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new machine purchase coming up

jsinger | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I expect to be getting a new sewing/embroidery machine in the next couple of weeks–a gift from my late mother-in-law.  I’ve checked out most brands and have pretty much decided on a Viking SE or a Bernina 730e (did I mention that she was a wonderful amd generous lady?)  I’ll be participating  in a Viking marketing survey tomorrow which means I’ll be using the machine for several hours.  After that I’ll look further into the Bernina.  Anyone have any ideas?  I expect that this will be my last sewing machine and this is the one and only time I’ll even be able to consider something this expensive so it has to be right!  Does anyone out there have any experience, positive or negative, with either of these machines?


  1. Crazy K | | #1

    Hi jsinger,  How lucky you are!  Wow!  I have TWO SE's and I absolutely love them.  I have no experience with the Bernina so no help there.  I did the survey thing with the SE and found the machines to be everything they say.  If you go that route, I'm sure you'll be happy!  They keep you updated via the internet so the machines always have the latest 'stuff', too.  I just hook my machine to my computer and it upgrades it with a few simple steps. 

    I do embroidery and sewing and the features for both are outstanding.  The software is easy to learn and the machines are very user-friendly. 

    Good luck and Happy Stitching!


  2. MaryinColorado | | #2

    I am very happy with my 3 Husq/Viking machines, the Designer1, the Rose, the Huskylock 936.  I have had them for years and they are quiet, reliable machines which stitch beautifully.  I do not digitize my own designs.

    You must test drive the machines to find out which are best for you.

    That said, I would look at http://www.patternreview.com at the machine evaluations.

    I would also look into the brand new Pfaff sewing/embroidery machine that just came out.  It has a very large hoop and I find it extremely nice.  Also the new Brother is interesting and a bit less expensive. 

    There will be added expenses depending on the software you choose, whether you want to get involved in digitizing your own designs.  Many embroidery designs are available in multi formats so they can be used with most brands.  I like http://www.emblibrary.com if you want to check them out.  That site also has lots of teaching that will be very helpful for you.  It tells about proper hooping and stabilizers.  This is where I get almost all of my designs as they are always excellent.  Sign up for the newsletter and you can get info on the great sales they have. 

    I also like http://www.embroideryonline.com

    http://www.nancy'snotions.com has lots of goodies. 

    Also, go to the websites for each brand machine such as http://www.husqvarnaviking.com, http://www.pfaff.com, http://www.bernina.com or do a google search.

    If you like heirloom sewing such as for Christening gowns, check out http://www.marthapullen.com  She has clubs that save alot of money.  Her other site is http://www.sewbeautiful.com For very elegant and beautiful lacy designs I love http://www.zundtdesigns.com 

    You will need a variety of stabilizers such as tear aways which are standard, disolvable with water or heat, and sticky back or fusable for knits and fleece.  So do your homework there.  I prefer the Sulky http://www.sulky.com or Floriani stabilizers http://www.RNKdistributing.com . I love Sulky 40 wt. rayon and YLI threads the best for embroidery.  For children's clothing, polyester thread may be preferred by some.  There are cottons, etc, but those are best for more experienced embroiderers.

    Hope this is helpful.  Mary

    I forgot to add: most dealers offer free "get to know your machine classes" and then often have clubs too and further classes on software and all.  Also I would only use an authorized sales and service dealer, some places make you send your machine out of state.  My dil has two Vikings, she did send one out of state via the dealer for repair, it was quick and she was very satisfied.  I take mine to the Husq/Viking dealer which has authorized service.

    Edited 10/15/2007 11:04 am by MaryinColorado

    1. jsinger | | #3

      Mary, thanks for all the info, particularly the web sites. I spent part of yesterday at the Viking survey.  The new SE Limited Edition is awesome.  So is the price.  For  $2000 less I can get a floor model SE which has been upgraded to include almost all of the features of the Limited Edition.  Sounds good to me.  I'm going out to get a better look on Thursday.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #4

        Glad to help!

        It's great that you are doing all this research!  You learn so much along the way about all those features and stitches that you didn't even know existed!  I love that I don't have to worry about backstitching at the beginning and end of stitches anymore, the thread cutter, the start/stop button, buttonholes galore.  Who knew I'd get a "foot fetish" from sewing?  These new machines are too cool! 

        You will be so pleased with your decision once you figure out which machine is the perfect "fit" because you checked out all the possibilities.

        You never get bored with them, because there are always new techniques to try.  Then, there are all those specialty feet and accessories, emb. designs, related magazines and books, threads threads and more threads.  Not to mention classes or groups to join.

        I have a specialty bobbincase for my machine that is a different color.  I like adjusting it for thicker threads and yarns for doing bobbinwork.  I would never have done this with the main one.  So many ways to play, so little time!

        Enjoy the process as well as the result!  Mary

  3. User avater
    VKStitcher | | #5

    I don't have any experience with the Vikings or Berninas, but with all the time you'll get to use the machine, you'll know which one is right for you.  Congratulations on your upcoming purchase--I'm sure you'll remember your dear mother-in-law every time you sew.

  4. racheli | | #6

    Wow! I had the same exact choice to make last year. I owned a Bernina sewing machine which I loved but never got really into sewing. We needed a embroidery machine for our small business to save money on uniforms which was great for me because I got to be the owner at the expense of our moving company! Well since I had a Bernina it only made sense to go back to Bernina for my embroidery machine BUT I stopped by my local viking dealer and decided on the SE. It was a couple thousand less and I like it so much that I've sold my Bernina and use exclusively the SE, everything about it is just so easy. With my savings from the price difference, I bought the 4D Professional software- it's worth it. Good luck. I hope my input isn't too late.

    1. jsinger | | #9

      Thanks for your input.  I'm picking up my Designer SE tomorrow.  (Insert serious happy dance here!)

      1. racheli | | #10

        i do a happy dance everytime i walk in my sewing room! my husband can't figure out why i love a machine so much and i tell him its like having a new porshe 911 twin turbo! i love my se!

        1. Crazy K | | #11

          I am another 'happy dancer'!! LOL  I never thought to compare it to a car but, you hit the nail on the head!  My hubby knows I love my machines..........not sure that he really can understand since he doesn't sew, but he knows!


  5. Pattiann42 | | #7

    Check out software/hardware compatibility.  Can any brand of software be used or do you have to purchase the same brand as the machine.

    Software for organizing designs; editing or making your own designs. 

    Hardware for receiving downloads from the Internet if not included as part of the machine.

    1. MaryinColorado | | #8

      There are several companies that make software that will work on different brands.  Such as Generations and Correll DraWings.  I don't know enough about them to comment yet though.  So many possibilities, so little money.....just google search under the desired heading such as "digitizing software"....

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