This machine came with a very good price considering all the features included. It is much lighter than my previous one, which I really enjoy. It has a good number of pattern choices, some are for fun, some are very useful. That said, the machine has one major design fault: the so called thread take-up lever - a lever with a hole in it through which the thread has to be pulled through during needle threading - stays partially covered during the whole needle up and down cycle, and so it is a real hassle to get the thread through it. Minutes and minutes of trying. The light is on a very small spot only, but that may only be my problem. In conclusion: it works, it has a nice, clean design, good features, and I would have given it four or possibly even five stars, but the constant hassle with the threading makes this purchase not worthwhile.
After reading a lot of reviews I decided on the Brother LB6800PRW sewing and embroidery machine. I looked long and hard at the Brother 770 embroidery only machine because it had a bigger hoop size which would have been nice but I wanted a sewing machine with all the bells and whistle. Like the drop in bobbin, auto thread cutter, push button start and stop, needle up and down, etc. ability to download Embroidery designs from online.
I finally replaced my loyal old (1960's) cast iron Necchi. I'd bought a more modern (but cheap) Necchi, and it was complete crap, so I had doubts about all cheap modern plastic sewing machines. I didn't feel I needed a computerized machine or fancy stitches - just sturdy and basic. (I sew as a hobby, but using lots of heavy fabrics - I'm rough on sewing machines.) I'd thought of Brother as mainly a printer company and not a 'serious' sewing brand. I'm glad I was wrong; I've been delighted with this machine! Pluses: I don't quilt, but the wide detachable platform is great for the large projects I work on, and there is still a free arm, which wasn't mentioned in the description. The automatic needle position is something I didn't think I needed, but I love it - it can be set to finish each seam in the up or down position, but one button push will move it to the other position. Threading the machine is the easiest I have used, requiring no poking of thread ends through little holes or setting the handwheel just right, and unlike my 'crap' machine, doesn't come unthreaded due to varied speed of sewing. I also LOVE not having to hold the thread ends when starting a seam. The needle threader and bobbin winder require a little practice to get the right 'touch', but work well. The various stitches are easy to access, and I've used far more of them than I expected to. Minuses (minor): The light weight of it seemed cheap at first, and it does move a bit when I really get working, but I put a rubber grip pad underneath, and it's been better. And it is really easy to carry around! The delicate plastic bits (the spool holder and bobbin cover, etc) seem fragile, but a friend who uses these in her sewing school told me she's never had a problem, and I've not lost or broken them yet - so far, so good. The lack of a feed-dog drop button for free stitching bothered me at first, until I figured out to use a drop-feed quilting stitch setting and the walking foot - it is doing very well for me. There is also no reverse button. The button to backstitch the seam ends (one stitch a a time, slowly) is OK, but now and then I wish I could just sew backwards without switching to the walking foot and free stitching mode. Biggest minus: This machine's fastest speed is much slower than on my old machine, which gets frustrating on long seams, and it remains my greatest annoyance. It isn't horrible, just annoying. I was uncertain about buying a reconditioned machine. This one is in perfect condition, though, and looks brand-new. In general, I am really delighted with this machine - it is far better than I expected, especially at this price. Wish I'd bought it years ago!
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