Member since 7/13/11
Date: 2/22/12 2:08 PM
I am an experienced sewer (made all my own clothing, coats, wedding gown, curtains, etc.) who hasn't done much creative sewing in the last thirty years while raising three sons. I now have three granddaughters and am looking forward to getting back to it.
I have a old Kenmore (with cams!) that I am looking to replace. I think I'd like to try some embroidery, monograming and quilting, but the main focus would be normal garment construction. There are so many brands, models and choices out there, I'm overwhelmed.
My sister-in-law swears by Bernina. My sister loves our deceased Mom's Newhome (now Janome I think). My local dealer seems to be pushing Baby Lock. My husband knows how much I enjoyed sewing and is encouraging me to buy whatever I want, but how do I decide?
Would appreciate any help, ideas or suggestions. Thanks!
Member since 2/28/05
Subject: Help! Im overwhelmed! Date: 2/22/12 2:21 PM
If you want to get into embroidery, I would recommend brother/babylock or janome.
Elna 740 Excellence
Member since 3/4/05
Date: 2/22/12 2:39 PM
People search out those old Kenmores like you have...they are great machines! Is it still in good operating order? and then consider an embroidery-only to complement it?
I can understand, though, wanting to see what's new, exciting and motivating these days as far as machines go. A lot of machines today make sewing sooo much easier.
Member since 10/20/07
In reply to CSGiord
Date: 2/22/12 2:51 PM
I'm also looking for a different machine. It's tough out there...I've been through a number of them in the past few years.
I do have a Brother PE-770 for doing embroidery. I love it! If you have room for 2 machines I think it's a fabulous idea to get separate sewing and embroidery machines. I find that I use the embroidery much more often since I don't have to drag out an embroidery unit.
Anyway, sorry I'm not much help, but I'll keep an eye on this thread. It will be fun to see what you choose.
Member since 11/8/05
Subject: Help! Im overwhelmed! Date: 2/22/12 3:00 PM
Try a few modern electronic and mechanical machines to see if you'd prefer one type over the other. I prefer all the convenient features of the electronic ones myself, but some people can't get used to all those buttons/gadgets and still prefer a mechanical. If you'd like an electronic, start looking at combo machines that will do embroidery too. If not, consider a modern mechanical and an embroidery-only machine. I agree with Rebe that for embroidery, a babylock/brother or janome are the most user-friendly. Bernina has a solid reputation among mechanical enthusiasts, and Ive heard good things about their combo machines as well.
As far as the buying, consider the dealer and the budget for after you buy the machine. A good dealer can make learning the machine easy, as well as taking care of problems, should they arise. Machines today seem to have lots of accessories. Take a peek at different brands' choices, and see what the general cost would be for presser feet, hoops, etc.
Good luck and have FUN!
Member since 12/7/05
Date: 2/22/12 3:27 PM
yes, try them out, and don't be too swayed by the name. Visit different dealers, test the machines, see what you like. Take your own cloth and thread. Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Consider the price of additional accessories, if you think you'll buy those....
Viking Lily 545
Bernina Activa 210
Member since 11/16/07
Date: 2/22/12 3:50 PM
yep i say try them out differnt folks seem to like different things in machines
Member since 12/13/08
Subject: Help! Im overwhelmed! Date: 2/22/12 4:42 PM
Before you go out and start looking at all the new fancy machines, I'd get out your current machine and start sewing again. I think you'll quickly get a good idea of what features you'd like your new machine to have. THEN take that list of wants/needs/must-haves and start looking at machines. It can be pretty easy to be overwhelmed and/or swayed by all the various fancy features, and lose track of what you actually need for the type of sewing that *you* want to do most.
(Unless, of course, you're like my MIL, who was so unfamiliar with modern machines that the only item on her wish list was a built-in light! ;))
~Gem in the prairie
Member since 12/3/06
Subject: Help! Im overwhelmed! Date: 2/22/12 4:59 PM
Brother or baby lock. Have had both brands for machine embroidery.
However, the bl is a combo. Some like this (combo) and some do not.
I bought the bl for embroidery and was very pleasantly surprised when I sewed with it and found it to be very, very quiet.
I made a sample of straight stitching, using Singer, Elna, Bernina and baby lock. No one could tell the difference in the quality of the stitching.
I tend to purchase sewing machines based on the dealer. If I like the dealer and staff, I buy their product. If I do not care for the dealer or staff, I buy elsewhere.
“I don’t give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s Hell.” — Harry Truman
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge
Member since 12/8/05
Subject: Help! Im overwhelmed! Date: 2/22/12 5:11 PM
I have the Viking Designer Diamond, my SIL has the Baby Lock. After seeing some of the neat features, such as camera above the needle, I wish I had gone with Baby Lock. But everyone is different, hence so many different opinions.
Take your time and check out the dealers and machines. I would have to rank dealer connivence and support extremely important. Driving to a dealer may not seem like a big deal when you are shopping. It become an even bigger deal when you are taking lessons, need service or have issues and with gas prices starting to go, or in my area have already gone, over $4.00/gallon it is something to consider.
-- Edited on 2/22/12 5:17 PM --