My old Singer pooped out on me after 16 years, had it been an expensive one, I'd probably taken it in, but since it wasn't...I decided to replace it. After looking at many top of the line machines, I decided that I really didn't want a machine that required payments, or me taking out a second mortgage. With that said, I went to Wal-Mart and found the 5500 Fashion Mate. I looked at some reviews on my Smart Phone, and decided to take it home for a spin.
After only using a mechanical machine I was a bit nervous (I don't do well with change!), but I took it out of the box, threaded it up and was ready to go in no time flat. I didn't know it was a front load bobbin until I got home, and I wasn't crazy about that, but it isn't a show stopper. Additionally, the auto needle threader didn't work....after going on a couple of different websites I was able to bend the threader (ever so slightly) with a small screwdriver and it works now...no problems. I wish the presser foot went up a little higher, but again...not a huge deal, just different than I'm used to (did I mention that I don't like change?) All in all the stitches are perfect and super easy to select...oh and the machine is pretty and comes with a hard cover which is nice.