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.