Sewing Patterns, Pattern Review, Sewing Classes, Sewing Machines and Sewing Machine Reviews!
Platinum Sponsor: Stylish Fabric
Over 20,000 of high quality reorderable fabric

[SIGNUP - FREE Membership & 1 FREE Sewing Lesson ]
[Sewing Classes|Shopping Bag Your Shopping Bag|Login|Help]
Sewing Review and Pattern Reviews Sewing Knowledge Base Sewing Patterns Sewing Classes & Sewing Lessons Sewing Machine & Embroidery Machinery Sewing Message Boards Sewing merchants Blog Help/FAQ About Pattern Review
Enter your e-mail address:

Advanced Search
New to PR?
Sewing Machines
Compare Sewing Machines
Sewing Machine & Serger Reviews
Embroidery Machines
Sewing Reviews
Sewing Patterns
Review Gallery
Sewing Books
Sewing Supplies
Sewing Websites
Sewing Stores
Sewing Class Reviews
Sewing Expo Reviews
Sewing Tips & Techniques
Sewing Podcasts
NEW!Fabric Glossary
Sewing Review Requests Add a Review Request
Your Account
Edit Profile
My Page
Wish List
Pattern Catalog
Friends of PR
Join Friends of PR
Find a member
Deal Corner
Photo Album
Chat Room
Chat Schedule
Chat Transcripts
Sewing Classifieds
Add a Classified
Sewing Contests
enter contest
contest report
contest gallery
Favorite Links
reviews with comments
merchant gallery
article archive
newsletter archive
Craft Resources
contact info
shipping rates
returns & refunds

Platinum Sponsor - Stylish Fabric
Stylish Fabric
You are not logged in. Login here.

Message Board > Sewing Machines > Help me make a decision, Please! ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
Go to Page:
Help me make a decision, Please!
On a brand new TOL sewing machine
Miss Fairchild
Miss Fairchild
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 7936
Login to reply to this post

Date: 1/13/13 8:18 AM

I'm toying with the What If? of tossing out all my vintage machines, including my newer ones and getting a brand new TOL ultra expensive ($3,000 and up) model, and I'd like for you to help me. If you have a TOL something or other (Bernina, Babylock, etc) can you please answer the following questions:

1) Do you think vintage machines are inferior? If so, why?
2) What brand of machine did you purchase?
3) Is it the TOL of that brand and what is the model number?
4) Can you give me the listed price?
5) Why did you purchase it?
a) It had lots more features than any other lesser priced model. If yes, what have you personally compared it to?
b) Higher price means better quality
c) All my other sewing friends suggested I buy one
d) I wanted to be "in" with everyone else. They had Berninas/Babylocks, etc., and I wanted to belong.
e) I felt it was about time I moved up in the world
f) It gives me status I can't find anywhere else.

Finally, can you convince me that I should do away with all my other machines and buy one like yours?

Mufffet, as Garfield once said, "No guts, no glory".

"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

My blog:

Julkane  Friend of PR
Member since 9/14/07
Posts: 689
Login to reply to this post

thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 1/13/13 8:44 AM

Oh my - I could never part with most of my machines. I have some beautiful vintage machines that I just look at; they no longer have to work but on a cold snowy day I may play with one. Are you considering a sewing/embroidery machine or just sewing? Remember even if you have a great new machine, you need a back up for when it goes to the shop. And today's machines go to the shop way more than those of yesterday. All that being said I have rarely been influenced by a friend to get a new machine; rather I get new machines for new features that I desire. But I have never bought a new machine because it was the TOL; especially embroidery. I think the TOL embroidery machines have so many features that I would only use once or twice a year so I have not upgraded my embroidery machine for many years. Now my sewing macines that I sew with daily, I look for features that make sewing easier and more enjoyable. I can justify these purchases because I actually use them regularly. Do alot of research, do not buy impulsively and you will have no buyers remorse.

Elna Excellence 740, Pfaff Quilt expression 4.0, Janome 300E, Brother 8500D, Babylock Ellageo, Janome 900CPX CoverPro, Brother 5234 Project Runway Serger, Singer Treadle, Singer 66, Singer 99

Member since 5/28/12
Posts: 2626
Login to reply to this post

Date: 1/13/13 8:48 AM

I need coffee before I take a shot at your list.

You could have started a dozen individual topics (& that's not a bad idea) to get discussion on most of these aspects.

My projects (and life and times!) are on

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Ovation serger
APQS George ... oh heck... go Millie!

2014: Sold the 7700 to make room for a 5.5mm machine alongside side my Ellie.
2013: Wow.. no real new toys - too much family drama!!!!
2012: New Elna Lotus for granddaughter, Red Elna Press, Horizon 7700, Gidget 2 Table, Babylock Ellisimo Gold
1970's: Elna SU62 & ElnaPress

lgrande  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Member since 1/18/12
Posts: 1546
Login to reply to this post

In reply to Miss Fairchild <<
thumbsup 2 members like this.

Date: 1/13/13 9:13 AM

I have no opinion as to whether vintage machines are inferior or not because they do not interest me. In the least.
I have a TOL Bernina and now that I also have a tech who can tweak it properly, I LOVE it to pieces. Of course, I'm a girl who has to have the all the fancy options that only come on the TOL machines. I looked at BL before I bought but don't have a real dealer locally, or any other dealer for that matter.
I really like the looks of the Berninas, for what that's worth. I don't like swoopy shapes or girly colors. I like a 'let's get down to business' looking machine that shouts sophistication.
This machine is the only machine I need. Of course there's a couple of older models in the closet for when the Bernina has to be serviced but I no longer enjoy sewing on them. I'm spoiled now.


Bernina 830LE
Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000
Bernina B530
Janome 6600P
Pfaff 1209
Babylock Evolution
Janome 644D

Mufffet  Friend of PR
Member since 8/14/05
Posts: 10496
Login to reply to this post

In reply to Miss Fairchild <<

Date: 1/13/13 11:35 AM

1) Some are and some aren't. Don't want a Morse as they weren't so hot to begin with. Just seem so now in comparison. Singer, Kenmore, Elna, Pfaff, Viking, Bernina and White were the "good" brands back in the day (and I remember the day).

2) Which time?
a. Viking - not TOL, but close - Platinum 770 @ the time listed at somewhere around 2500? Paid 900.
b. Pfaff yes it was TOL at the time I purchased it - 1222E listed in 1977 at somewhere around 1200 and I paid less.
c. Janome - not TOL, listed at 1200 but paid less. MC6300P
Various other not TOL machines.

Bought them because they fit the profile of what I needed at the time and still do.

Skipping to 5 because 3 & 4 are in the last paragraph -

of course "e" !!! them all!

-- Edited on 1/13/13 11:36 AM --

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

I have sewing machines

Learn To Sew
Learn To Sew  Friend of PR
Member since 4/12/05
Posts: 10841
Login to reply to this post

In reply to Miss Fairchild <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.

Date: 1/13/13 11:36 AM

I'll ask you a few questions, if I may.

1) What do you want to sew differently than you currently sew?
2) Do you want to learn to do embroidery or stay with garments, home dec, etc?
3) What new features are you interested in? Knee lift, hover, led lighting, wider harp, modern foot pedal, more decorative stitches, more buttonholes, etc.
4) Vintage vs modern. I only had 1 vintage Singer and it did not work right. I'd still like a 401A someday, but it really does not matter. I only wanted it becasue the sound reminds me of being little and listening to Mom sew on her 66. I am more of a bells and whistles girl, and love Bernina. More expensive, but the solid feel of the machine (630) amazes me each time I sew with it. I have a Pfaff, but it is not the quality as my Bernina. Not even close.
5) Higher price for better quality? Not always. This is a grey area and will take a lot of testing on your part to decide this.
6) If you feel it is time to move up in the modern world, do it. You are the only one holding you back.
7) Thin the herd and keep just a back up machine. This might not be easy for you to decide on which one or two to keep. Re-home the rest of them. You will have some room and feel less pressure from so many machines.

I can't wait to read what others will suggest. Have fun. Trying to find THE machine that makes your heart sing is fun and frustrating at the same time.

I am a Quilter at heart. I love to play with fabrics, patterns and colors. Recently I have discovered I enjoy doing applique. I love making pictures. Using a sewing machine is much easier than counted cross stitch or oil painting for me. I enjoy landscape quilting as well. I am working on my first applique project in the spring of 2014.
Bernina 630, my main machine
Pfaff 2036, my class machine
Babylock Molly
Bernina 1200DA serger
Unique Sewing Cabinet 450L

Wendy J
Wendy J  Friend of PR
Member since 5/18/07
Posts: 318
Login to reply to this post

Date: 1/13/13 11:47 AM

Vintage machines do not interest me, but many do love them and enjoy collecting them. For years I sewed on a Pfaff 1473 which I loved and still do. At the time I wanted the Bernina 1230, but was talked into the Pfaff as it offered more for the money. I always lusted after a Bernina, yet loved sewing on my Pfaff. I'm a garment sewer. A few years back I was yearning for a Bernina and purchased the Artista 630. This machine sews like a dream. Not an ounce of problem and it does everything plus lots more than I need. I also embroider baby blankets as gifts and the embroidery is perfect every time. My opinion would be to sit and sew at a machine and see how you feel using it. I love using my machine and still am in awe of it! I'm never one to buy a new model until all the "kinks" are worked out of them. It sure is fun to lust after them all! Enjoy your search!


Member since 6/27/03
Posts: 3159
Login to reply to this post

thumbsup 3 members like this.
Date: 1/13/13 12:04 PM

For what its worth, I don't think many people buy a machine based on b, c, d, or f. Its just not that important to MOST people. When someone plunks down large sums for the TOL's, it is for the possibilities, the promise and the potential they see of being able to create projects with more comfort/ease. Its easy to envision your own projects incorporating the embroidery or the extra-wide stitches or whatever it may be that pops your garter. Vintage machine enthusiasts like the manual hands-on interaction and straight-forward, reliable interface...feeling as though they control it all from start to finish. Not much learning curve other than mastering technique. I'd have to say for you (having been around here for years and reading yours posts) that you will require at least one vintage machine because this is an apples and oranges thing. The vintage has merits the others will never have and the reverse is just as true.

Member since 10/29/06
Posts: 2343
Login to reply to this post

In reply to Miss Fairchild <<

Date: 1/13/13 12:22 PM

Miss Fairchild, you know one has to "bond" with their machine(s). There are soooo many models & brands out there to chose from. I would suggest to make a list of what features you want and what you aspire to achieve with this machine. Then look at the dealers....what service and classes do they provide, you know "support". Then take your fabric samples and go sew, sew, sew. Take home the brochures and compare. Check online. Sometimes it comes to a time of toooooo much information, which can make your decision harder. Their will be one or two you will love with the dealer service, and go for it. Everyone has a different brand, just like cars, and no one can pick one for you.

As to vintage machines? Well, I just look at mine, and sew on my computerized machine. Yes, I am spoiled and don't want to go back unless I have to! Have fun shopping!

There is no easy way! quote from my Grandfather
Sharing is caring!

jannw  Friend of PR
Member since 9/3/06
Posts: 8438
Login to reply to this post

In reply to Miss Fairchild <<
thumbsup 4 members like this.

Date: 1/13/13 12:33 PM

Frankly, I think vintage machines are better! When I first joined PR, there was a wardrobe contest going on and I read the thread..three had to drop out in the last week or so because their machines all broke..everyone was a Bernina! I've never forgotten that...and the estimates were from 1 to 6 weeks in the shop...

I do have a TOL was TOL about 1961, but it still does what I want/need it to do..

As for the following statement

I don't think many people buy a machine based on b, c, d, or f. Its just not that important to MOST people.

I'm obviously in the wrong neighborhood...30 years ago as a single parent, I signed up for some lessons at a local quilt shop. I took my cheap Brother and was met with "Oh my, you are NOT expecting to sew on that, are you??" . Everyone else had expensive machines...mine worked just fine for another 8 years or so...Several months ago, I worked up my nerve and signed up for more lessons and took another cheap Brother(computerized, but still cheap)..I did get some looks, but I noticed that several with the more expensive machines couldn't get them to work properly...I do think that a lot of people are buying machines based on what they read or hear or for the $$ involved without knowing what they want or even learning how to use them.

My local repair shop charges $90 a visit just to look at a machine..repairs and parts may be extra. Warrenties expire or things aren't covered. At this stage of life, I don't want to have to deal with problems or try to learn to push extra buttons to get it to stop or whatever...I'm happy with my vintage and the cheap Brothers if I want something computerized...and if I take any more classes, I'm taking my Featherweight for the status involved!

2009-113.25 yds
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

Go to Page:
Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
printable version Printable Version

* Advertising and soliciting is strictly prohibited on If you find a post which is not in agreement with our Terms and Conditions, please click on the Report Post button to report it. Sewing Machines >> Help me make a decision, Please!

Merchants on PR
Unique Sewing Patterns
Budo Bear Designs
Asian Designs
Web site
Lanetzliving Vintage Sewing Patterns
Vintage Sewing Patterns
Style Arc sewing dress patterns
Patterns That Fit
Web site
Victoria Jones Collection
Timeless Hawaiian styles
Web site

Copyright © 2014® , OSATech, Inc. All rights reserved.
Conditions of Use | Posting Guidelines | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Online Sewing Classes
Altering Pants
Fee: $19.99
(Regular $59.00)
Altering Pants

Online Sewing Classes
Sew a Designer Unlined Jacket
Fee: $29.00
(Regular $49.00)
Sew a Designer Unlined Jacket

Lazy Girl Designs 120 Chloe Handbag
Review by JulieT on 7/19/06
Read Review

Sew Liberated Flora Tunic and Twirly Skirt
Sew Liberated Flora Tunic and Twirly Skirt

Price: $14.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

ZIPPERS - A downloadable Book by Shannon Gifford
ZIPPERS - A downloadable Book by Shannon Gifford

Price: $35.00
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Oliver + S Music Class Blouse + Skirt Digital Pattern ( Size 6m-4 )
Oliver + S Music Class Blouse + Skirt Digital Pattern ( Size 6m-4 )

Price: $15.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Oliver S Field Trip Cargo Pants and Raglan T-Shirt Digital Pattern ( Size 6m-4 )
Oliver   S Field Trip Cargo Pants and Raglan T-Shirt Digital Pattern ( Size 6m-4 )

Price: $15.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

New Look 6891
Review by loti on 4/21/10
Read Review

Butterick 6630 Pattern ( Size 18-20-22 )
Butterick 6630 Pattern ( Size 18-20-22 )

Price: $13.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Butterick 4110 Pattern( Size ONE SIZE )
Butterick 4110 Pattern( Size ONE SIZE )

Price: $10.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Subscribe to PR Message Board Feed Subscribe to the PR Message Board Feed Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe at NewsGator Online Subscribe at Bloglines Add to MyMSN