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Help a lost person! Janome, Viking, etc

Ringo4 | Posted in General Discussion on

I am about to drive myself crazy and it is only a short walk! I have read as many opinions on this site and Pattern Review that I can find about the embroidery machines.  But, I am going to ask one more time-which TOL or as close to TOL that I can afford should I choose. Janome, Viking, Bernina. After many years of having only a regular sewing machine, I bought a Pfaff 2144 about 3 years ago.  I have the same problem with it that I have seen here and Pattern Review.  It is complicated and the manual is confusing.  After many years of selling Berninas, the dealer decided to also sell Pfaff. The promised support never happened.  We are self-employed; so my time and money are limited.  Plus, I am not a spring chicken anymore and the brains take a little longer to figure out things. 

The main things that I want are a machine that will be easier to operate and understand, and if it exists, a machine that will change the density of a design if it has too many stitches for the fabric. Otherwise, I will need to find software to do that.  As you all know they get you with the software and the cost of it.  I only got the limited package of software with my Pfaff.  I have to get another add on in order to change density. 

The one good thing about the Janome is the extra wide work area to the right of the needle and you seem to get more for your money.  The Janome dealer that I went to quit handling Brother due to change in quality.  How true I do not know.  From what I can read, BL appears to be more expensive and they give you less.  The up side to Viking is that it uses the same software as my Pfaff.  With the Bernina, I’d have to travel a long distance to a different dealer plus they cost more for less as well. My last question is about the bobbin and the hook.  Some people claim that the bobbin and hook on the Bernina and Pfaff are better. True or not?

I cannot really believe that I am even thinking of doing this, but I am just not happy with my Pfaff or the dealer.  Would you all come to the aid of a lost person one more time with your wisdom and opinions please?!!!  Thanks much.







  1. Crazy K | | #1

    I am not experienced with Bernina.........had a Pfaff years ago......vintage 1950's model.  Great machine but that was before all the bells and whistles and machine embroidery!  I had a Janome.....then got the itch to do embroidery so upgraded to a 9000........great sewing machine but I was terribly misinformed by the dealer that I didn't need software but just come she her and buy the little cards with all the wonderful designs..............yeah right.......I don't have a gold mine in the backyard!  So........I got an amazing box to get designs off the 'net and transfer them so I could use them.  Well, that was a royal pain in the backside and I never really got the hang of it so it was always a major deal to try to get a design ready to embroider.  Then I was still itching to stich (embroidery) and stopped at a Viking dealership near my home (could have done that in the first place!) and walked out with a Designer I that used floppy disks for the designs and the 3d software...........and was sooooo much easier to use.  Loved that but then the company came out with the SE...........which is just awesome.  I traded up and even got a second one.......DH spoils me!  The 3d software that I bought with the Designer I works with the SE and I'm a happy camper.  I think the Viking is easy to learn (most dealerships offer free classes......mine did daytime AND evening so people could go) and the software isn't all that hard either if you have experience with computers.

    There's my nickel's worth........hope it helps.  I've had my Vikings for about 3 years now and am very happy with them.  As for the density question, the 3d studio software has a 'resize' feature and you can change density as the size changes..........  I know they're coming out with a 4d version but I'm staying with what I have for now.......I think the change was when Vista computer software came out.......not sure.

    Crazy K

  2. MargieT | | #2

    Hi, I can't help you with choosing a machine as I have an embroidery only machine [Janome 300E which I love] but I can help you with software.  Can I recommend Embird?  I do not have any connections with the company but I am a huge fan.  The basic program costs $US129.  and helps you to do so many things.  For example - changing density, resizing designs, editing designs. merging designs. organising your design folders, converting designs etc etc.  Have a look at the website http://www.embird.com.  There is a 30day free trial which can be downloaded.  I forgot to mention that Embird is great fun!  By the way dealers will not tell you about this program because it means you would probably not buy their expensive software.


  3. User avater
    purduemom | | #3

    I would have to agree with Krazy K about the Viking D1.  I have had mine for 4 years and LOVE it!!! I was a little nervous about using the 3D software, but continue to be amazed at what it can do.  Having also previously owned a Janome, I am convinced the Viking is most definitely my favorite.  Whatever you decide, it is important to have a dependable dealer in your area.  It seems Bernina and Janome and Pfaff dealers have come and gone for the last 10 or so years in our area.  My Viking dealer is wonderful and has been in the area longer that I have (18 years); I think that is a reflection of the quality of the merchandise.  Good luck with your decision.


    1. Ringo4 | | #4

      Thank you for your information.  Would you please tell me which Janome that you had?

      1. User avater
        purduemom | | #7

        It was a MemoryCraft 8000 with scanner.  The machine sewed out nicely on every type of fabric.  I monogrammed lots of towels for gifts with that machine!  The problem I had was finding accessories locally.   

  4. CarolR | | #5

    My husband bought me my first embroidery machine last summer for my birthday and its a Janome 9700. One of the reasons we chose this machine was the price in comparison to some of the other brands.   I am still learning and love the machine.  I have only used designs built into the machine and on the 1000 design CD that I got with my machine and its very easy to copy them onto my harddrive and then transfer to the memory card that I purchased.  Once someone showed my how to set up a folder on my computer to copy the designs to its quite easy.  Of course, the manual didn't show any of this and I got the info on another sewing message board.  I am going to purchase Embird so I can download free stuff from the net.  The dealer did try and sell me the Janome customizer or digitizer (I can't remember) at a ridiculous price and Embird in comparison is a good deal.  I recommend the Janome.  The embroidery I have done so far has turned out beautifully.

  5. tmorris1 | | #6


    The best advice that I can offer, no matter what machine you choose, you need to find another sewing machine dealer. All of these machines are complicated to figure out, and without some assistance you may spend a lifetime not even knowing the full scope of what your machine is able to do.

    Get your training and service agreement in writing so that the dealer MUST adhere to his/her promises, and if you still are not provided the proper instruction, contact the maker of the machine directly. Often the sewing machine dealers have contracts with the sewing machine manufacturers promising them that there is good service, and appropriate training on every machine sold, and will pull their product off of the shelves of a bad dealer.

    Remember to stand up and demand what you require, sometimes the squeaky wheel really does get the grease lol!!!

    Happy shopping


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