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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things I love about my new Brother Innov-is 950D

I never thought I'd want another sewing machine. My Sears Kenmore lasted 20+ years.  There was nothing wrong with it.  Why would I ever need another one?

But one day I decided I wanted to do free motion quilting, the kind where you sew in any direction using a special free-motion presser foot and putting the machine's feed dogs down. You can do circles or other shapes, follow the lines of the fabric patterns or make up your own design for sewing.  I couldn't do this very well on my Kenmore -- so finally I faced facts:  I needed a new machine.

I started out by checking facts.  Consumer Reports rated the Brother 400 model (Project Runway version) a best buy and it's VERY nice. That's where I was headed.  But I decided to spend a little more and get the one that has programmable embroidery stitches -- my thing was that in case I'm making children's clothes over the next ten years, I'd need it. (You never know what the stork might bring...)

So now that I've been using it for a couple of months, let me tell you about all the little things I love about this new machine.  Like.... When I'm threading the top thread, I just loop it in and around and when I get down near the needle -- no more eye strain to thread the needle.  I push a lever and it THREADS THE NEEDLE FOR ME.  All by itself.  Yes, you read that right.  Cha-ching.

Second great thing:  after I'm done sewing a seam, I push a button and it cuts the thread and lifts the needle.  Heaven.

Third thing - and this amazes and delights me.  It let's me know BEFORE the bobbin thread runs out.  That's right.  It gives me a little message that says, "your bobbin is running low, darling."  Ok, maybe it doesn't say darling, but it FEELS like there is an implied darling in there.  Because in the past I'd be, oh, 3-4 inches of sewing with only the TOP thread before realizing there was no bottom thread accompanying that dance.

You can adjust the speed 3 ways depending on if you are a slowpoke or a speedy gonzales just by using a slider, and there is a little panel in front that tells me what I'm doing.  Best of all, there is a great little book that is totally easy to use -- and I keep it next to me whenever I'm trying something new.  I highly recommend this little doll face.

Now.  If they could make a little housekeeping machine like this to dust and clean while I'm sewing?   I'd be first in line.

22 comments:

Shirley said...

Great post - you kept me reading to the end! Love the picture!

Janet Ghio said...

I love the photo of your cat looking through the machine!

teri said...

Isn't he cute? He's always "helping" me with my sewing and my painting.

jgr said...

Great post-thank you for the in-depth information. It will come in handy if/when I 'take the plunge' into sewing.

Lisa said...

Yay! It's wonderful to have a machine that you love! Isn't the needle threader the greatest invention ever?? Now let's see some of the projects you've done, Missy!

Tammy Freiborg said...

The needle threader is THE BEST! Looks the kittycat want to help sew.

teri said...

Yes, I really love it. It's funny how these little things are so darned important to us. And I'm not getting over it. Every single time I push that lever to thread the needle, I'm amazed all over again.

Lizzi said...

Hmmm....this machine could actually make me enjoy sewing. I have a trusty Singer but it doesn't let me know when the bobbin is about to go, and I have to do my own threading.

Holli said...

How very cool.... I don't know exactly which new machine my step mom has but she does rave about hers too. She loves the digital factor of it.

Roan is so damn cute!

Monica said...

All Brothers come with the first two perks but not bobbin that is new. Wow maybe i need a new one. I love my Brothers and my local shop fixes it in hours! have many hours of great sewing Teri it really is the way to go. Was the helper an added bonus? he looks like it's his territory!

Brenda said...

One thing I wish I knew how to do....SEW on a machine. I learned early on that I was terrible at it. The sewing teacher asked me to announce the fashion in 9th grade b/c I think what I made was so hideous!

Judy Applegarth said...

How fun! I just ordered mine, so I hope I love it as much as you love yours!

Cynthia said...

Oh, how wonderful! It is the little things, that are really the big things, that delight. Gorgeous companion you have there. Thanks for the reminder of putting down the bottom feeds(?). I forgot about those. Happy sewing......

Amanda said...

Wow! What a great machine! I need one that tells me when my bobbin is runnin' low! Especially if the tone implied is that it will call me Darlin'! Your cat is super cute too. I love cats! :-D

My sewing machine has a threader, and I've yet to try the threader out. I still lick the thread and stick it through the needle myself. Not sure why I don't just give it a try? You've inspired me to figure out how to work that special little function on mine. Thanks!

Brenda said...

Teri,
I am sorry to have given the impression that it was the teacher's fault that I didn't learn how to sew. It wasn't! I was just not good at it.

I think she recognized that it was going to take more than one year in sewing class to get me to be a seamstress.

She was actually quite a good teacher. Some of the other things made by the other girls were quite good for the circumstances.

Lisa said...

Oh how I wish I knew how to do more of the wonderful things my machine can do. My hubby insisted I get a good machine but truly the only thing I'm great at on it is a straight line!

Wendy said...

I am in the market for a new machine (my trusty old one isn't broken, I want embroidery features and the new bells and whistles) I am looking at the Brother SE-400 or the Innov 950D. I can't find where to purchase the Innov nor a price on it. Any suggestions?

teri said...

Brother must have a deal with manufacturers where they don't post prices anywhere so that people can't comparison shop, because I noticed the same thing when looking for a machine.

I bought mine in New York City at a place that specifically sold sewing machines. I'm sorry I can't offer a recommendation of where to get it - but I can tell you that I paid around $430 for my machine.

Wendy said...

Thanks for the quick response! I don't have a local Brother dealer, other than Joann Fabric. I like the additional features and products that the 950D had but I don't really see me using the Disney items often(nor can I find it anywhere). I was also looking at BabyLock. Some of them are made by Brother. I can't get a price range on them either to see if they are worth looking at. I would like to stay under $400. Do you know which Babylock model is similar to the 950D and it's price range?

teri said...

Wendy, my friend shared this information: Teri,


http://shops.mccall.com/brother-se-400-portable-computerized-usb-sewing---embroidery-machine-products-14636.php?page_id=2260


This is the lower model to mine. My model has 105 built in stitches and this one has 67. This one is on sale here for $449.99 - closer to your range but you can see that it is regularly $499.

Hope this helps.

Wendy said...

I cant fibd the 950cheapest for sale anywhere. I found the se400 available at most places for $369! I would rather the 950se400 but I'll have to take what I can get.

Wendy said...

Ok, that post from my phone got all mixed up. Let's try that again.

I cant find the 950D for sale anywhere. I found the se400 available at most places for $369! I would rather the 950se but I'll have to take what I can get. I would prefer the 950D though.