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Mechanical or computerized--i can't decide
Crystal

Crystal
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Date: 6/19/03 7:08 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm interested in upgrading my sewing machine.  Right now I have a Kenmore 12102 and it only has straight stitch and zigzag and only came with the zigzag presser foot.  I want more in a machine like an automatic buttonhole, blind hem stitch, stretch stitches, etc.  I'm mainly interested in garment sewing and not embroidery.  I'm not sure exactly when I will upgrade, but I figured I'd better at least start looking so when the time comes I can just make my purchase.

Just when I think I've decided on a computerized machine--I'm leaning towards the Janome Memory Craft 3000 or the Craftmaster 5000,  I think maybe I should get a mechanical/electronic machine.  Can anyone offer any pros and cons of computerized vs. electronic/mechanical?  I'll keep the Kenmore as a backup either way.  Sorry for rambling on   :) I had no idea it would be this difficult to make a decision.

Crystal

AnneM
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Date: 6/19/03 8:48 PM

My 2 cents, which is probably about all it is worth on this:  I have a nice Kenmore.  It is a mechanical model.  It has lots of stitches, and has an automatic button hole setting with a special button hole foot.  It has done everything I've needed so far.  An advantage of the mechanical, I think, is that there are slightly fewer concerns with the maintenance.  

That being said, I've heard very good things about those Memory Crafts.  They are supposed to have great stitches.  It would be nice to have more button hole options, which they have.  

Good luck.

------
With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

Everyday Sewist
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Date: 6/19/03 8:58 PM

I went from a basic mechanical Kenmore to a computerized Brother machine.

I now wonder if I should have bought a high-end mechanical instead. The reason is that my Brother is not as powerful as my Kenmore. The Kenmore seems to go through the fabric with less effort and it can take more abuse than the Brother. Since the stitches are set manually, the settings are not lost when you turn off the machine.

On the other hand, I love having five automatic buttonholes, speed control, and a needle-down feature on my computerized machine.

If I had a chance to choose a new machine again, I would probably go for a high-end mechanical with as many features as possible.

I also now understand why some people have several sewing machines. Each machine has features which others don't have.
If I ever get a larger sewing space, I will have both of my machines out and I'll use them both, for different tasks.

That doesn't really answer your question but perhaps it will help you decide.

Kris O
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Kris O
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Date: 6/22/03 7:48 PM

I've been on the market for a machine and have frequently referred to the November 2001 issue of Consumer Reports.  There is some discussion about Electronic vs. Mechanical vs. Embroidery (I'm trying to decide between electronic or embroidery).  HTH.

------
You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.
--Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Sherril Miller
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Date: 6/22/03 9:34 PM

On my Bernina 170, I can save any changes I make to my stitches, so even if I turn off the machine, I won't lose my settings. That said, before you decide on any machine, one of your most important decisions should probably be the dealer. They are not all the same! I drive past 4 Bernina dealerships, driving 35 miles out of my way to a great shop with wonderful, helpful, honest, kind, considerate people.

Once you know who you are buying from, then try out all the machines and all the stitches that would interest you. Take notes.

After borrowing my sisters Bernina 830 for about a year, she took it back. After using a really good machine (mechanical) I just had to go buy myself a Bernina. I started with a Bernina 1230, which is a computerized machine and have since upgraded to the 170. The reason I decided on a computer machine is the buttonholes! Each and every one came out exactly alike with no effort on my part! I have never experienced a knot in my bobbin since going with Bernina. I love the needle up/down choice. I love that I can change any stitch to my preference. If I usually use a stitch length 3 and the preset is 2.5, I can change the length to a 3 and it will be at 3 each time I turn on the machine. The same with special stitches like the blanket stitch that I use for some appliques. I don't like the preset width and length, so I changed it. I can also add, delete, and change out stitches whenever I feel the need. This does, however, require linking my computer to my SM.

My sister, however, is still very, very happy with her mechanical machine that she bought about 17 years ago. She doesn't do garment sewing much, and uses it mostly for hemming and home decorating. She doesn't make too many buttonholes (maybe none!;) and wouldn't even notice the difference in stitch lengths in a blanket stitch.

I mentioned mine and my sister's preferences hoping you will use it to decide what kind of sewing you do and whether your needs require a mechanical or a computer machine. Keep in mind there are some wonderful mechanical machines on the market today which are made to last forever (like my sis's Bernina 930). Just be sure to try out each machine you are considering and find out if it will handle the type of sewing you do on a regular basis. The TOL isn't always the best for your specific needs.

Hope I helped. - Sherril

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Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

SouthernStitch
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Date: 6/23/03 11:28 PM

One thing I like about my computerized machine is that it really sails over thick seams - I noticed that on all the one's I test drove.  I always had to go over heavy seams by hand on my older mechanical.  Good luck in choosing - took me forever too, but the Memorycraft is great.  Can't go wrong with Janome.  

Mary

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Crystal

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Date: 6/24/03 6:25 PM

Hello everyone,
Thank you very much for your input.  I have finally made a decision to go computerized  :)   Today I ordered a gently used, mint condition(so I'm told) Janome Memory Craft 3500 :D   I sent off my check today and hope to have my machine within 2 weeks or less.  I made a daring leap and ordered from an out of state dealer, but the price was so great at $399 that I just couldn't resist.  Various dealers near me are asking for $688-$1300 (wayyyy out of my price range)for a brand new 3500, sooo... I took the plunge.  Gee, now I'll have to explain to DH when I come home with my new machine :0   He knows I'm looking, but ...  Anyway, I'll contain my excitement until the big day.  
Happy sewing!
Crystal

elizabeth4367
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In reply to Everyday Sewist


Subject: Mechanical or computerized--i can't decide Date: 4/3/05 12:05 PM

Hi I am new to sewing and I am trying to decide which machine to get computer vs. electric. Two models computer isbrothers cs8060 or the cs8150 the electric is singer 2662. Do you have any advice.

I do not want to buy a milliondifferent machines but one that agood range. I really do not need the quilting option but I like the one that I grow into using embroidery . have any advice?
-- Edited on 4/3/05 1:09 PM --

arubert

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Subject: Mechanical or computerized--i can't decide Date: 4/19/05 11:04 PM

I am currently shopping for a new machine and have always had mechanical machines in the past. I am strongly considering a computerized machine because of all the sewing options available that will make my sewing look professional and no tensions to worry about.

Greykat
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In reply to arubert


Subject: Mechanical or computerized--i can't decide Date: 4/20/05 5:46 PM

I few months ago i took the plunge from a mechanical (old Necchi) to a computerized (Viking D1) machine. I'm absolutely thrilled. The machine is incredibly powerful--much more so than the mechanical one. And the sewing is effortless. The stitch advisor is wonderful--never have to remember what stitch length, thread tension, etc. goes with what fabric. I'd highly recommend a computerized machine.

That being said, try out a few different models. (That's what really sold.) The only way you can tell what works best for you is to actually play with them. Good luck!

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Greykat

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