What machine are you sewing on now?

comments (39) July 9th, 2009     

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_nikki_ Nicole Smith, contributor
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Sewing machines today range from the super basic and mechanical to the most advanced embroidery machines with every stitch you could ever imagine.

What machine are you sewing on today and why?

 

posted in: Sewstylish conversation

Comments (39)

lovemiscou writes: I am lucky enough to sew on a Bernina 740 model with too many different stitches loll. I love it and love experimenting with it, although I am not an expert sewer. This machine was my grandmother's who was an expert sewer. Wish I still had her around to show me the ropes!
Posted: 8:04 am on February 5th
partnernaturally writes: I am sewing on a Singer 401A now and loving it. I like the older machines. For the person that said they wish they still had there Singer Stylist, I have one that I just had cleaned and if you want you can have with shipping and cleaning cost. It was my moms and I never got used to it.
Posted: 2:51 pm on May 1st
blindab writes: I have several machines, my favorite (so far) is a rather old Pfaff 1371. Sews like a dream and so quiet!! I also have a Janome MC9000 that I use for embroidery, a Bernina 730 that I'm working on..., and I have just been give a Bernina 1005 that I have yet to figure out how to set to straight stitch!!! Every machine is a new adventure. I have been sewing since childhood, I learned on an old Singer and have used many machines over the years. My favorites are still the old manual machines. I'll conquer my Bernina's yet!!
Posted: 4:46 pm on February 25th
Cinderella1 writes: I got a Kenmore sewing machine for my Christmas/Birthday/HS Graduation gift about 30 years ago. I sewed many items with my beloved sewing machine. 3 years ago, i traded her in for a Babylock Quilters Choice which i have really liked from day one. I was told it was "self-oiling" when i asked the people at the store where i got it how to oil/take care of it. After some tention problems and it sounding "off", I went to back to the store where i got it and was told it needed servicing at least once a year to be oiled. :-S. HELP! I always oiled & serviced my Kenmore and want to DIY. Can anyone tell me where i can find information on oiling my Babylock Quilter's Choice?
Posted: 9:01 pm on January 8th
hotinaz writes: I absolutely love my Babylock Ellegante for embroidery. I also sew on a Babylock Quilter's Choice for doing quilting and other projects, but I also have a Babylock Imagine Serger which threads itself. These are a far cry from the Pfaff 1470 and Pfaff Serger I used to have. All of my machines are relatively new and I never thought that I would enjoy sewing so much until I did get these machines. The first year that I had them, I made 150 garments--and I am not in business. I use all of them at the same time and they are so delightfully easy to use and if I do have a question, I can find the answer either on the machine itself or in the wonderful manuals that come with the machines. I also purchased their machine specific workbooks and have completed every project. In my mind, Babylock technology leaves all other brands of machines in the dust.
Posted: 12:15 am on September 1st
artty1 writes: I have a Pfaff 2054 which does a fantastic job on nearly anything i throw at it. I have had it for several years & it has seen a lot of miles but works just as good as when it was new. I also have a 2 vintage Necchi machines, a BU Nova & a Supernova which I love. I use them mostly for heavier duty jobs like really thick fabrics/upholstery/ & medium weight leather & the stitch quality is impeccable in fact the BU Nova produces an even better straight stitch in any length than my Pfaff does on any weight fabric i have run through it, I use it a lot for standout topstitching when I know its really going to show. I would also like to add a vintage Pfaff 130 to my collection, zeusmachines.com refurbishes these to almost new condition or better, they are great to sew on & simply a mechanical work of art/design as well, much like the Necchi machines.
Posted: 12:54 pm on August 17th
jebeitz writes: I read all the previous posts and didn't see anyone mention my machine. I love my Bernina 630. Sometimes I just sit and pet it.
I learned to sew on an old black singer when I was only allowed to sew without the electricity plugged in when I was about 6. Mom got a new Singer 401A when I was 11 and I used that until about 1980 when I bought a new model Singer. I hated it. I took a class at CSU and all of their machines in the classroom were Berninas.
I bought a 1530, traded for a 1630 then a 180E. I was never satisfied with the straight stitch quality on the 9mm machines so I bought my 630. It sews like a dream. I have lots of feet for every job and got the BSR free mothion foot.
I also have a 1008 basic Bernina that I take to classes and a Bernina serger and a cover stitch machine from Bernina
Posted: 1:12 am on August 14th
Neosha writes: I sew on a Bernina 830--still in the bonding process. Had a Bernina Artista200 that I sold to a fashion design student. Have a Bernina serger, could hardly sew without it.

My first machine was a Singer Stylist that I paid $7/month on for about 3 years! Loved that machine. Wish I still had it for just straight sewing.

Posted: 8:56 pm on August 10th
ctmein writes: My best friend is also a 25 year old Bernina 930! What a coincidence. I would love to have a new Bernina that does fancy stuff but my 930 does a great job for quilting and garment construction. I did buy an inexpensive Janome serger since I finish all my seams anyway. It is okay. I am still learning how to use it. I just can't justify spending 4 or 5 thousand on a new Bernina. But, if I ever have an extra 4 or 5 thousand I just might get me one. I would never get rid of my 930 it is my best friend.
Posted: 11:37 pm on August 9th
kraut50 writes: My mother gave me a Sears Kenmore when I graduated from high school. At the time I sewed off/on, but then stopped except for mending, etc. It was a good machine and came with an automatic button-holer. Who KNEW! I had been taught how to do them manually! What a dream! About 3 years ago, I got the "itch" to start sewing again and ended up buying a Brother 2500D. It worked well -- embroidery was a whole new world for me! And all the stitches and capabilities the new machines have -- I was HOOKED! But, I decided I needed a serger. I made the investment and went with the Babylock Evolve! What a wonderful machine -- the jet air threading makes it a dream! Getting used to it was not hard at all -- and I'm still learning! Then last year for Christmas, my husband and son (unbeknownst to me) traded my Brother for the Babylock Ellisimo! It is the most amazing machine to work on. It has SO many options it makes alot of my projects quite a bit easier/less frustrating! I'm still learning, but I enjoy every second that I can steal away -- even if it's just to run a test seam!
Posted: 2:04 pm on August 7th
Lulumama writes: I love my Bernina 1030, which I've used for 15 years, and it has never let me down. I wish computers could be this reliable and long-lasting!!
Posted: 12:00 am on August 2nd
Sewing2enjoying writes: I mostly use my Kenmore Elite. I didn't think I would like it so much but I truly do! I also use my Pfaff Serger which I cannot think of living without. I have my Mom's old 1950s Singer in a desk cabinet, too, but I rarely use it anymore. Even though it was an old workhorse for many years, the Kenmore does so much more! I made my first quilt recently and though it isn't perfect, the machine worked great. It certainly isn't flawed due to the machine, though I wish I could blame it on something besides myself!
Posted: 9:26 pm on July 29th
kellybird1954 writes: I primarily use my Husqvarna Platinum 730, but I have my Mom's Singer featherweight from 1941. I love them both. I'd like to have a machine that embroiders, but will have to wait on that.
Posted: 7:11 pm on July 29th
Razrsmom writes: I sew on the Brother Inovis 4000. I also do custom sewing, mostly wedding gowns and formal wear. I have found the machine to be fairly high maintenance. I usually end up taking it to the repair shop at least twice a year. It's been a variety of problems. I also find if you are sewing over heavy seams, etc. the machine will "sit and stitch" until you pull it from the back, and it doesn't take much of a "bump" to cause that. However, the embroidery attachment and the quality of the designs has been very good. I have had no problem in that respect at all. After a large investment in a sewing machine I feel that I need to keep it awhile! I do my serious topstitching on Grandma's 1942 Singer.
Posted: 10:15 am on July 29th
myhissyfit writes: I just bought a Husquavarna Topaz 200 embroidery machine and a Huskylock (can't remember the model right now). I have been wanting a computerized machine for some time and the Topaz was the right price. So far so good. I haven't done much with the embroidery yet, but am excited that I have the capability. I also have a 50+ year old Kenmore that is entirely metal and was only made for about two years. It has the prettiest, most consistently even straight stitch of any machine I have ever worked on and I taught sewing for a while and used several different brands. I'll never get rid of it. It is the only thing I ask my Mother for. It was her machine for 30 years or so - has never needed servicing.
Posted: 9:42 pm on July 28th
bebebro writes: I have been using my trusted Bernina since the early 90's. However, I have my great grandmother's Singer treadle and use it at times for lots of my quiltmaking. It still sews the absolute most beautiful perfect stitches and once I get into the rhythm of the process, I can go on for hours. The leg action is great exercise that keeps your blood circulation going. I do my own paper pieced designs which are perfect for this type of machine. Then, just the nostalgia and thinking back about what my great grandmother, using this machine to sew for her family, would have been thinking. I also use this machine for making clothing for my own grandchildren. So that's what - at least 6 generations that have had clothing and quilts made with this machine!!!

Posted: 3:54 pm on July 28th
BerninaBrat writes: As the name suggests, I AM a Bernina Brat. I am currently sewing, embroidering and quillting on the Bernina 830 - a real dream machine. It doesn't make any difference if it's garment construction, home dec projects, piecing and quilting, embellishing or embroidering on the projects, the 830 makes the task easier, faster and the results are fantastic.

When I am embroidering, there is also the 730 to keep me occupied. I still have the old 234 serger which does a perfect job although I have my eye on the Bernina 1300 so that I can do cover and chain stitches too. They ain't kidding when they say: "Nothing sews like a Bernina". A good day in this house is listening to these babies purr.
Posted: 3:40 pm on July 28th
Cantuckychik writes: I have an el-cheapo Brother sewing machine from Wal-Mart (don't recall the model). Doesn't do much, but it's all I needed at the time. Now that I've rediscovered sewing, and I see the new models and all that they can do, I want to get a new one. I even saw one recently with a computer mouse attached to it! SHEESH!! I am out of touch.

I'm also interested in getting a serger; although, I'm not exactly sure what they do differently than a regular sewing machine.

I also have an old Windsor that weighs a ton and is turquoise blue. It was my mom's...bobbin keeps jamming up on me so I don't use it but keep it around for sentimental reasons.

Have a nice day, everyone! :o)
Posted: 3:26 pm on July 28th
MsTeddo writes: I'm still stitching on my 1961 Elna Supermatic, the "portable" (very heavy) one with a knee "pedal" instead of a foot one. It still works great and does everything I need for costume construction and home sewing. There are cams for edge finishes. I remember it cost $250 but I was able to buy it on time for $15 a month. I wanted to make my own clothes and make some money doing alterations. Then I was enticed into the world of theatre costuming and have been there ever since. During the early 1980's, the Miss Universe Pageant bought me a Nelco to travel with and I still use it for professional gigs. In the early 1990's I decided to get a BabyLock surger and my repair man had a used EA-605 for $75. And yes, I still use it too. If you learn to clean and oil them yourself, between regular checkups from the repair guys, they will last as long as parts are available. If it completely gives out, don't just toss it. Donate it to your repair shop as they can use the parts for the rest of us.
Posted: 12:36 pm on July 28th
Mumbly writes: I have been sewing on a Pfaff 1475 for almost 20 years and am always pleased with it.... well the buttonholes and I have had our differences at times but it's wonderful in every other way! Stitches are precise and it sews through every kind of fabric like butter. The built in walking foot was the feature that 'sewed-up' my decision originally and I do love it.

I have sewed for myself and my three daughters for many years and now am fortunate to have a little grandson to sew for. I have taken up quilting fairly recently and coveted a Bernina that would operate with a stitch regulator. I decided there was very little that a new machine would do considering the cost. I'll rent the long-arm at the quilt shop instead!

I also have a Baby Lock serger that I use constantly. Love it too.
Posted: 9:21 am on July 28th
captainmarvyl writes: I used a very inexpensive Singer from High School (1964) till 2004. My husband decided I needed a better machine and secrectly went to fabric stores and interviewed the sales people about what machine to get for me. I recieved a Pfaff, which I liked very much, but had a variety of problems. So together we traded it in for a Viking Sapphire 830, I have since gotten a Viking Huskylock Serger. I love both machines.

Does anyone have a machine that makes a good keyhole button hole?
Posted: 9:15 am on July 28th
deliascloset writes: My first sewing machine was a Singer, my mom got it for me at a garage sale, I was around 12/13; she had a Kenmore, which she still has today and I used that one then as well. Once I started back sewing when I was 25, my machine was a Simplicity Fashion Pro. I had the simplicity for 7 years and gave it to my friend this year once I "upgraded" to different machines. I have a Singer 14SH serger that I have had for 5 years. I purchased a Singer HD110, a commerical/professional machine that is just awesome and I have a Singer 7470 computerized machine. I would like to add an embroidery only mahcine and a coverstich/serger to the line up and my sewing machine acquisitions will be complete.
Posted: 9:08 am on July 28th
sewnutt1 writes: I have used a Viking #1 for about 15 years now. I had work completed on it last year and bought a second machine, a #1+. Only took a few weeks and I realized I had made a mistake....I don't want to do machine embroider--don't want to learn, don't need the designs, etc. Just not my thing!
I returned to my dealer and back-traded for another #1.
I do alterations and repairs and these machines work so well for me! I also have a Viking 905 Serger.
All of my machines have been Viking as I have found them to be so durable and service outstanding for them. Every time I have changed a machine for a newer one, I am encouraged by how user friendly sewing machines are now.
Posted: 8:51 am on July 28th
macfarda writes: More than 30 years ago, I bought a Pfaff Hobbymatic. It has only a few basic stitches, but is made like a tank. Thirty years of sewing, and no major repairs, are hard to argue with.

A few years ago, I supplemented it with a Janome MyLock 744D serger. I thought it would be difficult to learn how to use it, but it seems relatively intuitive. Although the Pfaff has a zigzag for finishing seams, I prefer the appearance and feel of seams finished on the Janome.

All in all, I can't think of many applications for the kind of sewing I do that I can't get done with the machines I have. Still, sometimes I pine for a fancy new embroidery machine.
Posted: 6:49 am on July 28th
ccsewer writes: I have been sewing on an Elna TX. I love it for classes and workshops--it weighs only eight pounds! It's about 25 yrs. old and just two days ago it stopped. No power! It's been a really great little machine--made a lot of quilts on it.

I was given a Pfaff 1229 and am now using it in place of the Elna. My plan was to pass it along to my daughter but...I like the way it sews! It's so quiet and smooth.

My "big" machine is a Pfaff 7570 (with embroidery). I've done a little embroidery--got a long way to go on that learning curve. I do love sewing on this machine. It is very dependable and the built-in walking foot on the Pfaff machines is soooo nice.

I also have a 20-25 year old Juki 103 three-thread serger that I could never get rid of! I'd love to add one of the newer Pfaff sergers to my sewing room and set up the Juki for "scarf-edge" only.

It's been my experience that if you take advantage of the classes and support offered by your dealer, you will get very well acquainted with whatever machine you own and you will love it!

I've been sewing since I was little--learned on my Mom's New Home treadle. About the time I started high school she got an electric Singer. I made some of my clothes but, I asked my mom to make the really "important" things (like the dress for the Winter Formal--it was 1956 and the fabric, which included brocaded satin and yards and yards of white tulle, only cost about $20.00!). I can't think of a better, more fun way to do nice things for yourself, your family and others than by sewing.
Posted: 1:32 am on July 28th
joanq writes: I love my Bernina 930 and 1230 machines... They both have a perfect stitch... They are semi ancient by todays standards but always promise to deliver topnotch results. I have found that I don't need all the new bells and whistles to produce professional looking results. I believe that the stitch quality is a direct result of the smaller throat plate opening... allowing less play in the formation of the stitch.
Posted: 11:27 pm on July 27th
decorchick writes: My best friend is my 25 year old Bernina 930. I've made tens of thousands of dollars with it and it never lets me down. The Swiss engineering makes every detail precise. My serger is a Bernina 2000DE that I have had for about 17 years. I love every excuse to use it; I just wish I had more time to play with all its features. When I make drapery and bedding, I use my Bernina 950 industrial machine. It sews 2000 stitches per minute. Not as intimidating as it sounds. OK so I'm hooked on Bernina. It makes me a better seamstress than I would have ever been without it.
Posted: 11:20 pm on July 27th
MHMB writes: I love my Viking Diamond and my Huskylock 926! Wonderful machines!
Posted: 10:24 pm on July 27th
SarahbelleSews writes: I have a Pfaff Tiptronic 2030, and a Baby Lock Evolve, both of which are worth their weight in diamonds!! These two machines replaced a New Home Combi (sewing machine and serger in one) that my daughter now has, and the New Home replaced a 1939 model Singer Featherweight my mother bought used in 1943. I love the features of my computerized Pfaff, and can't imagine sewing lingerie, swimwear, knits, heavy tweeds, etc.without it; but I piece quilts on the old Singer -- it only sews medium-weight wovens, backwards and forwards, straight-stitch only, but it does so consistently without any fuss and bother.
Three machines -- that's not so many!
Posted: 9:44 pm on July 27th
sewquilter writes: I sew on an Elna Xquisit II sewing/embroidery machine. I do not have the room in my sewing room for another sewing machine so I sew and embroider on the same machine. It does wonderful embroidery (still on the learning curve for embroidery). I also sew garments and home decor. I love this machine. I would not trade it in for anything. It does everything I could ask for it to do. The trick for any sewing machine to work properly is to keep it clean, especially the bobbin case (keep the lint away from it). Oh, by the way, I have an Elna 634 serger, that I have had for about seven years now. Love that serger too.
Posted: 9:41 pm on July 27th
Missy2 writes: I sew on a Janome heart truth machine. I love the fact that it is computerized. I love the ease of the drop in bobbin and the needle threader. The quilt shop where I purchased the machine at offers projects once a month. For a small fee for the kit, we bring our machines and sew the project at the quilt shop. The purpose is to show machine owners different uses for the feet. It is a lot of fun.
Posted: 9:41 pm on July 27th
Ribbqah08 writes: Janome MC9500 - sews like a hot knife through butter
Janome MC300E - great for personalizing gifts, and
White Serger 2000 (old and fussy but we know how to work with each other)

I sew church goods and garments (mostly vestments, dalmatics, stoles, & other ecclesial needs such as altar cloths,banners, purificators). Sometimes the fabric thickness and trim are difficult to sew evenly but not with my Janome MC9500.

I have sewn by hand and machine since I was 6 years old and I taught sewing for 30+ years... still teach high school but they closed the "HomeEc or Family & Cons. Sci Dept" - too bad, most students still want to learn how to sew.
Posted: 8:28 pm on July 27th
quiltinqueenie writes: I have a Janome 1600 P DB that I use to quilt on with my Little gracie. I love it, it is really a work horse. I have a Janome 9500 Memory Craft that is my dream machine. I use it almost every day. I make at least 20 quilts a year for friends, family, charity and gifts, not to mention other items.
It also embroiders beautifully.
Sometimes I will set it to embroider while I am quilting, and do the thread changes when I stop for a few minutes at the end of rows if the embroidering has stopped for a color change.
This week I bought me a vintage Singer year 1919 in perfect condition that was a one owner machine. I could not pass it up. I would reccommend any of these machines. The Janome 9500 comes with every foot you need. And does buttonholes so automatically that you do not have to measure or anything I told my husband that was worth the price alone.
Posted: 7:53 pm on July 27th
traininglady911 writes: I had a Pfaff 1222e from 1974 that I dearly LOVED. A dealer in the Seattle area told me that it could not longer be repaired and talked me into buying a new machine. Well, long story short, I never bonded with that machine. So, I went on E-bay, bought a reconditioned Pfaff 1222e and now I am sewing happily along. Oh, I also have a Pfaff 4872 serger. Love it, too.
Posted: 6:28 pm on July 27th
pastormom writes: I love Janome (and my old Singer).

Last week I was the volunteer leader of a beginner sewing camp for girls in grades 5-8 at a United Methodist camp here in Maine. This is our fourth year offering the sewing camp. I received donations from churches and community businesses to purchase twelve Janome machines for this camp, and they are terrific for beginners. The girls learn how to operate the machines and how to clean them. They learn how to experiment with different stitches and lengths. When something goes wrong, a volunteer is always nearby to assess machine issues and address them (usually very simple, such as incorrect threading or bobbin issues).

I have a Janome Sewist 625E, very simple, but I love it. I gave my 20 year old daughter my old Singer (circa 1984, so not THAT old), which she used a few years ago to make her senior prom dress, at a cost of $75 for materials, which would have probably retailed for $200. She modeled it last week for the camp sewers, and they were thrilled to think that some day they could graduate from sewing pillowcases to sewing prom dresses (and save money too).

Our focus at the camp is to sew items for missions, such as pillowcases for homeless shelters, schoolbags for children, potholders for soup kitchens, aprons for soup kitchens, and quilts for the LINUS project. They also take home one of each project, to show to family and friends. Some of the children have machines at home, and they continue to sew. Some do not have machines, but then go home to earn money to buy one, or they may ask for one as a gift.

Give a person a quilt,a schoolbag,or a potholder, and they have it for as long as the threads hold. Give a person a lesson in sewing, and they can sew quilts, schoolbags and potholders for their entire lives. How cool is that?!
Posted: 9:13 pm on July 22nd
debthereb writes: I love my Viking Husquevarna Lily! It has an overlock stitch so I don't need a serger, the only thing it doesn't do is cut the excess and trim the edge. I have limited space in my sewing room so it saves me space! I love it!
Posted: 2:30 pm on July 16th
Orlaith writes: I have been using a Singer 201 from 1954. I was lucky enough to receive it from my Grandmother earlier this. It's a tank. I also have a newer Singer from a couple of years ago that I use for the fancier stitches.

I love both my Singer's. If I could get another one, it would be a Singer treadle sewing machine.
Posted: 10:17 pm on July 14th
peggyv writes: I' sewing on a Bernina 1005 because my Bernina 1130 is being serviced. Even though they are about 20 years old they are great machines. I like the Bernina buttonholes and all the presser feet options for the machines. Someday I would like to have a sewing machine with more decorative stitches and automatic buttonholes but I don't think I would ever give up my 1130.
Posted: 9:44 am on July 11th
Mayalucy writes: I am sewing and serging with Baby Lock. I have a basic Baby Lock from about 30 years ago. It still works nicely and is made mostly of metal. Can you believe that, everything is plastic today.

I have a serger from 20 years ago. I am ashamed to say I was afraid of it at first. Now I use more than ever. I have Baby Lock Esante from 2004. I use all three all the time.

Baby Lock is just my favorite. I find it easy to operate. Instruction Book is very helpful. I love the way the Esante does embroidery. My husband can't believe when I embroider because I am sewing on other things while the embroidery design works itself. Of course, you have to stop to change colors.

I have friends who stand by other brand machines. My preference is Baby Lock and what it has to offer me as a sewer crafter.

Must be going now I hear a baby blanket that needs embroidering calling to me. Happy sewing everyone!
Posted: 5:14 pm on July 10th
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