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I am in the market for a new one & I would love to get feed back about the greatest sewing machine out there! Why do you think yours is the best?


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    Aug 18, 2009, 02.29 AMby sew4my3

    Okay, I will add my thoughts on this. I started out on an old sewing machine at my grandmothers and believe it was a Kenmore. My grandmother had sewn on it for years and as far as I know had no issues with it. My next machine experience was with my fathers machine which was a Brother and he was always doing something to it to make it better. After I married in 1987 he bought me a Brother and it did fine for a beginner sewing machine and I have since passed it on(still working) to a college student I taught to sew. The only issue I had with it was the upper tension, which my father was able to fix. My next machine was a White that I bought in 1994 and still use when my newest machine is being serviced. I have never had any problems, not a one, with this White machine and it still runs like a charm! I only bought this new machine because I wanted to do embroidery, which brings me to my machine that I bought in 2000 that is a Babylock Esante’. I have had a few things that have bothered me with my Babylock like the first issue was the needle(timing) was off and had to be fixed and has never ran quietly since. The second is that the computer screen is off and if I want to touch a button on the screen I have to touch the screen up and to the far right of the actual button I want to use. I do like Babylock and have since worked out those issues in the newer machines.

    Now as for sergers, I bought a Singer serger in 1991 and it is a little power house that just won’t quit! I still own this one but seldom use since my husband and kids bought me a new Babylock Imagine two years ago. The two machines are like two different worlds with the Babylock being able to do everything but tie your shoes and the singer is strictly a 4 thread serger. I have not had issues with either one of these.

    With all of this being said and money was of no concern and I was going to buy a machine today, it would probably be the newest Bernina that is an sewing/embroidery machine that can do amazing things but cost a hefty $10,000.00 or more american dollars! I don’t see this machine in my future! Good luck in your search for the perfect machine!

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      Aug 18, 2009, 12.28 PMby thecuriouskiwi

      Wow that Bernina sounds amazing…I better start saving ;)

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    Aug 18, 2009, 12.26 PMby thecuriouskiwi

    Wow, this could open up a huge can of worms but I think I’ll add my two cents anyway :) I learn’t to sew on my Mum’s Globe and it is still chugging along and it must be atleast as old as I am. I love that machine since it has such wonderful memories associated with it. I eventually bought myself an Elna 2130 which is fantastic and I have never had any problems with it ever. It even survived a plane ride in a suitcase across the Tasman! It’s just a basic machine in the huge world of sewing machines but that’s all I need and it hasn’t let me down yet. I also just bought a Bernina 1150MDA overlocker and it is just as brilliant, it charges away and takes the load off of my Elna (which used to happily zig-zag every raw edge for me). I am so happy with both of my machines and I put my success down to careful investigation and selection. It’s actually really fun buying a new machine because you get to test drive them! Make sure you ask lots of questions and keep your list of needs/wants/budget firmly in mind. Also take along scraps of the types of fabrics you regularily sew with, it’s a great test. Best of luck, I hope you find the perfect machine for you :) xx

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    Aug 18, 2009, 02.28 PMby ichigogirl

    I would like to add just a little about a suuuper-feature in my (and some other) Pfaff-sewing-machines. They feed the material from both below (as usual) AND above, it’s excellent! This means there’s substantially less pulling; it’s much easier to sew in delicate materials, slippery materials, and materials that stretch a lot, since both layers of material are pulled past the needle instead of just one. This is normal in industrial machines (I think), but in hobby-machines only Pfaff has it (at least at an affordable price). This is a link to my sewing machine, that I love: http://www.pfaff.com/global/6407_6418.html I also like that it’s all mechanical (which f.ex. means it’s more likely it will be possible to mend it in the future, since there will be no expired or old fashioned computer-chips to replace). They’re not the cheapest machines, but far from the most expensive too, I’d say they’re about twice the price of the very cheapest ones, and about 1/10th of what computerized embroidery-machines cost. Good luck in deciding what’s the best machine for you!

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      Jan 18, 2010, 10.34 PMby angelical

      I have a pfaff performance 2058, and I can only aadvise you to get a pfaff!

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    Aug 19, 2009, 10.44 PMby oscarthegrouch108

    i was spoiled as a kid, my mom and my grandma both owned embroidery machines (one a Pfaff with the wonderful dual feed!). now that i’m on my own and had to buy my own machine i have a basic mechanical white machine that cost me about $100 U.S.

    as far as brands go, i feel that Viking and Pfaff are at the top. now that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a great machine with another brand, just the Viking and Pfaff are consistently great machines (old and new alike). one brand i tend to stay away from is Singer. They made fantastic machines 30-50 yrs ago, but the brand has let the quality slip to stay competitive price wise.

    what i would do is go to a dealer that has many brands to choose from and test drive them all (well at least the ones that have the features you want/need in your price range). some places will let you bring in your own fabric/projects to try with the machines (great if you work with finicky things).

    good luck! keep us updated!

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      Aug 19, 2009, 10.50 PMby oscarthegrouch108

      oops! forgot to mention that the second paragraph is pretty much just my opinion. feel free to test out machines and make your own decision.

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      Jan 26, 2010, 07.08 AMby charlana41

      I have had my Pfaff for four years, bought new, and it is almost a goner. I admit that I work her hard, at least six hours a day, however there is an upper tension part that is not made well. This is a Pfaff expression I am talking about. Yes the IDT is great but Bernina has the same technology in their walking foot and the parts seam to last much longer. Once I finally put my Pfaffie in the grave I will buy the Bernina Arista. From my test drive I am sure this will do me good. My sewing mentor is now the owner of a Bernina dealership and I trust her in everything from thread choice to buying a new machine.

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    Aug 22, 2009, 01.11 AMby januaryt

    Thanks for all your imput! I went to several dealers & I finally went with a Bernina. The one I picked had to be ordered so I will get it Monday. I am so excited & can’t wait to get sewing. Thanks again everyone.

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      Aug 23, 2009, 10.25 AMby peasant

      I have just joined this website and this is my first post on here! I am in England and am in the same position – intending to buy a new sewing machine so your questions and the replies were useful. I would love to hear why you bought the Bernina and also how you get on with it. I currently have a New Home, quite old and mechanical, and have 2 sisters who both swear by Bernina, but they are a bit expensive for me. I have also thought of buying a Janome or a Viking.

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      Aug 24, 2009, 04.33 AMby sew4my3

      Congrats! Glad to hear you’ve made a decision and I know you will be so happy with your purchase. I am kind of jealous! I can’t wait to see your creations from your new machine!

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      Sep 13, 2009, 05.24 PMby needlebug

      Which model did you go with? I just bought a Bernette 65, which is “made by Bernina,” and I was really disappointed by it. The tension was terrible, and within the first two hours of using it, the feed dog locked in the down position and wouldn’t come back up. Knowing that this is the cheaper model, I don’t really know whether to trust the brand or not.

      I have always heard that Bernina’s were the best brand, but I bought a used Bernina 801 that fizzled out after three years of use, and I am wary of buying another.

      Anywhoo, I am just wondering how the brand-spankin’-new Bernina is doing? Do you think it was worth the purchase? Thanks so much for any input!


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      Jan 16, 2010, 11.48 PMby vero31


      I am also looking for a sewing machine. Which one did you get? Is it a bernina or a bernette?

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      Jan 31, 2010, 12.13 AMby sewobsessed

      I am so glad that you bought a Bernina! I believe that whatever money you have to spend would be well used put toward a Bernina. I have 2 and a Bernina serger as well as 4 other machines. The Bernina is a work horse. As far as the Phaf dual feed the way the feed dogs are engineered you rarely need to worry about a dual feed and if you do you can use the walking foot. The knee lift is to die for! I do alot of intricate stitching and to be able to use both of my hands and still pivot the fabric is priceless. You will not be sorry, I promise.

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    Aug 22, 2009, 05.17 AMby deidrek


    I have had a my current Bernina for 27 years, its a 930 and has been wonderful, I also had an 830 which my mother now has, also an Elna which is a late 60’s model and still going as well!! I also have a Benina overlocker, they have all done a lot of work and are still great.

    Take good care of your new machine and it will give you years of pleasure!! I’m jealous I would love new one just a bit expensive at the moment. Will have to wait but wouldn’t part with my trusty of workhorse but I think it deserves retirment!!!!

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    Aug 24, 2009, 09.08 AMby katexxxxxx

    Take a look at my Sewing Machine buying essay… Whittle down the possibles and then as about specific models. I use both Benina and Husqvarna with joy and enthusiasm, but have yet to find a Janome I’d actually pay money for.


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    Aug 27, 2009, 03.51 PMby countrygurltracy

    I would like to say I have used many machines Singer, Kenmore, New home, White, Pfaff, and I have given away all but my Pfaff 1522 freestyle, and my Pfaff serger, and my New Nome 641 which is older and i only use for the blind hem stitch and the kids to use so they don’t mess up my machines. As for Machines I will never buy any other machine then a Pfaff again I have had them over 5 years and they have never had to have them fixed for anything other then there yearly cleaning. I used to have my own shop where I mended leather, canvas for boats, and they never skipped a beat. As for an embroidery machine I love the Husqvarna Rose they do not make anymore the only thing with it is you need to run a fan behind it because of the over heating issue it has and as of yet I have not been able to find anyone to fix it.

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    Sep 9, 2009, 04.18 PMby florean-fortescue

    I’m not an expert or anything but I am very happy with my Singer. No problems to speak of, a girl in my sewing class has a brother machine which is not particularly good however. We use Janome machines at school and they seem to be very good too.

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    Jan 16, 2010, 11.53 PMby vero31

    Hello I am looking also for a sewing machine. Mine that I gotr about 20 years ago seco nd hand was alredy 25 years old. Now it cannot be fixed again. My mum has a mechanical Bernina and a friend has also a mechanical Bernina. Both said not to get an electronic or computerized one. Any advice about that. I saw couples of Bernette that I liked, elecronic and kind of computerized. I also saw a Janone that I liked and a Juki. All the three machines that I liked are computerized. any advices will be more than welcome. I am making clothes, well I was, curtains but no quilting and no embrodery. Thanks Vero

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    Jan 17, 2010, 12.22 AMby katexxxxxx

    There’s nowt wrong with a good computerized sewing machine. My Hussqvarna Lily has done 10 years as my main professional machine ans still works as well as she did the day I brought her home.

    If you really want a mechanical, the Bernina 1008 is hard to beat.

    Bernette are Bernina’s cheaper range, bought in and badged. Really, you can do better for the same money. I’m not keen on Janome, and I don’t know Juki (only recently available in the UK, and none of the dealers I know well stock them). Take a look at the Husqvarna range, and their Husky Star ones. Also worth looking at are Pfaff – can’t remember what their budget range is called, but I’ve heard nothing bad about them.

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    Jan 18, 2010, 09.01 PMby gedwoods

    Hmm, I bought a relatively inexpensive Brother machine when I started sewing, about 18 months ago, because I wasn’t sure if I would like sewing and I didn’t want to pay a fortune to begin with. The machine still does a great job, although I read with interest about the dual-feed on the Pfaff machines, as I’ve worked with some sheer fabrics where I had troubles. So that might be a good choice for an upgrade. Essentially my issue is, on what basis or criteria might one determine an upgrade? I don’t need a machine to do basic sewing – my machine works fine. I already bought a serger (which cost nearly 3 times what I paid for the Brother!). I don’t have lots of cash right now, so upgrading is not an easy purchase at this moment in time. I have more or less decided to make do with the Brother a good while longer. But I am still curious – on what basis might I choose to upgrade?

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      Jan 18, 2010, 11.03 PMby ichigogirl

      I think when you feel handicapped and frustrated enough by your current machine, in combination with when you find the funds necessary to upgrade it’s time.
      That was the process when I got both my upgrades (first the pulling of stretch and sheer fabrics = a Pfaff Select 3.0 and then the lack of proper flatlock/overlock-seams = a Baby Lock).
      I think it’s a gut-feeling-process-thing…
      Or it might be a case of finding a good deal, like a renovated used machine of the model you want at a good price.
      Not that I really think that my ansver made you any wiser… ;-)

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    Jan 19, 2010, 12.38 AMby katexxxxxx

    When I start feeling handicapped and frustrated by my fancy Lily, I put her aside and go back to the straight stitch only hand cranks, the treadle and the 99K!

    I’ve been using some of the gadgets to make buttonholes. Just not quite up to Lily’s. I upgraded when I needed ultra fine control of needle position for concealed zips, multiple buttonhole styles and strong stitched eyelets for corsets.

    The right time is when either it just won’t cope with the fabrics you are sewing, be they ultra fine or fairly hefty, or you need a process the current one doesn’t do.

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    Jan 24, 2010, 04.03 PMby hannetalbot

    My machine is a Brother Innovis 10, and I love it. There’s loads of different stitches and it’s computerised. You don’t even have to use the foot to sew, there’s a button and speed controls on the machine, though a foot is provided should you wish to use one. It also comes with a nice pouch full of accessories – different machine foots, bobbins, unpicker, etc. I can’t remember how much it cost, I think it was about £250, maybe more. At school we also use Bernina machines which are fantastic, but I think I prefer mine… just because I’m biased that way! Have fun searching.

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      Jan 24, 2010, 04.29 PMby katexxxxxx

      I’m in the process of sending one back after having it on loan for a month to test. I must say that for the money it’s a nice little machine. It certainly wouldn’t cope with the volume and types and thicknesses of sewing I do (it refused to sew a couple of times on stuff I do fairly regularly), nor all the things I need (like eyelet sewing), but for £199 it sells for in several places, it’s a cute machine and worth the money. I had the Innov-is 10A Aniversary edition, which has a pink panel on it.

      The shop has just sent me a Bernina 1008 to play with for a month. Yes, it costs about three times as much, but the difference really shows!

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    Jan 25, 2010, 02.55 AMby Vivat Veritas

    i’ve used janome, kenmore and brother for sewing machine. i really like janome and kenmore, but i had a lot of trouble with brother sewing machine. i had to return it twice since the stitches kept skipping. apparently, it’s not only for my sewing machine since my mother owns a brother sewing machine and has the same problem.

    i use juki for surger, and it’s working very very well! mine is 4 thread overlock. totally recommended!

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    Jan 30, 2010, 07.33 AMby Webmaster Custom t-shirts

    There are many brands available in the market for sewing. Most of them give the fine way for sewing. Here in my country there are two most popular brands used for sewing machines Singer and Eagle. Eagle was one old fashioned brand and Siner is one of the modern brand we have seen.

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    Jan 30, 2010, 06.33 PMby carolinam

    I’ve started with a second hand singer, because i didn’t knwo if i would like sewingNow i know i love it. and because the singer wasn’t working well i desided to buy a new one (with help from the family) I bought a Bernina and i love it! It has the automaic button to sew but i use my foot to have both hands free for my work. It also has an arm to lift up the pressure foot with your leg/ knee so you can hold the fabric with both hands. with the back of your foot you can put the needle down in the fabric or do so by pushing a button. ou can also deside if the needle stops in the fabric or above before you start sewing. And then, there are the button holes Perfect ones. Just to name some things i like about my machine.

    The bernette also comes from bernina but is nothing to compare the real bernina’s with. I would personally not spend money on bernette. Next to Bernina there are also Husqvarna/ Viking or Pfaff wich are really good machines. They too have handy things, it just depends on what is important to you.

    But i also want to say; my great grandmother didn’t have all these technical options on her (now antique) singer and made beautiul clothes. Just takes more time.

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    Jan 31, 2010, 10.42 PMby flowergirl22

    I have been lucky to have been in a situation wher e I had access to allsorts of mashines,, pfaff, singer,, but now all theese years have past me, and i have found a mashine in argos , brother xl2620 special edition,,, £159 reudced to £108,, great little mschine,, leigthweigt,, easy to store,,

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    Mar 23, 2010, 01.54 AMby evidesigns

    I own a Janome MC9700. I absolutely love and adore it. It works really hard and reminds me of the quality with which industrial machines are made with. If I ever can talk my DH into it, I will get the PFAff creative vision 5.0. It is AMAZING!!!!! So until I convince my hubby, I will continue to do his hemming, mending, and other various gifts to win him over on the idea. Wish me luck ladies !!!! :)

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    Aug 2, 2010, 02.26 PMby bluedeva

    Thankfully i was spoilt by my great grandma and she taught all the women in our family to sew on her Singer 99k which she passed on to me, it is a 1954 model but still works amazingly today. Then my mother passed me her New Home(janome) the feed dogs aren’t the best for feeding the fabric through and sometime pukers the fabric, but recently my mother bought me and herself a refurbished Bernina 807 each and i can say hand on my heart that it is amazing. It is all well and good buying a computerised machine but i’m of the old school mentality that mechanical is best and Bernina have proved this over the years. I would suggest that maybe you should try out a refurbished Bernina over any new computerised machine anyday! You will never look back. After all these are what they used to have in schools colleges and uni’s for over 30years and if they can handle what art students throw at them (ie sewing through waxed dipped fabrics and still sewing perfect stiches) then they must be work horses and an ideal starting place to learn with. If you buy it from a recommended Bernina dealer like bambersew.com they will always be there to help you if you get stuck. I hope this helps x Enjoy sewing!

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      Nov 1, 2011, 11.39 AMby katexxxxxx

      I’ve sewn through tin cans on a 707… ;D Leaf ‘armour’ for a school costume, leaves cut from drinks cans.

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    Oct 22, 2011, 07.05 PMby queen-lili

    thank you guys all for sharing your experiences. they were pretty useful for me.

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    Nov 3, 2011, 10.44 PMby jenss-1

    I have a nearly 30 year old Bernina workhorse. It was a used gift to me about 20 years ago–perhaps the best thing I’ve ever been given. ( Thanks again Mom! ) I took it for a first “tune-up” recently and the repairman told me that this machine has actually gone up in value. It is apparently built more like an industrial machine. Surprising, but I have to say it is incredible well-made and I will probably use it forever. If I ever buy a new one it will only be for embroidery purposes or the like. I learned to sew on a 1960s Singer. It had some really nice buttonhole options. That machine, however, was unpredictable and the drop in bobbin system had constant tension problems. For me, I will only go with Bernina…

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    Nov 14, 2011, 01.47 AMby eklmcrn555

    The very best sewing machine I know of is a mechanical Bernina. I have the Bernina 1030 I bought almost 20 years ago. I have since purchased a Bernina Artista 200E and have never used it like I have and still use my 1030. I also have a top-of-the-line Pfaff mechanical I bought prior to the 1030 and didn’t like, thus the 1030 purchase. You will never go wrong with a mechanical Bernina. Sewing on one is like driving a Cadillac. Smooth as silk and not much can go wrong with it. The maintenance is extremely easy. They don’t sell them new anymore. The newer models have plastic outer construction and are not as good. The 1030 has all-metal construction as do all the older models. I suggest you buy one on Ebay and get a model 830 (Record), 930, 1030, or 1031. The resale is fairly high, but that is because they never lose their value. Don’t worry much about anything being wrong with one you purchase on Ebay as anything can be repaired. Just make sure all the parts are present. Now, if you must have one with all the bells and whistles (as I thought I needed), a newer (but very expensive) Bernina is nice. But computerized machines are more problematic, I believe. I think the top-of-the-line Babylock is also worth a look- it has an embroidery module as does the Bernina. Babylock definitely has the best sergers, so their sewing machines might be good as well. I don’t really know anything about Viking, Pfaff, etc. I know I would not buy anything but a top level machine in any brand. I would go to any dealers, in whose machines you are interested, and get a lengthy demonstration and ask a lot of questions. They all have tech updates that tell of any problems they consistently have with a certain machine. I would insist on seeing those. Forewarned if forearmed. Take it from someone who has bought machines they are not happy with. I wish you the best in your purchase. Enjoy!

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    Nov 16, 2011, 03.02 AMby Christianne DeHart

    I have a Viking Lily, but my favorites are the old vintage ones—of which I have about 20. They are flat out better machines than the ones that are made now.

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    Nov 21, 2011, 11.58 PMby Cassandraj16

    Does anyone who is an experienced sewer recommend computerized machines over mechanical? It seems like many like the mechanical over computerized. I’m looking to eventually get a new machine, I’m currently sharing my moms mechanical Kenmore 14..Its over 22 years old at least and was 100 dollars way back when. I have problems with it getting caught on the bobbin thread and sometimes when starting to sew it gets caught up. I don’t think it has ever been cleaned or repaired that I know of as well…lol

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      Nov 22, 2011, 01.15 AMby katexxxxxx

      For goodness sake clean it and get it serviced! Stop this cruelty to sewing machines at once! ;)

      I prefer electronically guided fancy stitches, and having 22 different needle positions is great for precision sewing. For miles of straight stuff, the mechanicals are usually a bit faster, especially Ye Olde Black Ones.

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      Nov 23, 2011, 02.32 AMby Cassandraj16

      I’ll get it cleaned :) I quickly looked at machine options the other day for mid-range computerized models the brother ones look like a good deal but i read some not good reviews. Are bernina really the best long term machines or do husqvarna or pfaff measure up?

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    Nov 29, 2011, 04.54 AMby CaliforniaPinsnNeedles

    The best machine is a machine that is suited to the type of sewing you do. Do you do a lot of garment work on high fashion fabrics? Then you need something that sews worry free on everything. If you are a quilter or home Dec diva, then get something with a long arm (10" or more) that can do quilting stitches like the feather stitch and freeform stitching. The next thing to consider is how you feel using it? Is it fun to use? Then by all means buy it! As quality in manufacturing goes, if you intend to log a lot of hours on your machine and also work with heavyweight fabrics for any length of time, get a machine that has a two- step motor. A two-step motor balances the sewing stress out so you will be less likely to have motor problems over the life of the machine. Regardless of what machine you get, do keep it clean! Just like your car needs an oil change, your sewing machine needs the bobbin case cleaned out between projects. I have a steel mechanical machine and a computerized machine. If I log 80 or more hours a year on either I spend the $75 to get it professionally cleaned and tuned.

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    Dec 16, 2012, 12.38 AMby dwolf81

    I’ve been sewing now for about 20 years and I got to say that there are a lot of great brands out there. If you want the best you have to pay the best price which could be about $1,000. I’m guessing you really want to know what is the best for a reasonable price that will last and do all the typical things you would want to do. You shouldn’t have to pay more than $200 to get a really good one that will handle anything you could throw at it. Singer, Janome and Brother all make great machines that fall into this category. Frugal5.com is also a great reference where you could find the best for the price at http://www.frugal5.com/Best-Sewing-Machine-For-The-Money . I would recommend any of the following machines:

    SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty, Janome Jem Gold 660 Lightweight, Brother XL-3750 Convertible 35-Stitch

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    Dec 20, 2012, 04.30 PMby fashionfrenzy

    can anyone tell me their views on the brother XL2230, how they find working on it?

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    Jan 16, 2013, 11.22 AMby jaydentyler25

    CONGRATULATIONS I have had a my current Bernina for 27 years, its a 930 and also been wonderful, I also had some kind of 830 which my mother today has, also a particular Elna that is a belated 60’s model as well as still going as well!! I have a Benina overlocker, they have all done a a good deal of work as well as are still great. Take good proper care of your brand new machine as well as it provides many years of pleasure!! I’m jealous I would love brand new one simply a chunk expensive at the present time. Will need to wait however wouldn’t component alongside my trusty of workhorse but I think it deserves retirment!!!!

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    Jan 18, 2013, 09.22 AMby sleepy-dumpling

    Has anyone tried the Janome DSK30? Janome doesn’t seem very popular here but the supplier suggests that they are one of the best on the market. I would like any thoughts please. x

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