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Conversational Threads

rate sewing machines

Nancy4106 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am in the process of trying to select a sewing machine. I am leaning toward a Brother, however, I cannot decide. I sew for my grandchildren and myself. Can anyone out their compare Kemore vs. Brother, or am I better off going to a local Fabric dealership and try for a used more expensive machine?

Thanks

Replies

  1. Meg | | #1

    Nancy,

    Check out PatternReview.com for lots of opinions/reviews about sewing machines.  I'd add, also, to test drive every machine you can sit at.  And don't forget about a used machine, either.  Oftentimes we sewists will trade in a perfectly good machine for one which is a step up in price or function.

    1. Nancy4106 | | #2

      Thanks for the advice, I did try a Brother today and I am not happy with all the plastic. I am used to an older machine, a Kenmore and it is all metal. I realize that I will probably have to get used to the plastic business, however, I am going to keep looking.

      Your advice about used is sounding better, I am going to check with a local fabric shop, they sell more expensive machines. I'll just keep looking, surely there is something out there.

      Nancy

      1. stitchsister | | #3

        I just bought a Viking Scandinavia 200 and I love it!I was also looking at the more inexpensive brands. I have a bottom-tier Brother, and it was "okay" for what it was. I did the research into the Kenmores, Janomes, and ended up with the Viking because it had all I wanted, came with terrific support from the dealer, and just "felt right" to me. Even though I bought it as a trade-in it was still a little pricey ($500) but I don't mind paying a little more for quality. Also, the higher end machines retain some value for trade-ins at the dealer on upgrades, which is useful for those of us who think we might be ready for a machine that does more in a few years!Good luck with whatever you choose.

        1. User avater
          wghmch | | #4

          $500 is "a little pricey" eh? <grin> Try going to this Inflation Calulator and find out how much this one would have cost 25-30 years ago.

          Bill Holman

      2. Pattiann42 | | #38

        Although home sewing machinery has gone plastic for more than one reason......we have asked for machines that we can tote to classes and to retreats.  Iron and steel are too heavy so in comes the plastic.

        If you do read the reviews at http://www.PatternReview.com note how long the individual has owned and used the machine.  Some reviews are premature.

        Stay away from on-line purchases.  If there is a problem, who are you going to go to?  Your local dealer is not going to greet you will open arms if you did not purchase the machine from him/her.  An then there is the shipping back and forth to the on-line vendor. 

        An individual selling a used machine is not going to take the machine back and used machines do not have the manufacturer's warranty.

        Visit as many dealers as you can.  Tell them what type of sewing you do and what your budget is.  If you find a machine that you really like but the salesperson comes off as a stinker, revisit the store and talk with someone else.

        Buy the machine you like best from the dealer you like best. 

  2. Short Memory | | #5

    Nancy---I have been sewing for 42 years, since I taught myself how at age 15. I learned on my mother's 1949 old black Singer. I now own four sewing machines---the aforementioned old black Singer (which still runs beautifully), two Pfaff's, and one Brother.I have traded up my Pfaff's over the years until I now own the top-of-the-line Pfaff Performance 2056, and an older Pfaff Creative 1371. I will never part with the 1371, which was manufactured in Germany and is a beautiful soft pink color---surely the prettiest machine ever manufactured. It has unmatched stitch quality and the Pfaff unique built-in walking foot. (Now they call it an "IDF," or integrated dual feed, but it's really a built-in walking foot). You will never struggle with seams that don't match at the ends even though you cut them the same length. Matching plaids is easy. The 1371 has many stitches, including my favorite, a stitch to sew on buttons. It's quiet and dependable.My only complaint about the 1371---you have to use stabilizer to sew a good buttonhole, and you must support the surrounding fabric carefully so that it doesn't pull on the buttonhole area in any way while you are sewing the buttonhole. This information is in the manual. In short, you can achieve a good buttonhole with the 1371, but it takes some practice and care.You can find 1371's on e-Bay for fairly reasonable prices. Mine is not for sale!My last machine is a Brother PQ-1500, a straight stitch machine for home dec and quilting. I have never liked this machine. Unlike the Pfaff, it was manufactured in Taiwan. The present generation of Pfaff machines are made in Sweden or in the Czech Republic. The older generation were manufactured in Germany. Maybe it's not fair to compare the Brother, which is a special purpose machine, to the Pfaff, which is a general sewing machine. Nevertheless, I will not purchase another Brother after this experience, whereas my 2056 is my fourth Pfaff.I urge you to look at Pfaff before you make your final selection.Good luck to you in your search for the perfect sewing machine!!!

    1. lovemybostons | | #11

      Do you know anything about the Pfaff Creative Vision, I seen it and watched it embroider, WOW! I'm trading my Viking SE in on it, I'm just a little concerned he is offering me alittle under 4,000 for mine, Pfaff is offering 36 month no interest, but he is saying the credit card company Home Source will  charge him 400 dollars for this, he wants me to pick up half of that. He is charging me 5,000 for the Pfaff CV, plus taxes and half of the interest from the credit card company. I'm thinking I should put my machine on EBay. I like the dealer he has been in business for 40 years. While I was there yesterday a couple came in from Minnesota and bought a machine, he told me he has alot of out of town customers. His wife gives classes on the machines, and he works on them. I would love input about Pfaff machines and especially the Pfaff Creative. I'm not picking  the machine up until Fri. and have not signed anything.

      1. mk36 | | #12

        I have a creative vision and just love it.  If you have a great dealer, that is all that matters.  My dealer is fantastic, he wants to make sure that you know how to use the machine, and he is always there when you need help.  Having a great dealter makes all the difference in the world, and yes it is worth while, very user friendly.

        1. lovemybostons | | #13

          MK36,

              Thank-You for your input!

      2. sltboop | | #15

         sewers for those who like too sewer and design their own embroidery the pfaff 2144 is for you complete with optional Creative 3D design suite, including 3D digitzingalso, It comes with standard hoops and the optional grand hoop these items are only a year old and only used about three times. all this to buy new would be around $11.000.00 canadian we will pay shipping, I am selling because of health reasons , i have severe arthitis im my hands we very limited movement. I will sell it for $6.000.00 canadian.

        [email protected]  or email me for anymore info or phone

      3. ctirish | | #19

        Hi, The woman who owns Designs by Juju loves her CV. She has a video and some lessons posted on either her web site or her yahoo groups site. You can email her to with questions, she is great about responding. I love her embroidery designs too. http://www.designsbyjuju.com - Websitehttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/Designsbyjuju/ - yahoo group

        1. lovemybostons | | #20

            Thank-You, I will check it out! I did buy the machine today, Im going back to the dealer for some lessons tomorrow.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #21

            Congratulations!  How exciting!!!  Which machine did you buy?  Mary

          2. lovemybostons | | #22

            HI MARY

               I BOUGHT THE PFAFF CV, IT IS REALLY KIND OF SIMULAR TO MY VIKING SE, BUT NICER MORE EVEN STITCHES, CLASS TODAY WE WENT OVER JUST THE BASICS OF THE MACHINE, I'M NOT TO CRAZY ABOUT 1 1/2 HOUR TO ROCKFORD. IT IS A LARGER HEAVIER MACHINE, 200 BUILT IN DESIGNS, IT HAS MORE WORK AREA, AND A BUILT IN WALKING FOOT (IDT)? IT SEEMS MORE USER FRIENDLY THAN THE SE, MY DEALER HAS AN 80+ YEAR OLD LADY TAKING CLASSES AND SHE IS DOING WELL. THE VIKING DEALER CRAMMED A BUNCH OF PEOPLE TOGETHER FOR CLASSES TO LEARN THE MACHINE, THE PFAFF DEALER DOES 1 CUSTOMER AT A TIME, UNTIL YOU COMPLETLY KNOW THE MACHINE. SHE IS A GREAT TEACHER! SHE TOLD ME TODAY SHE HAD A DAILY TV SHOW ON A ROCKFORD TV STATION, I THOUGHT THAT WAS PRETTY NEAT!

            HAVE A NICE NIGHT ! 

             

            Edited 2/27/2008 8:07 pm ET by lovemybostons

            Edited 2/27/2008 8:07 pm ET by lovemybostons

          3. MaryinColorado | | #23

            What a thrill for you!  I'm so glad that you are happy with your new machine!  It's such a great feeling to have good equipment and know that you can depend on it.  I hope you have many years of delight with your CV! 

            Did the 4D come with it in a package deal?  I'm having so much fun learning the 4D Suite.  All the modules are so compatible, it's such a pleasure to work with.  Mary

          4. lovemybostons | | #24

            Hi Mary,

            I just bought the machine, I just want to do do one thing at a time, I'm not a multitasker anymore, and don't  like to get stressed out. But I will at some time, buy the digitizer and othe accessories.  Now I have to get busy and sell all the extra's that I had bought for the Viking machines! I'm not going gun ho like I have done in the past, just a little here and a little there! But I'm pretty excited about this machine and what it can do!

            Edited 2/24/2008 6:25 pm ET by lovemybostons

          5. Crazy K | | #25

            I do hope you'll keep us informed as you progress and learn on your new machine.  I have two SE's....which I like very much.  However, the dealer is somewhat difficult and right now the gals that work in the shop all the time are sweethearts and so helpful.  One of them is talking retiring and the other one has cut back on her hours, sooooo that leaves me in a quandry.  I'm not ready to give the machines up yet but there is a Pfaff dealer a few miles further away so if things get too bad at the Husq. dealership, I may at some point be looking to trade.  Just thinking ahead here.  Anyway, I am reading your posts with great interest for future reference!

            Kay

          6. lovemybostons | | #26

            HAVE FUN GO TAKE A LOOK AT THE PFAFF CV. IT IS AMAZING I'M SOLD ON IT. THE FIRST CLASS THAT I WENT TO WAS WONDERFUL. THE 2 HOURS FLEW BY AND I LEARNED SO MUCH, YOU CAN TELL SHE WANTS YOU TO LEARN, IT IS NOT ABOUT BUY, BUY, LIKE MY 20 YEAR VIKING DEALER WAS! YOU WILL LEARN FAST, BECAUSE SOME THINGS ON THE PFAFF ARE SIMULAR, BUT YOU WILL LEARN MORE THINGS WITH A DIFFERENT TEACHER. LET ME KNOW HOW IT GOES! THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT MODELS.

          7. Jonell | | #28

            You want to sell your extras for your Viking SE. My Viking is a 1+ so I am interested if these would fit my machine. I have used Vikings for over 40 years and wouldn't use anything else. Others are good I am sure, but I have a good machine and see no reason to change. Most of mine has been for my dressmaking business but I also have taught many classes using the Viking. It IS a great machine.

            Jonell

             

          8. lovemybostons | | #29

            Hi,

            I don't think the hoops from the SE will fit your machine, sorry. I'm planning on selling the xtras on e-bay. I'm glad your happy with your machine.

             

          9. Persus | | #32

            Would you recommend a Viking over any other?  I use my machines for clothing for my shop as well as special orders.  My Bernina ALWAYS quit on my about halfway through an order, and I would have to switch to my backup machines to finish.  VERY frustrating, since the others were EXACTLY that -- nothing but a BACKUP!

          10. Jonell | | #33

            I love my Viking better than any other machine I have ever used! I have done much sewing, and my opinion (and it is just my opinion) is that the Viking is the best ever. Love it, love it, love it!

            And yes, I know Mel's. I bought my cutting table from that store (and I LOVE my new cutting table) but I was not real happy about how the sale and delivery were handled; I had decided that after my table would be delivered I would not go there again. You are right; the father was nice.

             

          11. blondielou | | #34

            I love my Viking 980 (then they converted to a 990 for free).  I bought it from a great dealer in Dayton, Ohio and did an extensive series of lessons with them.  I personally find for myself that I sew with the standard utility stitches and don't have much use for the embroidery.  Actually I prefer to buy guipuire/Venise motifs and stitch witch them on and softly paint in fabric paint and sew beads by hand/fabric paint plastic washable sequins.  This is much more impressive on the dance floor and at night than subtle embroidery that the embroidery machines do. 

             

            The only place I ever want to do any kind of scallop or other fancy stitch the 990 has is very close to the edge facing and then I have trouble getting the look to be consistent as it is impossible to trim and press down perfectly evenly (using the fancy stitch as a top stitch stitch).

             

            I have little to no need for embroidery in the middle of a garment somewhere......I actually had a Viking #1 for almost 2 years and as my ex got the instructions I never used it (and he stole it in the divorce).  Admittedly I had been sick during that time and couldn't make it somewhere for classes but had intended to.....    He had put cats all over a denim jacket and a tone-on-tone embroidery pattern on the middle of the bodice of a halter and that was about it.....definitely not enough to warrant the extreme cost of these embroidery machines.

             

            What about the Elegante and other "embroidery only" machines if you already have a sewing machine you like?

             

            What is the sewing machine Nancy Zeiman uses on her show now (this has changed thru the decades, have you noticed?)

             

            I am supplementing my Viking 990 with an inexpensive Euro-Pro 9105 that has run quite well for me......both have perfect even tensions.

             

            Unless you are going to actively use all the fancy "bells and whistles" of some of these machines (and I would like an indepth explanation other than children's/girl's clothing or quilts as I do neither) as to the benefits/use of them.

             

            Thanks so much,

             

            Laura

          12. Pattiann42 | | #37

            (1) The Babylock Ellegante is not an embroidery only machine.  Babylock does have a couple embroidery only machines.

            (2) Nancy Zieman uses the Ellegante and other Babylock products as she is a spokesperson for Tacony.

            I bought the Ellegante two years ago, but not because of Nancy Zieman.  I wanted to update my embroidery machine and after visiting several dealers, the Babylock dealer and this model both fit the bill for me. 

            I traded in a Bernina for the Ellegante.  I wish I had kept the mechanical Bernina, but the BL does a great job sewing and embroidering.

             

          13. Jessie3 | | #40

            I too have been looking at all the machines for sewing and embroidery.  I am looking at the new ellageo $3699 and elegante $5299, due to the price point, but still considering the Viking SELE, Pfaff and Bernina, love the stitch regulater on Bernina $5899.  Dealer wants $7900 with $1000 shopping spree for the Pfaff. and $7000 for the viking. What do you think about these prices.  I hear the Ero jump has had an effect on the price of these machines.  I really wanted the viking, mgr could not really demo the machine well enough to impress me and give me confidence on their classes.  Pfaff CV is expensive and seemed to know the machine.  (not fully convinced)  Bernina knew it inside and out.  Baby lock ellageo and ellegante dealership knew the machine very well and has a very impressive classrooms showroom, nothing like i have ever seen before .  I just am not sure about the taiwan made machine, have not seen any reviews on them. hope you can share?    Thought about buying a used one on ebay and try to teach myself, mistake?   Thanks to all of you for any input you can give.

            Sonja 

          14. Pattiann42 | | #41

            I've had the Babylock Ellegante for over two years and it is a great machine.  I also have a less expensive Brother PE 150.  Both are Brother products.  I have no negative comments on either machine.

            Accessories for these two brands are reasonable. 

            I still believe the dealer is the key when making a decision.  I love Bernina, but walked away because of the dishonesty of the dealer.  I also walked away from Husqvarna because of the dealer's attitude. 

            There are reviews at PatternReview.  You have to use the "wizard" feature of the search to pinpoint the features you are looking for.  http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/searchmachine.pl

            If you narrow your choices down to one, ask if they can do any better on the price.  I would look close at the Pfaff shopping spree to see if it is really worth while.

            Supplies for machine embroidery are almost always less expensive on the Internet (Allstitch.net, ShoppersRule.com, Sewingsupplywarehouse.com Secretsofembroidery.com & Allbrands.com are a few)

            Edited 3/24/2008 10:36 am ET by spicegirl1

            Edited 3/24/2008 10:38 am ET by spicegirl1

          15. Jessie3 | | #43

            Thank you so much for your quick reply.  I did go to pattern review.com but they charge to view reviews, is that so or is there a way to view them w/o the 30.00 charge? 

            Can you tell what your machine has that stands out from the others or what it was that you liked about this machine, Ellegante, that you liked above the others?

            where do you buy thread and what brand of thread and fiber do you use with your machine? (poly,rayon?)

            Have you ever embroider on hats?  If so, how did it turn out?

            Thanks Again, sorry for all the questions.

            sonja (in Oklahoma)

             

          16. FirecrackerKTM | | #47

            I saw an option to sign up for free. The features are more limited, but that's OK with me.On the subject of machines, I found a great deal on a Viking Platinum 715 last year. It's probably not as fancy as the machines some of you are talking about, but it works great for me and I got a good price on a last-year's model.

          17. Jessie3 | | #48

            thanks I will keep that in mind.

            Thanks Again,

            Sonja

          18. blondielou | | #44

            Tell me what you embroider....or can you all send pictures to share?  I am unusual in my needs in that I am basically housebound except when I pull myself out ouf the house to try to go ballroom dancing (when my chronic headaches/migraines and neck pain meds work well enough for me to!)......  I have no children/grandchildren to embroider for. 

             

            At one time, I liked little details like tucks and pleats but quickly found that as far as ballroom dancing is concerned as the room is dark these things are not seen.....what is seen are godets, flounces, ruffles, drapes/fabric pieces off the wrist, elbow, nape of neck in chiffon/specialty fabric.....    What is seen are rhinestones and sequins (which I apply with glitter fabric paint usually), fringe, spectacular sequin/rhinestone and/or guipuire venise lace contrasting color applique.....

             

            With modern dancing (what I do 75-80% of the time), you stay connected to your partner in his arms so that you stay in closed ballroom dance position and do not leave that position so no one ever sees the front of your dress......so as I have beautiful skin I wear a lot of halter and low back dresses (as well as to stay cool!)....so you put ornamentation on say a "V" shape hipline......

             

            So please everyone show off your creations by vivid detailed description or photo so that I might understand what I am missing!

             

            Laura 

          19. MaryinColorado | | #42

            It sounds as if you are really doing your research.  That is so important.  Have you "test driven" the machines?  I had the same problem when I was buying a car last year, so many wonderful options.

            Personally, I would buy from an authorized dealer as the warranty may be important when you invest so much, also where would you have it repaired if necessary?  Know your machine classes are great too.  After you register a new H/V and I think Pfaff, you get free upgrades on the machine and software for a long time.

            I love my Vikings, but encourage others to buy what is "right" for them.  That said, the new 4D software from either Viking or Pfaff is incredible, excellent, very user friendly, state of the art!!!  It also reads multiple formats for different brands. 

            When buying an embroidery machine, the prices may vary, depending on wether you are getting a software "intro" package or the entire "suite" or "professional set" which may be over $1,000 difference in value. 

            Good luck on taking the plunge!  Enjoy!  Mary

          20. Jessie3 | | #45

            Hi Mary,

            Thank you for your reply.  I have been a Viking fan for years though I have never owned one.  I will have to wait a while if I choose the viking or the pfaff, since they were asking quite a bit more for them than the Bernina and the Baby Lock.  They had another package with the Pfaff that included the 4D Suite software for 8500.  I am tempted to wait to buy a machine to see what the NEW Viking is like.  Its just that I want one NOW, not very patient, am I? hahaha!  I am just a little concerned about the dealer, they seam distant, and was like, do you want it or not.  My Sister lives in Colorado too I was tempted to have her check for me, once she gets out of law school.  She is too busy now to check.  She has an older Pfaff.  I am just babling now.

            Can your SE embroider hats?

            Anything you can add in helping me with my decision I would appreciate. any features that you can share that are must for embroidery, sewing and quilting , again I would appreciate it.

            Thanks Again,

            Sonja (in Oklahoma)

             

          21. MaryinColorado | | #46

            I sent you an email instead of answering here.  Hope that's okay.  Mary

          22. MaryinColorado | | #39

            Wow!  The "subtle" embroidery designs you describe are certainly not my experience!  I also love to make artistic wearables!  You may want to do some more current exploring of what is available.  Not only that, with the newest state of the art software you can easily create whatever your imagination and your muse come up with.

              I aggreably agree to disagree, hope you do to!  Mary

          23. ctirish | | #30

            Good for you !

  3. nursewing | | #6

    Nancy,

    I suggest going to a reputable sewingmachine shop where you can have the machine demonstrated by an educated person.  That shop can also service your machinein the future. A good shop willoffer classes & be able to answer any questions you have over the phone  if you run into trouble at home.If you have not already seen them investigate the Pfaff machines. I have a pre-owned Pfaff 7570 & I just love it. Everyone talks about the Bernina like they hang the moon. Had one & I was not happy with it.

    Good luck Marcia

  4. nursewing | | #7

    That's good to know. How did you get so smart? HA!

  5. kkb | | #8

    I too would highly recommend using a quality dealer.  They are usually home-owned and depend on word of mouth for business...so they can't afford to put out run-of-the-mill service.  The service, classes and help you can get from a dealer far out-weigh the relatively small increase in price you will pay from buying on-line or WalMart.  Personally, I think Janome provides a great machine, no matter which model you need.  I love the 9" harp on the higher end models for quilting.  They also have the built in walking foot.  A good amount of feet come with the machines also.

    Have fun.

     

  6. MaryinColorado | | #9

    I agree with going to patternreview.com and also a reputable dealer!  I love my Vikings!!!  They offer a variety of price ranges and are excellent machines.  Mary

    1. Persus | | #16

      Be VERY, VERY careful in choosing your dealer!  I tried out a Bernina at a Home & Garden show, and LOVED it.  Went in to the dealer nearest my home, tried it out again and bought it.  The dealer came out and set it up in the cabinet (I also purchased from him), tried it out and left.  My friend had gone with me, and bought the same machine.  After he left, I sat down to sew, and discovered IT WAS A LEMON.  Couldn't believe it!!  I had my friend come over and try it to see if it worked for her.  It didn't.  I tried hers, which worked the same as the one as the show.  I went back to the dealer with it, and he claimed there was nothing wrong with it, and maybe I should take the classes, which I had planned to do, anyway.  It STILL was a lemon!  He refused to change it out -- said it just needed a bobbin adjustment.  WRONG AGAIN!!  I had to keep taking it in to be adjjusted.  The dealer's father worked there, as well, and told me (privately) that, YES, it WAS a lemon, but if I told his son he said that, his son would fire him!!  That machine has spent more time in the shop than it has in my home.  I reported it to Bernina, and they said they hadn't had any complaints (registered) about their Berninas, and they wouldn't do anything about it.  I've had this machine since 1996, and STILL have problems with it.  It was quite expensive, and my husband gets VERY upset with me if I complain about how it's working, saying, at that price it had BETTER be worth it.  The son finally made his father start charging me for bringing it in for repair, so I had to start taking it somewhere else.  I will NEVER recommend that dealer to ANYONE.  Yes, you CAN buy a lemon in a machine, so be VERY SURE you get an agreement (in writing) saying you can exchange it if it doesn't work right.  This dealer said the only way he would take it back was if I would exchange it for a more expensive machine.  I'll give the name of the dealer to anyone who contacts me.  He's in southern California.

      1. SewistKitty | | #17

        Hi,
        Was your sewing machine called a Bernette? I purchased a Bernette at a Bernina dealer which has never worked correctly despite many trips to the dealer's for repairs. I would love to get rid of it but hate to pawn it off on another sewer as it is worthless. It was very expensive also. I have three other Berninas which are wonderful. Bernettes were not made with the quality control of the true Berninas.
        LVK

        1. Persus | | #18

          My serger was a Bernette.  I could never adjust the tension on it, OR thread it.  Always had to take it back to the dealer when the thread broke to be rethreaded.  My husband bought me a new Babylock serger for my birthday.  It is WONDERFUL!!!

          The sewing machine is a Bernina 1230.  I still have it, and still have problems with it.  I feel the same way.  I can't trade it in without wondering if they will sell it to another sewer.

      2. Jonell | | #27

        Yes, I live in southern California, have had a concern about one dealer, so would like to know your dealer's name. Thank you.

         

        Jonell

        1. Persus | | #31

          Mel's in Anaheim, on Euclid.  His father is VERY nice, but I will NEVER deal with him again.

          1. sewelegant | | #35

            I am very sorry to hear about your dealer problems and am wondering is it because it was a used machine?  You said it was a 1230 and I know that came out around 1990.  I had a 930 and remember when the 1230 came out those who had one called it a dream machine so I was thrilled when I decided to invest in a 1630 in the mid 90's.  It was the top of the line for that year and I do love it, but I have to admit I would not exactly call it a dream machine.  If I could justify it or won the lottery (!!!) I would buy a new machine that could embroider and sport all the latest bells and whistles.  It seems everyone thinks their particular machine is the best so I no longer think the Bernina is the only way to go and would have a hard time deciding on which one to buy.  My Bernina dealer now sells Janome and Viking just to stay alive, but they still love the Bernina.

          2. Persus | | #36

            No, I bought it new at a Home and Garden show.  Mel's had a booth there.  I loved the way it worked at the show, and my friend who bought hers at the same time, and the same show had no problems at all with hers.  I used her machine, and hers functioned the way the one at the show did - the WAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO.  She couldn't sew on mine, either.

            The thing that upset me was that the dealer REFUSED to admit that it was a "lemon", and would NOT replace it.  I wrote to Bernina, and they said I had to go through the dealer to resolve the "problem".  The father knew it didn't work properly, but said his son would fire him if he said anything to him about it. 

  7. flytootall | | #10

    Don't forget to check out craigslist.com.  If you have a basic knowledge of sewing and have tried various brands, if you are lucky, you can find that brand on craigslist.com.  However, if you need the lessons, then I highly recommend a dealer, even though the prices are higher.   Some places offer lessons for a fee, if you did not buy the machine from them.  You will find that each and every machine has it's own particular pros and cons.  I personally have a Singer Featherweight, a Pfaff 130, Elna 62C, Brother 7500, and a Viking Designer 1, and also an industrial Juki machine.  The Singer and the Pfaff were inherited and I bought the others.  The Elna and Juki were used machines.  I once had an Elna 62C and made the major mistake of selling it to my best friend's daughter.  I regretted that decision, which prompted me to buy the same machine.  It was a bargain, and I can't resist bargains.  The Viking Designer I is my favorite and the one I use the most, because once you get used to that automatic pressure foot lifter, it's hard to go back to the other kind.  I've heard great things about the Bernina, Janome, etc.  It's best just to try them all.  Kenmore does make a good machine, also.  Good luck.....Linda

  8. Ckbklady | | #14

    Hi Nancy!

    As the unabashed collector of old sewing machines (yes, they take up space, but I use them all!) I would suggest that if you're turned off by the lightweight plastic (I am too!) that you try your local sewing machine repair service. Many times they have abandoned or refurbished machines for a song, and they are most often the older, sturdier machines and usually complete with accessories and manual.

    That's how I started out. My 1990s White started acting up, so I bought a 90s Singer in the Goodwill for $40, and brought it to my local Singer guy for a cleaning. While waiting a day for it, I then succumbed to a couple of 1950s Singers (built like tanks!) and a 1936 Singer which I am currently rewiring.

    I'm not suggesting that you go whole hog like I have, but just that if you want to stick with older machines, that they're out there - online for free on Freecycle, for a little more on Craigslist.com or in thrift shops or sewing machine dealers. They are reliable and last forever. My 100-year old treadle moves better than my 1990s White.

    I will NEVER use a modern plastic machine. I picked up a plastic Singer 2732 (from 2004) with accessories and a manual for $25 in a thrift shop before Christmas because I wanted to tear it apart and learn about gears. A pal saw it on my kitchen table and was wowed by it (she's not fazed by plastic) - so I gave it to her on the spot. I was actually a little relieved - I had wondered what I was going to do with it after reassembly.

    Oh, and the sewing machine reviews on Patternreview.com include many older models. My 50s machines are considered a best buy by their reviewers.

    Just something to consider...I hope that helps.

    :) Mary

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