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Forum > Sewing Machines > Researching machines.. ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Researching machines..
Good enough for a top machine?

Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 10/6/13 6:04 PM

So, I'm new around here--I love all the reviews and I'm totally addicted to having a sewing community.

Lately I've been doing a bit of research on purchasing a new sewing machine, but wow...prices are high! I know, I know, obviously they're high because it's a specialized machine.

I'm toying with the idea of an upgrade to a Bernina (what I've mainly used) or a Babylock.

I currently have a Brother VX-1435 that has me ready to quit sewing because of all the limitations on it. I spend more time fixing the machine and troubleshooting it than I do on actual sewing. The motor is thiiiiisclose to being totally burned up from overuse.

For those of you who purchased your dream machine, when did you feel "ready" for it? I've been sewing for 25+ years and do garment sewing and just started quilting. How did you justify "needing" all the bells and whistles?

Thanks in advance for any input!
cruzer2013  Friend of PR
British Columbia Canada
Member since 8/11/13
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thumbsup 12 members like this.

Date: 10/6/13 6:07 PM

Maybe sewing for 25 years and just wanting the TOL features is justification enough!!

For 40 years, I've been telling myself that I'll be caught up in 2 weeks................

Julkane  Friend of PR
Pennsylvania USA
Member since 9/14/07
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Date: 10/6/13 6:27 PM

Life is short, after 25+ years you deserve it! I am not an exceptional seamstress or quilter but I do sew everyday and a few years ago I realized that it was time to have better tools. I don't spend money on jewelry or fancy cars or cruises or anything that is over the top so I figured I have worked all my life and I wanted sewing machines so that is what I splurge on. I am so happy when I am sewing so I know it is the right decision.

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

EleanorSews  Friend of PR
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Michigan USA
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Date: 10/6/13 6:38 PM

After sewing for 25 years, you most likely have a wish list of things you would like your sewing machine to do. You also know what you are working with dollar-wise. I think it's important to look at what sewing machines are available in your price range and what the features are and then go for it.

If you find yourself wishing you could do this or that when you are sewing, it is time to be looking for a sewing machine that does those things. Once I've reached that point, it is all about $ for me. I tend to approach most larger purchases with an eye to what I can comfortably afford.

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

KPM  Friend of PR
Hawaii USA
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Date: 10/6/13 6:56 PM

I felt ready for my TOL once I had a dedicated sewing space where it could stay out and I could run in and play whenever I had a few minutes. That old set-it-up-on-the-dining-room-table-then-take-it-down routine is simply not conducive to sewing productivity. If I didn't have a separate room I'd at least have one of those hutch type things that opens out and there's your studio. How much a month is your hobby worth to you? You can easily find a good new machine with a zero interest financing promo within that amount if you keep your eyes open and get on a few email lists from the big manufacturers. Then find a good dealer and go for it.

Let's just say all modern sms are well represented in my studio.

Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 10/6/13 6:58 PM

Thanks for the validation!

I do feel better about my decision to really upgrade. I'm a little sick of ruining every piece I sew because of my bargain machine (long story about that!).

My mom bought the TOL Bernina machine and serger when she was my age and they're still going very, very strong 30 years later. So, I do think you get what you pay for (within in reason of course!).

Now to do more research and comparisons...and convince the fiancÚ. He said no to a new machine

Also, what do you all think about the feasability of sewing for long stretches of time on either a Babylock, Bernina or Janome? As in at least 3 hours a day, but sometimes 8 hours or so? Do you think any home machine can really handle it? (This is assuming proper maintenance and servicing of course.)

Thanks again!
LynnRowe  Friend of PR
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In reply to
thumbsup 10 members like this.

Date: 10/6/13 7:16 PM

"He said no to a new machine"

I've never had anyone say that to me. Mainly due to them knowing what my reply would be in return.

Step #2: Go buy whatever sewing machine is The One for you.

(Don't ask me about Step #1, you probably wouldn't like it.)

I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.


dfsews  Friend of PR
Nebraska USA
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Date: 10/6/13 7:26 PM

I have a TOL Bernina. I have been told by different techs that today's machines are built to last a long time, even the computerized ones. I have had 1 Bernina for 10 years now and no problems.
One tech told me about a gal who embroiders and sews 8 hrs/ day. She gets her machine serviced every 6 mos because she uses it so much, but it's not a problem for the machine.
Of course you will need to brush out lint and oil your machine often. My 830 gets oiled every time I turn it on, per Bernina instructions.
As far as when you're ready for a TOL machine, I think that if this is a hobby you will continue (obvious from your 25 yrs in it), then invest in a great machine. Most of us worked our way up through some models we would have liked to drop off a cliff; I know I did!
When you have a good machine, sitting down to sew is a pleasure, and it's about the process of sewing, not about fighting with the machine.
So take your time to try different machines, and find the one that speaks to you. Good luck with your search! And yes, this is an awesome sewing community!
Addierecoy  Friend of PR
Member since 5/30/13
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In reply to LynnRowe
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Date: 10/6/13 7:54 PM

Quote: LynnRowe
[QUOTE]"He said no to a new machine"

I've never had anyone say that to me. Mainly due to them knowing what my reply would be in return.

Step #2: Go buy whatever sewing machine is The One for you.

(Don't ask me about Step #1, you probably wouldn't like it.) [/quote]


If you've been sewing for 25 years and sew several hours a day, you are overdue for a TOL machine. It's not a frivolous purchase when you can take full advantage of what a TOL offers.

I use my just-next-to TOL machine several hours a day, I'm careful about my maintenance, and haven't had a problem. The new machines from all the manufacturers are much more sturdy and less cranky than they used to be.
Member since 10/22/10
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Date: 10/6/13 7:59 PM

TOL means different things to different people. you should enjoy your hobby. if a new machine, even an expensive one, means you enjoy it more than what's to feel bad about
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