I have had a bit of sewing experience--middle school home economics class (10+ years ago) and sewing with my mom's very old Singer machine. I'd only ever done little projects like making a gym bag and pillows and sleeping bags for my Barbies. I decided I wanted to be able to sew items for my apartment now that I am all grown up! I originally purchased the Brother VX1435. Since I am basically a beginner (I always had help from my mom and the teacher), I thought it would be a good idea to get a basic 10-stitch machine. Boy, was I wrong! The machine was great but the bobbin loading was an absolute nightmare. My husband and I decided it would be better to return the VX1435 and spend a little more money on a more user-friendly machine.
After much research and review-reading, I decided on the Brother CS6000i. It has a lot of stitch styles and features. You can use two needles, quilt, and embroider (hopefully I can improve my skills to use those features someday). Threading the top and the bobbin alike is incredibly easy. Bobbin loading is fast and the thread wraps around evenly. I read through the instruction book before I started using my machine, but because threading is so easy, a more experienced sewer could easily use the quick-start instructions and be up and running in less than five minutes. The instructions are very clear and easy to understand. Other features I love are the thread cutter, extension table, and computerized functions. It is so simple to select the type and width of stitch you want to use. All you do is adjust the numbers on the screen by pressing the buttons up or down. I love that I don't have to use the foot pedal either (it comes with one.... optional to use!). There is a button to lift or lower the needle. The other two buttons are to sew forward or backward. (To sew in reverse, you must hold in the button.) Then you can even adjust the speed of sewing. I've used foot pedals and a leg pedal (press with your thigh) before but this is a much nicer option. The light could be improved. It is very bright but I feel it needs to be larger or illuminate more of the area around the needle.
I have already completed several small projects to get back into the swing of sewing basics. I am very impressed with the quality of stitches and ease of use from this sewing machine. I have many more projects planned, and I am confident that this machine will serve me well. I definitely recommend this model to anyone learning to sew and those of you who are experienced.
I shopped around for the best deal on this machine, and you can't beat what Walmart offers. It had the lowest price (by $40), free shipping, and included the accessories (a cover, extension table, extra needles/bobbins, tool kit, quilting and embroidery needles/attachments) that other retailers "sold separately." I am very, very pleased with my purchase... you will be too!
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