Let me cut to the chase - if you are thinking about maybe getting into machine embroidery, buy a Brother. I can't speak for the combo machines, but if they are anything like the stand-alones, they are *awesome*.
I set it up, flipped thru the owner's manual (it's a bit different from the Singer), then hooped up some cotton, plugged in my USB, and let her rip.
It. Stitched. Out. PERFECTLY.
Next up, fleece. The thread got caught in the bobbin slit (not the machine's fault - I should have turned the bobbin so the slit was on top. My bad!), then I broke a needle because I didn't push it up far enough. I got things sorted, and it Stitched. Out. PERFECTLY.
The Singer? I think, in the almost 3 years I've had it, and the 15 or 20 projects I did on it, I only managed *1* perfect stitch-out. *1*. EVERY other project has had something borked - usually skipped stitches or bird's nests.
Now, granted, when I ordered the machine Friday I added in a box of 24 pre-wound bobbins - but that shouldn't make that much of a difference. I also added in the extra hoop package (4 hoops; 3 of which are "new" sizes) - for a grand total of $687, delivered. The dealer wanted $1200 for (basically) the (same, almost) machine. (since I can't use the software or the classes.) For another $18 I got a repositionable hoop, so I can do projects that are too large for the machine (I'll have to use Embrilliance to split the designs; no, I have no clue. Still - Singer doesn't offer other hoop sizes for the machine I have...........you are limited to the 2 that came in the box.) The Brother only came with 1 hoop (5x7), but the machine had no problem dealing with the smaller (4x4) hoop I put on it this AM - it stitched it out like it came with it. (I can't sew anything larger than 5x7 without splitting the designs, even if I add a larger hoop. The machine simply can't fathom a larger embroidery space. No biggie - most of my planned projects are in the 4x4 range, to be honest. I don't think I need a larger hoop - the repositionable one was a good price, and I was in a spending mood. :lol:)
AND! Every hoop I have has a plastic grid to aid in alignment. I have gotten used to marking my fabric, then using a ruler to try and align my mark to the center of the hoop. I don't have to do that any more!! Also, this machine tells you how long it should take to stitch out the design - which is cool, because I can plan my other projects around that - I knew not to start any complicated sewing, because I only had 13 minutes before the embroidery was done. How cool is that?
To say I am happy is an understatement. I'm going to spend some time converting all my embroidery files to .pes (from .xxx) so that I can use them on the Brother. The Singer is currently boxed up, waiting instructions from Asurian. I'm also back to browsing the embroidery sites - something I haven't done in a good long while. It was hard to get excited when I was dealing with a finicky machine.
I hope the honeymoon lasts - so far, this is great! It's such an improvement over the Singer - and no, it's not just because I am upset at the damage. 2 perfect projects, right out of the box is a big deal! I'll try to do an in-depth review in a week or 2 - or after tax season :lol: - but as of right now, I highly recommend Brother embroidery machines.
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