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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Start/Stop Button ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Start/Stop Button
Is it being used more?

Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 5/27/11 10:37 AM

When demoing machines, I had to ask at two different dealerships for the foot pedals on their floor models of the ones I was trying. They didn't even have them unpacked. I even was given a confused look by an employee and a comment on why I would want to use a foot pedal if it has a start/stop button. I still find this surprising. Maybe I'm now in the "getting old" category and my mind is stuck in the old fashioned way of using a foot pedal! lol

Has anyone else come across this at dealerships?

I do have the button on my current machine but only use it for automatic buttonholes or embroidery. And I can see it being very beneficial for someone with physical limitations.

Anyway, I went home and actually tried some seams using the button. I don't think you have as nearly as much control. But, that could just be me not having much experience in using it.

Does anyone use it extensively for sewing?

annenet  Friend of PR
Member since 8/2/03
Posts: 1507
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Date: 5/27/11 11:23 AM

I use my foot pedal all the time for sewing. Much easier than hitting a button. I love the button for embroidery and buttonholes though. So I don't see pedals going away anytime soon.

So many projects, not enough time
At my house in VA:
Bernina 1010, Activa 220, Artista 630E, B580
Singer 201-2, 221, Bernina Serger 1300MDC, Babylock Enlighten, Babylock Sashiko, Consew 75T

At my Lake House in PA:
Bernina Artista 165E, Singer 503A. Bernina Serger 1100d

Speech girl
Speech girl  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/27/11 11:29 AM

My machine has both but I always use the foot pedal. I can't stop as quickly with the buttons.

formerly mikkim

andye  Friend of PR
Member since 5/9/09
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Date: 5/27/11 11:44 AM

I use it for buttonholes, and for overlocking the edges of my fabric before I prewash.

I'd like to be able to rest my thumb on the thumb controls, while using (all of) my fingers to control the fabric but I'm afraid that my hand just isn't big enough.

Start/stop is said to be useful for free hand quilting.

As for the dealership-- keeping the pedals off the floor may save wear and tear, and make it easier to clean the floors. But you really can't test drive a sewing machine without one.

Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

Lil Flo
Lil Flo
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Member since 4/17/09
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Date: 5/27/11 11:48 AM

I prefer the foot pedal to the stop/start button also. I feel I have more control using the foot pedal. The stop/start button is okay to use occasionally, but the foot pedal is my main means of operation. Some dealers may feel it unnessary to take the foot pedal out of the box because of this feature. There ia a local quilt shop that does not unpack the foot pedal unless you ask them and this irritates me sometimes. They are not on commission, so do not care. If they want to sell a machine that you are interested in, I would demand the foot pedal. This is very important to me also. I can understand your frustration. Not everyone wants to use the stop/start button. But I guess it's easier to keep up with all accessories by not taking it out.

Member since 3/6/09
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Date: 5/27/11 12:38 PM

Do these salespeople ever sew? I really don't think you can sew with just a start/stop button.

Mufffet  Friend of PR
Member since 8/14/05
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Date: 5/27/11 12:42 PM

I love the stop/start on my Janome, but it is large and convenient not small and hard to hit like the one on my Viking. I have used the Janome's button for sewing quite a bit to practice no pedal because not having that cord hanging around is nice. I would also take that machine to any classes or traveling because of the S/S button and the fact that it is such a light machine which I love.

However, most of the time I prefer a foot pedal because I do not have three hands - it is hard to keep that hand ready for the button when you need to guide fabric and turn corners etc.I would love a knee lift so my hands would be even more free! :)
-- Edited on 5/27/11 12:44 PM --

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3076
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Date: 5/27/11 1:10 PM

My dealership shares foot pedals among machines so the floor isn't as cluttered.

A start-stop button is one thing I WISH my machine had! My dog likes to sleep on my foot pedal *while* I'm sewing, which (while cute) is problematic. A start-stop button would clear that right up. LOL

I also don't love the foot control of my newer machine the way I did with my previous one. I don't think it's as responsive, and I don't feel I get as much control over the speed (the speed control feature helps this, but I honestly preferred doing it all by foot pressure). If the foot pedal were more responsive, I might lust after the start-stop less, I suppose.

~Gem in the prairie

Doris W. in TN
Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/27/11 1:48 PM

My newer machines have a Stop/Start button and I never use them. On my new 3-Series Bernina 350PE, a couple of times I have accidentally hit it instead of the 'Reverse' button. Ack. Really. Ack.

I can't imagine trying to free-motion quilt with the Start/Stop button, and taking my hand off the quilt to hit that button. The foot pedal will guarantee a variety of speeds and both hands stay on the quilt when using a pedal.

A lot of people like the Start/Stop button when they have health problems with their feet, ankle, or knees and maybe one day I'll have to rely on it, too.


Member since 6/27/03
Posts: 3161
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Date: 5/27/11 2:09 PM

I really use mine for straight-line piecing. Much less fatiguing for me. I also use it for meandering it helps to keep speed constant and I always start and stop off the quilt. I also stand more than sit so it's great for that too especially if your table is bar height. For garments, it'd not be as good. I really like having the option it helps back/neck fatigue and once you learn the button it becomes 2nd nature but it does feel awkward at tho you have less control.

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