The other day my husband did something really sweet. He sold his road bike without me knowing and gave me a nice sum of money to put towards my sewing machine fund! I was really excited, but I also felt bad taking the money. I didn't earn it, but he insisted on me taking it.
All of this sparked my interest in test driving a few machines. OH MY WORD. What have I been doing these last two years??? I feel like I have been sewing under a rock. These new machines sew like a dream, and they do everything for you. Did you know that some machines can CUT thread for you and do a lock stitch??? For real??? Look how giddy i am over just those two small things. I worked on a machine that stitched out my name. Say whaaat? I know some of you are probably just giggling over this saying "Poor Nancy. She really has been sewing under a rock." I have never stepped into a sewing machine shop. EVER.
Well, this means a lot of money because of the amount of bells and whistles. I understand that a sewing machine is a piece of equipment, a tool. My husband works with expensive tools in electrical engineering, but he has to in order to perform a job well done.
At times, I can be stingy with money. I am the annoying girl who patiently waits for the cashier to open a new roll of pennies because I want my two cents back in change. I am literally the girl who picks up any coins off the parking lot grounds or sidewalks. I am the girl who will ditch out going to full priced movie theater with girlfriends because it costs $9 ticket. I am the girl who will turn down a dinner date with my husband only because I didn't want to pay for a babysitter while my baby sleeps. At the same time, I do like to buy nice things, and I like quality. Who doesn't? But this is where I am hung up.
Though I may be able to afford an expensive machine doesn't necessarily mean I want to spend money on an expensive machine. After testing Viking, Brother, Janome, and Bernina, I have narrowed it down to these below. There are other brands that some people have recommended that I have not tried out yet like Pfaff, Elna, and Baby Lock, and I am open to suggestions.
Bernina 550 $$$$
Janome Horizon 7700 $$$
Berina 330 $$
The Bernina 550 is as high as I am willing to go. It's such a big investment. All that money can stretch a long way. Think of all the fabric I could buy!! Or I could even buy a beloved Genevieve Gorder rug for my living room! Or more realistically, that could pay off 5 mortgage payments or feed my family for 9 months.
I know that, ultimately, I need to choose a machine that will best fit ME and MY needs. It will also need to accommodate my future needs. I need to sew home decor, quilts, clothing, and crafts. I need good quality stitches, and I need a workhorse. There are things that I absolutely love on the Janome that I cannot get on the Bernina models I am looking at. Lock stitch, automatic thread cutter, top loading bobbin, and an 11" harp size. Bernina offers the amazing Bernina Stitch Regulator (for FMQ), has a great reputation, and has metal parts. It's just so dang expensive! I can get more features in Janome for a lower price, but does that make the Janome cheap??? And if Anna Maria Horner sews on a Janome, does that mean it is okay? (because I love AMH and if she said smoking crack while sewing produces betters quilts, I would do it)
But in all seriousness, I don't understand why I am freaking out about this as much as I am other than it is a commitment and a large amount of cash is involved. I am confused, anxious to sew, and want to be satisfied rather quickly. I know I need to wait this out, and I will eventually have a new machine. Used or new in box, but no matter what, new to me.
So ultimately it comes down to this. Bernina or Janome? I desperately need YOUR help. I need input. I need advice. Here are some questions I am asking.
- What machine do you sew on?
- How long have you own your machine?
- What types of sewing do you do on your machine? (Quilting, Home Decor, Clothing, Crafts?)
- How often do you use your decorative stitches? Are they really handy to have?
- Is customer service or your dealer great with help when you have questions or need help resolving issues with your machine?
- What features do you like or dislike?
- Would you buy this machine again?
- What are your thoughts on mechanical versus computerized machines?
- Would you buy on Ebay or Craigslist?
- Do you know the best time to purchase a sewing machine?
- Do you know if sales can go lower than demo prices (used machines for testing in dealer stores)?
- Is there anything else I should be asking or missed?
Thanks for stopping in today!