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Need advice about Viking machines

bbiles | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi all again,

I never really introduced myself before.  I am a 33 year old mom of three girls all under the age of 4 (1 set of twins).  I started sewing a few years ago when I could find the time.  I also took classes here and there. I would say I am not yet an intermediate sewer but I believe I am beyond the beginner stage I really want to improve my skills.  I posted a few days ago asking about “Singer loyalty”.  I have been convinced by you and my sorry machine to forgo the tepmtation to buy another singer ( I also have my grandmother’s Singer featherweight 221 that I love)  I think I will buy a Viking.  Now which one should I buy?  I would love one of the awesome Designer machines but I just can’t afford it and I’m not sure I would use the embroidery features as much as I would like. I just don’t know that I am ready to get into embroidery.  I still have a lot of other things to learn.  I like to sew children’s garments, and I have been doing machine applique to embellish denim overalls etc.  I use a satin stitch quiet a bit. on my current machine I have to use a zigzag stitch and adjust my tension, stitch length etc manually.  If I don’t purchase a machine with embroidery I would like to buy one with alphabet stitch options so I can label my kids coats and other clothes and maybe quilts.  I would like get into machine quilting.

I would love to have your thoughts an opinions about these and any other machine you think I should consider.  I am going to go test drive the Viking Platinum 770, the Scandinavian 330 (I think this is the one with embroidery feature) I believe all  Huskvarna Viking dealers are having a special on this machine for $999.00.  The Interlude machines are also of interest.  I have heard a lot of positive talk about Bernina machines too, any input there would also be appreciated!  Sorry this is so long, but I really value the experience on this board and I wanted to give you enough info for advice.  My price range is up to $2000.00. and that is pushing it!  I would like to stay around $1500.00 or less.  I just really want a quality machine that will last a very long time.  Thank you!



  1. SewTruTerry | | #1

    Since you asked about or are interested in the possibility of future embroidery I would suggest that you look at the D2 as you can buy the basic machine and then add the embroidery unit at a later time.  I will tell you that with 3 little girls there is a whole lot of embroidery that you can do to RTW clothing even used that will give the item a new look.  I only wish that I had an embroidery machine when my on dsd was younger.  I did have it with my son and found that by using embroidery I was able to extend the life of pants that had holes in the knees by adding a truck or something. I also believe that the D2 is upgradeable over the internet so you will get a "new" machine whenever there is an update. I do not know at this time what the cost is but I think it does fall within your price range.  But better than just lookin at the machine the dealer or service provider that you pick is more important just make sure that you interview and research them as much as the machine.

    1. SewNancy | | #2

      I have a Viking 750 and I love it, but if my budget had been bigger I would have gone with the D2 because it has some great features.  But, having sewn on a Viking for 22 years, I don't think that you can go wrong with them. 


  2. ctirish | | #3

    If you have little girls, make sure you get a machine that sews on knits and fleece as well as has lots of the fancy or heirloom stitches that make girls clothes so cute. Sewing with knits is so easy and with fleece it is hard to really mess up a garment. Make sure you get a good warranty too. Ask for what you want because they are hoping to make you a long time customer. Then when you are ready for an embroidery machine or a serger you will go to them to buy it.

    Good luck and happy sewing.

    Is anyone here participating in the Project Linus day this weekend?  I am curious to see if it is all over the U.S and world?

  3. SkiNsew | | #4

    I have a Viking machine called a Lisa that I bought around 2000 and paid $1000 for.  I just do garment construction so it has been a great machine for me---has the sewing adviser, one step buttonhole and all the basic stretch stitches as well as a variety of basic designs.  I love the machine and it fits my needs.  Anyway I would just like to give you a little advice and that is to get the Viking machine that you really want on the first purchase.  The Viking stores tell you that they will give you the full purchase price if you upgrade your machine within the first 12 months of purchase.  What they do not tell you is that when you go back to upgrade they will apply your purchase price (which is always some kind of "deal" ) to the full retail price of the upgrade machine.  No deals are given on the upgrade!  You can easily be talking "big money" here.  Good Luck with your purchase.  I am a Viking fan but it is always buyer beware time.


  4. suesew | | #5

    I think you are talking about enough money to at least get into a computerized machine. They life so much easier in so many ways. And they will give you plenty of room to expand your knowledge and ability.

  5. bbiles | | #6

    Thank you all for your advice,  It has been very helpful.  I could talk about and listen to talk about sewing machines all day!  I have been looking at the D2 also, but it seems to be out of my price range, even the used ones I have found. They are all over $2000.00. I have seen some on ebay, but I think I really need to buy something in my city so that I can take advantage of the free classes and be close to the dealer in case the machine gives me any trouble.  Unfortunately, there is only one dealer here that sells Viking machines.  They seem to price their machines higher than the other dealers I have called in areas close to me but not close enough in case I have problems.

    The longer I wait the more I like the idea of embroidery.  Especially after what some of you have said.  I may just wait and save more money so that I can buy one of the Designer machines.  Yikes!  it seems like so much money.  Decisions. Decisions.  Thanks again for you advice.  If anyone else has anything to add I would love to hear it.

    1. AmyC | | #8

      I have two young children under 5, and I would definitely encourage you to get an embroidery machine.   The great thing about the embroidery machine is that you can run it while you watch the kids.    Other than a few thread changes and thread cutting. it will run by itself.

      I have two Viking machines - a Lily that I bought when my son was born, about 4 years ago, and a used Iris I bought last year to do embroidery.   You might want to take a look at the Iris.  It only has a 4x4 inch embroidery field, but you can also use it as a sewing machine.  The downside of the Iris is that you if you want to use the many embroidery patterns available on the web, then you have to buy software and a reader/writer card. 

      I think I paid about $800 for the used -- I don't remember because I also bought a sewing table, software, and the reader-writer box at the same time. 


      1. edgy | | #9

        Don't overlook a used machine. I got a Lilly last year and it has enough embroidery capabilities to keep me happy for a looooong time. It was 2 yrs old and cost $800nancy

  6. mem1 | | #7

    You sound like me about 8 years ago even down to the twins ! I would suggest that you look at the Janome range . I live in Australia and I have a machine called the 4800 and it does all the things which you want . I have recently bought a stand alone embroidery machine  the Janome 300e and have been having alot of fun with that .This is a very cheap way of getting all the capabilities a super machine and I really have NO complaints about it .The Janomes are cheaper here in Australia and after having used a lovely Bernina for 20 years I bought the Janomes on the advice of a friend of mine whoes mother had used one for a long time .I have been very happy with it.If you want the embroidery option further down the track, think about the stand alone embroidery units .I would get one where you can download from the internet as buying whole collections of embroidery designson a CD or card  can be very expensive and a waste if you use just a few of the designs . Patternreview .com is also a good site for reviews of machines .

    Good luck

    1. bbiles | | #10

      Twins are so much fun!  I am really excited about all of the sewing possibilities!

        I really like the idea of a stand alone embroidery machine.  The Janome 300e looks great.  I saw one on ebay.  I am going to keep looking for a good deal on a used one.  I also saw a neat vintage Barbie embroidery card on the Janome web site.  I think it will work with the 300e. It looks like you can use embroidery cards and also download designs from the computer.  I need to do a bit more research. 

       So, I am now seriously thinking of buying just a sewing machine, probably the Viking Plat 770.  Or Something that I will be happy with for many years down the road - I will also look at the Janome's too.  My Viking dealer carries the Janome machines too.  Then when I can afford it or if I can find a good deal I will buy a stand alone embroidery machine.  Probably the Janome 300e.  I like the thought of being able to sew while the embroidery machine is working! 

      1. mem1 | | #11

        THe Janome 300e doesnt use cards directly you have to put a CD into your computer and transfer the designs onto a flash card which is the same sort that is in a digital camera This is all very easy and that is also how you get the designs from the internet . The reader box and flash card are very inexpensive .The other thing that is worth getting is the customizer soft wear . This enables you to put designs together and include script etc.The other good thing about the Janome is the fact that you can use the ordinary hopp 4x4 and the large and the giga hoop.This makes it equivalent to the super machines .

        Enjoy your babies . Mine are going into adolescence !!!!

  7. GreyKat | | #12

    I just purchased a Viking Interlude 445 on a poorly planned spur-of-the-moment rush of excitement. That being said--I absolutely love it.

    I have a 25 year old Necchi that I bought with babysitting money back in junior high and have struggled with it for years. I started researching sewing machines a few months ago (my sister-in-law, a seamstress par excellence, swears by Bernina.) with little success. Hard to find anyone complaining about any higher-end sewing machine. And I had planned to start "test-driving" soon. I DID want a computerized machine and one that did buttonholes automatically, and I was interested in an embroidery model, though for me that wasn't high on my list. I just wanted a machine that worked well.

    However, once I sat down in front of that Viking and started sewing on it, I was hooked. It was over my budget--$1000--and didn't even have any embroidery features, but it sewed every kind of fabric from fleece to sheers to denim to doubleknits without hesitation. It runs smoothly with little vibration. And the stitch selector and many little features are incredible to me.

    In retrospect, I wish I would have done much more test-driving. Coming from a bad machine, I realize just about anything out there would be incredible to me. I WAS disappointed in the Viking dealership--some of the features they showed me on the machine (namely the automatic buttonholer) was a separate purchase. Something I found out AFTER I got the box home and opened it up.

    I also wish I would have held out for more embroidery features--even just letters for monograms. But the Platinum 770, which I also fell in love with, and the Designers, were just way WAY out of my budget.

    But more than anything, I wish I had done more test-driving just to be absolutely certain that I got the best machine for me. That is my only regret. Truth is, I absolutely love it. It sews like a charm and I've been sitting in front of it every weekend. It has completely re-kindled my love of sewing, and I look forward to new projects rather than dreading going to "battle" with a machine that was fighting me every step of the way. And I have two little girls (3 and 5) who love the little princess costumes, along with skirts and dresses, I'm now churning out for them!

    Anyone else with a similar experience?

    1. bbiles | | #13

      Thank you all for your advice.  I thought I would post to let everyone know that I purchased the Viking plat. 770.  I love it!  It is so nice and sews perfectly.  Know I really know how poor my previous machine was.  No more bobbin problems!  I made my daughter some adorable overalls for her petting zoo birthday party.  I received so many compliments.  I spent more than I really wanted to, but it was worth it.  Know of course I want a serger and an embroidery machine! I will just have to wait.  For the embroidery machine I have my eye on the Janome 300e as mentioned above.  I like the idea of being able to sew while the embroidery machine is working.  Not sure about the serger. I haven't yet researched this.   I will just have to wait and be patient!  No more money in the budget or room in my make shift sewing space!  Plus how do I convince my husband that I now need 2 more sewing machines.




      1. sheilaw | | #15


        Just thought I'd let you know I have a embroidery only Janome 300E and just love it.

        It's easy to transfer designs form a cd and the internet to your card reader and the stitch quality is excellent. One of the best things is that you can be embroidering on the 300E while you are sewing on your regular sewing machine and get twice as much done!This was great for me at Christmas as I macde many gifts for my children grandchildren and friends.

        Designs can also be edited on screen to resize rotate combine designs etc. The possibilities are endless!


        1. bbiles | | #16

          That is great to know.  I really haven't heard anything bad about that machine.  Looking forward to purchasing it one of these days.  Hopefully soon.  Thanks for the info.


          1. sheilaw | | #17

            Good luck!


      2. AnninGA | | #18

        I was at the Sewing & Quilting Expo 2005 and they had a class serging for rookies so I took it and I've never used a serger before. I wanted to see if I wanted one. Of course they had Viking 936's and they were selling them for $1035 at the show.  We made sheatshirt jackets in the class and the class was 2 hours and we were done.  We sergered the entire thing.  I was hooked on the machine and my husband happy anniversary.  It has 16 built in stitches and a memory of 50 I'm taking the new owners class tomarrow.  I also bought the interlude 435 last year for my anniversary it was on sale for $700, I bought a Brother PE 150 Embroidery machine on E-Bay for $350 so you have to watch for the deals, that was a used machine and it was in excellent shape it is an entry level machine.  It is fine for me it does everything I need I just needed a card reader and I'm in business.  I wish I had bought the Designer II but hindsight is everything.

        1. bbiles | | #19

          It sounds like you got some great deals.  I hope you have fun at your class tomorrow.  You have made me more excited about my purchasing plans.  I will have to tell my husband that it is quiet normal to want and need several types of sewing machines!  The serging class sounded great.  Anything that would make sewing faster is nice for me.  I am quiet slow.  I will have to check out the Viking 936.  Thanks for the input.


          1. AnninGA | | #20

            Hi, I had my class tonight with my serger, and it was wonderful. it's like the cadillac of sergers. I am so glad I bought it. Wait until they have it on sale I was wrong about the price it was $1099 and it was worth every penny. I will use this probably more than my regular sewing machine, it does so many stitches, plus it has a lot of special feet you can add to make more stitches. When I decide to trade my Brother embroidery machine in I'm going to buy one of the Viking Designer machines the Series one sews too.  Ann

    2. SewTruTerry | | #14

      I think there are a lot of people that will say immediately afterwards about having some second thoughts about any major purchase but when ever you are having doubts just think about the compliments that you recieve and the hugs you get from you children and it will all be worth while for you.

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