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Forum > Sewing Machines > Time for an upgrade! Give me your input, please! ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Time for an upgrade! Give me your input, please!
Janome vs. Bernina vs ???
LifeLovePassion
LifeLovePassion
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Subject: Time for an upgrade! **My decision page 7** Date: 9/10/11 10:03 PM

I am looking to ditch my refurb clunker of a machine (Brother cs6000i) and upgrade. I also have a vintage singer I picked up at a thrift store, but don't have running. I have visited the 2 of the 3 closest sewing centers. One had a sold Janome and they were going to show me a 7330, but they had sold the last one already. He was then offering a 2011 for $540 (with my singer as a trade in ( I only brought the singer along that day)). Anyways...
After I could research a bit (with the 5 and 3 year old occupied elsewhere) I found cheaper pricing online from Janome dealers online. I also found the janome 8077 for $300 which seems to be the same as the 7330. Are dealers flexible in their pricing? I'd love to buy/support local business and they also offer free classes, but every penny counts and I'd hate to spend an extra $100 on a machine just to have flowers on the front. It didn't really seem like "considering my trades" amounted to any benefit for me. Any buying tips would be appreciated!

Today I swung into a quilting shop that carries Bernina. I briefly looked at the entry level, manual machines. Then she had a trade in Activa 145 for $549. It came with several presser feet as well. I hear they are pricier to get additional feet for. I liked that the presser foot pressure was adjustable.

Are there other brands to consider? A 3rd sewing store, slightly further away, carries Baby Lock, Brother, Singer, Janome, Elna and White Sewing. I could visit, just haven't yet.
-- Edited on 9/23/11 6:29 PM --

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Rachel

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In reply to LifeLovePassion


Date: 9/10/11 10:21 PM

Well if you can swing the $500 to $600 range of sm I would consider the Elna & Babylocks also. I have really liked the Elna's Decorator's Choice myself but here it is a bit above $600 last time I checked $675, it has lots of feet & such a nice stitch, it is computerized . The Babylock Grace is a nice sm that is smaller than the Elna & runs around $400 right now in our area. It is dial computerized.... I myself prefer the dials but that is just me. It does a nice stitch also. There are so many many choices. It would help to know your price range & what you really like to sew. Others are much more knowledgable about Bernina & Brother's & of course Viking, Pfaff etc. .... lots & lots of choices.....

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Mufffet
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Date: 9/10/11 10:29 PM

You weren't really getting a deal on the 2011 Janome. It is the same machine as the Kenmore 19110 which sells usually for about 299 regular price. In addition, you won't actually get a "deal" with a trade-in although dealers like to make you think you will!Try asking them what their bottom line is price-wise it you DO NOT trade something in - I did that once and the stated price got lower!

If you can get a Bernina in your budget why not do that. That Active is a sweet machine and will most likely make you the nicest machine for a long time. Nothing against other machines, just sayin'. And I don't even have a Bernina.

Ye, Bernina feet would cost more, but they are quality and that machine and those feet will last you, and then you will use those feet on your next Bernina.You will get good service and support form a dealer if you are lucky. The Bernina dealer here is good, and I would hope the same for you. In any case, keep us posted!
-- Edited on 9/10/11 10:32 PM --

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Maia B
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Date: 9/10/11 10:59 PM

What's your budget? What do you need? Do you prefer a mechanical or computerized machine? Vertical or drop-in bobbin? If a mechanical with vertical bobbin would meet your needs, you might be able to find a Bernina 830 or 930 for around $500. Janome has a lot of choices, and more features for a lower price.

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sewfrequent

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In reply to LifeLovePassion


Date: 9/11/11 6:38 AM

I don't think the 145 has adjustable foot pressure. Since you mentioned it, it might be important factor to you. I like the 145 but found that i needed a walking foot for knits and some fabrics. Of the two you mentioned, I'd probably go with the Activa too if i had some warranty with it and it was in great shape. Ask to see if it has a metal hook. Some of those did and some didn't. I like Janome too and have several. You can find a good one in your price range. Pursue the bernina first and you might get a better deal once you're ready to buy.

Restart06
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Date: 9/11/11 7:55 AM

You will have a variety of suggestions here on PR, but due to my MIL, aunts, and other relatives experiences with machines over the years, Bernina is the way to go. That Activa sounds great. I would like one for a travel backup machine myself.

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LifeLovePassion
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Date: 9/11/11 8:20 AM

Let's see if I can remember all the questions asked.

Budget...still negotiating w/DH. I am guessing I could talk him into $500ish. But if a cheaper machine will meet my needs that is fine.

I looked up the Kenmore 19110 and right not it's $209.99. That is a long way from $540 for the equivilent Janome. Besides classes that the dealer offers, what would be the advantage of the Janome vs. Kenmore. If I spend in the $500 range, I'd probably rather get that Bernina, but if the Kenmore would be fine, it's more than a 50% savings. I do want a machine to last me until I would get really into sewing and need a serious upgrade if that would even happen.

What do I sew? Well at the time, not much. I can never get the tension right, my machine now frusterates me. What do I want to sew? I wouldn't mind learning to make a quilt. Mostly it'll be projects for and with my 2 girls when they get older (ages 3 and 5).

Not sure if I need adjustable pressure on a presser foot, I read it was nice though LOL. She did show me that the Bernina145 had it.

I did like that the Janome had a speed control feature so the girls can learn to sew on the machine. The Bernina did not have that, not that they couldn't learn with it, it would just be nice.

I'll have to try to make it over to the other dealer to look at those other brands hopefully Mon or Tues.

Can you tell me more about the hook I am looking at...so, is plastic not as good? Can it be replaced with a metal one?

Thanks for all your thoughts and questions. DH is really no help with talking this all out!

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Rachel

mary in FL
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In reply to LifeLovePassion


Date: 9/11/11 8:34 AM

If you can find a high-end Kenmore on sale, I would say to go for it.

My must-have features are free-arm, drop-in bobbin, stitch width and length selectors, and three-step zigzag. Nice-to-have features are needle up-down and speed control.

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LifeLovePassion
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Date: 9/11/11 8:40 AM

It looks like the most expensive Kenmore machine right now is the 19233 for $300. It has 215 stitches. Not sure which Janome that would compare to.

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Rachel

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Date: 9/11/11 11:13 AM

I used to have a Bernina 145. It did not have adjustable pressure. It did have a dial on the side to adjust stitch density (I think that's what it was). The pressure of the presser foot will stay the same.

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