This is a good sewing machine for a beginner or for someone who wants to occasionally craft. I purchased it for my 7 yo daughter to use for making doll clothes, etc. It is extremely light weight and small making it very easy to store when not in use. I wanted something with a foot pedal vs. just batteries and the fact that this machine comes with a pedal is a bonus compared to other small machines in the same price category. We have not used every stitch thus far - - only the straight stitch and the zig zag stitch. Each have worked fine. It is very easy to switch between stitches by using the dial on the front of the machine. Being an experienced sewer, it was easy for me to overcome any of the frustrations that came with this machine but an inexperienced sewer might give up on sewing altogether if using this independently (without someone there to help you out/to help you problem solve). Here is a rundown of the issues that we had with the machine: - The thread broke quite frequently but that being said, this machine is VERY easy to thread.
- The bobbin winder was pretty ineffective, winding the bobbin very poorly and sloppily. The thread slipped off the bobbin while winding and wound itself, instead, around the bobbin pin (perhaps there is a missing cap or something of that sorts?) Rather than struggling with this I just used my little side winder to wind any bobbins that we needed. Please note that you must use metal bobbins with this machine as the bobbin tension is set with a magnet.
- The machine comes with a cap to put on top of the spool, but we almost immediately lost this top. :( This is not your typical cap. Rather than sitting on top of the thread it kind of "locks" into place. The machine still works without it, but the thread will sometimes, but infrequently slip without this part.
- Spool size is an issue with this machine. Only the smaller half-sized thread spools will fit in this machine. This is not really because of height but rather girth. The spool pin sits down in a little gully of sorts. A regular sized spool is too fat to fit in this gully. In addition to the half size spools, I also managed to use the taller, skinnier Gutterman thread spools with this machine. When using these you can not us the spool cap at all. Without this cap, the thread sometimes slipped.
- The feed dog is very, very weak. You have to basically use some light pushing and pulling to get the fabric through. This became a nuisance at both the beginning and ending edges of the project, and was very challenging for my 7 yo daughter. We overcame this by me starting and finishing off each row for her. But, it should be noted that even I had a difficult time starting and stopping each row since without a properly working feed dog, the fabric would easily get stuck in the machine. This issue also made it very difficult to keep a straight line while sewing.
- The arm on the machine is what you see is what you get - - stationery. So, doing arm holes or hemming would be rather difficult on this. Bottom line - - if you are wanting to sew seriously and this is your only machine - - I would not purchase this. But, if you are teaching someone to sew and want to spend little this seems to be an o.k. purchase used in conjunction with existing sewing tools that you already own (such as bobbin winder, more advanced machine, etc). Another good use of this machine is if you want a lightweight portable occasional machine for crafting or light sewing, this machine will do the job.
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