As regular readers will know, I have been sewing with my mum's machine that is as old as I am, so when I won a brand spanking new one, I couldn't quite believe it! It's almost like I wouldn't let myself believe it, I kept looking at the email and trying to work out if it might be a hoax!
Anyway, here it is in my workspace.
Firstly, it has this fab little needle threader! I won't generally have a problem with threading my machine, but I know it's the bane of my mum's life, so this could be a real boon for some of you:
Secondly, it has a handy button so that you can choose if you want the needle to stop in the up or down position, which is super for changing direction while you're sewing. It also has the capability to sew without the presser foot - you just press start and a away it goes, then stop, and it stops instantly. I haven't discovered what this could be used for yet (wandering off and making a martini?!) but I'm sure it will prove useful, and it's fascinating to watch! Plus for all us quilters, with our bulky projects - the foot has an extra 'up' position, so that you've got a little extra wiggle room for getting thicket projects under the foot. And, contrary to my previous machine, the seam guide on the base plate is accurate! I sewed a 1/4 seam without getting my tape measure out (and then got a tape measure out to double check!)
Stitch-wise there are a few things I want to mention. Firstly there's a stitch called the 'lock-a-matic' - sounds like something Wallace from Wallace & Grommit might invent! This is just a simple straight stitch, but it automatically does 4 reverse stitches at the start and end of your work - I think this will be my default stitch!
It also has this really handy function where you press a button and as it comes to a stop, the machine sews a few stitches on the spot to secure the end. This comes into it's own when using the fancy stitches - you can press this button half way through a fancy stitch and it merrily carries on until it gets to the end of the stitch, then stops! No more delicately trying to time when you stop so that you get a complete shape!
Finally, I quickly spotted that it has an applique stitch. I had to try it straight away! I definitely need some practice, but I improved even while I did this one shape - no prizes for guessing which side I did first:
And the back:
I'm not really the type to sit and try out all the stitches, so I will let you know as I use it what the pros and cons are!