We now interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post to bring you this special feature…Sew Mama Sew, one of my favorite sewing blogs (I even wrote a tutorial for them last year – check it out here) is featuring sewing machine reviews by readers as part of Sewing Machine Month. Since no one had done a review of the machine I own I thought I ought to give my opinion – I rarely refuse an opportunity to share my thoughts, after all.
Sewing Machine Reviews
What brand and model do you have? I have a Brother Innovis 1000. It is a sewing and embroidery machine.
How long have you had it? I bought it in 2006. A little background: I had a basic Elna for about 12 years that was really fine, but I wanted to upgrade. I started looking at sewing machines and it seemed like every salesperson was trying to talk me in to an embroidery machine. They seemed like they could be fun, but I just wasn’t sure I’d really use embroidery. Many machines were only for embroidery and it seemed like to get into that was a HUGE investment: Buy the machine, buy the software for the computer, buy the designs, buy the “magic box” or something like that. I figured it would be about $1000 just to get start this new hobby – and I didn’t even know if I would like it or use it!
One day I was on my way to the hospital to visit a friend’s new baby and I passed by a sewing machine shop. I stopped in and saw this machine. Not only did it do sewing and embroidery, but it also was preloaded with 6 fonts and probably 200 designs, so I could try embroidery without jumping in completely. I rarely make impulse purchases – especially of this magnitude – but I bought it on the spot. I have no regrets!
How much does that machine cost (approximately)? When I bought it I paid $1200 – but it was on sale! Regular price was $1600 and it came with 25 free spools of embroidery thread.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? I sew quilts, some clothing, and plenty of crafty projects. The main use of the embroidery part is baby gifts. New mamas really love something with the baby’s name on it!
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? I sew nearly every week. I wish I could say every day…
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I am very happy with my machine, though I haven’t named her.
What features does your machine have that work well for you? Though I don’t use it often, the button hole feature amazes me! I learned to do button holes the old way – adjusting the width of a zig-zag stitch, sewing down one side, pivoting, etc – so that automatic feature is fantastic. I will admit I haven’t fully realized all that my machine has to offer.
The other thing about my machine is that the sound it makes when sewing does not annoy me. That may sound weird, but I bought another machine as a “back up” and hardly ever use it because it is irritating! I think I should wear earplugs when operating it!
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? It does have a tendency to “loop” (upper thread tension gets wacky) because of mis-threading, but I’ve pretty well figured out how to solve that problem.
Honestly, I don’t love machine embroidery. It is a nice feature, and I can make cool things, but I feel like it is a bit risky. There have been times when I set everything all up and I think all is well, and the tension goes crazy and the design (particularly on the backside) gets absolutely messed up with threads. This is particularly maddening when I’m embroidering a finished garment, or something for someone else.
The other issue with the embroidery is that aside from the six fonts (which are perfect) the preloaded designs are a bit, um, weird. I’d love to have some basic things like a star, or a sunshine. There are a few pictures I use (an airplane, cherries, a fish) but there are also lots of pictures I can’t imagine ever using – like a teddy bear playing a cello. No joke.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? As I said before, I think this is a great starter machine for machine embroidery.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Hmm….good question. Since I’m not in the market for a new machine I guess I have no thoughts here.
Do you have a dream machine? No, I’m pretty happy with this one.
One other thought: I bought the machine in the U.S. and currently live in Germany. The machine is not dual voltage (electricity in the U.S. is 110 V and in Europe it is 220 V) so I run it on a transformer. It does not seem to affect the performance of the machine but some say the 220 voltage will burn out the motor faster. I hope not! I did buy a cheap 220 machine (90 € at Aldi!) as a back up but it is very clunky and noisy and I don’t like it at all!