I’m so excited to have the talented Hayley from Welcome to the Mouse House over to tell us about her sewing machines because she sews more than anyone else I know! She has four– (count ‘em, 4!) machines and I trust her opinions because she uses them all the time. Her main machine is the is the Brother SE-400 a very reasonably priced workhorse.
1. What brand and model Machine do you have, and how long have you had it? Can you show us a picture?
The machine I use the most is my Brother SE-400. In my dream world, I would have a Bernina, but hey, real world and dream worlds don’t always collide, right? The Brother SE-400 is a great machine, though! It has embroidery capabilities, but that isn’t something I really use because I am just not interested in that. However, it is good to have the option.
2. Are there any features that you love about your machine? Is there anything that makes you want to throw your machine out the window?
I love the stitches that it offers! It has just enough variety and offers plenty of choices for every type of material. Again, I do like that it offers the embroidery capability. As far as throwing it out of the window, yes, I have wanted to do that a few times because of the button holes. It has a button hole foot and plenty of button hole stitches, but this machine is just not meant for thick fabrics, so button holes can be a challenge!
3. If your machine suddenly disappeared– what would you look for in a new machine?
I would want a sturdier machine that can handle the amount of sewing I do. My machines are great, but I am sewing for usually hours a day and I feel that there are machines that could better handle that use.
4. Would you recommend this machine to your best friend? Is there any other advice about sewing machine shopping that you would give her?
I actually have recommended my machine to many people, especially beginners on a tight budget. Because it runs around $250-$400 (depending on sales and where you buy), this is a lot of machine for your money. I have worked with other machines in this price range and none of them were up to par, in my opinion. This is a wonderful machine for anyone looking to start.
5. What is your favorite that you made with your current sewing machine?
Oh, that is a really hard question since I literally sew almost every single day. I have made a ridiculous amount of items on this bad boy, but not too long ago, I sewed curtains for Ainsley’s bedroom makeover (read more HERE). I pieced pink and white fabric together to create the stripes. Even though this machine doesn’t have a big throat plate, it was still do able and I was happy with the outcome!
One of the other machines I use is Brother 1034D serger… I use this baby daily and I haven’t had any issues whatsoever. Easy to change thread and easy to adjust settings. I highly recommend it. (edit from palak: you can check out the Brother 1034d on Amazon!)
My Pfaff Creative 1471 is awesome. This is one of those machines that I just stumbled upon. One of my previous sewing students was going to toss it out and I said “NO!” I knew that I could easily get it adjusted at the local quilt shop and about $150 later, I now have a very sturdy extra machine. This is a solid vintage machine that sews right through some of the thickest fabrics. I would actually use this machine over my Brother SE 400, but the computer board on the Pfaff is a bit finicky.
Finally, I bought this cute machine for Ainsley. It is a Janome Sew Mini and it is perfect for her. It is NOT a “toy” machine and it really does work. It has no speed control and no overhead light, which would be the only two downsides. Other than that, it has been just perfect for what she needs. Feel free to check out my Kids Can Sew Series on my blog for lots of sewing projects geared to kids! (edit from palak: The Janome Sew Mini is on sale for about 20 bucks off!)
Goodness! How cool are all those machines! Welcome to the Mouse House is full of awesome projects and fantastic dresses (oh the dresses!) Here are a few of my favorites.
1. The Caroline dress (for both girls and ladies)! This has so many options!
2. This Vintage Sundress
3. And fun, free pattern for the Sydney Pinafore! I love this!