Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What's your reputation worth?

"Reputation: the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something."
This definition is generally true, including sewing machines, but there are always lemons, over-performers, and user error to muddy the water. The name Singer carries a bit of love/hate for many of us: love Featherweights, 15's, 66 Red Eyes and hate Touch & Sew. There are some names that only bring smiles and yearning: Bernina, Necchi, Pfaff, and Viking. I had to see what all the fuss was about so I bought a Viking Freesia 415 and a 1100 and they were right: sewing dreams!I was on the lookout for other classic sewing machine brands to see if they would live up to the hype but you have to be patient. Waiting at least 6 months brought me to my first Pfaff:
She's a 1222 without any accessories but the sleeve to cover the free arm for a larger work surface. There is a cracked cam stack inside and I have the replacement but not the nerve to perform the surgery yet. It has an IDT (Integrated Dual Feed) foot system to give equal movement of the feed dogs underneath the fabric and on top. This replaces a walking foot but is even better! I use this machine for quilting the hot mitts I sell:

This Pfaff has lived up to its reputation even if it did come without the goodies, somewhat seized, and with a cracked cam stack. It was worth it!

Next came a Necchi, complete in a cabinet that needs refinishing and storage seat chair. It was at the top of my price range but was such a good package I had to say yes even if I was standing in someone's garage and it was -5 degrees. It works perfectly, no repair, just clean up and learn to use as she came fully loaded with a cool kit of feet, cams, and every other accessory you might want:

Pink was just the frosting on this piece of cake! Julia has come home.
Now I had to try a Bernina but they are so pricy. Patience. It finally paid off when I could get a 730 for a very reasonable cost since the owner was going to assisted living and hadn't sewn for a long time. Here is BettyAnn, named after her first owner:
The cabinet was modern so the handy accessory holder for inside the door of a regular cabinet didn't work but it came with everything: bobbins, feet, tools, 2 inserts for the free arm, etc. It was "frozen" in the stitch pattern selector but oil, hair dryer, and more patience freed it up and now it stitches great. I wasn't sure what all the hype was about until I made up a sample of the stitch patterns: perfect!

It's also cool the way they construct their manual as I could see she had taken a class where they made up samples of all the stitches. Even though the cabinet is modern, It do like the chair on wheels with storage underneath. Now I want all my chairs to have wheels!
So there is a reason why some sewing machines are classic and some companies are known for their high quality. They have earned it. Reputation is everything in the sewing machine industry.

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