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Thread: general sewing machine question

  1. #11
    Senior Member Aunt Doggie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    From WI then Denver then Houston and now Hainesville, IL
    I have a Husqvarna that I absolutely LOVE! It is the Sapphire 830. I also have a Kenmore(Janome) that is lightweight and easy to take to classes. Great for piecing.
    I have a Singer redeye Treadle and a Baby Lock Emore for embroidery.

    My cousin has a Bernina and she is scared to try the fancy features!! So I would say research, find ones with features you are looking for, and then go try them out at the dealerships.

    Between everyone here, they can give you help with just about ANY machine you decide to buy!!!
    Happy hunting!

  2. #12
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Chaumont NY
    I have two Husqvarna and a singer and also a brother quilting sewing machine love them all I also have my grams and my great aunts now that she has passed

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Thanks for all of the input, guys. I know to test drive machines before purchasing, and of course if and when I am actually in the market for a new machine, I would have a list of specific features I want. However, I would rather not visit a dozen different types of dealers; I would rather narrow down my list a bit. That's why I'm curious about the reputations of the various companies, such as knowing that Singers aren't what they used to be, or if some machines are generally considered overpriced, or others are considered great deals, or if some are known for not lasting long, or having particular problems, etc. Thanks also for the info about some machines sharing manufacturers - I didn't know about that.

    Please keep the comments coming! I'm interested in your opinions on the different manufacturers.



  4. #14
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Front row
    Blog Entries
    The high end Singers are great. You won't find them at Walmart. I have the Singer Quantum and have abused this machine to no end and it still sews like new. Even dropped it on the asphalt from the roof of the car. Bernina is excellent quality as are the high end Janomes, Elnas, Babyloc, Pfaff, Viking, Kenmores, Juki and Brothers. The low end machines are a hit and miss with quality. I have a Singer 301 and it's my favorite machine. It's the best made of any machine I have ever used. It has no bells and whistles but it sews with no frustration for me at all using any thread I want. It's better at free motion quilting then my Brother 1500.

  5. #15
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    High Entropy Zone
    With Singer you need to say Singer before ....date and after...Old mechanical Singers were good machines. Then came the change in parts (plastic, yuk) and Singer was just never the same after that.

    Kenmores are the same thing. They are always manufactured for Kenmore by someone else. Who makes what depends on the year. Takes a little research.

    Even the "good" brands can have a real dog on occasion. That is where your relationship with your dealer is important. I list dealer/warranty high on my list of must haves (I find a dealer with a great service record and then look at the machines. Saves heartache in the long run.)

    I walked away from a dealer who represented OK machines because they didn't know how to make a buttonhole with the one they wanted me to buy. I had to teach THEM how to make the buttonhole. They were sure the machine was broken. To me, that is a sure indicator that this was not the person I was going to go to for any problems I might have on a machine later on (it had been on the market for a while so there was really no excuse).

  6. #16
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    rural Maryland
    So much depends on what you want to do with the machine. I fell in love with Berninas when I worked for a dealer. She made her bread and butter by doing alterations and custom dressmaking. I used the machines everyday when I worked in her shop. I now own 4 Berninas and a Singer Featherweight. I found that the more things the machine will do such as decorative stitches and embroidery the less stable the basic straight stitch. I purchased the Bernina 1260 16 years ago because while I did garment sewing I was basically a quilter. The straight stitch on that model was rock solid. I prefer using a seperate machine for embroidery mainly because it allows me to do that while I am using my other machine for something else. I am also a little lazy and hate using a machine I have to change plates or disassemble or reassemble to do other tasks. I spent a little more for my serger as it can switch from regular to rolled edge with the push of a button. Changing throat plates etc. was not something I wanted to mess with on a regular basis. I love my 1260 but it is an older machine and mostly metal. I purchased a newer less expensive model Bernina in the last year because it weighs almost half the weight of my other model. It allows me to take the newer one on retreat without having to lug that heavy machine.

  7. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Grays River, WA.
    I started out with an old metal Singer. Started quilting and bought a Featherweight to take to classes and on trips as it is so small. I LOVE Babylock as it is the most user friendly sewing/embroidery, whatever. I have 7570 Pfaff and an old 1222 Pfaff. They have the IDT or walking foot, great for quilting as it keeps the top and bottom fabrics feeding at the same pace without slipping. The new Pfaffs require intensive learning curve. I had an old Bernina, all metal but I wouldn't buy one now that the matriarch retired four years ago or so.
    She was quality control. I took over two years and did sewing on old machines and went to sewing shops to try machines over and over again. For me that meant driving 50 to 120 miles one way once a week. A gal on the first page talked about the features, critical in my opinion, try them. I would go for the quality of the stitches if I were starting and use for a year and trade up if you think you would like to do embroidery.
    Do the embroidery at the shop but think about practical applications. How much would you use it. Think about trade in value, how well will your machine hold value? Buy used if you can get a good warranty from your local dealer. DO NOT BUY SINGER no one is servicing. I'd stay away from Jamone too, lots of issues with the new machines.
    Good Luck

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