Friday, April 22, 2016

Meet Toni

I have always loved my current sewing machine. I bought a Viking 180 from the independent fabric shop where I worked about a year after I got married. It was an entry-level machine but such a workhorse. I made lots and lots of garments with it.  When I started sewing again in earnest a few years ago, I never thought about buying a new machine. Oh, occasionally I wished I had a needle-down feature or a better light., but it wasn’t until I started watching some Craftsy videos and later took a sewing class at the Puyallup expo that I realized a new machine might have several features worth trading up for.

I had no desire for an embroidery machine and was frustrated at first that it seemed all the bells and whistles were only available on the high-end embroidery machines. Of course I was predisposed to prefer Viking machines, but I also was thinking of “switching sides” and getting a Bernina.

I made a list of the features I really wanted (good advice from a sewing blog) and set out for a local sewing expo where I knew I would be able to look after several different brands of machines all in one place. It was to be an exploratory outing only. I imagine you can guess what really happened. Yep, I came home with a brand new sewing machine but not the one I intended to buy when I went in.

I did look at a really nice Bernina (read, really expensive), the 740. It’s a lovely machine with really sexy styling. With the show special and 36-month financing, I was tempted. I had already looked at a nice Pfaff machine but really didn’t like the way the machine sloped right in front of the needle. While I was thinking about it, I decided to go to the BabyLock booth and look at their semi-industrial machine, Jane. There wasn’t one on the show floor so the salesman showed me their regular machines. I ended up buying the Soprano machine (you can probably guess why I named her Toni) and bringing it home.

This machine is less than half the price of the Bernina I looked at and a grand cheaper than the Pfaff, yet it had all of the same features. What sealed the deal is the warranty – 25 years on the machine and 5 years on the electronics compared to a one year warranty for the Bernina!

I’ve made a garment already and the machine sews like a dream! More on my favorite features in the next post.


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