Best Sewing Machines of 2015 / 2016

Determining which of the many sewing machines and sergers that I reviewed in 2015 would be included in the list of the best sewing machines of the year 2015/2016 was quite a bit of fun, yet a bit of a challenge as well.  I  sincerely hope you find this listing helpful.

Introduction

2015 was one of the most interesting years in the sewing world that I have witnessed in a long, long time. So many innovations in home sewing were introduced and/or expanded that it was extremely difficult to simply keep up with all the changes. Home machine embroidery took giant strides in both affordability and functionality.

The same goes for the machines that are used for machine quilting in the home. Beginners and students were not left out either, as practically every sewing machine manufacturer recognized the need for machines of all types at the introductory level. What’s more, most of these introductory machines are also more affordably priced.

Choosing the best machines in each category and ranking them has been a monumental task, one that I relished, yet was a bit overwhelmed by at the same time . This year, I have decided to break the categories down as follows:

  • Sewing Machines for Children [younger than 12 years of age]
  • Sewing Machines for Beginners Age 12 and Up
  • Sewing Machines for People with Physical Challenges
  • Combination Sewing and Quilting Machines
  • Combination Sewing and Embroidery Machines* [includes machines with quilting capabilities]
  • Quilting Only Machines
  • Embroidery Only Machines
  • Sergers and Coverstitch Machines
  • Industrial Sewing Machines

In addition to the many different types of sewing machines mentioned above, I have also been exploring the influx of new cutting machines as well as other machines designed with the home sewer in mind. For the purposes of this listing, however, I will limit the discussion to actual sewing machines, sergers and coverstitch machines only.

So… Let’s get started. Shall we?

THE YEAR’S BEST

Sewing Machines for Children:

Little fingers and hands require special attention, especially when manipulating machinery. While lots of sewing machines may be suitable for use by children, my experience has taught me that true child friendly sewing machines are few and far between.

Although I didn’t review any machines bearing the Hello Kitty brand and logo in 2015, I continue to favor Hello Kitty as the best source for sewing machines for little ones. This doesn’t mean that all Hello Kitty machines are created equally, however. The Hello Kitty models that I am particularly fond of for the youngest of our crop of budding home sewers are:

Janome Hello Kitty 18750 – a basic computerized sewing machine designed with the littlest of hands and fingers in mind. The design and functionality of this machine is ideal for the young sewing enthusiast as well as the older child who is learning the art of sewing.

Hello Kitty 18750

Hello Kitty 18750

Janome Hello Kitty 15822 – a mechanical sewing machine that is, in my opinion, ideal for the very young child… as young as five. The colorful easy to operate dials are large and clearly labeled, making it a cinch for young children to learn and master.

Janome Hello Kitty 15822

Janome Hello Kitty 15822

One other sewing machine recommended for use by children:

Juki HZL 355ZW-A – large buttons and dials paired with a magnifying window that displays the stitch selection are ideal for the little ones.

Juki HZL 355 ZW-A

Juki HZL 355 ZW-A

Sewing Machines for Beginners 12 and up:

Machines in this category are ideal not only for beginners, but I believe that most of them are also good choices for anyone who has intermediate to advanced sewing skills, but wants to keep it simple. These machines are generally easy to operate, user friendly and uncomplicated in every way.

Janome Memory Craft 6500 P – This is not a new machine. In fact, it has been on the market for several years. Any sewing machine that a dealer declares is their personal favorite certainly earns a place of honor. In addition, this sewing and quilting machine is exceptional when it comes to user friendliness. Any beginner would be lucky to be able to learn the art of sewing on this one.

Janome Memory Craft 6500 P

Janome Memory Craft 6500 P

Brother Project Runway Limited Edition NO 700 PRW – Part of the long awaited and very much anticipated Q Series from Brother, this simple sewing machine is capable of rendering 180 decorative and utility stitches. While I have seen and reviewed sewing machines with slightly better stitch quality, I am quite excited by the workmanship and performance of this one.

Brother Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 700 PRW

Brother Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 700 PRW

Janome New Home DC 2015 – This is the only machine on the ‘best of’ list that I did not personally review. The only difference from its many predecessors in what I call the Janome ‘annual’ line is the red colored accents and a slight difference in the shape of the outer body.

Like all of its predecessor machines in this series, the Janome New Home DC 2015 is not only user friendly with its push button stitch selection, on board needle threader, free arm, extra high presser foot lift and other easy to navigate features, but the $699 MSRP puts it within reach of many budgets. After reviewing the 2012 model in this series.

With the knowledge that after so many years, Janome continues to produce these machines with only cosmetic changes, I am confident that the 2015 model is every bit as good as all of the machines that came before it.

Sewing Machines for People with Physical Challenges:

When we think of people who like to sew but are faced with physical challenges, we often think of senior citizens who suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or low vision. However, if we look around, we will see people of all ages who are living with these and other physical challenges.

Sewing is one of those activities that not only keeps the creative juices flowing, takes one’s mind off their physical limitations, and generates feelings of accomplishment as sewing projects are transformed from tiny scraps of fabric into beautiful finished products.

The machines in this category are not only user friendly, but also feature ergonomically designed controls that make machine sewing a painless, fun-filled experience.

Juki HZL 355ZW-A – Large buttons, an easy to use on board needle threader and dials as well as a magnifying window that displays the stitch selection make it possible for home sewers with low vision, joint and muscle issues to enjoy the art of home sewing with ease.

Juki HZL 355 ZW-A

Juki HZL 355 ZW-A

Brother Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 700 PRW – This uncomplicated basic sewing machine is ideal for the home sewer who is challenged with vision and mobility issues. The bright light, easy to use function buttons and user friendly LCD screen combine for a comfortable, ergonomically sound sewing experience. An added benefit is that this sewing machine also has limited quilting capabilities.

Brother Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 700 PRW

Brother Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 700 PRW

Juki Exceed 300, 400, 600 Series – The machines in this series are not new. In fact, they have been on the market for at least three years. Each of the machines in the Juki Exceed 300, 400, 600 series is ergonomically designed and so user friendly that home sewers with mild to moderate wrist, neck, shoulder and finger pain will be able to enjoy sewing once again.

Juki Exceed series Machine

Juki Exceed series Machine

Combination Sewing and Quilting Machines:

Nearly every electronic or computerized sewing machine is equipped with quilting stitches and sometimes even other capabilities such as an adjustable presser foot lifter. However, not all of these machines could be strictly categorized as a sewing AND quilting machine. the genuine sewing and quilting machines that I reviewed in 2015 which I believe are eligible for listing as one of the ‘best of’ in that category include:

Juki HZL K85 – With 150 on board decorative, utility and quilting stitch options, 15 needle positions and loads of on board helps, this machine is not only an excellent basic combination sewing and quilting machine, its ergonomic design and affordable MSRP make it an attractive choice for anyone who is adept at the basics of sewing machine operation and not certain if they want to concentrate on straight sewing or on machine quilting.

Juki HZL K85

Juki HZL K85

Brother Innov-Is Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 1300 PRW – This is one of the machines in the much awaited, highly anticipated Brother Q Series. It comes with a total of 290 stitches – 58 of them combinable – five fonts and is capable of sideways sewing. The Brother Innov-is Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 1300 PRW also comes with a pivot function as well as a standard extension table.

Brother Innovis Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 1300 PRW

Brother Innovis Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 1300 PRW

Baby Lock Soprano: Very much like the Brother Innov-is Project Runway Limited Edition NQ 1300 PRW, the Baby Lock Soprano has the look and feel of a user-friendly, solidly built sewing and quilting machine that is capable of sewing as many as 300 on board utility, decorative and quilting stitches along with five fonts along with all the sewing and quilting features any home sewer would need.

Baby Lock Soprano BLMSP

Baby Lock Soprano BLMSP

Combination Sewing, Quilting and Embroidery Machines :

The crop of multi-function combination sewing, quilting and embroidery machines expanded quite a bit in 2015. These machines include some scaled down versions which are more affordable than the machines that made big news in 2014 – the Baby Lock Destiny and the Brother Dream Machine. The watchword in 2015 seemed to have been accessibility. With the exception of the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic, The combination sewing, quilting and embroidery machines that drew a great deal of attention in 2015 are smaller, and more affordable yet capable of producing excellent stitch quality.

Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic – I seldom include Husqvarna/Viking machines on this list because I am not overly fond of what I consider to be unnecessary steps required before sewing. This is the only sewing machine brand that requires users to identify the type of fabric they are working with in order to achieve proper tension and stitch formation [light, medium or heave woven or knit, leather, etc.].

The Epic, however, simplifies that process at least a little bit with a full color touch screen that functions like a tablet. It was introduced as SVP’s answer to the Destiny and Dream Machine. During my review of this oversized sewing and embroidery machine, I observed it to be an excellent alternative.

The large embroidery area is a major advantage for those who enjoy working on oversized embroidery projects. The cloud technology is something that is also a plus – as well as the extra bright LED lighting.

With so many on board stitch options from which to choose [1200 decorative, utility and quilting stitches and 650 embroidery designs], I find it hard to believe that anyone who purchases this machine would ever really need to take advantage of the optional downloadable designs.

Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic

Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic

Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D – If you have Disney fans in your life and enjoy creating sewing projects that feature Disney themes, this is could very well be the combination sewing, embroidery, quilting machine for you. It is loaded with 290 on board utility, decorative and quilting stitches along with 10 one step buttonholes and five alphanumeric fonts.

On the embroidery side, there are more than 170 on board embroidery designs, 35 of which feature Disney characters and 11 embroidery lettering fonts. Anyone who invests in this machine also has the option of 140 frame pattern combinations.

Brother Innovis NQ 3500D

Brother Innovis NQ 3500D

Baby Lock Aventura – A scaled down, affordable alternative to the Baby Lock Destiny, the Aventura brings all of the essential sewing and embroidery features to the budget minded machine embroidery enthusiast. The Aventura has 300 built in utility, decorative and quilting stitches as well as 141 on board embroidery designs, including 99 exclusive Baby Lock designs and five built in fonts.

Baby Lock Aventura

Baby Lock Aventura

Embroidery Only Machines:

Any single purpose sewing machine is considered by some to be a luxury. The advantage of any single purpose machine, however, is the fact that when a machine does only one thing, it does that one thing better than any machine that is capable of performing more than one task. The embroidery only machine is no exception. With any one of the embroidery only machines on this list in your sewing room, you can be assured of creating flawless embroidery designs with ease.

Baby Lock Flourish – This compact embroidery only machine is ideal for the budget conscious home machine embroidery enthusiast for whom space is a consideration. With 114 on board embroidery designs, 13 embroidery and monogram fonts, and a full color LCD touch screen, this economically accessible embroidery machine is not only user friendly, it brings state of art machine embroidery technology within reach of a greater number of people.

Baby Lock Flourish

Baby Lock Flourish

Janome Memory Craft 500E – When a dealer admits that she has ‘waited a long time for this one’, you know it’s a good machine. My only reservation about this machine is the fact that designs cannot be enlarged or reduced in size by more than 20%.

There are, however, so many other plusses that this is, in my opinion, a minor distraction. There a so many things that this machine can do, I don’t think owners would have a problem with the design size issue. The possibilities are endless when you consider the many combination options and other advantages that come with this one.

Janome Memory Craft 500E

Janome Memory Craft 500E

Brother Persona PR 100 – This embroidery only machine is designed for industrial use, but I believe it would be an excellent addition to any home sewing room where machine embroidery is a major focus. It is user friendly and very easy to learn to operate.

In fact, during my review of this particular machine, I was extremely comfortable creating my own embroidery design after watching a sales associate give a potential buyer a demonstration. It has a footprint that is larger than a home sewing and/or embroidery machine, but for the avid machine embroidery enthusiast, this just might be a perfect fit.

Brother Persona PRS 100

Brother Persona PRS 100

Quilting Only Machines:

Bernina Q20 – Bernina’s first ever sit down quilting machine is surprisingly user friendly. It takes a little bit to learn to thread it properly, but from there, operating this super-fast quilting machine is quite simple. Be ready to get your quilting tasks done in record time. With a maximum sewing speed of 2200 stitches per minute and stitch lengths that vary from 1.5 to 25.4 stitches per inch, you will have plenty of time to sew lots and lots of quilts.

BERNINA Q-20

BERNINA Q-20

Juki HZL Exceed 600 Quilt and Pro Special: This is not necessarily a quilt only machine, but it is definitely an excellent option for people who consider themselves to be machine quilters. It is ergonomically designed which makes it an excellent option for the machine quilting enthusiast who prefers a solid, user friendly sewing and quilting experience. It is equipped with bright LED lighting, a monochromatic LCD screen and more than 600 stitches, including 16 one step buttonholes and four alphanumeric fonts.

Juki HZL Exceed F600 Quilt

Juki HZL Exceed F600 Quilt

Juki TL 2010Q – This straight stitch only quilting machine is one of the most outstanding home quilting machines I have experienced thus far. I actually reviewed it in 2014, but since last year’s ‘best of’ list did not include quilting only machines, it was not considered for inclusion. It does not have a large quilting frame; nor is it very large when compared with other quilting machines.

However, rather than being a drawback, this makes it an ideal choice for the home quilter who doesn’t have a lot of space in which to work. This machine is super-fast and surprisingly sturdy. It definitely has all of the earmarks of Juki’s tradition of superior workmanship and reliability.

Juki TL 2010Q

Juki TL 2010Q

Sergers and Coverstitch Machines:

When they were first introduced for home use, sergers and coverstitch machines were so complicated that the most seasoned of home sewers – myself included – shied away from them. Since then, however, sergers and coverstitch machines have come a very long way. Not only are they much easier to thread, they are also much more user friendly. This, however, does not mean that every serger and coverstitch machine out there is user friendly or produces comparable stitch quality.

Machines for Beginners:

The machines described in this section are not for people who have no sewing experience at all, but for those people who are adept at using sewing machines and are ready to add sergers and/or coverstitch machines to their sewing repertoire.

Juki MO 51E – This is one of the most user friendly basic sergers I have had the pleasure of reviewing this past year. It is easy to thread and quite reliable. After all, it has the same workmanship that and reputation for excellence that Juki’s extensive line of industrial sewing machines has become known for over the years.

Juki MO 51e sewing machine

Janome CoverPro 2000 CPX – While nearly every single serger and coverstitch machine on the market nowadays has a differential feed, the lay in threading system, stitch tightening feature and large work area make this on a good choice for the person with intermediate sewing skills who is venturing into the notion of working with a coverstitch machine.

Janome Cover Pro 2000 CPX

Janome Cover Pro 2000 CPX

Baby Lock Imagine – This is not a brand new machine. In fact, it’s been on the market for several years now. Nevertheless, the Baby Lock Imagine is one of those machines that has continued to be a favorite among home sewers of all skill levels. It is user friendly, easy to learn and easy to maintain. The lay in threading, on board storage and quick reference card with clearly written directions are all added advantages that anyone would appreciate.

Baby Lock Imagine

Baby Lock Imagine

Machines for Intermediate to Advanced Home Sewers:

The sergers and coverstitch machines in this category are a bit more complicated when it comes to threading and operation, but not much so that they could truly be classified as challenging. Even though they are not necessarily for beginners, they are nonetheless user friendly and produce great stitch quality.

I really didn’t review a lot of machines in his category in 2015. In fact, the sergers and coverstitch that I truly like for home sewers whose skills are at the advanced and intermediate were actually reviewed in 2014.

Juki MO 1000 – They don’t call it ‘Easy Threader’ for nothing. This one came very close to being listed as one of the best sergers for beginners. Its lay in tension threading and air assisted looper threading systems certainly make it a worthy candidate.

This serger is one of my favorites because of its ability to perform so well. The fact that users are able to successfully and easily execute seven stitches is possibly the major advantage of having this particular model in their homes. An added advantage is the on board storage compartment just inside the looper door.

Juki MO 1000

Juki MO 1000

Janome 8002D – Although this one doesn’t have convenient on board accessory storage, it does have an on board thread cutter and an easily retractable blade which in my opinion somewhat compensate for the absence of a space to store needles, tweezers, lint brush and needle threader. Stitch quality is superb and changing from one stitch option to another is as quite user friendly.

Janome 8002D

Janome 8002D

Baby Lock Enlighten – This lightning fast multipurpose serger sews up to 1500 stitches per minute, which would likely be a major intimidation for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience in using a serger. The Enlighten has several different threading options to help users achieve the stitch options of their choice, but the threading guide is right inside the looper door, so it isn’t necessary to always refer to the owner’s manual or quick reference guide in order to get the job done. This is a major time saver. Coupled with the on board needle threader and easy to use threading system, this machine is possibly one of the most user friendly sergers on the market.

Baby Lock Enlighten

Baby Lock Enlighten

Industrial Sewing Machines:

Once thought of as machines for use in factories, tailor shops and home based sewing businesses only, the industrial sewing machine can be found in many homes where sewing is merely a passion and time is of the essence. I am receiving more and more inquiries about machines that can handle extremely thick fabrics and machines that can perform under all sorts of unusual circumstances.

In an effort to respond to this increasing number of queries, I have decided to add this category to my list of the best sewing machines and sergers I have observed in 2015. For starters, nearly all industrial sewing machines are mechanical single purpose, high speed sewing machines. They are often noisy and usually take up a lot of space.

When I was very young, my paternal grandmother and two of her sisters worked as a home based professional seamstresses specializing in custom-made slipcovers and drapes. One part of my grandmother’s house was dedicated to this business with two or three large industrial machines with very loud clutch motors and everything else they needed to get the job done.

There is an industrial sewing machine in my own sewing room. I seldom sew for clients, but I love it because it is capable of handling those really large jobs that are a challenge for my smaller sewing machine. It is also lightning fast, which makes it possible for me to complete any sewing project in less than half the time. In 2015, I reviewed a few really interesting industrial sewing machines, including a portable straight stitch only machine that gets extremely high marks.

Real FY361 – This powerful full sized straight stitch only industrial sewing machine comes with a clutch motor. People who are familiar with industrial sewing machines know that they come with two basic types of motors… clutch and electronic. Electronic motors are quiet, but not generally known to be as fast as clutch motors.

Clutch motors, on the other hand, emit a humming or whirring sound from the time the machine is turned on until the switch is turned off. This clutch motor, however, is noticeably quieter than most others I have seen. The convenient side mounted bobbin winder is an additional time saving feature because the large bobbins can be filled while you are sewing.

Unlike a lot of other industrial sewing machines, this one also has a very easy to follow thread path, making the set up process easier and faster – especially for home sewers who are not familiar with working on a truly industrial sewing machine. Home sewers who like making large bags, purses and working with extra heavy fabrics, including thick leather and denim, might be interested in this powerful machine. an added advantage is that this machine is American made.

Real FY 361

Real FY 361

Alphasew PW 200 – This walking foot machine is ideal for a typical sized home sewing room. It is small enough to be portable, although the all metal construction means it weighs a bit more than the average portable sewing machine. It sews up to 900 stitches per minute, which is considerably slower than full size industrial sewing machines.

It is, however, ideal for working on those extra thick fabrics. In fact, here in South Florida, this particular model is the favorite among sail boat owners and professional repair shops for carrying on board to repair sails. If you don’t have a sailboat, you can also use it to work on any project that involves extra thick heavy duty fabrics.

Alphasew PW 200

Alphasew PW 200

Consew 206RB-5 – This machine is truly for the person who is not faint of heart. With a sewing speed of up to 3300 stitches per minute, it flies through any sewing project you can imagine. The one thing anyone who attempts to use this machine to remember is that they cannot rely upon the users’ manual to help them if there is a question.

Every Consew machine that I have reviewed thus far comes with a manual that is written by people for whom English is definitely not a first language. I have been extremely disappointed by the phenomenal number of spelling and grammatical errors in the manuals produced by this company.

If, however, you are well versed in the operation of a basic straight stitch only industrial sewing machine, you just might be very happy with this one. Aside from the speed, the most endearing feature of this particular machine is that it has a head that is shorter than many other industrial sewing machines while This may be a hindrance for some, it is also a desirable feature for the home sewer who is concerned with space.

Consew 206RB-5

Consew 206RB-5

34 Responses

  1. Lucy O'Sonnell

    I was hoping to see reviews of Janome 8200 8900 and have already read your review of the Aria. I hope to attend the Road to California on Jan.22 and wonder if your reviews of this machine might be available before then.

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Lucy – Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      If you click on the NAME of each machine in this listing, you will be taken directly to the review. Specifically, if you are interested in the Janome 8200 and 8900. You can read a full review of the 8200 by following this link http://www.sewinginsight.com/janome/janome-horizon-memory-craft-8200qc-review/.

      I have not yet reviewed the 8900. Since you have requested a review of this machine, I will make every effort to find one to review when I return to work after the first of the year. Please visit this site regularly to see when and if it is posted.

      In the meantime… HAPPY NEW YEAR and…

      Happy stitching.

      Reply
    • Suzanne Duffelmeyer

      I am interested in the Janome 9900. What do you think of this machine?

      Reply
  2. Terri J

    Hi Vernelle – thank you so much for this article, as well as all the other wonderful information on Sewing Insight. I learned to sew in the 1970s; for over 25 years I happily sewed with and learned how to quilt on (even free motion!) a 70s Kenmore mechanical zigzag workhorse. I still enjoy garment and craft sewing, as well as quilting. Currently, my primary machine is a Bernina 1530 Inspiration that I bought seven years ago from the original owner. I’m also the proud owner of a 1949 Singer Featherweight 221. Now I’m planning to treat myself to a first-ever, brand new machine. The machine reviews and user comments on Sewing Insight are tremendously helpful. I’m truly having great fun gathering and winnowing information to direct my focus toward 2-3 machines to “test drive” at my excellent Portland, OR dealer. Your review of the Janome Horizon MC 8200 QC, and inclusion in this Best of 2014/2015 list, confirms it as a strong contender. Any recommendations for machines in the same class/price range as the Janome MC 8200 QC that would be good comparables? Thanks again!

    Reply
  3. Julia

    Thank you for you very informative article. However, I have been recommended the Bernina 1008 for general sewing. I can find very, very few reviews for this machine. Have you used it or know anything about it.

    Reply
  4. Eileen

    I enjoy my Antique treadles, singer 15’s and my featherweights 221’s, but your article was fantastic and quite helpful for my serger search! Thanks again!

    Reply
  5. Donna

    These reviews are SO helpful – thank you! Was wondering if you could do reviews of some Elna machines too, if you have time. I just found a dealer not terribly far away and I’m curious about them. Thanks again!

    Reply
  6. Vernelle

    Hello, Donna –

    Thank you for the compliments. I truly enjoy the work that I do and genuinely appreciate your high praise. I would LOVE to have access to Elnas for review. Unfortunately, I have not been successful in finding an Elna dealer in my area as yet. A soon as I do, I will definitely be posting Elna reviews. If anyone who reads this is familiar with an Elna dealer in south Florida, please let me know and I will follow up.

    Many thanks and …

    Happy stitching.

    Reply
    • Brenda

      Hello Vernelle

      I have been researching different machines and have found your site very usefully. With regards to the Ella’s they are produced by Janome. If you go to janomeflyer.com. check an Elna machine and it will give the Janome equivalent.

      Reply
  7. Pati

    Hi, thank you for this informative article. I would like to know if you tested the butthole capabilities of these machines and which one made the best buttonholes and had the most styles? Thank you for your help.

    Reply
  8. Dianne

    Enjoyed your review of the Baby Lock, Destiny. This spring I decided I wanted to replace my 30 year old serger because I was frustrated with the tension and threading. Looked at the Baby Lock sergers and I was impressed.
    My friends say you should get an embroidery machine. Now I’ve started to think so. I have a Bernina 1130 that has served me well for 30 years. I am now sewing for grandchildren, garment construction for smocked clothing and fine machine sewing.
    Do you think the Destiny and Ovation would be a good choice for me? I will have to drive a distance for classes so I wonder if this brand will give me enough instruction from home or I might be totally frustrated. I may one day want to do quilting, but for now I ‘d love to learn embroidery. Thanks for any encouragement you can share!

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Diane –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      The Destiny and Ovation will make a great team in any sewing room. However, I would not advise anyone who has a challenge in getting to class to purchase either one of these machines. In order to be able to take advantage of all the features these machines have to offer, you will need plenty of hands-on training. If you think traveling to classes will be too difficult, I suggest you look at making different choices. Bear in mind, however, that whichever machines you select, you should make yourself available for classes. It’s the only way to guarantee that you will truly get the best out of your machines.

      Happy stitching.

      Reply
  9. Frannie

    Dianne, you may wish to search YouTube for the machine models you are wanting to compare. I noticed some out there for those models. Maybe the videos will be of help?

    Reply
  10. melissa

    just found this incredible site. I wish you would review machine specially for Garment sewers, not quilters or home decor sewing. is there on this site or did I miss it?

    Reply
  11. Diane

    I am interested in buying a Janome or Pfaff sewing machine that will Embroider and sew Free Motion Quilting as I have been quilting all my own quilts. I have noticed Pfaff
    creative 3.0 isn’t so good at FMQ by the feedback, so would like your opinion.
    Thanks Diane

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Diane –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      If you do a lot of free motion quilting, my recommendation would be the Janome Memory Craft 6500.http://www.sewinginsight.com/janome/janome-memory-craft-6500-p-review/. It is the machine of choice for the owner of a sewing and quilting store. In fact, she has been using it for 12 years. With an endorsement like that, I would not look any further.

      Happy stitching.

      Reply
  12. Joy

    1) I am looking for a sewing/embroidery combination because I currently have nothing. If I have to just get one I have experience with a Janome Magnolia 7330. I have a Janome dealer close that I trust. I have Baby Lock dealer close that I’m not as confident in. I have a Viking dealer 30 minutes away, would be hard to get there for a 5 pm class. I have a Brother dealer 45 minutes way and definitely couldn’t get there for a 5 pm class. I have some experience on a 6 needle Baby Lock embroidery machine. I am not very tech savvy. If I embroider, it probably would only be for grand-kids or gifts.

    2) She wants to stay home with a new baby and needs to supplement the family income. I have total faith that she could learn and enjoy an in home embroidery business. She has no experience with sewing or embroidery but picks up on needle work very quickly. She is tech savvy and has a Brother dealer 10 minutes away. Suggestion for combo or dedicated unit? She has said she would like to sew. I have looked at the NV990D and considering funding her start up. I would wait on a purchase for me until she either is going good or not. If not, I would just take her unit for my own.

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Joy –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      Of all the machines you mentioned, I believe the Janome Magnolia is an excellent sewing machine. If you are looking for a combination swing and embroidery machine, You might want to take a drive to the Baby Lock dealer and ask for a demonstration of the new line of Baby Lock sewing and embroidery machines. They are user friendly, easy to learn and in my opinion, a good choice for someone who is beginning.

      Happy stitching.

      Reply
  13. Lori

    Am I crazy or are they making the sewing machines smaller than they used to ?
    I’m in my 50’s, and I remember my mother’s old machine from the late 50’s or early 60’s. Plus I had my own “New Home” I think it was called, machine in the late 80’s or early 90’s.

    Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello, Lori –

      You are NOT crazy. Some of the newer sewing machines are indeed smaller than the ones we used in the 50s and 60s. There are others, however, which are the same size as the machines that we grew up with and some that are even larger. The majority, however, do have a smaller needle to column distance that those to which we had become accustomed. I guess that’s one reason I’m still happy with my old clunkers. They don’t have nearly as many features as the newer models, but they get the job done.

      Reply
  14. Ellen Kliman

    I am trying to decide between purchasing the Janome 8900 and the Husqvarna Designer Topaz 25. Any help would be appreciated!

    Reply
  15. Aisha

    Great, very useful reviews. Thank you. I used my mother’s butterfly basic mechanical machine for learning.. learnt l am very interested in art quilts and I also enjoy normal quilting, crafts and sewing kids clothes and I am ready for business However, although I know I want a solidly built not plastic machine, am so confused and overwhelmed at the choice of machines, please I need any help I can get on which one would be best! Waiting for your kind response pls…

    Reply
  16. Martin Fairbairn

    I m looking for an inexpensive sewing machine that will help me do things faster. I don t need 50 different stitches, just something reliable that does basic stitches well for less than $200. What would you recommend?

    Reply
  17. Linda

    looking at the Viking Sapphaire 960q for quilting and basic sewing while emb machine is at work (Janome 15000) and liked the # of built in designs and performance of the machine except for the spacing around the needle area ( to low)
    and when thread breaks have to start over to rethread. Price point is good ,size and etc. What is your feed back on the model.. Plan to make a decision today. ASAP

    Reply
  18. Josie

    Thank you for including the Husqvarna Epic in this review. I was looking to upgrade to the Destiny or Epic from an older Husqvarna.
    I love the Husqvarna because you have to tell it what type of fabric you are sewing. I’ve never had a problem with tension and have had perfect stitches since I have owned my machine. Therefore it is worth the extra millisecond of time it takes to perform the extra step before sewing therefore saves tons of time unstitching bad stitches.

    Reply
  19. Dawn

    I’m so glad I found this site. I’m curious if you can suggest a couple of reviews I can read for a new machine? I’m not a beginning sewer, but more recreational. I’m looking to upgrade/replace my 10 year old Brother XL 3500. I’m looking for a simple machine, I mainly do light crafting, clothing alterations/repairs, and possibly some simple clothing construction. Thank you.

    Reply
  20. Patricia Edens

    Trying to decide to trade in my 11 year old Pfaff 2170 for Pfaff Performance 5.0 or go with Bernina 700 series.

    Reply
  21. Deborah

    I’m looking for a machine for advanced sewers, I know what I’m doing behind the wheel, I teach appliqué and prefer mechanical machines but it must have a extionsion table, hopefully a larger throat plate, any one have any ideas?

    Reply
  22. Kathy

    Your reviews are well thought out. It would be nice to know the largest hoops on the embroidery machines as well as the distance from the needle to the inside i.e.. sewing space for all types. Keep up the good work

    Reply
  23. lilie

    Hi, Vernelle!

    I am looking for a sewing machine for making women’s clothing, (all fabric types, from silk, to denim or leather, from wedding dresses and party dresses to casual as well as lingerie ), I am in a fashion design major and looking for a hard working, very good quality sewing machine… Since you are a true connaisseuse on sewing machines, Would you be so kind to please give me some direction on this, Vernelle? Thank you very much!

    Reply
  24. Josi

    I am elderly (intermediate sewer) and want to continue sewing projects and small quilting projects -no larger than crib size)– and considering purchasing a straight stitch sewing machine such as the Janome 1600PC–.. I would appreciate your input and/or other recommendations…. Thanks so much

    Reply

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