Top positive review
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I use my Brother more than my much more expensive Pfaff machine
on May 19, 2015
I bought my Brother about 6 months ago. I wanted to wait to write my review so I could have a well formed opinion of the machine. I started out sewing on a small little Janome Gold that cost less than $200 several years ago. I then upgraded to Pfaff Ambition. Even though I had a much nicer machine, I felt like it was lacking in some areas. I was at one of my modern quilt guild meetings and a woman did a demonstration using the Brother. After that I was on a quest to read reviews and see if this machine was something I would enjoy using.
I was initially intimidated when I first took it out of the box. My Pfaff was very intuitive and looked easy to use. The brother was more industrial and required a little more thought on how to make it work. It took me about a week before I really started to play with it.
There are many features to comment on:
Free Motion Quilting and Walking Foot – I am starting with these features, because these are the features I love the most. My Pfaff was very difficult to FMQ on. The Brother is wonderful to use. I have now been able to FMQ several quilts. It does a wonderful job keeping up with the speed of doing FMQ and the stiches look wonderful. The wide throat space is also very nice. I do wish the FMQ foot had a slit in it. A lot of times when you start out with FMQ you have thread tails that need to be held to the side. Since I don’t have a slit in the foot it is hard to get the tails out of the way.
Automatic Thread Cutter – I love this feature. I have never had it until now. I have seen complaints about how short the bobbin thread is cut. When I have to pull up the bobbin thread I just use a set of tweezers I have nearby to help me pull the thread through. So the short cut does not bother me.
Light – I do find the light to be lacking. I wish it were a bit brighter. I recently purchased an extra light that I attached to my machine to shine down on the sewing area and that seems to be working well.
Knee Lift – To be honest, I never use this. I find that it just gets in the way. Maybe when I upgrade to a nicer sewing table and have more knee room I may attach it again.
Weight of machine – The machine is very heavy. Which should be expected from an industrial machine. I almost hate having to switch my machine around due to the weight though. The machine has never shifted while I was sewing no matter how fast I sew.
Sewing feet – I wish some of the sewing feet were see-through. Sometimes I want to be able to see under the foot to see what I am sewing, but all of the Brother feet are solid metal.
Threading the machine – After 6 months I still have to get my book out. I use it now just as a quick reference, but in the beginning I had to follow it very carefully to thread the machine.
Bobbin – I found the bobbin very difficult to put in when I first got the machine. Now I don’t have any problems. What I do is place the bobbin in the bobbin holder. Then I pull the lever and it snaps in. Before I was trying to hold the lever as I was putting in the bobbin and it was a pain. I do wish the bobbin held a little more thread. The machine stops winding with plenty of room left to add more thread. I did figure out if you keep pressing the pedal over and over again with little taps you can add a little more thread at a time to the bobbin. I also wish I could view the bobbin while sewing. My Pfaff has a clear window so I can see when my thread is getting low. With the Brother it’s always a surprise when you run out.
Automatic Needle Threader – This feature also took some figuring out. I couldn’t get it to work at first. I have figured out that once the thread is placed in the needle threader (and near the eye of the needle) if you pull slightly upwards on the thread the threader seems to catch the thread and will pull it through. I have found that sometimes the thread does get shredded as it goes through, but that usually isn’t a big deal since you would cut off that part anyway. The automatic needle treader will not work with some feet, like the FMQ foot. So I just manually thread the machine in those instances.
Sewing Speed – The speed scared me a first. I had never had a machine that sewed so fast. I don’t think I have ever maxed out the speed on this machine. I have found that if I go to fast I can’t control the sewing line. It starts to get wonky.
Machine Maintenance – This is the first time I have owned a machine that I have to oil. Sometimes I forget that I need to oil it. So I try to usually oil it before a big project or if I haven’t used it in a couple of weeks.
I know this is a long review, but if you are like me I prefer the more detailed reviews. Especially if you are going to spend a large amount of money on an item. Overall I am very glad I bought the machine. I feel like my sewing skills have improved tremendously. Especially when free motion quilting. I recently made a diaper bag and had to sew through several layers of fabric, batting, and interfacing. This machine had no problems going through the layers. It’s a tough machine and I have to say I prefer this machine over my more expensive Pfaff!!