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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Third time is the charm?! What machine to go to now?! ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Third time is the charm?! What machine to go to now?!
I had to return the Baby Lock Melody...
msattern
msattern
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AZ USA
Member since 12/22/13
Posts: 19
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Date: 12/31/13 0:01 AM

Oh no! Maybe I just have terrible luck, but I had ended up returning my Baby Lock Melody today.

Long story short, after sewing for awhile the machine started to make all kinds of scary noises and worst of all a squeak when I sewed at slow speeds. It was a used machine, but basically more like a "open box" since most of the parts were still wrapped up. Before I purchased it they assured me that it was all ok and had been serviced/checked out.

Anyway... It's back, and I've decided that I don't want to work with dealers in that area after the two bad experiences. It's about 40 minutes from my house each way and it's too frustrating to have to go back. (For those do you who have not been following the saga, I purchased a "new" Pfaff Ambition 1.0 that ended up accidentally being the floor model in the box).

I think it will be best, all around, if I stick to either the two dealers that are closest to my house or buy used/new online from a reputable source. This leaves me with the Viking and Bernina dealer, as well as a couple of smaller places. I believe the Bernina dealer also sells used machines of all sorts.

The good news is that I know a lot more the features and feel of machines now, having tried dozens and completed a few small projects on the baby lock before she quit.

That being said, I think the things that ate most important to me are:

1) the feed system and power of the machine. I want something that can move fabric through with ease and has punch power to go through multiple layers of Heavy fabric. With this, I think that a presses foot with extra high lift is also important

2) functions for needle up/down, start/stop and fix stitches.

3) stitch selection- I want a variety of decorative stitches and fonts. They appeal to me and I think I would enjoy jazzing up a project with them

4) work area- I want something with a generous work area to the right of the needle. An included extension table would be a bonus.

5) durability and long-term- I want something built to last.

6) something that sounds as good as it is supposed to work. I don't want something overly loud or that makes me worry, especially when sewing through thick fabric

7) automatic needle threader.

Wish list:
1) thread cutter! Although this is feeling more and more like a necessity

2) knee lift

3) embroidery- I've yet to find a machine with the other features that I am looking for and embroidery that is in my price range....


All that, and I really want to stay under the $1000 mark AND not have to return another machine!!!

Anyone want to help me shop? Please:)

I've really been leaning towards the Viking Opal 670 , checked out the Viking Eden Rose today, and started looking at the Juki f600 (although I would have to order this online).



-- Edited on 12/31/13 0:03 AM --

Cruey
Cruey
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MI USA
Member since 12/17/13
Posts: 12
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In reply to msattern <<


Date: 12/31/13 0:41 AM

The Eden Rose was at the top of my list but it has some features that I find frustrating. You have to raise the presser foot from the foot pedal or a button, there's no lever to raise it manually. There isn't any thread cutter or knee lift. I've been told they are not as well made as the Vikings used to be. I am so close to getting the Juki F600. I've researched so much. I feel bad for your difficulties. I think I'd stick to new rather than used machines. People trade their machines in for a reason and upgrading is not the only or first reason. I don't have a Juki dealer anywhere near where I live. The Eden Rose is at Joann's and from what I've heard they are bad for customer service. The prices are comparable. My last brand of machines to evaluate are the Bernina's. The Juki is so appealing though. I hope you get your machine without any more problems.

RipStitcher
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Date: 12/31/13 0:46 AM

how much can you spend ? :)

Your list is very similar to what I'm looking for in a travel machine.

------
My projects (and life and times!) are on www.RipStitcher.com

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Sashiko
Ovation serger
APQS George ... oh heck... go Millie!

2014: Sold the 7700 to make room for a 5.5mm machine alongside side my Ellie.
2013: Wow.. no real new toys - too much family drama!!!!
2012: New Elna Lotus for granddaughter, Red Elna Press, Horizon 7700, Gidget 2 Table, Babylock Ellisimo Gold
1970's: Elna SU62 & ElnaPress

LynnRowe
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LynnRowe  Friend of PR
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In reply to msattern <<
thumbsup 7 members like this.


Date: 12/31/13 1:02 AM

Most dealers would not have accepted the machines back and refunded your money, so I'd count your first two experiences as very lucky.

A Bernina that meets your want list would be maybe a 560 ($3500+) or a 750 ($6000+). For $1000 you aren't going to get close even in a used machine.

With Pfaff you'd need to go up to the Creative line, and same range of $3500 and up.


The F600 doesn't do embroidery.

I know nuthing about the Vikings, but have heard a lot of raves over both the opals and the Eden Rose.

Good luck with your hunt, I hope you find the perfect mahcine for you.

------
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.

tkdnrun
tkdnrun
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MO USA
Member since 12/15/10
Posts: 82
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In reply to msattern <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 12/31/13 1:08 AM

Have you checkedout the bernette chicago 7?
It seems to have all your features you want including 4x7 embriodery. That is a lot better for a begining machine than 4x4. I saw it sew out and it was nice. Don't know how powerful you are looking, but since you are considering a bernina dealer they sell these and you could check it out. It even seems in your price range.
Good luck!

RipStitcher
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RipStitcher
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In reply to LynnRowe <<


Date: 12/31/13 1:24 AM

Quote: LynnRowe
Most dealers would not have accepted the machines back and refunded your money, so I'd count your first two experiences as very lucky.



A Bernina that meets your want list would be maybe a 560 ($3500+) or a 750 ($6000+). For $1000 you aren't going to get close even in a used machine.



With Pfaff you'd need to go up to the Creative line, and same range of $3500 and up.





The F600 doesn't do embroidery.



I know nuthing about the Vikings, but have heard a lot of raves over both the opals and the Eden Rose.



Good luck with your hunt, I hope you find the perfect mahcine for you.


I was thinking if she can go to $1,000 or so, the Pfaff Smarter or Babylock Quest (if she can find one) might not be a bad choice to keep her happy for quite a while.

------
My projects (and life and times!) are on www.RipStitcher.com

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Sashiko
Ovation serger
APQS George ... oh heck... go Millie!

2014: Sold the 7700 to make room for a 5.5mm machine alongside side my Ellie.
2013: Wow.. no real new toys - too much family drama!!!!
2012: New Elna Lotus for granddaughter, Red Elna Press, Horizon 7700, Gidget 2 Table, Babylock Ellisimo Gold
1970's: Elna SU62 & ElnaPress

msattern
msattern
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AZ USA
Member since 12/22/13
Posts: 19
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Date: 12/31/13 1:26 AM

I actually did quickly look at a Chicago 7 some time ago, but it was one of the first places that I went so I was too intimidated to try it out. I was checking out the features online tonight; I have not heard how they compare to Bernina's standard line either. Maybe I will have to give them a spin.

I wish I had the budget for some of the pfaff or Bernina machines that fit the bill, but I'm just not comfortable spending that on my first machine. I hope for the $1000 mark I can find a good fit that gives me room to grow...

msattern
msattern
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AZ USA
Member since 12/22/13
Posts: 19
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Date: 12/31/13 1:29 AM

The pfaff smarter caught my eye for the features, but I was kind of taken back when I saw the Singer clone. I know a lot of the machines have brother or singer clones, any thoughts on the differences?

RipStitcher
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Date: 12/31/13 1:55 AM

I forget who makes that machine.... if you do a search on this forum for Pfaff Smarter, Babylock Quest, and whatever singer # it is.... you'll find they're all made by the same place.

Maia on here has the Quest and says good things about it.

Be careful on pricing... you should be able to find one for about $1,000.. but I've heard people paid as high as $1,700 for them once upon a time.

That one has an extension table that comes with it (at least the Babylock version had it).

Be aware that the feet are not your true "Babylock" feet... so there is a different range of feet available for it.

As soon as you start to say that you want alot of room to the right of the needle.. then the prices start to go up.

And add any embroidery capabilities beyond a 4x4 field, then the prices go crazy in a big jump, too. That Bernina Chicago is not your "real" Bernina either... (I wonder who makes those?) ... and the embroidery field was a funky size.. not 5x7.

At least with the trio of machines we're talking about here (depending on which brand of it you can find) that Smarter, Quest or Singer has an IDT type dual feed and a whole big bunch of stitches.

I am probably the worst one in this entire forum for just goofing around and never making much more than putzer projects very often... but.. for that... I'm a junkie for a good feed and I like having the dec stitches. I actually use them when I'm doing selvedge edge work to make it a little more interesting.

So... just know... your list is very close to what I want in a traveller machine. The Smarter seems to fit the bill pretty well... but then I wish I had a bigger range of feet available.

If you start to look at Bernina... You're not going to get needle threaders, large # of dec stitches, etc... until you hit about a $4,000 machine, IMO. I've been seeing used 550's and 580's for about $3,000 - $4,000 ... and no dual feed systems on those.

One machine you *might* want to look at to hold you over until you can buy something bigger and better (if your path takes you in that direction) ... is the Brother SE400. I test drove that machine to see if I was even interested in embroidery before putting down bigger bucks on a TOL embroidery machine.

It has a needle threader, thread cutters, a fair amount of stitches... and a 4x4 embroidery area to play with - which isn't a bad way to start out. It's only about $300 or so. If you go beyond that machine, then prices soar dramatically to find a wider harp area or more stitches or a bigger embroidery field. For the price, it was a great little machine. Now to go through super heavy stuff... not so sure it would be good for that.

I've got a Janome 7700... which I LOVE ... and now that newer machines are out, the 7700 can be found pretty easily (preowned) for about $1,500. If you want a bunch of dec stitches, an incredible dual feed (the best out there, IMO - better than on any other machine because it's more of a built in walking foot!), and a wide harp... it's the ticket. It comes with an extended acrylic table and a bunch of feet.

On that note... you should compare how many feet/accessories come with the various machines. Even if you save $500 now... you might find you're spending it again by the time you get an extended table, more feet, etc. Just a thought.



------
My projects (and life and times!) are on www.RipStitcher.com

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Sashiko
Ovation serger
APQS George ... oh heck... go Millie!

2014: Sold the 7700 to make room for a 5.5mm machine alongside side my Ellie.
2013: Wow.. no real new toys - too much family drama!!!!
2012: New Elna Lotus for granddaughter, Red Elna Press, Horizon 7700, Gidget 2 Table, Babylock Ellisimo Gold
1970's: Elna SU62 & ElnaPress

Restart06
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Restart06
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USA
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Posts: 2343
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In reply to msattern <<
thumbsup 3 members like this.


Date: 12/31/13 2:51 AM

Sorry to read of your sewing saga. If you are considering online purchasing, there is a almost new Bernina 430 listed in the classifieds here on PR. It has a knee lift along with many of your desires. There are several other nice machines listed by members here on PR. Many dealers will give you lessons if you pay for them concerning your machine when you don't purchase them at their store. At your price point, a used machine may be the easiest way to go to get the most features you want. Good luck and keep us up with your shopping. There is a machine that is right for you!

adding: I love my Bernina machines, (notice more than one). One of the greatest features is the feet, plus the punching power through many layers, even denim. There are many other wonderful machines out there from what people say & review here on PR.
-- Edited on 12/31/13 3:08 AM --

adding: I have no affiliation with anyone selling here or otherwise here on PR. I have sold & purchased from members here with all positive dealings. Good luck!
-- Edited on 12/31/13 7:20 AM --

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There is no easy way! quote from my Grandfather
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