Here she is, my new sewing machine. She's been a little shy since I got her, not wanting to be blogged about until we had truly connected and become friends (she's right it was a little rocky to start with). But now it's time to reveal her to the world.
I'd like to preface this whole post by telling you that my previous sewing machine was a Brother 2600. She was lovely. She really was (and still is - for my mum who intends to use her for pillowslips and curtains and such). But we reached a point together where I wanted more. She tried to step up. She tried to sew through multiple layers of fabric. She tried to sew leather and faux leather but sadly we were both kidding ourselves. I was asking too much and it was hurting her. So we parted ways.
I'd been searching for a machine I could grow into. Something with a whizzbang motor, auto tension, lots of stitches and the ability to sew through anything. Originally I was
She came with everything you see here. Yes those are new, sharp dressmaking scissors you see there - included!
I started by watching the DVD before I even attempted to turn her on. It meant I had some vague idea of what the buttons were before I went breaking anything on my first try. I also skimmed through the manual for the essentials before flicking the switch and being greeted by her little light and her electronic screen.
She was pretty easy to thread up and inserting the bobbin was not nearly as hard as everyone had whinged about. The tension took me ages to get right but that's never been my strong suit. So I spent a while adjusting the tension until I had something I was vaguely happy with before whipping out some scrap cotton and sewing my way through a whole lot of her (80!) stitches.
So what's the verdict?
She is an absolute dream to sew with. Having a proper motor makes all the difference to sew with. She feels so sturdy and so my clothes feel sturdier. She can sew through multiples layers of fabric with ease. She found it really easy to sew through the wool skirt I just made which, on the yoke, had 6 layers of wool as well as bias tape. No problems!
Yes you do have to take the accessory tray off each time you want to rethread the bobbin but I really don't see this as the major catastrophe that others seem to make it out to be. And the bobbin itself seems sturdier than my last drop in one with plastic bobbins. Sorry Brother 2600 this one beats you on that one too!
Sewing reverse is different on this machine. Instead of having a lever to hold down to sew in reverse this one has a little button above the needle that you press to sew in reverse. This took a bit of getting used to (habit!) but then I realised that this reverse button was niftier than I had at first thought. You don't have to have your foot on the pedal to sew in reverse! You just press this button and it will sew 4 stitches in reverse for you. Unless you hold it down, in which case, it will just keep sewing in reverse. Love it!
This machine came with some awesome feet! Before purchasing this machine I had no idea that an overcasting foot even existed and yet now I couldn't live without it. So in love with this foot am I that I shall dedicate an entire post to it so you know what I mean.
So on my road to finding the perfect tension I had many a C4 message as well as some pretty scary mechanical sounds which made me think my machine would go bang. Every time it did that I took off the accessory tray cleaned out the bobbin, fully reathreaded the machine, turned it off and back on again and voila it was talking to me again.
Although it took me a while to get the tension right it is now perfect every time on cotton, jersey and faux leather. I never really noticed how inconsistent the tension was on my previous machine until sewing with the Singer. It seems to have reliable, sturdy stitches regardless of what you're sewing with or the thickness. The tension on this machine singlehandedly convinced me that it's the sewing machine for me. Everything else I'm impressed by is just a bonus.
In short I love my new machine and I can't wait to make my entire wardrobe with her!