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Looking for Awesome Machine under $1800
must be reliable, well-built, and user friendly
candypantz
candypantz
Member since 11/21/06
Posts: 22
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Date: 9/1/13 2:33 PM

What I need it for...
I design dog clothes. There is a lot of top stitching, and I need it to be able to create a beautiful straight, professional looking stitch. It needs to have an excellent built in light, a removable arm, a bobbin system easy to work with (I'm beyond sick of untangling my machine and dealing with tension issues), and easy button hole feature. The snipper thing sounds cool. I'm interested in some quilting features--the free form sounds like something I might us. 200 decorative stitches is something I can probably live without.

I own a babylock serger that I love, so I'm interested in Babylock, I also like the Pfaff and Bernina. I am open to other models--but not Brother or Singer.

I currently use my grandmother's Elna from the early 70's. It's solid, but starting to annoy me. I think I'm ready for something a little more modern.

I need something really solid that will grow with me.

Tell me what you are sewing on that you love.

Thanks!!
-- Edited on 9/1/13 2:40 PM --
-- Edited on 9/1/13 2:43 PM --
-- Edited on 9/1/13 2:52 PM --

Mufffet
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In reply to candypantz <<
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Date: 9/1/13 2:40 PM

Glad you asked. I sew on a Janome MC6300P, and for your budget you could get the 6500P or on a good day the 6600. I love mine - fast, a good stitch array without all sorts of stitches I won't use, nice buttonholes, knee lift and built in scissor. SO - it's all there - it does not have the start/stop button.

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

karen149
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Date: 9/1/13 3:24 PM

Do you need decorative stitches or buttonholes? If not, there are the semi-industrial straight stitch machines, like the Juki 2010Q and Brother PQ-1500S(BabyLock twin is the Jane).

AminaHijabi
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Date: 9/1/13 3:25 PM

if you like babylock, then the babylock Elizabeth?

EDIT: or the Tempo?
-- Edited on 9/1/13 3:53 PM --

mgmsrk1
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Date: 9/1/13 7:44 PM

I have and would recommend the Juki F 300/400/600 series. I have the 600 and I love it, handles everything I give it. In contrast I also have the Janome 6600 and it doesn't handle lots of things nicely and is a diva with needle and thread. I never can just sit down with an appropriate needle and thread for the project in, set the stitch and sew. In order to sew anything on the 6600 I need to spend 20-60 min in order to get it to decide it will sew what I want it to.

ETA- For good topstitching and lots of heavy layers if space in your studio allows you should check your local CraigsList for a used industrial. They come up in good working order for around $200, with table and clutch motor quite alot around here.
-- Edited on 9/1/13 8:53 PM --

------
1968 Kenmore 158. (AKA The Hulk)
Bernina 230
Janome 6600 (for sale)
Janome 7700
Juki 600
Elna serger
Kenmore serger
Janome 1000 CoverStitch
Juki 8500 Industerial

KPM
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Date: 9/1/13 8:08 PM

If you're making dog clothes I think a priority in your search would be how the machine handles heavy layers. I ditto the Juki F600 recommendation. It's a pretty darn amazing machine for the price. Also some vintage Berninas would fit your requirements (sans snips), and they certainly will handle the layers and be well within your budget, even though you've had it with your older machine. And there are newer Berninas also within your budget that you should test drive, such as the 215. If you like Baby Lock, look for one at the top of your budget. (And I think they all have a Brother counterpart.) They make a good machine but place the needle somewhat far from the eyes for my liking. You could even afford one that will do embroidery in the hoop. I think all of these machines would likely be relatively trouble-free with consistent tensions. Take samples of what you make with you to try on each machine and see which one wins your heart.

------
Let's just say all modern sms are well represented in my studio.

candypantz
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Date: 9/2/13 8:59 AM

Oh cool! Madly looking up the Bernina 215, Juki F600, Janome 6500, Babylock Elizabeth (and Melody). Any Pfaff fans.

Thank you!!


-- Edited on 9/2/13 9:01 AM --

Mufffet
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In reply to candypantz <<
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Date: 9/3/13 10:39 AM

There are some nice Pfaffs now too, although my Pfaff is a vintage model like I am. There are loads of fans of all these machines here, so happy hunting!

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

candypantz
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Date: 9/6/13 8:59 PM

I'm going to test drive the Juki F600 tomorrow!

Janie Viers
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Date: 9/7/13 11:33 AM

Part of the secret of a straight top stitch is to use a top stitch needle or super sharp point one. The regular needles (not the knit ones) still don't pierce the threads but rather go with the way of least resistance which is why sometimes the lines are a tiny bit off. The sharp needles pierce the fabric exactly where the next stitch should be and ignore the fabric!

------
JanieV

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