I know you all have been anxiously awaiting this post all weekend, right? 😉 Well, it is with mixed feelings that I unveil my new sewing machine: The Viking Emerald 183.
The long of it:
The moral of this story is to PHONE FIRST!!!!!! I don’t know why I didn’t do this, but I didn’t. I was going to hit two different dealers in NJ this weekend near my friends’ house. As we started driving to the first dealer, we thought to call them for exact directions, but found out that they no longer sold sewing machines. Scratch that dealer. Then we drove out to the one in Whippany. This dealer was recommended by Wendy of W38th St. Their online listing advertised several different kinds of sewing machines but their name was Viking Sewing Machine & Vaccuum Center. Should have taken a cue from that, but didn’t. I walked in and that’s all they sold.
I had not researched this brand at all. My mom has an expensive Husqvarna and has had nothing but problems since she bought it. I didn’t even consider Husqvarna/Viking because of that. Well, there we were and there was no more time to drive all over NJ looking for another dealer, so I sat down and learned about the Viking machines.
The dealer gave me his spiel: basically they have two levels of sewing machines; the ones made in Europe or the ones made in Asia. The European models are better but very expensive (we’re talking thousands of dollars). Well, I am definitely not in the market for that kind of spendy. So I tried out the two Asian-made models. There was a mechanical and digital version. I thought they were basically similar in feel, in terms of how it felt to sew, but the digital, the Emerald 183 had a lot more bells and whistles, like:
- 83 stitches — I really only need straight and zigzag but who am I to argue with a few more.
- up and down needle button — love this!
- fix and stop buttons which tie off your stitches at the beginning and end of your stitching — very cool!
- alphabet in upper and lower case and numbers — probably won’t use this but never say never.
- 3 1-step buttonholes — LOVE this and I will have to play around with them to get them looking just right.
- drop in bobbin — I’ve heard a lot of people on PR prefer this.
- 10 presser feet — 10!!! I bought the invisible zipper foot too.
- Adjustable presser foot pressure — Yeah!!!
I demo’d the machine I ended up buying with a heavy denim and a knit fabric with a variety of stitches through thin and thick layers as well as made different buttonholes. The machine handled everything I threw at it really well. I bought a slightly used machine for $50 dollars off the sale price. Apparently a woman had bought the Emerald 183 a few weeks ago, but then wanted to upgrade right away to the European made model. Since I tried out her machine and it worked great, I thought it would be ok. And I asked the dealer point blank if she turned it in because it was a lemon; he said no. We’ll see…
Now to the misgivings or second thoughts I’m having: While at the dealer, I thought I should just walk out when I found out that he only sold Vikings. How could I buy a machine that day only trying one brand? And a brand that I hadn’t even considered? I hadn’t done any research on the brand at all. I felt naked without PatternReview backing me up. The only Emerald 183 he had in stock was the used one. And I really wanted to buy a machine that day. Put into the equation that I don’t own a car and all the dealers are outside the city and can only be reached by car, and I was in a quandary. I felt like I was forced into buying that machine by my circumstances, so it’s hard for me to enjoy the actual purchase. Why the pressure to buy a machine right away? Well, I want to sew darn it! I want to sew right away! I want to sew my spring top for the sewalong which is ending this week. AND I WANT TO SEW!!!
My best friend Cayce asked if I felt like I had to buy that sewing machine because of a self-enforced plan or due date, pointing out that it was not exactly necessary. I admitted that yes, I did feel that way. She also kindly mentioned that my single-mindedness could be an asset in most circumstances, and then said something about “J personalities”… But I digress. I most likely will not regret this purchase. I have no doubt the Emerald 183 is significantly better than the Singer 5160, and it has many more features that I know that I like and will use. I just don’t think I made an informed purchase and that makes me feel uneasy. Of course, the first thing I did when I got home was to check the reviews of this machine on PatternReview right away. And it looks like this is a love it or hate it machine. The reviews are either glowing or snarling. But let’s just go with the glowing and call it a day, ok? 😉
In case you’re wondering, I did try out the machine last night, but that’s a tale for another post… I know that’s mean, but this post is already too long.
Until next time, happy sewing!