|What Janie Carroll likes about this machine|
I thought my Viking was a #1, I see on the book that is a #1 Viking 1200. Who knew? It is not a Designer 1, and it's not the 1plus, either. It came before both of those.I'm presently considering upgrading my machine (after 20 years!) and that has me doing lots of thinking & comparing. There are so many great things about this machine, and anyone considering purchasing a used one should take notice! I've been shown fancy machines by Bernina & Janome lately, and my old Viking #1 compares very well! It has served me faithfully all these years. It has had only 3 or 4 adjustments/cleanings over the years, never any real 'repairs'. It doesn't require oiling & while that's unbelievable--after 20 years I can tell you it's true! I just had mine in for service, it was sewing fine but was running 'noisy'. The tech found 2 straight pins down in the bobbin works that I hadn't seen! This seemed to clear up most of the noise. The rest must be age, but again, it isn't affecting the stitch quality. I love the sensor buttonhole foot, so easy to use! Manual buttonholes are great too, and there are like 10 styles. I find the stitch advisor to be a 'no brainer'. You simply enter the type of fabric you're sewing on, and what type of stitch you want, such as seam or hem and it selects a stitch for you, recommends needle, foot & tension adjustments. There is no cumbersome menu to scroll through, you go directly to what you want. The cassette system is wonderfully easy, though I've found that 99% of my work is done on the basic cassette. This machine makes a beautiful blind hem and a lovely shell stitch. The white ankle makes threading much easier to see and the snap-on feet are quick & easy. I've heard the complaints that they're pricey, but they are precisely designed and perform well, such as the blind hem I mentioned. When I took the machine in for the noise I mentioned, it hadn't had work in 2 years. The last time it was skipping stitches occasionally, but clean/adjust solved that problem. This time the 2 pins in the works were all that was found, they noted that the tensions, etc. were already fine. I think that's pretty impressive that in 2 years nothing was 'out of whack'. I've used this machine for weddings, swimwear, canvas curtains, delicate sheers & lots & lots of mid-weight cottons. I presently make doll clothes & use the machine almost daily. It has little nice features like needle up/down & a finish stitch that 'ties' off your thread without bulky backstitching. These are the sorts of things salesmen are touting as great features on the machines they want to sell me, and I've had them for 20 years! I've read this machine has a reputation of being a workhorse that never needs repair, and I"d have to agree. I had the new Sapphire demo'd for me and I guess I feel like it just isn't an upgrade! It'd be pretty much a lateral move. I think my old #1 is a better choice.
What Janie Carroll does not like about this machine
You may ask, why am I looking at new machines? Well, frankly, I"m asking myself that, too! I started because of the noise issue but that seems cleared up and it's sewing great! I'm also toying with the idea of embroidery which I can't do now. The #1 has something called omnimotion that was supposed to let you embroider without a hoop. Basically, this works, but it's an exercise in frustration. The designs don't line up well, so I wouldn't buy it for that feature. I've had some success with the large script emboidery, letters are about 1" high and they are lovely. Still, I wouldn't try them on difficult fabrics or you'll be ripping out & re-doing. The small block letters are wonderful, and I've labeled jackets & backpacks galore thru the years. There is also one issue I've never been happy with, not from the very first month. The tensions seem to slightly pucker sheer fabrics, no matter what I try. Techs have not been able to adjust this out and I've learned to live with it. I still sew them some, but not as much as I might like. I might add that I am extremely picky, and some of you might not think this is a problem at all. So, if you sew excessively on sheers this might not be your best choise. Otherwise, I say, go for it! I see these selling on ebay for about $500. A bargain, in my opinion. So, for me, if I upgrade it will be to a Bernina and I'll be doing it to get their famous tension/stitch quality and/or embroidery features. I may just stick with my trusty Viking #1 a while longer!