Your Personal Best Buy: Part 3

The Upper/Medium range of sewing machines is really where most of us should be when we sit down to sew. If you belong to a sewing guild, a quilting guild, get our newsletters and emails, or are a member of SVL Cotton Club you, my friend, should be using a machine in this category.

This range of machines comes with a platform that offers you the room to make serious quilts and home-dec projects, is a staging area for proper garment construction, and provides the necessary tools to help you make a project that says, “This was professionally done!” Once again I’ll say sewing only, we’ll save embroidery for another time, but I’m also saying this level of machines peeks into the world of TOLS. That’s Top-of-the-Line-Sewing, which we’ll cover last. Let’s look at my top four picks for Best Buy Upper – Medium Level machines.

Call us at (562) 498-6684, or stop by the store and we’ll help you find your Personal Best machine choice.

Janome MC6600

Janome MC6600

This time-tested Janome is in their top 3 best-selling machines of all time. The MC6600 was the first of the 10-inch platforms that actually comes with a built-in walking foot, an automatic presser foot lifter (3rd hand), and an automatic thread cutter, all included. This machine’s focus is on handling a broad range of fabrics, vinyls, light leather, even canvas with its semi-industrial construction and thread delivery system. Its price point would, in most instances, top 2100 dollars, so with a sale price of $1,699* there is a great savings on this multiple use machine. An excellent instruction manual, 14 additional sewing accessories, and a huge slide around sewing table, all included with the 6600, make this is a no-nonsense machine made to handle the day-to-day sewing of a serious sewing enthusiast.

Janome Horizon MC8900

Janome Horizon MC8900

Take the foundation of the 6600, update this almost 15 year old system with an even longer (11” from needle to machine base) free arm, add even more categories of stitches like heirloom designs, and you have the Janome Horizon MC8900. A geared, yet removable walking foot allows for even more even-feed variations, a quick reference wheel to select both stitch categories as well as individual stitches, an even bigger platform table than its 6600 counterpart, and the MC8900 is a full-on professional sewing tool for anyone short of doing hooped embroidery. At $2499*, this machine is $500 dollars below its regular price and it provides all the functions to allow freedom of sewing movement on par with a commercial like product at more than twice the price. The proof is in the hands of those who already own this machine; their work speaks for itself! Beautifully large complex quilts, cutting edge fashion bags and in-home upholstery projects are all within the scope of the MC8900’s abilities. It delivers to the user a means to make any sewing dream come true.

Bernina B770

Bernina B770

The Bernina B750/770 are both listed here as the B770 is just now replacing the B750, a first generation series-9 sewing hook machine. Bernina’s attention to detail is once again evident in how this sewing system makes every stitch perfect as the stitch is formed with this hybrid hook combining both rotary and oscillating technologies. A huge bobbin, the largest in the home sewing industry, has been added to ensure long lasting stitching without having to stop and a nine millimeter stitch width when large stitching is necessary is also on board. The B750/770 has the added ability to have an embroidery unit added on at some point in the future, as well! We can save you hundreds on this machine depending on a list of optional features but, rest assured, every function this machine performs is well worth your investment and time. It is a TOLS machine at a much lower cost with all the big features.

Bernina B820

Bernina B820

The Bernina 820 machine is a sleeper, and is what I believe to be the most economical machine in my survey of Best Buys. The 820 has a 12” distance between needle and machine, combines an even feed sewing system, has hundreds of programmable stitches, is totally self-threading with that huge bobbin, and at $6999* is an amazing value ($2000 off its original price). The only issue here is that the 820 is now out of the Bernina lineup of products. Sold as a commercial machine overseas, I have many customers using this machine as a straight long arm quilting machine, it’s BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) ready and comes with the stitch regulator as part of the package, or even as a sit-down quilting machine like the Sweet 16 Handi Quilter. Soon to be gone, but not forgotten, anyone who takes their sewing seriously and is not into embroidery will find a true friend in the 820. If you think you want this machine act soon to acquire one; they won’t be around long. Price is valid from May 23 – June 22, 2015.

Next time around we’ll discuss embroidery/sewing combination machines.

* NOTE: prices mentioned in this article are valid as of May, 2015.

Part 1: read here
Part 2: read here
Part 4: read here