Oliver + S

sugestions for sewing machines

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
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    wendy @wendyls

    You were all so helpful when I called out for advice on sergers that I’m putting this out there to you. I’m looking into replacing my clunker of a Kenmore sewing machine. It has served me well (I’ve asked a lot of it!) but I’m at a point where I can justify an upgrade. The trouble is, what to buy? My cap is $1000 but, really, something around $500 would be ideal. This doesn’t have to be the ultimate machine (that’ll have to wait a couple more years) but it does have to handle knits and heavier fabrics (like wool coating) very well. I’m using it exclusively for garment sewing (a good 30 hours a week on average), so I don’t need 200 crazy decorative stitches or anything like that. Just a good, solid workhorse. Ideally one that comes with a good variety of accessories (walking foot, edge stitch foot, rolled hem foot etc). I’d also like it to be quiet. Are all mid-range machines pretty quiet? Sometimes mine sounds like a gypsy cart! Well, not that bad, but it makes me crazy, especially when I’m sewing late at night! So far in my research I’ve come across many machines that seem to be geared more toward quilters, with embellishments that aren’t all that relevant to me. So, if anyone has any suggestions I’d be very grateful for them!

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    Jenny @Jenny

    I have a Bermina 1008 (categorized on the company’s website as a “Classic” and an “industrial workhorse”). It is incredibly quiet & strong and has all the basic stitches and features you need without a lot of clutter. I have had mine for over 10 years and it’s not showing wear–I don’t sew 30 hours a week, but still, it’s perfect. The bad news is that the price has almost doubled, to a suggested retail of $1399 in the US, since I bought mine, which is 40% over your stated cap. On the other hand, you won’t need to upgrade later–this already is the ultimate machine as long as you don’t plan to do a lot of machine quilting. Or perhaps you can find a used one.

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    Jenny @Jenny

    There’s one for $500 and free shipping on eBay right now: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bernina-1008-Mechanical-Sewing-Machine-/130742559797?pt=BI_Sewing_Machines&hash=item1e70dd2435#ht_1408wt_1037

    It’s used but has a 14 day warranty so you can test drive it and send it back if something’s amiss.

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    wendy @wendyls

    Thanks, Jenny! I’d definitely consider this machine. I don’t mind waiting longer and going over my cap if it means I won’t have to buy another one for a long time. My thinking was that if I could get something ‘ultimate’ for in and around a thousand that I would wait and do so, but if the price starts getting too steep then I’d look for something in the $500-$600 range to tide me over, and that would eventually become my back-up machine. Right now I’m a bit overwhelmed by the options and it’s great to have some suggestions to help me along.

    Any thoughts on mechanical vs. electronic or computerized? I just assumed I was looking for a mechanical but I’d be interested to hear what anyone had to say about the others. I don’t know much about them or their advantages.

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    Tamara @justsewit

    Wendy I have a Janome Horizon which is geared towards quilters with the number of stitches but it also has a component which sold me on it which is accufeed – basically it tames fabric to not slip and pucker as you sew and I use it for knits and lately faux fur. In Australia this machine is valued at over $3000 so you’d probably baulk at the cost and I would call it a top of the range machine without the machine embroidery component involved.

    This one is computerised and the one I had before was computerised and I loved them both (the reason for upgrading was that my Janome quilters Companion 6460 wasn’t giving me what I was asking for because I had outgrown it basically). This one I will have for quite a while as it ticks all the boxes of what I can now do but also want to learn to do in years to come.

    Janome is a great brand (Liesl will testify to this as she’s a Janome girl also) and they have machines that fit everyone. They also make Elna aswell just so you know.

    Do you have your list of what you want on the machine at all? A very handy thing to have when shopping.

    Hope this helps. I’m not really able to point you in any particular direction of a particular machine because it may not have all the things you want in it. But do check out the websites for Janome to see what they have as the list is comprehensive and will give you a bit of knowledge at to what each model can do/ has that would fit your needs.

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    wendy @wendyls

    Thanks, Justsewit! I’ll continue to ponder and weigh but that Bernina for $500 is looking mighty appealing! I’ve also located a used Pfaff industrial that might work for me. But it’s so hard not to get carried away when looking at all of the possibilities!

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    mrskanuckles @mrskanuckles

    I just recently replaced my trusty Kenmore. I didnt care about embroidery, as I dont think I would actually take the time to set that all up. So I looked for a higher end sewing machine. I looked at the Bernina, but the dealer was about an hour away. I chose the Husqvarna Sapphire 875 Quilt. It has a thread cutter (bestill my heart) and sews like a dream. I can barely tell the top stitch from the bottom stitch. I bought mine from a local dealer, I think it retails like 1,500 or so, but a lady had bought it and quickly realized she wanted an embroidery machine, so I got it slightly used for 1,000 with a full warranty. Anyway, if I have problems, I will get a loaner machine and she will take care of all of the warranty stuff for me. Also, if you buy locally, sometimes you can ask for discounts on extra feet with the purchase of the machine.

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    Nicole @motherof5

    I have a Bernina Industrie and it was made the year I was!

    Its a good old work horse,no computer,but it sews through anything.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/motherof5/7739711736/

    If you sew a lot,every day,it would be worth keeping a eye out for one.

    ~Nicole~

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    wendy @wendyls

    It seems like it’s come down to the Bernina 1008 or the Janome HD3000. They both have a great reputation and are often lumped into the same category. But why is the Janome less than half the price? Any thoughts?

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    Tamara @justsewit

    Sometimes they have things on special to remove old stock. Maybe they are releasing a newer version? Bernina seems to have a big price tag attached to all their machines yet some would say this is because of paying for the quality. I can’t be the judge of that as I have never tried and tested a Bernina – although my maternal grandmother loves them still!

    Names aside though, the idea and attraction is that it has to be the steady workhorse you are after and if that means getting a great machine for much less than another that equals it in capability and quality then go for it!

    They both sound wonderful. I hope you get your dream sewing companion.

    Tamara

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    Nicole @motherof5

    Bumped!

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    rebecca @rebecca

    @motherof5 I think you have the Bernina 950? I’m considering to buy one that is used; I already have a Bernina active 125 (15 years old, household Bernina). I just want something *faster*, but not super interested in an industrial straight-stitch only. I like the Bernina semi-industrial, because it still has zig zag!

    Do you have a household machine to compare it to… is the 950 that much faster, to make it worth it? 😀

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    Nicole @motherof5

    @rebecca, it is much faster then a household machine and far more powerful.
    It will sew a buttonhole on anything, even canvas (I am talking about tarp canvas).

    It has a range of stitches, just like a domestic one.

    I adore it.

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    Ava @fitdoc

    OK outgrown my 15 year old basic singer 5817. I do a lot of garment sewing (maybe a garment a week) and now getting into quilting (mostly random blocks and incorporating into pouches/totes) but hoping to make 5 bed quilts this year.

    Must haves (that I don’t have now)
    one step buttonhole feature
    needle down position
    ability to lower feed dogs

    Its so confusing went to the dealer today and they had the brother invoke NQ550/700 (not impressed that its “project runway”) which seemed great but so many extra stuff (I don’t care for all the decorative stitchesand really don’t need computerized panel)

    She also had Bernina and said they have better stitch quality but less features for the price.She implied Bernina you were paying for the name brand and unless you’re doing professional competitions or a fashion student the stich quality wasn’t noticeable.

    Ideally I’d like to stay under $1000 but I’m willing to invest in a solid machine. I do care about beautiful construction so want a sturdy machine that I can grow into.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  Ava.
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    Tamara @justsewit

    Hi @fitdoc

    I am going to make it no secret how much I like Janome machines. I didn’t learn on one but my first machine was one and I have stuck with them since. I would strongly encourage you to go to a dealer and just have a look. Often they will let you play or they can give you a demo of the ones you like the look of. Websites are also good to take a look at the features of a machine, although in my experience going to a dealer will give you more as often websites don’t display the price and very often they can do a trade-in which is also what I would strongly recommend. A lot of the time they have run out specials and demo models go on special too so once again it is really a good idea to go to a dealer to look.

    If Janome isn’t your cup of tea, then Bernina are very good (my 89 year old grandmother swears by them) and will last well through the riggers of sewing up a storm. In terms of price, they are on the more expensive side however, they could argue that you are paying for quality (personally Janome is very good quality for there very reasonable pricing system).

    Just to let you know, I have had my Janome quilters companion 7700 since it was released some six years ago. It is the original 9inch throat accused version. You cannot go wrong. It has bells and whistles that will help you cope with quilting and sewing garments. It is hands down the best machine I have ever had and even though my mum thinks I should upgrade to one with embroidery capacity, I am keeping my machine for longer (because machine embroidery isn’t my thing). It’s big and heavy and sturdy and that is what makes it last I think.

    So, go have a look in person. See what there is out there. You have your wish list so all you need to do now is find the right one for you.

    Good luck
    Tamara

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)

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