Sewing Machine Suggestions Needed

Help! I finally have decided that my ancient ElnaSuper 62C needs to be retired permanently. I need to buy another sewing machine ASAP for some boating related work (I need to sew some flags for sail course markers). It’s been ages since I shopped for a sewing machine. I don’t even know what’s available anymore. (I’ve had the Elna since 1985, and it was the one I used during college theater costume making days.)

What I need a sewing machine to do:
– general sewing/hemming
– flag making
– canvas work: outdoor seat cushions, sails, sail covers, boat covers
– although I don’t have time to quilt anymore, basic machine piecing and quilting would be really nice

Oh, and of course, it must be able to do steeks and hem handwovens without trashing my hard work.

I want reliability (and some brand recognition), service, parts availability.

Please, please, please, send me your suggestions. I’m desperate. South Bay Opening Day is in 8 days. I NEED to have these flags done ASAP. I would like to buy a machine yesterday.

And let’s have a moment of silence for the Elna.

3 thoughts on “Sewing Machine Suggestions Needed”

  1. Good bye Elna *bows head*
    I like my Brother machine. I do alot of work with duck and twill but if I was doing any more heavy duty work I think I would want a Juki or a Bernina. For a good all around Juki its really expensive, the Bernina isn’t cheap either but its a good machine, basic but versatile and all metal. Those 2 machines are really made for a lot of wear and tear.
    My brother has over 100 stitches and does a tone of different things but there are a lot of plastic parts. In fact I’ve had mine for about 6 months and I’ve already broken a part. I’m not the easiest person on machines. I chose the Brother over the Bernina because of the number of stitches and the overall feel of it.
    If you have a good sewing shop around you, sometimes they will let you rent a machine and put part of the rental cost towards the machine that you buy.
    If I can answer anymore questions let me know. My mom is a quilter and she actually owns 2 Brothers, a Juki, and a Bernina so I’ve worked with them all.

  2. Thanks Amy,

    I visited a quilting shop this weekend and narrowed it down to 2 machines. A Viking Fressia 425 and a Bernina Virtuosa 153 Quilter’s Edition. It’s about $1,200 difference between the 2. And I’m waffling because I can’t imagine using all the stitches that comes with the Bernina. And also I’m having a problem with the though of having to download stitches to my sewing machine from my computer. (It’s a sewing machine for gods sakes!)

    But, I want a really stout motor that will handle anything I throw at it without batting an eyelash.

    Also, I’ve had my Elna for close to 20 years, and I bought it used. I would like a machine that I know will last just as long.

    I think the Bernina is in the stars. I just have to just get over the price tag and the thought of a semi computerized sewing machine.

  3. Once you get used to the computerized stuff you will love it. I was a little skeptical at first myself but I love it now. I imagine eventually all the new machines will be computerized. The price tag is a big part of what made me get the Brother. If I had another 1K to spend I would have gotten the Bernina.

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