I was catching up with my weekly digest of what other bloggers I follow have been writing about in the past 7 days when I came across a really interesting post from JenyJeny of Project Remnant Redo (http://jenyjenny.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/reviewing-ruby/#comment-800). She was reviewing her sewing machine, see link above to read her post, and some of the things she had to say about her machine reminded me of my own machine. I decided to follow her example, and go to the Sew Mama Sew blog on Bloglovin (http://www.bloglovin.com/frame?post=1725762803&group=0&frame_type=a&blog=251295&link=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zZXdtYW1hc2V3LmNvbS8yMDEzLzEwL3Nld2luZy1tYWNoaW5lLXJldmlld3Mv&frame=1&click=0&user=3511055).
So following the question format from Sew Mama Sew, here is my review for my Brother Innovis-30…
What brand and model do you have? My machine is a Brother Innovis-30
How long have you had it? I have had it for about 4 years.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)? About £400, although this model has now been superseded.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? I sew all sorts of things from clothes to home decorating projects, to handbags and more recently lots of free motion machine embroidery.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? I am sewing something almost every day, and have sewn all kinds of different things with it including leather, oil cloth, fleece and wadding. So some wear and tear is to be expected.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I do like my machine. It is easy to use and runs really well, nice and quiet! She also tries really hard to cope with some of the odder things I have tried to sew with her. She is called Bertha. (As in Bertha the Brother).
What features does your machine have that work well for you? The best thing about Bertha is the auto-threader. Just a quick push on the lever and the needle is all threaded and ready to go! Other things I like are the drop-in bobbin, which after my old Toyota is a god-send; and the computerised stitch width and length adjustments are great, even now after 4 years it’s nice to be able to make these changes when sewing.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? Needle changing is a bit fiddly as the auto-threader gets in the way, and changing feet can also be a bit fiddly as the screw-thing (note my excellent command of technical terms) that holds the presser foot in place is also directly under the auto-threader.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? This is a good all round domestic machine suitable for beginners or the more advanced sewer. It is simple to use and has enough built-in decorative stitches to cover most things, if that’s what you like doing. It copes well with the free-motion embroidery I am doing well, although it could do with a wider gap between the needle and the main body of the machine. The downside for me is that I want to make much larger work and this little machine isn’t really designed to do that, so a specialist machine is now on my list.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? I think the most important thing when looking for a machine is to try it out. I know that many people will only use one specific manufacturer, but I do think that it’s important to try all the available models. It is also important to think about your own experience as a sewer and the kind of things you are going to be sewing. When I bought this machine 4 years ago I was only ever expecting to use it for clothes and household projects. Now I have progressed and my interests have changed and this lovely little machine isn’t right for the work I want to produce. I think you can throw huge sums of money at buying a machine and still not get one that is right, so my advice is to try as many as possible and get the one that suits you best; whether it is the cheapest or the most expensive.
Do you have a dream machine? Not at the moment, although I have been looking at the Bernina range like a child in a sweet shop!
As well as Bertha, I also still have my old Toyota (can’t remember the model number though) which my daughter is using to make a quilt with, as well as a Silver Overlocker.