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Thread: What sewing machine do I buy?

  1. #51
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    I have a Janome 6600, which I love. BUT, my all time favorite is my Singer featherweight.

  2. #52
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    After many, many years, I decided to purchase a new sewing machine because I wanted to get back into quilting. So, I bought a Singer quilters edition. I thought I spend a lot on it $398. I was satisfied until I started really quilting and then I felt like I was wrestling the material through the machine. Then I started watching some online quilting shows and took a local class. I noticed that a few names serviced: Bernina, Janome, and a few Pfaff's. So just on a whim, I went to a Bernina dealer and test drove a few. Now they can cost as much as my last car, but I finally found the Aurora 440 QE...it was love at first touch! I got the BSR a stitch regulator that will make my learning to stipple a possibility. I go a good used one and then 3 weeks later invested in the embroidery module. I am in love. Quilting on this machine is like a hot knife through butter, effortless. And the best thing is, if I decide to upgrade to more bells and whistles I will get a trade in that is almost the same as what I paid. Test drive all you can and get the one that you like. You will do a whole lot more sewing with a machine that works like extension of you rather than a wrestling partner. Good Luck!

  3. #53

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    nursie79- Glad you found the 'one' for you. I hope to find one like that also. thanx

  4. #54
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    I love my Janome6500 and it is also a huge technical improvement over my 38yr old Kenmore which is still a workhorse but I use my Janome unless it is in the shop getting a 'tune up'

    You do get free classes when you buy a Janome and what I was impressed with was all Janome dealerships will give you free classes anytime anywhere. I bought my machine 3 years ago from one dealer and then moved last year and took it to a different shop...they were eager to let me know that they have monthly Jamome classes and that I was welcome to come whenever I would like and as often as I'd like for FREE. I am all about free, LOL. I believe that all the large brand names give free classes

    Go to any sewing machine dealer (you can do an online search to find one near you, whatever brand you want to try) ...you just walk in and tell them you are looking for a new machine and need help deciding on what to get and you would like to try some out. Take your own fabric with you so that you can sit and sew....if you need directions and assistance, they are happy to help...they all want to make a sale. If they aren't giving you good customer service, go somewhere else...you don't want to buy from a dealer starts out not giving you time and assistance.

    good luck and let us know what you finally decide on

    warm quilt hugs, sue

  5. #55
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STAR
    I looked up a few on-line and they are all about 25-30miles away!! we used to have a store right in town but they went out of business last year. I guess thats not so far, atleast for service but i think it would be hard for me to make it to classes and such with my schedule. but like i said im just starting to look! :D
    Where I live (greater Atlanta area), 25-30 miles can be a BIG deal because of heavy traffic. My 2-bits' worth of advice on the sewing machine purchase: the more "bells & whistles" it has, the more there is to go wrong with the machine. I have several machines, from a lightweight basic to one with all the bells and whistles. The bells and whistles one weighs about a ton and has been to the shop to be serviced and/or fixed more times in the last 2 years than all of my others put together have been in the last 30 years. If I were you, I'd buy something basic, made by a company that has a solid reputation. It's really nice to have the up/down needle feature, right/left/center needle positions, and important that the feed dogs will drop. A good dealer has good used machines as well, with good prices.

  6. #56
    Super Member Shorebird's Avatar
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    Star,

    My 5 cents' worth mirrors some other comments. I now have 4 Husqvarna Viking machines Iincluding serger and mega quilter and love every one of them.

    I originally was going to purchase a Bernina - had the cash in my pocket (Christmas and Anniversary present from HUBBY)...Went to the local Bernina dealer, asking about machines, and every 2-3 minutes, salesperson would walk away from me to talk to someone else who just walked in and wanted to chat...After 2.5 hours of this, with very few of my questions answered, and not even able to start trying the machines out, I left that shop (SERVICE AFTER THE SALE IS AS IMPORTANT OR MORE SO THAN MACHINE BRAND OR FEATURES)....and drove to the closest Viking Dealer.......They demo'd 4 different machines (I wanted to do it all - I sew garments, do machine embroidery, heirloom sewing, quilting and home dec)......After the issue with the staff @ Bernina, I had several questions regarding help I might need after the sale......was told - just give us a call, or if more convenient, come on in - we will always be happy to help you!....

    So - I bought their top of the line machine, and have never been happier.......If I run into an issue with a project at 7PM - a quick call will usually get me the answer........

    They have ongoing classes (both owners and created classes) and the owner's class is NOT restricted to just one class......You can come in and sit for any of the classes as many times as you want/need.

    Many of the machines have very similar features - some are very partial to a particular brand........

    For my money - I wanted the most features I could get, from a dealer who would be around - was honest, and who would have varying classes to show off machine features and spark creativity. The Viking Dealer here did all of that and more..............

    Good Luck!! Take your time.....go in, and go back a second time.....all shops have sample fabric to stitch on.........try every machine they have....ask questions...........and when you are comfortable with how it works and what it costs - GO FOR IT!

  7. #57
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    Star, The dealer should have a variety of floor models for you to sit and sew. They should be happy for you to take as much time as you want to test out the different features on the machine. They should also have trained service people and accessories. I have a Bernina QE 440, which replaced my 30-year old Singer Fashion Mate. One thing I really like about my Bernina is the knee lever to lift the presser foot.

    If you don't want all the bells and whistles, I'd suggest you try to find a Singer 221 Featherweight. Singer manufactured these machines from the 1930s to the 1960s, and they do one thing -- sew a straight stitch (forward and reverse). They only weigh 13-14 lbs. (without the case), so are great for taking to classes. And they are very easy to maintain. There is a Yahoo! group for FW owners and you can get a lot of good information on buying and servicing them. I have a 1939 black machine and a 1955 white machine and I do almost all my piecing on them. The feed dogs don't drop, so you can't do free-motion quilting with it unless you have a cover for the feed dogs, but you can do straight stitch quilting with it. Of course, the throat is very short, so it's hard to handle a lot of bulk. Most FW owners I know use it to piece and have another machine for quilting.

  8. #58
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Your right, you can't go wrong with a featherweight! I am have that on my list. You know what your getting and really a wonderful machine for the price. Not fancy but steady as she goes.

  9. #59
    Senior Member KittyGram's Avatar
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    I love my 4 year old Viking Scandinavia 200, but it's not made anymore, and Vikings aren't made in (Sweden?) anymore, they're made in China. And also, the 200 is a pretty basic machine, but VERY good for quilting!

  10. #60

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    First sorry to nursie76 not 79(my oops).


    thanx for all the info on the featherweight I got from everyone this is a basic machine that is getting lots of props from everyone so i will be checking this one out. because until i get the hang of a machine straight lines and pieceing is probably all i will be doing on it.

  11. #61
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    I am very partial to Bernina, they are very user friendly. And I have a dealer fairly close. I WOULD NOT buy a cheap one at a discount house as they don't care what happens after you walk out the door, they won't give you any lessons on how to use it, and they won't be there if you have any problems. Go in a dealership and ask to test drive some different models. Tell them what you are going to do with it and don't let them start with their most expensive model. You'll fall in love with it!!! :D You can do this at several if you are in a big city, and then make a decision.
    That said, Bernina does make some very nice lower end models. Jan

  12. #62
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    I got my Viking from Joann's and they do have classes on how to use it.I my machine and haven't had any problems with it. , it's a Saphire 850.

  13. #63
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    The salesperson at the shop will sit down with you and show you what the machine does, and let you try it out. Tell them you are a beginner, and they should help you get the feel of the machine. That's why it's better to buy from a sewing machine dealer than online or a big box store. There you can't test them to see how they feel and sound.

  14. #64

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    Hello Star,

    As a previous sewing machine dealer (Husqvarna Viking), you need to ask yourself a couple of questions, write them down and take them with you when you go sewing machine shopping. Question #1: What features are important to me(example: needle up-needle down etc.) Question #2: How often am I going to use the machine and for what purposes. Question #3: What is my budget. Hopefully, the dealer (please go to a dealer...they are knowledgeable and can help you) will demonstrate the machine and its features for you. If not, ask them to. Dealers will also give you free classes on how to use your machine. Hope this helps. Good-luck. By the way, I love my Husqvarna Viking.

    BAD Rags

  15. #65
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    I'm with Terri too- buy a cheap machine to get you started and see if this is something you really like. As you get deeper into the craft you will learn what you want in a machine. Some people like a plain basic machine and others want lots of extras like embroidery etc. Don't spend a fortune until you know what kind of sewing you want to do.
    I agree with Terry and Loretta. It's not the machine that will make you a better machine sew-er. (Just like a fancier computer hasn't made me any smarter :lol: ). Get your feet wet on a less expensive machine to see if it's for you. Then as you develop your skills, you can go on to bigger and better things. As far as I'm concerned, I think a good straight stitcher is all you really need to do piece work, but some of the "bells and whistles" do make things a little more interesting. What I like most about my Janome is the needle down feature and the fact that I can move my needle position. The decorative stitches are nice but not really necessary. I think the most important thing is that you have a machine that is in good condition and makes a good stitch. If ever "step up" I would like one with a roomier throat (is that what it's called?).

  16. #66

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    I agree with what the girls said. Buy one at a store that offers free lessons and repairs for at least one year. I love my Viking SE, but it is also an embroidery machine. Viking does make a quilting sewing machine. Some women I know love their Babylocks. It's true that there are so many to chose from. Try talking to different people and also try out different machines. Good luck.

  17. #67

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    I talked to my mom and she has my grandmas old brother machine that she is going to give me. I am going to try that out but I am still going to a sewing shop that offers several different machine brands and free lessons and support for my questions. Their site was very friendly looking and had quite a bit of info.

  18. #68
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STAR
    I talked to my mom and she has my grandmas old brother machine that she is going to give me. I am going to try that out but I am still going to a sewing shop that offers several different machine brands and free lessons and support for my questions. Their site was very friendly looking and had quite a bit of info.
    Honey, take that Brother machine to a reputable service center and have it cleaned and put in order so you can learn on it. You are so lucky that your mom has offered this to you. Then when you are more experienced, you can buy a machine that will suit your needs. Happy sewing.

  19. #69
    Senior Member zkosh's Avatar
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    Star, I'm so glad your mom has a machine for you. I started out with a machine that only did straight stitch and didn't even reverse. I guess a lot of us did. Anyway, you'll have a machine and you can get started and explore other options along the way.

    Best of luck with your new baby!

  20. #70
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    I've had Singer, Brother and 2 Bernina's. If you can afford it, I highly recommend a Bernina. I love mine - just got the new 830. And my dealer gives free classes to those who buy from her. I would think that would be a requirement of a Bernina dealer, but maybe not. The Bernina website has a world of information too. Good luck on your purchase!

  21. #71
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokieappmom
    I've had Singer, Brother and 2 Bernina's. If you can afford it, I highly recommend a Bernina. I love mine - just got the new 830. And my dealer gives free classes to those who buy from her. I would think that would be a requirement of a Bernina dealer, but maybe not. The Bernina website has a world of information too. Good luck on your purchase!
    And if the Bernina is out of the question, which would you prefer, the Singer or the Brother. I've had Singer, White, and New Home (and Janome), but never a Brother. How does it compare?

  22. #72
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    Brother over the Singer, but then it was the newer of the two. I had an Esante embroidery machine. I really liked it, but then it started messing up some. I had two friends that had Berninas and they convinced me to get one. I bought a 730 in March of 2008, and my dealer said she'd give me full retail on it if I upgraded to the 830 (my 730 was still less than a year old). I just couldn't pass that up and got the 830 this past March with 36 month no finance charges. My DH told me to get a new machine as much as I like to sew, quilt and embroider. I told him what I wanted was really expensive, and he said to get what I wanted, so I did. Love Bernina!

  23. #73
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokieappmom
    Brother over the Singer, but then it was the newer of the two. I had an Esante embroidery machine. I really liked it, but then it started messing up some. I had two friends that had Berninas and they convinced me to get one. I bought a 730 in March of 2008, and my dealer said she'd give me full retail on it if I upgraded to the 830 (my 730 was still less than a year old). I just couldn't pass that up and got the 830 this past March with 36 month no finance charges. My DH told me to get a new machine as much as I like to sew, quilt and embroider. I told him what I wanted was really expensive, and he said to get what I wanted, so I did. Love Bernina!
    That DH is a keeper !

  24. #74
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    Most definitely! He also let me get the quilting frame at the same time!

  25. #75

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    sounds like mine he is always trying to get me to buy something but I am the one looking at the price tags!! once I get going then he can get me something bigger! :lol:

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