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Sewing Machine advice

metamom | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi everyone!

I am looking for advice on machines.  I need a reliable, reliable and I do mean RELIABLE, tough little machine with a great warranty that sews smoothly… ‘like butter.’ 🙂  I sew home decor, halloween costumes, craft items, quilts, and clothes.  Features I am looking for include a one-step button-hole feature, simple bobbin winding/changing system (a firend had one that you didn’t even have to move your project to re-wind the bobbin!  Cool! ) and an extensive ‘bumper to bumper’ style warranty.  We are a military family so I can’t guarantee living near a dealer… especially as teh AF tends to like wide open spaces… 🙂  A needle threader would be nice, and a smaller sewing arm will be necessary at least as long as my kids are small… and as my daughter is truly truly SMALL, that may be a while. I like some creative flexibility, but don’t necessarily feel the need for some ten thousand stitches or so.  I definitely do need the machine to sew smoothly through a variety of fabrics and thicknesses, and I am really sick to death of tension woes and bobbin slippage leading to jams… argh!  I have had several used cast-offs which seem to be vulnerable to this.  Okay… I think that covers it.  I’ve tried to find as many reviews and comparisons as possible, and found the chart in Threads very useful, but I would like to know from the folks in the know… the ones sewing!  Thanks so much for your help!!!

 

Replies

  1. JulieP25 | | #1

    Hi Metamom!

    I bought a Bernina Virtuosa 160 about 3 yrs ago and found it reliable. Only in for a tuneup ( maintenance). It has 38 stitches 18 of which can be changed out to other stitches using a home computer with the program CPS. CPS ( customized pattern selection) is a program purchased separately from the machine. It gives me a choice of over 150 stitches. It came bundled as a special at the time of my purchase. I do similar sewing as you. I live in a rural area and would have purchased the program so I would be able to have more stitches. They no longer make this model but the Bernina Virtuosa 155 is the same machine. This has an automatic buttonhole feaure that I love, you only need to program in the first leg of the buttonhole and after that they are all the same size. As many times as you want. This was a midrange priced model. It sews beautifully through anything. I've sewn canvas and silk velvet on it and it has never skipped a beat. I very rarely have to turn the tension knob at all. I have been very happy with this machine and with not be trading it it if I purchase a newer one. It sews beautiful and is easy to use. Any classes I have taken the instructor always come over to my machine to use as a demo of her techinique. They always tell me how nice it works.  Please keep  us posted on your decision. Jules

  2. ane | | #2

    I live in a remote area, no dealers of anything. About a year ago I bought a brother PC6000 as a "back up" machine - something I could use when I shipped my viking out for a tune up. The Brother has become my primary machine. It does everything, and isn't as finicky, as the viking. I really like this machine, and it was considerably cheaper. I haven't tried any of the decorative stitches (not my area of interest), but I bet they are top quality like the rest of the machine's features. I really like the self threader, and the bobbin winding is hands down superior to the viking lily. And it even came with a walking foot (a $100 extra with the viking).

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