sewing 911 - what's your machine of choice?

over the last few months we've briefly chatted about new sewing machines here and there. i've gotten a few requests for a more detailed post about different machines and which ones YOU all are all using and loving! my bday (eek) is coming up in june and i'm getting this momma a new machine. i've been saving my pennies. yep, that's right...the old 11 year, moody, sensitive, finicky, temperamental machine that i've been using is going to be put in storage. i know...i know...i keep threatening to throw her out the window but i just don't have the heart. she'll be my backup and go into retirement...she's tired ya know :P

i've been keeping my eyes open and asking questions to lots of people about their machines and the many kinds that are available and i still can't seem to find the right one or make up my mind. who knew buying a machine would be so hard? i feel like i want to know more about them before i go into the local shops and sit down with them. i get overwhelmed if i don't have a chance to read reviews and be one of those consumer types who's researched the heck out of a product before buying it. i just get all fidgety and nervous and then can't make up my mind if i want to buy it or not. the machine ideally has to fit all the criteria on my checklist or there is no point in buying it. here's my checklist.

what i need my new best friend to be able to do :

- drop in bobbin (preferably top)
- one step buttonholes (more than 1)
- automatic needle threader
- auto tension
- a whole whack of stitch patterns
- free arm
- lots of feet
- adjustable stitch length and width

extra bonuses:

- drop feed for free motion sewing
- heavy metal frame for no movement while sewing
- push button stitch selection

what's on your list? i would love to hear what you are all looking for in a machine as well. i've put together a poll for you all so we can all share what machines are our faves! select an answer from the options and then share in the poll in the "other section" (that allows you to write an answer) your make/model so we can check it out!

also please leave any comments you would like about your machine and why you love it! i need all the help i can get! the more info we all share the better! i'll put together another post soon with the results and links to other good sewing machine posts/roundups.

image source

what do you love about your machine? pros/cons? what features are your must haves? let's chat sewing over our coffees :)