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An almost new electronic sewing machine
cait
cait
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 10/1/02
Posts: 1
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Date: 10/2/02 2:17 PM

I plan to buy a new sewing machine.  I have read some of the existing reviews and I have talked to store sales staff.  The electronic machines are very expensive.  I want to find out if anyone has had experience with buying a demo model or a refurbished machine.
I am an experienced sewer who had tried everything from suits to coats to a slipcover over the years.  Now what I want to try is fabric embellishment, free motion stitching, and machine embroidery.  I am really drawn to Bernina.  I have a Bernina serger.  My sewing machine is a 30 years old Singer Futura, so I need to modernize.
I would welcome your comments.
Cait

NancyDaQ
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NancyDaQ
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New Mexico USA
Member since 1/12/02
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Date: 10/2/02 8:05 PM

Your post was very timely, as I have just purchased a used Brother 8500. It is my second purchase of a used computerized machine, the first being a New Home (Janome) 8000 that I bought 8-9 years ago.

Hopefully I will be as happy with the Brother as I have been with the New Home. I have really enjoyed the precision a computerized machine provides.

If you have your heart set on a Bernina, now is a good time to buy. The 2000 has recently come out and there should be some trade in models of the 180 becoming available. Be aware, you are probably still looking at serious dollars, although considerably less than a new model.

------
Now blogging at http://sewwest.blogspot.com

Guest
Guest
Member since 3/16/04
Posts: 2235
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Date: 10/2/02 8:45 PM

Cait,

I'd purchase any of the higher end machines used with confidence.  And I'd buy it where I found it, whether that was at the sewing machine shop or from an ad in the paper, on the web, or elsewhere.

Three of my four machines were used purchases, and only one came from my sewing machine place.

One came from a household where no one at all sewed; it had been inherited into the household.  Ad read, "Bernini with a top desk".  It was an 830, with feet worth what they were asking for the machine, its table and accessories. 

Presuming your machine careperson is someone in whom you have confidence, there is little that cannot be fixed on a high end machine.  My machine careperson tells me there is nothing I can break on my Berninas that he cannot fix or replace, including the head.

My machine careperson also advises to take time to sew on various machines and simply choose the one with which I feel most comfortable.  For me, that's Bernina.  For others, it may be something different.  I've a friend with a top of the line New Home that will probably make coffee if one knows what button to push, and she swears by it.  She is a seamstress and also makes incredibly lovely quilts, machine quilted (often decoratively).  I've another friend who is a great machine quilter and her most recent machine purchase was a Brother with a longer arm.  (I don't recall the model, and not one of those you stand up and move around; just a longer arm to better accomodate the rolled quilt under the machine.)

I think the most important element is having a machine careperson you trust completely.  I'd find that person first, if you have not already. ;)

So, sew on what's out there!  Buy with confidence!  If the Bernina speaks to your heart, have the Bernina! :D  (If it's good enough for Caryl Bryer Fallert, it's probably better than good enough for me.)

Guest
Guest
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Date: 10/3/02 8:33 AM

Through a local respected dealer, I purchased a used Husqvarna Viking Freesia 425 and couldn't be more thrilled with my purchase.

The machine is in perfect condition, serviced upon purchase and cost $500 cash.  In addition, I was given a 5 year warranty.

Prior to making the purchase, I did a lot of searching on e-bay.  What I'll say about e-bay is this:  I think you can strike a much better deal at a dealer.  My dealer's prices on used machines are CONSISTENTLY LOWER than ebay.  For example, ebay has a used Viking Freesia 415 currently on auction.  The price is at $440 now and there's still a day left to the auction.  The Freesia 415 retails for $200 LESS than the 425 (my model) and it'll probably go for more than I paid for the 425.  Also, there's really no recourse on ebay should something either go wrong with the machine soon after purchase or arrive at your door in less than expected condition.  I found that worrisome.

I'd have no qualms whatsoever about buying a used high-quality machine.  However, I'd do it through a dealer.

NancyDaQ
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NancyDaQ
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New Mexico USA
Member since 1/12/02
Posts: 3838
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Date: 10/3/02 5:12 PM

I don't know if you're a Threads reader, but they had an article about buying machines in the August/September 2002 issue. There is also information online from the article, Threads article. Although it says "basic" machines, there is a lot of good general information.

Also I seem to remember that they defined computer and electronic as two different categories--might be worth a look just to see what they mean, it might matter to your search.

------
Now blogging at http://sewwest.blogspot.com

susanbb
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susanbb
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Member since 3/28/02
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Date: 10/4/02 10:51 AM

The machine that I bought this spring was a used 1530.  It had been used by a woman who worked at the store where I bought it.  I have been sewing steadily on it.  When I have a problem, I call the place where I bought it and talk to a woman there who has one.  She is great!  The machine is great (my machine problems have always been "user error").  This model was 6 years old when I bought it and I'm sure it will last a long time.  I had also looked at and tested at home a used Husqvarna.  That will be my next purchase, I think.  Note:  the feet on the Berninas are TOO expensive.  Since buying mine, I have spent at least $250 on feet!

Guest
Guest
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Date: 10/4/02 11:17 AM

Susan,

I have to ask what feet you have acquired that did not come with your 1530.  Are there feet I don't have and need?  God forbid I should be less than "fully equipped"! :D

The walking feet are costly, I know.  I have a 1630, and, to date, the only feet I can see I might want to add that did not come with it would be a walking foot, an invisible zipper foot, possibly a teflon foot and/or possibly a roller foot.  My dealer did give me a 1/4" foot when I purchased the machine.

susanbb
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susanbb
Intermediate
Member since 3/28/02
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Date: 10/4/02 12:29 PM

Let's see...walking foot, 1/4 foot, rolled hemming, #10 edgestitch (recommended highly by Mary Lou Nall) and I think 2 others.

Marsha McGinnis

Marsha McGinnis
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 2/20/03
Posts: 3
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In reply to susanbb


Date: 12/28/04 5:04 PM

Susan,

While my DH was working out of town this past summer, I caught the "Bernina BUG". I wanted to upgrade from the 145s that I had just recently purchased two months earlier, and I also had a yearning, (after reading so many good reviews), for one of the older "classics". Gigi's praise of her 1530 sold me on that one - I waited until I found one for a "buy it now" price on ebay of $845 and jumped on it. I love it. It does free motion like a dream.
I also upgraded to a 165 heritage edition with the embroidery unit, and will be taking classes for that after the first of the year. The sewing is amazing - tons of stitches a "smart" button that remembers your most used and favorite stitches with the alterations you've made to your specifications. I use both machines for different reasons. The great new options on the 165 for convenience, and the 1530 just because I love to listen to it sew! Plus it also was ahead of it's time as far as all the things it can do. I wouldn't trade either of them for the world!

On Caryl Bryer Fallert's website she mentions the Bernina 1090 and the 1230 as being her favorite machines. Yes, I'd definitely go for a Bernina. I waited patiently for my 1530, and did a ton of research before choosing my upgrade model. It's got everything I need and more, but is not so overwhelming that I need the user's guide everytime I want to try something new.

I hope this helps you.

joan
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joan
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 1/4/03
Posts: 356
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Date: 12/28/04 11:41 PM

Marsha, you got a deal on your 1530. I bought one last year and paid over $1200. I love the older Berninas. I had an 830 for over 25 years and I passed it along to my daughter and granddaughter.

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