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  1. #11
    Designer Diva

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Near Little Rock, Arkansas
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    423
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    Default Re: New Sewing Machine

    I used a brother pr420 for a few years before I got my pfaff. It struggled with some thicker items but overall was pretty good. It had the little bit larger throat to help with bigger projects and was extremely easy to learn. I did not feel the decorative stitches were all that great in that some were a little sloppy and some were more like repeats. I loved just being able to use cheaper feet, needles, thread and it working fine with whatever I threw at it except for tough things. They sell between $350-400. I watched around the holiday sales and got it online.
    I wanted a few more features and moved up to a pfaff performance 5, which costs around $2000. Sews through absolutely everything! I am in love with IDT feature and it was very easy to learn also. All it's deco stitches are wonderful. It does prefer Schmetz or Inspiria needles and while it does not mind any thread I give it, it likes a better quality a little more.
    I would also say stay away from singer unless you can get the few that have good ratings. I helped my dd buy Singer Heavy duty 4411. Neither wanted to spend a lot and neither sews except for specific things. My dd said hers is working good on her leather (she makes pillows, purses, etc.) so we know it can handle really tough things. My dil says hers works great for her needs of crafts. This machine will do needle positions and other things that are way more advanced than my 30 yr old singer I started with so I am awed they are starting with such a nice machine for the price. We got them online and again watched for holiday sales. They paid around $130 with free ship. Then my Christmas to them was feet, needles, etc. ;-)

    Right now my sew shop is having floor sales on a lot of demo models. It may be the perfect time to at least go look.

    When I shopped, I looked at Bernina, Pfaff pretty much. I wanted something made to last longer and that did almost everthing because I probably won't be buying another sew/quilt machine at this point. These were the only dealers close to me. the next options were about 3 hours away. The Bernina were too much for less features so I went with Pfaff and I don't regret it.

    the other thing to think about is dealer. I have taken my pfaff in about 3-4 times with questions or issues and they fixed it, walked me through it, whatever without any additional charge or even any snotty attitude or issue. my cutting blade seemed to not be working well and since it was new I wanted to make sure everything was running top notch. They replaced the blade and the motor giving me a loaner of exact same machine! Can't get that kind of service everywhere! I was very happy to deal with them. I also took in a photo and video on my phone of exactly what it was doing because it did not repeat the behavior every single time. I am so pleased with my shop. they have classes for buyers also so we spent an afternoon being shown all the wonderful features of our machine.

    So

  2. #12
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    6,897
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    Default Re: New Sewing Machine

    I have a Brother PS1000 that is 15 years old, did not give me any trouble until this week. Suddenly very noisy and take up wheel that controls the needle is locked up. Took it apart twice and cleaned it, that did not help. It has been an okay machine for me but a few things I do not like about it:
    1. To backstitch you have to hold a button down the entire time.
    2. To start a seam you have to pull out a pretty long tail of thread --3" or more or machine becomes unthreaded.
    3. No needle stitch position. Center only.
    4. The lever for lifting the presser foot is in a very awkward position.
    5. No needle threader.
    6. You have to unthread your entire machine to wind the bobbin.
    I do not machine quilt so have no opinion on that.

  3. #13
    The Guild President

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    998
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    Default Re: New Sewing Machine

    As far as currently manufactured machines go, my opinion is that Singer is a better value. Brother throws in a ton of extra features at the cost of the guts of the machine. Look inside a Brother, it's all circuit boards and a few bits of metal to move the needle; Singer is all metal.

    But ...that doesn't mean Singer is inherently a better buy. You may want more features at the same price. Brother is a very good sewing machine, both their big box store ones and their high end dealer models. I happen to love a sturdy mechanical machine with practical features. I love a machine I can fix myself (and so cheap I can toss it and buy a new one instead of payments ng/waiting for repairs). My Singer Heavy Duty is still serving me well after a few years. Really comes down to what you want and what you can afford.

    It almost sounds like you might want to look at used machines. People here have tons of good info about that.

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  5. #14
    Batting Beauty

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Posts
    279
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    Default Re: New Sewing Machine

    I've had Bernina machines for 30 years. They are pricey but they are wonderful to use. They also hold their value if you ever want to trade one in. Plus if you buy one from a Bernina dealer you get free lessons in using it. Also make sure you like and trust the dealer of whatever brand you choose.

  6. #15
    Binding Belle

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    204
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    Default Re: New Sewing Machine

    Faithful to a tee on Janomes. I have 4 - a 6600, 8900, 11000 (emb) a little magnolia I use now and then. All have been good dependable machines. I've also owned a 1600 and a 6500. Real workhorses. I've done a fair amount of garment construction with my 8900 and it does well with buttonholes and zippers and such.

  7. #16
    The Guild President

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    MI
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    917
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    Default Re: New Sewing Machine

    I find your comments intresting.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjkaiser View Post
    I have a Brother PS1000 that is 15 years old, did not give me any trouble until this week. Suddenly very noisy and take up wheel that controls the needle is locked up. Took it apart twice and cleaned it, that did not help. It has been an okay machine for me but a few things I do not like about it:

    1. To backstitch you have to hold a button down the entire time.
    I agree. I hate that. My older machines do not have this 'hold' function. I think it became more common with the cheap plastic machines in the 80's. One of the reasons I stick to older machines. Although my Viking from the 60's must be held, it is forgiven since it has a low gear and plows through all kinds of stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjkaiser View Post
    2. To start a seam you have to pull out a pretty long tail of thread --3" or more or machine becomes unthreaded.
    Every machine I've had requires a 6" head start, but I don't mind. Some times I tie the tails when I'm done, so I rather like it. For piecing, I chain stitch.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjkaiser View Post
    3. No needle stitch position. Center only.
    Not a fan of the stationary needle. Acceptable in some of my machines, cuz they're tough, reliable, and cute, but I wouldn't buy a newer machine without the adjustable needle position. My 60's Viking has it, and that is another reason I use it a lot. I can get that stitch line right where I want it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjkaiser View Post
    4. The lever for lifting the presser foot is in a very awkward position.
    Curious as to where it is. Most of mine are in the back by the needle. I don't even have to look, because my hand reaches it naturally.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjkaiser View Post
    5. No needle threader.
    I have never had, nor wanted one. The ones I've seen look harder to manage than just poking the thread through the needle.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjkaiser View Post
    6. You have to unthread your entire machine to wind the bobbin.
    I thought most machines were like this. My Singer Athena 2000 doesn't require it, but many people can't figure out how to do it. I did it once at a quilting group and they were all facinated when I re-filled my bobbin without removing it or unthreading the needle. For other machines with a handwheel clutch, I have learned to use another spool of thread on the 2nd post or a stand, and leave the needle threaded.

  8. #17
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,867
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    Default Re: New Sewing Machine

    If you just want a good large harp straight stitch machine, with lots of power, the Singer S 16 is great. Heavy. Mechanical. not electronic. Nothing fancy. Sells for a little over 400 I believe, from the Singer website. At least it did a few months ago.

  9. #18
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Just outside of St. Louis in rural Missouri
    Posts
    15,191
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    Default Re: New Sewing Machine

    Having your budget would help considerably. I love my brother machines. I have in Innovis 450 Q that is my main machine. Then bought a Brother CS6000i...it is a nice machine for not much money. (about $150) I have made several tops and even FMQ on it. A couple of gals at the retreat have them and love them...if you are on a tight budget. I bought mine as a spare, but use it frequently. Just recently I bought a little Janome Hello Kitty machine. it is a 3/4 sz machine, but according to Jean Sewing Machine..it a real little work horse and can sew through many layers. It can be bought for about $120
    Blankets wrap you in warmth, quilts wrap you in love

    Marilyn......

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  11. #19
    Batting Beauty

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    251
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    Default Re: New Sewing Machine

    No one has mentioned Baby Lock which is what I have. It's the Melody model, I have had it for about 2 years, but didn't start using it heavily until last year. It works great and has some, but not a lot of embroidery stitches. I have never done much machine embroideryy so I don't mind about that. I had the lowest price Bernina before that and it worked well but my eyes got to the point that I couldn't see well enough to thread the needle and the bobbin was in an inconvenient location. I needed a drop in bobbin and self threader and I am very happy with my Melody!
    Nancy

  12. #20
    4 Patch Pro

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    45
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    Default Re: New Sewing Machine

    I still have my basic Janome sewist 512 and LOVE it!! Had it 12 years...never one problem, its my favorite. Also own a brother....good machines. I have to agree with others, singer machines are not what they used to be.
    My advice...figure out what you need....then what you want and your price range. Dont overspend...its not worth going into debt. Theres always a newer fancier model out there, like new cars.

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