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Forum > Sewing Machines > Bernina -- Advise needed please! ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Bernina -- Advise needed please!
Possibly replacing Horizon 7700
SewBusy63
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SewBusy63
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Date: 10/8/10 5:21 PM

Today I went to my dealer and got my replacement Horizon. I've been having problems with buttonholes and fabric feeding. I was there about 2 hours sewing buttonholes on the replacement machine and it was having the same issues as mine. They did put a call into Janome about it. To keep a very long story short, I brought the replacement home anyway. My dealer told me last week that he would do whatever it took to make me happy, so I have yet to decide to ask for a full refund. I haven't had the chance to discuss this with DH as he had to go to work before I got home. I have really liked my 7700 -- except for the couple of issues I have been having. It sews beautifully and I love the APC. I am at a loss!

I have been on the Bernina website and can find nothing about their warranty. I do not know anything about Bernina. I do not want to spend more than what I paid for the Horizon. In fact, spending a lot less would be ideal. I don't need anything too fancy but need one that is good on stretch knits as well other fabrics. I love decorative stitches but can learn to live without them. I would need a shell tuck stitch, multi-zig zag since I use them all the time in my business. I do not need an embroidery feature, as I have the 350E. I am a garment sewer only and I do not quilt. I do a LOT of buttonholes and prefer one step since that is what I am used to. Since I am only in the "what if I ask for a full refund and get it" mode, I am seeing what my options are. Of course if Janome has a fix, then I'll keep the 7700 but I still want to look at my options so I can make an informed choice.

The Bernina dealer is over an hour away and I am not sure when I can get there to look at machine options. I thought I would post here and see what everyone has to say about Bernina's before making the drive in to the dealer. For the Bernina owners -- any advise you can give me will be greatly appreciated. What to look for, ease of use -- anything!

------
~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝

Soolip
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Soolip
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Date: 10/8/10 5:39 PM

I like Bernina machines, but they are stingy on features and hefty on price you can expect to pay considerably more to get certain features on some of their models than you would on comparable machines from other manufacturers (i.e. certain styles of buttonholes and adjustable presser foot pressure). Also, my own experience has shown that while Bernina makes high-quality machines, they do have their share of problems, just like those from other manufacturers.

When I was shopping and testing machines for buttonholes, I ran through just about every machine that was available at the time, and ended up buying a Janome-made Elna 6005. Of all the machines I tested, Janome machines made the best buttonholes, even better than those produced by Bernina 160, and Viking Designer 1, which was the most expensive machine at the time (this was awhile ago). The eyelet is, to be fair, a little lopsided, but the rest of the buttonholes stitch beautifully and have adjustable width.

Maybe you should tell us what problems you are having with the Horizon buttonholes. Someone here might be able to help.

-- Edited on 10/8/10 5:50 PM --

SewBusy63
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In reply to Soolip


Date: 10/8/10 6:11 PM

I believe I posted one other time the issues I am having. I have been dealing with this since May. Here it is again:

Buttonholes - # 23 (sensor buttonhole)
a. Will sew straight stitch up left side and try to keep sewing the straight stitch when the buttonholer hits the pull down lever. Will not reverse and zig zag down side. Keeps sewing in place. I have to use the thread cutter to stop it and reset the buttonhole.
b. Other times it will sew the left side perfectly and on the right side sew way down and not advance further, sew in place creating a huge mess and ruining items.
c. Both issues are intermittent and I can sew a lot of buttonholes in a row before it will do either, so it is not consistent. Pull down lever is down all the way and there is no fabric bunched up and in the way. It happens whether I use a tear away stabilizer or none at all.

I have spent a lot of time at my dealers trying to get mine to mess up. I have taken my projects, samples, etch and it would the second (b) error only. It was concluded last visit it is not user error. Today the replacement machine did both types of the errors and Janome was notified. I am hoping for a fix, but need to explore other options just in case.

I can learn to live without certain features. I just want a machine to sew how it is supposed to. I have owned Janomes for 8 1/2 years and this is the first machine to have these issues.

------
~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝

knovins
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knovins
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Date: 10/8/10 6:46 PM

I also felt that Bernina was overpriced for the feature set, tried my best to prefer another brand, but I like them best for full-featured machines. I also primarily sew garments, but I like to sew accessories such as purses, so I need machines with some punch. I started with a Bernina virtuosa 155, which sewed perfect buttonholes, then moved to an aurora 440, added a new old stock Bernina artista 185, then traded up to an 830E.

For garments, my favorite was the 440, although I probably would've gotten the 450 for the 9mm stitches if that had been available when I bought. What I liked best about the 440 was the push-button selection of most frequently used stitches, which pretty much covered every one I use for garments. Having an option to add embroidery is also nice for garment sewers.

I owned a Janome 6500, which I thought was a lot of fun, fast, and VERY user-friendly, and I had no trouble with it, but the buttonholes weren't comparable.

IMHO, another important factor to consider is the quality and variety presser feet. Bernina presser feet are exceptional. You might even say that there isn't any comparison between Bernina's presser feet and those of any other brand, but Pfaff makes 9mm presser feet for decorative stitching for which Bernina has no direct equivalent. (Under no circumstances would I recommend a current Pfaff, but that's another story.)

Although you seem to have narrowed your comparison to Janome and Bernina, another machine that impresses me is the Juki HZL-F600. I'm sewing projects now that I couldn't sew successfully on any other home market machine, and it too has push-button selection of frequently used stitches. The model has a nice selection of buttonhole styles, but I wouldn't put any in the same class as Bernina. Juki presser feet are probably the same as Janome.

You mentioned a concern about the distance to a Bernina dealer. My preference is to select the brand over the dealer because I sew on a machine not a dealer, but others can argue convincingly for the opposite. Good luck with your decision.
-- Edited on 10/8/10 7:13 PM --

qtip
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Date: 10/8/10 7:08 PM

Thanks for the information - I was seriously considering this machine as a replacement for my Pfaff QE4.0 which I've had problems with. I have a Brother Innovis 4000D & overall I am very happy with it. I thought the quilting features of the QE4.0 would be a desirable additional machine but not so. I think the new Brother Laura Ashely is a great machine but it has a lot of decorative stitches. There are a lot of nice machines in the Brother line. BabyLock makes a lot of nice machines also & the Symphony has a lot of nice features. You might want to look at these brands if you have a dealer close to you. I've never owned a Bernina but have looked at them several times & always found them very pricy and I've never felt that comfortable with them. I've also heard that Bernina isn't what it used to be. I wouldn't recommend Pfaff or Viking as they seem to have a lot of problems now. Good luck! I know how frustrated & disappointed you must feel.

SewBusy63
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In reply to knovins


Date: 10/8/10 7:09 PM

My Janome dealer is in the same city as the Bernina dealer, but not as far so it would be more than an hour trip one way. I just need to find the time to make the trip. I could not do it today while I was there picking up my replacement 7700. I had considered Juki (the F600 impresses me as well) but their warranty isn't the best from what I read online. Also, I've read of tension issues and I really don't want any. I want dealer support and I don't believe there is a Juki dealer in that city. Yes, I've considered Baby Lock but from my experience with the high cost of repairs to my Imagine after only 2 1/2 years, I won't consider them. That kind of narrows it down, doesn't it. I appreciate your input.

------
~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
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In reply to SewBusy63


Date: 10/8/10 7:12 PM

I fell in love the the Babylock Espire's buttonholes and ended up buying the Brother twin, the Innov-is QC-1000, which has been replaced by the Laua Ashley model.

Another thought is to buy a vintage machine and set it up for buttonholes only. I have a Singer 201-2 that makes fabulous buttonholes with the attachment, as I'm sure Soolip will attest to also.

Berninas have wonderful feet and I've always admired them but I feel today's Berninas cost too much compared to what you get elsewhere.
-- Edited on 10/8/10 7:14 PM --

Bert62
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In reply to SewBusy63


Date: 10/8/10 7:13 PM

Hi, this may be a bit of a crazy non-sequiter;
This is the first year I have ever seriously sewn on a sewing machine. I never even imagined trying to do something as daunting as a buttonhole. However, I simply had to find out if I intend to sew in the future. Anyway, to make this long story short (umm, I mean even longer) I used my Kenmore attachable devices to make buttonholes and they are really awesome. They are so beautiful and professional looking. I do have a Designer 1 and have never tried a buttonhole on that. Weird, huh? I tried a four step buttonhole on someone else's Janome Gem. It was okay, but you have to watch it, whereas copying the stitches from a template is a lot easier. Did I say "easier?" Yes, one would have to go through the rigamarol of changing apparati, but I do think it's worth it. Well, I know I'm talking about apples and oranges comparisons. I would like to know how you feel about external buttonhole apparati (???) Thanks, Bert

SewBusy63
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In reply to karen149


Date: 10/8/10 7:20 PM

My Janome dealer sells Pfaff, Brother and Babylock. I do have a vintage machine (401A) but I am a firm believer that all the functions on my 7700 should work correctly. It cost a lot of money not to. My hope is Janome will have a fix so I can keep my 7700, but need to consider other options if that is not the case. Since I do not know pricing on the Berninas, I may find I cannot afford them and I will not spend more than I what I paid for the 7700.

------
~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝

karen149
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In reply to SewBusy63


Date: 10/8/10 7:22 PM

I definitely understand where you're coming from. I felt that way about investing in my Brother. It was a lot of money and I expected everything to work to perfection on it and so far, it has!

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