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Forum > Machine Embroidery > Need help selecting a "Beginner Machine" ( Moderated by Pyrose)

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Need help selecting a "Beginner Machine"
maytulip32
maytulip32
Beginner
Florida USA
Member since 6/16/13
Posts: 3
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Date: 6/17/13 1:34 PM

I found this forum while researching machines and really like the great advice and reviews I read so I joined. I am new to sewing and embroidery and I have been looking at the combo machines. I am leaning towards Brother because I am a Disneyholic. I went to the local Brother dealer and fell in love with the Quattro 2 6700D and the DreamWeaver 6200D. My fear is that these are to advanced for me to start out and I don't want to be overwelmed but they seemed very user friendly. My second concern is since there is only one dealer how do I know that the price they are quoting me is not totally outrageous? The Quattro 2 was $8500 and DreamWeaver $6000. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

rubbecca

rubbecca
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Member since 2/25/08
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Date: 6/17/13 1:45 PM

I just ordered a Brother PE 700IIPKG from Costco for $499. They currently having a sale until 6/30/13. The 700II is the same machine as the PE 770 except the PE 770 uses a USB flash drive whereas the 700II uses a USB cable to connect to a computer to transfer the designs. Those prices you quoted for the high end machines are very expensive if you're just starting out on embroidery. Why don't you start with the models I suggested to see if you enjoy it first? There's also the SE 400 (sewing + embroidery) and PE 500 (embroidery only) both with a 4 x 4 hoop that sell for under $300. I was going to get the PE 500 then decided to get the 700II which has the larger 5 x 7 hoop for larger designs. The 700II and 770 are both embroidery only machines.
-- Edited on 6/17/13 1:47 PM --

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Janome Sewist 509
Rebranded Kenmore 19233/Janome DC 5100
Janome MyLock 644D
Janome CoverPro 1000CP
Brother PE 700II (traded)
Brother DreamMaker VE 2200

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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USA
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In reply to maytulip32 <<
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Date: 6/17/13 2:55 PM

While these are TOL (over the top as well) there are many features and steps you may never use.

Brother is a very easy machine to learn. Do try to stick with a combo as the embroidery only Brother machines require 90 weight bobbin thread where the combo uses the easier to find 60 weight.

This is just for machine embroidery. For sewing you will use the same thread, top and bobbin.

If the machine does any other specialty stitching, that may differ and will be explained in the manual.

Stick with the dealer who can help you if there is a problem, provide support when you have a technique that is difficult to grasp and will be able to adjust and service the machine if and when needed.

When dealing, ask if there are any products included. Stabilizer, thread, software.

Prices can differ by region as well as dealer volume.

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

DonnaH
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DonnaH
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 10/1/03
Posts: 1270
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Subject: Need help selecting a Beginner Machine Date: 6/17/13 6:27 PM

If you are spending that kind of money, don't think of it as a "beginner machine" - it's more of an investment.

"New" is relative - if you have been sewing long enough to realize that you want to continue for the foreseeable future, then getting a good machine that does as many of the things you want/need, and is within your budget for hobby expenditures, then it doesn't matter that you are new.

Make a list of things that you won't live w/out, and another list of things that would be nice. Take along some scraps that are the type of fabric you will use. Ask the dealer/salespeople to give you some time alone with the machine - see if you can get it to do the basics w/out them helping you. Try to thread it yourself (I've never needed to use the manual to thread my regular machine, but do with my serger). Try to start from scratch on one of your scraps. Try out all the functions that are important to you. Then ask about classes. And servicing. I've heard some dealers even have "loaner" machines for when yours has to be in the shop long term!

Check out online prices for any/all models that you are going to see - and be prepared to negotiate.

(And I would try a different dealer first!)

Delilahsews
Delilahsews  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Texas USA
Member since 4/30/13
Posts: 58
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In reply to maytulip32 <<
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Date: 6/17/13 6:31 PM

When I first got into machine embroidery I was like you and fell in LOVE with the top of the line machines. I ended up buying a TOL machine (Viking Diamond). At first I didn't use all the features available with the machine. But you know what? I never had to upgrade either. I've had my machine for 4 years now and I have NEVER once regretted my decision to just go for the TOL machine. The more I learned, the more I used my machine to its full capabilities. I've never once said "Oh I wish I could do that" because my machine could do "that". As for being overwhelmed, most dealers offer classes to new machine owners to answer questions and get you familiar with the machine.

Of course it all depends on your budget. If your budget allows for a TOL then great! But keep in mind that the cost of the machine is just the BEGINNING. You will spend lots of $$$ on accessories, software, stabilizer, needles, designs, different hoop sizes, etc. So be sure to leave room in your budget for all of those things too.

As for finding out pricing. I've noticed that different areas can vary greatly. If you only have one dealer in town then they MAY have higher prices simply because there isn't any competition. So be sure to call around. Is there another dealer in the city closest to you? Perhaps a dealer that is an hour away? You may be willing to drive if the service and the price is right. However remember that price is only one thing to consider when choosing a dealer. Customer service is JUST as important in my opinion. I'd always choose a dealer I trusted and spend a little more for the product than to choose a dealer just because the price is less but lacked customer service. A good dealer knows that when you are happy then you are much more likely come back next time you are in the market for a machine.

Good luck in your hunt!!

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Florida USA
Member since 2/8/09
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Subject: Need help selecting a Beginner Machine Date: 6/18/13 5:57 AM

If your budget allows TOL get it! You will soon grow into it.
As for machines w/o USB- I would never buy an embroidery machine that only uses only a cable. Having a USB frees you up to so much more. For one, if you travel to retreats or classes you don't need to tote a computer. And you can set up your machine in any room of the house instead of near a computer or buying a laptop.
TOLs - your machine sounds like it is in this category due to the price. TOLs get their software updates & upgrades from USB ports. I am not sure if lower end machines have software updates. I am fairly certain they don't have Upgrades. Machines Upgrades give you have a option of downloading new features that they will create in the future. Updates are free improvements to features currently on the machine.
If you were uncertain if you like sewing or embroidering, I would say get a used machine, build your notion supplies and try it out.
But if you KNOW you will enjoy sewing and gave the money go TOL. You will be less frustrated with a quality machine, be able to grow into the features as you need them and be able to trade or sell it for a good price if it doesn't suit you.
I got a BL Ellisimo 3 yrs ago- way more than I needed and every time I sit down it brings joy to my heart. I am still learning features. I paid 5800 and I have no regrets. But I could afford it.
If you can't afford it, then set a budget, shop around new and used and then post to PR about other machines you find.

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

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Florida USA
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Subject: Need help selecting a Beginner Machine Date: 6/18/13 6:07 AM

I searched the PR reviews- only one on that Quattro model and was 7K. None on the Dreamweaver.
You may want to post again and put the model numbers in your post heading so that other owners can give you more information on those 2 specific machines. Just be sure you are buying a machine that functions in a way you will love usinf it and not because of the Disney designs. You can buy Disney designs for any embroidery machine.
-- Edited on 6/18/13 6:11 AM --

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

Maripat
Maripat  Friend of PR
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Member since 10/11/08
Posts: 655
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Date: 6/18/13 3:30 PM

I bought the Janome Magnolia for the dry cleaner I sew for. It has sewn on everything from chiffon to denim without a complaint. There are 3 of us that use it, totaling several hours a day and I really love it. I sew with a Bernina and an industrial at home and this machine will behave quite well compared to them.
I did review it here last year some time. I think it is called Magnolia 7330.
Maripat

------
"You are in charge of your own ride!"

LearningAlterations.com

speattle
speattle
Expert/Couture
Member since 2/10/11
Posts: 357
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In reply to maytulip32 <<


Date: 6/20/13 2:30 AM

While I don't have a TOL machine, I do have the Brother Innovis 1250D. This is middle range with 5 x 7 capability and Disney. Whatever you get, you won't regret the Disney built ins. I have used them more than any other designs on my machine.

Even the lower than TOL 1250 D has a ton of features for sewing and embroidery.

If you can get the quattro, go for it. You will grow with it.

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Elna Lotus TSP, Singer 503a-Rocketeer, Brother Innovis 1250D, Pfaff Passport 2.0, Kenmore 10-Stitch, Centennial Singer Featherweight from 1950

Melinda In Tulsa
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Melinda In Tulsa  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Member since 9/15/03
Posts: 549
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Date: 6/20/13 10:25 AM

If you think sewing is something you will stick with and enjoy, then get the very best machine you can afford. Less problems in the long run. You will grow into your machine. Yes, buying all the stuff you need for embroidery gets expensive, but I think we have all collected our stuff over the years, so the outlay isn't that bad. The good folks here know all the good places for bargains! 😈

If you like those machines, decide which fits you best and get it. Remember, cash talks and gives you a much better position to negotiate the price. *Most* dealers will negotiate. It's like buying a car! 😳

Make sure you take the guide classes to learn how to use your machine. The guide classes should be Included in the price of the machine, if not, look for a better dealer. Lots of dealers have clubs, classes, etc, (for a fee). My Babylock dealer gives you guide classes for life, even if you just want a refresher course. In fact she recommends taking a refresher every year so you can get the most use out of your machine.

As other people have pointed out, buy the dealer....even if you have to pay a little more. Your dealer should be your best friend. It's worth it in the long run. Just go for it!

------
Melinda

We had to get rid of the kids, the dogs are allergic

Babylock Unity, Symphony, Serenade, Imagine Wave, BL Coverstitch, BL Emore, BL Embellisher, Juki TL2010Q, Pfaff 7570, Kenmore 385.1915, Kenmore 158.1914, Kenmore 158.1430, Brother PE 150, 1938 Singer Featherweight, 1896 Singer 27 Treadle...Member of SMAD

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