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TOPIC: First sewing machine

28 Mar 2008 18:40 #16317

ArkansasPT wrote:
Well, my choices are adding up. I can get a somewhat basic Janome with 50 stiches and everything that y'all have suggested, a quilters Brother with 100 stiches and all the letters (do I need letters?), or last years model Pfaff with everything that the Brother has except for the larger quilting platform (probably not what it is called) all for the same price at different stores. I have one more store to check out whose website says they have some tradein Bernina's.

Of the above, the store with the Janome was very nice but the machine is the most basic- good basic education with the machine though and very nice people. The place with the Brother is the most convenient and does service them but when I asked about instruction I was told that they would "show me how to thread it and stuff" and then they "had a lady who could give me some lessons at an extra cost." The place with the Pfaff had the best customer support- free yearly service for 5 years, free new owners classes and free quilting and other sewing classes (they have 2 large class rooms attached) and other service items.

I am thinking that unless I can get a great deal on a Bernina that the Pfaff is probably my best bet- when you look at the machine and the support. Of the 3 places I have been so far it is the furthest away ( about 40 minutes) but is closer than the Bernina place (1 hour away).

Any feedback? Is my reasoning sound? Anything else I should be looking at? Thanks everyone for your help so far.

Lisa
Sweet Arkensa, you just need to go with your own feelings on this :lol: Some loves Bernins...some Pfaff and i love janome...thats the way it is!!! Pick a machine with str8 stitches...zigzag and blanket stitches..and some more you dont think you need and you will be ok!!! Good luck to you on your efford to buy YOUR machine :wink: :lol: 8)
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Pfaff, Pfaff, Pfaff 28 Mar 2008 16:41 #16310

  • BethMI
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I love my Pfaff. That integrated dual feed is worth its weight in gold. Piecing is SOOOO accurate!

Spring for the quarter inch foot with the "fence" because it makes piecing much less stressful on the eyes. I use mine almost all the time and really love it.

I understand that they now have a similar foot for 5/8" seams, too (for garment construction).

BethMI
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28 Mar 2008 13:36 #16301

ArkansasPT wrote:
The place with the Pfaff had the best customer support- free yearly service for 5 years, free new owners classes and free quilting and other sewing classes (they have 2 large class rooms attached) and other service items.

I am thinking that unless I can get a great deal on a Bernina that the Pfaff is probably my best bet- when you look at the machine and the support. Of the 3 places I have been so far it is the furthest away ( about 40 minutes) but is closer than the Bernina place (1 hour away).

Any feedback? Is my reasoning sound? Anything else I should be looking at? Thanks everyone for your help so far.

Lisa

I am a very big pfaff pfan...I have tiptronic 2030 about 6 years old. still purrs like a kitten and sews like a clydsdale :?
it sounds like you know you want more than a basic machine...
frankly, I'll pay more for a product if the service is great.
Last Edit: by lwiniger.
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28 Mar 2008 13:02 #16300

Well, my choices are adding up. I can get a somewhat basic Janome with 50 stiches and everything that y'all have suggested, a quilters Brother with 100 stiches and all the letters (do I need letters?), or last years model Pfaff with everything that the Brother has except for the larger quilting platform (probably not what it is called) all for the same price at different stores. I have one more store to check out whose website says they have some tradein Bernina's.

Of the above, the store with the Janome was very nice but the machine is the most basic- good basic education with the machine though and very nice people. The place with the Brother is the most convenient and does service them but when I asked about instruction I was told that they would "show me how to thread it and stuff" and then they "had a lady who could give me some lessons at an extra cost." The place with the Pfaff had the best customer support- free yearly service for 5 years, free new owners classes and free quilting and other sewing classes (they have 2 large class rooms attached) and other service items.

I am thinking that unless I can get a great deal on a Bernina that the Pfaff is probably my best bet- when you look at the machine and the support. Of the 3 places I have been so far it is the furthest away ( about 40 minutes) but is closer than the Bernina place (1 hour away).

Any feedback? Is my reasoning sound? Anything else I should be looking at? Thanks everyone for your help so far.

Lisa
Last Edit: by ArkansasPT.
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27 Mar 2008 14:48 #16251

Hi Arkansas - your first sewing machine - how exciting! A lot of the dealers have great deals on trade-ins. I'd rather have a good, used Bernina, Pfaff, etc than a new Singer if that's what I can afford. The older European machines with the metal heads still have a great stitch. I'd also recommend going one step beyond what you think you need, because I can guarantee you that in six months, you'll want what that next machine up has! You can get a lot of machine for the money with a trade-in machine.
Ann, you're absolutely right - those older White's that were sold under the Sears brand were incredible machines. My mom had one and my best friend back in the 60's (dating myself) did, too. My mom's is in my sister's closet in Florida, probably rusting away, but as I write this, I think I'm going to bring it home on my next trip there. Sister doesn't sew a stitch.
Enjoy your shopping and that new machine, whichever one you choose.
Pat
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27 Mar 2008 09:29 #16237

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eileenkny wrote:
Hey, Peter!!!!!!!!!!! What about your Babylock Quest? :P :P
eileenkny 8)
Oh Eileen I still love the newest member of the family to be sure it is the the most sophisticated machine I own, but...... My first real love will always be that old work horse Bernina that purrrrs so quietly as it sews :D
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26 Mar 2008 11:47 #16173

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Hey, Peter!!!!!!!!!!! What about your Babylock Quest? :P :P
eileenkny 8)

from the beautiful Hudson Valley of NY
Gammill Classic Plus w/IQ
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26 Mar 2008 09:15 #16166

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Just my thoughts on buying used....My most beloved and favorite machine is a Bernina 810 I bought used from a shop in Beaverton, Oregon that sells and services machines. It stitches beautifully, as a matter of fact it sews the best stitch of all 8 machines in the house, and it is also the most quiet. And the gentleman who works on the machines is so great that we have taken our machines their for service even though we live in Tacoma, Washington now, which is about two hundred miles away!
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25 Mar 2008 20:28 #16153

Wow! What a lot of great replies. Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Went to the closest shop today and from there would probably go with a Janome for the price with the most features. It has everything that y'all have mentioned and is only $100.00 more than a more basic machine. I plan on going by another shop further away within the next couple of weeks- they are the closest Bernina dealer and list several preowned machines on there website. I was going to ask for advice on whether that would be a good idea but y'all have already suggested it (thanks!).

I was impressed that the lady at the sewing store spent 30 minutes with me showing me what different machines would do even though I mentioned from the very beginning that she was the first stop on my research tour.

I will keep looking and asking questions. Y'all have been more helpful than I could have hoped for.

Lisa
Last Edit: by ArkansasPT.
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25 Mar 2008 10:56 #16128

Hey Ann you and I probably had the same model machine! I started on a Kenmore (Sears' brand) that my MIL found at a yard sale, research tells me it's about a 1961-62 model! (Green!) but it did what I needed for a LONG time, and still works, I've just "graduated".

Lisa, if you have a sewing machine repair person in your area, talk to him/her, they probably have a good take on what lasts... although, like others have said here, what you want to do on it will make a big difference. Good luck! Florence
Last Edit: by florence.
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25 Mar 2008 08:25 #16112

Here's my 6 cents worth (inflation these days)

Ready?

Find several dealers in your area and go play with the machines. Like Ann mentioned there are several basic things you want: zig zag, needle down, adjustable stitch length etc. These are KEY features. Think about where you want to go with patchwork and quilting in the next 2 or so years and purchase something you can grow into. For example if you're thinking that you'd like to do a lot of applique or machine quilting then needle down is key.

Think about purchasing a machine that has been traded in. If it's from a good reputable dealer they'll usually offer service for so many days and guide classes. Often times with these machines you can get more features for the money you have to spend.

Also, if you're getting into machine quilting (and it seems that way from your post) then make sure the motor is heavy duty. The last thing you want to do is wear out the motor.

Try different brands of machines and see what fits. Me, I'm a Bernina girl. I've played with various other machines and am quite happy with my Bernina. However, there are lots of folks who prefer Pfaff, Husqvarna and Janome...for probably the same reasons I'm in love with Bernina. I'll keep my current Bernina for patchwork and regular sewing and get a new one for quilting when I'm ready.

I'd say, take your time and really give consideration to lots of things before settling down on one machine. I wouldn't go basic until you know what you're doing. I just helped my mom buy a machine (a trade-in) and she said just the other day it's the difference between a very small 4 cylinder car and an 8 cylinder car...what she's able to do with her Bernina is a lot more compared to what she would do with her basic White.

Happy Quilting!
Teri
Teri

Quilting is a Beautiful & Complicated Art!
Last Edit: by littleflower.
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25 Mar 2008 08:16 #16110

I suggest going to a sewing center...or a store that sells sewing machines so that you can try them. Try different machines so that you can get a feel of what you like and do not like in a machine. Also check out dealers...and sometimes they have trade ins on machines. You may find a nice machine with more on it...but it was pre-owned. Many times you can purchase a service agreement for the machine.

Remember you are test driving machines like you would a car.
Look at how the machine is set up...are the buttons easy to read and understand? What kind of sewing feet come with the machine...or do they need to be an additional purchase.
Can you 'grow' with your machine...meaning can you do other techniques such as embriodery...decorative stitching if you want.

I know that this is your first machine...and probably straight stitching is your main requirement. But I believe getting the best value for your dollar!!

FW
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25 Mar 2008 06:48 #16105

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When any of my friends that are just starting out ask about sewing machines, I always tell them to go to Sears(sorry Nancy). I think that for basic machines they're great. I also tell them to invest in the service agreement.
They sell a lot more brands now so you don't have to settle for less, and the prices are more than reasonable.
IMNSHO, some quilts shops that sell machines are over the top. I'm not selling a body part for a sewing machine :roll:
eileenkny 8)

from the beautiful Hudson Valley of NY
Gammill Classic Plus w/IQ
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25 Mar 2008 02:03 #16099

Hi, Lisa (Arkansas)! Welcome to quilting!!! Everyone has given you such good advice on a first machine. I just bought a Bernina 435 Anniversary edition. It has alot of stitches and machine quilting abilities which I am interested in presently. I have used my wonderful Singer Featherweight for many years (I'll never part with it!), but it only has a straight stitch. It's really great to take to classes, though, because it's easy to transport. You will probably have to decide what type of quilting you are interested in and what stitches you need, etc. One reason I decided on the Bernina was the quality of stitches and the low noise level of the machine.
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