Though I only use five of them.
Originally, I thought it would be an industrial zigzag machine, but, of course, they are expensive ($2k) and I’d probably also want a new stepper motor (~$200) plus installation (~$200.) And- I primarily use zigzag on lingerie, which, being short sewing lengths, isn’t be done at high speed anyway. So the industrial machine seemed not quite worth it.
and then buttonholes. Mostly for cotton shirts, but sometimes for silk dresses. I’d love something that just did them perfectly.
I’ve had a viking husquavarna machine for several years now- purchased for around $500- which I used for buttonholes, zigzag, and blind hem. But it sews ‘chokily.’ I don’t know how better to describe it. Even on light fabrics, it just sews at an uneven speed. Worse, the reverse button is electronic- of all the buttons, this one should be huge and manual- and only sort of works. I have to carefully hold & direct the fabric while making a button hole, to assure that there is enough space between the sides, otherwise they overlap.
And it rattles. I do not like electronic sewing machines. They always seem to be overpriced and worse quality.
But, the blind hem feature works decently, so I will be keeping the viking.
On a trip to Tony’s Sewing in Biddeford the other day, picked up a new Janome. The model isn’t on their website, I guess it was just recently re-released, & Tony described it as a workhorse- it’s not electronic, can do single step buttonholes- and is SOLID. Tony is the most knowledgeable & helpful sewing machine salesperson I’ve ever met – he sells & services industrial machines as well. So if you are in the market and in Maine- I would highly recommend visiting his shop.