It's time to vote on our 2017 photo contest! Vote for your favorite photos of the year here!

Help me decide on a "higher end" sewing machine

Mantua, UT(Zone 4b)

My Pfaff 7530 is having computer problems and since there are 4 computers in the machine it could be pricey to start replacing them.

I have been looking at the Pfaff Expression 4.0 but the early reviews on it are not great. Apparently quality has suffered since Viking, Pfaff and Singer combined and the machines starting being made in China.

I have also looked at the Janome 7700 which looks nice, but the salesperson admitted she didn't know much about it.

I talked to another salesperson who told me he used to sell Pfaff but stopped because of the problems with machine performance. He said he could never just hand someone a boxed Pfaff and let them go home with it because they are unreliable.

He also said he could send a Janome home in the box and there is NEVER a problem.

I bought a Bernina 440QE 2 years ago because of the problems with the 7530. What a disappointment. No indicator when the bobbin thread is low. No wider arm. Of course, I knew that before I bought it, but with poor reviews on the Pfaff 4.0 I thought I could live with it. I couldn't. I just sold it for half of what it was worth.

Has anyone had experience with the two machines I mentioned?

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

No idea on Pfaff or janome. I'd check Baby Lock. Fons & Porter switched to them a couple seasons back. It looks like an awesome machine.

I have an old Viking Lily that I love. Very low maintenance on the Viking machines.

(Cheryl) Wilmington, MA

I have a Baby Lock Ellageo for 5 or 6 years now and I can do everything with it and it is a dream to sew on. Never had a lick of trouble with it oh no once but it just needed a real good cleaning. They have simple to high end I love mine.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

I have three Janomes and I've never had any trouble either....

Longboat Key, FL(Zone 9b)

I did have Janome embroidery only - which worked fine traded it in for Janome 11000 which has computer problems - not compatible with the newer computers. I thought the magnet quilting hoop would do wonders - it does not. I have to do the wonder.
Also have a simple Janome which was made for Sears, hence takes sears parts. Very simple just has 50 stitch variation and up and down needle function. I personally hate the MT bobbin warning on the 11000. Love this cheapy - do all my piecing with it. Do miss theon and off botton versas pedal.

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

I have 2 Vikings, I love them.

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

Sewing machines are like so many other possessions, we each have our favorites. I'm on my second Bernina. My "new" one I got in 1985. I've never had a reason since to justify getting a newer machine, this does all I ask it to and more.

Mantua, UT(Zone 4b)

I am trying to type this on my husbands ipad and I'm not good at it so please excuse any mistakes.

thanks for the comments.

I looked at the Janome 7700 yesterday at two differe t stores. It doesn't seem very popular here because no one knows how to demo it very well. when I tried to sew on it the fabric veered dramatically to the right when it went over a seam. It got a little better when changing to a 1/4" foot but there was still a little jog. I took a doll quilt to see how it would handle machine quilting. It completely stopped when I got to the first seam. I then put on the fairly obnoxious foot that will allow you to engage the "walking"mechanism and it went over the seam, but it was then hard to see clearly where I was trying to sew.

I was then guided by the salesperson to the Brother Innovis X2000 Laura Ashley limited edition machine. It was unimpressive to look at---seemed like cheap white plastic to me. BUT then I sat down and sewed with it. WOW! It went over those seams the Janome struggled with like they weren't even there. the touch screen seemed much easier.

So, I remain confused. I also remain guilt ridden. I probably ought to keep my old Pfaff until it completely dies. But what if that happens in the middle of a big project.

Sorry, I'm rambling. Guess there's too much stress in my life right now and I'm trying to escape.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I have 3 machines "just in case" 2 die!!!!

My Viking is my favorite for piecing; the Bernina has a nice walking foot; my Kenmore has been woth me for over 30 years and is just a GOOD machine. I've bough others in between but these ae my 3 favorites.

Buying a machine is as bad a test driving a new car!!!!

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

test drive......buying my truck was much easier than deciding on a new machine!!!
I have a Viking and I love it, before that I had a brother, loved that too. also have one of those good'ol kenmores, and a featherweight which I use every once in a while.
The viking has more stitches than the brother had, and I got more extra feet with it, like the wallking foot. I love that it has the needle up, needle down option. and that you can move the needle position left or right. the throat space is larger, so it is a bit easier to quilt larger items. I would love to get a ruffler foot, but it is out of my price range right now.....

you need to look at all the options the machines have, decide what you will be doing with it the most ( quilting, making clothes) test drive, and pick the one with the options you will use, and that you enjoy the drive LOL.....

good luck :)

Mantua, UT(Zone 4b)

Now I'm really losing it. I went to a Pfaff dealer in the next town and the Expression 4.0 worked wonderfully. It didn't pull the fabric to the right or left when going over a seam. It has a long arm - one inch less than the Janome and one inch more than the Brother.

There are 9 buttons on the front between 1 and zero. If you want stitch number 52 you simply hit 5 and 2 and the stitch begins. The others are much more complicated--especially the Janome.

It has a thread cutter, needle up/down button, a knee control, sew slow button. It has fewer stitches than the Brother and Janome, but I've not been big into using decorative stitches. Not sure I need 20 buttonholes either.

AND--it costs a thousand dollars LESS than the Brother and $600 less than the Janome. BUT then there's the fear about the bad reputation of Pfaff since it conbined with Singer and Viking.

AND there's the disbelief that all three Janomes I've tried could NOT maintain a decent 1/4 inch seam when You Tube says it DOES! I don't think any of the people who tried to demo the Janome REALLY knew how to use it.

I also have a Singer Featherweight. It is an anniversary edition that I got at a second hand store. It does make a beautiful stitch.

I used to make most of my children's clothes and even my husband's suits. Guess what one of the plaid suits is used for now!! My second son dresses up in it for Halloween when he's at work. Somehow it looked better with a blue Sweepstakes ribbon at the fair many years ago.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

The LQS I used to frequent, before she closed, would allow perspective buyers to bring in a project & sew for a couple hours. It was good to give the machine a long, involved test drive.

I've never been anywhere where pfaff or janome were sold so have never used either brand.

Mantua, UT(Zone 4b)

Well, the decision is made. Once a Pfaff person--always a Pfaff person, I guess.

I spent quite a bit of time with a Viking Sapphire 875 and it was a nice machine, but their walking foot is as huge as the one Bernina had. It seemed fairly complicated to operate--maybe I'm just not used to it.

Then I went to a Pfaff dealer. I can't live without the walking foot. There's just nothing like it even though the Viking person said she didn't feel she needed one. I NEED one.

I want to ue a flower stitch to tie quilts because I HATE tranditionally yardn-tied quilts. Both the Pfaff and the Viking take an extra stitch when tying it off. I told the Pfaff person that I didn't like that. She found a way that it will do what I want it to do. I appreciated the time she took trying to figure it out. Apparently no one has ever asked her this question before. The Viking took an extra stitch too, before it stopped.

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

Congrats Linda, so glad you found a machine that suits you.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Good for you Linda and kudos to the lady that helped you get what you want. Sometimes all the sales people think about is the sale - not the person doing the buying.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Congrats on your new "toy". Glad you found one that does what you wanted.
Now make something & show us pics!!!!

I know I can't live w/out a walking foot. People who say that have never used one. I bet people used to say "why buy sliced bread when I can slice my own"!!!!!!

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

I bought my walking foot when I was at Bernina in Zurich. It's called an "Obertransportfut"

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

A good dealer can make all the difference in the world. Problems or questions, you have someone you can go to for any issues. I loved the even feed feature on my old Pfaff, but when it came time for a new machine, my Pfaff dealer had gone out of business, and I chose Bernina. I love it, but it would all depend on what you were doing with it. Congrats on your new toy! I'm sure you'll love it.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.