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Question for you…

2014 July 31

I am hoping you all won’t mind helping me out with a decision I’m trying to make… and I’ve included some of our Quebec vacation photos along the way.

My husband surprised me in Quebec with this #isew bracelet, it even has Thread Riding Hood written on the inside. Yay! But, on top of that he gave me an amazing birthday gift, the opportunity to buy a new sewing machine! And I am so grateful and surprised, because I was not expecting it. (He’s amazing too!) Here’s where you come in… I’m not sure if I should take him up on it… Wait… I know, I’m not crazy – there’s more…

Here’s my reasoning… I love my machine – it’s a Janome SUV1122. Not fancy in any way, but it has served me well for quite a few years and I know my way around it. I know what it likes and dislikes. I’ve sorted out zippers, button holes, simple quilting, elastic thread, sewing knits and even a rolled hem or two. When I bought this machine it came with about 10 different feet that I have found invaluable as I’ve learned how to use them. It even arrived with a walking foot – which alone costs a third as much as my machine did when I bought it! I’m not sure the feet would fit on a new machine – and buying the same feet would be a big investment.

But… I also love the idea of a new machine, of course! More throat space, a larger area for quilting, a thread cutter, needle up/down control… speed control… maybe even a few embroidered patterns, letters and numbers built in. I could also use my current machine as a backup and for my girls to learn on. My husband asked about one at our local Janome/Bernina shop a few months ago. But in the end, he decided it was best if I chose it myself, so I could get one that has everything I need.

And… as a third option… I’m wondering if I should buy a serger instead? I don’t have one, but of course they are invaluable for finishing seams and sewing knits. I’ve only sewn with one once in high school home ec class and I don’t remember if I liked it or not… but everyone seems to use them. Or maybe I should get a Juki… but I think that’s mostly used for machine quilting?

I’d so appreciate your help to decide what to do. What is your experience… and what do you think I should do? What machines do you like? Do you have a serger and do you use it often?

Thanks so much! I’ll be back again mid-next week or so… we’re off to an electronic-free long weekend, but if I find some wifi you might catch some glimpses of what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. See you soon!

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18 Responses leave one →
  1. July 31, 2014

    What a sweet heart. My hubby did the same thing for my birthday in April. I did get a new machine, but that’s because I was out growing my singer. No sense in getting a new machine if yours does what you need it to do. Have you thought about a serger?

  2. July 31, 2014

    SERGER!!!! I love mine so much. It opens up a whole world of knit patterns that you *could* sew on a regular machine, but are much easier and faster on a serger! I have a Brother 3034d, and it’s never given me one problem in two years. Just think of the things you could make for yourself or your family: undies, t-shits, knit dresses that feel like pyjamas but look great, leggings, cardigans…

  3. July 31, 2014

    Serger! I have one sewing machine and one serger. I think it’s the perfect combination and allows you so many choices. There are many different finishes you can get with a serger.

  4. jonquil permalink
    July 31, 2014

    I vote for serger. If you don’t remember if you like them or not, would the shop you would buy from let you try out the model you’re thinking of?

  5. July 31, 2014

    Hi Sherri. I have a Juki that was given to me as a gift. I both love and hate it. It’s super fast for quilting on but if I don’t have the bobbin wound just right it gives me loads of grief. (And it took me a long time to figure out that it was the bobbin that was the issue.) It only has straight stitch so I just use it for piecing and quilting quilts. If I were you… which it would be very nice to be you… I would take your husband up on his offer and get a new machine. You can always use your old one for the tricky things until you are used to the new one. Plus, it’s a relief to have back-up in case something goes wrong with one of them. Sergers are nice but they really only have one purpose, don’t they? (I may be wrong there.) With a new machine you can do “sew” much more. I got a brother at Walmart last month for $260 and it’s a “tide me over” machine but it’s great! It even will stitch words for me which I’m thinking of trying out for quilt labels.

  6. Tammy permalink
    July 31, 2014

    Obviously, it depends upon how much you love your sewing machine!! (I am on holidays in Ontario at the moment. I have been shopping for fabric that I can’t find in western Canada. ) I have an “antique” 23 year old Janome 8000 Memory Craft machine, an older Janome serger (model?) and a Juki Industrial machine. My older machines work perfectly. In fact, I’ve spent a lot of time this summer finally learning about all of the bells and whistles on my 8000. I know that you would LOVE using a serger, as it makes putting together garment sew much easier. Best of luck with your decision.

  7. August 1, 2014

    Of course the final choice is up to you… If I was happy with my machine I would get an overlocker :) They can be used for more than just finishing the seams and sewing knits. In saying that, I am yet to discover the full potential of my overlocker!

  8. Colleen permalink
    August 1, 2014

    you lucky girl ! I think sergers have probably come a long way since my husband gave me one… 20 or so years ago ! It was a top of the line Phaff. When it was good, it was very, very, good… bud when it was bad – jeeze – I just wanted to throw it in the North Saskatchewan ! Well, I didn’t but eventually I packed it up in it’s box and have never let it out again. When I came back to sewing a few years ago my Kenmore wasn’t able to get a walking foot adapter so again, my husband bought me a new machine – this one is a Bernina 750QE – I love it !! – lots of harp room for managing quilting as well as the BSR – which is unbelievable for FMQ. Having said all that – I do love the look of a serged seam when garment sewing and… the sergers are improved – just do alot of test driving before you make your decision !

  9. Quilting Tangent permalink
    August 1, 2014

    Sounds like you love your current machine. Figure out what you want to do on a machine that yours cannot do! Do you need a serger? Embroidery? What? Then get a machine that does that stuff.

  10. August 1, 2014

    Happy Birthday! Your husband is so sweet to suggest a new machine. Personally I would go for a serger. Once you have one you’ll wonder what you ever did without it. On a side note, the feet from my old Janome fit perfectly on my Babylock Crafter’s Choice.

  11. Kathleen permalink
    August 1, 2014

    I guess I will be no help, as everyone seems to be voting for serger. My husband gave me money toward a new machine, but I was upgrading from a mechanical to an electronic, so I went for it. And then I got lucky and found a serger for $10 at an estate sale!! I haven’t tried using it yet, but believe it or not, it’s brand new in the box and still has the factory stitch sample attached to it! But I will say this, I didn’t have any trouble switching from a mechanical with minimal options to my first-for-me electronic with lots of options. The shop offered free instructional classes with purchase and I never went for a single one. So I would say you wouldn’t have any trouble making the switch either.

  12. August 2, 2014

    I didn’t like my experience with a serger and gave it back to the person lending it to me. I MUCH prefer my sewing machine with which I’m comfortable. Even for sewing knits. I sew tons of knits on my sewing machine, and it works fine. But, I agree–most people seem to have a serger!

  13. Debbie Rogowski permalink
    August 6, 2014

    I know exactly what you mean, my Pfaff is um er uh 50 years old. I learned to sew on it as a child. I LOVE my machine. I bought my granddaughter a machine and then another one to keep at my home for when the little ones are here and can’t use a knee peddle. I still wouldn’t give up my machine. But … other than my next machine will be a long arm and the frame, I would tell you to get another one, you can never have too many. I have 2 sergers and I use them all the time. When I got my first one I wanted to kick myself for not getting one sooner. It makes hems and seams so pretty and simple. Even though I have lots of threads for them I usually keep one with light and one with dark thread jsut for quick go to projects. I’ve even done LOTS of quick and simple baby burp pads by serging cute flannel fabric in pink and blue threads.

  14. Debbie Rogowski permalink
    August 6, 2014

    Oh, I hope you had a good time in Quebec, I was assuming Montreal with all the older buildings in the background. I’ve only been a long time ago but I do love Toronto. My hubby is from a small town in Quebec.

    • August 7, 2014

      Thanks Debbie! We really did. The kids are finally old enough to go places and kind-of understand :)

  15. Jake permalink
    August 9, 2014

    I personally don’t have ANY use for a serger and I’m nOt much on the idea of fancy 4000 dollar machines Like the new Janome Horizons, however, I recently bought a second machine. I purchased a Janome 1600P used for $700. They are only 1000$ brand new. It was worth every last penny! I LOVE it. Came with walking foot though I do not use a walking foot EVER. And as a bonus, all the feet from my regular machine fit on the Janome 1600P as well, like you, I LOVE my existing machine, but I did want more throat space for free motion quilting. But, I’ve found I love the 1600P even more! It Is a high power straight stitch machine, no bells or whistles with fancy stitches, but I’m totally in love with it. Built to last and every bit good quality that Janome is known for. This is such a great machine that Aja one manufactures them for Pfaff (same exact machine with a different brand name put on it and for Husqvarna-again, exact same machine with a different face plate). If you just needed a higher powers june for multiple layers, leather, speed snd even quilting (almost 10 inches!) you’ll not be disappointed!

  16. August 12, 2014

    I adore my serger! I use it all the time- cannot imagine sewing kids clothes without it :)

  17. Dianne permalink
    August 20, 2014

    Seeing pictures of your beautiful little girls, I must suggest another option. What about an embroidery machine. You are so creative that this would open an whole new world of possibilities for you.

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