A Visit To The Sewing Machine Shop

After increasing frustration with skipped stitches I realized it was time to take my Janome in to the shop.  Off I went with a sample of the problem stitching.  I have my machine serviced by the store I bought it from.  They’ve always been fine for me, though some of my friends have had less than stellar experiences with them.

Once I described my stitch problem and the staff person had enlightened me about how to use one feature of my machine that I had misunderstood for years, talk moved on to new machines.  Of course, staff aren’t going to miss a chance to promote their new stock.

brother_sewing_machineSo, I let myself be seated in front of a behemoth Brother machine (the Dreamweaver model) that featured a laser (!) system to help you sew straight lines when piecing.  The idea is when you’re sewing half square triangles you don’t have to draw a line but simply use the red laser line as your sewing guide. The next special feature was the large belt driven walking foot so you can sew all sorts of material.  And of course the machine has lots of stitches. The ad copy boasts of 561 sewing stitches. One feature I did really like was the lighting under the harp.

Any possible interest I had in this machine vanished once I inquired about its cost.  It could be mine for the discounted price of $4,000.  I’m sorry, but that’s half the cost of my parents’ house way back when; and more than the price of my first new car – a Datsun B210 for $3,400.  Yes, I know about inflation, but I don’t feel the need for a sewing machine with features I’ll never use.  And I would worry about repair costs with all that fancy computer stuff.

So I’ll go back to looking for a used Bernina 1230, which I have been assured is the best machine ever for quilting related sewing. And my Janome will be fixed and tuned for $145, which is more compatible with my checkbook.  Maybe I’ll splurge and buy a better light for it.


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8 responses to “A Visit To The Sewing Machine Shop

  1. I have a Singer at home and a Janome at my studio/gallery – both work well and I don’t feel the need to spend $1000’s on a new machine either! =)

    • Having seen your work on your blog I think you do just fine with the machines you have. I have yet to get my head around the mania for expensive embroidery machines where you then get to spend more money for the templates. Though I do know one lady with arthritis who’s found machine embroidery has allowed her to continue sewing.

  2. Everyone has their own beloved machines and brands. I owned a Brother and didn’t like it, didn’t use it. It was a very expensive paperweight. I ended up even-trading it (I guess “downward”) for an Elna, which I like very much. Elna and Janome are same parent company.

    Good luck finding your right machine.

  3. Ann

    I have a Bernina 1130 that I bought new, back in the day. I have never used all the fancy stitches, but it’s a great workhorse. From what I remember from that time, the 1230 would be a great machine too. Good luck finding one! (I bet people are hanging on to them)

    • My ebay searches have uncovered a few, but with a price range from about $700 to $1000, I’m leary of knowing what’s over and under-priced, especially when I can’t test drive the machine.

  4. I have a 1230 which I bought new “back when” and it’s been a joy to sew on. It has just enough features. My other machine is a Brother 1500. I found a self-adhesive strip of LED lights that attach to the underside of the harp and they cost a lot lessthanthat machine!

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