sugestions for sewing machines
4 years agoJEB O’Barr @email@example.com
I second the recommendation to go with a dealer. I worked for SVP for two years selling machines in a Joanns store. We had free lessons with the machines and encouraged customers to test sew on them. SVP stands for Singer Viking Pfaff and they are all owned by the same company now. It’s kind of like Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln. If you liked your Singer, the Viking is the next step up and the Opal is a great machine. I own one and love it. I have owned Singer, Pfaff, Viking, Brother and Janome machines. I did not have a good experience with Brother. Dealers service their machines and that is so important.4 years agoLiesl GibsonKeymaster@liesl
Thanks, @markjebobarrhotmail-com. My understanding per the SVP reps is that their different brands are targeted like this:
Singer: entry-level/beginning sewist
Viking: more advanced/a little more expensive
Pfaff: more expensive and more features.
In the end I think it’s just important to buy a machine that feels good to you and comes from a reputable dealer. A shop owner friend recently explained to me that the machines you buy from big-box stores and off Amazon are generally made in different factories and even in different countries than the machines you purchase from a dealer. As a result, they aren’t the same quality. (Take that for what it’s worth–I can’t verify it, but this is what I was told.)4 years agoAva @fitdoc
Yes I do plan on buying for a dealer/shop. Problem is the shops here only carry 2 brands. So its a bit of driving all over and even then no one carries Juki/Pfaff.
SVH dealer has a independent shop in the Joanns here will check that out. Janome is an entirely different shop and the shop has horrible service and so pushy, maybe a different location will be better.
I would love a Juki that has one step buttonhole good for garments and bags and upcoming quilting.
Its not that I loved my Singer, I got it as a gift and it was bare bones. It worked but not anything pleasant.
OK back to researching an finding local shops4 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
I’m going to go off course here and say that you should check Yelp and ask around in your local sewing community to see who the most reputable dealer/repair shop is, and look at the brand they sell. If anything goes hinky or you just need service done, you don’t want to have to ship your machine. Also a local dealer will often include a few free lessons/machine orientation to help you learn all the features. Bernina, Janome, Viking all make solid machines and you will notice that people generally like what they have. If you can test drive a few different models in person you might find you like the ergonomics/settings of one a bit more than another.
While in the shop, I would test-sew (on my own fabric swatches from home that represent the types of fabric I will be using):
and play around to see how easy/intuitive it is to thread, change bobbin, needle up/down, change tension, change stitch length/width, swap feet (including walking foot).
For me that’s 95% of sewing jobs. A walking foot can be costly but I think is necessary, so I’d bear that in mind. I bought the cheapest expensive machine (Viking, about $550 at the time, 10-15 years ago, with a walking foot, $150 — but I am pretty certain I’d have been just as happy with any brand) available locally and have not yet felt the need for an upgrade. I’m sure a fancier machine would be even better (I’d love to have a feature where I can program a buttonhole — I get one just right and hit save, and the machine makes the next buttonholes the same way as the saved one) and I’d love a machine that can handle leather/super thick & tough fabrics a bit better, but I don’t do enough of that kind of sewing to justify the extra cost.
4 years agoLiesl GibsonKeymaster@liesl
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by Sarvi.
Completely agree, Sarvi. In fact, I think I wrote something similar in this post: https://oliverands.com/community/blog/2014/12/ask-me-how-to-buy-a-sewing-machine.html4 years agoAva @fitdoc
both the skylines5 and brother innovis 700 really have all the same feet, maybe the brother has a few more that I don’t even use. but the janome is more expensive which not sure if that price difference will justify a better machine.
when you call stores that sell both get mixed suggestions. some say janome better quality,others say brother really made more innovations to keep up, went with different fabrics today and tried again, both fine.
in store specials for brother just a nice perk, free roller carrying bag, etc.
too bad one store doesn’t sell both locally would get more honest answer.4 years agoAddie @lotuspeachblog
For your must have’s: one step buttonhole feature, needle down position, ability to lower feed dogs AND your price point and more… I have to recommend my sewing machine. It’s the Janome DC4030 (I have the pink ribbon edition that is no longer available but it is VERY similar to the standard DC4030). I bought it from a Janome dealer who told me the differences for what I wanted it to do (mainly garment sewing, some bags and home dec, no fancy stitches) and they said that the motor in this machine is extremely sturdy (which is the number ONE most important feature on any machine for overall ability and longevity). Also I was told that it can sew even belt leather with no problem. I have not sewn leather but I have sewn wool, rayon, knit, denim, as well as usual cotton & linen etc. All the fabrics are handled beautifully by the machine. I LOVE my one step button hole feature, so easy! Also, there are multiple needle positions, easy length/width change buttons, needle up/down (manual and auto), as well as the option to use the start/stop button rather than the foot pedal which I have come to love. The feed dogs can be lowered. I don’t remember the maximum speed but honestly it is usually faster than I want to go so I have never felt it slow, even the overcast stitch is not too slow. It also works with a multitude of specialty feet…I have been sewing on this machine for about five years and I still love it now as much as the day I got it. A great value for the quality!
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