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Showing 1-10 of 1,985 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,180 reviews
on January 15, 2016
I like this machine a lot. I ordered it here on Amazon and I've had it for about 3 years now. Wanted to wait to write a review! I've used this machine on all kinds of materials including lots of canvas and even vinyl. The heaviest thing I've sewn on it were faux leather (vinyl) purse straps which I had to sew through 4 layers of!! After adjusting the tension, it handled very well and did a great job. I've also sewn through those layers of vinyl on top of a very firm/thick layer of canvas on a very heavy weight stabilizer!! (As in sewing those purse straps onto the purse body which was constructed out of canvas and heavy heavy weight stabilizer).. So yes this machine can do heavy duty!! I've never had it break down or any major issues. I love that it comes with tons of presser feet. I most often use a walking foot because, well, why not!? Walking foot always gives the best results, in my opinion (maybe because I'm a lazy sewer who doesn't like to pin or iron or baste or any of that! Lol)... I recently used the embroidery portion on 5 pillows I made for a lady out of her grandpas old button up shirts. That feature came in handy for sure!! While you can't do anything too big or fancy with the embroidery, it still has its pros, and I didn't buy this to do embroidery anyway. One day I'll have the money to buy a real deal embroidery machine.
Conclusion- great machine! Great price! I only learned to sew a little over 3 years ago on a Kenmore machine I borrowed from a friend, when I saw that I loved to sew and decided it was time to buy my own machine, I searched around a read a lot and this is what I decided to go with, and I'm glad I did!
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on June 28, 2015
This machine compares very favorably with the current Bernina 550, for a fraction of the price. Singer's touch screen is superior, as it is not only a color screen -- theirs isn't -- it is much clearer. There is no comparison in terms of the appearance of the two machines. This Singer is flat out gorgeous in person, and it's purple. Singer has really knocked it out of the park in terms of presentation with this one. The photos here do not begin to do it justice. I literally gasped when I pulled it out of the box. I do miss having a knee lifter on this machine, which my Singer 580 embroidery machine has, but the superb quality of the 9985 considering its low price is ample consolation.

With 960 stitches, it blows the Bernina 550 right out of the water, as it has only 177. Of course it is the quality of the stitch that counts, and the Singer 9985 stitches as beautifully as any machine costing thousands more. I am working my way through the entire catalog of decorative stitches and functions, and have not found anything so far that is less than perfect. What is really unexpected in a machine at this price is the degree of precision you can bring to bear on your decorative stitches. Say you wish to place an outline of decorative arrows around a neckline facing or placket; you can figure out by stitching a sample how many arrows you are getting per inch, and program the machine to run a certain number of arrows and stop, so you can precisely pivot and turn or reproduce a certain line of stitching or whatever. The selection and editing of decorative stitches is simple and intuitive if you are used to doing anything with a computer. Not every stitch can be elongated or made wider to the same extent, but it is easy to tell what you can and cannot do once you see it on the screen. Considering this capability, you really have way more than the 960 stitches advertised. For best quality decorative stitching, I recommend using 40-wt rayon or polyester machine embroidery thread on top and good quality polyester sewing thread to match your item in the bobbin, and attach the transparent satin stitch foot. Tearaway or wash-away stabilizer under your project will make a world of difference. Many stitches can be flipped or rotated, so you could stitch a line of left-facing triangles next to a line of right-facing triangles, or run some lines of straight stitches in between for a cuff or something like that -- in other words, the creative design possibilities get crazy when you have these advanced editing capabilities, and the results are perfect because you can edit precisely where each stitch starts and stops. With this wide selection of stitches, even the simplest garment can be embellished with embroidery to make it look amazing. Stalking Pinterest and Instagram photos of embroidered garments has inspired me to combine multiple rows of decorative stitches with straight stitching around garment edges, repeating thread colors I've used in the embroidered motifs I've done on the Singer Quantum Futura 580 on the front, back, and sleeves. Built-in stitches did not seem to add much to fashion sewing for me in the past because in regular sewing thread, they can look pretty sad, but the options this machine offers combined with the wonderful threads widely available to machine embroiderers make fashion sewing exciting in a whole new way.

The hand quilting-look stitch combined with the walking foot offers a feature usually found on only high-end machines. I was skeptical that a machine at this price point could produce a decent quilting stitch, but by following the directions in the manual and making the necessary tension adjustments, the result is quite impressive.

The manual is pretty good. When I get a new machine, I usually go through the manual page by page and try every stitch, technique, and foot to learn as much as I can and make sure everything is functioning properly. Though I have not completed the learning process yet on this machine due to my eagerness to get to the fun stuff, I have read through the entire manual and it seems that everything I need to know is in there somewhere. The quilting section should not be construed as instruction in quiltmaking by any means, and it is kind of weird that they do not mention the even-feed foot until several pages later, and free-motion quilting and stippling should probably not be attempted based on the instructions here, though of course YouTube videos abound. I find Singer manuals maddening in that the English version is on the left-hand side of the page, with French and Spanish on the right. It would be much more efficient for all users if they would put each language in its own section. The small format of this manual means the print and illustrations are quite small. I'll be looking for the manual at the Singer site so I can read it on a device which enables me to zoom in.

Speaking of instructions, I'd just like to point out that this uses size 15 bobbins, not 15J as the "customers also bought" copy above might indicate. The difference is slight but if you use the wrong bobbins, you will really mess up your shuttle race. When I selected this machine, I assumed it would use 15J bobbins just like my embroidery machine, which would be super convenient. Alas, that is not the case, and it is kind of a pain. You must use Singer brand bobbins, and not cheap copies, which are not the same size. This is kind of a pain, but it's worth it to me to have all these other awesome features I never expected to own. And did I say it's purple?

The Singer 9985 is the perfect companion to my Singer 580 embroidery machine. I am super thrilled that I was able to get such a high quality machine with so many awesome stitches and features for such a low price, with free shipping. Not to be snarky, but a local dealer of the expensive brands does not carry this machine in her store, and I can guess why, though she offered to special order it for me, at the full list price. *snort* If I were trying to sell a comparable machine for almost $5,000, I would not want this one sitting next to it, either. Thanks, amazon!!
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on February 14, 2016
I have an old Singer Sears fully mechanical sewing machine that was made in 2005. This new Singer 9980 is a dream to use. Auto tensioning is wonderful, stitch selection is great, customization is just awesome.

I couldn't find much difference between the 9980 and the 9985 other than a touch screen and a few more stitches. I decided to save a couple of hundred dollars and go with the 9980. It's perfect and I love it. It has already worked through some thicker fabrics easily.

The electronic thread cutter and auto needle threader are awesome. No more wasting precious minutes to find my scissors (again) or trying to get thread through that tiny needle!

Speed control is also a dream. My old machine of course did not have speed control, and the foot pedal was very touchy and would start out too fast with the slightest pressure. Not this, it starts out slow and stays slow if you wish.

All the accessories are really nice and I found myself with a bunch of cool presser feet I can't wait to use!

This machine is very easy to thread. The only tip I can give is to hold the bobbin in place when you are threading it, don't let it turn and hold the thread taut when threading. The one and only time my thread looked like the tension was off, was because there was too much slack in the thread around the bobbin in the bobbin holder.
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on April 24, 2017
After reading more sewing machine reviews than could possibly be healthy, I ended up following the recommendation made by The Sweet Home as the Intermediate Sewing Machine pick and buying the Janome DC5100. I was upgrading from an entry level Brother CS6000i. The result? I ended up returning the DC5100 and keeping a Singer 9960 I also bought with a three year extended warranty for less than half of what the DC5100 cost me.

Personally, I wanted the sewing machine for modifications and projects. I don't sew every week, but when I do sew, it often includes thick materials like multiple layers of straps and webbing, or the type of durable fabrics you find in motorcycle gear. In other words, I needed something heavy duty. But since I'm young and like technology, I'm attracted to computerized machines with hundreds of stitches, a nice LCD interface, cool features and good aesthetics. Also, I'm a man, so a pink sewing machine kinda puts me off.

When I received the Janome DC5100, I have to admit I wasn't impressed. It just looks old and overpriced. The incandescent bulb makes it look antiquated (although it's replaceable with LED's, albeit with mixed results), the LCD screen looks like it was pulled off of a Casio calculator, and it isn't really that user friendly. It's simple to use, but it just doesn't feel like it's user friendly. In some ways I found myself missing my CS-6000i which costs about 20% of what the Janome costs. Build quality was superb of course, as the interior is pretty much all metal.

Since I wasn't that satisfied, I kept looking and a kept arriving at the Brother 9960 again and again. It had all the cooler features of the CS-6000i (plus a thread cutter, which I have to admit I like), as well as being very heavy weight (read stable), having a larger bed, an extension bed, including a plethora of presser feet and much, much more. Warranty remarks were spotty, but considering it's 4.5/5 Star reviews out of around 1800 reviews, obviously not many people were sending their machine to warranty service. I decided to order it and test it side by side.

I'll keep it short. Both the Janome DC5100 and the Brother 9960 (which also has a metal interior wherever needed, and is heavier) are capable of sewing through 7 layers of nylon webbing, and neither are sewing through any more layers than that. That's pretty much as much will fit under the presser foot. 7 layers is certainly past the limit, and way more than I expected. The stitches won't be pretty, but it will work if needed. It might get stuck, need some help or you might have to redo small portions, but the alternative is spending 1000$ on a SailRite which is much, much more utilitarian than either. And ideally I'd like to stick with only one sewing machine if possible.

So given that the Janome DC5100 isn't really any more capable than the Brother 9960, and the Brother costs less than half, I don't really see the point in spending double the money. Plus, obviously neither is an industrial machine, so if I have to push a machine to the limit knowing I might break it, I'd much rather break a 280$ machine than a 650$ machine. And the 3 year extended warranty cost me 27$, so with that at least I know warranty will be easy.

Other benefits of the 9960 is easier threading, thread cutter, better LED lights, a much nicer interface, a much nicer LCD screen, a better cover, an extended tray, a more neutral aesthetic design, a more modern design, more accessories, more online tutorials & YouTube support, and many other aspects. It's also nice that you can store it with thread inside and it still closes, which is great for quick fixes. Honestly, the only thing I can say in favor of the DC5100 is that it feels more robust in the sense that the components are all metal in the inside, but if that doesn't translate into more strength, I'm not sure what the benefit is.

So end result, I returned the DC5100, and kept the Singer 9960 knowing both are equally as strong, and saving about 300$ in the process. I can know say with confidence that the 9960 is capable of sewing heavy duty materials, or at least as competent as you'll find under 700$ in the computerized sewing machine category.
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I have had my eye on this machine for around a year. When my 15 year old Janome started to have issues, I decided it was time for an upgrade. There are lots of things to love about this machine and one HUGE con. But first, the good. It has tons of features that you usually only find in a higher end machine. I especially love the thread cutter and the needle threader. Both work well and are easy to use. The machine is fairly intuitive in terms of finding the stitch that you want to use. Combining two decorative stitches is easy as well. You do need to read the manual, haha, it's not intuitive for everything. I like that when you select a stitch it tells you what foot to use. It came with a good variety of feet so you don't have a huge expenditure right away if you want to quilt or so other things. There are other feet available but this is a very, very good assortment to start out with. The machine see quietly and the stitches are nice. I had to play around with the alignment a bit but the manual tells you what to do and it is pretty easy. Now, this is the reason I didn't give the machine five stars. The description says it has 800 decorative stitches. Let me tell you, that is a HUGE LIE. It has about 100 decorative stitches. They consider every variation of a stitch to be a different stitch. NO OTHER COMPANY DOES THAT. I looked at a Janome that had 100 stitches and it had 100 DIFFERENT stitches, with who knows how many variations. If I had know that bit of information I would not have gotten this machine. I love decorative stitches and use them a lot, so that was a huge selling point for me. But once I got the machine and started using it I decided to go ahead and keep it. If you do not care about the decorative stitches or 100 or so is enough for you, then this is a nice, full featured machine. But if you think you are getting a ton of decorative stitches you are not.
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on August 2, 2016
I have been sewing for about 3 years and have slowly worked my way up to quilts and larger projects that had simply outgrown my Brother CS6000i, which I love. Love it or not 5.5" throat makes any quilt larger than a twin a nightmare and when my older, cheaper beginner machine died I needed a new backup. I moved my CS6000i into back-up machine territory and went looking for a new primary machine.

I eventually decided to give a Singer machine a go rather than another Brother just to see what I thought and since this particular model was listed as one of the better affordable machines I took the plunge.

Overall I am happy that I did. The table gives lots of space and I appreciate that it is sturdier than the one on m older, smaller brother. The light is fairly bright but like most machines, they really could do a better job designing this so that we don't all go blind looking at small details. The drop in bobbin is always a nice option and I appreciate how quickly it makes bobbin changes.

The machine is fairly quiet (not $900 juki/babylock/etc.quiet) and runs pretty smoothly as well. I have to admit that this machine is not that much quieter or smoother than my old Brother CS6000i and I was disappointed in that. For double the price I expected a smoother performance. The low shank foot makes for easy changes which is always a great thing.

The number of stitches is great. That said, I found the instructions on accessing them and what the mirroring stitches do to be lacking. I suspect this machine is capable of more than I know but the instructions are basic and leave the discovery up to you. Well, I generally am not looking to sit at my machine and spend hours upon hours trying to figure out what buttons do what in which stitches, etc. Perhaps there are just more options than I personally need. I do believe there is a series of Youtube videos a woman made on this machine, I'd advise finding it.

My least favorite things: The lettering stitches work well although I found myself wishing I could make them a touch bigger. Most of the embroidery stitches are a bit 'thin' and would likely look better if you doubled the thread. the lack of detailed instructions to use the special features. I find myself often having to tinker with the tension which can be annoying. The cover for the bobbin area feels like the little tab that holds it in could break off if you aren't careful trying to remove it. The automatic needle threader is fussy and you have to have the needle all the way up for it to work very well.

My most favorite things: The thread cutter-this is awesome! The stability of the table is great. The throat space is better than what I had and the variety of stitches is great. The button hole feet work well and I do love that it is sturdy. This machine is heavier than my last so it stays put on the table better than my old one.

Overall this is a good purchase with some picky issues that are pretty personal to me. I would encourage someone to feel comfortable buying this machine as it is a good buy for the money! As for me, this will someday become my back-up when I save up for a mid or long arm for quilting.
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on November 6, 2017
I very much liked my Quantum Stylist when it first arrived. Actually, that’s not quite true. The first time I tried the alphabet letters, I got only the top half of the letter. I really didnt want to send the machine back, but after studying the problem, I realized the needle never went onto the left half of its travel. I figured that was either an easy or very complicated fix. I turned the machine upside down on my lap, and after studying things for awhile, realised there was a thing that looked like a little hook just hanging out by itself near where the needle support was. Needle nose pliers pushed it unto the needle support where it looked like it ought to go, and hey presto! Everything worked! So if I’d done a review at that point, I’d have given 4 stars. Either it wasn’t packaged sturdily enough to prevent the little arm from being shaken off in shipping, or it wasn’t assembled or tested right. Don’t know which, but the problem shouldn’t have occurred.

So I was very happy with the machine after that, until I finished a quilt top and went to quilt it with the walking foot. That’s when I discovered a major problem. You cannot use the quilting bar with the walking foot! That is a serious bug. There are other feet that will take the guilting bar, but the walking foot will not. Since the walking foot is recommended for quilting, how are you supposed to maintain an even distance from row to row? I called Singer Customer Care, and they got right back to me. They confirmed that there is no way to use the quilting bar with the walking foot, and there is no other machine with a walking foot to fit the 9960 which has that feature. I have also been unable to find one in the aftermarket. Needless to say, I am not a happy camper. If I’d known that up front, I would never have bought this machine. Quilter beware.

One final problem I have not yet been able to diagnose. It may be user error (me), or it may be some problem with the machine. If you let the bobbin winder fill a bobbin as directed in the instruction manual, you cannot remove the bobbin from the spindle. I have destroyed two bobbins trying to pry them off the spindle. I dont think there is any kind of release lever, but I haven’t checked with Customer Care yet. I’m sufficiently aggravated by this problem, I think I will just get a separate bobbin winder and not bother with Customer Care. I didn’t ding the review another star for this problem, because I’m not sure if it’s my problem or theirs. There was some question initially whether the machine used 15 or 15J bobbins. Various tutorials on the machine from Singer actually give contradictory information. The final word from Customer Care was use 15, not 15J. But now I’m wondering if that was wrong.

Sorry this runs on so long. On the whole it’s a great machine. Clothes and simple stuff are a breeze. But it was advertised as a machine for quilting, and I would say it falls short there.
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on April 17, 2015
I'm Sew Crazy since buying this machine a few months ago. As a novice sewer- one who only hand sewed when a button popped of, or if something needed mending. I was reluctant to take the giant step into sewing machine land. At first this machine was a bit overwhelming with all the value added features and 600 different stitches available. but i took the first running step and made the purchase. It arrived within a few days, and I sat there in awe sort of like the apes in 2001 A Space Odyssey staring at the monolith... then I can hear that theme music...I opened the instruction manual and learned to thread the bobbin, then the needle... The Dawn Of A New Age... No more running to the tailor shop to have men's pants altered and hemmed. Bought those summer shorts but lost weight? no problem... machine sewed darts. I ventured onto toss cushions.. I learned how to do an invisible zipper. Curtains.... Limitless possibilities. Special thanks to Roxanne on Youtube for providing additional instruction on this machine. This machine was a great investment for a beginner ...I felt it was value for money, I don't understand many of the negative reviews, maybe people just like to complain when they don't throughly review and understand instructions.
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on January 25, 2018
I have waited a couple months to post this as I wanted to make a few garments on this machine first. So far so good. I really like the machine although there is a learning curve to it. I have been sewing for 50 years and have sewn on various brands/types of machines (even my GGmother's treadle machine, which I still own)
Since 1988 I have had, and still have, a Bernina 1120 that sews perfectly but has one issue (a small broken spring) that costs more to fix than to purchase this new Singer 9960 machine. That is what prompted me to purchased it. My Bernina is "electronic" but not to the degree this machine is so I am still learning the many functions of this one. So far I am impressed!
This machine's automatic tension system is what sold me on it. My Bernina has automatic tension (I have never had to adjust it) and that is something I will not live without on any other machine I will own. This one sews through fleece, denim, lightweight cotton, etc. and so far maintains perfect tension.
I find the automatic threader unnecessary and in the way somewhat and I wish the needle/throat plate attached magnetically, like my Bernina, rather than with screws, but it was not a deal breaker for me.
I am glad I took a chance on choosing this one and hope to use it for many years to come.
The YouTube series of instructions on this machine is very beneficial to anyone who may be interested in it. They demonstrate a few functions the manual does not cover, such as needle positions.
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on January 22, 2018
Before deciding on a Janome take a look at this machine! It will work with the most delicate material to canvas duct! Just be sure to use the appropriate needle. I love this machine had it for a month in a half. Excellent for the money! I love the foot pedal, start stop button, automatic threader, reverse button, up down needle button and the ease of creating bobbins and threading them! Great for quilting! Has the same functionality as higher priced Janome machines but more capabilities and accessories included. Happy creating!
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