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new to embroidery machines

antiquitas | Posted in Machine Embroidery on

I am interested in getting a sewing/ embroidery machine and have several questions.  I am new to sewing and am interested in the machines that have the embroidery/ sewing combination.  What model would be reccomended to a person with little sewing experience?  Also, is it possible to embroider on a sweatshirt or jeans that you have bought in a store?  It would seem to be a bit difficult unless there is a “free arm” feature ( I hope I’m using the correct terminology).  I’m just worried about embroidering a shirt front and back together or something wierd like that.  Thanks a bunch!


  1. Mardiejane | | #1

    My Pfaff 1222 is not repairable and I am looking for a new machine.  Since I have not purchased one since 1972 I would appreciate any suggestions.  Consumer Reports recommended the Kenmore 19365 is the best buy and an excellent machine.  My dealer say that Pfaff is no longer the quality that it used to be and that I should buy a Janome.  Help.


    1. GinnaS | | #2

      Janome makes the Kenmores.  Maybe this will help.


      1. essareff | | #3

        I had been looking for a sewing-embroidery machine for several months.  Along the way I examined the Kenmore you mentioned (don't remember the model #) at the local Sears store.  Two weeks ago I purchased a Janome MC10000.  Believe me, this machine is not the Kenmore.  There is no comparison.  Both machines are made by the same company, but to very different specifications.  If you can, buy a Janome.  A used one, through a reputable dealer, would be better than a Kenmore.

        Rose (who sewed on a Kenmore for the past 33 years until 2 weeks ago)

    2. Sixfoot_0 | | #5

      Janome is a good machine, but it's not the only kind out there. Every dealer always says their machines are the best. Check what Comsumer Reports says and check what machine works for you. I really like the janomes (but some one gave me a viking/husqvarna and it is wonderful too). The main thing is what works and feels best to you that counts.

      Good Luck!

  2. Sixfoot_0 | | #4


    I worked for a company that sold machines. we had babylock, bernina and janome. It's been a couple of years and they have really advanced, but my favorite embroidery machine was the babylocks. they had the best edit screen and seemed to break threads less. If you are going to embroider on purchased items like pants and smaller shirts, you will have to split open the sideseams and restitch after. Regular sewing on the babylock wasn't bad either. They even have a tutorial screen if you have forgotten something or need to learn something. Sewing/embroidery combos are nice, but one disadvantage is if you want to sew something you have to wait until the embroidery finishes and if you are impatient, like me, this can be frustrating.

    My favorite to sew on was the Janome Newhome 4000 model. (I don't know if they are still making this one) It doesn't have near the stitches or features, but it has pretty decorative stitches and was just fun to sew on.

    The main thing is to find a dealer with a good reputation. Take fabric with you and test the machines. If the dealer won't let you try the machine, move on!! Also, you don't want to stop at the first place you come to. Some dealers are two faced. Good Luck, and welcome to the world of sewing!! 

  3. CoopSews | | #6

    Dear Antiquitas,

    Almost everyone will tell you how they love the machines they bought (Especially after they pay the bill on them they better love them)  I do love my Bernina 170 as an embroidery machine and as a regular sewing machine.  It has a free-arm and can embroider cuffs and store bought stuff with ease.  The software takes some time to learn but it's pretty straight forward and very much like most design software programs such as Corel and Adobe.  The Bernina is expensive but since the last machine I bought was a $200 Kenmore back in 1978,  I'm sure this is the last machine I'll need to buy.

    Did you notice that Consumer Reports did not review the high end machines?  I think the expense is worth it.

    I also work at a shop that sells Elnas.  I'll take my Bernina any day!

    Good luck!

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