Every year, it seems as though the powers that be in the sewing machine industry come up with machines that are capable of doing more and more.

The Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic is the latest in the growing supply of combination sewing, quilting and embroidery machines that surpass practically every other combination machine that came before it.

I had an opportunity to review this oversized, fully loaded sewing, quilting and embroidery machine while visiting Ace Sewing and Vacuum in Pompano Beach, Florida.

At A Glance

Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic

Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic

Large full color touchscreen

Large full color touchscreen

It’s almost difficult to know where to begin when describing the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic. For starters, there’s the large full color touchscreen which measures 10.1” diagonally and functions much like a tablet.

Then there’s the large workspace, the extra bright lighting and the mere size. This machine has a footprint nearly twice the size of a standard sewing machine. On the right side of the machine, you will find two USB ports as well as the bobbin winder and bobbin thread cutter.

The large full color screen is on the front of the column and all of the function buttons are in close proximity to the needle. From left to right, bottom to top, they are in columns of three.

The first column are buttons to control needle up/down; speed decrease; and auto needle threader. Next to those buttons are the thread tie off and cut; speed increase and stitch restart.

To the right of the needle you will find the start/stop; fix and design stop buttons; and beneath the column… reverse/lock stitch; presser foot up and presser foot down.

There is also a series of bright LED lights – possibly the brightest I have seen on a sewing machine of any type; a see through bobbin and a needle plate with seam guides etched on both sides as well as on the bobbin cover.

Function buttons

Function buttons

Telescoping dual thread stand

Telescoping dual thread stand

The telescoping dual thread stand makes working with large cones of thread easier and the oversized accessory tray gives you a lot more work space when the embroidery unit is not being used.

The Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic also comes with a speaker, which is situated just above the light on the right side of the machine head. More on that later.

Features

  • More than 1200 utility and decorative stitches
    • 6 Alphanumeric fonts
    • 16 Buttonholes
    • Yarn embellishment and motif stitches
  • 650 on board embroidery patterns and designs
  • Embroidery stitch out
  • Stitch positioning
  • Joy OS Advisor – provides on screen assistance and help including:
    • Interactive tutorials
    • Stitch and embroidery techniques
    • Sewing instructions
    • Step-by-step workbook
    • Stabilizer guide
    • Quick help
    • Complete user’s guide
  • mySewnet Wi-Fi Cloud connectivity – enables
    • Wireless transfer of designs from any location to your machine
    • Automatic updates
    • Free mySewnet™ account with ability to share content between devices
  • mySewMonitor App available for both Android and iOS
  • 10.1 Full color screen operates like a tablet
  • Two free motion settings
    • Floating
    • Spring action
  • Interchangeable dual feed
  • Electronic needle piercing
  • 29 Needle positions

Working on the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic

From the moment you turn on the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic, you know you are in for a different sewing experience. The first thing you notice is the chiming that comes from the speaker in front of you.

Next, the screen lights up and settles on a menu that is uncomplicated and rather easy to understand… that is if you are already accustomed to the icons that have been used on Husqvarna/Viking sewing and embroidery machines the last few years and if you know how to operate a tablet mobile device.

The embroidery unit glides on and off easily and attaching hoops is as simple as sliding it into place and fastening the latch.

With 19 different screens from which to choose a stitch pattern, the choices can get a bit overwhelming. The stitches I sampled for this review were all executed perfectly.

Perfectly executed stitches

Perfectly executed stitches

Each one was well formed, sturdy and secure. When operating in the embroidery mode, the Husqvarna/Viking is not only fast, but also relatively quiet. I didn’t notice any vibration while working in either the sewing or embroidery mode.

Stitch quality

Stitch quality

The embellishment feature stitches can even be used for tasks formally done exclusively by hand, like attaching individual sequins.

Well formed, sturdy and secure stitches

Well formed, sturdy and secure stitches

Fabrics

  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Denim
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Reptile skin
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers

Accessories

Standard accessories:

Accessories

Accessories

    • 12 Snap on Presser Feet
      • Utility foot
      • Buttonhole foot
      • Sensor buttonhole foot
      • Blind hem foot
      • Zipper foot
      • Non-stick glide foot
      • Edging foot
      • Sensor Q foot
      • Quilter’s ¼ “ piercing foot
      • Embroidery/darning foot
      • Side motion foot
      • 2 Interchangeable dual feed feet
        • Straight stitch
        • Zigzag stitch
Sampler books

Sampler books

  • 2 Self-adhesive glide plates
  • Stylus
  • 4 Thread nets
  • Universal tool
  • Seam ripper
  • Lint brush
  • Edge/Quilting guides
  • 2 Thread cone holders
  • 16 Hoop clips
  • 6 Spool caps (2 small, 2 medium, 2 large)
  • 2 Large spool holders
  • Multipurpose tool/Button reed
  • Straight Stitch needle Plate
  • Complimentary PC software available for download
  • Soft cover for machine
  • Luggage style carrying bag
    • Packing insert for embroidery unit
  • Extra needles
  • Bobbins
  • DESIGNER EPIC™ sampler book
  • Embroidery Hoops
    • Imperial Hoop (360×260)
    • Crown Hoop (260×200)
    • Splendid Square Hoop (120×120)
Embroidery Hoops

Embroidery Hoops

Maintenance







After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Lubricate
Service by sewing machine repair professional

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

Tying Off The Loose Ends

If you are already accustomed to working with a tablet, you are already half way to being able to operate the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic. The technologically challenged might find the adjustment a bit difficult, however.

Those who are unfamiliar with working with a tablet will have to first learn the basics of using that mobile device in order to be able to navigate the many screens on this sewing machine.

The Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic is not the first combination sewing, quilting and embroidery machine designed for home use that has a larger than normal footprint.

However, it is a clear indication of a growing trend toward bigger, more powerful sewing machines that require much more space in the sewing room. It won’t be long before you can say good-bye to the days when you can put a sewing machine on a small desk in a corner.

Larger sewing and embroidery machine

Larger sewing and embroidery machine

These new, larger sewing and embroidery machines need lots of space. If you were to use the largest hoop that comes with the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic, you will find that if your machine is near a wall, you will have to move the desk or table away from the wall to accommodate the larger size hoop.

The stylus is beautiful. It looks very much like a very pretty ball point pen. My challenge is that after getting accustomed to having a storage port on the machine to store a stylus, I couldn’t find any place on the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic to hold this one.

On board tutorials

On board tutorials

This means one of two things… either repeatedly open and close the accessories compartment when you want to use the stylus or run the risk of its getting misplaced by keeping it out all the time.

Navigating through each of the screens, accessing all of the stitch options and tons of information is easy, albeit time consuming. Investing the time required to get to know this machine is well worth it, however.

The many on board tutorials actually talk you through the steps required to accomplish each task while simultaneously showing visual images.

Even with all of this high tech on board assistance, the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic is definitely NOT a machine for beginners.

I am even a little hesitant to recommend it for those home sewers who are at the intermediate level when it comes to sewing skill, but unaccustomed to working with the newer computerized sewing machines.

There is so much to learn with this machine that I cannot help but be concerned that a person with somewhat limited sewing skills might be intimidated by having so much to take in all at once.

Having said all of that… I do believe that a computer savvy home sewer would probably enjoy being able to combine their creativity with the technological advances of this machine.

Once you get the hang of it, navigating through all of the stitch choices and exploring all of the possibilities could actually be a lot of fun.

Husqvarna/Viking Designer Epic Review
Link To Official Website
Skill Level:
Beginner
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Intermediate
Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
Expert
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
Performance
Stitch quality
Speed
Ease of use
Maintenance
Pros
  • New sewing, quilting and embroidery technology
Cons
  • Substantial learning curve
4.6Overall Score
Reader Rating: (30 Votes)

17 Responses

  1. Roz

    All I ever really want from a sewing machine is one that it sews straight lines and does a zigzag, preferably one which allows me to set the stitch length and width myself. It should also have an automatic needle threader, light, does buttonholes, and sews in zips.

    Now explain why I really need to spend hundreds of pounds on a machine that does everything but make a pot of tea!

    Reply
  2. Kathy

    This would not be the sewing machine for you. This includes embroidery and much more. You should look into a basic sewing machine. Every manufacturer also has basic sewing machines. Their price point is much less.

    Reply
    • Tami rockwell

      I would like to know how this machine compares to the brother pe770 machine. I tried that machine and had nothing but trouble. Needles breaking, thread snapping, hard to put on frames, just didn’t live up to my expectations. Thank you. Tami

      Reply
      • Lawana Barker

        There is no comparison…the 770 is an embroidery only with the largest hoop size being a 5×7 and very little on screen adjustments can be made. And you can purchase the 770 in the $600-$999. range. It also has a snap on hoop rather than the slide on. You are comparing apples and oranges. The Epic is in the $12,000 range and is also a sewing machine with lots of computerized features that allows on screen editing.

  3. Yvonne Powers

    I have been sewing for 50 years……….everything from wedding dresses to doll outfits and am computer savvy. I own a Pfaff creative 3.0 and love it. Although the Designer Epic has a “ya gotta be kidding me” price tag, it is a dream machine I would love to have. And I would search for that button that brings out a hand to uncork my bottle of wine, pour it and hand glass to me!

    Reply
  4. Penelope Fischer

    I have an Epic and I love love this machine. Yes, there is a learning curve with this machine but you get free classes from your Dealer and if you have any problems they are there to help you. One of the features about Viking is that they are easy to use. in fact, there is a manual built right into the machine and if you are not sure about a certain icon all you have to do is push the question mark at the top of the screen then touch the icon in question and it will tell you what it means. The question mark will even tell you what all the stitches are for. I have owned many vikings over the last 40+ years and will never get any other brand.

    Reply
    • Pamela Jordan

      I have and HATE the Epic! I have had it for almost a month, work with computers all day and can not find the stitches I want. I despise it.

      Reply
  5. Bettye

    Thank you for the sewing machine reviews. I used a Singer computer sewing machine made by Janome for the last 23 years. It stopped working earlier this year and I was told it couldn’t be repaired because parts were no longer available. There are 2 sewing machine dealers relatively best Baby Lock and Husqvarna Viking. Your reviews were very helpful in reaching a purchasing decision. I bought the Husqvarna Viking Opal 650. When I went for my first sewing lesson on how to use the machine, an Opal 670 was returned and was to be sold as a floor model for $129 more than I had paid for the 650. I upgraded to the Opal 670 and I love this sewing machine. I sew garments, home decor and costumes.

    Reply
  6. Meg Marshall

    I have been testing machines and and am leaning toward the Epic for two reasons.
    1. Ease of use…. It takes very little time to get used the location of buttons, threading, the telescoping threading, ease of cleaning, etc.
    2. This is the biggest issue…. The proper timing of each stitch and advancement of frabric is dead on. I mostly quilt but also make bags which means multiple layers of fabric and batting for some seams. This is the only machine that has handled this without missing a beat….. Absolutely no skipped stitches and perfect tension…. Even up to 12+ layers of denim…was trying to find the limits of the machine.
    There is no perfect everything machine. We just need to find the one that does what we want.

    Reply
    • Tami rockwell

      Did you buy this machine yet and how do you like it if you did purchase this. What challenges have you had with this machine?

      Reply
  7. gevon

    I’m using majestic hoop and the points don’t match I tried using step by step no luck can u help

    Reply
  8. Jd Windle

    I love my EPIC! It is the best sewing machine out there. There is nothing that I cannot make with it. It out preforms all of my other sewing machines in every category.

    Reply
  9. Lisa Conner

    I love Viking machines. I used to work for a Viking dealer and have 2 Designer 1’s. Love them and have used them to bits and am thinking about the Epic. I can find all kinds of info but would like the msrp. Anyone have this info. It’s pretty standard practice to not advertise how much machines are but I need to know if this is even in the realm of possibility for me to afford.
    Lisa

    Reply
    • Rae

      Just went to an all-day embroidery “party” and they were using the Epic. MSRP is $14,999 but there was a show special of $10,999. Pretty pricey but oh so sweet. I didn’t buy one.

      Reply
    • Janet

      You can get one for about 9500 if u pay cash. Add about 1200 more if u make payments.

      Reply
  10. Debi Willett

    I’m in Louisville Ky, who carries Viking in my area? I have a Gracie long arm frame, can this machine be used on the carriage?

    Reply

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