And I have known quite a few. I have in my time done some educational work with Pfaff, Husquvarna/Viking, Singer and have reviewed some Brother machines. Good ones, in all those lines. And no I have not ever sewn on a Bernina.
The truth is that the sewing machine business has changed over the years. RIght now many machines are made in the same factories in the East in what they call Original Equipment Manufactures. Brand loyalty in fact may not be what it was and in fact different machines may now come out of the same factory. I am sure you have noticed almost identical machines with different brand names. That said different companies have different specs and some companies still manufacture their own top of the lines to very specific specifications and in their own factories, although parts may come from many sources.
Right now I sew on a Pfaff 7570 which I love, but not completely. If I had my way my dream machine would include:
- a fantastic buttonhole. I have issues with machines that are now priced the same as a small car but do not produce a wonderful buttonhole. My 7570 makes a decent buttonhole but the sides are too close together, no way of adjusting this, and it is too easy to cut the stitches open when you cut the buttonhole. It is a real pain to have a nice buttonhole with the zig zag stitches sliced open and frayed. To handle this I make a version of a manual buttonhole with an elaborate series of steps, following something I read in Threads years ago. Also unless the buttonhole sides are stitched in the same direction they will not, cannot, look the same. I have found the old automatic buttonhole where you put the button in the back of the buttonhole foot often makes better buttonholes than my 7570 although there can be thickness issues here. You know you can keep increasing the embroidery area all you want but until I get a buttonhole I can rely on I am not that impressed. I make a lot more buttonholes than embroidered vests and tablecloths, in fact I make none of those.
- good utility stitches. I like the serpentine stitch, where has that gone?
- a thread cutter.
- a needle threader.
- really good built in lighting. Old machines had this and it was great.
What do you like in a machine?