The new Viking Designer Epic™ is, I would dare to say, the best sewing machine ever produced. It’s the most modern machine on the market, with its tablet-like screen display and JoyOS Advisor™ to help you through every step of your project. The Designer Epic has tons of new features and all the best additions. They claim it was made for sewers, by sewers, and it’s obvious from the machine’s design that this is true.
The machine’s design is ingenious. For starters, the work area is more than 12” by 5.5” -- plenty of space for even large quilts. It’s also lit with bright lights so you can work longer without your eyes becoming strained. The bobbin is larger -- 30% larger -- which means more thread, and fewer pauses in your project. 2 spool bases and a new thread path allows for the use of 2 spools, including cones of thread. The machine has an automatic needle threader. The bobbin winder is on the side of the machine, and the thread paths for the bobbin winder and the needle are completely separate, allowing you to keep your machine threaded and wind a bobbin without worrying that the threads will tangle.
And those aren’t even the showstoppers. Sewers everywhere seem to agree that the best part of the machine by far is the JoyOS Advisor™. This is a feature found on the screen display and with it, you can input your fabric type, choose from a bunch of sewing techniques, and the machine will set the best stitch, stitch width, stitch length, thread tension, and presser foot pressure for that specific technique! This is an amazing feature that no other sewing machine on the market has, and even a lot of the sewing websites and books out there don’t have anything like this either.
Once you’re ready to start sewing, you can lower the presser foot by either stepping on the pedal or hitting the foot button. You can set your speed with buttons (there are 5 different levels) instead of just with the pedal. Beginners should start with the slower speeds to get used to the feel and process of feeding the fabric into the machine evenly and steadily. The machine has an Exclusive Sensor System™ technology that automatically and continuously senses and adjusts for fabric thickness, which makes for perfect, even feeding. Once you’re done with a section of your sewing, the scissor button will cut both threads and lift the foot automatically.
For more decorative work, you can upload your own images and have the machine embroider the design onto your fabric. The other day, one of Anastasia’s design interns, Analiese, used the Designer Epic to embroider a lighthouse on the pocket of a dress shirt. There are also tons of new stitch techniques, including sequin stitches, theme stitches, fashion stitches, and dimensional stitches. The machine will also sew a complete buttonhole with its special One-Step Buttonhole Foot. Both sides of the hole will be sewn in the same direction to make it sturdier.
The Epic™ 980Q is the Designer Epic™ sister machine. It has a lot of the same features, but is a bit older. The 980Q also includes JoyOS Advisor™ and many other parts, including the same touchscreen display, the Exclusive Sensor System™, the larger bobbin, and the automatic needle threader.
If you aren’t sold on wanting to try out the new Designer Epic™ by now, I’m not sure there’s anything I could say that would sell you. Owning this sewing machine is like owning the most capable machine on the market, in addition to having a sewing teacher who sits by your side and helps you along the way. Sewing has come so far since it was invented around 60,000 years ago, which you can read about in the 6-part series about the history of sewing. But the Designer Epic™ is evidence of how amazing advances in technology can be, and how much they can affect our everyday lives.
Written by Miranda Marnik-Said