by Amanda, whose blog, Red Jet Whistle, covers all kinds of craft and design stuff with a Boston focus
Love it, hate it, or something in between? I love it, it's the first consistent machine I've ever sewed with. It's all metal, quiet, simple to use, and dependable. My previous experience was all on Singers - my grandmother's and mother's 60s Singers, which were quirky but generally good machines, and then 2 current Singers from Sears and Target that were terrible pieces of plastic junk. After a lot of research on the web, Viking, Bernina and White were the highest rated. I chose the 6440 based on the simple controls, free arm, cams, and frankly - looks. It's very smart looking! I'm also happy that there are always cams, feet and replacement parts for the 6440 on ebay.
When did you buy this sewing machine? September 2007
When was it manufactured? Not sure exactly - late 1970s I think.
Where did you buy it? I purchased it on ebay. After watching quite a few good deals few go by, I got anxious and bid on a machine from a seller I should have guessed would be questionable by the way the listing was written and the poor quality photos. The listing stated that the machine ran and sewed well, but it was unusable when I got it - the presser foot was stuck in the up position. I took it to Sewing & Vacuum Center in Somerville, MA (a great resource for anyone in the Boston area) and had it repaired and tuned up. In the end, I'm incredibly happy with the machine, but I regret not buying it from a more reputable seller and avoiding the repairs. I strongly recommend only buying from ebay sellers that you feel comfortable with, who can demonstrate that the machine is in running condition - ask them to thread it and sew a sample for you.
How much did you pay for it? $170 + $40 shipping + $140 repair = $350. These tend to run in the $100-200 range on ebay.
How many projects have you done on this machine? Quite a few! Maybe 20-30.
Describe the kind of work you've done with it. I've made purses, curtains, pillows, clothes, all kinds of projects. I was really impressed when I sewed through 4 layers of vinyl, and it hems jeans beautifully.
What do you like and what do you hate about it? Loves: I know that if something is going wrong it's me and not the machine. I also love the simple controls that can produce a lot of sophisticated stitches. The cams are fun and easy to change, and the lower gear ratio has been great for sewing through vinyl and denim. The free arm is nice and small making sleeves and purse openings a breeze. It's really easy to thread and came with all sorts of feet that I'm looking forward to playing with. I also love that it's a colorful, sleek looking machine.
Hates: I'm not in love with the bobbin winder being located on the side of the machine, and I miss the built in thread cutter on my crappy Singer. No on/off switch - I dislike having to plug/unplug it all the time. Small complaints, it's really a great piece of equipment.
Soon after, I bought the Viking Huskylock 431 serger, and it's also a dream!