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Which brand/model SM to buy?

roundgecko | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi all!

I am looking into buying a new sewing machine and was hoping to get some advice from all you talented and experienced sewers out there!

Right now I own a Brother XL5700, and am looking to upgrade to something with a little more power. I mostly sew clothes and bags and find that my Brother cant even handle sewing over a double seam, and it is getting pretty frustrating.

I have been looking at Bernina (Bernette line) and Janome models because I have heard they are pretty reliable brands. I would love to hear any recommendations as to what I should upgrade to or if there are any good online resources that compare machines around the $500 mark.



  1. B | | #1

    You might enjoy checking the sewing machine reviews at http://www.patternreview.com to see what others think of various machines (also read the boards with subject: sewing machines.)  I have heard that Bernette is made by a different company than Bernina.   (The machines might be fine.)  Janome also makes Kenmore (Sears) yet so that may be a good lower priced machine than Janome.  There are also some recommended on-line sites that sell discontinued models of great machines if you are less interested in dealer lessons.

    (I have a discontinued Brother Pacesetter PC6000 which I got at a great price ($500)in 2004.  They can't be found at that price any more, even reconditioned!)

  2. tmorris1 | | #2

    Roundgecko;I like my Janome Decor Excel because it was made to handle home decorating jobs like drapes and slipcovers. Mine is a pretty basic model, but still has 20 stitch functions - including an overlock (blanket) stitch, one-step buttonhole, auto bobbin de-clutch, a heavier duty motor, and extra space under the presser foot. The number one thing that I look for in a machine, however, is a "drop-in", or "top load" bobbin, those side load things always lose tension. The Decor Excel should fit right into your price range too. T.Oh, and so that nobody else has to say it, there are many threads asking about machines to buy, if you are interested in specifically Bernina and Janome, try doing a search on those names. And by the way, the brother machine that I had before I bought my Janome was so gutless that I wanted to burn it. grrrr

  3. SuzyShadow | | #3

    My dad used to sell Janome so I have 3 machines...the Compoulock, the Memory Craft 8000 (which was the first embroidery machine they made, I think...and doesn't do what I would like to do with patters, computers etc.) but it is still a great machine. Recently I got one of the little "gems" to carry to sewing classes which runs really great also. Others in the family have some of the non-embroidery machines and like them too. I would buy Janome again...have never had to service any of these machines.

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