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Conversational Threads

Recommend a sewing machine by brand?

alliemagoo | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m looking for a new sewing machine. Any suggestions? I want a PERFECT STITCH for sewing, clothing, costumes, curtains & pillows for home–from denim hems(thick) to lingere(delicate). Oh, and a decent buttonhole. I’ve talked to friends & salespeople they prefer Janome, Bernina, Baby Lock, Viking, and Pfaff. I’ve “test driven” several, and I’m still unable to decide. Classes are a non-issue because of the distance I need to travel once I purchase a machine from the dealer. Can anyone recommend their favorite Brand & Why? Thanks, I appreciate the input…



Edited 4/9/2008 2:39 am ET by alliemagoo

Replies

  1. Crazy K | | #1

    Janome makes a good machine.  i've had Mastercraft 3500, 4300 and 9000.  They've all been good......the 9000 has the most power to sew through heavier fabrics (drapes, pillows, etc.).  If you even remotely think you would like to do machine embroidery, the Viking Designer SE is by far my most loved machine ever.  I got the Designer 1 when I wanted to do embroidery and then traded up when the SE came out.  It is without a doubt the best.

    Find a dealer that you trust and can work with...........that is just as important as the brand.

    There you have my nickel's worth............

    Kay

    1. alliemagoo | | #2

      Kay,

      I appreciate your nickels worth,even though it's worth more than that! I'll put a tally mark next to the brands & models you recommended. Thanks...

  2. HoustonTX | | #3

    I agree with Crazy K. How you feel about your local dealer (and  how you think she feels about you!) is very important. All of the machine brands you mentioned make wonderful machines (I happen to own a Pfaff), but the dealer is the deal breaker. Some things I think you should ask all of them:

         How many lessons (for free) on the new machine do I get, and for how long?

         Can I repeat these lessons? (for free!)

         Does the dealer have an onsite repair technichian?

         Does the dealer offer other creative classes that will help you learn your machine?

     

    And finally, do you feel like it would just plain be fun to walk into this dealer's store for anything? Do they ask how you are, how are the kids, what's new? (my dealer does!)

    Goodluck!!

    HoustonTx

             

     

    1. alliemagoo | | #6

      Smiled when I read 'plain fun' when walking into a sewing machine retailer. I'm limited to 2 in my small town. One store is like walking into an Alfred Hitchcock movie & the other store is pleasant. Lucky for you to have a fun store! Thanks for the input...

      1. MaryinColorado | | #9

        Have you gone to http://www.patternreview.com?  They also have sewing machine reviews.  You can also do a "search" here as there are alot of "threads" on it from the past too.

        I think the loaner machines are not as available as when the economy was better.  It seems that the stock is kept lower now in many of the shops.

        Alfred Hitchcock movie?  My imagination is on overdrive, ewwwwwww!

        1. Digi | | #10

          I just responded to the poster "Pfaff select".  I don't have time to re-write at the moment, so you might want to check out what I had to say about buying a new machine.  In short, I bought a Pfaff 2170 a few years ago and just love it.  Check out my message as to why ...

          Good luck ...and enjoy whatever machine you decide to buy.

        2. iamclassic | | #11

          I'm the proud owner of a Bernina Aurora 440.  I haven't sewn for about 10 years.....my husband always says "you can't do the job without the equipment" and I took him up on it.

          I cannot believe how technology has advanced since I replaced my old machine.....it goes to my daughter who is just starting out on her own.

          The decision to buy Bernina over Janome was easy - my dealer sells both.....quite frankly the deal offered at the time was better and the support available once I purchase.  I now take sewing classes (from the dealer) and ladies use both machines in class.  I enjoy the dealer's classes to help me learn how to use the machine and she lets me try attachments during classes.  Some I purchase, some I don't - depending on how much I anticipate I will use it.  She also has introduced us to many notions - again, I'm amazed what is available now that wasn't when I sewed before.

          I think a very important deciding factor is the support available after you purchase

           

          1. Digi | | #12

            How very terrific you found a new machine that you will enjoy for years to come.  As you might have read from one of my posts on another thread, I've owned almost every brand over the years ...and frankly, I've loved each and every one - but for different reasons. 

            I now own a Pfaff 2170 and love it too, but had a Bernina 1130 before this one and would NEVER have traded it had the mother board gone out.  But I was in the middle of project deadline, so bought the Pfaff.  And the only reason I didn't get another Bernina at the time was that they didn't have the model I wanted in stock ...so there it is.  I was a Bernina girl ...and now I'm a Pfaff girl!

            I do believe that all the brands mentioned here are absolutely great machines and, as you said, if you find a dealer that gives great support, you just can't miss buying a brand for that reason.  I have friends who each sew on a different machine, and without question, each one likes hers the best.  Anyway, do enjoy your wonderful new machine.  And your husband is right:  You just can't make the projects of your dreams without the right equipment.  Nice man you got there.  Fortunately for me, my darling husband feels the same way.  Lucky us!

          2. MaryinColorado | | #13

            Your husband is so right!  There have been so many technological advancement in sewing and other fiber arts.  I remember getting my last mechanical machine 27 years ago, I didn't want a "computerized" machine because they were complex and expensive to fix.  I'm so glad that I waited as those first ones had alot of issues. 

            About 11 years ago, I got my first computerized sewing and embroidery machine (H/V Rose) and it's still like a brand new machine (now my grand daughter's).  Then I got the H/V Designer I and love it too.  The feet are interchangeable, thank goodness, as I have quite the "foot fetish" and own and actually use most of them.

            This year I bought the professional 4D software, which works for both machines, as well as the new top of the line if I ever decide to upgrade again.  That saved me alot of money too.  Great value is so important these days more than ever. 

            I agree that the dealer is extremely important.  I could have traded up but chose not to.  There are so many advantages to finding the right "fit" just like when you buy a car.  Mary

        3. mathmom | | #47

          I have had two Pfaff machines - one for 30 years and a serger for about 10 years, and I love them. BUT last August I bought a new Pfaff machine from Ashby Sewing in Marietta, Georgia. The machine has not worked since I bought it (it will not stop when the foot pedal is released!) and is currently in the shop again. I have been able to use it for less than four hours in eight months. The dealer's current theory is that the problem is the wiring in my house! I am totally disgusted and out almost $1000.00. I would not recommend a Pfaff to anyone - this machine's malfunction is dangerous, the dealer will not replace the machine or refund my money, and Pfaff's position is that this is not their problem. 

          1. Cityoflostsouls | | #48

            If there is another dealer ask their advice and go to Pfaff on the internet and find a Pfaff consultant.  Could you have the wrong foot control? Or perhaps it is defective.  After you consult everyone you can for possibilities then go back to your original dealer.  The foot controls these days are more complicated (and expensive.)

          2. mathmom | | #49

            Thank you for your suggestions. The dealer has "fixed" the foot control twice, the machine has been "in the shop" twice, and currently, the dealer is blaming the problem on the wiring in my house (!). Oddly, none of the other computerized equipment in my home malfunctions. I've been in contact with Pfaff, three times, and they say it's a dealer issue. What I know is that I'm out almost $1000, and after trying to resolve this for eight months, I'm ready to throw the thing in the dumpster and forget it.

          3. Cityoflostsouls | | #50

            Check the model number on your foot control to your machine parts list.  Dealers will take a control from one machine to use on another machine.  This happened to me but my dealer gave me a new foot control.  If your machine was or is under warranty go back to Pfaff and register a complaint.  Don't take the word of a consultant.These companies cannot afford for their dealers to treat Pfaff owners this way.  They often lose their franchises for shoddy business practices.  If it isn't the foot control it has to be the machine is defective.  Don't lose a thousand dollars-go after them.  The Better Business Bureau may not help but it can be soul satisfying.  Read your warranty very carefully.  Thank goodness my dealer learned machine repair on a Bernina 830.  He had to take it completely apart and put back every little screw but not all dealers are good at repairs or problem solving or honest.  My first Bernina was an 830.  We had a man (since retired) who could repair any machine but your warranty will not cover usually, an outside person working on your machine. 

          4. mathmom | | #51

            Thank you again. Apparently, the machine will be coming home unfixed, and I will definitely check the foot control number. I am so disgusted! But mostly, this has turned me off to ever buying another sewing machine - fortunately, my 30+ year old Pfaff machine and my 10+ year old Pfaff serger have kept me in stitches...  

          5. MaryinColorado | | #52

            I also had this problem once, it was resolved with a new foot control, someone had rolled thier chair over my cord in a class, causing it to short out.  I always put my foot controls on the table after sewing so this won't happen so was quite upset having to pay for a new one.  My machine's warranty was expired unfortunately.  I think this dealer is being unethical not honoring your warranty!  So sorry this has happened to you!  Mary

          6. mathmom | | #54

            Thank you for your suggestion - the machine is at the dealer's shop now, but when I get it back, one of the first things I'll do is check that the foot control is the one that was supposed to come with that machine (another suggestion). I don't think I've rolled over the cord, but it could have happened!

          7. midnitesewer | | #53

            Sorry to hear that you are having problems with your new Pfaff. Try asking your questions in Pfaff chat gruops. These groups are not affiliated with the company, but are run by folks that use the brand and know alot about the machines. I've added links to two below.

            http://www.pfaff-talk.com/

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pfaffpfriends/?v=1&t=search&ch=web&pub=groups&sec=group&slk=7

            Do you mean that the machine finishes a stitch or pattern (such as a flower stitch or group of stitches)  and ties off or locks the stitch? How long does it keep stitching before it stops? I vaguely remember reading about a setting on a computerized Pfaff that made the machine "finish" a stitch or pattern before the needle stops moving. Some people loved this. Some hated it. This feature could be turned on and off. There was also a discussion about the foot control working differently than on the older Pfaffs. Something happened when you tap the control once. Good luck with your machine.

          8. mathmom | | #55

            Thank you for your suggestions - this is just a sewing machine, not an embroidery machine, and when you release the foot pedal, it's supposed to stop with the needle up. If you want the needle down, you just tap the foot pedal and the needle goes back down and stops. Or is supposed to. This machine won't stop unless you turn it off! It's crazy.

          9. T42 | | #73

            I have a phaff serger and a 2056 Phaff SM. The SM had the same problem as yours: stopping when I let my foot of the "accelerator". I took it to my dealer and he swapped out the foot pedal and that fixed it. I don't think anything is wrong with you electricity or other stuff in your house would not be working. Sounds lame to me. You're dealer should make this good.

             

            jean

          10. mathmom | | #78

            As lame as it sounds, the dealer seems to have been right! After a lot of investigation on his part - and an offer to exchange the machine - I brought it back home and plugged it into a different outlet...and it works! According to the dealer, who sponsors a lot of quilter gatherings, the Pfaff machines are prone to doing strange things when there is any variance in their electrical supply. The room in which I sew has a multitude of electrical things - TV, iron, another machine, serger, computer, printer, and a fax machine - but now the Pfaff is plugged in by itself, and I think that outlet is on a different circuit.

            This is my third and last Pfaff. I find this unacceptable even though this machine is now working fine.

          11. Crazy K | | #79

            Glad you solved your problem/mystery.  It does seem odd that they are quite that fussy but if it works on its own circuit, the dealer must have been correct.  I have two Designer SEs, a Babylock Evolve, an Elna serger and a Janome Compulock plugged in on I think one circuit as well as my iron.  All work fine......unless I also plug in an electric heater in winter........then I blow a breaker!  Have to choose between the iron and the heater!! 

            We have lived in areas where there was a definite variance in electric current and we could even see it in the lights dimming or getting brighter.......but that wasn't in the present house or with my present machines. If you have a situation such as that I could see....maybe???  Strange things do happen.

            At least you're back in business.........guess that's the main thing.  Sounds like you have a 'bad taste in your mouth' from the attitude of the company/dealer.  I'm not siding with them because it seems that they could have been a bit more helpful but perhaps they were stymied by the whole thing and didn't know quite what to do................

            Happy Sewing!

            Kay

          12. mathmom | | #80

            In the end, I was happy with the dealer - he really tried everything and did offer to replace the machine. But, according to him, the Pfaff machines are the only ones that seem to have such sensitive electrical requirements - he carries several brands and has been in the business forever. Pfaff didn't care and their "solution" was that I take "new owner" lessons and/or at my inconvenience and expense, I could ship it to them for them to look at it.  I did report the problem to the Consumer Safety people - I think it's dangerous for a sewing machine to refuse to stop!

            I do live way out in the country, and I suspect some places have better power delivery than we have, but a sewing machine should work in your house, and if it doesn't, should the sewer have to keep it? Long story short - I'd say I have a very good dealer but Pfaff's warranty isn't worth the paper it's written on. In my opinion, which is certainly not an expert one, Pfaff should have offered to replace the machine. As it was, if the dealer hadn't figured out what the problem was within a year of purchase (and we were at 8 months when I finally believed the dealer's hypothesis and experimented with different outlets), I would have just been out of luck. I'll never buy another Pfaff.

          13. Crazy K | | #81

            I don't blame you!  I also agree that a machine that won't stop is a danger to the user..........plain and simple.  Shame on Pfaff for not being more sympathetic and helpful.  Glad the dealer tried to help.

            I have a machine setting here collecting dust because I was very disappointed with the instructions I received from a dealer when I wanted to do machine embroidery.  The machine is great but the embroidery part isn't.........mostly because I was told I didn't need the software........I could just keep buying designs on the little cards that you insert into the machine...........well, I don't have a money tree in the backyard and I didn't care for many of the collections anyway so that soured me.  I ended up with a Viking Designer I with the software and then traded up to the SE...........best thing I ever did!  So, long story but I agree that when you feel that you've been taken advantage of, you don't care to go that route again.

            Glad you're back to sewing..............................

            K

          14. Cityoflostsouls | | #82

            My Bernina is five years old and has been perfect.  I recently had a problem which turned out to be not a problem so I will share it with others so no one else will be upset if this happens.  My machine started making 2 stitches and stopping, 2 stitches and stopping. etc.   I called my dealer right away and found there is a sensor (?) in the threading mechanism and if not threaded properly it misses this sensor and that is what happens.  I'm not the handiest person in the world but I had never misthreaded and done this  in five years.  My tip is dont get excited if you have a problem.  Just call your dealer!  Thank goodness my dealer has the patience of a saint.

          15. T42 | | #83

            I'm glad you solved the problem. My Phaff did the same thing and a new foot control fixed it, but I did buy an expensive  power strip when I bought my SM and Serger because here in Arkansas we have what is called "dirty" electricity which means it has huge variance in the voltage. But an electronic power strip is something you need anyway, it will increase the life and smooth running of anything electronic such as TVs, and sewing equipment.

          16. mathmom | | #84

            Very interesting about the voltage. We had replaced the foot control, and I already had the power strips (I use them for everything!), but the problem persisted. The machine wouldn't "misbehave" at the dealer's shop, which is how he surmised it was an electrical supply problem (with my house, not the machine). It took quite a while for us to figure it out.

          17. soannit | | #91

            I too have just had the same trouble with the footpedal of my old Pfaff 1214 (about 30 years old) carrying on sewing once I took my foot off it.  I can remember years ago it having the same trouble and I think I had to buy a new pedal.  However, this time my daughter's fiance, who is an electrician, had a look at it and it was down to the very tiniest of wires popping up off the resister (coil type thing!) and once he cut that bit off it worked fine.  That bit of wire was connecting with part of the pedal and causing the fault.  I just wonder how many new footpedals are bought because of something like this.   Hope this helps.

  3. MaryinColorado | | #4

    I agree with the other posts here regarding dealer signifigance!  Also are the repairs done locally or do they ship your machine off somewhere?  Will they consider a "loaner machine" if yours has a problem covered under warranty and will be in the shop awhile?  Do they offer trade ups if you want to later?

    I love my Vikings!!!  I own the Designer 1 (about 4-5 years and excellent), also the Rose (about 11 years and no problems) and the 936 Huskylock serger.  If I was to consider another brand, it would be Pfaff first.  I recently helped my MIL find the "right machine" for her, it was a Brother (NX450 I think) and she loves it. 

    1. alliemagoo | | #7

      I missed asking about a loaner machine & trade ups in the future, I'll ask. Thanks...

  4. BernaWeaves | | #5

    I have a Janome, and I found a dealer to buy it from.  I agree, the dealer was what made me buy a particular machine.

    He said the Bernina extras (feet, etc.) are very expensive.

    The Janome extras were very reasonable, and I bought a lot of specialized stuff to go with it, for very little.

    Berna

    P.S.  I've always been tempted to buy a Bernina, just because of the my name.  But I went with the Janome, and I'm very pleased with it.

    1. alliemagoo | | #8

      BernaW (not BernaBernina,ha ha) thanks for giving me the heads up when I'm sewing machine shopping to look at the price of extras. I so appreciate your input...

  5. fabricholic | | #14

    I love Husqvarna Vikings. Had a 1+ and then traded it in for a Designer SE. They stop exactly where you want them to and the stitches are beautiful. I love the needle down position. Never had one with the Singer. It's so easy to thread. The snap on feet are great and you can get a piping foot, edge joiner foot, etc. They are dream machines, in my opinion. Marcy

    1. alliemagoo | | #15

      Marcy, thanks a bunch for your input. That's what I want a dream machine!  I'll check out your Husqvarna Viking Designer SE when I go for my final test drive before purchasing...Hopefully it's not BIG $$$$...

       

       

      1. MaryinColorado | | #16

        Husqvarna/Viking has other machines that are also great and have many of the same features of the top of the line.  They also usually do trade ups if you decide you want to upgrade later.  I love that my 11 yr. old "Rose" uses the same feet as the top of the line Designer series so I haven't had to buy new feet!  Mary

        1. corsets2candles | | #17

          Hello.  This is my first time writing, hope I get it right!!  I am currently looking for a new machine to replace my 25-year old Kenmore, which has been great, but the time has come to put it aside.  Does anyone have any experience with the Bernette models, made by Bernina?  What about the Hobby models made by Pfaff?  I am about to go crazy with all of the choices...my head is spinning.

          Thanks!

           

          1. MaryinColorado | | #18

            Welcome to "Gatherings"  I hope you will join our discussions, there is so much to learn and teach and enjoy! 

            Many of us here have been in your shoes, with all the choices it does "make your head spin".  It helps to think about what features you need/want.  Needle stop up/down? several buttonhole choices, one step buttonholes, automatic "fix" or tie off at beginning/end of stitching that you can turn off, thread cutter, decorative stitches, cruise control, drop in or front loading bobbin, snap on/off presser feet, what accessories/feet come with it automatic tensions.  Most brands offer similar bells and whistles.  Make a list of what you hope to get by priority.

            Ask where the machine is made, don't think all the models are made in the same country.  They often seem to have a less expensive model that is made to thier companies specs but may not be as well made, different materials, etc.  Often these models are here today, gone tomorrow discontinued and parts are hard to find and thier trade in value is nil. 

            Find a good dealer!  Free/possibly unlimited know your machine classes, additional classes to learn specialty techniques and accessories for a fee, the brand name authorized service and repair performed locally, warranty, do they offer trade ups, do they have demos or previously loved machines that have been cleaned and/or reconditioned?  Is the staff knowledgeable and friendly?  I feel that the dealer is very important!

            Test drive!  Take in several fabric samples that you like to use, make an appointment to go in at a lower volume time for this.  You wouldn't buy a car without a test drive!  Check where the thread spools are, do you have to stand up to change threads, lighting, ease of use, change the bobbin, vibration, is it quiet running, etc

            http://www.patternreview.com has machine reviews by owners that may help you decide.

            I love my Husqvarna/Vikings, I have three from 4 to 11 years old and they have been very reliable and all run like new.  But there are many great machines out there to chose from.  The Brother NX series are great machines, my mil just bought the 450.  The Pfaff's are excellent too.

            Good luck, do your homework to decrease the stress and confusion.  Most brands have a website you can google to see their models and what each consist of.  Happy sewing!  Mary

          2. Digi | | #19

            Hi Mary:  Question:  Have you found "Pattern Review" membership to be helpful and worth the annual membership fee?  i.e. Do you belong ...and do you use it enough to pay for the membership?  I just checked it out (hadn't heard of it before) and it looks quite interesting.  Any thoughts?  Thanks, Mary.

          3. MaryinColorado | | #20

            Mary, I was going to join so I could take some of thier online classes but never "got a round tuit" so I don't know.  I do sign in when I go there but not as a "Friends of PR Member".  Now I'm pretty busy with learning my new software, the grandkids, and my Muse has got me in a Spring sewing frenzy.  If you join, please let me know what you think, I'll reconsider when the kids are out of school for the summer.  Mary

          4. Digi | | #21

            Thanks, Mary; will do.  In the meantime, I'll check it out too, but not as a member.

            Digi

          5. SewistKitty | | #22

            I belong to Pattern Reviews and have been a paying member since 2004. I have learned quite a bit from the members who post. I have also taken several courses online such as "Sewing with Sheers", "Sewing with Knits", "Sewing with Interfacings", and a review course in sewing. All have been very helpful. The city that I live in does not have any courses such as these offered ever. I have used the information that I absorbed in my own sewing and in teaching others.I also own a Bernette which I would not recommend at all. It does not have the Bernina quality or reliability. I have two other Berninas which are wonderful. One is the 930 from the early 80s which is a work horse. The other is a simple computerized Activa 240.
            Hope this helps.
            LVK

          6. Digi | | #23

            Thanks so much for sharing your experience.  I appreciate you taking the time to elaborate, and to tell about the courses you've taken, too.  I think I will join the group after all and, even though I've been sewing for years, I always learn something new with every class I've ever taken.  Also, things change, and I'd especially like to take the course on interfacings ...as well as a few others.

            Thanks, again!

          7. SewistKitty | | #24

            You are welcome. I tell all of my friends here about Pattern Reviews. With so few garment sewers in my city it has been wonderful to have sewing friends around the world. I am taking "Pattern Drafting" next which starts April 7th since I have never learned how to do this. The great thing about these courses besides the online support from the instructor is all of the handouts you receive which you can go over and over again after the course is over. The difficult thing is that the course is very concentrated in other words it lasts only a few weeks. You can always start with a trial membership. My membership is about $18 for 6 months which includes all of the benefits such as reading sewing machine reviews, sewing book reviews, pattern reviews, sewing website reviews, sewing store reviews, reduced pattern prices, and access to all kinds of sewing tips and information. I am not affiliated with Pattern Reviews, only a happy customer.
            Hope this helps

          8. corsets2candles | | #26

            Mary,

            Thanks for your input!  I made a decision and just yesterday purchased a Pfaff 2027!  I am absolutely thrilled!!  I previously thought I did not "need/want,etc" anything fancy, but I could not be happier.  I had been looking at the mechanical ones, but upgraded to the electronic and feel in my heart that I have made the best decision for me.  I never in my life thought I would own a Pfaff (basically because they always seemed out out reach for me), but, as we all know, we only go around once and I have treated myself with a brand new Pfaff!!!

            I can not wait to start and complete my first project...

            Happy sewing to all,

            corsets2candles

             

             

          9. MaryinColorado | | #27

            Congratulations on your beautiful new machine!!!  I looked your model up on the Pfaff website, it really looks like a great choice!  I bet you will love the IDT feature!  It has alot of great features and so many stitch choices.  I hope you have many years of happy sewing together!!!  Mary

          10. alliemagoo | | #28

            Congrats on making a decision on your new machine! I'm still researching...

            How did you decide on brand & than model? What type of projects are you going to be doing with your new machine?

            Does anyone know of disadvantages to the Pfaff IDT feature?

            Thanks again for all the input.

          11. corsets2candles | | #29

            I have been sewing with a 25 year old Kenmore whose time has come to put to rest.  It has been a great machine.  In my search, I was drawn to the top three brands-Bernina, Pfaff, Husqvarna/Viking, in the $500 price range.  However, at that price, the machines are mechanical, which means you turn knobs to get the stitches, etc that you want to use.  For a button hole, it is a 4 step process--meaning you stitch down one side, make a bar tack, stitch up the other side, and then finish with a bar tack.  At double that money ($1000), you get an electronic machine, meaning you push buttons to get the stitches, etc.  With my Pfaff 2027, when you push on one of the stitch buttons, it automatically sets a length and width.  However, right next to the little LCD screen that displays the stitch, are plus and minus buttons that you can use to adjust stitch length and width, as you desire.  The machine will not let you go past certain numbers, based on it being smarter than the sewer!!  It won't let you mess up.  For the button hole, it has an attachment (very easy to apply) & all you do is decide where you want your button hole, set the needle in the fabric, and push the foot pedal. The machine takes off and does a perfect job on button holes!

            This particular machine has 41 different stitches, all that I will ever need.  I sew mostly clothing items (a wide variety) and some home decor.  I am not into embroidery, which if I wanted more stitches, etc, would only go up in price.  I got what I need/want with this machine.  This machine has many other wonderful features as well, too many to list.  One of the best features, is called a walking foot/IDT.  This is built into this machine (and most of the Pfaff machines, except the lower end ones).  This walking foot walks the fabric thru from the top side, so the fabric is moved thru the machine at the same rate.  Hence, no problem keeping plaids straight & would be great with quilts.  A walking foot attachment can be purchased for other machines, but has very limited stitch functions.

            I settled with Pfaff based on their reputation-Germany design, made for 140 years, etc (check out their website, check out the video under the Classic 2023).  From what many others say in purchasing a new machine, you must be comfortable with the sales person and service of machine.  The store where I purchased my Pfaff (my Mom and sister have made several purchases from this store over the past 20 years) has all factory certified repair people in the store, so all service is done in the store.  Not so with the Bernina and Viking, at least where I live.  Other places are different.

            I did not mean to be so windy, just hard to contain my excitement! 

            Best wishes for your search.  I have had my 2027 less than 48 hours, and so far, I

            would recommend it to anyone!  I don't think I will be disappointed...

            Hope this helps.  Good luck and enjoy!!

             

          12. alliemagoo | | #31

            You weren't windy at all, appreciated all the input.

            I too have an 0ld Kenmore & am also not into embroidery. I might consider free motion embroidery in the future, I haven't decided. I'll be checking out you Pfaff 2027 & the Pfaff Sapphire 830.

            Does your IDT foot make noise? Did you also check out  any Janome brands when you were looking for your machine?

            Thanks...

          13. corsets2candles | | #32

            Glad I wasn't windy...

            The IDT foot on my Pfaff 2027does not make any noise.  This machine is very quiet and convenient to use.  The evening that I purchased my machine, I spent 1 1/2 hours at the store going over all the info that I need to use this machine.  Very easy to learn and to use. 

            I did not look into Janome, very content with Pfaff.  I do have a friend who has sewn for many, many years and purchased a Janome for her son's girlfriend.  She speaks very highly of the Janome brand and did recommend it to me.

            Good luck with your search and hopefully a happy purchase is in your near future!!

            corsets2candles

          14. Digi | | #33

            I think the confusion here is the term: "IDT foot".  There is no special "foot" because IDT is a system ...; whereas other machines have a "walking" foot ...which is usually very noisy.  IDT stands for Integrated Dual Feed Technology.  This system feeds the top and bottom fabric evening, so that there is no slippage when it comes to most fabrics, matching plaids, etc.

            The IDT system on the Pfaff works with most of the feet that come with the machine and also most of the ones you buy later.  There are certain stitches that cannot be used with the dual feed and, you will note that the special feet used for these particular stitches do not have the ability to be used with the IDT system.

            When you want to used the IDT system, all you have to do is pull down a little lever in the back of the foot bar and it clicks into the back notch of the foot to be used.  All very simple ...and no noise whatsoever.  I hope this explanation helps to clarify the questions here.

          15. corsets2candles | | #34

            Thanks for the clear explanation of different terms!  My sales person referred to it as a "walking foot"; I guess it is better described as the IDT system.

            Thanks

            corsets2candles

          16. sewer12 | | #30

            I have a babylock crafter's choice. It has the needle down and auto threader which I love. It takes generic low shank feet which are so much cheaper than the babylock ones. All the comments about the dealer are true - they make or break your experience. I recently bought a pfaff serger and HATE it, don't know if it's a bum one in a million or just this model. I have found that when buying new machines, get one that is a step above what you think you want. My babylock has a lot of features that were new to me since my old machine was about 15 years old or so. I didn't think I would use them but I do and wish I had more features! Since you only, hopefully, buy a machine every 15 years or so, get the best that you can afford. Sewing pattern review is a good website for comments about various  machines. Do not buy over the internet or ebay even if the price is much better because of all of the various class, repair, lesson issues.

          17. corsets2candles | | #35

            What is about your Pfaff serger that you hate so much?  I may be purchasing a new serger down the road, and based on my Pfaff 2027, I would consider a Pfaff serger.  What don't you like?

            Thanks,

            corsets2candles 

          18. sewer12 | | #36

            Re my pfaff 4862. Very hard to thread - I actually need a magnifying glass to see where the threads have ended up and I am not far sighted at all. Also, the book that came with it is horrible, you really can't see the threading paths because the pictures are so tiny. They do have a good website for threading or I never would get it threaded. The 2 thread stitches don't seem to want to work - unless you have the pedal to the floor at a constant speed, which is impossible for me because I'm not that good nor do I sew anything huge, I have to constantly stop, start, look, readjust, etc. Every time I change speed or stop or start I get skipped stitches. I will say I got it over ebay, but it was brand new, but since no local certified dealer no warranty. I just got it back from the workshop for the 3rd time. It seems to do ok now but I haven't done more than a few strips just to see if they did anything to it. My local dealer sells pfaff  sewing machines but no sergers, says they won't stay timed correctly, sometimes straight out of the box from the factory. So they won't sell them anymore. Pfaff was just bought out by Viking and Singer -which is the top dog I don't know - it worries me about getting replacement parts or new feet in the future if they don't support this machine. My advice is to look at a bunch of different brands, don't buy over the internet, and you'll get a good idea of what you like. I also suggest over buying a bit, I bought my 1st serger at Walmart (brother brand) love it, but it doesn't do much but finish raw edges. Now that I know more and can see all the wonderful things the higher models can do, I wish I'd bought a more expensive machine than the Brother. My pfaff is a coverstitch and was a really good price. I'll probably just keep it for that reason and  buy a lower model of another brand to do any other stitch.  If I had to get another pfaff, I'd go for the 4874 - more versatile.

          19. corsets2candles | | #38

            I am so sorry to hear of the troubles you have had with your Pfaff...So far, I have nothing but wonderful things to say about my new Pfaff2027.  My store provides on site sevice, all are factory certified for repairing machines, etc. 

            Have fun sewing,

            corsets2candles

          20. Betakin | | #39

            I am surprised and sorry that you are not enjoying your Pfaff 4862 serger. I think it is a shame that all sergers don't come with a video to help new owners. You mentioned you purchased your serger on ebay and so not even getting a demo makes it hard I am sure.

            One of my sergers is an Elna coverlock and it is very similar to the 4862 but my serger has 5 tilt needles and does 3 coverhems. I also used to own the Pfaff 4842 that did not have auto tensions nor coverhem but was made of the same design.

            I think your serger is much the same and has the automatic tensions and you just dial the stitch you need and it tells on the graph how to set up for the chosen stitch..like if to drop the knife, stitch finger and what the DF, stitch length and width should be for that stitch . As for threading easier..doesn't your serger have the little switches that you just push down that are thread helpers for the loopers?

            Schmetz ELX705 needles size 80/12 and 90/14 are the recommended needles for cover hem and to prevent skipped stitches.

            If your serger is going slow, does it not have the speed control slide lever on the foot control that you can use to adjust to a faster speed. My 4842 had this speed control but my Elna does not.

            My Elna coverlock uses many of the same feet as your Pfaff. These feet are exactly the same. If you can't find feet for your serger, I think you can purchase them on line from a dealer that sells Elna or Pfaff feet. The coverlock feet are not the same as for the regular Pfaff and Elna sergers that don't do cover hem.

            I own the Pfaff campaign kit of 3 feet for my Elna and I highly recommend them because they have multiple uses. Some dealers might still carry this kit of 3 feet and maybe it can be found on ebay. It includes the blind hem foot, gathering/shirring foot and band and braiding foot and an instruction book. These are large metal feet. I hope to purchase the belt loop foot soon which is a plastic foot. I also recommend the adjustable binder. It does all sizes of binding and requires no attachments or guides for either the Pfaff or Elna. Regular binders are also available but they require guides and attachments that are different types for Pfaff and Elna and must be specific to the brand because they attach on to the sergers differently.

            I hope you can enjoy your serger more in the future and be amazed at all that it can do.

          21. nancy_woods | | #56

            One of the best resources I've found is John Giordano's The Sewing Machine Guide. He recommends smart ways to buy a machine and how to tell the difference between features that you want vs. those you need. I also found the suggestions for how to set up and use a sewing room helpful. Probably the best section of the book is the "Sewing Temperament" section. I had a couple of good laughs reading it!

          22. corsets2candles | | #57

            Thanks for the suggestion!  Sounds like an interesting book to have.  I have purchased a Pfaff 2027 and so far, I have been thrilled!  My new machine even makes me look forward to doing mending jobs!  I can't ask for more than that!!

             

             

          23. alicealice | | #58

            Thanks for the book reference. I checked it out of the library and read it all in the middle of the night last night when I couldn't sleep. It was great. Really helped me structure my thinking about this purchase and if I actually sit down and do the simple exercises I think it will help even more. I was surprised to read that author's opinion of spending less than $1000 on a new machine, but loved that he gave some practical advice on where to come up with the money. I have to admit that I was hoping to spend about half that much on a new machine, but since this book is a few years old probably I am not being realistic. Thanks again. Great resource.

          24. alliemagoo | | #59

            I too checked this book out from the library. I agree it helps you focus in on what you want from a sewing machine.

            To Mary in Colorado, there are several pictures of a Necchi sewing machine perhaps good or bad memories? The pictures brought back memories of my first sewing experiences on my mother's Necchi.

            I'm still researching for my machine. Just like this book states, for some their motivation for getting that machine is a reward deserved. I didn't realize it, but that's what I've been doing, was to finish some unfinished projects at home & then reward myself with a machine. Plus, I'll be able to focus more on finding that machine that will be a bonding experience!

            Thanks so much for all for the input...

          25. Cityoflostsouls | | #63

            It was a proud day when I got my new Necchi.  A lot of little girls in 1st year sewing in 4H learned their first stitches on it as I was their advisor and my daughter was in my class.  I think I was hard on her but she learned to sew well and even made clothes for herself in college with all hand stitching.  As an adult she wore that machine out.  I advise anyone looking at a used old machine to check out the old model Berninas.  They never quit. I   gave my daughter an 811, I have the 830 and of course now I have my embrodery-sewing machine (a Bernina), but Babylock sergers.  You learned to be talented on those Necchis.

          26. corsets2candles | | #60

            Hello there...I just have to respond!  When I recently started looking for a new sewing machine I was looking in the $500 range.  Just like you.  When I told my sister how much I was looking to spend, she said, "If you are able to spend $500 for a new machine, then you are able to spend $1000."  It made so much sense to me.  I purchased a new Pfaff 2027 for right at $1000, and I could not be happier.  To me the biggest difference in these two price ranges in any of the brands, is mechanical (500) vs electronic (1000).  I believe if you check out the difference, you will find it is a small price to pay for the enjoyment and pleasure you will get out of over the years.  I calcutated mine out...if I sew on my new machine for 20 years, it will have cost me 13 cents a day!  What a cheap treat!!  You will probably also see the quality of your sewing improve!  Good luck.

             

             

          27. alicealice | | #61

            Thanks to you and your sister for the great perspective.I probably will not sew that much, but I am miserable with my current machine a pfaff hobby bought used 25 years ago and don't sew at all because of it and I know I will sew more if I have a machine that is a pleasure to sit down to and will probably sew weekly. So yes I think I can justify the expense, I just need to get my mind adjusted to the expense and make a plan.Thanks again. Sisters are wonderful aren't they.

          28. Ralphetta | | #62

            I think I agree with the other writer. 20 years ago when I went to replace the machine that I absolutely hated I had no intention of getting anything electronic. I just wanted a dependable machine that did nice buttonholes and and a really nice top stitch. I tested all the machines and could see that in order to get the quality I wanted, I was going to have to get the more expensive machine. I've never for a minute regretted it. After years of frustration I have had years of pleasure. Do compare the machines by taking your swatches of fabric so that you can see how the various machines sewed on identical fabric. You might find that one of the lesser expensive machines does what you want. Happy hunting.

          29. alliemagoo | | #64

            I'm still looking for that new machine with the perfect stitch over thick & thin fabrics with a nice buttonhole.

            If anyone has recently purchased a machine that they loved or hated please let me know.

            I've already been to dealers & the web links in this thread. Thanks for the suggestions.

            In regards to buying a new machine, I'd love to hear from anyone about any recent bonding experiences with their new sewing machine.

            I love this forum and all the knowledgeable input! I can hardly wait to get my new machine...

          30. prae51 | | #65

            I am in the market for a new serger.  I am impressed by the Babylock machines, but wonder if the threading mechanism holds up as well as the sales person indicates.  Has anyone purchased one recently and if so how do you like it?

            Are there other brands of sergers people absolutely love?  I particularly interested in ease of threading.  Also want one that does a very nice rolled hem with ease of switching from regular serging to rolled hem. 

            Please weigh in on the price points also. 

            Have a great day. 

          31. Crazy K | | #66

            I have a Babylock Evolve (the TOL before the Wave came out) and I do love the threading ease..........also the ease in changing stitches.  I have mine set for the coverhem mostly since I have other sergers.  I must admit I haven't used it for the rolled hem but I'm sure it's good.  I have others that change to the rolled hem with just a few minor adjustments and no needle plate changing involved.

            The Evolve was a bit on the pricey side but given the ease in threading, and the fact that it does so many stitches (8 threads worth!), I decided to jump in and buy it. 

            When you're shopping, look for one that converts to a rolled hem without changing the needle plate.  Then you mostly have to remove a needle and change a few settings and you're good to go.

            I also have an Elna 704DEX which was my first serger and is no longer made.  I like it that one but it isn't quite as easy to thread..........a Janome Compulock........also good but threading isn't as easy as the BL...both of those do the rolled hem without needle plate change and cover hem....... and a small Janome Juno.........easy-change for the rolled hem but again not as easy to thread and no coverhem......just your basic stuff. Your budget will dictate a lot...........the Juno was under $300 and the Babylock was just under $2,000..........a big difference.

            I've now given you what I know about the sergers I have...I'm sure others will have their opinions.  Sergers and sewing machines boil down to personal preference in many cases.

            Happy Sewing,

            Kay

          32. prae51 | | #67

            Thanks for your input.  This help0s me to narrow down which machines I am going to go in and serge on.  Thanks again.  Paula

          33. Digi | | #68

            I bought the Babylock Imagine right after it came out (3-4 years ago??) and it has been the most perfect, easy to use, wonderful serger I have ever had - and I've had several different brands.  I have NEVER had a problem with it in any way.

            I still have my Pfaff serger/cover-lock, and I like it too, BUT ...it takes forever to thread, and if the thread breaks, it holds up my project and is very frustrating.  Because of this, I will probably sell it and buy a Babylock Coverlock serger. 

            However, that will have to wait awhile as my next machine purchase is going to be a "Felting Machine".  I love the creative possibilities with this machine and can hardly wait to get started.  Hand felting is fun too, but takes a long time and you can do larger projects without wearing your hands out with it.

            So ...if I were you, I would go out and buy that Babylock serger as soon as you see a good sale.  Or better yet, go in and negotiate; that's what I did and I got a great deal immediately!

            Good luck ...and have fun with your new machine.

          34. prae51 | | #69

             

            Thanks      Paula

          35. SewFit | | #85

            Glad I found your comments on the Baby Lock Imagine....I went to a dealer to see one this morning and I'm planning on making the purchase as soon as I can.  The ease of threading is the selling feature for me as I have arthritis in my right hand and trying to re-thread my White Speedy Lock when a thread breaks is tooo frustrating!!!!!

          36. Digi | | #86

            I'm glad you got the information you needed to move forward.  Difficulty in threading is a huge issue for me too, and I'm not as nimble as I was when I was younger.  And at my age - with time running out - I don't want to waste any time.  LOL!

            BTW, I liked your quote; read mine, and you'll understand why.  ;-)

            Happy sewing to you too, and enjoy your journey - where ever it takes you.

          37. SewFit | | #87

            Great minds think alike!!!LOL

          38. Digi | | #88

            Thanks.  LOL!   I guess we do, huh?  I thought you might appreciate that one, as I sure did yours.

            BTW, I was in your fair state years ago - Charlotte, NC - in the fall season and it was incredibly beautiful. 

            OK ...back to sewing.  I just ordered all the back copies of Sew Stylish.  I love Threads, and have one copy of the Sew Stylish so thought it would be fun to explore those as well. 

            I've been a Threads subscriber since (almost) the beginning - and have ever issue except the first couple of years.  The on-line index sure helps when I'm looking for an old article on a specific topic.  Love it!  I just wish there was someone I could "Will" them to when I'm gone ...someone who would really enjoy having them.  Unfortunately, there are no serious sewers in my family.

          39. SewFit | | #89

            We're kind of off topic....want to email me? 

            I am actually a VA transplant...been here in NC 8 years and love it.

            Also love Threads.....had to get rid of old issues when we moved but I now have two years worth again.

          40. Digi | | #90

            You're right; thanks for the reminer.  I'll email you later; have app. to run to right now.

          41. Snash | | #92

            I use the babylock Eclipse, love it!  It is also a self threader, very easy.  You just can't beat many of the newer Babylock models.  I bought mine 6 years ago.  It was used, 1 year old.  I bought it from a dealer for $350.00.  I have never had any problems with this machine and I use it several times a week.  Also check Craigslist in your area. 

          42. SewFit | | #93

            That was a great price!!!

            Thanks for the input.

          43. TheDesigningSeamstress | | #77

            Juki is one of the best on the market. You can pay more and get a Bernina bu it is made by Juki so not much point in spending the extra money. Just be sure to get differential feed and 4 thread is all most sewers really need. The 5 thread chain stitch is rather useless for home sewers. I purchase many items from allbrands.com because I live in a rural area with few stores.

          44. Cityoflostsouls | | #70

            I won'tgive a recommendation for my sergers as my life took a decided turn after I bought them and needless to say they are still "brand new) after 4 years.  I have the Babylock Imagine and the individual Cover machine by Babylock. My advice to anyone is that prices have come way up and for ease of use please investigate buying the less expensive Imagine and the separate cover machine.  I have an idea it would cost less and be easier to use the two.  I wish I had a good embroidery only machine and a separate sewing machine instead of the all-in-one.  I have the Bernina which I consider the best made (and the most expensive!).  I end up leaving the embroidery module attached but like to use my cabinet for sewing as it makes a flatbed out of my machine.  Just too much trouble to change.  I guess I'm just lazy.  All the attachments for the Bernina are very expensive.  The Babylock machines are easier to use and I can't think of a good reason to need the wave stitch.  Actually I think what you buy depends on what you plan to do or if you need your machines for sewing for profit or not.  If its for profit make absolutely sure you are computer literate.  If you aren't forget it and leave it to those who are.  Otherwise have fun and be practical.  The wave stitch can be done on the older machines if you have nothing but time and dexterity.  I'm not recommending it=just that there are instructions for it in one of my older serger books.  For sewing and embroidery I still recommend Bernina but expect to spend a lot of money.  For a serger go to Babylock.

          45. alliemagoo | | #71

             

            The last few posts got somewhat off track talking about sergers instead of sewing machines.

            Thanks so much for your input regarding the need for different types of machines.

            Right now I'm still looking for a sewing machine with a perfect stitch over thick or delicate fabrics and a nice buttonhole. I may in the future want to do free motion embroidery (not for quilting) of my own desgns. I'm not sure yet.

            As for recommending a serger, I'm not there yet. Just curious,what did you mean by a decided turn after you bought a serger? Also you mentioned, 'Cover machine', 'leaving the embroidery module attatched' and 'wave stitch'. These words are not in my sewing machine vocabulary yet, if you get a chance clue me in.

            I'm somewhat computer literate. As for the profit part, this is a maybe & even then it would only be occasionaly, making custom free motion embroidery designs.

            I recently tried the Bernina, Babylock, & Janome sewing machines. I kind of liked the way the Babylock machine felt, but I'm still researching. I agree the Bernina's are $,$$$!

          46. Cityoflostsouls | | #75

            A cover machine makes only a chain or cover (as for hems) stitch and has no cutting knife for trimming.  Embroidery machines come in two types, on one the embroidery module is separate and can be attached and /or removed.  The other is one unit.  The wave stitch is a new decorative stitch on the latest Babylock serger.  If you had nothing but time and patience I saw directions for doing it on an old model sewing machine but I don't know anyone who would do it.   The wave stitch serger is very expensive and I can't imagine being worth the additional cost but I guess I'm just a penny pincher.  You can draw designs and sell them without going into digitizing but I'm not wise enough to tell you how to go about selling your drawings.  Look up .jpg drawings on the internet and don't ask me what those letters actually stand for!!!  Drawings for digitizing do have to be simplified and "clean".

          47. Cityoflostsouls | | #76

            The Berninas are quality built machines and most models have lasted a lifetime.  The 830!s from 30 years ago are still in demand.  However. everything you buy as an addition to the Bernina is High Ticket as are the machines.  They stitch great.  Bernina also seems to keep parts.etc. for their older machines.  I don't know how other makes are.  I had an expensive typewriter and four years later I had to throw it out as I couldn't replace a necessary part.  This can make you ill.

          48. Crazy K | | #72

            I have two Viking Designer SEs......and I have to say, I love them!  They have a 'stitch advisor' which recommends stitch, needle, etc. and you can choose between light, med. and heavy fabrics as well as knits -vs- wovens.  I have sewed mostly on medium to heavier fabrics and it does extremely well.  I have also sewed some on very lightweight and the stitch is excellent there as well.  They have a neat buttonhole gizmo that lets you choose the size of your button and it stitches out the right size.....and I think the quality is good...and there are several different 'styles' of buttonholes to choose from.  These machines are sewing/embroidery machines......that's where the 'embroidery module' comes into play.  It is the unit that holds the hoop allowing the machine to 'do its thing' in the embroidery mode.  The SEs go for top dollar but I believe are less than the Bernina by a far amount.

            I also have a Janome 9000 which unfortunately sits in its case under my cutting table.  It's a good machine but I love so many features of the SEs that I don't use the Janome and I don't have a space for it to be out.  If I did, I might use it some.......probably should sell it but I keep thinking its good backup and I have a daughter that likes to sew but doesn't have the time or space now.........future, maybe?????

            As for the 'wave stitch' that you referred to........that is with the Babylock Wave serger that does a fancy 'wave' stitch............not sure how but I've seen it advertised.  I have the Babylock Evolve serger and love it......it doesn't do the wave stitch.

            Hope that gives you some food for thought.

            Happy Stitching!

            Kay

  6. Meg | | #25

    I love Pfaff machines. I've had one for 27 years and I don't know what I'll do if it ever dies. The most appreciated feature of the Pfaff is the IDF (Integrated Dual Feed) mechanism, which helps feed the fabric through the stitching process. I'd purchase another Pfaff, or if I went with another brand I would keep the one I have just for that feature.

  7. dressed2atee | | #37

    Hi there,

    I have a Pfaff 2140 and a Babylock Ellegante 2

    I use the Pfaff for everyday sewing of garments, etc.  Second Pfaff, the first one I had for 17 years and I loved them both!  The IDT foot feeds the fabric through simultaneously and it's a real work horse.

    I've been using the Ellegante strictly for embroidery.

  8. purpleque | | #40

    Ditto on the Janome machines.  They're excellent!

    1. Betakin | | #41

      I agree. One of my machines is Janome made and I also have a Pfaff, an Innov-is and a Viking. I like them all for different sewing projects becaue of their different features including different types of stitches. I also would love all in "one" machine.

      For sewing a lot of different materials including curtains and heavy fabrics, I do suggest a machine with IDT, either a Pfaff or one of the large quilt models with IDT like the Jaome 6600 or the new Elna 7300. I think that the new Babylock Quest might be the only larger machine that has both dual feed and a free arm because the Janome and Elna quilters are flat bed models. Both the Janome and Elna models might be very similar because I think Janome makes them both.

  9. Cityoflostsouls | | #42

    I have had the original Necchi (top pf the line in the olden days) which sewed for 30 years (my daughter wore it out finally) then I had an 830 Bernina, a wonderful Viking (still sewing perfectly) a Singer featherweight which I sold almost as soon as I bought it and now I have a 165 Bernina sewing and embroidery machine and 2 Babylock sergers.  I helped my son buy a Babylock for his wife due to the fact that all the extras, etc. are much less expensive than the Berninas.  I purchased an old Bernina which my daughter loves and I repurchased my 830 Bernina for $200. more than I originally paid for my first one.  Theres a story there but I'm happy now!  The physical machine of the Bernina is high quality and should run for years unlike some of the other brands.  They are heavy, well built quality machines and the extras are endless and expensive.  I should know I have bought everything but a ruffler.  I would place the Bernina, Pfaff and Viking in that order as to quality and longevity.  The Babylock sergers were bought for ease of use.  The Necchi people did not keep up their line of machines after their fantastic beginning.  Young people should buy the best they can.  I was very inexperienced when my husband bought me that expensive Necchi but believe me I learned.  A lesser machine would not have been the motivation that that one was!  It took me awhile to figure out that my Necchi was really 3 machines in one.  A lot of 4-H girls learned to sew on my Necchi.

    1. MaryinColorado | | #43

      My first machine was also a Necchi, top of the line!  Oh, what a wonderful machine!!!  I sewed with it for about 30 years, it is probably still going strong for it's new owner.  I now have 2 Husq/Viking computer sewing/embroidery machines in excellent condition and thier 936 serger.  They are such incredible machines.  I agree, buy the best you can afford if you know it will be used.  Another suggestion is to buy from a dealer that offers full price or near price trade ups within the first year, such as mine does.  Mary

      1. Ralphetta | | #44

        I guess I got a lemon, 'cause the worst machine I ever had was a top of the line Necchi. That thing was in the shop every 5 months. It made me crazy. Things would be okay for a few weeks and then the tension would go berserk and I would be frantically trying to sew something without puckers in the seam. Now, I think I should have demanded a replacement machine after the first couple of repair trips weren't successful. I was young and not forceful enough.

        1. MaryinColorado | | #45

          I think my Necchi was only in the shop twice, and once was because the casing melted a little bit when brought from Va. to Co. when the VW Van overheated with my sewing machine sitting in the back, right above it.  I would still have it today if my ex son in law hadn't stolen it and sold it at a pawn shop!  I still have a 27 yr. old Singer that runs well, but it lives in the garage now and I only pull it out to keep it running once a year.  My mother in law also gave me her computerized Singer which is worthless and not worth taking into the shop.  I'm going to give it to my son to tinker with and see if he can make use of it.  His wife has a Viking embroidery only machine and Viking sewing machine that she loves too.   So I guess we are giving them plenty of business from my family.  I'm so spoiled by the computerized machines now.

          Sorry you got a lemon, it happened to me once with a Janome Serger.  It can happen to anyone/anytime and seems random but who knows?  The dealer knew I wasn't happy with it when I traded it back in within a year for the H/V 936 over 11 years ago.  It is a true gem.

          With the computerized machines, I do take them in once a year for cleaning and a check up.  They are a big investment so it's worth it to me.  Mary

          1. Ralphetta | | #46

            I think that my experience is another example of why it's important to go to a good dealer. Even when you are responsible and do research, you can still get a bad machine.

  10. Cherlyn | | #74

    I have had several different brands of sewing machines.  I started out on a Singer; however, when I became obsessed with heirloom sewing, I decided to switch to a Pfaff.  And, until recently, I was happy with my Pfaff.  But I am now interested in more detailed garments for myself so I wanted a machine that would do wonderful embroidary work yet sew and do great button holes (with some options for styles).  I wanted a great deal of variety so I opted for the Janome 10000.  I have three sizes of embroidary hoops, can place small dics inside a slot for additional options besides what comes already loaded on the machine, and I can connect it to my computer.  I still have a great machine for the heirloom embroidery work and fine sewing that is needed to join the laces and work on the fine fabrics.  I can sew heavier fabrics with ease and add embellishments.  I decided to slurg (small slurg) and purchase their needle punch machine (after I spent a few hours playing with one on display)---- I have great summer plans for embellishing denims to create my personal look and style before cutting out my pattern.  In case you can't tell, I'm a teacher; so I have two months to fill my creative cravings before heading back to school in the fall. 

    The best thing to do is take items with you to sew on so that you can find the one you want.  You sit down and sew on it, because the dealer is trained to sew on all their machines.  You know what you need a machine to be able to do. 

     

    Happy hunting! 

  11. designsbysue | | #94

    I have an old Pfaff (1975 - it was my Mom's and I inherited it!)  I would never trade it in for the world.  They don't make them like that anymore.  This is what I use for my dressmaking business (bridal, etc.) the stitches are perfect.  Viking and Bernina are great too - but don't overlook the Brother machines either - they are not as expensive and do a terrific job as well.

    Sue

    1. alliemagoo | | #95

      Buying a sewing machine with perfect stitches is what this thread was originally about, thanks Sue.

      Your opinion on machines with perfect stitches is my number one request from a machine. I assume that then it will make a nice buttonhole, my second request. I only need the first 2 requests with price not an object (but only if it's worth it).

      My ultimate machine or machines would also have the first 2 requests & would allow me to be creative in making my own custom embroidery, but that may be better handled with a separate machine at a later date since I've never tried the embroidery aspect.

      Again, thanks for the input..

      1. designsbysue | | #96

        You guessed it - the perfect stitch and the perfect buttonhole are my goals - and I get it with my Pfaff - as a matter of fact I just made a pair of German style trousers (Burda pattern) for a client.  She was so impressed with the look of the button holes - there were 5 on the side of each leg, as well as the back pockets and front placket.  It made me feel really proud that my machine had done such a good job.  As for doing embroidery stitches it does beautiful ones for trimming and top stitching, but I prefer a separate machine for other types of embroidery (and that's where I use a Brother).     Sue

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