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Need feedback-purchase emboidery mach.

jacksgranna | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi, I’m brand new to the discussion group and am so excited to find this website.  I am looking to buy a new machine w/embroidery capabilities and would appreciate some feedback on brands.  I have a 34+ year old machine now and am wanting to begin being more creative (only 1 decorative stitch works!)  So far, I have looked at Berninas (440E and 630E)  and Baby Lock (ellageo).  Am very excited about what the new machines do and can’t wait to have one! but want to make an informed decision!  Please help.


  1. spicegirl | | #1

    I was in the market for a new embroidery machine a few months ago and looked at Husqvarna/Viking and Bernina.  I though their products either too expensive or I did not care for the dealer.  I called another dealer and was told by the owner (35 years - does the repairs) that he stocked Baby Lock because it was not as expensive as comparable brands.  I bought the Ellegante because my "must have list" included auto thread cut and the usb stick.  The usb stick holds volumes of designs that you download from your computer's hard drive, then remove it from the computer and plug into your machine.  I have not downloaded directly from the internet.

    I am very please with the BL.  My first embroidery machine was an inexpensive Brother and it too produced very well.  The down side to the inexpensive machine was the limitation of the 4 x 4 sewing area and it used memory cards, which required a conversion unit.  All together I had less than $1,000 invested in the machine and conversion unit.

    There is also a review of machines at PatternReview, although I made my choice before I knew about this site.

    Test the different machines to see which one you are the most comfortable with, then test the dealer (just as important as the machine).  If you don't feel warm and fuzzy after a couple of visits, write them off and check out another dealer.

    Good luck and best wishes in your search - keep us posted.

    1. MaryinColorado | | #2

      The Husqvarna/Viking also has the auto thread cutter and it "fixes" or reinforces the beginning of the stitch unless you turn this function off.  The Designer SE and Designer 1 USB have the memory stick too.  I agree with all your comments.  I have the Hus/Viking Designer 1 and could have my machine revamped to include this but decided "if it aint broke, don't fix it".  It is a great machine and I have no complaints.  I also think it does the best heirloom stitching of all.  Also I am able to upgrade some aspects of my machine and software online at no cost.

      I also suggest that you go to the websites for the machines and learn all you can about the features available.  I love being able to push a button instead of holding down the footpedal and having multiple speeds also. 

      You should expect to get free classes on machine orientation at a good dealer and hopefullly great repairmen just in case.  I take my machines in once a year for a good cleaning and check up. 

      Good luck and take your time finding the machine that "fits" your needs and comfort.  Mary

      1. spicegirl | | #3

        Thanks - you thought of a few things I also consider a priority!

        1. MaryinColorado | | #4

          I think if I had a wishlist it would now include an even bigger hoop to do jacketbacks all at once like the designs listed under jfacketbacks from http://www.emblibrary.com.    I love those!  I also get thier newsletter which tells of thier "specials" which are great moneysavers.   They have great instructions online also.  Mary

    2. jacksgranna | | #6

      Thank you all so much for the info.  I'm glad you mentioned the dealer, because I went back to Bernina yesterday afternoon after posting my quetsion, and bought a demo machine!  I based my decision on the dealer!  I tested the Baby Lock the day before and really did like it, it seemed easier to use, but didn't feel comfortable with the dealer.  On the other hand, the Bernina store women were just wonderful!  I slept on it over night the previous night and my gut kept telling me to go with the Bernina even though I liked the Baby Lock better! 

      I could be crazy, but it's done now!  I'm a little nervous, but looking forward to learning and having all of the support of all of those wonderful women who are such accomplished sewers! They also have several monthly classes I can attend for free or for $5.00. 

      I was able to get a demo at a really good price.  I did call a dealer in another city and their same demo machine was $800 higher, so that influenced me.  Also, I was afraid the demo would be sold and then I couldn't have bought that same machine at the higher price.  So I acted, probably hastily, and bought it!  Again, thanks!  This is a great discussion group I hope to continue using in the future.

      1. spicegirl | | #7

        I am happy for you.  I was intimidated by the "machine" when I finally brought it home.  It sat on my dinning room table for three days before I would touch it - and I was not new to machine embroidery.  The "big deal" machines have their own minds!

      2. MaryinColorado | | #8

        congratulations!  Your adventure begins!  Mary

        1. jacksgranna | | #11

          Went to my first machine class today, and I am a little more than intimidated!  I've just never been that big of a sewer, I'm a "wanna-be"!!! There were 5 other super women in the class with me and they were all quilters, very good ones!  I had so many questions.  I just hope I can spend the time to learn how to use it very well, as it does sooo much!  I'm feeling a little guilty I guess, about spending so much money!  Thanks for all of your  responses.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #12

            I call it "sticker shock".  It happens every time I make a big purchase since they are few and far between.  I think it is okay to spend money on yourself once in awhile, you deserve it!  Now, relax and enjoy!  Mary

      3. ChristineAnn | | #14

        How wonderful that you have made a decision. I have finally decided that I am going to get a new Janome sewing machine (for quilting) and a Janome embroidery machine - 350E.  I am deciding on Janome because I used to go to quilt classes with someone who had one - also, when I spoke to the dealer, the machine did seem to have some good features.  I think it is very difficult to make a decision but you have to just decide in the end or you would never get one!  I live in Belgium and was going to get my machine in England as the guarantee is only valid in the country of purchase, but now I have decided to take a risk and buy the machine in Belgium, as the lady who sells them here does give lessons - although there is a language problem as she speaks French - but I think she does speak some English, so I hope she can explain to me how to use the machine.  It is a difficult decision to buy the machine here, but we are likely to be here for another year, and I do not want to wait any longer.  I am new to the idea of embroidery, but I am excited at the possibilites.  I am also quite new to sewing, so it is a lot of money to spend but I am hoping I will really enjoy it.  Let me know what you make with your new machine!


        1. spicegirl | | #15

          Just be sure you get a manual that is in a language that you understand.  The lessons are a bonus, but you can learn from the manual and a few good books.  Jeannie Twigg has several, but the basic one is the best for a beginner.

          Another thought - if you are not going to be a long term resident in the country of purchase, does it really make a difference where you buy it?

          Edited 4/2/2007 9:17 pm ET by spicegirl

          1. MaryinColorado | | #16

            I think some companies have international warranties.  You may want to look into this further, especially with the computer machines.

          2. spicegirl | | #17

            Thanks for the info.

            I found more info on SVP Worldwide - check their website - Singer purchased the other two companies last year (I vaguely remember this).  There is also information on their hook-up with M. Stewart.

          3. MaryinColorado | | #18

            Thanks, I will check this out! 

          4. ChristineAnn | | #19

            Thanks spicegirl, you are right, I have decided it does not matter about the guarantee - its only for 2 years, and I think we could be here for at least another year, and although the lessons not absolutely essential, I have decided to buy the machine here as I think that if there is a problem with the machine it could be when you first get it. After 2 years I can just get is serviced in the UK if we are there then.  The manual comes in English as well as French so I dont think it will be a problem......

  2. pc3 | | #5


    I to am new to this site, but I have 3 embroidery machines and have taught for my local brother dealer. All three of my machines are brother machines and after having had these the oldest is 10 years old, I wouldn't have any other brand. I have also taught at stores that have the Bernina and the Viking and found them to be a little more complicated than Brother. But the Baby Lock and Brother are just about the same machine, they are made by the same Co.and the housing is just a little different. My newest machine is the Enovis 4000 and I would recommend it to anyone. It is the best machine I have ever owned.

    1. foxygrannie | | #9

      Even though your post was not in reply to mine, it really helped me tremendously!

      I am going to purchase a new sewing machine.  A Brother CS 6000 i.  I read reviews on JoAn's website, the fabric store.  I also posted a qustion about my pending transaction  I was given two sites, Epinions and on other site.  Sorry I forgot which one.  All but one of the ten or more reviews were favorable.

      After reading your reply, I have decided to purchase the Brother machine.  Thanks so much.

      1. pc3 | | #10

        That's Great I hope you love your machine as much as I have loved using mine. Now the fun begins.PC3

  3. mazy | | #13

    I just bought a Brother Innovis 4000D for more than I have spent for a car.  My last machine was a White, purchased in 1971.  I am very excited about this new toy.  The best part is that my former spouse finally had to pay me some money he owed me so he really bought the machine for me.  I am looking forward to lessons at the store where I purchased it...My granddaughter ,age 3, is very much into Disney Princesses so I will enjoy seeing her face when I make some clothes for her with Cinderella and the girls on them.  I am thinking this will be a hobby/business when I retire in a few-well 8- years.  I love making children's clothes and apparently people are willing to spend quite a bit on little ones these days.  I am also a "beginning" quilter.

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