I agree with "unless you need the money, keep it!".
I have two sewing machines I use all the time, and sewing/embroidery machine, and a 6 needle embroidery machine. I use all of them, all the time. My viking, which I don't like as well, I keep loaded with JUST white thread. I do a lot of topstitching on white/ivory material, and sew a lot of white/ivory items, and use white on both. So keeping that machine set to white saves me a lot of time! My other sewing machine, I like better, and use it for all other colors. My 6 needle embroidery obviously only does embroidery, but if I'm really busy I will use the combo machine for embroidery and have both going. And finally, if I need to have one of the sewing machines serviced, I use the combo machine to sew with. Seriously, it is SO nice to have not only a secondary machine, but also a backup. I had thought to sell the combo machine when I got the 6 needle, but I can't bear to do it.
Back when I just did regular sewing, I also had two machines. So if I was doing, say a purse with contrasting colors, I could have one machine loaded with one color, and the other with another. Then instead of switching colors for all the steps, I just moved to the other machine.
Finally, forgetting all the rest, I would keep the second one if you can, just so you have a backup in case the primary goes down in the middle of a big project!
Wow...I went kind of overboard there. HEHE. I used to have a singer, just the one that was at walmart. And really, for a beginning serger, it's fine. I hardly ever used it, because I didn't like having to figure out the tension every time, (I hardly ever threaded it). But that's just because I'm not patient when I'm making something =)
I decided to give it to my SIL, who is doing some work for me, along with an older Viking that I had. I had it all serviced before giving it to me, and they kind of kidded me about it at my dealer (they of course know I have the imagine wave now). But he actually finallyh said "it's not that bad". =)
Now, my sister in law, who is actually a really good seamstress (did costuming in college, and worked as an alterations girl for a while), gets along with it just fine. She's familiar with them enough to be able to work the thing better than I could. And hey, it was free for her LOL. She seems to be able to serge with it just fine.
But still, I can just whiz through stuff on mine. =)
I think with Bernina, you are paying for the name. I tend to think of Viking the same way, just not as much. I looked at Berninas, but I really like my babylocks so much better.
If you are willing to pay 800 for a serger, I would SERIOUSLY save up a few extra hundred and get a babylock imagine serger. You can find them on sale occasionally for just over $1000, and babylock usually has 12 month same as case as well, and I know my dealer has layaway.
But the benefits are amazing! The jetair threading system is...well, if you've threaded a lot of sergers, you would see quickly that it is to die for! All you do is push the thread for the bottom loopers into a little whole, then push a lever, and whoosh...air take it all the way through. That's it. And it's got a needle threader for the needles.
THEN, if that wasn't good enough, there are NO tension dials with the imagine (or imagine wave or evolves but they are more $$). THere is a differential feed lever on the side, and stitch width and lenth dials, and a stitch selector (to change between rolled, reg, etc), but that's all the adjusting that you have. It has automatic tension control that is just amazing...I go from thin satin to thick home dec fabric without a thought.
I did a serging class with a top of the line viking, and it was really nice. But I would never trade my imagine wave. I have a big ol sheet that came with it that give you all the settings for the stitch length dials depending on what kind of stitch you want. That's all I have to look at when changing stitches.
So, yeah, commercial over. But honestly, if you can afford it in any way, even if it means waiting a while to save up, it really is that much better! I really encourage you to find a babylock dealer and go see it.
BTW...Brother does have some lower end machines, of course. But they also have some top of the line machines. They are made by the same company as Babylock, so their machines are sometimes the same. The top of the lines are really really nice, and are as good, or maybe even better than, Bernina.
If you are using lightweight fabric, do not start your seam at the end of the fabric--come in about half an inch to start, reverse stitch just a little bit, and then go. Lightweight fabric will get pulled into the bobbin if you start at the edge of the fabric.
I would caution against it personally...google brought up nothing on it except for craigslist listings. To me that's a red flag that you might not be able to get parts for it easily if you need, such as bobbins (which I have to have a ton of--I hate to wind new bobbing, especially if I have to unwind one to do it!), etc.
I don't think she was trying to be negative...just relating sewing to something else. It takes a while to get comfortable with sewing. You wouldn't be able to drive in the indy the day you get your license, and you also won't be able to sew a couture gown the first day you take up sewing. I think that's what she was saying.
As for the machine, we all get what we can afford, and grow from that. I started with getting a $150 singer from walmart for my bday from my husband. With that one machine, I sewed enough stuff that people convinced me (took a lot of convincing) to start my own business. Now, I've got probably $20,000 worth of machines (sewing machines, and embroidery machines) in my sewing studio, but it took a while to build up to that, and it is all a business investment. You upgrade, and get what you can afford, and what you need. Just because it's an enexpensive machine doesn't mean it won't accomplish anything. =) But if you can't get it figured out, you might consider sending it back and exchanging it (for the same one...it really has great reviews on amazon).
Also, call your local brother dealer and see if you can take it in and have them tell you what you are doing wrong. Just be honest and say you got it online, and don't have a lot of money to spend on repairs-could they just help you make sure you are threading everything correctly. Then take it in, show them how ou are threading the top and bobbin thread, and have them tell you if its correct or not.
So, yeah...like I said in my other post...I just found the embroidery boards here...I used to be on Craftster a lot, but not so much anymore. Just thought I'd share some things I've done. =) Just picking things are random. =) Hope you don't mind. I'm mostly stalling--I've got too much work to do! Warning...some of these pics are completely unedited...I don't want to waste time THAT much!
Hi all...I used to be on Craftster all the time, but have fallen off of it. I just noticed there were embroidery sections! YAY!
Here is one of my projects I'm most proud of...mainly because I figured it out all by myself. =) I had seen something similar to this a long time ago, but couldn't find them again when it was time for teacher appreciation week, so I had to figure it out. The are all done completely in the hoop. There is a layer of peltex, and batting in there to make them nice and thick and slightly puffy, and there is a backing to hide all the embroidery backs. I used ponytail holders so the kids could put them on their wrists (they were first graders). The kids loved them...the teacher said there was an epidemic of kids needing to go to the bathroom all of a sudden when she got them. =) They have the teachers name on them, but I photoshopped the last name out.