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11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 10/22/2004 10:14:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 10:17:59 PM EST by G-Rated]
My mom is in the market for a new sewing machine. She did a tad bit of research and found that Pfaff and Elna were the oft mentioned cream of the crop.

She's looking for a high quality sewing machine for general sewing needs. Thick material to thin, doesn't need anything too fancy. She is expecting to pay in the range of 1-3k to give you an idea of the class of machine she's looking for.

We went by the sewing machine store tonight and the store clerk showed her the Pfaff 1546. Wow, what a machine! I was highly impressed and it seemed to be just what she asked for.

She's pretty sure that's the machine for her, but wants to make sure she looks at all the options. Are there any other brands she should consider? Also, does anyone have experience with the Pfaff 1546?

Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 11:12:21 PM EST
What about Husqvarna? ...but I've said too much.
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 2:56:54 AM EST
For what your Mom wants to do an older singer model 401-a is what she wants. I have tried some of the newer machines and would not buy one. My older singer does everything that I want,plus you can sew through leather and vinyl. It will cost you way less than a grand. The newer machines do not hold up like the old one. I had a newer singer and it does not hold up,and is very expensive to have them fixed. The older ones are almost bomb proof and very little goes wrong. Just make sure the older one has been serviced and she will be good to go.
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 4:21:57 AM EST
Consider Bernina as an option, however...

Check the used * top of the line* machines of several brands. Since computerized embroidery machines hit the market about a decade ago, many perfectly good mechanical and computerized machines have been turned in, to upgrade.

Generally speaking, computerized machines have the advantage of even power when stitching through varying thicknesses of fabric (i.e. jean hems). However, I'm very pleased with my 'mechanical' machines, I just stitch slower at times :) and I want a treadle too.

Since needs and wants vary with the type of sewing, please encourage your Mom to buy a machine she *loves*!

btw...if she sews garments, pattern making softwear (livingsoft.com, patternmaster boutique, etc) is wonderful!

Gwen

Link Posted: 10/23/2004 10:51:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By MrsWildweasel:
The newer machines do not hold up like the old one. I had a newer singer and it does not hold up,and is very expensive to have them fixed. The older ones are almost bomb proof and very little goes wrong. Just make sure the older one has been serviced and she will be good to go.



Well, If I had my druthers (and my mom as well) a NEW all-steel and cast iron machine would be first choice, but as we know, things have changed in the last 30 years or so! I have my grandmothers old 1954 Morse which is all steel and cast iron and even has an external motor and belt!

Are the problems with newer machines mainly with singers? One website my mom found said the Singers liked to be in the shop. Didn't hear anything on the Pfaff. As far as thick fabric goes....the store clerk shoved a wad of denim almost 1/4" thick into the machine, flipped down the special Pfaff top feed device and the machine handled it with one arm behind it's back. I was highly impressed by that top feed device.


So:

Berina....check
Older used machines....check
Husqvarna.....hey, you just said that cause they make chainsaws.

Can anyone reccomend a good unbiased sewing board I can surf to do further reesearch?
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 1:04:28 PM EST
Dunno about unbiased....because sewists tend to me very biased IMO :)

check out www.quiltropolis.com -- check out Just Sew & Creative Machine mailing lists.

HTH,

Gwen
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 1:22:18 PM EST
I have a Husqvarna Viking machine that is awesome. While mine is also an embroidery machine, there are models out there that don't have that if she isn't interested. All Viking and White machines come with 8 free classes on use in my area and I have free unlimited telephone assistance if I need it. The machine I have is capable of sewing through 8 layers of denim (not that I will ever need it!) and has more than 80 different stitches. I love it. Elnas are good sturdy machines and I have quilting friends that love them, but I am not sure about their overall quality. I haven't looked into them too much to say one way or another.

Berninas are also wonderful, but over priced in my opinion. The only thing they have that a Viking doesn't is a knee lift. (A little bar that lifts the presser foot with your knee rather than having to do it by hand.) To me, that's not worth the extra money unless you are doing a ton of machine quilting where getting your hands off the fabric can cause huge skipped stitches when doing free-motion quilting.

I would avoid Singers because all I ever hear is that they break down constantly (if you are using it on a pretty regular basis) and that parts are hard to come by for any but the newest models. However, my grandmother would keel over if I told you to stay away from them!

I just love my Viking and after having had a Brother and a Singer, I wouldn't go back to them. You really do get what you pay for in this area.

Anyway, I know that Mrs. Gloftoe also sews, but I can't remember what she has...maybe we'll get her to chime in here also.
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 2:07:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/23/2004 2:46:59 PM EST by Piecemaker]
The most important thing about purchasing a sewing machine is to get one that does what you need it to do. One of my machines is a Singer 301 that only does a straight stitch. It does the best straight stitch I've ever seen and also makes the best button-holes -- it has a special button-hole foot that moves the fabric instead of the needle. It will sew through absolutely everything and is a great machine for gun scabbards and jeep seat covers.

However, my favorite sewing machine (yes, there are a couple of others -- don't you have more than one gun?) is a Pfaff 1475 that I've had for around 15 years. The Pfaff has a built in walking foot -- my version has enough utility stitches (darning, hemming) and fancy stitches (leaves, flowers) to let me do a few fancy things without being overwhelming. It's never broken down and is easy to carry around. My Singer is made out of metal and will probably last forever, but it's heavy and not easy to haul around. Haven't had the chance to check out the newer Pfaff models like the 1546 but can only think that the quality of Pfaffs is going to go up -- they've been bought out by Husky/Viking but will be maintained as their own brand.

One thing I do advise is to buy something that is sold and serviced in your area. My MIL bought a Husky/Viking (I got to pick it out -- it's fun spending other people's money) since it was the only brand represented near her -- good move since she lives 5 hours away -- I can't just run over to help her out. Usually there will be a few free classes on how to use all the features of your new machine. It would also be good for her to take back some samples of things she would typically like to sew and give it a try -- especially if she wants to sew denim or leather. Make the dealer sell the machine.

I'm a firm believer that (up to a point of course) you have to put a certain amount of money behind everry purchase. If you buy a $100 special sewing machine, you'll end up hating sewing because the machine just doesn't work right. I know several people who didn't want to spend much cause they don't expect to do much sewing and then don't use it at all cause the cheap machine doesn't work -- what'd'ya expect?
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 5:03:50 PM EST
I right now have 3 sewing machines all older singers,I had a newer singer and hated it. It did not work right.
The older singers have less that go wrong and have not had to do any repairs on them so far. I agree the newer singers are not good. I can also attest to my sister-in law having a newer bernina and having to sink lots of money into it to fix it. We all sew alot, and and find that the older machines do exatly what we want. My husband has made tops for his built up tracker, and seat covers. Have your mom try them out and ultimately she'll have to decide. My money is going to always be on an older singer.
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 6:14:41 PM EST
Ahh yes, "walking foot" that's what that Pfaff thingamajigger is called. A piece of pure mechanical genius.


Alright, now someone round up Mrs. Gloftoe so we can get her 2c.
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 8:04:35 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 8:17:17 PM EST
Look into Singer models, one girl I dated did alot of seamstess work (She was nice, any clothing repair needed she did it fast and good) and it was a pretty good machine.
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 8:38:12 PM EST
my current machine is an old Singer Athena 2000 (first "electronic" sewing machine) does a lot of stuff.

but, just like firearms, there is what I have and what I'd like.. IF I have to replace this machine, I'm looking at a GERMAN made Pfaff (not an import)

Husky at one time made sewing machines, guns, chain saws and motorcycles. I learned on a Husky, IIRC.
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 9:42:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By MrsWildweasel:
For what your Mom wants to do an older singer model 401-a is what she wants. I have tried some of the newer machines and would not buy one. My older singer does everything that I want,plus you can sew through leather and vinyl. It will cost you way less than a grand. The newer machines do not hold up like the old one. I had a newer singer and it does not hold up,and is very expensive to have them fixed. The older ones are almost bomb proof and very little goes wrong. Just make sure the older one has been serviced and she will be good to go.




+1 on the 401 . I got a 401 and a 306K and it works great(even have all the cams for 306)
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 10:05:53 PM EST
Taged this for the wife who's been thinking about getting one for the first time. Sorry for the intruption ladies. Bye.
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 11:50:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:
I would avoid Singers because all I ever hear is that they break down constantly (if you are using it on a pretty regular basis) and that parts are hard to come by for any but the newest models. However, my grandmother would keel over if I told you to stay away from them!



I actually have my grandmother's Singer - an old timey black and gold one. It is electric however - probably from the 50s.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:25:21 AM EST
I have 2 401's and also the306K with the instruction booklet too and all the cams,someone put on the side of the road with a free sign. That one also works great,I don't think it was taken out and used much. I am also getting my grandmothers way older singer that she had when I was really little. She was constantly making real heavy quilts,and always my school clothes when I would go visit her for the summer. Like I said very little goes wrong with the older machines,the newer ones are bad.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 4:06:11 AM EST
ditto on the "newer ones are bad"... most of the "entry" level ones are mass produced in taiwan or china and are what you pay for 'em... "CHEAP".

Pfaff makes an excellent machine (as mentioned above, go for the higher end ones, they're made in Germany, while the lesser ones are made in asia somewhere)


The first sewing machine I ever owned was a Singer, it was an old timey black and gold (c1950's) portable with a bar that you used your leg to control the speed (electric). My daughter now has that machine. still a good one. Any of the older singers were built to last (like most stuff back then).
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 8:19:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bucko:

Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:
I would avoid Singers because all I ever hear is that they break down constantly (if you are using it on a pretty regular basis) and that parts are hard to come by for any but the newest models. However, my grandmother would keel over if I told you to stay away from them!



I actually have my grandmother's Singer - an old timey black and gold one. It is electric however - probably from the 50s.



I have one of my grandmother's also, but its probably not as old as yours...good machine all in all...too bad the new ones just suck.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 10:15:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By RED_5:
Pfaff makes an excellent machine (as mentioned above, go for the higher end ones, they're made in Germany, while the lesser ones are made in asia somewhere)


Isn't that odd? Braun does that with their shavers. The lower end ones are made in China, but the top end ones are still made in Germany.

As for the old Singers: yes, they are bombproof, but, again, I've said too much.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 12:53:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By RED_5:
Pfaff makes an excellent machine (as mentioned above, go for the higher end ones, they're made in Germany, while the lesser ones are made in asia somewhere)



The store clerk said that Pfaff JUST moved their factory to Czech. Supposedly the factory in Germany was shot, and they chose to rebuild in Czech.
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 11:41:09 AM EST
Since this is getting attention...anybody know where to get a treadle machine? I learned on one and I would like to get one. My mother still has her new colony, but she won't give it to me.
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 12:56:55 PM EST
I bought the ex a Pfaff for her b-day while I was stationed in Germany. Paid $2500 (in the BX) for the dang thing.

It was computer operated and did everything.

I even goofed around with it - sewed my name on a bicycle shop apron.

I little experience with these, but heard they were the best - unless you buy commercial grade.
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 2:10:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By Backstop:
I even goofed around with it - sewed my name on a bicycle shop apron.


Isn't that sweet?!? I'd love to have a machine that does embrodery.

Man, I need to learn to STFU.
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 2:17:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bucko:

Originally Posted By Backstop:
I even goofed around with it - sewed my name on a bicycle shop apron.


Isn't that sweet?!? I'd love to have a machine that does embrodery.

Man, I need to learn to STFU.



Come on up! You can use mine! It is lots of fun and I can only imagine what I do with it once I really learn how to use it.
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 2:29:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/25/2004 2:51:37 PM EST by Bucko]

Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:
Come on up! You can use mine! It is lots of fun and I can only imagine what I do with it once I really learn how to use it.


Is it one of the ones you can connect to a PC or Mac and it will embroider almost any image you put into it?
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 2:31:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bucko:
Isn't that sweet?!? I'd love to have a machine that does embrodery.


Somebody tell me why this is. Why is it that every time a man makes a comment that people deem trans-gender, the gay boys come out looking for a date?


Man, I need to learn to STFU.

Too late, man.

HAHAHA!
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 2:37:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bucko:

Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:
Come on up! You can use mine! It is lots of fun and I can only imagine what I do with it once I really learn how to use it.


Is it one of the ones you can connect to a PC or Mac and it will embroid almost any image you put into it?



Yep, it sure is! We have the software where you can design your own stuff as well as altering other designs you get elsewhere. I just got 350 Halloween designs off ebay for $4.50. Now if I could just get all the buttons figured out, we'd be in great shape!
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 2:55:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/25/2004 8:40:26 PM EST by Bucko]

Originally Posted By Backstop:
Too late, man.

HAHAHA!


Alas, it's true.



Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:

Originally Posted By Bucko:
Is it one of the ones you can connect to a PC or Mac and it will embroid almost any image you put into it?



Yep, it sure is! We have the software where you can design your own stuff as well as altering other designs you get elsewhere. I just got 350 Halloween designs off ebay for $4.50. Now if I could just get all the buttons figured out, we'd be in great shape!


Does it use normal images like JPEGs or GIFs or something that can be created/edited in PhotoShop or can you only use the special software?
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 5:09:45 PM EST
Hound, Treadle machines are available from Lehman's hardware (www.lehmans.com).
Their best machine does ZigZag stitching, which I feel is critical for knits and elastic. Machine made buttonholes also.

There is a 'knockoff' Singer machine, straight stitch only (methinks) called the Butterfly, made in China.

A search of www.froogle.com should turn up some interesting machines, also on Ebay.


Gwen

Link Posted: 10/25/2004 5:43:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By GwenInLA1:
Hound, Treadle machines are available from Lehman's hardware (www.lehmans.com).
Their best machine does ZigZag stitching, which I feel is critical for knits and elastic. Machine made buttonholes also.
...






URL

Link Posted: 10/25/2004 5:47:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By RED_5:

Originally Posted By GwenInLA1:
Hound, Treadle machines are available from Lehman's hardware (www.lehmans.com).
Their best machine does ZigZag stitching, which I feel is critical for knits and elastic. Machine made buttonholes also.
...




www.lehmans.com/images/us//local/products/detail/73990.f.jpg

URL




oooh, now THAT'S handsome!
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 6:03:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:

Originally Posted By Bucko:

Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:
I would avoid Singers because all I ever hear is that they break down constantly (if you are using it on a pretty regular basis) and that parts are hard to come by for any but the newest models. However, my grandmother would keel over if I told you to stay away from them!



I actually have my grandmother's Singer - an old timey black and gold one. It is electric however - probably from the 50s.



I have one of my grandmother's also, but its probably not as old as yours...good machine all in all...too bad the new ones just suck.



I've got a 1940 model 66.
Picked it up in a goodwill many years ago for $10.
Link Posted: 10/25/2004 6:16:21 PM EST
oh contrair....

I have a Singer Athena 2000 that my mom made my jr high choir outfits on...*cough* that was a very LONG time ago.....and this thing will live through anything! Well, up until I broke the presser foot because I left it on zigzag when I went to load a bobbin....but, it is VERY forgiving of my ameteur sewing and has never otherwise failed me. It has cute embroidery stitching but does the basics with ease, which is what I use most.
Link Posted: 10/26/2004 3:15:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By SigZiggy:
....I have a Singer Athena 2000 ...



me too, see my first post
Link Posted: 10/26/2004 3:33:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bucko:

Originally Posted By Backstop:
Too late, man.

HAHAHA!


Alas, it's true.



Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:

Originally Posted By Bucko:
Is it one of the ones you can connect to a PC or Mac and it will embroid almost any image you put into it?



Yep, it sure is! We have the software where you can design your own stuff as well as altering other designs you get elsewhere. I just got 350 Halloween designs off ebay for $4.50. Now if I could just get all the buttons figured out, we'd be in great shape!


Does it use normal images like JPEGs or GIFs or something that can be created/edited in PhotoShop or can you only use the special software?



I think it has to be in .pes or .huv format, but I think there is a way to convert JPEGs, I just don't know how. I'll check on that and get back to you. I haven't figured it all out yet!
Link Posted: 10/26/2004 3:53:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By RED_5:

Originally Posted By SigZiggy:
....I have a Singer Athena 2000 ...



me too, see my first post



That's what I get for reading while drinking brew!

Sweet! We have matching sewing machines My moto nickname is Red 13, but that's pretty close too! You don't have a dirtbike that says Red 5 on it, do ya?

Going to try to get mine fixed tonight to finish Aidan's vampire cape. Only 5 more days 'til Halloween!
Link Posted: 10/26/2004 5:37:13 AM EST
no, but I do have a dirt bike
Link Posted: 10/26/2004 5:42:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By RED_5:
no, but I do have a dirt bike



Link Posted: 10/26/2004 10:16:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:
I think it has to be in .pes or .huv format, but I think there is a way to convert JPEGs, I just don't know how. I'll check on that and get back to you. I haven't figured it all out yet!


Hmmmm. I wonder if there's a Photoshop plugin for that.
Link Posted: 10/26/2004 3:04:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bucko:

Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:
I think it has to be in .pes or .huv format, but I think there is a way to convert JPEGs, I just don't know how. I'll check on that and get back to you. I haven't figured it all out yet!


Hmmmm. I wonder if there's a Photoshop plugin for that.




Guess what!!! I just looked at some of my new software (again, I have NO idea how to use it yet), but it says that it will import bitmaps, JPEG, photoshop and other files! Now, if I can only make time to go to the class and learn how it all works, we'll be in good shape.
Link Posted: 10/26/2004 5:58:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By MarianLibrarian:
Guess what!!! I just looked at some of my new software (again, I have NO idea how to use it yet), but it says that it will import bitmaps, JPEG, photoshop and other files! Now, if I can only make time to go to the class and learn how it all works, we'll be in good shape.


Damn, now I'm going to have to buy one, but only after I get an M82A1. I've got to balance out the hormones.
Link Posted: 10/26/2004 6:40:31 PM EST
sewing, like nursing is NOT un-manly!

life saving and being able to make and/or repair crap are good everyday (and eotwawki/shtf) type skills!
Link Posted: 10/26/2004 6:52:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By RED_5:
sewing, like nursing is NOT un-manly!

life saving and being able to make and/or repair crap are good everyday (and eotwawki/shtf) type skills!


Oh, I'm not really embarrassed by it, but I wouldn't post it in GD because I don't want to go on for 40 pages trying to defend it. The macho-types would get their asses flamed if they tried that here.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:48:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bucko:

Damn, now I'm going to have to buy one, but only after I get an M82A1. I've got to balance out the hormones.



You know, the interesting part is that it was a man who sold me my machine. He showed me some things he had done and I was pretty impressed. He is sort of the "fix it" guy around the sewing machine store and he has an embroidery business on the side. Manly man if you ask me!
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