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Babylock Grace
Buying a new machine for my wife...
hubbyneedshelp
hubbyneedshelp
Member since 12/12/12
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Date: 12/12/12 11:04 AM


Hello all...

My apologies in advance for posting this twice... I posted this in a Bridal wear topic and wanted to make sure it gets out to the appropriate audience.

My wife has taken up sewing and needs a new machine. She has been using her mother's old Viking and LOVES it, but I am going to purchase a new one for her. I went into a sewing/ fabric store that is a dealer for Babylock, Bernina and a few other brands. They were extremely nice and very helpful (may be the fact that I clearly didn't know a thing about sewing :-). I told her my wife has recently started sewing (mainly blankets and a few clothing items), and that I wanted a good quality, yet not too expensive machine, and she pointed me directly to the Babylock Grace. The price is $359 and comes with one class that will teach her all the details of the machine and how to use it. She also mentioned that the support for Babylock is great. I've also been looking at the Vikings, Bernina and Pfaff, but they all seem very pricey, compared to the features of the Grace. I've done some extensive research and found that the Babylock is made by Brother, but without the plastic, main components. Is this something negative for the Babylock A series or does this line still make the machines with quality components even though it is a Brother (no offense to Brother owners). I would like for her to start out her sewing with a quality machine that's user friendly and will last her a bit. Bottom line... should I purchase this machine for her or lok at others? If so, which others are comparable in quality, price, etc??? Thanks in advance for any expert advice :-)

LynnRowe
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In reply to hubbyneedshelp <<
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Date: 12/12/12 11:15 AM

Brother is a manufacturer, and manufactures it's own brand of machine, as well as machines for other brands using the other brands' specifications.

Babylocks are very good machines with an excellent reputation (as are Brother machines).

However...and I guarantee others will agree; the best thing to do is buy your wife is to give her a card entitling her to "One Sewing Machine to the Value of $XXX" and let her pick out her own machine.

Just as you probably would prefer to pick your own shop tools or golf clubs (etc), for which "feels" the best to you, so will your wife with a sewing machine.

The dealer can gather up bunches of notions that won't depend on a particular machine (scissors, seam ripper, threads, needles etc) and if you were to individually wrap everything and put into a nice sewing basket...and wrap it, along with the gift card, I think your wife would be absolutely thrilled to bits.




-- Edited on 12/12/12 11:19 AM --

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I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

mkcspuds
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In reply to LynnRowe <<
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Date: 12/12/12 11:28 AM

Quote: LynnRowe
Just as you probably would prefer to pick your own shop tools or golf clubs (etc), for which "feels" the best to you, so will your wife with a sewing machine.

What a perfect example - the golf clubs! Those really are about fit and feel, how they look to your eye when set up, etc., just as (surprisingly to some) a sewing machine can be.

And for the OP - what a thoughtful DH you are, putting so much thought into the gift! It sounds like you found a wonderful shop to help you with this, too.
-- Edited on 12/12/12 11:29 AM --

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Michelle

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 12/12/12 11:31 AM

I have owned a BL for many years and it is a superior brand.

Who owns who and who make what can be very confusing these days and the bottom line is that it makes no difference as the customer cannot change any of this.

Do let your wife select her own machine. I know from experience that there can be some little (or major) feature that she may be longing for.

Tell her your plans so she can do the test runs and order the model she wants, now.

BL is shipped via UPS from Fenton, MO. Where I live this does not take very long, and she may have her machine for Christmas day!

A couple more things - Dealers do not do returns, but they take trade-ups for a more expensive model.

Before making the purchase, she may want to consider trading in the Viking. If so, she may get a more expensive model for the same money you have in the sewing machine budget.



-- Edited on 12/12/12 11:43 AM --

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Angela64
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Date: 12/12/12 11:53 AM

You get major kuddos for great hubby!!

I agree... maybe a gift card/certificate - letting her pick out a machine up to a certain value as your budget allows? Much like picking out a car, three different makes/models may all cost about the same, but feel very different when you sit in it and drive. I remember clearly test driving a car that received good recommendations, but just didn't feel right.

Again, I don't know your budget, but if you are planning that this machine will be it for awhile, get the best you can. Having sewn on just OK machines, I PROMISE that a machine that keeps giving the owner little problems can ruin a great hobby. A good machine is a thing of joy, whether it is Janome, Babylock, or Viking.

Babylocks do tend to be expensive - good quality - but pricey. Do you have any other dealers around that you can at least compare? Believe me, you can always come here and ask about any particular machine and get feedback - we are quite chatty!
-- Edited on 12/12/12 11:55 AM --

Learn To Sew
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Date: 12/12/12 12:18 PM

Absolutely let her pick out the machine. Many wives have gotten machines here on PR from their husbands. They use the machines, but most have said if they had the choice, they would have chosen *this model* over *that model*, because it appealed to them more and felt more like something they would enjoy sewing with.

Loved the idea of the gift basket of notions. I once got a sewing basket for Christmas from my hubby, but it was empty. How much more fun would it have been to have had tools in it!

Take her out for lunch that day. Get a sitter for the kids if you have them. She needs to give all her attention to the machines she is testing, and having kids to watch is not going to help. Spoil her as much as you can. She will NEVER forget this special day for the rest of her sewing life. You will be a HERO to her.

Babylock Grace is a nice machine. Why not look at Elizabeth, a model or two up the line. Buy as much machine as you possibly can. What I am saying is for whatever brand she decides on, (be it Babylock, Viking, Pfaff, Janome or Elna) *do not* buy a beginners machine that she will quickly grow out of. A lot of us have started that way and wish we had spent more money and bought something just a little more challenging.

And one more thing. Report back and let us know how it went. We really want to know!

------
Bernina 630, my much loved main machine
Bernina embroidery module
Pfaff 2036 my back up & travel machine
Babylock Molly, mechanical
Bernina 1200DA serger
Unique Sewing Cabinet 450L

poorpigling

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In reply to hubbyneedshelp <<
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Date: 12/12/12 1:04 PM


And I answered it on your other thread.. so sorry.. I didn't notice this one till I had already answered the other thread.

karen149
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In reply to hubbyneedshelp <<
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Date: 12/12/12 7:01 PM

Quote: hubbyneedshelp
Babylock is made by Brother, but without the plastic, main components.

BabyLocks are basically no different than their Brother counterparts. They are made in the same factory so it is not going to branch off somewhere in the assembly line to get extra metal parts. Not all BabyLocks are made by Brother, though. Some of their lower models are made by Janome(still nice machines) or another maker. The one you are looking at is made by Brother. It is not an entirely full-size machine. One step up to the Elizabeth moves into truly quality BabyLock, plus it has one of the friendliest needle threaders out there.
I agree that your wife needs to go see and touch what's new and find what appeals to her. It could be the way the machine sounds to the colors and layout on the front of the machine that could make sewing a joy or a killjoy.
-- Edited on 12/12/12 7:02 PM --
SandiMacD
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Date: 12/13/12 6:41 AM

Shopping and trying out different machines at the dealer is half the fun for me. I bet she will enjoy every minute of visiting dealers and drooling over their machines.

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

SandiMacD
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Date: 12/13/12 6:46 AM

I should say that our sewing group uses the BL Grace model to teach 4H groups and use at our classroom seminars. They have held well for 5 years now. But she is likely to outgrow it in a few years. Still, that is a reasonable cost when compared to other hobbies and holds it value to resell or donate.

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

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