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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Help with Buying A New Machine ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Help with Buying A New Machine
Looking Tips for Buying A Machine
Taretha
Taretha
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Member since 11/21/09
Posts: 7
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Date: 10/31/12 6:11 PM

I have been sewing for 40+ years, the first 32+/- years on previously owned machines, which served me well. I can't remember the first manufacturer, but the 2nd machine was a White 8000.

Eight years ago, I entered the world of embroidery buying a Pfaff 2134 and was disappointed from the start, mostly with the embroidery. After 18 months of problems and months at a time without the machine, I cut my losses and purchased a Bernina 630.

I chose Bernina because I read that it had great punch power and at the time I was doing a lot of home dec sewing. The machine has been wonderful for sewing, but has been in the shop twice now for extended periods of time before it goes back to Bernina. Once again, the problems have been with embroidering. I'm beginning to see a pattern here, and my husband delicately asked one night as I was almost asleep, "Do you think it might be something you're doing?" I have to admit that I did think of that.

I have to say that in both cases, the dealer and the manufacturers were very responsive and helpful in trying to resolve the problem so I would not hesitate to buy another same brand machine.

I'm not loyal to any brand and am planning to add another machine so that I am not without a machine if/when my machine needs to be serviced.

Most of my sewing is creative - quilting, embroidered gifts, comfort quilts, purses, scarves, home dec and very occasional garments. Some of the things on my wish list are a larger sewing area to the right of the needle for quilting or embroidering quilts, large decorative stitches, loved the Pfaff IDT, but could live with a walking foot. Other than that, reliability would be up there.

Any input on how to go about buying my next machine would be greatly appreciated from this group of knowledgeable individuals.

Sharon1952
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Sharon1952  Friend of PR
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MA USA
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Date: 10/31/12 6:18 PM

My only suggestion is to not take anyone else's word about which machine to buy. Try them before you plunk down any money- even if it means driving a distance to get to see the machine in person.

------
Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

SewBusy63
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SewBusy63
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In reply to Taretha <<
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Date: 10/31/12 6:27 PM

I'm sorry to hear of your machine problems. I had the Bernina 635, which essentially the 630 with a different face plate. I did beautiful embroidery...about as good as my 830E. Has the dealer done any repairs to the embroidery module? I'm wondering why the machine has been sent back to Bernina if it's the embroidery that is giving you problems. Did you take the mastery classes the dealer should have offered?

Here are my suggestions for looking for a new machine. First, I would decide on your budget and stick to it. Make a list of features that are important to you. Check out the threads here on PR: there are dedicated "Love" threads for Bernina, Pfaff, etc. The new Pfaff Creative Performance seems to be highly popular. Then there's plenty of us Bernina addicts that can steer you in that direction.

I would go to different dealers and test the various brands. Take your own fabrics and test all the features that are important to you. Sit down and play with each machine. Give it a thorough testing, including threading and inserting the bobbin. Be sure to be comfortable with the dealer and know you'll get excellent support after the sale. Especially if you have issues. You can go to the reviews and that will be helpful to you. Ask a lot of questions. Take a notebook with you, if you like, and have your questions already written down. You can compare notes on the various machines and dealers. It might help you narrow down the machines you liked when testing. Then I'd go back and test them again before making my decision.

I hope this helps! I know others will chime in with good advice.
-- Edited on 10/31/12 6:28 PM --

------
~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/1/12 6:26 AM

I agree. You want to stay within your budget and absolutely love your machine. I have embroidered on a Janome (OK), Bernina (better) and then fell in love with my Babylock Ellisimo. I struggled with the cost but got great "free" financing and paid off early.
That was the first time my heart sang during embroidery. Not a hoot of effort- it was magical.
The dealers will demonstrate but you need to be firm. Bring in your design on a USB, your threads, stabilizer and fabric and do it yourself.
If the threads balk then buy/try what the machine needs. Be aware of that extra cost or effort to only use that brand. My Ellisimo hasn't balked at any brand yet- Metro, Maderia, Floriani, even Coats & Clark cotton for a muted black on black design!
Wish you lots of enjoyment as you begin your search.

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/1/12 6:32 AM

I posted a review but I wanted to offer that I also use mine for Home Dec and garments. It never ate the beginning of delicate fabric or sucked it into the feed dogs like my Bernina. It also ploughs right through- no effort- on padded totes and denim jeans seams.
I don't think the straight stitching is as perfect as my Bernina was but is more than satisfactory and looks very nice. And the feet don't have the same quality feel of the Bernina but they do perform just fine.

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

Taretha
Taretha
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Member since 11/21/09
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Date: 11/4/12 11:09 AM

Thanks for the advice. I have been doing some soul searching about what I really want in a machine, and probably my top features would be consistent embroidery quality, larger decorative sewing stitches and a wider area to the right of the needle.

My hubby is very supportive of my sewing passion so he is fine with me keeping my Bernina and getting another machine. He has to deal with my crankiness when I'm without a sewing machine so that's his motivation - to keep me happy, keep me stitching. What a wonderful guy!

I was impressed with the ease of use and embroidery quality of the Baby Lock machines. I've tried the Ellegante 3 and the Ellisimo. However, I am having a hard time justifying the price of the Ellisimo.

Until I'm totally convinced of what to buy, I plan to keep on looking.

Thanks again for the information. I'll let you know once I've made my decision.

andye
andye  Friend of PR
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VA USA
Member since 5/9/09
Posts: 1850
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Date: 11/4/12 11:58 AM

If you plan to keep and use your Bernina 630. Babylock does make an embroidery only machine-- the Spirit. I don't know how expensive it is though.

-- Edited on 11/4/12 12:02 PM --

------
Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

Artsewer
Artsewer  Friend of PR
Intermediate
NY USA
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Date: 11/5/12 3:49 PM

It is hard to give ideas of machines if we have no idea of your budget. Would you trade in your Bernina?
There are so many good machines out there, you really have to try them all out!

------
Bernina 750Q, 635E, 380, Serger 1100DC

SewBusy63
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SewBusy63
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Posts: 4385
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In reply to Artsewer <<


Date: 11/5/12 3:54 PM

Nancy -- good to see you're ok after Sandy!

------
~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝

dfsews

dfsews  Friend of PR
Intermediate
NE USA
Member since 4/17/06
Posts: 719
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Date: 11/5/12 7:40 PM

I'd start by making a list of large harp machines, since you know that is something you want. You will be down to a few models in each brand, and then the fun begins as you check them out.

I have the Bernina 830e, like Sewbusy does. Beautiful embroidery, big harp. I had the 730 before and always thought the embroidery process was a hassle, but it's much easier on the 830.

I have a friend with a Viking, I think a Topaz, and she loves it. Some of the Vikings have large harps, also.

Good luck in your search. This is a good time of year to look, because of holiday deals. I have a hard time believing that you are the reason for unsatisfactory embroidery results. If you can hoop and stabilize, the result should be good.

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