Top positive review
Good for Beginners, but with some issues
Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2016
I bought this for my mom just about a year ago. She took it out of the box, wound a bobbin, and practiced one pre-loaded embroidery pattern before putting it into a closet. When I was visiting about a month ago, I "borrowed" it. I will say that it has actually inspired the Martha Stewart in me! You'll need a lot of stuff if you're just starting off in the embroidery arena: tear-away backing, thread, a few patterns or monograms, computer software to create and transfer your patterns, and some temporary spray adhesive. Buy all these things because you're going to want to try stuff immediately, and you'll need most of these to do anything! Also, watch some YouTube videos - they were immensely helpful with all the tips and tricks. So, what I like about this machine:
1. You can sew and embroider on this machine, and it's not "too" hard to switch between sewing and embroidery - you have to change out the foot and the base. The foot gave me some issues in the beginning and I would get frustrated, but I've managed to figure it out.
2. There are some pre-loaded fonts, and they're nice.
3. The touch screen is very handy and most of the icons are obvious (some I had to look into the manual for a description)
4. There are a lot of stitch selections for sewing (I didn't know there were that many options!), and when you select the stitch you want, the screen will tell you which foot to use - yay!
5. The self-threading needle - omg this makes the world go round. I have another very nice sewing machine that I never use and partially because it takes me all day just to thread the needle. This machine does it for you. Sometimes it misses, but just keep trying - it will get it.
6. There are numbers on the machine to direct you to threading the machine correctly, and also to help you wind the bobbin. These are uber helpful for newbies like me because I've got a reminder right there.
What I don't like about this machine:
1. The pre-loaded patterns suck. You can use them as practice, but I can't see that I'll ever use them otherwise, and they take up valuable memory on the machine.
2. This is probably true with all embroidery machines (or maybe not), but I was irritated that I had to buy software to be able to embroider things. That annoyed me. There are only a few options - luckily they all have trial periods so you can figure out which ones you like. To be honest none of them are super user-friendly, so once you get use to one, just stick with it.
3. There's very little information (that I could find) in the manual on some trouble I've had. I've had one problem over and over again involving the bobbin thread and I can't find any info in the manual on addressing the issue. From what I've been able to read online, this may have something to do with the tension and I can't find information on when/why to adjust the tension. This is so annoying when it messes up in the middle of a pattern!
4. You're limited to a 4"x4" hoop size. There is a larger hoop you can buy for this machine that gives you 7" x 4", but you'll always be limited to that 4". I would like a larger hoop, but this will do for now.
A tip I learned online: use the spray adhesive instead of hooping your fabric for embroidery. Hooping will cause puckering of some fabric. If you hoop the tear-away backing then the temporary adhesive spray keeps everything in place but doesn't pull the fabric. It gives a much nicer finish.