Sewing Machine Recommendations

Have an idea but you just need someone else to agree (or disagree) be fore you go ahead as planned? Here is the place for feedback.
rajani
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Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby rajani » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:16 pm

My husband, bless his heart, is so happy for me that I'm enjoying sewing Victorian dresses and hats that he has offered to buy me a NEW sewing machine for Christmas. I'm willing to go up to $1000 and ideally I'd like something that can also embroider, although this isn't a requirement. I do have to have a machine with a long arm since projects frequently crowd the short-armed machine I have now.

I've been sewing on a 30 year old New Home which works and I will keep for a backup, but it's definitely dated. I've been looking around and have to confess that being out of buying one for so long, I'm completely bewildered at the range of machines out there. What's a good brand? What's something to be aware of? What's a good value? What's a reliable one? What is computerized and what isn't?

Any recommendations from all you sewing fanatics out there? I would sure appreciate any guidance if you've got anything to share.

Raji
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Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby ljt » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:19 pm

I have several Brother Machines and Love them all. I know they have a basic sew/embroidery but am not sure of the cost.
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Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby Heather » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:30 am

I doubt that you will be able to find an embroidery machine for less than $3000. Unless you go with an embroidery-only, in which case plan to spend about $2000. Machines are ridiculously expensive now days. I hate to say it but $1000 won't get you much in the computerized machines. And I really don't like the computer ones anyway, having purchased a $1500 POS by Pfaff in the past. I will never do that again. Fortunately, there is a great alternative.

My favorite all time machines are the Emerald line by Husqvarna. They are inexpensive, but pack a rock solid machine in simple package. I bought the md range machine version (122) when they first came out. I think this is now the equivalent of the 118. It has everything I need, nothing I don't need, and costs around $400. It is strong and durable, takes a beating and keeps running smoothly. I had bought it to fill in for my Pfaff when if broke down in the middle of a project, and I never went back to the Pfaff. I can't say enough how great this machine is. I have told a lot of people about them, and everyone who has purchased one has been very happy with it. You can spend a lot more money on something else, but you won't find a better machine.
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Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby Amphigorey » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:02 am

I have a Husqvarna Viking 1+ which I love. It's nice and heavy, super durable, and will sew through layers and layers. It also plays well with chiffon and other light fabrics. I got it for $750 used. It does have embroidery capabilities; nothing as elaborate or fancy as the computerized ones you can find these days, but it does plenty of stitches and you can program embroidery sequences. (eg: right leaf, left leaf, rose, leaf, rose, leaf, leaf, etc)

It comes with these changeable stitch cards. Each card has about 30 different stitches or embroidery patterns. I haven't really played with the embroidery much; I bought it because it's a workhorse and it's a solid machine.

The only annoying thing about Viking machines is that they only take Viking feet, and the feet are kind of expensive.
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Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby Amused » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:12 pm

Heather is right about the cost of new sewing machines and in particular the embroidery machines, it's shocking. :shock:

I have an older mechanical Viking and it's a good machine. I bought a newer computerized Viking recently and I ended up swapping for two different models (Emerald 183, Saphire 835) due to various unacceptable issues (like a speed limiter no matter the setting and poor stitch quality). In my recent experience, Vikings are not what they used to be and I won't be looking at them again. Next I tired a Bernina 380 at about $1500 and it was a lovely machine to work with except for the semi-automatic buttonholer. You must do the first button hole by eyeball then the machine will remember that and do the rest of your buttonholes fully automatically but you'd better hope you got the measurements right. :bang: It went back to the shop too. If I'm spending that kind of money on a sewing machine it had better sew nicely and have fully automatic buttonholes. I'm now on a Pffaf Creative 4.0 , I'll have to get back to you on how that works out.

Honestly, I'd recommend that you look at Brother machines. You will get more machine for your money and they do a good job (just check consumer reviews first). I'm sorry I didn't go that route, I can only trade up so now I've spent far more than I wanted and the quality of the machines aren't much better.
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Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby rajani » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:09 pm

Merry Christmas to me...

I just got delivery of my new sewing machine! After looking at lots of different machines from lots of different manufacturers, I decided on the Brother Laura Ashley NX2000. I happened to see this machine in demonstration and even though it was more than I had originally planned on spending, I was so impressed with it... not to mention that they had a deal where I also got a serger and a $300 rebate, which made the price of the sewing machine approximately what I have seen others say they paid in online reviews and essentially making the serger free! This thing is SO cool and easy to use. It does so much more than I could have ever hoped for from my old machine and it's given me lots and lots of ideas for new projects.

LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! :D Very happy. Thanks for all who responded recommending Brother. I hadn't considered them at first and I'm glad I gave them a look.
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Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby diana » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:05 pm

I understand the new Brothers require their own special bobbin which you can't purchase at a Joanns. Have you noticed that?
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Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby Kit » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:16 pm

I don't know about all of the Brother machines, but I have the Brother Project Runway edition and it takes a standard plastic bobbin that I can buy at Wal-mart. I haven't check JoAnnes for them though.
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Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby diana » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:51 pm

Yes, I meant that you must buy the bobbins from Brothers. It's not a universal bobbin that can be purchased anywhere. I'm hoping it is only the case with only a few of the new machines.
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Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby David H Smith » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:20 am

I am fascinated by all of the machine options now available, as a novice i'm still working on a 'hand cranked, turn of the century' Sowitch machine, with a 'Jones' flying shuttle. I've had to make the bobbin's for it, but it's become kind of 'an old friend'! A victorian machine still making Victorian clothes! that kinda makes me feel good 8)
marylou426

Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby marylou426 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:26 am

In response to the brother bobbin comments.I have a brother and its true it is hard to find boobins in the stores, however when I got my new brother and realized this I found them on ebay. I just looked them up by the model number and got a bag of like 100 for like 15 bucks.
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Re: Sewing Machine Recommendations

Postby diana » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:57 pm

That's great, Mary Lou!
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