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Forum > Sewing Machines > Sewing Novice Machine Shopping. Lord Help Me! ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Sewing Novice Machine Shopping. Lord Help Me!
Deciding on which machine to get as a beginner wanting to become more advanced
SHGigglin
SHGigglin
Beginner
Utah USA
Member since 5/21/14
Posts: 8
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Date: 5/21/14 11:52 PM

Hello PR members! I have been reading reviews but still need help deciding on a machine.

Those in my price range (~$300) that I'm considering are:
Pfaff Hobby 1122 or 1132
Baby Lock Molly
Bernina Activa 210
Any other basic, high quality machines in my price range.

I am new to sewing (~2 years experience) but felt like I was learning quickly and loved sewing. Unfortunately, my POS Singer crapped out on me and now I LOATHE sewing. I do mostly craft and garment sewing but want to start doing some quilting. Please help me decide on a machine that will be a tough work horse and last, without breaking the bank!

textilehappy
textilehappy  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Member since 6/8/13
Posts: 79
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Date: 5/22/14 0:43 AM

Have you come to the right place for advice(LOL)!
Have you cruised around and tested machines at dealers?
Older Elna Jubilees, Carina's and SU's come up on Ebay regularily and if you can get a well cared for one they sew divinely and last forever. The lady in Classifieds selling the older BerninA (mollycroomer) might still have her Elna jubilee.
In 40 years of buying sewing machines I have never gone wrong with buying a high end used machine. Where I came to grief is the lower end of any brand.
By trying many machines you will start to get the "feel" for what works for you.

with love Heidi
with love Heidi
Member since 11/26/12
Posts: 313
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Date: 5/22/14 3:48 AM

I would be looking seriously at the Bernina.I had a Viking equivalent (Emerald 116) of the pfaff Hobby and there were multiple things I disliked about it. I have a Bernina now and love it.

knitsgetsmail
knitsgetsmail  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 1/17/14
Posts: 138
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Date: 5/22/14 7:11 AM

I would also look at the room for quilting. You need space to get material under it.

I don't have any of the machines you are considering, but absolutely adore my babylock serger.

sewfrequent

sewfrequent
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 6/27/03
Posts: 3242
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In reply to SHGigglin <<
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Date: 5/22/14 8:20 AM

I believe any of those could fall into work-horse category --all very solid machines. The Bernina is a nice machine but so very basic with a small harp area and no adjustable presser foot pressure. That last thing is important if you sew knits so it could require additional purchase of a walking foot which adds $100 or so to the initial cost. The other two are full-sized with a few more stitches but only the 1122 has adjustable foot pressure. Have you seen and sewed on all of them?? Checked reviews for each? Consider looking at the Janome HD3000 also. It has adjustable pressure and some electronic perks you would find helpful.

Melcalifornia
Melcalifornia
Advanced Beginner
Member since 3/29/14
Posts: 191
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In reply to with love Heidi <<
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Date: 5/22/14 10:13 AM

I'm just curious - what were the things that you did not like about the Viking 116? I have one, and I love it other than a couple of minor things (thread trimmer tended to cut thread too short and would pull out of needle, so I'd need to be very careful...doesn't have a blanket stitch). But other than that I love that machine. I was actually going to suggest it, but really don't want to recommend something that others don't care for.

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 3/4/05
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Date: 5/22/14 10:19 AM

The BabyLock Molly is the twin to the Janome Sewist 500. You can adjust the pressure of the foot on this model. The price has dropped $30 so that makes it well under your budget. I have the Sewist 500 and it's a great, basic machine.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
Advanced
USA
Member since 12/3/06
Posts: 7504
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In reply to SHGigglin <<


Date: 5/22/14 11:02 AM

Go to dealers where you can test drive these machines.

Take a sample quilt (very small; two layers of cotton and batting in the middle) so you can test FMQ as well as the stitching.

A large harp for easy maneuvering the quilt also is helpful.

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

Learn To Sew
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Learn To Sew  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Member since 4/12/05
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Date: 5/22/14 11:23 AM

I have a Babylock Molly. The only thing I wish they had done differently was in the pull out accessory tray area. The tray is a little shorter than the machine, and if you push down on the left side of the machine at the free arm, the machine will come off the table. They tray is about 1/4 inch off the table, so remember this. I was quilting with it and it rocked on me. Other than that, it is a very nice mechanical machine. I have not used mine in well over 2 years. Still, it is always good to keep a mechanical on hand.

------
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

sewfrequent

sewfrequent
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 6/27/03
Posts: 3242
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In reply to karen149 <<
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Date: 5/22/14 12:05 PM

Ew boy, thanks Karen. To OP, sorry to have relayed false info on the Molly. That fact would put it back in the running as a very good choice. I like the looks of the Sewist 500 and that's a great deal on it too. I once had a Kenmore with those last few dec stitches and really had fun with those. They're different in a good way. I swear if I find another Kenmore (16321?)...w/ the speed control i would grab it. I gave mine to my daughter so i get to visit it on occasion.

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