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Forum > Sewing Machines > New machine after 35 years with beloved Elna TSP ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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New machine after 35 years with beloved Elna TSP
Hoop
Hoop
Member since 6/2/12
Posts: 1
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Date: 6/3/12 6:19 PM

I'm venturing out into the machine market and am a bit overwhelmed by all the electronic features in new machines. I mainly sew clothing and do a bit of quilting. I've been looking at the Elna 720 Excellence and the Bernina 530 or 550. I like the buttonhole feature on both and the decorative stitches. Basically I want to upgrade and grow into the elcetronic age! Any advice or thoughts about these machines would be appreciated. I love my old Elna, it sews beautifully, is very reliable and sturdy, but it's time for a bit more!

Maia B
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Maia B  Friend of PR
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Illinois USA
Member since 10/27/10
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Date: 6/3/12 7:25 PM

Bernina has the 7 series coming out in just a few months, the lower model of which is reportedly intended to compete with the Janome Horizon (the Janome version of the eXcellence 740). It's rumored to have a 10" harp. If the models you are currently considering are the Elna 740 and the Bernina 550, I would think about waiting to see what the 7 series looks like, UNLESS you just wouldn't consider a new model.

Between the Elna 740 and Bernina 550, I'd say that the machines are just so different. The 740 has a large harp and built-in dual feed. The 550 has a narrower(5.5mm) stitch width and you'd use the walking foot. The harp is much smaller, 7.5". Go sew on them and I think it'll be clear.

I personally love having both the 820 and 630, i.e. a machine with a large harp, built-in dual feed, 9mm stitch width, and auto-cut AND a 5.5mm Bernina for precision piecing, narrow seams, and the easy and perfection of the CB hook. I would NOT want to have to choose. I love Bernina feet and my FMQ is simply dreadful without the BSR, not that hot with it (yet) but the stitches are consistent and beautiful.

Good luck in shopping and choosing!

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🌸 Plenty of machines, mostly Berninas 🌸

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
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In reply to Hoop <<


Date: 6/3/12 7:33 PM

The Elna eXcellence720(formerly known as the 7300)is nice, it's been out for awhile so no new production surprises. The Janome 6600 is basically the same but the Elna has their proprietary stitches on the 720. It's a flatbed machine so if you have garments that need a free arm, your TSP could cover that.

The Berninas you are looking at are equally fabulous, with a free arm but smaller space on the arm vs. the Elna. The 5 series Berninas are intuitively laid out, as is the Elna. I recently got the 550QE and really enjoy it. I hope you get a chance to try out both!
-- Edited on 6/3/12 7:37 PM --

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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Member since 5/28/11
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Date: 6/3/12 8:36 PM

I looked at the Elnas and the Janomes. The Berninas was out of my price range for the features I wanted. I really liked the Elna 720. It is an awesome machine with a few different features than its Janome counteropoint. However, the price is also different so I went with the Janome 6600. I have had it for a month and I love it. The feed is great-it has alot of nice stitches and sewing is a dream. I sew mostly garments too and wondered about the flatbed but it has not been an issue. Have you gotten to try out any machines? I think it will come down to what you like and are comfortable with sewing on.

Maia B
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Maia B  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/3/12 8:55 PM

Oops, I was thinking 740, not 720

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🌸 Plenty of machines, mostly Berninas 🌸

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to Hoop <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 6/3/12 9:10 PM

My advice is to go slow, and, if possible, try an extra brand or two.

Ask if there are any classes, pillow parties, or other sales tools that you can take advantage of to help with your decision making.

Even consider a class at your top one or two dealers using your old machine. I never took a class until I purchased my 'new' machine. You learn a lot from classmates, especially since many of them have traded up machines regularly through the years that you and I remained faithful to our old sewing companions (Pfaff 1229 here).

Make it clear at each step that you are comparing to find out what is best for you. When you think you are sure, consider a final trial with even more of your fabric samples than you took the first time.

If you think you will want dealer assistance with lessons, etc., be sure to trial the dealers too.

You'll always appreciate paying close attention to which of the machines are a better ergonomic fit for you. Do you prefer looking at a screen to the side or one to the front. Do you have a touchy wrist that prefers all touch screen or touch screen and dial combination. Get the sales staff to work with you so you have a substantially long hands on trial to make sure it is a comfortable fit.

Don't pay sticker. It seems there is always some promotion coming up.

I'm not familiar with the machines you are interested in. Features I enjoy are built in dual feed, scissors, easy adjustment of stitch length and width. Easy tension adjustment, great lighting (wait until you experience lighting on a new machine) and lots more. I put a high premium on the extra large bobbin in my machine and wonder if any of the Elnas or the soon to be introduced Bernina offer a large capacity bobbin.

Best wishes, I look forward to hearing how this goes.
-- Edited on 6/3/12 9:41 PM --

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Twizard
Twizard
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Member since 2/11/12
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Date: 6/4/12 10:40 PM

Try them with every fabric and thread combination you use. Take large pieces of fabric and your threads and take your time. I went in with one idea of which machine i wanted, and left with another machine, after trying them all. Of course I haven't mastered my new machine yet, but sewing with my fabrics helped. The sales lady told me she only used cotton fabric, and I had denim, leather, sheers, silks, etc. And using mynthreads told me what the machines could and could not do. I too leaped from an oldie to the modern technology, and classes help. Let us know what you get.

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Pfaff 1471, janome 8050, bernina 830, Pfaff Passport 2.0; sergers singer quantum lock 5, baby lock protege, pfaff 794

threaddy
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threaddy  Friend of PR
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Wyoming USA
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Date: 6/5/12 10:41 AM

The leap is frightening. It's serious time warp!!! But the creative expansion is unbelievable!!!

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"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." Theodore Rubin
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life's about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw
Dan 9:24-27

Bernina vintage and computerized, Bernina and BL sergers , BLcoverstitch (a stray Pfaff and Viking followed me home too)

erin2222
erin2222
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Oregon USA
Member since 4/3/09
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Date: 6/5/12 3:45 PM

I made "the leap" a couple years ago, and found it took a bit of getting used to. I definitely was overwhelmed. I still don't know all the features and things to do with my machine, which is a bit embarrassing.
I love the features that I have learned about and use. All in all, I'm glad I have it, but my old 830 record is my faithful friend whom I am loyal to.

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