I received this machine as a gift, after having looked at another brother machine for several months. I haven't really ever done any sewing in, well, ever. Totally a sewing newbie. I have to say that the sewing machine was a little intimidating initially because it has far more bells and whistles than the one I was looking at. But the machine itself is very simple to use.
The manual is very straight forward, and easy to understand. Though I often supplement the manual's instructions with google, just to be sure I have my bases covered, I usually find the information in the manual would have been sufficient.
While I've only had the machine for a week, I have used it quite a bit--including mending several things, making a tote bag, making a hat, a pair of spats, and a plushie.
The machine comes with an assortment of accessories (including a seam ripper, which is great since I sort of, accidentally, snapped my previous one. Oops! It was nice to have an instant replacement on hand.). Most of these are things like extra bobbin spools, as well as all the extra presser feet. So far, I have used the "default" foot, as well as the button hole foot and blind hem stitch foot. Changing the presser foot is incredibly simple, and the button hole foot and stitches were amazing. Maybe I'm just easily impressed, but it was great to be able to do button holes so easily on my very first 'from scratch' project.
I've also played around with some of the decorative stitches--some of which look pretty awesome, and some of which look...somewhat less awesome. But they seem like they would be really fun to use for different home decorating type projects. And the 'less awesome' ones are possibly due to my lack of skill in working the machine, rather than the stitch itself.
With all the projects I've done, I've only had the bobbin tangle once, and I'm fairly certain it was an 'operator error' so to speak. The machine runs really well. It's easy to control the speed, it's easy to work all the functions, and choose stitches, as well as alter their length and width. The manual is really great at explaining the different functions, as well as how to do certain things (like blind hem stitching). I haven't had any issues with it, and in this first week, I've done a variety of different projects, and worked with a variety of different fabrics from thick, fluffy fleece, to polyester, to cotton, to craft felt. The machine has handled them all, without any issues, sometimes sewing through up to four layers of thick fabric.
Over all, I think it's a great machine so far. I'm really looking forward to all the projects I have in mind, and I have no doubt the machine is going to be able to handle them all quite beautifully.
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