Sewing Machines – which one to buy?

sewing machineI’ve had a Brother Inov-is QC1000 for 4 years, it replaced a manual Janome that had done stirling work for years and had started to miss behave, I’d also started piecing and quilting by machine instead of just epp.  I looked at the knitting and stitching show & festival of quilts – Brother were the only company that would allow me to try the machine, was amazed by the other machine companies who don’t allow one to test drive.  So that was a huge deciding factor, the ease of use, quilting ability, wide throat space and large extention table.  4 years on and 1 service in, the stitch quality has dropped and I am really unhappy with it.  It sews ok, but the buttonholes could be better, I get chewed up threads underneath (with auto tension), sometimes it swallows and chews fabric –  just not happy.  When quilting with the walking foot attached, the needle often comes adrift, never use the quilting guide as it slips and moves around.  Also really don’t like the large LCD screen at the side of the machine, can acidently knock this when quilting and change stitch.  So here is the dilema, what to buy if i replace my machine?  The advice I always give is to buy the best machine you can afford.  Also ask what do you use the machine for, dressmaking, quilting, curtain making, general crafts or alterations; as this also narrows the field down.  Bernina, Viking Husqvarna, Phaff or Janome? At work my option is the Janome 6600P, but doesn’t have a free arm that is so useful for dressmaking.  So I’ve narrowed the field of possibilities down to a hand full:

Bernina 530

Bernina 530 has 7 year guarantee, do like the panel on top.

husqvarna viking opal 690q

Viking Husqvarna Opal 690Q 10 Year warranty.

pfaff-expression-3.5

Pfaff 3.5 again with a 10 Year Warranty.

Janome Horizon 8200QC

Janome 8200QC comes with just a 2 year warrentee.

Now to try and find a dealer who will let me test drive them. Would you reccomend your machine, what do you like best about it?  If you have any of the machines above do let me know what you think about them either by commenting below or emailing poppyinstitches@yahoo.co.uk

And to anyone reading this that knows me – yes I know you normally ask me for advice x

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5 thoughts on “Sewing Machines – which one to buy?

  1. I’d go for the Husqvarna? The upside is that if you are sharing a budget with a male counterpart they will immediately get sucked in by the brand! (tee hee – seriously love mine though – my male counterpart and my Husqvarna…)

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  2. It’s Bernina all the way for me! I use an old 1005 for patchwork and craft type work as it does not have embroidery stitches etc but is a solid basic and trusty machine. And I also have an oldish computerised 180, both stitch amazingly well. The downside is that Bernina are at the expensive end of the spectrum. Good luck and yes the maxim buy the best you can afford holds true.
    I am new to blogging and am loving reading all the creative info in blogs such as yours, it’s so inspiring!

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  3. I grew up sewing on my mom’s c.1970 Bernina (little tannish, greenish machine with embroidery stitches). Moved out, had a Kenmore (oh, no comparison) which I used for some time, then due to a multitude of circumstances, I stopped sewing altogether for years. Now am the happy owner of new Bernina 560 and first project getting underway. Over the moon for this machine!
    Love your blog, by the way. Good luck in your search for the perfect machine for you!

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  4. I have the Janome 8200QC, I bought it in feb. I love it. It was a big step up from my 16 year old Janome. I also bought the extending table – 2nd hand off ebay – it almost feels like a flat bed machine. 😀

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  5. I have a Pfaff -it’s ten years old ,creative 2144. It’s still going strong and has gotten a lot of use! Only lately a few things have cropped up like the auto thread cutter jamming, but I’ve gotten around that by switching off the thread cutter when embroidering. They come with a good warranty which is always good to have . test driving is an absolute must though!

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