Are you trying to pick the perfect sewing machine? I am sharing my sewing machine journey, what machine I use now, and how YOU can pick the perfect sewing machine for YOU.
My Sewing Machine Journey
My First Sewing Machine
When I started sewing, I had NO idea what to look for in a sewing machine. My budget felt huge at the time ($300.00). I went to me local JoAnn Fabric store and got what the sales lady recommended. It was a an H Class 100Q Husqvarna and I loved it! It had everything I needed as a beginning quilter.
The more I pieced and quilted, and the more I learned about sewing machines I learned of a few features my machine did not have that I desperately wanted. Namely:
- Automatic thread cutter
- A warning when my bobbin was running low
- A larger throat space to make quilting easier.
It was time to upgrade, but I had NO IDEA what machine to get. Everyone was telling me, “Try this one! I love it!” or “No, this one! It’s amazing!” I’ll be honest, I kept hearing people say Bernina’s were the standard in sewing machines and I saw a quilter I love being advertised as a Bernina Brand Ambassador. So . . . I got a Bernina.
My Bernina Sewing Machine
This was the Bernina that I purchased. It is a special Quilters Edition 570 and the cost was a whopping $5,000.00. I got a bit of a discount from a local quilt shop at the time. It runs for $5,399.00. I was THRILLED, and wanted to love it because everyone said I should. And dang, it was not cheap. It DID have some of the bells and whistles I wanted. But I’ll admit, when I sewed on it, it wasn’t smooth. I purchased some add-ons and the prices were pretty high. The machine was fine, but it was not the love story I dreamed of.
Why I Switched
One day I had a friend over who is a quilter. When she saw my sewing machine, she commented on the throat size. I don’t remember the words exactly, but it made me look into similar priced sewing machines and what I could get for the price. I had also heard another friend talk about her sewing machine and how it sewed “like butter.” I knew I wanted a machine that was a better fit for me. DISCLAIMER: I know a LOT of people who love Bernina. There is nothing wrong with the company or machine. It is a matter of personal preference. And it turns out my preference is not for Bernina.
But what machine DID I want? I looked heavily at Juki, Janome, and Baby Lock. All three had great reviews, so I went to some local quilt shops (and some not so local – hello road trip!). It was important to me to sit down and try some machines to see what I liked. What felt good. How would it be to use the machine? What was included? How much would is cost to add extras in the future?
Having purchased a machine before, I knew what I wanted. And I found it all PLUS some in the Baby Lock Crescendo Machine.
My Perfect Machine – Baby Lock Crescendo
- The first thing I noticed about the Crescendo is how smooth it sewed. I finally could say, “It’s as smooth as butter.” That was an odd thing I really wanted.
- It is SO easy to thread the needle of the Crescendo. My Bernina had an automatic needle threader but I honestly found it so tricky I always threaded my needle myself.
- The throat space was noticeably bigger than my Bernina. I have my two machines next to each other here. You can see the difference. But to get technical, the measurements are as follows:
- Bernina – 8.5 inches from needle to machine.
- Baby Lock – 11.25 inches from needle to machine.
- The Crescendo has this amazing technology. No need to worry about sewing a straight line or marking your fabric. I even have used Cluck Cluck Sew’s washi tape to help with straight lines. However, the Baby Lock Crescendo makes using any of these no longer needed. I can simply hit the Laser Button and a red laser light appears and shows me where to sew for a perfect straight line. I can even adjust where the line goes if I want to to be ¼”, for example.
- Sound. The Crescendo is super quiet. It is smooth and silent and I love that.
- Digital Dual Feed System. This means my fabric is being evenly ‘fed’ to my sewing machine. No long and short stitches. There’s no slippage and you get perfect control of your stitches.
- Separate Bobbin Threader. Have you ever been sewing and you need to unthread your machine to wind a new bobbin? No need with the Baby Lock Crescendo. There is a separate spool of thread and winder so you never need to unwind your machine to wind a bobbin. Game changer!
- The Baby Lock has these cute sad faces when something isn’t working. They pop up and tell you what you need to fix. Sometimes it’s the small things. And I absolutely love this about the Crescendo.
- Included accessories. The Crescendo included some of the presser feet I had to purchase at an additional cost for the Bernina QE570, namely the 1/4″ foot that I use every time I piece.
- Cost. I knew I could sell my Bernina and pay for the Baby Lock Crescendo. Here are the two suggested retail prices from each company’s website:
What Is Your Perfect Machine?
This is my story, but we each look for different things in a sewing machine. What’s important to you in a sewing machine?
I created a checklist that you can download for free. Look over the features I listed. Mark the ones that are important to you. There’s also a place for notes. Take notes when you look for a sewing machine. And if possible, try them out first. CLICK HERE to get the free Sewing Machine Checklist guide.
Check Out These Other Tutorials and Posts
Be sure to take a look at my other most popular blog posts and tutorials.
- How To Make Quilt Binding In Record Time!
- How To Make A Rag Quilt – Free Tutorial
- The Perfect Turned Edge Applique Circles