I recently made the decision to spring for a new sewing machine. Don't get me wrong, I have loved every sewing machine I have had. Each one for different reasons. In fact this purchase got me to thinking about the machines I have had.
My mom had an old treadle sewing machine in a cabinet. We had it as our earliest sewing machine. I never got to use that machine but I was fascinated by it. No one in my family really sewed before me. That machine was used for repairs, etc. Certainly not for clothes making or bag making. The same with our next sewing machine which was a Signature brand from Montgomery Wards (how old am I ????) that was in a blond colored cabinet. This was the machine that I learned to sew on. It had a knee lever to run the machine. You had to open the cabinet and lift the machine in place. It was solid and heavy. But it wasn't mine.
My machine was a Singer. It was the first thing that I bought after I finished nursing school and had my first job in the hospital. That was 40 years ago. It did everything (or so I thought at the time). I still have that machine and was using it until about a year ago. It needs repaired again, something that was happening more and more. In fact, the last time I took it in for repairs, I was told it may no longer be fixable. Parts were getting hard to find.
Finally, at the beginning of last year I bought a Brother SE400 Embroidery and Sewing Machine. I love this machine for the ease of use. Some of the reasons I love this machine are the ease of changing stitches, changing stitch length and width, buttonhole making, easy threading and bobbin making. It has a small embroidery frame that I have only used once but I hope to take the time to learn this function better. You want to know what my favorite thing is? It is push button sewing, no knee lever, no foot pedal. My least favorite thing? The fact that it just can't handle all of the fabrics that I want to sew for my bag making. So...
A couple of weeks ago, after struggling with several layers of upholstery suede, I knew it was time to look for a new machine. I had been reading about machines that others had reviewed. I thought I wanted an industrial machine but just did not have the room for it in the room that I am sewing in. After corresponding with Daryl of Patchouli Moon Studios, I decided to look at the semi-industrial Brother machine that she had. I found one that had all of the same functions but was a different model name and it came with a free felting attachment ($200 value). This is the one I chose. It is a Brother Designio DZ1500F.
This machine has easily sewn through everything I have given it and more. It is quiet and smooth and sews up to 1500 stitches per minute. (Does anyone really need to sew that fast??) All it does is a straight stitch but it does that soooo well. The bobbin placement is a little more difficult to reach but no different than a lot of other machines. After not using a foot pedal for over a year, that has been the most difficult thing. I am starting to get the feel now. Trust me, it can go really, really fast!!
The extension table gives so much work surface and the opening under the arm of the machine is twice the size of my old machine which makes it perfect for bag making.
Although I don't quilt, the feed dogs do go down so you can do free motion quilting. It is a pretty simple machine to use. The only thing I do not like about this machine is the lighting. It lights up the left side of the needle OK but not the right side. But certainly I feel no regrets, I am loving my new machine.