Tuesday, May 05, 2015

A New Arrival!

I'm so excited to announce the arrival of my new sewing machine, a Brother LB6800!

This machine was not originally in my plans. I thought I would use my Pfaff 2040 until the day I died. However, after 15 years of loyal service the Pfaff was degrading, it needed a new circuit board.  I really wanted to replace the board but there are no service centers for Pfaff in Hawaii. I will have to wait to get those repairs done until I go back to the mainland next year but in the meantime I needed something to sew with.

I debated for a long time what kind of machine to get. Should I get a basic machine just to get me by? Should I get a machine that could do embroidery? Should I get a used machine? What brand should I get? So many questions and really hard to answer.  

The Pfaff was finally going so slow, and I had so many outstanding orders that I was forced to make a decision. I would just buy a cheap machine at Costco to get me through until next year when I could repair my other machine. When I got to Costco they didn't have any in store! I asked when they would get them back in and they didn't know but directed me to Costco.com where I could get it delivered in a few days time.

Costco.com had the machine I thought I wanted and it had more too.  It had better ones and at prices I could afford. By better ones I don't mean anything that compares to my Pfaff, I just mean better than the $120 one that Costco previously carried in warehouse. Or so I thought. They had machines ranging in price from under $100-almost $400. The almost $400 one even had embroidery features and that piqued my interest. I had doubts that a machine that cheap could do embroidery very well but I figured it was from Costco and if I wasn't satisfied after finishing up all my big sewing projects I could return it. So I bought it.

Two days later it arrived on my doorstep and now three weeks later there is no going back.  I love this machine and will not be returning it. I have not done much embroidery with it yet but I have sewn May Day dresses, Mother's Day gift, Dad's birthday present, some alterations and a top for myself with it.

I didn't think I'd like the top load bobbin but it makes for really easy loading and it cuts the thread automatically which saves me a lot of thread and reduces the thread rubbish on my floor. The automatic threader is much easier and more accurate than the threader on my old Pfaff. It makes nice stitches. The bobbin is easy to wind. It holds it's tension well. It has a nice stitch assortment. Many embroidery machines don't have a small enough free arm to sew cuffs and shoulders well but this one does. It comes with a great assortment of tools and feet.

Though it feeds through pretty evenly I do miss the Pfaff walking foot especially when go through thick layers of fabric. To change stitches you have to manually scroll through all the stitch selections rather than just punch in the number (which is how the Pfaff did it). Also to adjust stitch length and width you have to push through a couple screens which can get annoying when you have to change it often for your effects.

I haven't used the button hole attachment and settings yet but I have used the zipper foot and I am in LOVE with the zipper foot on this machine.  It is designed to ride right over the top of the zipper and so you get a much cleaner and more even line of stitching.  LOVE IT!

I guess one more thing about the machine that I don't really like is that it is lightweight so when I am going fast it tends to bounce on my table a little.  I know that is not a problem most people will have since most people won't be sewing through long seams very fast.  I may be able to remedy it by put the machine on a more solid table than the 6 foot folding table (the Costco one) it is currently residing on. I'll only test out a new table if it really ends up bugging me.

A few examples of the work I've done it so far:

Tie for Dad's birthday

Lei apron for Mom for Mother's Day

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