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Viking Sewing Machine Questions

Karen2 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I am in the market for a new sewing machine and am currently looking at the Viking Designer 1, although I would love to spend less money on a machine.
My present vintage machine is a Viking 6440. The Designer 1 has a buttonhole sensor that consists of a wheel with about a 3/4″ diameter attached to a cord which plugs into the machine. This apparatus doesn’t seem to be in line with the superb assets of the machine. I would love to hear any comments about this buttonhole sensor and also any comment on Viking sewing machines and perhaps any prices associated with those machines. Thank you for taking the time to reply. Karen


  1. SewNancy | | #1

    I have a Viking Platinum 750 that has this feature, and it works well if you remember to keep the wheel in the white area.    I have had trouble making buttonholes in a thick tweed so it is not perfect.  You determine the size of the buttonhole on the screen by mm.  It makes very nice buttonholes. 


  2. SewTruTerry | | #2

    Karen! I agree with Nancy as I have 2 Viking machines that have this type of buttonhole attachement and I find that it depends on the type of fabric that you are using as with everything else I would go to your dealer and ask to try the machine with your own fabric that you bring along and make sure that it is a true sample of what you would work with.  Now as far as the machine not working a good buttonhole on the tweed, personally I don't think that I would have used anything but a bound buttonhole on tweed. 

    1. SewNancy | | #4

      Dear Terry,

      After the fact, I would agree with you, but as I was time challenged I used big snaps under the buttons.  I have seen this on Marc Jacobs jackets and it is faster than bound buttonholes!  I am about to make a jacket out of a stretch gray wool boucle and I am thinking of using ultrasuede for the buttonholes as I think that the boucle will be too thick also.   I could use the boucle, but it is stretch and I don't know if it will work well   Obviously, I will make samples. Any other suggestions as to fabric type for the bound buttonhole would be appreciated.


      1. SewTruTerry | | #7

        Nancy I think with the stretch Boucle' I would either do a bound buttonhole or try a buttonhole in the seam type of treatment.  Either way stabilize, stabilize, stabilize. Boucle' is by nature a looser material and if there is lycra or other type of stretch factor going on you will not be happy with the results unless it is fully stabilized.

        1. SewNancy | | #8

          Thanks, both suggestions are good.  I hadn't thought of in the seam but, that is a possibility. 


          1. SewTruTerry | | #9

            Glad to add my 2 cents worth.  I am just back from a 2 month leave of sewing and boy are my fingers itching to work.

  3. Karen2 | | #3

    Hi Nancy and Terry, Thank you so much for your buttonhole info. Do you have any suggestions for Viking models and their prices? The Platinum series looks good, but I wonder what the real differences are between the models. The Designer 1 looks very inviting! Karen

    1. SewNancy | | #5

      If I had had a bigger budget I probably would have gone with the Designer II as I don't want  the embroidery capabilities, but everything else basic is the same I think.  It is a lot more money than the Platinum series.  I am very happy with my machine and it does everything that I needed.  I am an experienced seamstress and was very aware of the type of sewing that I do, so I had very specific requirements that the machine met.  I also had a large inventory of feet that fit this machine and was one fo the reasons that I bought it over a Brother machine.  But, go sew on the machine and see if you like the dealer.  I love mine and that is a big part of your satisfaction leval I think.


  4. SewSandi | | #6

    I have a new Quilt Designer II and was very disappointed in the keyhole buttonholes.  They don't look at all professional.  I have a Kenmore 19365 and it makes beautiful keyhole buttonholes.  The Kenmore uses a foot where you put in the button and the machine uses that to gauge the size of the buttonhole.  Love it!  My Viking, as you know, uses the wheel and it is more difficult for me to align my buttonholes along the edge.  Guess I just need more practice with that. 

  5. Bernie1 | | #10

    I have three machines - the D1, a Pfaff 1540 and the Bernina 165E which I just bought and I can tell you there is nothing like the D1. It's my favorite machine to work on and it's worth every penny.

  6. colleency | | #11

    I was told by my local Viking dealer that the Platinum has been discontinued.

    I don't have exact prices, but the Iris is right around a thousand dollars, excluding software.

    I understand that one of the major difference between the Designer I and the other models is the fact that you can put your patterns on a floppy disk rather than a memory card. The D1 can have firmware upgrades, whereas the others cannot. If you are going to be creating your own designs, and you get a machine other than the D1 (in the Viking line), you will have to buy the reader/writer as well as the software.

    Do you have a dealer near you? It really is best to go check out the machines yourself. If you don't have a dealer, a local county fair usually has sewing machine dealers where they will let you try them out.

    1. Bernie1 | | #13

      I can't imagine that Viking would discontinue its Platinum line since it's the newest brand. It's been a big seller, as far as I know. I think your dealer's mistaken at least I hope so.

      1. colleency | | #14

        Hmm...maybe she was incorrect. The Platinum line is still shown at the Viking website.

  7. suesew | | #12

    I have the buttonhole wheel and I never use it. I find I can make much more accurate buttonholes manually - not by hand but by manually pushing the necessary buttons. I just gives me more control. Even machines that repeat buttonholes sometimes hesitate for no good reason and the holes can end up uneven. I like to be in control.

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