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Forum > Sewing Machines > Best brand/model $500-1K range for intermediate sewng? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Best brand/model $500-1K range for intermediate sewng?
Shopping for a new computerized machine for sewing clothing.. Recommendations??
Arwynne
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Arwynne
Intermediate
Canada
Member since 6/7/12
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Date: 6/21/14 10:31 PM

I searched the forums here (hi!) for an all-purpose "help, I'm overwhelmed! What machine should I buy?" thread, but couldn't find one (sorry if I missed it). There are way too many options. I'm crowdsourcing to save my sanity here! Any advice will be SO greatly appreciated...

So. I've been researching new machines for a couple of weeks now (since my 1970s-era Kenmore started mangling every buttonhole I attempt (grr!!). I don't have many must-have features, except for 1-step buttonholes and free-arm option... I've spoken with a local dealer who recommended the Janome DC6030 but it's so new that there aren't many reviews out there. (As brands go, Janome seems pretty unimpeachable, so maybe I can't go wrong?) Then I started browsing craigslist and found an ad for a Janome 8077 which also has great reviews... but now I'm wondering if another brand would be better --it was pure chance that the nearest dealer is Janome (actually there's a Pfaff store here too). I'm not just looking for "the best bargain" but I want to make a decision I won't regret. A computerized machine in the $500-1K range seems reasonable based on my research so far...

Okay, in case anyone out there feels like saving my sanity with some recommendations, a bit about me... I've been sewing for about 15 years (altering and making clothes, home deco stuff, etc.). I have no interest in quilting and have never done embroidery but might be interested in a machine with those features. I just don't want something so complicated I can't just start using it and learn as I go. After my manual-everything Kenmore, any automation will probably seem like magic.Ideas? Recommendations? Caveats?

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Arwynne

michellep74
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michellep74  Friend of PR
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Washington USA
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Date: 6/22/14 0:46 AM

I just went machine shopping myself with similar needs and was looking for something in the $500-$600 price range. I ended up buying a Pfaff Ambition Essentials for $599. The IDT (I sew a lot of knits) and one-step buttonholes sold me.

There are several Pfaffs in your price range, so if you like the IDT, you'll have several options.

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--Michelle

***
Blog: http://happilycaffeinated.blogspot.com/

2014 Fabric IN: 153.13 yards
2014 Fabric OUT: 88 yards
2014 Fabric Sewn: 38 yards
2014 Fabric Donated: 50 yards
pre-2014 Stash patterns used in 2014: 7

cherylwashere
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cherylwashere  Friend of PR
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USA
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In reply to Arwynne <<
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Date: 6/22/14 0:49 AM

Pfaff with IDT...

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Bernina 820, Bernina Artista 165, Bernina B330, Pfaff Creative 7530, Janome 1600P

AminaHijabi
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AminaHijabi
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Date: 6/22/14 2:49 AM

There are several machines I would consider in that price range, and it really depends on what kind of sewing you do. Based on the specs, accessories, stitch package, I think I would get a Janome 6300p if you don't mind the missing free arm. It comes with SO MANY THINGS, including the extension table which is so very handy when you're working with a large project (like a dress with a big frilly skirt). If you need something with more decorative stitches, then I'd look at the Viking Opal series because it's in your range, has some really nice features, and the viking feet are really good. I've never tried pfaff, but own a Janome and a Viking. I'm not sure what babylock has in that price range, but the babylock dealer here doesn't sell machines with adjustable presser foot pressure (a requirement for me) until you get quite high in that range, and then they are smaller machines. Just something to consider.

sanchy
sanchy  Friend of PR
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Quebec CANADA
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Date: 6/22/14 4:54 AM

When I started looking for my first machine, I was overwhelmed. I did a lot of research but it was only when I test drove some machines that I was able to decide.
My recommendation is to go to the dealers in your area and test drive a couple of machines in your price range. If you plan to sew mostly garments then test machines for garment sewers. Once you start test driving machines, I find you start to bond with one brand. For me it is Janome for sewing/quilting and Brother for embroidery. I wanted to love Bernina but they weren't for me. Dealer support is also important and you will get a sense of what the dealer is like when you spend some time in the store. If you don't get a good feeling from the dealer, move on to another one.

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Sandy

with love Heidi
with love Heidi
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Date: 6/22/14 5:42 AM

If you can find one to check out look at the Bernina 330, I have a 380 which I love for garment Sewing. If your looking at a Bernina ask the dealer about used ones as sometimes there may be there maybe previous model traded in for a good price.

Liamsmama
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Liamsmama
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Date: 6/23/14 0:09 AM

I just got a viking opal 670, it's around $800. I was really torn between it and the pfaff ambition 1.0. My previous machine was a mechanical janome, I checked out a couple of janomes as well the 3160QDC and the 4120QDC but I really didn't love either one even though they had similar features and we're even a little cheaper. I think because they are geared towards quilters is maybe why I didn't like them. I went to a store that had babylock and elna machines as we'll and didn't even bother sewing on them as I just wasn't impressed with what was available in my price range. But like others said we are all different so you really need to try them out.

knitstitcher
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knitstitcher  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/23/14 6:56 AM

How about the juki FH series.....400 or 600. The reviews are really good on those. My daughter has the 400 and for what I paid you get a lot of band for your buck. It's a nice machine.

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Lorri
Babylock Journey, Babylock Evolution, Juki TL2000QI, Singer 201-2

LynnRowe
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Date: 6/23/14 10:37 AM

Pfaff with IDT.

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I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

Mole Princess
Mole Princess
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Date: 6/23/14 11:50 AM

Here is a thread that might help:

$500 machine

I love my Janome DC2010 which I got on sale for $350. The successors (2013, 2014 etc.) are around 500 I believe. One woman who posts here works in a sewing machine shop and says they are reliable workhorses.

It has good utility stitches, an automatic buttonhole in three styles, some decorative stitches, including a few I actually use even though I am a non-frilly person, a solid feel, a nice sound, dual feed dogs, option to drop the feed dogs for free motion work or darning, convertible free arm, storage place for feet . . . a very well thought out machine for the money.

No presser foot pressure adjustment but I have sewed a stretchy rayon knit successfully anyway. It has the "lightning bolt" stretch stitch which is less bulky than the triple-stitch straight stitch (tho' it has that stitch too). It has a good stitch with its own special foot for overlock-type situations. I don't have a serger and so far haven't felt the need because I can use this. (Stitch 32 on mine.) There's also a triple zigzag for serviceable and fast edge finishing.

I'd say all around it's a machine that does very well and clothing construction plus gives you a taste of other areas like embroidery or free motion quilting so you can decide if you are interested in those as well.

Happy hunting!
-- Edited on Today at 11:53 AM --

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