She's over 25 years old and cranky as hell. Her gears slip, so half the time I have to turn her wheel manually to get her started. She then rattles and makes a fierce amount of protesting noise at being bothered at her age. (She really believes in retirement despite being serviced last year.) She has a 4-step button hole too; and I'm oh so spoiled to my 1-step button button holes. A new machine was a must--and soon.
I was partial to getting another Brother because I was so familiar with it, has so many feet for it already and because the cs6000 had been so faithful and true. I could also get an awful lot of bells and whistles for my buck. I also looked at Janome though because they had several machines in my price range as well. That lead me to an email from Babylock advertising their introductory line in my budget range but they just didn't have all the features I was hoping to get. A thread on Pattern Review got me to thinking about E-bay as getting a higher end used model. I did look and even bid a few times. I was outbid and decided I really wanted new from someone I could trust.
I began to eye the Brother pc420prw. It certainly had a lot of bang for the buck. But once I got all my pennies together, and cashed in some vacation time I found I could afford the Brother Laura Ashley pc660la.
She's loaded with features and stitches. I placed my order and within 3 days she was sitting in the sewing room. Looking big and beautiful and yes, intimidating. Could I really learn to use something so complicated, much less to its full potential?
Her owners manual is a book--written well with many illustrations making it easy to follow. It also has instructions on how to sew basic things like zippers and elastic using her feet and function buttons. She came with so many feet! Her LCD screen does prompt you on foot selection, stitch size, and thread tension (that's changeable with a button!). After an initial bonding period, I'm happy to report that I have mastered at least the basic functions and can sew successfully. I've reviewed all her stitches functions. They're quite easy to enter and change and even link together--like letters to form a word. There are a lot of embroidery stitches to choose from as well. She has mirror imaging and you can even create your own stitches. What's really amazing to me is she can sew sideways! Wow!
I've still got a lot to learn but its definitely a machine I can grow into and not get bored with. (Yes that hole on the front is for a knee lift. Something else I'm getting used to.) I look forward to many happy sewing days with her.
Happy sewing all.