the machine for me. I had tried out a Viling during a heirloom sewing class and thought it was great but figured the real acid test would be sewing buttonholes. Leah at U-Sew in Taylor Michigan let me bring in my blouses and use a #1+ to make the buttonholes. By the time I got the buttonholes on the second blouse ( I had 4 to make buttonholes for) I was sold. I've got the basic embroidery stuff but haven't used them yet. I will this year. I did get the complete foot package and have used many of the different feet for special tasks. The right foot for the right job makes things go smoothly and almost effortlessly. I sew mainly clothes for myself and my grandchildren (getting into doll clothes again for the girls). I haven't attended any classes on the machine for various reasons but my dealer is very good about walking me through new techniques when I need help. I don't have a knee-lift but haven't found that I needed one. I do wish dealers would include one of those gizmos to keep the foot pedal from slipping around when you purchase a new machine - that would be a great help. If I had it to do over again I would purchase the same machine again. Would also add that I am very pleased with the embroidery designs and the policy of Viking regarding their use. I do not understand the policies of other companies who charge top dollar for the machines and embroidery designs and then limit the use of the designs and prohibit selling items with their designs sewed on them. That is like one of the auto companies selling you a new car and telling you that you can't use that vehicle for business use. I can understand some limitations (perhaps a quantity limitation) but if the designer and manufacturer are not willing to let us use a design on items that we might sell - why bother offering the design in the first place? Machine embroidery is not a cheap undertaking by any means.

          7. Sarah_Kayla | | #11

            *I have a non computerized Pfaff that I bought about 6 years ago. It is well thought out, well engineered and easy to use. It occasionally gets cranky -making terrycloth in the bobbin case. But it always gets fixed after I do a good cleaning with a vacuum cleaner and rubbing alcahol on a swab. The stitches are always nice -skipping is rare and it is a real workhorse. I was using a 20 year old Kenmore before. It was cranky and tempramental. I LOVE my Pffaf. It also sounds so good while it sews.

          8. Sammie | | #12

            *My favorite machines are the older style of Bernina. I have three of them and all of them sew like dreams. They have fabulous stitching on all kinds of fabrics, super heavy to ultra sheer. They are so precise you can sew exactly where and how you want. They never jam or chew up the fabric at the beginning of a seam. I've had two other Bernina's that I've traded in on the models I have now and they were just as wonderful. Prior to becoming a Bernina owner - 11 years ago - I had a Kenmore, it was a reliable machine but not nearly as smooth and effortless as the Bernina's. I've tried Pfaff's and they are a nice machine, too. The new Elna are just like the New Homes which are pretty much just like the new Kenmore's. I've not tried Viking but they sound like a wonderful machine as well. I hope you will be able to try out a lot of different machines to see what appeals to you! Sammie

          9. Marion_ | | #13

            *Sammie, isn't that hoarding to have THREE older Berninas? I would love to get my hands on one and asked at the Bernina dealer where I live if they ever have any for sale and they said nobody ever gets rid of them -- they just add on. What are the model numbers of the ones you have? Maybe I can find one advertised some day, and I might just buy it sight unseen if I know that model is a good one.Marion

          10. Pam_Kee | | #14

            *I don't think Sammie's hoarding but I have two Berninas (930 and 1230). I love my Pfaffs (1171 and 7510) but I picked up the Berninas used.The 930, I picked up for $500. Dh gave me a hard time for a deal going down at the Denny's at Sea-Tac. But in the Bay Area,they run ~$1000. I replaced the kneelift since it was lost. For me, that was the most unnecessary sewing purchase, I've ever made.My first Bernina was an 801 Sport that I traded for the 1230. The 801 Sport, I found for $250. So, the 1230 is a treasured find.Once I found the right dealer, used Berninas have not been hard to find. In fact, the dealer purchased used machines (Pfaff 1171, Pfaff 1222E for a friend, Bernina 801 Sport) were bought for low blue book w/ one year guarantees.Pam

          11. Debi_Pelletier | | #15

            *Well ladies I made my decision and my purchase on monday. I got the Viking#1+ and the customizer computer package. I wanted the availability of embroidery designs. I traded in the Singer Quantam that I got this summer(got good trade in value) and kept my 25 year old mechanical Kenmore. I guess I'll keep it as a spare until I find a good used Pfaff or Bernina.

          12. Cecile | | #16

            *I purchased a Bernina 830 almost 20 years ago, and this month had my first trouble with the machine. The foot peddle gave out! (I purchased a $12 part, and fixed it myself--but I'm mechanical.) I have used my machine to sew everything from leather to lingerie! It is a completly mechanical machine; there's something to be said for that.Compared to other machines I have owned (Singer and Pfaff)the Bernina is my choice!

          13. Marion_ | | #17

            *Sammie, I was just kidding about the hoarding comment concerning your three treasured Berninas. Hope nobody took me seriously. Marion

          14. Betty_Smith | | #18

            *This is my first time on internet! I'm thinking seriously about purchasing an embroidery machine to use on my clothes and my granddaughter's. I presently own a Pfaff 1473 and have had no problems with it. I do have a serger but now I covet one of the embroidery ones just for myself. I want one that does the 9mm embroidery designs plus has capabilities to add more later plus I guess new ones can be purchased thru other deaters. Thanks for your help in my decision. the discussion on sewing machines was helpful.Betty

          15. barb_c | | #19

            *I think Bernina owners just become collectors naturally. The machines are so nice once you sew on them you can never go back....I have two Bernina's and I have never regreted buying them one is the 900 or Nova and the other is a new to me but used 1630. They are each wonderful machines.Years ago when I was just sewing and telling my mother I wanted to get a machine she suggested strongly that I get a Bernina because she knew a well made machine would make me love sewing. I'm glad she did. A used Bernina mechanical has easily outlived some friends lesser models.I think a thread running through here is to buy a good machine. People who have had machines with less reputation are never as happy with their machines as those who have good well made and yes more expensive machines. that doesn't mean you have to have a top of the line machine but a good quality machine from a good company (which looks like it might be a German, Swiss, or Swedish)will always be a good investment.

          16. Rosemarie | | #20

            *You may enjoy the sewing machine topic at Sewing World (www.sewingworld.com) There are folders on each of the major brands with several discussions in each folder. It is a big purchase decision to make and it helps to get all the information you can. Hope this helps, RosemarieOh, and welcome to the Internet!

          17. Sammie | | #21

            *It's taken me a long time to get back here again and see what's new! I don't like "Gatherings" as much now that they've changed the format like this. I knew you were kidding Marion!! It probably is hoarding anyway - the new Bernina's just don't compare so thank goodness I have enough of the older ones to last me a lifetime! I'd like to add even more to my "herd" someday - I just need a bigger sewing room. Have been nagging away at my husband to remodel the house - so far it hasn't worked!

          18. Victoria_Miesle | | #22

            *I was half contemplating trading in my Bernina 1020 on one of the newer Berninas. Are you saying it wouldn't be wise to do so? I have heard that the new Berninas are made by a different manufacturer now. What is it about the new models you feel don't compare? I am perfectly happy with my machine--I just though if I could add some features it might be worth it. Look forward to your reply.

          19. Debra_Mital | | #23

            *This evening is the first time I have been here on the Gathering Page. I do have a Bernina 830 sewing machine that Iam considering selling. It is in excellent condition. I have 3 Berninas. If interested, please e-mail me at [email protected]

          20. Victoria_Miesle | | #24

            *I'm not sure what model the 830 is--if anything I was thinking of upgrading to one of the computerized Artistas.My 1020 has 22 stitches and is the mechanical model.Vicki

          21. lin_hendrix | | #25

            *Here's my $.002 My absolute, all time fave machine was my old Pfaff 1222E. One of the first electronic machines, this was a little tank! The great thing about the Pfaffs is the built in walking foot. You never have to worry about the top layer of fabric "creeping" differently than the bottom layer while sewing. I had a fire in my house in 1990 and the old Pfaff had all it's paint melted off (although the metal chassis was still intact). Based on my experience I went out and bought a top-of-the-line Pfaff (14something). It was pure c**p. This machine constantly got little threads caught in the bobbin run (that I couldn't get out myself). It was always in the shop for adjustment of buttonholes, tension, etc. I finally figured I had suffered enough in 1996(?) and bought a Bernina 1630. This Bernina has been a real champ with a good range of basic and embroidery stitches. The auto buttonholer is fantastic. It has never needed an adjustment that I couldn't do myself. The two things I miss are the walking foot (Bernina's version is cumbersome and hard to install) and the Pfaff needle threader. When this one dies I will probably buy another Bernina. Incidentally, you may notice almost all the technique photos in Threads have a Bernina used.--lin

          22. TJ | | #26

            *I figured that the reason that we keep seeing Berninas in photos in Threads, books by high-profile members of the sewing community, etc., is that the Bernina advertising department is very generous at making their machines available to people who will display them to the rest of us in photos and videos and demonstrations. Not to say they aren't great machines (my cousin loves her 1630), but I feel that one would be paying for Bernina's rather high advertising budget as well as features you will actually use! Call me cynic.... (I love my Viking 550 -- definitely seemed like a lot more bang for the buck).

          23. lin_hendrix | | #27

            *Hi TJ, You know you're probably right about the markup for Berninas. I wavered between a Viking and the Bernina I bought (my dealer sold both). What cinched the Bernina was their magical buttonhole maker. I'd amend my previous statement about the next machine I buy... I'd definitely test drive the Vikings again.--lin

          24. thimble_ | | #28

            *hello everybody!!I just want to say how much i LOVE my pfaff 7570. Originally i bought it for the buttonholes and for bartacks(which was actually all i ever used it for for 3 years!! Yes i know shame on me!) But after using it heavily for some time now, I have let my industrial machine gather dust, I realize what an awesom machine it truly is...especially for precision sewing! I will not give up on my industrial machines though as they are the best machines to use, unfortunately they have very limited sewing options!So my $$$ go to the PFaff 7570...and if for nothing else it makes GREAT buttonholes...Thimble!

          25. Teresa_ | | #29

            *Hi,Can you tell me about your Bernina 830?

          26. laura_chisholm | | #30

            *I am intersted in buying an industrial machine. I mostly sew clothes but I'd like to try just about everything and then choose something to take to the market. That means I'd want to be able to sew fine silk or heavy leather - is there one machine that will do it all? My local fabric store sells Bernina's and they have an industrial on the floor which I plan to try - it looks like it does straight stitch and ziz-zag, but I don't know the model number. My boss has a fabulous Brother machine, but I think it's out of my price range. Is there any advantage to the machine besides speed? Am I better off buying a new machine with good dealer support than a used one from somewhere else? I have an old Singer T&S which works fine, and a "Belair", an old Japanese? all metal machine which I really like. Anyone out there ever heard of it? I inherited it from a grandmother-in-law.

          27. Sarah_Kayla | | #31

            *I have a pfaff 875. I bought it 7 years ago. It is not computerized. It runs like a dream. I have maintained it myuself cleaning it when ever it gets cranky - thanks to the Threads article on maintaining a machine. The stitches are smooth and even, it does a beautiful satin stitch. It even has a good sound. It is low on bells and whistles but it is engineered really well. It was a step up from a Sears kenmore but designed well. I generally sew 3-4 hrs per day and i love my ma

          28. Janice_E_Averill | | #32

            *Dear Laura, I have a used industrial singer sewing machine for more than 10 years. I have only had problems with it two or three times. Finding someone to work on it wasn`t hard. Most independent repairmen work on industrial machines. A good name machine shouldn`t cause you any problems, so a dealer warranty should`t be necessary. I found mine in my local "for sale" newspaper. You might also check the classified section of your local daily news paper. Mine only cost me $200. I got lucky, expect to spend closer to a $1000 for a used machine. My machine only does a straight stitch. You would be wise to spend a little more and get one with a zig zag feature.The thing I like best about my machine is the knee operated presser foot. It leaves my hands free to control the fabric when I am sewing. I can use my machine on any fabric. My Industrial machine has a screw at the top of the machine above the presser foot that allows me to control the pressure. Let me know if you have any more questions.

          29. A.J. | | #33

            *Hi,I love my Juki 5550. It is fast as lightning (5500 s/m), yet very quiet.While working on it, the feel of the machine is light. Although it is recommended for medium weight fabrics, it handles anything in between the lightest of silks to medium weight materials with no problem. The stitch is consistent and neat. There is no oil leak due to good design. Acquired it at my local SM dealer in Chinatown/Manhattan from $450.00, table, motor, light, feet, delivery included. Machine was hardly used, but now I put her to work.Other favorites are: Pfaff 360, Elna Carina, and a tiny,swiss made (1950-ies?), all metal, free-arm portable called Favta. All the above sew like a dream.Sew, happy stitching!A.J.

          30. Robin_Sesan | | #34

            *I am trying to decide between a Bernina Virtuosa (160) and a Viking 545 (Lily). I do mostly quilting and doll making, and general sewing of basic clothes. Any compare and contrast advice?

          31. yeshua14 | | #35

            *I have worked in a retail sewing machine store over 12 years. We had less problems with the Janome/New Home line of machines than any other line. And at one time or another we carried most of them. Currently they moved me to internet at http://www.sewvacdirect.com and prices are unbelievably lower --- and they do carry New Home. From the repair viewpoint, that is my suggestion.

          32. Kathy_Thompson | | #36

            *I have SEVERAL sewing machines, but my two favorites are the Janome MC9000, and the Singer 201. The Janome is a dream machine and gives me the precision that I demand in sewing, and it is sooooo user friendly. I have had it for two years now and I am still finding new and creative ways to use it. The Singer 201, is older than I am, but it has plenty of years left on it. The stitch quality is perfect, and it is soooo quiet. I use it for repairs on jeans, and when I just want to do straight stitching. It is my choice to take on trips.

          33. Stephen_Wick | | #37

            *For a combination of quality and price I like the New Home 4000 memory craft made by Janome. It has alphabets and one-step button hole, needle stop up and can be bought for under $600 at places like http://www.SewVacDirect.com and others I have seen on the web. I have seen it for less than $500 at ebay.

          34. Dodiegirl | | #38

            *Anyone with an opinion on the Necchi sewing machine? I have a chance to purchase a "classroom" oriented all metal model with multiple attachments at a great price but am unfamiliar with the brand. Thanks!Dodie

          35. Sherm | | #39

            *I have read reports that the "school overstock" machines are not good, to be avoided at all costs.

          36. heather_blair | | #40

            *And that "school....." is just a sales gimmick to market cheap, low quality machines.

          37. Sandra_Smith | | #41

            *Hi! Any comments on the Babylock brand machines?? I am looking at the Espire by Babylock. Thanks!!

          38. Paisley_Stoner | | #42

            *I bought my Necchi machine over 10 yrs ago from one of these overstocked surplus sales. It replaced a much disliked Kenmore. Only now I am having problems with it and it has been used lots. I like the Necchi brand depending on which machine it is. I think it depends on what and how it does. I heard both sides of the story about these sales. Necchi says they are not able to go to the schools as anticipated, so they sell the surplus to the public at a discount. I think for what is out there, the brand, features, etc. it all depends on you. Go to a sale and bring your own material and try one. I think I would buy another Necchi machine and I would consider it first. I have looked at all the brands available in the stores and the Necchi's were better all around from what I saw in that price range. I looked at the last sale for the heck of it even though I wasn't in the market for a machine then, wish I would have gotten one as I need it now!

          39. Adrian_Holm | | #43

            *Hi! I have the Bernina 830 which I purchased when it first came out - ages ago. It has several MILLION miles on it and it still purrs a long on the projects I do. It may be purring a little more loudly these days, but I love that old machine and I'll not trade it in. In the near future I plan on buying a new machine and it will be either another Bernina or I'll try a Pfaff. So like you, I'll doing my homework before the big purchase. Half the fun is comparing the machines.

          40. Jean_Moates | | #44

            *Did you purchase the Espire? I got the ESeII two weeks ago and so far, I love it. I guess time will tell.

          41. Beth_Schreiber | | #45

            *Hi. I am shopping for a embroidery machine. What is your opinion between Pfaff or Bernina? Should I look at New Home? Thanks.

          42. Patricia_Charboneau | | #46

            *I consider the Bernina 830 their best workhorse machine.It just keeps on trucking with a little TLC.

          43. L._Kruse | | #47

            *I am in the market for a new sewing machine. I like both the Husqvarna Designer 1 and the Bernina 830. I would like some advice as to which sewing machine is better. I plan on doing a lot of embroidery, however, I do not want to sacrifice the regular sewing abilities.

          44. ed_blazer | | #48

            *I am looking to buy my wife a sewing machine for Christmas. I am looking to spend around $300.00. Not interested in a computerized machine. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

          45. sarah_c | | #49

            *I'm going to buy a new--cheap, under 250--machine, and want to know whether it's worth it to pay $50-75 more for an elna over a singer. I'll use the machine for more than mending, etc. but probably only a few days per month. any advice?

          46. Jusy_Gause | | #50

            *I am thinking of buying a sewing machine and have it narrowed down to two models----Necchi 6015 and Janome 659. Any opinions?????

          47. Edie_ | | #51

            *I haven't sewn in years but this summer the bug bite me again!I recently purchased a Janome Memory Craft 3500. My first sewing project was a reversible Berber jacket. The jacket turned out beautiful and the machine ran smoothly and quietly.I was very impressed with how the machine handled the thickness of the material. I was very impressed to see that I still had it in me too!

          48. Stephanie_Hinshaw | | #52

            *I just saw your post about the Necchi school model. I got one and I can't stand it. It needs oiling every 2-3 hours. The threads get tangled. The needle thread is always breaking. I can't wait to get rid of it.

          49. Renee_wagner | | #53

            *I have a White sewing machine that is over 20 yr old.... want to get a new machine that is user friendly with a 1-2 step buttonhole and some decorative stitches... my 14 yr old novice sewer will also be using it .... price wise I have now clue.... can someone mail me with sites and prices.... dot have the time to go and look so I want to have some concrete ideas before I go to buy Thanks

          50. Peggy_Smith | | #54

            *I am in the market for a serge and am wonder what to buy any suggestion. I need to know what you like and what you don't like about your serge. If you were buying a new serge would you buy the one you have again?

          51. Jill_Juhnke | | #55

            *Hi. I'm in the market to purchase a new sewing machine and am currently trying to decide between a Husqvarna/Viking 425 computerized machine, an Elna electronic machine or a BabyLock. Any recommendations? Would appreciate feedback on these machines. Thanks.

          52. Kaite_Howes | | #56

            *I want to upgrade from a basic Singer that is finicky about tension to something more high end. I am currently looking at Brother's PC-3000 and Pffaf's 7530. I am interested in machine quilting and free motion work, I am looking for a machine that will accommodate my skills into the future. I was really impressed with the smoothness of the Brother but haven't found much feedback on it or know if it is a good machine to do quilting on. From what I've experienced and read of the Pffaf it seems like it w ould do the job, but the Brother is almost half the price of the Pffaf and so if anyone has any feedback let me know. Thanksd

          53. Gloria_Treister | | #57

            *I am looking for new sewing machine. Plan to use mostly for quilting and craft projects. What models are impressive? I have seen and liked the Bernina 160? Any feedback?Thanks,gloria

          54. Dorothy_ | | #58

            *I've been sewing for about 20 years and have had various machines. My all time favorite is Pfaff. I think it really depends what you want. If your looking for quality of stitch,for me, it is Pfaff. If you want embroidery and good lettering it is Janome/New Home. For serging it is the Elna 905DX

          55. Barbara_J_Klink | | #59

            *I have a top of the line Pfaff serge which is about 4 years old. My service from the dealer has been excellent. The only problem is that my Pfaff has required too much service. I find it to be very sensitive and cumbersome to change stitch styles. Perhaps the new model top of the line Pfaff is more reliable than the one I bought. Now that I have invested time and money into my machine I suppose I will keep it for as long as it runs. I had to send it to the manufacturer for a 100 dollar repair in the middle of the busy holiday season. Really, I prefer a more reliable manufacturer with a dealer as good as the one I have. The dealer is as important as the type of machine you choose.

          56. Nancy_K._Hoke | | #60

            *Hi die- I came across your comments on the Janome Memory Craft 3500 and thought I would ask you what features attracted you to it and what features you are using and what features you are not using. I - like you - after several years - have found that I have a room that I can turn into a sewing room and I have the bug. I know I want to seriously begin quilting - and maybe make a few things for the house - I do not see myself making all my clothes again - but who knows. Thought I would just ask you for your opinions. Thank you ffancyK.

          57. Paisley | | #61

            *I am standing by my Necchi machine of 10 + years.It is sturdy and reliable and sews well.I like it better than the Kenmore I had.Like any sewing machine, different models vary when using them.When I have problems with my machine and thread breaking and tangling, it is because it is not threaded right for some reason.I have noticed that some thread works better than others.I can't figure out why you would have to oil a machine every few hours??? Doesn't make sense.Why don't you go to the allyninternationl homepage, they sell Necchi and ask them.Good luck and peace.

          58. k_s | | #62

            *I am seeearching for a new machine. i like the Bernina 150, but too expensive. I like the Kenmore that compares to the brother PC 3000 and the new home 4000. The kenmore price is better and the features seem alike. any opinions?

          59. Linda_Hoch | | #63

            *Husband buying me a machine for my birthday and trying to do comparison between various brands and models. I do some home garment sewing/mending and have been taking quilting classes so my ideal machine would accommodate both areas. Not interested in a serge at this time. Was told Bernina, Pfaff and ulna are top of the line when it comes to quilting ... what about Viking?

          60. Chantal_Da_Rosa | | #64

            *Hello Sarah,Which model is your pfaff? I am also shopping for a new or second machine, and my local dealer recommended the new pfaff 6091 for I need to hem jeans pants often.Any recommenmdations or suggestions are appreciated .Thank you allChantal Da Rosa

          61. Chantal_Da_Rosa | | #65

            *Hello Sammie,It sounds that you know a lot about good sewing machines ! About the Pfaff 6091, recommended by my local dealer for I need to often do hem on jeans pants? Also where do I find Bernima dealers in Santa Clara County California? does any one knows?Thank you all for your help.Chantal Da Rosa

          62. Chantal_Da_Rosa | | #66

            *Hello Pam,Where do you find second hand good sewing machines? I am shopping for one new or good old machine, specially to hem jeans pants, any suggestions, I am located in California, Santa Clara County, near San Jose, exactly in Sunnyvale.Thank you all for your help locating and also any recommendations on a brand and model number.Chantal Da Rosa

          63. Chantal_Da_Rosa | | #67

            *Hello,I am not familiar with the model 875, but curious to know if you have by any chance done any hems on jeans pants on your machine? That is mostly what I need to often do, my husband is a contractor and jean pants he uses a lot....My local dealer recommended the Pfaff 6091, do you or any one knows this model?Thank you all.Chantal Da Rosa

          64. Chantal_Da_Rosa | | #68

            *Hello,You recommended the Singer for jean fabric repair, I don't want a Singer but would appreciate you recommendation on the other machines you have to hem jean pants.Thank youChantal Da Rosa

          65. Brenda_Janovy | | #69

            *I am trying to replace a serge that broke, and am so confused!!! I have decided that I would like a cover stitch (or several), and think I would like a 5 thread. I am trying to decide between a Viking and an Elna. I am hearing good things about both, and would appreciate any feedback--good or bad--about these top of the line models. It is so much money, and I can't find a dealer who isn't biased either!

          66. Jennifer_Fournier | | #70

            *Try http://www.berninausa.com - they have a place on their website to find the dealer closest to you. Jennifer

          67. Gara_Worthley | | #71

            *Is it possible to find a used Viking or trade in model, Freesia 425. I haven't purchased a new sewing machine in 25+ years. I looked at a Viking last night and was surprised at the price of machines today. I do not need the top of the line, only need general sewing with option for stretch fabrics and buttonholes. I looked at a Freesia 425. What is considered a good price for this machine new and used?

          68. Deb_Belue | | #72

            *Any comments on the following machines would be appreciated: Brother PC 3000 or PS 2500, also Janome 5124 or Memorycraft 3000, H-Viking 535. Am looking for a new machine and want one to last a while, can't decide between computerized or not, do mostly quilt piecing, some free motion, not really embroidery but wouldn't mind a monogram stitch. The features for price seem to be greater with the Brother and Janome machines but have heard good things about the Viking too. Want dependable and easy service. Thanks for any help.

          69. Cathy_Larsen | | #73

            *I need some advice-I am looking for a sewing machine that can handle some heavy duty (vinyl, denim) sewing. I don't need a lot of frills, with embroidery, etc. I have six kids and do most of my sewing in repairs. I enjoy sewing anything, making up patterns, etc. but only when my sewing machine is working well. Any suggestions? I don't have the money to go industrial, I don't think. How do the prices compare?

          70. marilyn_neel | | #74

            *I am wanting feedback on the best machine for sewing clothes, heirloom and home decoratingrating I already have an embroidery only so I don't need that type. My Viking is about 19 years old so I don't have a lot of the new things on it or verystitches.itches. I have looked at the new Designeresigner 11, the Janome 4800, and the Brother combo machines of 8500 and the neOnene. One store suggested I look ulnahe ulna Heirloom. Anyone have any feedback one these or other ideas.

          71. Peggy_Randall | | #75

            *I have two machines by Riccar, no one else seems to have them ? My first is a 1976 model I've only had to clean and adjust occasionaly, and the other is a serger. They have metal parts and have been very reliable.

          72. janine | | #76

            *Maybe the question should be "What do you look for in a good sewing machine." There are machines with so many features to choose from that price is the final word. If money is a on-issue then the top of the line Viking, Bernina, Elna, or Brother might be a few to start with. On the other hand if budget is the word the spectrum is still great, but why by a quilting machine if you don't quilt. Features and ease of use is the list to start with. Multi needle postions are a must. Drop in bobbin is a great convenience, but so is being able to wind a bobbin without unthreading the machine. What type of sewing are you thinking about doing? Do you plan on making drapes, well you'll want a machine that will have the blind hem. http//sewing.about.com has a wonderful site and is a great place to start. There is a whole section on choosing a machine. By the way, I own the Designer I by Viking. My husband is still complaining about the price, but considering my Designer has produced more than ever power tool out in the garage, the subject is mute. Good luck.

          73. Brenda_Sigler | | #77

            *I am a beginer sewer and need adviseon what machine to buy. I want to sew some dresses and some crafting. Maybe later getting to some quilting if it all goes well. I do not have a lot of money to spend. $500 is it. Can anyone help me? I have looked at H-Viking,Brother and Pfaff. Thanks Brenda

          74. Paula_Solomon | | #78

            *I am looking for feedbach to help me choose a new machine. I am seriously considering the Quilters Dream from Elna even though I do not now quilt because it seems to have more features for the dollar than the competitors, but I am concerned about having a reliable machine that is trouble free and does quality stitching. Does anyone know anything about the reliability/repair record of this machine. I have also looked at a bernina and viking in the price range, but am unhappy with the bernina button hole process (though I do like the smooth sound of it) and it has quite a few less features than the elna. I have also heard that bernina is no longer as reliable as the older machines were, any experiences welcome. The viking (freesia, I think) is also in my price range, but did not have as much time to check it out. HELP! Thanks.

          75. Ina_ | | #79

            *b I wonder if by now you have chosen a new sewing machine, if not what about the brother super ace II as far as value for money its great, with 290 stitches, a walking foot and a large table all thrown in

          76. Lynn_Kovach | | #80

            *Paula:I, too, am considering the Elna Quilter's Dream. I have just started quilting, so I am interested in that aspect as well as general sewing. Would love to hear the feedback you get on this one. Thanks. Lynn

          77. Mary_Lynn | | #81

            *I'm interested in buying a new machine, that does it all. I'm trying to decide between a Pfaff 7570, Viking Designer 1, and the Bernina Artist 180. Price does matter, but quality and ease of use are a bigger factor. I'm not an advanced sewer, so ease is very important.

          78. Chelsea_Niemeyer | | #82

            *I'm going to be shopping for a serger soon and want to do some research first since I know nothing about them. I do know that I'm not into the decorative stitches like monograming and embroidery stuff. I do formal wear, home dec., alterations and kids clothes mostly. It's such a big investment I want to make sure I shop wisely. Does anyone have any advice as far as best brands? Worst brands? How do Viking and White rate? Any input would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you ...Chelsea

          79. Pat_Diem | | #83

            *I am planning to buy a new computerized sewing machine primarily to do machine quilting. I have had a Viking Computer 500 machine for 3 years. I have trouble with the bobbin and tension on this machine and want to replace it. I need your experience with machines that do a good job of machine quilting.

          80. diana_bernhardt | | #84

            *Hello!Im looking to buy a new sewing machine.The problem is, there are so many choices!I will be using the machine for quilting.Can someone please give me some advice .I have been looking at the Elna Quilters Dream.Does anyone have experience with this machine? Thaks for any input you may have!

          81. Debbie_Stichling | | #85

            *I would like to buy my first serger. I am considering the Elna 704DEX. Can anyone with serging experience offer an opinion?

          82. Philip_Enna | | #86

            *b HELP!I never sewed anything in my life, but then, hey I'm a guy - I missed out on stuff like that. I am interested primarily in putting together pillows, maybe some pillow cases. I won't use it for anything else, but I want to make LOTS of pillows. Yes, I will need sewing lessons too. Got any suggestions on machines?

          83. Lyn_Erickson | | #87

            *I am just getting back into sewing after 15+ years of just doing mending. Am looking for a new machine - or a used one. My youngest child - 15 year old - is wanting to start sewing and I would like to get back into crafts, etc. After reading consumer reports I was looking at Viking over Bernina...but I am also trying out a Janome. Does anyone have any experience with a Janome? I am thinking with whatever brand I will be buying it will be a low end computerized. I really would appreciate feedback. Thanks!

          84. Debbie_Cobban | | #88

            *I recently purchased a Janome Memory Craft 4800. I was extremely disappointed. The machine worked great for one day when I started experiencing serious problems with the tension and stitching. I returned it to the dealer and he has agreed to replace the machine. I am a little concerned about the quality of the Janome machines. Will I have similar problems with the next machine? This was my first experience with a computerized sewing machine and my worst fears were realized. I would appreciate your comments regarding your experiences with Janome. I am considering replacing the machine with another brand and am considering Brother and Husqvarna.

          85. Kathy_Williamson | | #89

            *I have an old Dressmaster machine that I bought for $35.00 from a retired electrician who rescues appliances and fixes them, then resells them from his workshop. I think it's from the 50's. The guy who does my tuneups says it is Japanese. I love it because I can control the speed, and because it is a workhorse. Plus it feels good to use a machine with a history, and running a fine old machine makes me feel frugal.

          86. Kathy_Ludwin | | #90

            *any info on Toyota sewing machine SE-06

          87. Arlene_Baril | | #91

            *I have the Janome 4800 and I love it. It is great for the beginning sewer, which is me. I hadnt sewn since high school and decided to start up again last summer. I shopped around and thought this was the easiest to use and had good bang for the buck. It has some preset embroidery stitches too...a great way to start out to see if you would be interested in an embroidery machine in the future.

          88. Arlene_Baril | | #92

            *You must have gotten a bad one Debbie. I purchased the 4800 last summer and have not had one problem with it. Its a dream to use. I am a true beginning sewer (not having sewn since high school in the 70's) and I have used it to make a dress, pillows, home dec projects, embroidered tea towels and napkins...etc, etc.Many women in my home dec class have Janomes and I have not heard one complaint yet. One woman in my class has several of them and just purchased the new 10000 (she and her husband have a custom embroidery business).

          89. Ginna | | #93

            *I have a Janome Memory Craft 6000 that I got in the mid 80's. It is wonderful and still going strong.Ginna

          90. Linda_Dellarma | | #94

            *Hi fellow machine seekers! Also looking for new embrodiery machine, top of the line! Do you think the top price gets the best machine? How about the merger of Pfaff and Viking, does anyone know what will happen next? Don't want to buy machine from Pfaff if I can't get parts etc. Thanks, Linda

          91. Jean_Jones | | #95

            *I have a Riccar, too--I think mine is a 1973 and still works great

          92. Adam_Fisher | | #96

            *I am looking for a sewing machine for my wife who does mostly patchwork. My budget is the $300-500 range and have looked at Viking Husky starr 219 and 224 as well as the BrotherASS 2200 and 2300. The Brother machines have the most features but I am concerned about the quality. Please advise me, preferably bymail: ad [email protected] thanksAdam Fisher

          93. Clara_Harrison | | #97

            *I have just started quilting and am looking for a sewing machine for a beginner. I have never used a sewing machine before and am looking for something simple to use and good for quilting. I do not have a large budget for it. Any advice is welcome.

          94. Pat_Alford | | #98

            *I need info on the new Brother 2000. Has anyone tried this machine? I really need a good buttonhole sewer. I have never sewn on a computerized machine. I would also like to here from people who sew on industrial machines. Six of these are currently sharing my workroom. Thanks. Patty

          95. Hattye_J._Chapman | | #99

            *I'm having trouble with the embroidery part on my Viking #1+. It's difficult to get the embroidery started; after starting when using a design with more than one color, when it's time to cut the thread and begin the 2nd thread the machine gets a error message; blinking presser foot and blinking thread spool. I've gone over the procedure several times and can't seem to find out what's causing the problem. If someone else has had similar problems Please Help. I'm at my wits end, since I've had the machine for 4 years and have never used the embroidered except at demonstration at purchase time; I'd like to get input before taking it in for service.

          96. Dee_Ann_Rath | | #100

            *I'm trying to decide between the Husqvarna Freesia 425 and the new Bernina 145. I've read a lot about some of the other Husqvarna machines (Rose series and the Lily) but nothing so far on the Freesia.I know that the Bernina is a brand new machine but I was wondering if anyone out there has information on it. Also, I'm curious about how these two machines compare.

          97. Gail_Young | | #101

            *I am thinking seriously of purchasing a Janome 9000 does anyone know much about them? Looks like fun !!Also is the customizing software hard to use?

          98. Emily_Richards | | #102

            *Interested in the New Home, Memory Craft 4000. Anyone have interests in it, I would love to hear from you. Just saw the Husky Star series tonite. Brand new out, just 2 months ago. Thanks [email protected]

          99. Aimee_Stearns | | #103

            *I have the Janome New Home 9000 and 10000. They are both awesome and reliable machines. But like any machine or car they need to be serviced regulary to mantain their performance ability.

          100. David_McGuire | | #104

            *Can someone advise me on the best machine for heavy fabrics? I bought a Kenmore some years ago when our Singer wasn't able to sew window quilts (insulated fabric window covers). Now our Kenmore has given up the ghost on a storage cover for our sailboat bimini. I took it apart and the pinion gear assembly is quite fragile. One of the gears is metal (looks like brass) and the other is nylon. The nylon gear stripped when the machine jammed on the thick fabric. I can fix it with a part, but what I really need is a heavy duty machine with metal gears. A friend recommended a Viking, but I haven't been able to technical information. Their website just tells about features. Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.David

          101. lucyk | | #105

            *ii too, am in the market for a new machine. i do some quilting, garment-making, and quite a bit of home dec, so i need something pretty versatile. my problem is that all of the dealers in my area think that only people of retirement age sew, and they are open only during my working hours. ii have looked at the viking designer 1, and it has the features i want, but i am not going to spend that much on a machine. i think i'd feel like i HAD to sew constantly to get my money's worth! i have done some research on the singer xl1000 and the brother pc8500, and both sound decent so far. my question is: if you have the machine, does the "magic box" replace the software to go with the computerized machine? it seems like the software runs anywhere from $500-1000, and the box is only around $250. what's the diff?ii currently have 3 machines, 1 1973 singer, 1 1965 riccar, and a new non-computerized kenmore. the riccar is like a tank...that machine will sew through concrete, i think. the singer i use for classes, and the kenmore gets most of my garment sewing. i love them all, and when i get a new machine i plan on keeping them. no children, but my pets have a full wardrobe!

          102. karen_morris_ | | #106

            *David, if you really want to sew heavy stuff like the sailboat storage cover, you don't need a regular home sewing machine. these are made for sewing garment-weight fabrics; my beloved Pfaff doesn't even like to hem jeans! i suggest that you look into buying a commercial or industrial machine. they are metal, and can sew through anything (although they tend to be basic and have few stitch options). i think you can find a good used machine for a reasonable price.

          103. karen_morris_ | | #107

            *Dodie, the old Necchis were fabulous machines, I've heard. Look for a vintage one from the 60s or 70s. One that I've seen (can't remember the model no.) looked like an old Cadillac--just smooth classic lines and perfect stitching.

          104. Laurel_Krebsbach | | #108

            *I have the opportunity to purchase a Viking Designer II. I took a "sit and sew" class with a Designer I,and would like to know the difference between the I and II. If anyone can help, please reply to: [email protected]

          105. Kathy_Pate | | #109

            *Laurel...I also saw both machines yesterdayy at one of our local sewing machine stores. In fact, the Designer II was on a special sale as it had been used briefly in class. I asked what the difference was between the I and II, and the store owner told me the only difference was that the Designer I had a "color" display panel (computerized screen) vs. just black and white for the Designer II. She highly recommended buying the Designer II if you wanted to save money because the sewing & embroidery ability was the same for both machines. I'd like to know from others what they think also. Good Luck..I'm still trying to decide what to do...am looking at Bernina, Elna, etc...God Bless..Kathy

          106. Lois_Epp | | #110

            *Looks like I'm coming to this discussion rather late. Here's my 2¢ on the 2 machines. I've worked with both machines & really prefer the Designer 1. The touch display screen is much larger & thus easier to read. ( A significant concern as we age). The D2 has very small font & is a strain on my eyes & I'm not too old yet! The screen on the D2 does not allow you to see the stitches as you are sewing, nor the freedom to do on screen customizing of embroidery designs. The suggestion that the machine is cheaper, is in my mind bogus. The individual cost of the components that you can purchase for the D2, to bring it to the level of the D1 would cost over $1,000.00 more than just buying the D1. Additionally, utilizing the computer software for this machine is significantly more expensive & more labour intensive than the system required for the D1.

          107. Amanda_Garside | | #111

            *I am looking at purchasing a new sewing machine, preferably with an advanced embroidery function (one where I can create my own designs). We are on contract in Malaysia (Island of Borneo) so I do not have direct access to shops to view machines. I am interested in Brother, Bernina, Viking or Husqvarna. Any and all info will be appreciated, Please send replies to: [email protected] thanks :-)

          108. karen_morris_ | | #112

            *WOW. Borneo? Maybe we should trade sewing machines for exotic fabrics, shell breastplates, and other great stuff. I could really use an old head-hunter's basket....

          109. Kate_Babcock | | #113

            *David,It sounds like you need an industrial machine. Pfaff is a good brand. Find a dealer in your area, they can be very helpful if you can find a good one and should be able to find you a used machine if price is an issue. I have worked in a theatre wardrobe dept. for many years and Pfaffs are everywhere. I also recently purchased a Pfaff serger and it's a tank.Good Luck.

          110. Pauline_Dennis | | #114

            *Linda. I am looking at E-bay at a Brother Pacesetter ULT 2001. It looks to be great. Have you gotten any information about the performance of this machine?floyd dennis

          111. Phyliss_Taggart | | #115

            *Don't buy the Bernina! I had looked at the Designer I and was in love with it but let my sister talk me into the Artista 180. After spending a fortune on accessories I still haven't been able to find anyone who can help me with the digitizing software package. I went to a "gold star" dealer and once I purchased the machine they stopped being helpful. They want you to bring you machine and come to classes where they try to sell you more accessories and stabilizers. These machines are more computer than machine and you can't beat JoAnn Fabrics for classes & support. Boy, do I wish I had bought the Designer I!By the way, I've sewed for 40 years and make my living in computers. If I'm having this much trouble with this I can't imagine how people without a computer background survive.

          112. Robin_Urheim | | #116

            *I am very new to sewing and want a machine that will allow me to learn to sew but will not be outdated as I progress. I would like something that could sew tough fabrics and also have a simple embroidery function ( monograms mostly) Does anyone have any suggestions? the prices on the huquavarna d1 and d2 is a little out of my range. If you have suggestions, please e-mail me at [email protected] thanks in advance for the info!

          113. Jacqueline_Waterman | | #117

            *I have sewed for yearsI am a new quilterBased on the above two statements, What kind of sewing machine should I be looking at?

          114. evangeline | | #118

            *Anyone looking for a good sewing machine should look into the Swedish Viking Machines (Husqvarna). I have had Singer, White, Pfaff, Elna and Viking experience (and Babylock too) and wouldn't trade my Viking #1+ for anything in the world. I started with a Viking #1 and went up to a 1+ a few years ago. If someone is looking for a good machine and just can't go the money for a D1 or D11 - then check out a 1+.

          115. Tamara_Hogan | | #119

            *Help! I'm anxious to begin sewing but I am very confused about purchasing a sewing machine. I'm looking for one priced around $200 or so. Can anyone recommend a decent beginning machine for that price?

          116. karen_morris_ | | #120

            *No.(just kidding).Actually, the only machine I can really recommend for $200 is a used machine. You'll get a LOT more for your money if you buy a good, clean used machine at a reputable dealer, than if you buy a cheap new machine. And the dealer will give you a warranty on the machine, too; they check it out and fix up if needed, before selling.

          117. Trina_Stephenson | | #121

            *I have a used Bernette 740E that I would sell for under $200 if you are interested. They are made by Bernina and I have bought a "new used" Bernina as an upgrade.

          118. gail_mills | | #122

            *What sewing machine would you recommend for light embroidery, regular straight sewing, with a price between $500 to $1,000. The user is suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome. Looking forward to hearing some recommendations. Gail from L.A.

          119. sharon_holder | | #123

            *Hi all,would like some feedback from any of you who have a Viking #1 plus machine! Have gotten little help from my local dealer since i got my machine on e-bay. Also, does anyone have older issues of Zig Zag magazine!? I can't find them anywhere. The older issues have my machine featured w/ helpful hints on use etc. Thanks,sharon

          120. Linda_B | | #124

            *Does anyone have any advice on the best sewing machine for reliable thread tension? I've used an old Horizon from JC Penneys (purchased 17 yrs ago) and have had the tension dials changed completely several times (the tension unit only cost about $19.00), but after about 6 months the tension becomes variable again (abruptly too loose, then too tight, etc). I'd like a fairly basic machine that allows consistent tension and stitches for finer sewing (decorator topstitching, sewing on light silks or polyester silky fabrics, etc).Thanks for any advise!Linda B

          121. Lisa_C._Hwang | | #125

            *Does anyone have any advice on purchasing a sewing/embroidery machine all-in-one? I'm looking at the Viking Lily series or the Brother PC-8500 or the Brother Ultima 2001. Any thoughts? I'm lost in terms of which best bang for the buck? Is the Viking name worth the extra cash? Are Brother machines reliable? I tested the Brother PE-150V and was not happy with the limited capabilities including the fact that you cannot SEW on this machine, ONLY embroidery! Please respond a/s/a/p!!!Thank you!

          122. karen_morris_ | | #126

            *Linda and Lisa, be sure to read through the discussions in this Equipment & Supplies folder, because I think you'll find quite a bit of information that will be helpful to you in making a decision about machines.

          123. Hilary | | #127

            *Hello All,Has anybody out there found a GOOD sewing machine store in the San Francisco/Bay area? I'm in the market for a new or used machine. I'm looking at a new Pfaff 2030, but wonder if there is something out there to better suit my needs: I sew mostly garments & bags. However, I sew with lots of technical fabrics (lycras, fleece, coated nylons) & heavy fabrics (denim & heavy canvas). I would sew w/ leather if I could! I've been using an old Bernina 830 Record, which runs like a champ, but it's time to upgrade. I need something more powerful. Does anybody have any suggestions on a machine or a store to look into? I would love an industrial machine, but I don't really have the space for it (I live in a 2 room studio w/ no storage). I only want 2 sewing machines: my serger & whatever I end up buying, so I need something that is versatile.Any thoughts?

          124. deb_lilley | | #128

            *If you haven't made your purchase yet and vote for the Elna 945. I researched for several years and test drove Viking, Pfaff and Bernina before settling on the Elna. I wasn't sure I needed the cover hem but now don't know how I did without it, especially since you'll be sewing kid's clothes.

          125. peggy_Thompson | | #129

            *I have a Bernina 730 that I have had for 31 years. It has been great but now I am looking into one of the computerized machines that has the embroidery capability. I have looked at, the Bernina 180 and the Elna. I can't seem to find an objective comparison. I would love feedback from anyone regarding things they do and don't like about these machines.Peggy Thompson

          126. Kathy_Hurst | | #130

            *My sister is considering a Viking Rose for 1500.00. Is this a good price?? What does she need to get embroidery designs from the internet to get them into her machine?thanks for you [email protected]

          127. Beth_Dillinger | | #131

            *Hello :I am looking to buy a new sewing machine.. My old one was a electronic Kenmore fully loaded .. I had this for 20 years.. I have been reading and researching. I am in Canada and the two machines I am looking at are Pfaffs new quilt style and triptonic machines or the quilters dream from Bernina? I have tried the Pfaff and was quite impressed..In my reading it appears the new Berninas have some headaches and not as reliable as the older models..The Pfaffs seem to have little complaints. I would really like some opinions here... One concern is that Huskvana Viking has bought Pfaff over.. I am a bit concerned on this . I do alot of free style quilts and quilting and don't want to spend a fortune but am willing to spend the money for a quality machine... I would really appreciate some input and experiences regarding these machines... Thank You Beth [email protected]

          128. Heidi_Barnard | | #132

            *I am looking to purchase a sewing machine that will be good for quilting and sewing my godson's dance costumes (stretch) I have looked at the Pfaff Tiptronic, the Elna Quilter's Dream and a couple of Babylocks. Can anyone give my advise regarding 1)having or not having a built-in walking foot and 2) the advantages of being able to sew laterally (looked like a great feature?? on the Babylock) I need to make this purchase soon. So any feedback is appreciated!!!

          129. karen_morris_ | | #133

            *Heidi, i adore the dual-feed foot. but then i'm a pfaff devotee.

          130. Kerri | | #134

            *Hi Kathy, I own a Viking Rose. I love it. I would advise her not to spend so much on a used model though. You can buy a brand new Rose on a sale for $1988.00 Keep in mind it has an embroidery unit with it so if it is used it will have more miles put on it than a sewing only machine. The needle and motor are used 3 times as much to embroider than just to sew. If she is buying a used Rose, a fair price would be $900 - $1200. Also, she can download free embroidery off internet but she needs to buy the download program from Viking. It does not automatically when you buy the machine. But if the used machine comes with it and maybe 6 or 6 software embroidery programs than quite possibly $1500.oo may be worth it. Good luck,,P.S. I am on my 3rd Viking and I have never been happier with any of the other brands of machines I have owned. Take Care (From: Kerri in WIldomar CA)

          131. MISTERY | | #135


          132. laurie_box | | #136

            *I have a Bernina Activa 140 to sell, I am upgrading to a model that has an alphabet and more decorative stitches.

          133. diana_bishop | | #137

            *I'm looking to buy a new computerized machine. I want to be able to do basic sewing , I'm a beginner quilter and I want to be able to do embroidery. HELP!!!!!

          134. Gail_R | | #138

            *Help! My old Singer is dying and I am over whelmed with all the choices. I am in ND and the only dealer near me has Pfaff, Viking/Husqvarna, New Home and Whites. Does anyone have advice on the best brand or model in the $900 to $1300 price range? I do a lot of quilting and also sew garmets and doll clothes. I am considering the Pfaff Triptonic models 2020, 2030, and 2040. Does anyone have an opinion on these models? Also I would like in sights on computerized machines versus mechanical. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

          135. LJB2002 | | #145

            Hi. I was wondering about the built-in walking foot also. It looks like a great feature. I use a WF on my old Singer and it helps a great deal. I am looking for a new machine also. I do home dec and my children's clothes/costumes. Would you mind sharing any info you got on the WF. Thanks so much, Lisa

          136. LJB2002 | | #144

            Beth, You posted some of my questions and concerns about shopping for a new machine. Did you get any good info or make a decision? I would appreciate your sharing it with me, if you do not mind. I do home dec and my kid's clothes/costumes. Need relaibility, even feeding and versitility. Thanks, Lisa

          137. classysewer | | #155

            I too am a Pfaff fan. I  love the integrated dual feed that can be engaged and disengaged. The difference between it and the walking foot that can be used on other machines is the amount of clearance between the foot and the feed dogs. My model is a 1753 which I've had for a number of years. My previous machine was also a Pfaff. I construct garments and do some applique.

            The machine I was using before that was an Elna Supermatic purchased in the '50's. When I went looking for a replacement, it was the IDF that sold me on the Pfaff and I will continue to purchase Pfaffs, if needed, for this reason.

          138. LJB2002 | | #143

            Hi. I am new to this list and am also looking for a new machine. Did you select one? Which? I do home dec and kid's clothes/costumes. I need reliability, strong motor and one that does not need oiling often. I'm leaning toward the Bernina or Pfaff, but just read good things about the Vikking and Janome. Thanks, Lisa

          139. conga | | #153

            Sounds like you like your Janome Memory Craft 6000. I have an opportunity to buy a used one; any thoughts on its current value? I literally just bought a Pfaff 2027 (limited Quilt Expression edition) today, but this opportunity popped up! There seemed to be little info online about the machine, so I'd appreciate any info you can give me about your machine. Thanks in advance!

          140. GinnaS | | #154

            The MC 6000 was the top of the line New Home/Janome in the mid 80's and sold for about $1700.  Recently I saw a comparable (almost same stitch package) new Kenmore machine for about $600.  I don't think I would pay more than $600 for it.

            I love my machine.  It has given me no problems and I have read that this model is a workhorse.  I haven't used it to the degree that others do but I'm sure it is up to it.


          141. prisonlady | | #146

            I love my Designer 1 

            I have had it several  years now.  It has been relatively trouble free.  Half of the toucy screen became disfunctional but a call to my dealer walked me through the fix it.  I took it back for calibration when I bought the mega hoop and that is it.  I am over 150 miles to the dealer so I really need something reliable.  I am still learning as I am not an experienced sewer, but this machine sure can make a little talent go a long way.  I bought the software and I am glad I did.  It was pricey but worth the money.  I love the touch screen although I use a pencil eracer to touch with to avoid the static electricity.  I enjoy the fact that I can download updates from the web site and upgrade my machine.  I have done this several times in the past.  I guess that means mine is just as up to date with all the bells and whistles that are on the new ones rolling out today. 

            A friend of mine boght the Pffaf and she is not really happy with it.  I am not sure exactly what all the reasons are, but I went over some of the things that made mine so appealing and she told her's didn't do that. 

            I could go on and on about this machine but I guess you know by now my choice is D1 all the way


          142. snivsl | | #147

            I am in the market for a new sewing machine.  My choices at present are the Husqvarna VikingDesigner I and the new Pfaff 2140.  Husqvarna has bought over Pfaff and now some dealers here who carried the Designer I are moving to Pfaff because they must choose to carry one over the other.  I am now being told that Pfaff is better as the motherboard is made in Germany while Husqvarna's are made in China.  This from the same store that told me several years ago that Viking's are best.  Also coupled with consumer reports rating Viking Husqvarna at the top of the list , but unfortunately it did not review the Pfaff 2140.

            In short I am totally confused!!!  My previous machine is TOL Elna from 30 years ago which never needed repair, just oiling.

            I am also looking for my first serger.  Looking into Elna 945,Pfaff 4872 and Husky 936 unless there are better options I am missing

            MESSAGE TO ALL!


            Edited 4/10/2002 4:09:58 PM ET by SNIVSL

          143. LJB2002 | | #148

            Hi. It is a confusing time in the sewing machine world for consumers. I have a similiar situation, where I am looking a Pfaff 2040, Viking Lily 545 and the Bernina 145. I am used to being able to compare "specs", test drive, read reviews, and decide. I have not seen any data or specs to compare in this market! I can not even get a current brochure from Bernina or a list of stitches from the dealer! Pfaff has an informative web site and brochures, Viking has current brochures. (This is all in my driving distance, of course you may have more or better dealers!) How do we determine which model or brand is better? Or even equal to another? It seems crazy! Here is what I learned from dealers, reviews, and sewers. I believe it to be true.

            Pfaff was bought by Singer, who bit off more than they could chew financially and sold Pfaff's home machine division in 1999 to H-Viking. Pfaff's are made in either Checkoslovakia (Spelling?) or Germany, depending on the model. Some parts/assemblies are made by others although "engineered" in Germany. The are well made, well designed machines. I have heard of computer troubles on the TOL machines but did not pay attention since I'm looking in mid-range! Dealers do not feel certain about the future of the line as it overlaps the Viking line, and naturally V will favor their own. No dealer can sell both. Personally, I have concerns about parts availability and future support of the line but the machine seems reliable and feature-rich.

            I was told by a V dealer that 100% of it is made in Huskvarna, Sweden, even the software. It seems reliable and has a good history. Many consider it the "Mercedes" of the market - I am not sure why. Personally, I am not confident in the plastic parts they use (the bobbin holder thing), even with a 20 year warranty. Everyone says it is a great machine that is loaded with features and stitches for the price. I like that!!

            The Bernina is dismissed by nearly everyone I spoke with and the reviewers EXCEPT their loyal users because it is "overpriced" and other brands have more features. People complain about the expensive feet (which to me are feet, not just bottoms of feet; and are all metal). They run $25+. The walking foot is $89!! Generics at Nancy's Notions start at $8!! V & P feet (bottoms) are mostly less than $20, there is much plastic used - I have heard they could be wobbly. Even my reliable repair man dismissed them as being expensive for the features you get. He recommended the well made Pfaff but said all European machines can take forever to get parts.

            Who knows what the answer is? I have shared all that I have learned in my own search for a great machine in the under $1500 range. It took a while to get over the sticker shock of current prices but it did not take long to "long" for a new computer machine! Someday, I'll add an embroidery model but it is not in my budget now. If I could, I'd seriously consider the Viking Designer 1, which has had great reviews. You may want to check Sew World's web site for their user reviews and the quilting sites.

            Best of luck with your new machine, what ever you get. Remember, it is all what you are comfortable with, and in front of. Every buying decision has a bit of risk, so many unknowns. My friend reminded me that I should be really excited with what ever I buy for that amount of money and be comfortable after hours of being hunched over it late at night! I hope you love what you get!!!

            Happy sewing. Lisa

          144. prisonlady | | #149

            As a starting over sewer, I knew nothing about today's machines.  I did know that I wanted the machine to do everything possible as it would be the one to keep me company in my retirement and at the price of the front third of a medium size automobile, I checked everything, listened to every pitch and some pitches more than one time.  I am so far from a dealer that I had to learn on my own with the help of an 800 number. My dealer was very helpful and continues to be.  The terms of the sale gave me 6 or 12 months interest free to pay for it.  I shopped for the best price and used interest free money.

            I am not yet retired, but my D1 is updated constantly with the downloads from the web site.  I am learning to sew all over again and I love it.  My friend bought the Pfaff, embroidery, all the bells and whistles, etc., I am not sure of the number.  She and I were comparing and she said she was not as happy with it for the money it cost her.  The size of the designs she said was a disappointment.  Of course, I bought the mega hoop to add to mine and that is wonderful. 

            The problems have been minimal and more my own inability to comprehend than the fault of the machine.  I guess I am a 57 Chevy girl learning to drive that Mercedes, but by golly, I wouldn't trade it for anything I have seen out there.

            I know this is more an emotional testimonial than specs but good luck to you.


          145. LJB2002 | | #150

            Hi Connie and thank you for your reply. I do not think I'll ask about "Prision Lady"!! I understand totally about the 57 Chevy. My workhorse is a 58 Singer - does that make it a Ford?

            My budget will not allow a D1, which is what I would get if I were in that ball park now. I'm leaning toward the Bernina 145 or Pfaff 2040. But I think it will be the Bernina - more metal, more solid feeling to me compared to my iron-tank Singer. Perhaps some day I can add a serger and an embroidery unit.

            I too have gotten back into sewing and read my first copy of Nancy's Notions catalogue like starving woman reading a fine French restautant menu!! As I devoured each page, all I said was wow, amazing. Technology has really had an impact in the "modern" sewing world! All I had as a Girl Scout and 4-H'er was cotton fabric, matching thread, pins, a ruler and a seam ripper! More fun now!!!

            Happy sewing, Lisa

          146. mommydionne | | #151

            I recently (1 year ago ) purchased a bernina 160 (no embroidery), reasons I bought it: (retired my Janome 272 I bought in university 15 years ago)

            Metal parts, the feet are pricey but most dealers carry them at $20 or less except for that walking foot but my old generic one fits with the ruffler attachment ($14.95).  Quality of stitch,  I like to sew for myself and my kids and do everything from shorts and tshirts to wedding gowns to canvas duffel bags and it handles everything well.

            Look for a good dealer,  I got my machine for $2000 and got him to throw in 3 extra feet, a Koala cub table ($600 value) and the CPS software ($120 or so retail).  So you can work around the price, plus I got a free tuneup and lessons.

            have fun!

          147. LJB2002 | | #152

            Hi. Well, I have my Bernina 145 now and love it. It is still amazing to me the control it gives with each and every task! Thank you all for you helpful comments, hints and tips. The feet may be a little pricey compared to the half-feet (as I call them) that other brands use, but I feel they are solid, steady and excellent! I know I only have to buy them once so I do not mind buying quality that will last. I guess I am Bernina's newest fan! Oh, I did get the walking foot which for over $75 nearly killed me. It is terrific. I used one with my Singer that was OK and broke two times (@$25 each!). This can not break, has 2 sole feet, and will outlive me!

            Happy sewing!


          148. mysfre1 | | #156

            What is a D1?


          149. nursewing | | #158

            I had one of the less expensive Bernina's but still $700 Hated it. Very tempermental. GOt the used Pfaff 7570  & love it. I say Pfaff for every use.


          150. lilah | | #159

            For mechanical machines I love the vintage Singers - you can still find parts, presser feet and instruction books.  For computerized machines Pfaff is my hands-down favorite.  My mom has a high end Bernina and a Brother quilting machine (I don't think that's electronic) and she has a Pfaff, she likes Bernina best.  I have a Pfaff 6270, a 7570 and a 4260 (?) coverlock serger.  What I love about Pfaff is that the feet are often much cheaper than Bernina, all of the feet that fit the 6270 will also work on the 7570, the IDT is fabulous, no walking foot to buy, and most of all it sews beautifully and has really useful features like needle up/down, half-speed motor control.  What I don't love about Pfaff is that I bought the machines from different dealers before Pfaff was bought out by the makers of Viking/Husqvarna.  Both dealers went out of the SM business and I could not get ANYTHING from Pfaff.  I was working for one of the dealers and they could not get any help from Pfaff or Viking.  No feet, accessories, TRAINING... Blech! The manuals kind of suck, too, but they are useable.  Now, I'm told that the 6000 series is "not supported at all."  But that's okay, I can still find the feet and things I need.  For people who are buying a sewing machine, it's important to know that when you pay for a machine from a dealer, you are also paying to get training on using the machine and for the support from the SM maker.  A machine from Wal-Mart might work well for you, but if it doesn't can they fix it or are you stuck with it? A lot of people forget to find out if they will have to buy all new feet when they upgrade to a more expensive machine.        

          151. nursewing | | #160

            I am lucky I found a great dealer. Their classes are wonderful. There IS a difference between dealers. Previous dealer was a nightmare.The new one is a dream. Just walking into their store tells the difference in how they conduct their business.

            Love that 7570



          152. user-167104 | | #161

            so much input on this thread, I didn't know where to start, but I do want to re-emphasize how important a good dealer is. I depend on mine for everything and they have a great policy of taking care of their customers like few in any retail business do. They also clean and service the machine for 5 years free. Make sure you get some sort of service when you buy a machine. You won't get that at Walmart, or many other places that are not a machine dealer/retailer. They are in KY and not convenient for probably anyone but me, but just check out their website to see how helpful they are with machine's, classes, etc. http://www.thomassewingcenter,com Just an example of what you want to find in your area to get the best out of your machine and know there's help when you need it.

            I have a Janome, my second, and love it. I would go to a different brand, but it would be difficult. It's an embroidery machine, and I've made some pretty important things in my life with it, (baby quilts, clothing, etc) which makes you grow attached to it when you've worked so much together.


          153. nursewing | | #157

            Ihave the Babylock Evolve Serger & it is the most wonderful machine I own next to the Pfaff 7570.


          154. LJB2002 | | #142

            Hi Debi. I am new to this list and am looking for a new machine also. I read some interesting reviews of the Singer Quantium on the About.com sewing site. They "rated" all singers. It was more of a free-for-all review but interesting. I am avoiding Singer as a result. Best of luck with what ever you select. Lisa

  2. pam4kids | | #139

    I have always owned a Singer and have just purchased the new XL-5000. I have 4 children and love to sew for them. Out of the machines I have owned I LOVE my XL-5000 the best.

  3. RagdollPaws | | #140

    The best one is ur fingers and thread oh plus of course a sharp needle..grin...Im just in a good mood sorry..

    1. JudyWilliment | | #141

      I've been finding this discussion fascinating - I'd love a fancy computerized machine, but it's fairly low on the list of priorities at the moment.  I sew on a Globe 550 which I talked my parents into buying for me when I was 14 (18 years ago - help!).  It's totally mechanical, and I've worked it to death over the years sewing everything from wedding dresses to curtains, denim, leather, lycra - you name it.  I love this machine, and it has never let me down.  I'd agree with those of you who say a back up is a good idea if you have a computerized machine.  I worked at a Singer shop some years ago, and regret not buying the XL1000 then.  I used to use it at work, and have thought many times how much I'd have liked to have it.  I'd even have got a staff discount too.  Damn.

      IMHO it's hard to beat a good basic mechanical machine for almost all general sewing, but then I'm not an embroiderer.  Maybe if I had a machine capable of it I'd embellish everything in sight, just to play with the new toy!

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