I bought this from Walmart and have had it for nearly a month now, use it almost everyday. I very much like its style, form and function. it is handsome, feels solid, controls are just right for me, and I think is a very good value. It comes with an VERY well produced DVD that is easy to listen to and understand, full of content, lots of extra tips and project ideas, and proceeds in logical textbook order. Although it's generic for mechanical and computerized machines, the key principles are all covered regardless.
The factory refurbished unit I purchased had one minor flaw...one of the tabs securing the accessory case compartment had broken off, but it stays on pretty well anyway. With the included accessory table I really can't complain especially given the refurbished price. I did try to contact customer service but like others have said, the queue was never ending and I hung up. I'm hoping I don't need to call back.
I'm amazed at the technology packed into this and what it can do. I have not yet had any problems that some reviewers have often mentioned except that I agree the LED light could be a bit brighter, and the color temperature of the light is a bit too blueish white for my taste. Though I see fine by it, the Other Company features TWO LEDs providing a more daylight hue, and fuller coverage. Same general price point, but this is minor stuff. The needle threader is great once you understand how it works. Expect to fail at it once or twice, but don't give up, you'll get it and be amazed how you did without it.
The SINGER is quiet and moves along with a confident thrum, the stitches are tight and well-defined, the decorative patterns are crisp and pleasing, and stitch best with some ordinary tissue paper placed between the fabric and feed dogs. The laundry washes what doesn't tear away. By using this household 'stabilizer' found in any closet, I've had no 'fabric-swallowing' problems at all that some have mentioned. I use only new, good quality all-purpose thread. For denim I used the proper thread with the proper needle and it handled double and triple seams just fine. I did tug the fabric a bit when the foot got to a heavy seam but that just seemed like common sense to me. This machine seems to have a bit more power than my Other Company machine, although I like that one a lot too. There's a lot to take in, so I take my time, follow directions carefully, double-check, then do. I'm amazed there aren't more problems with machines that are as complicated and easily victim to operator error as sewing machines are.
I DID take the time to watch the whole DVD, and I highly recommend that as you don't know everything, believe me. Even the music is supportive and easy to listen to. Next to the machine, it's the best feature in the whole box.
Like others have said, I found the instruction book a bit confusing. Too many languages, too much hopping around. (The Other Company includes a separate English manual as well as a multi-language one, and it is much better overall) Also, important details like which foot to use with which stitch or fabric seem to be misplaced, at least I can't find it. A downloadable English manual would be nice. Also, a simple decal on the bobbin door indicating the direction of the bobbin thread and general placement illustration (like the Other Company does) would be a nice touch.
I got into sewing recently after admiring my neighbor's cushions and was told her husband made them. Fascinated by anything mechanical, and loving to see the fruits of my hands, I thought, if he can do it, I can do it. We're the two guys on the block that sew!
Overall, considering the price point and what I intend to do with it, I'm very pleased so far. Will update if needed.
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