What machine(s) do you have? (or have had)

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What machine(s) do you have? (or have had)

Post by Dunners » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:14 pm

Thought this might be useful as a reference point when looking for a machine to buy. And also because I'm curious to see what other people use (and recommend).

I have:
* Pfaff 807 Hobbymatic sewing machine : Really old, basic, yet very hardy, love this machine. Handles thick layers easily. My bargain $30 buy. Not very good with buttonholes (4 step), and only has very basic stitches (so I am looking for another machine that does buttonholes with more ease and a few more pretty stitches)
* Janome 134 overlocker: oldish, yet white case & 4 thread. Again a workhorse (and another bargain at $130). The guy whom services it told me never to part with it as it's a very good model. Sadly doesn't do rolled hem or have differential feed so I'm on the look out for a good cheap machine that does rh/df to add to my collection)
* Janome 1000CP Coverpro: love it! Very solidly built. Great finish on clothes. Bit spendy, but in my case not such an expense all at once.
* Pfaff 1222E - just acquired in the last few weeks. I really like this machine! It's 30 odd years old like my 807 but has some lovely extras like one-step button holes, beautiful embroidery stitches, and an electronic pedal that keeps pace when working with thicker fabrics. It also has IDT which causes the fabric to feed through evenly on the top and bottom (way better than a walking foot).

I used to have:
* Pfaff Smart 200C sewing machine: I had problems with this from day one, it had potential to be a great machine, but it was very fussy (didn't like lots of layers, didn't like elastic in casing, didn't like 2 layers of microfleece, didn't like thread that wasn't highest quality, etc). Buttonholes were one-step though ;) The embroidery stitches were nice, though threads regularly broke mid-stitch :roll: and it was so slow to do it (faster to sew on ric-rac). After 10 months of trying to love it, it jammed on me requiring a fix - and I really didn't want it back (so I paid a bit more and got the CP instead).
Last edited by Dunners on Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by sassydot » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:23 pm

Brother Star 3 Electronic easy bobbin loading but presser foot cord could be longer, thread reel holder weak and broke quickly. Sews nicely, feeds straight
Brother Lock 760DE simple threading, handles layers, diff feed, compact and light, 3 or 4 thread. Has tendency to snap overloopers, but still going well for its age.

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Post by Angel » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:38 pm

Brother XL-2230 A good basic sewing machine. 4 step buttonhole (very rarely use it anyway with a snap press). Cannot alter the width of the zigzag or 3 step zigzag which is quite frustrating. It has been running smoothly for 4+ years (purchased new).

Mercury 4 thread overlocker Differential feed, rolled hem, thread catcher. A bit on the noisy side and gets a bit of speed wobbles going if you go flat out. Has been going well, for 3+ years (purchased new from trademe) bar one minor problem with the tension after trying a thread that it didnt like - easily fixed at home.
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Post by Kimber » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:02 pm

What I have:

Brother Deluxe Sewing Machine - 4 step buttonhole, some fancy stitches, zigzag and 3 step zigzag width is adjustable. Can handle any amount of layers or thickness of fabric. 40+ years old (Mum bought it new when she was 16, I've had it since I was 12), has had two services in it's long life and has never given either of us any problems. Highly recommend a good quality vintage machine.

Brother Lock 546D Overlocker - I bought it second hand off my MIL 4+ years ago and I've never really had a whole lot of love for it. Takes endless adjustments on every different fabric or # of layers to get the tension right. Even after a service the tension knobs are funky. It's fussy about the type of thread used (don't even bother with the woolly nylon) and really doesn't like corners. I could be spoilt tho by the industrial overlockers I used at tech tho (and MIL has one - I send my corner overlocking to her!).

What I want:

Industrial overlocker! I've been trying to avoid the coverstich machine threads, I'd probably want one of those too ;)

I'm entirely happy with my vintage sewing machine tho. In my mind it's like an industrial plainsewer with zigzag and all the other stitches thrown in along with being portable 8-) It's my other baby :D
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Post by Casper » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:08 pm

Brother PE270D Sewing and embroidery machine, preloaded with Mickey Mouse designs. Awesome machine!!

Mercury Lexa Overlocker 4 thread, diff feed, rolled hem etc. Never had a problem with it.

Mercury Coverstitch Haven't used it enough to comment really, but seems to be a great little machine, nice and solid.

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Post by sable » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:53 pm

Bernina 830 1970's solid mechanical machine with a good range of stitches. This is my workhorse and favourite machine. If it ever dies I will be so sad!

Elna Air Electronic SE 1980's slightly more upmarket machine, has removeable cams for different stitches. I do like this, but it's more my backup machine.

Elna 945 Overlocker that can also do coverhem (not very well) and a few other things; mainly used for 4 thread overlocking. I like this machine a lot, was top of the line when Mum bought it, but she found threading it put her off so she changed to a Babylock

Janome CoverPro 1000CP A great wee machine just so long as you replace needles; if you don't she spits the dummy, lol!

I also have 2 old 1950 Singer machines, 1 treadle and 1 electric. Very rare for either of these to get used. Electric will be used to teach the boys, treadle is for me for if the power goes and I need my fix.

I also want a good embroidery machine, but have other priorities atm.

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Post by Vivianne » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:04 pm


Globe Cub 3 Great beginners machine. lasted over 30 years , died due to damp in the sewing room :D

Bernina 930 Awesome machine. Very reliable, the older bernina are the best.

Now have

Bernina 1230 a newer model with more stitches than the 930 but still solid metal body and parts. Fantastic. I won't upgrade from this one.

Bernette 334d overlocker I purchased this in 1989 when I worked for Bernina. Never missed a beat and has only been serviced twice in 18 years :shock: Esaily sews three layers of micrifibre.

I got to try one of the newer Bernina's (a Virtuosa 160) on the weekend, and DH had to fix one. I would never buy one of these. Seems okay but a lot of parts (including some of the body) have been changed to plastic. It doesn't have anything that mine doesn't except an LCD screen.

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Post by Sharonnz » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:06 pm

Bernina Activa 125: I got this new nearly 6 years ago. I love it!! I got a Bernina because I want to get into quilting one day and they seem to be the business.

Bernina 800DL overlocker: I've only had this a couple of months and not enough time to try out all the features yet but it's running smoothly with lovely tension (as I would expect!).


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Post by Darny » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:07 pm

Really old brother machine - the equivalent of the cheapest brother on the market now, still going strong, but has stitch length issues on occasion, sews velcro like a dream though!
New cheapest brother sewing machine - this is really a POC, it doesn't handle anything much, kills velcro, but on the plus side it's REALLY easy to thread and will be used by my girls if I ever make enough room to have it on the desk too.
Elna overlocker - does everything it needs to, but is an utter PITA because it goes through needles at a tremendous rate (expensive!!!), breaks threads (no matter how expensive), and I've given up replacing the overloopers, they snap off again within 5 mins, and tends to skip stiches too (it's been serviced) wouldn't recommend any of my machines to anyone (unless you can get another like my old brother in good working condition)
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http://www.nznappies.co.nz OSFM adjustable rise nappy patterns

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Post by shorty » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:57 pm

Had a Bernina record - awesome but limited stitches, real smooth sewing though (given to a good friend)
Now a Janome 6600 professional - AWESOME (but had to put it on the mortgage). Might get into machine quilting eventually.
Bernina overlocker700DL- gone all noisy and i need to get it serviced
industrial 5 thread overlocker - I love it, so fast and much easier on the corners!
Globe cub $20 at a garage sale. Tension problems but might have a fiddle and let the kids use it
Brother old model also on loan to a learner sewer. Belongs to DS!
Janome Coverpro - bought secondhand (yay for DH \:D/ )
Last edited by shorty on Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:05 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by Dunners » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:18 pm

8-) to see what you like about your machines.

Darny & Shorty - do your overlockers have model numbers?
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Post by Chooky » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:20 pm

I have a Toyota Quiltmaster
It's great so far! (I've had it for nearly 1 year). :)

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Post by cj » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:27 pm

Janome My Excel 4018 Sewing Machine 10 years old, bought new, was fairly cheap (I think I remember it being 100 pounds in the Bainbridge's Christmas sale), does eveything I've ever fairly asked of it and probably lots of stuff I don't have a clue about.
Brother 3034D Overlocker Only a couple of years old, new for $455 - should have bought one years ago. Don't know how I ever got by without an overlocker. Has handled 3 and 4 layers of nappy fabrics no problems.
Brother DB2-B797 Industrial Walking Foot Machine For my secret project (that has been a bit sidetracked by the house building and the fact I can't get to the machine) :wink: Can sew through nearly anything but I have discovered not everything. Was a TM bargain but sadly didn't work when I got it and it cost more than I paid for it to get it going (and the rude sellers never replied when I told them). But the repair guy reckons I still got it under half price having paid the repairs (cost me $360 and a trip to Ashvegas).[/b]
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Post by Emma » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:35 pm

I have had:
A K mart something or other - cheap and nasty but actually sewed really well :?
Elna Lotus which is really MIL's and is 30 years old. I looooove it. It sews like a dream and has all the necessary stitches
And I have
Elna Supermatic which is nearly as good as the lotus. It has removable cams for some stitches and a good variety but no 3 step zig zag, although there is a wavy one more like a 4 step which does the same job. Also about 30 years old
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Post by Jen » Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:01 pm

I've got a:
Bernina Virtuosa 160 that I got for my 21st. It's been sewing along without anything ever going wrong for 10 years. I love love love it and would never buy another brand of machine. :-)

Bernina 800DL overlocker. Love it. Smooth running, easy to thread and use, great rolled hem, differential feed & 3 and 4 thread overlock options. Before this, I had a second hand Elna Contessa 3 thread that was a great basic machine.

...now I'm coveting a Horn sewing cabinet to put them in so I don't have to take over the kitchen table :lol:

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