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I’m just after your opinions on a new sewing machine that I now find myself (excitingly!) at financial liberty to buy (thank you, Mr. Tax Man). I’ve had two machines in the past – a Husquvarna ZigZag (an early domestic zigzag machine!) from the early 1970s that sewed like a dream, but eventually blew up, and the pretty basic Janome that I’m using now, and haven’t been happy with at all (lots of tension problems, and it seems flimsy). I do lots of dressmaking, quite a bit of applique, some patchwork and a little bit of quilting (I get my big quilts done by a quilting service). I also live a fair distance from any kind of city, and can’t get all brands serviced locally. Of the ones I can, I’m tossing up between:
- Brother Innovis 400 (just sewing)
- Pfaff Select 4.0 (looks like a good, solid, plain sewing machine)
- Janome 6260 Quilter’s Companion (hmm, not sure about Janomes in general)
- Brother Innovis 900 (embroidery too, which I think I’d use reasonably regularly, but does the embroidery detract from the general sewing capabilities?)

Of course, I will take the two hour round trip to go test them out, but even then, I’ll only be able to spend a little time with each machine. Any thoughts, particularly regarding reliability? I can get a Husqvarna at a pinch, even though it means travelling a lot further if something goes wrong – are the current models worth the effort? Thanks in advance – I really appreaciate your genuine comments!


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  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Jul 23, 2011, 09.17 PMby katexxxxxx

    If you like the solidity of that old Husqvarna, look into getting it reconditioned. If the motor shorted out, it may be replaceable for a lot less than a whole new equivalent machine.

    3 Replies
    • Bendigo_large

      Jul 24, 2011, 11.56 PMby emilybib

      I seriously thought about doing that for a while, but it also weighs about 35kg (not kidding – my poor Horn sewing cabinet would snap) and makes the most horrible buttonholes you’ve ever seen.

    • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

      Jul 25, 2011, 07.43 AMby katexxxxxx

      When was it last serviced before it broke down? It may simply need a daned good service and some adjustment, mechanically.

    • Bendigo_large

      Jul 30, 2011, 10.48 AMby emilybib

      Thanks again. BTW, I’m going to donate my two old machines to a charity that refurbishes sewing machines for refugee women in Melbourne, then teaches them to use them to start their own sewing and mending businesses.

  • Missing

    Jul 24, 2011, 04.26 AMby Danielle Seemann

    I have a Bernina and love it!

    1 Reply
    • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

      Jul 24, 2011, 12.13 PMby katexxxxxx

      Got mine (old 1005) back from a service and replacement of a few worn parts yesterday. Today Nina Ther Bernina is sewing so sweetly!

      In used Husqvarnas, look for something built in Sweden. In Berninas, look for Swiss built. Same for Elnas.

  • Bendigo_large

    Jul 30, 2011, 10.46 AMby emilybib

    Thanks for your advice – I went with a Bernina in the end, and I’m so pleased I’ve forked out the extra for it! It’s truly fabulous – I’m just so used to having to ‘drive’ my sewing machines that it will take a while to get used to some of the slicker functions of the new machine. Stand by for thrilling projects…

  • Missing

    Jul 30, 2011, 01.05 PMby caiti-cat

    I have just purchased a Pfaff Expresions 2.0. I named him Bruce. He sews like a dream! I had trouble with Husqvarnas and paid hundreds to get it repaired many times. Bruce was a solid investment.

  • Missing

    Aug 1, 2011, 03.43 AMby WendyLeeHillman

    Which Bernina did you go with?

    1 Reply
    • Bendigo_large

      Aug 2, 2011, 03.18 AMby emilybib

      A 380. Wowee! It’s fabulous. It comes with a 10 year warranty, and it’s got that lovely heavy feel to it that comes with metal parts and a really solid construction. As well as that, it does some fairly awesome things that make me very happy – beautiful automatic buttonholes, some lovely decorative stitches, handles several thicknesses of heavy fabric like it’s tissue paper (really good motor) and lovely stippling. I’m absolutely thrilled with it, and will post projects soon!

  • French_pattern_1_large

    Aug 1, 2011, 12.38 PMby NottinghamKnitter

    I recommend an Elna or Pfaff. These are a very good investment. I have my mothers first sewing machine which is an Elna purchased in 1962. It is in perfect working order and has needed servicing only once in all that time. The advantage of these machines are that they are all metal parts and therfore built to last. The down side are that they are that little bit more expensive but become wonderful things to pass on to your children or close others.

    1 Reply
    • Bendigo_large

      Aug 2, 2011, 03.20 AMby emilybib

      I came very close to getting a Pfaff. I liked the feel of them, too, but there’s more support and servicing around where I live for the Berninas. My model is mostly metal parts – I know what you mean about the longevity of these machines. Thanks!

    • This is a question
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