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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Does anyone have experience with these sewing machines? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Does anyone have experience with these sewing machines?
Janome Horizon, Viking Sapphire or Brother Dreamweaver
molly
molly  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 8/19/04
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Date: 11/14/12 12:03 PM

I am looking for a new sewing machine and have narrowed it down to three, those listed above. I have now been to several stores and am finding it difficult to make a comparison since I can only find thorough information on the Brother/Babylock. I don't need an embroidery machine because I own the Brother PR650. It would be nice to have a machine which will sew on anything from leather(small amounts) to organza. The threader and cutter are important, as well as a variety of feet. I like that the Viking has the auto-pivot and does nice buttonholes (even though the selection isn't very big) but also really want a machine which sews consistantly well and has plenty of harp space. My current machine is a Babylock Decorator's Choice. It's been a good machine but am ready to step up. I was told Babylock Crescendo is the same machine as the Brother Dreamweaver.
-- Edited on 11/14/12 12:41 PM --
-- Edited on 11/14/12 12:42 PM --

quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
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MD
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In reply to molly <<


Date: 11/14/12 12:11 PM

My personal choice would be the Horizon.And that's just cost Janomes are so well made. Not sure of your budget but they just put out new Horizons but they are pricey. And the Symphony was the same as the Laura Ashly. Dreamweaver is a brand new machine.

------
quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

Artsewer
Artsewer  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/14/12 12:31 PM

Personally I had the Horizon and sold it to buy the Bernina 750 partially because I wanted the ability to add a large hoop embroidery module. But also because I never really bonded with the 7700.
I prefer the feed and bobbin system of the 750 also.
I know this is not on your list. I would look at the new 8200 before making any decisions. I also really liked the Viking 875 and the Babylock Symphony.
It really is more about how the machines feel to you in MHO.

------
Bernina 750Q, 635E, 380, Serger 1100DC

bradjo
bradjo
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Member since 12/22/05
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In reply to molly <<


Date: 11/14/12 3:07 PM

Quote: molly
I am looking for a new sewing machine and have narrowed it down to three, those listed above.

Like everything else you have to decide what is the most important to you.

My Horizon has an automatic thread cutter, you push a button and voila thread is cut. That's a nice feature but I don't care for how close the thread ends are so I always end up pulling them longer which would have been a one step process pulling out and using the attached straight blade.

Almost all the Janome feet fit the Horizon. Personally I don't know any that don't fit but the minute I made an absolute statement someone who knows much more about these machines than I would prove me wrong, LOL!

The harp is WONDERFUL and I can't shout that loud enough. If you don't want a long arm or want but can't afford the space/money etc.... I think the Horizon is a great compromise machine. Working a quilt top through this machine is much easier than my old Bernina 1130. I feel like I've lost 20 lb's quilting with this machine, if that makes sense ha!

The threader is not automatic. You pull it down, slide the thread around it and put it up. You get approximately a 2 to 3 MM thread loop you pull through the back of the needle's eye, simple and effective.

As for leather to organza, the machine should be capable of this but I have not tried anything on it other than some knits and cottons, canvas is about as heavy as I've gone and it stitched as nicely as my Bernina.

The Horizon also has an automatic buttonhole foot and creates great buttonholes on a variety of fabric. You can download the Horizon's manual on the Janome site.

Last but not least the new 8900 is out (the Horizon's successor), I'd buy that instead of the 7700 if I were looking now. Matter of fact I'm going to be getting the 8900 to replace my Horizon.
julsmalham
julsmalham
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 4/22/12
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In reply to bradjo <<


Date: 11/14/12 3:23 PM

Quote:
As for leather to organza, the machine should be capable of this but I have not tried anything on it other than some knits and cottons, canvas is about as heavy as I've gone and it stitched as nicely as my Bernina


I have been considering buying the Horizon and have tried it out with a variety of fabrics. The only fabric I was not satisfied with the results on was stretch jersey fabric. The stitches looked fine but it made the fabric look wavy. I used a ball point needle, experimented with the foot pressure, the tension and stitch length, but just could not stop the fabric from waving. I see that you have used yours for sewing knits, were they jersey knits? If so how did you find it. Can you give me some pointers. I really like this machine but I need it to do a good job on jerseys. Can you help?

I am waiting to try out the new Brother Dreamweaver.
bradjo
bradjo
USA
Member since 12/22/05
Posts: 14
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In reply to julsmalham <<


Date: 11/14/12 5:18 PM

Quote: julsmalham
I have been considering buying the Horizon and have tried it out with a variety of fabrics. The only fabric I was not satisfied with the results on was stretch jersey fabric. The stitches looked fine but it made the fabric look wavy.

Yup it was Jersey and it worked fine. I did nothingbut I only sewed stay stitches. The majority of the actual construction was done with my Serger, Bernina 334DS, (using differential feed to stop the lettucing [wavy edges]), and my CoverPro 1000 CPX.

I wouldn't try sewing knits on anything but a serger with differential feed. Actually that is precisely why I purchased my 334 in 1988 was so I could do a decent job on knits.

Over the 45+ years I've been sewing I've never found a machine that could sew knits better than a serger with differential feed. Let me re-phrase that. I've never been able to get acceptable results from a sewing machine on knits except in limited uses like stay stitching. From the New Home's we used in Home Ec. to Berninas, Brothers, Singers, etc. I've had/used over the years. However if you HAD to use a sewing machine the Horizon will do as well as any other machine. You might try the even feed (walking feet) and see if that helps a little.

But differential feed on a serger is different than a walking foot. It varies in a set ratio the difference between the front and back feed dogs. A walking foot simply adds top feed dogs to move in synchrony with your bottom feed dogs.
julsmalham
julsmalham
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 4/22/12
Posts: 89
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In reply to bradjo <<


Date: 11/15/12 7:57 AM

Thanks for your reply and explainations. I contacted Janome to ask them what I could do to sort out the waving of the fabric. They sent back a very short reply with no suggestions for adjusting the Horizon but said I should consider buying a serger! I could try the dual feed system the next time I'm at the dealers, but I don't think it will make much difference as the fabric fed through very evenly anyway. I have been using a 32 year old German made mechanical Pfaff Tipmatic to make a few jersey tops, which has worked quite well. It does the lengthwise seams with no problems but is not so good on the crosswise seams (the way the fabric stretches) So hemming would have been a problem if I had not banded both the bottom hem and the sleeves. I want to buy a new machine so that I can learn to quilt and thought that I might be able to get one machine that would do everything I wanted. I now realise that this may not be so, there is not one perfect machine and I may have to make some compromises. Maybe even buy a serger and coverstitcher as well as a sewing machine. So many decisions!! Your reply was very helpful. Thanks again

sew2006
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sew2006
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In reply to julsmalham <<


Date: 11/15/12 9:11 AM

Janome has overcasting feet "C" that comes with the machine. It has little wires that help support the fabric as it's being sewn to prevent the ripling. The Horizon can also adjust the rate at which the Accufeed feeds the top layer. It's a white dial on the right hand side of the machine. I use the overcasting stitches on my sewing machine when mending/ alterations in small areas. A serger sews much faster that a sewing machine, trims the fabric edge and using 4 threads for the seam rather than building up a stitch with back/forth movement makes a softer stronger seam. Serged seams can be undone for doing alterarions the overcasting stitch on a machine can't. Once you get the hang of a coverstitch machine twin needles are a distant memory. Sergers/ cover stitch machines are like microvave's and capucino makers in your kitchen.

------
Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

molly
molly  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 8/19/04
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Date: 11/15/12 10:21 AM

Wow! A lot of good suggestions! I am much better prepared to shop than at the beginning of this search. It seems as though quite a few people like the Janomes. I am only considering the 8200 and 8900. I do like my Babylock, though and should have put Babylock Crescendo in my heading. Off to the sewing machine dealers this weekend.

julsmalham
julsmalham
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 4/22/12
Posts: 89
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In reply to sew2006 <<


Date: 11/16/12 8:13 AM

Thanks I definately have to look into sergers and coverstitichers. I like your comparison to them being like microwaves and capucino makers in the kitchen. We don't think twice about buying these things, thinking of them as necessities. I think I will have to apply the same mindset to sewing equipment!

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