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Showing 1-10 of 301 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 327 reviews
on December 24, 2013
 UPDATE: The video, mentioned below, is now uploaded but only shows this machine in action, not the others that I compared it to. There is a limit for file size (for obvious reasons :)) here on Amazon so I edited what I had and isolated just Laura Ashley CX155LA. To save a lot of time, testing and and frustration, it would have been nice to see the machines in action prior to purchasing! I hope you enjoy the video and that it helps with your decision.

I began the sewing machine purchase process by buying 2 machines, the PRW7070 and a Singer Fashion Mate. I already own the 6000i and my Mom has the Janome Magnolia 7325. We need some additional machines in our studio for teaching sewing lessons. I did as much research as I could but was frustrated when the information from the manufacturer was not accurate. This review is a bit long but I found that I wanted more information, rather than less when purchasing my machines.

I bought the PRW7070 and the Singer on Black Friday for a good discount but had to return the Singer after just 10 minutes because the bobbin case was loose so the stitching was way off. At that point I also noticed that despite the fact that the Brother website clearly states that the PRW7070 has needle up/down, it does not. Frustrated, I ordered in, wait for it.... four more sewing machines. I decided to pit them against one another and keep the best two. I made two classes for comparison. The under $250 class and the $250-$500 class. This review focuses on the under $250 class.

After two weeks of heavy testing, the clear winner was this wonderful, feature packed machine that does so much more than the other machines in the same class. Here are the results.

Strength Test: I took 12 ounce denim and layered it. All the new machines had the same 100% Polyester Guttermann Thread, the needle that came with the machine and the bobbin that came with the machine. The bobbin was filled with a contrasting color so that I could easily see it if the tension was off. I used the leveler foot that comes on the machine. This is a regular sewing foot that features a small black button on the side of the foot that releases the pressure so that the foot can go over thick layers. Not all the machines came with a walking foot so different results may be possible with this attachment. For this class, the results were: PRW7070, 8 layers; CS6000i thread broke part way through 12 layers with skipped stitches. The Janome ground through eight layers but the Laura Ashley managed a WHOPPING. SIXTEEN. LAYERS. OF. DENIM. WOW! WINNER: Laura Ashley.

Stitches: The Laura Ashley has 155 stitches including alpha numerics. The Brother CS6000i has 60, the PRW 7070 has 70 stitches and the Janome Magnolia has 25. I made a video of the beautiful alphabet work by the Laura Ashley. If you want to be able to make lovely labels for quilts, kids clothing, and just about anything else, this machine does a wonderful job. The key is to follow the manufacturers instructions and use a good stabilizer underneath. I am not technically savvy but as soon as I figure out how to load it, I will add the video here so you can see the machines in action: WINNER: Laura Ashley.

SEWING/GREEN TIP: you can save dryer sheets and reuse them as stabilizer. That's what I used and it worked beautifully. Just be sure to iron them flat with a warm (not too hot) iron before use.

NOTE: when using the comparison feature, the Brother website indicates that the PRW7070 does NOT come with quilting stitches. This is not true. It has the same Q (for quilting) stitches as the CS6000i. There are five on both of these machines.

Sewing Lighting: The CS6000i has two LED lights. The rest have just one. WINNER: CS6000i

Screen Lighting: The Magnolia is mechanical so does not have a screen. The CS6000i and the PRW7070 have small LED monochrome LED screens that are not backlit making it hard for me to see as I wear glasses for reading and sewing now. The Laura Ashley features a larger, very well lit screen for selecting stitches. WINNER: Laura Ashley

Threading: All the machines have pretty much the same needle threading mechanism. I love the upgraded version of this on the PRW420 but that's a different story. No clear winner - four way tie.

1/4" seam test: A quarter inch seam is not only essential for quilting, it is the foundation of a French Seam, used in fine dressmaking and tailoring fine shirts as well. All the machines, except the PRW7070 came with a specialty foot for this function. The feed mechanism and presser foot pressure is what really determines how well these seams come out. The Magnolia and the Laura Ashley sewed a perfect 1/4" seam but I gave this one to the Magnolia because the foot that came with the machine (guide verses flat foot) was better. WINNER: Magnolia

5/8" seam: All the machines sewed a straight seam just fine. Using the contrasting bobbin thread I was able to identify that after 3 years, my CS6000i was slipping a bit, even after playing with the tension.

Accessories and Attachments: The CS6000i and the Laura Ashley both came with 11 feet and attachments. The Magnolia and PRW7070 came with 6, including the one on the machine. All three Brother machines came with extension tables but the Laura Ashley came with a larger one than the other two. The CS6000i does come with a dust cover (as opposed to a carrying case) but I bought a case instead so it was a bit of a waste in my case. WINNER: Laura Ashley

Free Motion Quilting and Free Motion Embroidery: I could not figure out how to do this on the PRW7070 and it does not come with a darning/free motion foot. The CS6000i comes with a feed dog cover and the Magnolia and the Laura Ashley both have levers on the back of the machine that allow you to drop the feed dogs completely; all three came with the right foot. The larger extension table for the Laura Ashley gave more support than the CS6000i and the Magnolia does not come with a table so there was a bit of slipping. (Truthfully, Mom only uses this machine for piecing)WINNER: Laura Ashley

Functionality: Both the Laura Ashley and the CS6000i come with variable speed control, auto pilot sewing (sewing by using a button instead of the foot pedal). These two and the Janome Magnolia also come with needle up/down. The PRW7070 does not have any of these features but is also the lowest priced machine that I tested so therein lies part of the price difference.

Finally, just for the joy of it, I did some bobbin work and some circular sewing on the Laura Ashley since that is part of the big sell for it's much more expensive cousins, the NX800, 2000 and 5000. I used a circular sewing attachment that I made myself and the results were beautiful. The bobbin work was very pretty, but of course the stitch selection is limited to 7 mm stitches unlike the more expensive models. Still, the fact that the machine did such a nice job for just under $200 was pretty amazing.

All in all, this is a fantastic machine and worth every penny of the price difference between it and the CS6000i and the PRW7070 IMHO. The larger, clearer screen; strength of stitches, ease of free motion, quality and selection of stitches added to the larger table, and general ease of use made this the winner and keeper at our house. I am still going to give good ratings to the other machines but this one was just in a different class keeping up with the $250-$500 machines for strength and the quality of stitches. I hope this helps and happy shopping!
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on September 2, 2016
I wanted to wait to review this machine until I'd had a chance to try it out fully. So 10 months and 3 quilts later here I am. I really like this machine but there are a couple annoying things.
LIKES: 155 stitches, I've tried out almost all of them and love the variety, extension table is great, very helpful when wrassling queen/king size quilts, Some folks don't like the plastic but I like the clear plastic bobbin cover for easily checking when bobbin thread is running low, Machine handled thick fabrics (jean/upholstery) and a very thick triple fill flannel quilt easily (just make sure to clean with lint brush often). I loved all the feet that came with and feed dog positioning. Works great for free motion quilting.

DISLIKES:
Needle threader stopped working well after a week or two of heavy sewing, it's much less time consuming to just thread the needle myself.
Bobbin winder cutting blade also started being a little difficult to work with after a month or so (it still winds great and fast, but it is very tricky to get it started without tangling thread all down the bobbin winding spool).
SMALL THROAT, fine for small projects and creative quilt squishing but unless you want to invest in a quilt loom for larger quilts you will probably want a machine with a larger throat.
I've had some problems with the embroidery stitches, make sure to clean lint very often when letting or snarls can happen and mess up your beautiful words. *Also as a side note, I was having a really hard time with them one day and called (No answer/no call back) and also emailed Brother with photos of the issue and I never got a response. So not too stoked with customer service
A little lightweight, when wrassling larger quilts machine moves around a bit and feet on extension table like to fall, but just put anti slip foam liner under feet and you're good to go.

OVERALL: I would definitely recommend this machine, there are some flaws but I've really worked it hard and it's held up great so far. If you are a serious quilter you may want a machine with bigger throat and sturdier build/pieces. I'l be happily using this machine until I can afford my dream machine.
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on July 1, 2017
Ordered it yesterday; arrived today!
I am a seasoned seamstress and quilt maker. My $3k machine died after 17 years and I really missed all the conveniences and bells and whistles. I'm not in a position to spend another 3k right now so after much research I and deliberation I bought the Laura Ashley because 2 of my other machines are Brothers so I took the risk. I put it through its paces today and tried every stitch, foot, tension settings, etc. I'm happy. I've attached some photos of my test stitching. I included the back side to show when I had tension issues. Admittedly I did moved the tension all the way loose and tight while testing. The only think I could not figure out well was the twin needle tension. I will figure it out when I need it. I went through 1 full bobbin and half of a second. I used poly wrapped cotton on muslin. After 2 hours of seeing I had very little lint. I removed the throat plate and bobbin case and found none.
I was nervous about mail delivery but the machine and all its parts were packed extremely well. The machine is lighter weight than any of my other machines but it feels solid. I did not find it to be loud. I sewed most of the test stitches on the fastest speed to see if it could handle it. I broke my thread once.
I skimmed the manual and watched the DVD. I will admit to saying "yay" a few times out loud to my husbands amusement.
Tomorrow I plan to work on a couple dresses. I will submit another review if I have something helpful to say.
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on November 27, 2016
I bought this sewing machine in July when my back-up sewing machine died. I actually didn't use it until this week when my primary machine was in the shop for service. I'm very sorry I waited until this week to test the machine because it's too late to send it back. I'm very disappointed in this sewing machine and believe it is the worst sewing machine I've ever used in my over 50 years of sewing.

This sewing machine sews fine if you are only sewing a simple seam on broadcloth. It sounds like a train clickety clacking down the railroad track if you ask it to attach a waistband using the same broadcloth. It stops and strains at the already sewn seams in thin broadcloth so I'm not sure what it will do with a slightly thicker quilting material.

I had high hopes when purchasing this machine. It came with a number of quilting attachements and normally Brother machines are good quality and performers. I have a Brother serger that works very well. I learned my lesson and will never buy another sewing machine without testing it first. I can't with good conscience even sell this machine to someone else because of its poor performance. I'll probably have to just donate it to a thrift shop and consider it a lesson learned. This is my first Amazon review after years of purchases only because I din't want someone to make the same mistake I did with this sewing machine.
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on January 5, 2014
I love this machine! It is my first that is entirely my own (not my mothers or grandmothers, etc.). It sews exceptionally straight, and has a lot of wonderful features. I have yet to use the button feature, but I assume it will be as good as the rest of the machine. The machine without the quilting table is large enough to be substantial, but not in the way. The free arm is small enough to be more than manageable. It's not too heavy, but also doesn't feel horribly plastic-y cheap. The gears/motor has help up through stitching the 6 layers or so of satin that I've put though it (thickest item I've sewed on this machine yet). The computerized functions are very easy to learn and to adapt to. It warns you when you are doing things that will cause a problem; it will not allow you to sew with the presser foot up. This is not a problem for me, but I could see it being a problem for others.

The downside: it does not come with a case at all. The addition of a case would be nice.
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on May 19, 2016
I just received this sewing machine yesterday and I've already made an apron a pair of shorts and done a few repairs. I'm very new at sewing I was using an old sewing machine that had been in the Attic of my husband's grandparents house for years. I used it until I broke it and I recently took it to a gentleman that lives nearby that does some sewing machine repair is that used to work in an old singer Factory so he gave me some short advice and was able to repair that machine. I received it back yesterday the same day that I received this new one. I was blown out of the water of how easy this one is to use. Like I previously stated I know nothing about sewing and I'm very new to this. I watched a few YouTube videos on recommendations on a sewing machine or some tips for beginner sewers and they really helped out. I used the instructions to guide me through reading it because I wasn't sure since it was not like the other one that I already have. As soon as I got it threaded everything else is pretty much self-explanatory which is awesome especially for a beginner like myself. With the older one that I was using I often ran into problems like getting the thread jammed in the bottom and not being able to move the fabric. I often ran into some tension problems that I could easily fix that would stop me in the middle of a project. With my skill level I definitely expected to run into those problems often. And never blame the machine I knew it was because I didn't necessarily know what I was doing. I did a lot of research into buying a new sewing machine and I wasn't really sure which route I wanted to go. There are definitely some out there that aren't quite as much and I knew if I got one that was hard to use I would probably lose interest quickly. But I also wanted one that I thought I continued this new hobby of mine that I wanted one that I can easily grow into and I can learn new things and be able to do quilting and other things that I have not yet learned to do. I have done multiple projects on the same machine already and I have not one time have any problem with getting it jammed or threatened or anything. For my skill level I think that it is pretty impressive to be able to work on this machine without even fully reading the manual and be able to do what I'm doing. I think that this machine is literally amazing. I would definitely repurchase in a heartbeat and highly recommend to a friend. Now again I cannot give you my personal experience on other sewing machines except for the older one that I was using prior. So I can't tell you if it's comparable to other ones offered on the market right now. What I can tell you though is that my local Joann Fabrics is the only place nearby that sells sewing machines and its sewing machines similar to this one was being sold there anywhere from $399 to $800. I really believe that you cannot go wrong with this purchase. I will definitely update my review if anything in the near future happens or I run into any Hang-Ups that I think are machine related. I truly don't know where you could possibly go wrong. I would highly recommend to anybody that's just getting into selling or for many options and bonuses at this machine has I would say we're probably most likely be good for even your more experienced sewer . I also would like to know that I have not yet used the embroidery options on this machine so I can't give a honest opinion on how well or how easy it is to do that I assume that it will be just as easy as anything else that I do and the Machine but I've yet to do it. Also I have a 7 year old that gets very interested in pretty much about anything that I do. This morning he gave me the option if he got ready for school earlier if I would let him play on the machine and I have my morning chores that I have to do so I figured really what could it hurt. He is he is the older sewing machine a time or two when I've been looking over his shoulder and he knows the basics. He was able to take an 8 by 10 piece of fabric and try almost all of the hundred options at this machine gives with no problems whatsoever. I mean seriously how I'm more impressed can you be that not only me and the extreme beginning level but my son 7 years old can you use this machine and function so well. I truly am amazed by the sewing machine. And I hope if you choose to purchase that you enjoy it the same amount that me and my family has.
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on July 13, 2016
This truly is the best sewing machine I have ever owned. I don't know if it is because of the brand or it's just been long enough between machines for me that technology has caught up. The biggest problem that most people have with sewing machines is improper bobbin threading that leads to tension issues and just makes for knots in your threads. After you have a few of these pull through your machine, it is usually a hefty repair bill. With the price of machines these days, it's cheaper to replace. Brother has done away with this problem. They have "idiot proofed" the bobbin threading. Many on-line sites list a couple of Brother machines as they "best machines for beginners." I have to agree. My 19 year-old daughter just asked me to teach her to sew and I think it will be pretty easy with this machine. I found a series of videos on You tube that give you step-by step instructions on how to use each foot that comes with this machine as well as any other basic thing you would like to do. It seems kind of fool proof.
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on October 23, 2017
well I received my new machine that took a couple days to get here. I got on-line, on u-tube and just watched how to do everything. I know they give you a very nice book and a CD to watch but it was easier just to watch it on-line I could stop it when I needed to. It was so easy and the needle threader is awesome since I am in my 70"s. My husband hurt his back about three years ago so he has lost about 5".his Jeans were all too long and could not buy them shorter, anyway I cut off and hemmed 4 pairs with out even using the foot pedal .It worked beautiful as you control the speed so when it came to the heavy side seams, I turned it to the lowest speed and went over them seams like butter.Love it'. I have not really sewed to much for years now I will do quilts I can see where it is going to do a wonderful job.I retired three years ago and I thought what am I going to do this winter but sit on my butt. Well that changed when I got this machine , I will still be sitting on my butt but will be doing something constructive.I just wanted to add something after using a special foot I ordered thinking I needed it.I ordered 1/4 with guide,I found out that I like the 1/4 foot that came with the machine much better as it is more accurate.I did a sewing machine cover (quilted) and as I was putting it together the sides were shorter then the main part of the cover, then I realized that the quide foot was making it narrower then a 1/4 .That is why the main part was longer. So I will be using the one that came with the machine. please make comment if this has happened to anyone else.It was a good learning experience.I would like to add photo of first full sized quilt
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on August 2, 2016
Love, love, love this machine. It sews like a dream and has so many features it will be ages before I have tried them all. I had been using my mother's antique Singer Touch and Sew with the plastic cams to do decorative stitches, but it was becoming more and more expensive to keep it running, so I decided to go ahead and get a new machine. This is my first Brother sewing machine, although I do have a Brother embroidery machine. I am totally in love with Brother products, and their customer service is excellent. I have sent them email questions several times and have always gotten quick and helpful responses. I used to dread sewing because it was not as enjoyable as it should have been, but now I can't wait until the weekends so I will have time to go into my sewing corner and "play". This machine is plenty powerful enough to go through multiple layers of fabric and through heavy fabric like denim. It comes with all the accessories you should need, however I did order one additional presser foot, an edge stitching foot. It makes doing top stitching close to the edge effortless, so I recommend you get one. Other than that, this machine and accessories package is perfect for sewing clothes, home décor, quilts, and crafts. I highly recommend it.
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on February 28, 2016
So far so good, I have been usung the same sewing machine for the last "45 years" and decided I needed a new one. I feel I have made the right choice. This machine is fairly easy to use, for me it is somewhat of a learning curve. (my old mind and ways have to get use to the new ways) , but once I got the hang of all the "modern" things this machine offers I LOVE IT. The lighting is good, my failing eyes appreciate the auto needle threader and this machine is almost weightless for moving about but sturdy enough when I use it it stays in place just as good as my old 35#er. One negative is I do wish this machine could be mounted into a sewing table like the older machines or at least come like my oldie already in a portable case. It appears all new machines come this way with the consumer needing to purchase some sort or storage to put it in. Very nice machine at the right price.
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