I learned on my mom's Singer. When I got married, a door-to-door salesman sold me a White. That machine kept my family in clothes for many years. Then I got a Singer at a school machine sale. That was a good machine for many years but when I started quilting, I realized I wanted FEATURES. I really shopped around and found that Janome had what I needed in the Quilter's Companion machine at a price I could afford. I want to trade up now to the 6600 but haven't been able to really justify that expense yet. I did get the Jem Platinum as a carry around back up machine and have fallen in love with it. Anyway that is my machine journey. Gloria
I learned to sew both by hand and machine at my Nana's knees when I was a wee thing. She was a perfectionist and to this day I still hear her telling me to rip it out and start over when it isn't perfect (a thing worth doing is worth doing well). I learned on her old cast-iron Pfaff (that thing was a work horse and now resides with my cousin Michelle).
When I got married and we were poor as church mice I splurged and bought me a Kenmore on a payment plan with lovely stich cams. That was in the 70s and I sewed on that for about 30 years. While I was waiting to get settled in my new home I bought an inexpensive brother to get me by until we sold our house and I could afford to buy my lovely Huskie. At the time I wanted it mainly for regular sewing and quilting so went with the designer 1. Longer throat, automatic foot lift and sensor, and local dealer support. I spent a fortune (for me) on it 4 1/2 years ago.
I admit I am intrigued by the new Bernina and some of the features that I wish I now had. But at that price I don't know how I could afford it, much less convince DH that a SEWING machine was worth that much money!
My mother didn't sew...she tried...but it was not something that interested her. She was an AWESOME cook instead. My aunt (her sister) sewed but didn't live near me.
When I was in my 20's and a starving student...I wanted some new clothes. I bought my first sewing machine for $99 a Singer special. I have used the machine for 30 years. I learned to sew and quilt on that little machine.
Four years ago I had an opportunity to buy a Singer Featherweight. I LOVE that little machine. I am looking for the featherweight table to go with it.
Then .... I decided that after 30 years of sewing on my Singer it was time to change up. I shopped for a machine. I fell in love with the Bernina. I saved for three years to buy my 440QE. To me it was worth every penny I had saved and every coupon I clipped.
I am so happy with the BSR and the machine in general.
I still use my Singers...I would never abandone my friends.
My mother tried to teach me sewing when I was a girl, but I wasn't very interested. I did make a few simple clothing items. After I was married, I won a Dressmaker sewing machine that used cams. I didn't do a lot with it, but did use it to piece a few quilt tops. Later on, I got a Featherweight when I started quilting more. In the 1990s I bought a Pfaff 1475CD when it was their TOL machine. Toward the end of the 1990s, I began collecting old sewing machines (my oldest was made in 1871) and then began actually sewing on them, and loving it. After a while, I realized that the Pfaff hadn't been out of its case in 2 years, so I sold it. I think I have 26 treadles at the moment, but will be selling a few of the less-gorgeous ones and ones that I don't use much. I have a Janome 3050, an inexpensive one, that will do the double blanket stitch, since I plan to do some of Ricky's applique technique, but that's about all I would use that one for. Although I love the look of the embroidery stuff that machines will do now, I'm just not interested in actually doing it, so will make do with my lovely old machines.
I have had the luxury of being able to sew on several different type of machines. Singer's, Kenmore, White (pre60s when Whites were great machines), Phaff. My mom was a drape maker so we had professional machines in the house. What makes the difference to me is the AFTER SALES SERVICE... if you do not have a good repair service that actually knows what they are doing your machine will not function well.
I currently have a Memory Craft 6000 over 22 years old... I love it but I am beginning to note wear and tear on the gears and mechanics that tends to throw off the timing so I plan to buy a new machine next year. I will probably get a high end machine cause this will be the last one I buy before I retire.
I have been testing all the machines at the sewing expo and quilt shows I have been going to for the past couple of years. I plan to stick with the Janome brand... there is a great JANOME sewing machine repairman less than 30 miles away from where I live. (BTW my little MC6000 has only needed cleaning never major repairs in all the times I have had her.) The nearest Bernina dealer is over 100 miles away. There is a Pfaff dealer in town ( less than 10 miles but they have a terrible reputation for their repair work) So it is off to Janome for me.
I would choose a machine based on service availability more than any other consideration... unless you think you will be moving .
I learned to sew when I was about 9 or 10 on my grandmother's Singer Treadle machine. Sometime in my teenage years mom bought an electric Singer and I used that through high school to make my clothes. After I married I purchased a Brother because I could afford it and it did a straight and ziz zag stitch. It was all I needed. About 5 years ago I purchased a Viking. No matter what I did I never got a pretty stitch and was constantly resetting tension. I want to learn to machine quilt and wanted a good machine at a reasonable price and after much looking I purchased the Janome MC6600 and so far I love it.
I started out sewing on my moms Singer when I was a preteen. I bought a Singer in my 20's, mostly for sewing clothing, mending. When I started quilting a couple years ago I bought a Singer futura, does the embroidery too. I like the embroidery feature of it, but it really is not a good 'quilting machine'. I sewed on my mom's bernina when I went to visit her recently. What a great smooth machine! Hers is a very old one, but still works wonderfully. So, I went shopping. I did look at others viking and babylock, as there were dealers close by. I ended up buying a Bernina Aurora 435. I just got it Friday, and I have been playing with it since. I love it. I even played a bit with the BSR yesterday. I will probably take the classes on that, but I didn't do too bad for a first try. I couldn't free motion at all on the Singer, no control. Now, maybe I will finish my quilt. Its been ready to quilt for a month and I wanted to do it myself rather than send out. Sandi
I have owned an Elna Super since 1975. My mom was very much into sewing and had recently purchased this same machine. When I left home and needed a sewing machine I went with the same brand. It has been a wonderfully faithful machine over the years through all my moves in the USA and overseas. Over the years, I have made clothes for myself and two daughters and of course have done lots of quilting. Sometimes I am tempted to get a new machine with all the bells and whistles that are available now, but the choices out there are overwhelming. Maybe someday... Lorna
I didn't have a choice with my first machine. My mother gave me a Frister and Rossman Cub4 on my wedding day with the comment: 'Every housewife must have a sewing machine!'
I then splashed out (2003), feeling guilty (how silly in view of recent prices mentioned here, but I was a single parent), and bought a Husqvarna Interlude 445. I have a very nice Husqvarna dealer within easy reach (Nottingham), and I was impressed that there was no hard sell when I asked to look at their machines. They gave me all the time in the world to try out several machines I could afford. They did not try to sell me a more expensive one, and they have been servicing that machines since then. A reliable after sales service is important to me. I have never regretted buying that machine. Like everybody, there are some features I'd like to have, but then nothing in life is perfect.
From the edge of Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood
Well, I'm at the other end of the spectrum. I've been sewing about 4 months. Not quite sure why I got the bug since my mom was never able to interest me when I was a kid. I looked at all of the machines in the area. The ladies I work with all suggested I just go to Wal Mart for a machine until I knew if I would like sewing, you ladies strongly suggested a reputable dealer so I looked at them all. I ended up with a Janome MC 4900 because it was second hand and only $300.00 from the local Bernina dealer. I figured I got a great machine (and it has been great) at the price of a Wal Mart machine. I would have never bought a machine with this many features at the price they go for new since I had know idea if I was going to enjoy sewing or was just spending money for something that would sit in a closet. By the way, I am enjoying it.
I've been sewing on a machine since Jr. High and sewing by hand for about 50 yrs. (I'm 60!) My grandmother gave me a Singer Featherweight that belonged to my Great Aunt Rosie (who was a quilter!). I still have that machine and absolutely LOVE it! I wouldn't part with it and it goes with me to classes, etc. I bought a Singer Touch and Sew in the early 1970's and I gave that one to my oldest daughter. More recently, I purchased a Bernina Aurora 435. I think the reputation of the company and the many features including the BSR, alot of built-in stitches (especially the blanket stitch), the quietness of the machine, and the 9mm stitches were the reasons I purchased this particular machine. I like to embroider by hand, so I wasn't looking for that feature. One thing I don't like about the Bernina is the location of the bobbin--the Singer Golden Touch and Sew has all the machines beat on that one! I still love the machine, though!
Some people are fiercely loyal to their brand of machine, some wouldn't give some brands house room, and others just buy what's on sale.
: Why do you own yours :
I'll go first. When I first started sewing about 55 years ago (ouch) as a little girl. I used my Mom's Singer treadle. My sewing became much more "professional" when I was about 12. At 14 I was given a brand new top of the line Singer which I used through college. My family bought it for me and bought a Singer because that was the brand they trusted (as well as Kenmore from Sears). That machine helped pay my way through college as well as made all my fancy dresses for dances. It even made a few wedding dresses. I must have owned that machine for 17 years.
When I was in a better financial condition in 1977, I bought a top of the line Bernina. Mainly because it was a Bernina and it sewed garments like a dream. I used that machine for garments and home dec until we left for Italy in September 1994. It still resides with DD in California (she doesn't use it).
I didn't do any sewing since we lived like nomads without our "stuff" until landing in Singapore in 1999. I didn't work while in Singapore. Singapore is fabric heaven. My good friend and I bought an inexpensive machine (can't remember the brand) which resided at my house. I made our Millenium ball gowns on it. But I left it with her when DH got his job in Switzerland. Since I didn't start off working in Switzerland, I need something to keep me busy. Golly, we're in the land of Bernina ... I bought my 2000 edition of the 170 without embroidery module.
When I retired in 2007, I started to quilt. I didn't need a work wardrobe anymore (and I had lost all my excess weight & could buy clothes in shops) and wanted to express my creativity through sewing. This March I bought the Bernina 630E.
In short, I went from major brand to major brand because of reputation. I am very pleased with my Bernina but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be happy with another brand. It does what I want it to do well and I am pleased with the results.
Looking out the window at Lake Leman in beautiful Switzerland