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$2500 budget - best machine for the money?
modernbiasblog
modernbiasblog
Member since 9/3/13
Posts: 12
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Date: 9/29/13 6:22 PM

I am having major Analysis Paralysis when it comes to a new sewing machine. A guildmate and I are headed to a quilt show this weekend to look at (and hopefully buy) new sewing machines. I've been quilting for a year and I still have lots of ideas so I think it's safe for me to buy a "big girl" sewing machine. I'm really excited, but at the same time I am so totally overwhelmed!

I currently sew on a Brother CS-6000i. It has served me well but it is time to move on. I have spent HOURS reading threads on this site, reviews on blogs, trying to price out machines and I am stumped.

I know what I want in a machine:
- Large harp space - 9" or more
- Built in dual feed (I think this limits me to high-end Bernina, Pfaff, Janome, and I think high end Babylock)
- Thread cutter
- Knee Lift
- Needle up/down
- Drop in bobbin
- At least one alphabet stitch

I have in my head a $2500 limit. I know it isn't much for high end machines, but I'm hoping that since we're going on the last day of the show and there are some sponsored classrooms I might be able to snag a floor model or demo machine at a marked-down price.

The machines I have on my "to test drive" list include:
- Bernina 750 (probably way out of my price range unless there's a floor model)
- Janome 8900
- Janome 7700
- Pfaff 4.2
- Viking Saphire (just because I tried one at JoAnns a while back and kind of liked it - it was a good price too. I don't think it has dual feed though.)
- Babylock Crescendo (probably out of my price range as well)

The things I'd like to do with the machine are:
- Piece quilts
- Straight line quilt
- Learn to FMQ
- Make some garments - both woven and knits

Now on to the questions:
Do you have any tips on buying a sewing machine?
Have you bought one of the machines on my list?
How much did you pay for it?
Are you happy with it?
Are there any machines I should add?
Any machines I should avoid or take off the list?
Any tips on negotiating?
ETA: Any thoughts on bringing cash vs. checkbook / credit card?


Lastly before anyone asks I decided to go the quilt show route so I could test drive as many brands / models as I wanted to in a single day. Additionally several of the brands are sponsoring classrooms and I know from friends who went to QuiltCon buying a classroom model can get you a really deep discount.

Thank you for any and all help you can offer!
-Carla
-- Edited on 9/29/13 6:36 PM --

Sandygirl
Sandygirl
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Member since 8/18/10
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Date: 9/29/13 6:30 PM

Did you check the sewing machine reviews to see the prices paid? Good luck shopping!
Sandy

------
Janome-gal. 9700, 9900, 1030, 11000D (serger)

modernbiasblog
modernbiasblog
Member since 9/3/13
Posts: 12
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In reply to Sandygirl <<


Date: 9/29/13 6:35 PM

Quote: Sandygirl
Did you check the sewing machine reviews to see the prices paid? Good luck shopping!

Sandy

I did - some like the 8900 only have one or two reviews, and the 7700 had many older reviews so it seems difficult to judge current pricing. Thanks!
LynnRowe
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LynnRowe  Friend of PR
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In reply to modernbiasblog <<
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Date: 9/29/13 6:45 PM

I would add the Pfaff Performance 5.0 onto your list; it has everything -and more- that you're looking for.

Try as many as possible, with your own fabric samples and threads. Happy machine hunting!

------
I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), 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.

Sandygirl
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Date: 9/29/13 6:58 PM

Sorry for the double post. I would test drive the machines prior to going to the show. Why? So that you already know what the pricing is. The MSRP and what the store has put on the machine for their price. And you should have the model narrowed to which one you really want. I got caught up in the excitement of being at a large show and bought my serger. To this day, i am not so sure that I got a good "deal". But I did not buy a floor model. They shipped it to me. I was not prepared because I had no idea what my serger "sold" for in shops. Total impulse buy for me. Shame on me!

I would not bring cash to a show. Too risky. Credit card would be safer. And your card should "back" your purchase just in case there are any problems with the machine.

I would not buy a "demo" machine unless I saved 40 % off of MSRP. 50% would be better but not sure doable.

Sandy

------
Janome-gal. 9700, 9900, 1030, 11000D (serger)

saphirel
saphirel
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Ontario CANADA
Member since 10/26/12
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In reply to LynnRowe <<


Date: 9/29/13 7:13 PM

Quote: LynnRowe
I would add the Pfaff Performance 5.0 onto your list; it has everything -and more- that you're looking for.



Try as many as possible, with your own fabric samples and threads. Happy machine hunting!

I second this. As far as I understand it the 5.0 is basically the same as my Creative Performance (without the embroidery option). I think it's a great machine for quilting, which is what I have the most experience with. FMQ is a breeze - I get no thread breaks and my machine really isn't picky about what thread I use. I can't comment much on garment sewing because that's something I've only gotten into seriously relatively recently, but I know it's a popular machine with a lot of people on this board.

------
Pfaff Creative Performance ♥ Viking Tribute 140C, Singer Featherweight, Singer 128, & Janome MyLock 134D.

modernbiasblog
modernbiasblog
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In reply to LynnRowe <<


Date: 9/29/13 8:34 PM

Thanks for the tip about thread. I wouldn't have thought to bring that. Fabric yes, thread no. :)

I looked up the brochures for the 4.2 and 5.0 and it looks like the big difference is the ability to use the stitch creator on the 5.0. Is there anything else big I'm missing when comparing the two?

Julkane
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Date: 9/29/13 9:22 PM

You should be able to get either the Pfaff 4.2 or 5.0 for this price. Try them both out. You definitely will like the IDT for quilting.

------
Elna Excellence 740, Pfaff Quilt expression 4.0, Janome 300E, Brother 8500D, Babylock Ellageo, Janome 900CPX CoverPro, Brother 5234 Project Runway Serger, Singer Treadle, Singer 66, Singer 99

http://juliannasjourney.blogspot.com/

MissParayim
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MissParayim
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Date: 9/29/13 9:45 PM

I've been turning this question over in my head for almost a year. I also started out on the Brother CS600i, and got my "big girl" machine this past Friday.
My 2 finalists were the Janome 7700 and Pfaff 4.2. I really loved the Janome at the dealer. It was so smooth and quiet. It really purred.
But- I wound up getting the Pfaff.
My decision boiled down to:
-online reviews were generally more positive on the pfaff (but negligbly so, I wouldn't call the Janome a bad machine, but the pfaff was maybe 99% positive vs 95% positive for Janome)
-my local pfaff dealers are a lot more convenient than Janome
-as smooth and quiet as the Janome was, there was just something about the pfaff that "felt" like a sturdier workhorse. Just my gut feeling after testing both machines multiple times.
-(silly reason) I liked the decorative stitches on the pfaff more :}. My youngest daughter is a big fan of turtles.

So far, I am extremely happy with my choice! The pfaff is quieter at home than I remember it being in the dealer. It purrs compared to the CS6000i, for sure!

------
www.missparayim.com

JanyceR
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JanyceR  Friend of PR
Colorado USA
Member since 2/3/07
Posts: 1651
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In reply to modernbiasblog <<


Date: 9/29/13 10:00 PM

Please add the Pfaff Performance 5.0 to your list. It meets all your criteria so you should give it a try. I have one and it is a great machine. Good luck, you will know which machine is right for you when you sew on it.

------
Pfaff Creative Sensation Pro, Bernina 780,
B350SE,other Berninas, Pfaff Performance 5, several vintage - multiple manufacturers.
Love all my machines!

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