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sewing machine recommendations

conerybb | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hello everyone!  My name is Brooksie and I live in a small town in Louisiana.  I want to buy a sewing machine and I’d like some recommendations.  I’d like a computerized machine but I don’t need one with an embroidery hoop.  I’m looking to spend under $1,000.  I’d love to have a QUIET machine, one that does buttonholes automatically, about 100 decorative stitches, one with tension control that is not too difficult to adjust, and lots of different pressure feet.  I don’t sew on heavy fabric, I’m not a quilter, and I mainly sew on light to medium-weight fabric.  I mostly make baby and children’s clothes.    Presently I own a Pfaff computerized machine with an embroidery hoop, and I’m disappointed in it in that it is loud, and it has broken twice this year – both times the machine won’t sew buttonholes, won’t sew in reverse, and won’t zig-zag.  I’m tired of it being in the shop, so I’d like another good machine to use when it is in the shop.  Any feedback??????????


  1. suesew | | #1

    There have been many discussionson on this site about various machines. My recommendation is to buy from a reputable dealer who will stand behind he sells and be there for you if you have problems. I believe that all brands have great machines and you will always find the occasional kluncker. I love my Vikings.

    1. conerybb | | #2

      Thank you, Sue.  My concern about my Pfaff is that it's been in need of repair twice in the past 14 months for the same problem.  And my "reputable" dealer moved out of state after Hurricane Katrina.  I'm now debating whether to send it back to the factory for repairs or to find another dealer in my state and bring it there.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #3

        I love Viking machines, they are reliable, sew beautifully, and are quiet and stable.  Mary

        1. conerybb | | #4

          Thanks, Mary.  Even the lower-end Vikings?

          1. MaryinColorado | | #8

            Yes, in fact, my daughter in law just purchased her first Viking and she is thrilled with it.  It was under $500.00 and has many great features.  Will the Pfaff dealers let you trade up to another machine?  You have made quite a large investment to give up on it, I am so sorry for your situation!  I hope Pfaff will work with you on this!!! 

          2. conerybb | | #9

            Mary, you say your daughter paid under $500?????  I am trying to work with the Pfaff dealer 5 hrs. away from me, and she will take my Pfaff and give me $1,600 credit toward the top of the line machine, but I would still have to come up with $2,000 plus on it, which I dont' want to do.   I don't need the "top of the line"!

      2. mygaley | | #5

        Dear Brooksie, I also live in a small community in (Central) Louisiana.
        I have had a positive experience with the Pfaff dealer in Lafayette and some of the ladies here swear by them. The authorized repairman in Alexandria is beyond competent, but there is no face to face contact and he does not have a storefront. I went into the dealership in Shreveport and it seemed that they only catered to customers who had purchased a machine from them. If you possibly can, try to get it to the Pfaff dealer in Ruston: they are the best in every way. God bless you Galey PS the Ruston dealer, his name is "Mr. Joe", has talked me through problems over the telephone!

        Edited 1/2/2007 8:09 pm ET by mygaley

        1. conerybb | | #6

          Thank you so much, Galey, I appreciate your comments.  I think I will call the Ruston store and ask to speak to Mr. Joe.  I think Ruston is about a 4 or 5 hr. drive from here.  I was pondering sending the machine back to the factory for repairs, but I'll call Ruston first.  Well, I'm really disappointed in this machine - I paid $1,600 for it, and it just seems to be a lemon!    Brooksie

        2. conerybb | | #7

          Hey Galey, do you happen to know the Pfaff dealer in Lafayette?  I went to the Pfaff website under dealer locater, and there were none in Lafayette.


          1. mygaley | | #15

            So much has changed since Rita and Katrina. I googled sewing machines, lafayette, la and the one on ambassador cafferty pkwy is the one I've been in. I googled Pfaff lafayette, la and got more. I believe I'd call some of the numbers listed. God bless you Galey

          2. conerybb | | #16

            Well, gee whiz, everytime I go to the Phaff website and go to "dealer locators" none come up in Lafayette - they have a couple in Baton Rouge.

          3. Svelte | | #18

            When looking for computerized sewing machine, it is best to sit down and try out the various ones of your choice and to see how they feel to you.  Most places will allow you to try them out.  I've been sewing for many years and have had inexpensive machines that performed well and others that did not.  Computerized machines take some learning.  I still find things I did not know after several years with my current high end machine.  At present I have 2 sewing machines and a serger.  I have difficulty threading my serger because of my eyesight.


  2. ctirish | | #10

    Brooksie, have you contacted Pfaff directly. I would write a letter and tell them about the problems you are having with your machine> I wouldn't blast them, just tell them what exactly you are having problems doing, what the dealer has said is the problem, how many times you have had it in for repair. Then ask them if they know someone who has the expertise to correct the problems. If they don't respond in two weeks I would contact the consumer protection department in your state. If you have a TV station that does consumer problems you could contact them if you don't hear from Pfaff or their answer is not acceptable.
    I have found if you just state the problem directly and clearly, most companies will do whatever they can to help you. I also just read an article that said to write to the head of service, or consumers at the company or the CEO; letters tend to go down the chain of command not up. The article said you can find the correct people to write to on Hoovers.com. I had a problem with a computer and it took some time but in the end the company sent me a brand new machine. I would buy an inexpensive model for a backup that does a fair amount of stitches and buttonholes.There are some good beginner models you can get for a couple hundred dollars as a backup. Check here in the forum to see who likes which machine. Good luck

    1. conerybb | | #11

      Thanks so much, ctirish, for your thoughts.  They sound excellent to me.  I do have a cheaper machine in case my good one breaks, and it's ok to use, but I can't do buttonholes on it, because they're manual!! - it would take too much practice for me to catch on.

      1. Jumala | | #12

        One of the people in this thread appears to be a Katrina victim. It appears that one of my dealers in Wisconsin is collecting used machines to send down there. Do not know the specifics or if other dealers in other parts of the country are doing the same. Just an FYI.


      2. ctirish | | #13

        Hi, I get frustrated with the cost of sewing machines and irons and pressing equipment. The dealers keep the prices secret like they would be putting the national security at risk. They they make it difficult to get a machine fixed. I believe it is time to get this information out to the public, including which dealers to use and which to avoid. And to speak with the top management so they know when we pay for something we expect it to work without problems. I know so many people with multiple machines because they can't get the most expensive one to work easily for them. We have a space station out there and we can't get a sewing machine to work correctly. I am on my third iron in a year - the first two were Rowenta's and last one is a Shark and I don't like it that much. I wrote to Rowenta and they said I could pay to send it back and they would fix it for a fee. The second one was less than 5 months old.
        Keep us posted on the results..jane

        1. conerybb | | #14

          I agree with you totally, Jane.  I plan on writing a letter to several top Pfaff people and see what happens.  I'm not giving up easily.  Brooksie

        2. crazydog | | #17

          Possibly part of the problem is that our buying habits have changed and we are tempted to upgrade while in the past we bought a machine and used it for years (as it was designed to do). I agree with your recommendation to contact the company directly. They need to know that we expect quality. Some years ago I had a conversation with a Janome vendor (New Home in the US) and she was pretty upfront about the new machines not being as good as some of the older ones. So much of what we buy does not last as long a some of us would like! Maybe some manufacturers have too many models rather than focusing on quality. Again however, I agree with trying to hold the company accountable. Good luck. Is it OK to mention my great machine, although it does not do anything but go forwards and back, I love it. I read about it in Threads and searched it out in Vancouver. It is the Brother 1500. I use my computerized machine only occasionally now.

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