Before you buy anything, go to an independent dealer, and ask them to show you how all of their models work. Ask to thread them, ask to try out the different types of stitches, and to see how you change them. Take a variety of fabrics. Remember you're just testing, you don't even have to buy from them, but it will give you an idea what you want to look for....and sometimes they have used trade ins for good prices. Some machines are very easy to thread, and to use, others are so challenging that you won't want to use them. I teach serger classes, and I've worked on nearly every brand and numerous models. There are some that I just wouldn't have, and others I love. My favorite brand is Babylock, but Janome, Viking and Bernina make some great models too. I would rather wait and by a machine that I loved to use, than to buy a machine because I could afford it, and hate using it.
at 7:27 PM on Aug. 20, 2010