This machine represents the most incredible value-for-money on the market today. It is very, very easy to use, and the manual is exceptionally helpful. It comes with every foot and accessory you could ever possibly need. In fact, there is nothing more you can buy for it. Compare that to the other sewing machine manufacturers, which give you only the most basic feet and then you must purchase everything else separately. If you have been hankering for the convenience of fully computerized sewing, automatic needle threading, push-button sewing, and lots of fun stitches, don't hesitate. I highly recommend this machine. I've owned very expensive machines from all the top manufacturers, and would not recommend it if the stitches were not beautiful or if it were loud or junky. This was given to me as a gift (I'm ashamed to say I would probably have walked right past it because of its low price) and I love it so much, I have gone on to buy the Brother serger here on Amazon, and also a $999.00 Brother Innovis, which is another tremendous bargain. I was really pleased to see that even the more expensive machine uses the same bobbins and feet as this one, and this has many of the same features. This $200 machine comes iwth virtually all the same attachments as the $1000 one.
This is the machine that some of the larger sewing and quilting expos are using in their workshops now because they are so lightweight, easy to learn, and reliable. High end Berninas and Vikings are just too complicated for people to sit down and learn at in a classroom setting, and they are way too expensive. This machine is the Featherweight of the 21st century, with tons of stitches and fun built in. Go for it!!!
on August 14, 2009
Every time I describe this machine to sewing friends, I start and end with "It sews like a dream." And it does, so far, if it's not stressed with too many layers (and I haven't even tried denim yet). But this machine is not, I suspect, a workhorse. It is audibly annoyed at thick layers, like French seams, although so far, it does, with encouragement, sew them together. I love the reverse-stitch button. I love changing stitch types and sizes with the touch of a button, and I really love that it even tells me what presser-foot I will need (although I am not looking forward to changing the feet). And it sews like a dream.
However, the light is ridiculous -- small, dim, badly placed -- and the first thing I did was clamp a gooseneck lamp to the table so that I could actually see to sew, thread the needle (there is some Rube Goldberg-type set up that is supposed to do that for you, but it is too small to see, requires an extra hand to operate, and works half the time), and see the screen whereon the cool stitch size/type info is displayed. Everything involving the bobbin is terrific, from winding it to dropping it in. Threading the top thread is a snap till the last two steps, which require tiny, nimble fingers and powerful laser-like vision. You will have to roll excess fabric tightly to fit it through the minimalist tunnel between the needle and the body of the machine, so don't plan on making a heavy wool, lined coat. The narrow, plastic foot pedal feels cheap and is poorly designed. If I merely inhale while sewing, it goes from slow to warp speed, and I spend too much time chasing and repositioning it. This is one of the problems when we don't have metal parts anymore -- you can lift this whole machine with one little finger (literally) -- don't count on it to stay where you've put it (and that includes the machine, which I once tipped when shifting fabric). I admit, though, that the thing really does sew like a dream.
This is my first new machine since the Nixon administration, and I still have my fabulous, heavy, mechanical Singer that will sew through layers of chain mail, but I was seduced by the free-arm and the buttonholer (which I'll eventually use, I suppose) and the alleged improvements and ease of use. I believe that, while it does sew like a dream, this machine was designed by someone who has never sat at a sewing machine to actually use it. You know -- to sew something.
PS -- I have now been using this machine daily for a couple of months, and I am delighted to say that it handles denim beautifully. In fact, I have fallen in love with this machine. The light still sucks, and the design flaws are still annoying, but I'm loving this sewing machine. The tension issue that I've read about happened, in my case, only once and when I understood why (it was my fault -- sloppy threading of the bobbin), it has not reappeared. I humbly admit that I was hasty in voicing my concerns. For the money, this machine, despite the light, is a terrific deal. If I could add a star or two, I would, but Amazon doesn't allow it.
on May 3, 2008
I bought the machine for the price and the features, but I have to admit, I was nervous after reading some of the reviews that told about all the problems that they had right away. But I figured it had to be better than my 35-40 year old Kenmore. I want to state right away, I am very happy with my purchase thus far. I've had some problems (read below), but I have managed to figure some things out. But, if you are looking for a good machine to quilt, this machine has all the features you will need, and it's priced so you can actually afford it. 2 other points to know, Amazon has a good return policy and from what I have heard, Brother has a good customer service history. These were 2 other deciding factors for me.
So here are my first impressions. I thought I was going to get a 1/4" foot that is shown in the instruction manual. I didn't. If it was supposed to be in the box, I'd love to hear from someone to let me know. I also read in the reviews that some people got a instructional DVD. I didn't get this, but if I was supposed to get it, I'd like to get it. The hard cover does not allow you to keep the machine plugged in to use it, so it's not going to be useful for me, except when I want to store it long term. I cover my machine whenever it's not in use with a quilted cover that I made for my old machine. Luckily, it fits my Brother.
The instruction manual is very helpful. I followed it from front to back so that I could learn everything I could. When I finally got ready to test sew, the tension was really messed up. I worked at it for quite a while, referring back to the manual to adjust it correctly, but it just wouldn't work! So I threaded the machine again, and took the bobbin out and made sure that I inserted it exactly as the book indicated, and magically, it worked. I think I must have did the bobbin wrong at first. Lesson 1, read the directions! And if all else fails, read them again.
My next problem was very strange. Suddenly the thread was bunching up on the bottom side of my project. Out came the instruction manual again, but the answer wasn't there. I changed the bobbin thread to a different color, which showed me that the top thread was the thread that was bunching up on the bottom. So I started messing with the tension again. But that wasn't helping at all! So I decided to try a different thread, and SHAZAM! it worked. The original thread I was using was a cheap thread, I changed it to a good quality thread. Lesson 2, this machine does not like cheap thread.
The quilting table is a fabulous accessory! But I am still working out one problem with it. The backside of the table doesn't seem to attach to anything on the machine. So as I work on my project, the legs shift and eventually they fold up. The instruction manual does not help in this case at all. I'm still working on this one.
Even with these issues, I am still glad I got this machine. I am able to work faster with more precision. The machine is quiet, compared to my Kenmore. And it is much lighter too! The downside is that it moves around on my table more than I like, especially when I am quilting a larger project. I'm not sure how I will fix this problem, but I will eventually.
So now it's time for you to decide. Good luck!
on January 28, 2015
This sewing machine has been at my side for ten years with not one problem. The threading is idiot proof. So is bobbin winding and insertion. My only problem was user error when I jumped right in and started sewing, without first reading the fact filled instructions. My old machine went straight at warp speed, and you could forget about making gentle curves. If you think I wasn't expecting much, you're right.
But after a boring night when I had nothing to read, I read the booklet through several times, trying to wrap my mind about all the options that this machine offered. If you think the machine is sewing too slowly or quickly, there's a position beneath the computer readout that adjusts to different top speeds, so you don't go faster than you want to. So it's not 100% idiot proof if you don't read the booklet!
Fancy stitches, fancy sewing feet, more is included than with any other machine brand. I quickly went to quilting, learned that zippers are not the work of the sewing devil, and that buttonholes can be made without even looking at the machine! Whenever there's been a problem it was user error, never the machine.
on May 31, 2008
Like everyone else reading these reviews, this is how I ultimately chose and bought this machine-so I hope this review helps you make a choice too! It seems like every machine I looked at though had several really negative reviews (some had more than others-but the really positive reviews for this one is what eventually convinced me-so I just want to add to it!) and probably like you it made me really nervous!-the only thing I can say about that is that any product on the market has a certain number of duds (errors in the manufacturing)-in which case all you can do is return it in the allowable time. By the way-this is why I buy all of my appliances/electronics with my American Express card-they will give you your money back on any purchase (up to like $1000) if it's lost, stolen or broken (even if it's your fault it broke or the kids drop it!) within 90 days. I'm not sure if this is a benefit for all AMEX cards (though I've heard it is) so just check with your customer service ...ANYWAY... sorry about the tangent.
It really is the best buy for what you get: this EXACT SAME model is selling on [...] for $[...]! So truly don't let the low price fool you, it really is a more expensive machine selling for super cheap right here on amazon. This has everything you need, and has room to grow as you become more experienced so you don't have to go upgrade. Because I'm a beginner I first thought "I'll just buy the $[...] one with 10 stitch options because I don't know what all those stitches do anyway, and then if I really get into sewing that's cheap enough that I'll upgrade in a year or two" I'm so glad I didn't do that, I'm still just beginning but I can see how valuable having more stitch options is going to be and I've already started using some of them. (see below)
When I took it out of the box I started going through the user manual was sewing within the amount of time it took to wind the bobbin and thread the machine (the automatic threader took a couple tries but now it's a breeze) In regards to the cheap thread thing: I actually went to a licensed BROTHER dealer in town and asked about it, and they said that MOST MACHINES STRUGGLE WITH CHEAP THREAD. So my following question was "Well, what is cheap thread?" and her response was "Like, when you get 5 spools for a a dollar or two" In any case I just bought my thread at a 'real' fabric store (not like wal-mart and such places that just happen to carry fabric too) and have not had any problems WHATSOEVER-no tension problems, no bobbin problems, nothing.
My absolute favorite feature is that when you change stitches the LCD display tells you what presser foot you need to attach for that stitch!!! You don't have to refer to the user manual. It shows you the shape as well as what letter it is (J, G, M....etc. and each foot has the letter engraved on it). My second favorite thing is that because I don't have a serger yet (maybe I don't need one now!) in order to keep fabric from unraveling I've really enjoyed using the overcasting stitches with the overcasting presser foot-it's so easy. I just trim seams down and then overcast (stitch #6 is what I use)-works just as well as a serger and saves me the $$$money$$$.
Good luck and happy sewing!
on January 24, 2012
I recently purchased the Brother cs6000i for $159 on Amazon. I was somewhat leary of making the purchase because of all the people who experienced tension difficulties. After reading all the reviews on this(and other sites) it seemed that the vast majority of people were more than happy with the machine once they were able to solve their tension problems (by using metal bobbins) or threading the machine correctly.
I mistakenly assummed that I would not have such problems(because I would read the manual, etc, etc.). Originally I had some difficulty, but after reading someone's comment on a quilting site, realized I had the bobbin in wrong. It needs to feed the thread from the left, not the right (clearly shown in manual). What do you know, the machine worked much better and I worked on adjusting the tension for specific material, etc. All was going smoothly until I changed my bobbin. Suddenly, I was back to the original problem of loose threads on the top and bottom from tension problems, but I had made sure I inserted the bobbin correctly, so I was majorly frustrated.
I hit the internet -- I watched videos, I read reviews and it seems I needed to go out and get metal bobbins. I was frustated because I had purchased two extra packages of clear bobbins and didn't want to have to throw them out for metal bobbins. I prefer the clear so I can see how much thread is left on the bobbbin.
I was going to call Brother and ask what step I might be missing when I checked their FAQ section for my machine. After reading a bunch of things that didn't help, I read the "how to thread a bobbin" section. I saw a diagram that indicates there is a small wire bobbin tension-adjusting spring that the bobbin thread needs engage in....here is the key: when you drop in the bobbin, put your index finger on the bobbin to hold it still and then start to feed the thread around the guide pulling it a bit straight up until you hear and feel a small click -- once the thread is engaged in the spring, continue threading around the guide and I am betting your tension problems will be over!
It would be nice if Brother would update their manual to include the information about the tension-adjusting spring since this is causing such an huge issue for people. I am glad I can use the plastic bobbins and bet that others that have switched to metal would be able to as well. Once I felt the "click", I knew I never had engaged it previously. I tried every single stitch and each one looked exactly like the example -- clean and sharp, much nicer that my previous stitches that I had thought were nice! All those hassles......................gone!
Best wishes, I just love this machine **NOW**, the feet are so easy to change and threading is a snap! (and a click!)
on March 29, 2007
I wanted a mid-range sewing machine with some flexibility, and this is the machine. I sews quickly and flawlessly, and is super easy to learn. It seems well made, and very intuitive to learn. I love the computerized stitch selection - so easy to change stitch length and width. I've had no problems with winding the bobbin as in previous Singer machines. I love the fact that it comes with a quilting table and a case, too, what a deal. It seems to me to be a good, basic machine that would be great for a beginner or intermediate sewer. I've made several purses since I bought this machine, and they stitched up very well. Good selection of presser feet with this machine, as well. Easy to thread and easy to wind the bobbin. The bobbins are readily available everywhere, so I bought a dozen for $2 so that I could keep plenty wound and ready to go. This machine is very light and easy to carry around - that's a big plus for someone like me who has to sew at the kitchen table. I could have rated the machine 5 stars, but haven't had it long enough to really have super deep feelings about it, so far I'd just say it seems to be a good mid-range machine and I would recommend it. My other machines have been an expensive Singer (nothing but trouble), a budget Brother, and a Baby Lock Serger.
on March 12, 2007
I bought this machine after reading the review by Plein Jane. What a great machine! It was so much fun to work with after my Singer (which sort of fell apart after only three small quilt projects). This machine has all the functions of the $1000+ Janome that I've been drooling over for a couple of years. For someone like me who cannot afford to spend that kind of money on a machine, and for those who can, this is the machine to buy. The only thing that could make it better is if it will work for me for many years. UPS needs to be more careful in shipping. The box it came in was pretty beaten up.
12-3-2010 UPDATE: Almost four years and many quilts/projects later I still LOVE this machine! I can't believe how it still works like it did the day I bought it. I noticed that someone gave it a bad rating based the bobbin case and the comment left on that one by someone else was dead on. This machine does not like cheap thread, but why would we want to put all that time and money into a project and use cheap thread anyway? If you're considering this machine I highly recommend it. If I ever wear mine out I hope Brother is still making them because I'm going to want another one just like it.
on January 4, 2009
Bottom line - it isn't a $[...] machine and doesn't sew like one, but it is enough like one to make the price feel like a big bargain!
I am a sewing machine junky, or so my husband says. I didn't really need a new sewing machine last year, but my 8 year old wanted to start sewing. I had the $1000 machine and I had the older harder to use models. I needed something fairly cheap, but easy to use so that she could get her shot at things.
I researched fairly heavily and landed on the Brother CS6000I.
First, the machine was reasonably priced and came with tons of equipment. I like that I didn't have to go buy a flat table for quilting or all the various feet involved with that. I also appreciate the hard cover that came with it.
Second, it is easy to use. The bobbin winding is well marked, as is the threading of the machine. Picking the right stitch is easy - and there are 60 to choose from (kind of sort of - arguably, there are only about 58 or so, but that is getting picky.) There is a speed control, which was great for DD since she could set things up to stitch slowly at first. The manual is readable, but still a sewing machine manual, so a bit limited in usefulness.
Third, it is lightweight - and easy to move around.
OK - cons -
It doesn't feel like there is as much room to the right of the needle as some of my other machines. I think it has to do with the shape of the body - the curve kind of eats into your space if you have half a queen sized quilt rolled up so you can stitch on it.
There isn't much light, despite the fact that the brag about how bright the light is. However, I have a desk lamp set up to light the back of the machine and another on the left and I have all the light I want. It really isn't a big deal.
It doesn't have some stitches that I like - like a good blanket stitch for putting on binding. However, I have found other stitches that essentially do the same thing.
Anyway - I didn't get my daughter to use it as much as I intended. But, I have made several quilts on it this year and have enjoyed it much more than I ever expected. The money was well spent and knowing what I know now, I wouldn't hesitate to buy this machine again.
Update - 3/6/2012 So... I ended up giving the machine to my sister in law, who fell in love with it. She thought it was crazy for her to have a new machine until she realized how many bells and whistles this machine has. Fast forward, my daughter became interested (again) in sewing. I looked at what was out there and... I didn't hesitate. I did buy this machine again.
on October 25, 2007
I once tried to use a sewing machine when I was around 14 and into altering my clothes. Honestly, I think I almost blew up the darn thing. I had borrowed it from my grandmother and I don't know if it ever worked again. At that time I vowed NEVER to touch a sewing machine again(I easily get frustrated when things don't work out the way I plan). Well, about 13 years later, I decided I wanted to make a quilt out of old band t-shirts. I had planned on sending them away to a professional company, but could not justify the $400-500 price, and someone said "why don't you do it yourself?". Never one to turn down a challenge, I decided to give it a go. If I "blew up" another machine I would know I'm never meant to use one.
I read a lot of reviews on amazon, because frankly, I didn't even know what I was looking for. I knew something that was 'user friendly' and good for a beginner. Beyond that, totally clueless. I remembered the Brother brand being good, and I liked the look of the machine. Not too many knobs and buttons and I can totally work with digital. The fewer things I can manually break the better. I also didn't want to go all out on price, but get something moderate so that if I did end up enjoying it, I wouldn't have to immediately get a better one. So, with these ideas, I finally decided on this machine.
And I'm EXTREMELY proud to say, I made a quilt/blanket my first day. No, it wasn't perfect, but I got the machine running and found it pretty easy to figure out. I started slow and really paid attention to the manual (which is rare in my case). Granted, some of the terminology is like reading japanese, but some staring at the diagrams in the manual helped me to figure it out as well as making a couple phone calls to see what threading the bottom and the top meant, did I need to do both? Apparently so. I even know what a bobbin is now. =)
I'm just finished my 2nd quilt, a T-shirt one as a first go before doing the important T-shirts. I also made a case for my nook e-reader! I've ordered some 'complete guides to quilting' to get a better idea of things, but I am confident this machine will work well for me. I think the light it has is fantastic, I could easily get busy in a darkened room and see what I was doing. Once you get the hand of threading it's easy to remember. The speed button works well, it can go very slow if you're unsure and speed up as you become more used to the machine.
The only thing I don't love is, and maybe there's a trick to this I haven't caught onto yet.....is that I end up JAMMING as much blanket as possible under the arm to try and finish things in the middle of the blankets. I wish there was more room between the body of the machine and where the stitching happens. I've fiddled a little with the different stitches, which is really fun. I still don't know what the tension is, but I guess I'll figure it out as I go along.
If you're a beginner like I am, I would definitely recommend this machine. It's a fun new hobby and not nearly as daunting as I had thought it would be. Happy quilting!