I need your recommendations to decide on upgrading my sewing machine. I have a Brother BC2100 now and I am looking to buy a machine that can work with tricky and heavy fabrics and give a more professional results. I want an automatic industrial sewing machine but cannot decide on one as there are so many out there. Please could you give me an idea on what’s best to buy. Thank you so much in advance.
Thanks for an interesting question Eunice.
For over a year I have been thinking of buying a Juki Exceed HZL-F600. I had a go on one when I had my Elna serviced in Croydon. In a word the Juki feels like an industrial machine – fast – but much quieter. It is highly suitable for quilting which I am not very interested in, but I want something fast, accurate, and reliable. I really loved it when I tried it, and have been seriously thinking of spending £1000 on one. It is a big price to pay and I am perfectly content with my existing machine, but I keep thinking of this big boy coming to live with me.
For the record I am looking for:
- Excellent stitch quality on all types of fabrics (ie chiffon to denim and furnishing fabrics)
- A machine that minimises the movement of the upper layer during stitching
- Great buttonholes
- The opportunity to do more free machine embroidery
So I happened to mention it to one of my blog friends Alli Yazzo, who writes as follows. The punchline is that Alli likes the machine, but she prefers the slightly cheaper one – one that is not easily available in the UK. This means I have been reconsidering my choice. She writes:
I love my Jukis! Well honestly, I love my TL-2000qi the most, and I love my F600 by association. If you’re considering a Juki, you’re probably thinking about an F600, right? mmm, if I could only have one sewing machine and I were the kind of person who actually went to a shop to try them out, I think I might keep looking. Here’s a list of things I like and don’t like about my F600!
- the power cord and pedal are interchangeable with the TL-2000qi
- pedal thread cutter
- needle down
- knee lift for the presser foot
- bright light
- lightning stitch sews great
- auto buttonholes are good enough for me (I don’t have enough experience to know if they’re acceptable to better sewers :} )
- I like using the fancy stitches to make tacks for faux-tied quilts.
- The bobbin winder is fun — it winds automatically once you snap it into place
I don’t like:
- I’ve been sewing lighter fabric recently, and I noticed that my thread tension is a little off (the bobbin tension seems too tight). I increased my top thread tension and called it good enough even though it’s really not balanced yet, but if this were my only machine, it would drive me crazy.
- The knee lift doesn’t slot into the machine as securely as in my TL-2000qi
- I was manhandling something bulky under the foot once, and after I was done, I had somehow knocked the auto threader out of alignment. I haven’t been able to figure out how to fix it. On the other hand, if you don’t break it, it works great! 😀
- Another time, I was sewing a bag that had foam stabilizer in it, and then I noticed that you could pull the seams apart enough that you could see the thread. I resewed the seam with my TL-2000qi and it was perfect, and I didn’t bother trying to figure out if I could adjust the F600’s settings to get the same result since I was able to just switch machines.
Really, if you could live without a stretch stitch, button holes, and a free arm, I would totally recommend the TL-2000qi. :}
To be honest the button holes were one of the attractions. I am not really satisfied with the quality of my current machine button holes. But Alli suggests that I might “keep looking”.
I am not going to splash out in the very near future (maybe for Christmas 2016), so if anyone has a view on what sort of machine Eunice or I might move on to I would love to hear from you. In the meantime I will do some more research and report on my findings.
I have a long standing love affair with my Bernina. We have been together for 38 years and he is heavy because he is solid metal. When my daughter wanted to learn to sew I couldn’t bear to share him with her so I bought her a pink Jerome cheapie. When I tried it out it was like driving an East German car compared to my Rolls Royce Bernina.
I have had my Juki F300 for over 2 years now. After initial problems with the needle plate (which should have been picked up by my dealer) I was sent a replacement plate and since then have been really happy with my machine. It has tackled everything happily so far, though I haven’t sewn anything very flimsy. Buttonholes are fine, and there are lots to choose from! Very pleased with my machine!
I don’t know if you can test drive/buy an Elna 720 but it is a wonderful machine! I also own a Juki TL2010Q which is as close to commercial as I needed but only a straight stitch machine and vertical bobbin. Make sure you take sample fabrics to the store and really make them show you the pros and cons…also patternreview.com has a machine review section which may help with pros and cons.
I am in the U.S. for what it’s worth … I have been in the market for a new machine and was seriously eyeing the Juki F-600. My requirements were similar to yours: quiet, beautiful buttonholes, lovely stitching on light fabrics as well as heavier ones, adjustable speed control, the ability to use standard snap-on feet, and ideally, a knee lift. In my pursuit of test driving a Juki (they’ve been hard to find in my area), a dealer suggested trying the Baby Lock Melody. Which I did and I fell in love. The deal was sealed after I *did* locate a Juki F600 to test drive. The Baby Lock was quieter, it sailed over the denim better than the Juki, and buttonholes and stitching were beautiful, although I have to say, the Juki also gave me some flawless stitches. The Baby Lock was also several hundred dollars less, so that was it — I’m picking it up this weekend, thanks to a gift from my mother. 🙂 So you might want to look into this model as it’s similar to what the Juki offers. Best of luck!
I have the Juki f600. At the time of looking, Amy from Cloth Habit had just bought one and se blogged about it, I had been researching for a while at that point and reading her review sealed it for me and I was lucky to find it offered for a price less than other UK retailers were selling it for.
Amy has just got a Juki serger and I’m coveting one of those now.
I think it’s great but to be fair my experience of sewing machines is limited to my old Brother and anything would be an improvement on that.
Kate, I’m upset.
You’ve called the sewing machine “big boy” and then, Linde uses “he” to refer to it.
In French, we say “une machine à coudre”. It’s feminine. Where does it come from you use the masculine gender ?
I thought that for important objects, you’d rather say “she”, like for the ships.
heh, now I feel a little bit like a Juki traitor for ending up warning you away from the F600… but I hope you’re able to find the machine that’s perfect for you! 🙂
I kissed my Janome 1600p again the other day. This is a straight stitch only machine and I absolutely love it. Gosh now I’m so self conscious about the he/she thing. I think of a sewing machine as a he because its a hetero thing and we have a very close relationship – my take.
Again the other day my giant expensive Bernina 780Q chewed into my fabric while I was trying to sew a buttonhole. That machine has got to go, I only really need it for buttonholes and the fantasy that one day I will get into machine embroidery!
Jan O’me just purrs – we have a thang!
Pfaff! I’ve got a quilt ambition 2.0, under a thousand pounds I can assure you, seems to do everything, and perfectly, including a free sewing option. And come on, it’s called Pfaff!
That is brilliant…