Machine: Husqvarna Viking Lisa

In 2004 I purchased a lightly used Husqvarna Viking LISA for $350AU. The machine is a Viking special edition from 2000 or so, and is a basic Type 600 computerised machine, a hybrid LILY model.

I love my Lisa. It is the first machine I owned, and it has always served me well. It has its limitations, but really, it is a good little machine. After its recent service (nothing was wrong with it, it just hadn't been serviced for twelve years), my technician found some abrasions inside the bobbin case, which he was able to polish out to make for smoother motion. (The abrasions had happened by my breaking an Open Toe Free Motion foot and needle simultaneously. I had installed the foot incorrectly (put the wire under the needle bar instead of over it), and when it broke a piece of the wire flew out and hit my cheek. Close call.)

So, some notes:

TOP STITCH: My Lisa does not like any top-stitch thread I have given it. I have tried G├╝termann Top Stitch 30, Wonderfil Fruitti, and Mettler Extra Stark. Twice out of thirty-plus attempts with tension and fabric combinations it actually sewed, but would soon break and jam the bobbin. I asked a Husqvarna technician about this, a man with decades of experience, and he said it needs to have a separately adjusted tight bobbin case, and failing that, use a walking foot. I had little luck with my second bobbin case, which was $50AU compared to a $180 for a walking foot attachment. All machines are different in their tolerances, so your Lisa may top-stitch beautifully. I was told to adjust the bobbin for stop-stitch as so: You have to tighten the bobbin so that when you thread it and remove it from the machine, you can tie your needle plate to it and the bobbin will let the needle plate fall slowly. Mine got to that stage, but the bobbin was SO noisy in my machine that I panicked and didn't continue my experiments with top-stitch. It sounded like I was breaking something, but apparently incorrectly adjusted bobbins can be very noisy.

FOOT PEDAL: Each side of the pedal does a different thing. This is not mentioned in the manual, but the right side of the pedal has no speed change - you can put flat to the floor and it just sews at a steady pace without change. The left side is the pressure-dependent side that can sew as fast or slow as you like. Apparently you should always use the right (slower) side for bobbin winding, as winding bobbins at top speed will stretch the thread.

SPOOLS: The internal horizontal spool pin can only accept spools up to a certain size - a 800m spool of Wonderfil Mirage will not fit. I bought a separate spool holder after I bought my first few spools of Mirage, as even the vertical spool pin cannot feed the Mirage spools correctly (thread will drop and tangle). Remember to lay your spool on the horizontal spool pin so that the thread feeds from the back.
Circa 2000 Husqvarna Viking LISA, special edition.
I don't have any complaints about the Lisa, about features it may lack as it is what it is - and it was only a $350 machine. My mother has a Janome or Bernina that can probably go to the moon and back, but it also cost her like, 9K. (And she STILL won't give me her old Pfaff 1222E.)


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