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Need a new sewing machine

Bisquick1 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I’m new here……I need a new sewing machine and when I went to test them, I was blown away by what they can do. Now I’m worried that I don’t understand enough to purchase one reliably. I tried the Bernina Activa 230pe, the Pfaff 2027, and drooled over the upscale Vikings and such. I was told by an experienced quilter friend that I should look for a machine that has an ‘even feed foot’. I like to do a little of everything but mostly I’m looking for a machine that will handle many layers of fabric for making slipcovers and drapes and pillows – but I’ll also be doing quilting and some clothing repair. I’m willing to spend up to $1600……sticker shock!
Thanks for any advice……

Replies

  1. sueb | | #1

    just about all the machines available now have an even feed foot available.  If it doesn't come with one you more than likely can buy one separately - just ask which feet that the machine you're going to buy comes with.  I'm not a fan of the digital machines myself and prefer my juki tl98e but I do a lot of heavy weight sewing along with home dec and garment sewing.  I have an inexpensive brother that I bought that allows me to do buttonholes and zig zag stitching when I want since my juki is just a straight stitch machine. 

    Bottom line is that buy what you like after you test drive them in the shop.  Ask them to demo a buttonhole and some free motion embroidery so that you can get a feel for how the machine will do that.  Don't take the salespersons word that it's a good machine until you sit down and test drive it for a bit first.   The other thing that's good to do is to test a range of machines from the low end to the top end so you can feel the difference.  You'll find that there's usually a big difference in the way a $1000 machine sews vs a $200 machine does.  Some will sew a lot faster than others which may not be a big deal when you're sewing small quilt squares together but speed will come in handy when you're doing a lot of long straight stitching when making a pair of drapes for instance or doing a lot of free motion embroidery.

    1. ixs | | #3

      I tested lots of machines before I bought another one (have purchased 3 new over my sewing lifetime), but with all the things a machine can do these days, I'm not even sure that testing at a dealership is enough to really decide what machine to buy. I bought a Bernina because of the one-direction buttonhole, since I was very picky about some aspects of garment sewing, especially the perfection of a buttonhole. Call me picky...... But then I think some problems can be solved by a good thread, needle, and throatplate choice. My friend just thinks Juki are very tough, dependable machines, as she has a sewing machine and serger.I'm sure whatever brand you decide to buy will work wonderfully because these companies all have to be competitive with each other.

  2. applepie767 | | #2

    I have a Pfaff 2054 ( I believe the latest model is 2056) and it is unsurpassed for the type of work you want to do. You can read about it online at their website Pfaff.com. Take your own samples to the Pfaff dealer and try out the machine. It is wonderful!!!!! sks

  3. EBrophy | | #4

    One can only hope that the dealer you went to showed you how the IDT works on the Pfaff model that you were looking at!!  IDT is better than a walking foot because the IDT can be used with so many different feet, such as your 1/4 inch foot (perfect for piecing a quilt top), the narrow edge foot (great for topstitching), the zipper foot (need I say more!), and your all purpose sewing foot. The other wonderful thing about IDT is that it actually moves in sync with the feed dogs, both forward and in reverse, not just up and down like a regular walking foot that you would attach seperately.  Of course you can buy a walking foot for just about any other brand of sewing machine, either through the company or there are some after market ones out there that you can usually find relatively cheap.  As I've said in so many of my posts, and I can't emphasize this enough, don't just look at the features that the sewing machine has to offer, but also at the dealer who you will need to turn to in the event anything goes wrong, or if you have any difficulty with your machine!!! 

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