A notable entry in the mid-price, multi-purpose sewing machine category is the Brother CS6000i sewing machine. A list price of around $200 (can be found a lot cheaper on sale) and a selection of 60 built-in stitches make this a good choice for the sewer who wants to be able to work on a variety of projects and is looking for a reasonably priced machine.
Weighing just 13 pounds and with a hard-sided carrying case included, it is easy to transport to sewing groups or classes.
The included presser feet cover all major sewing functions:
- Overcasting foot
- Blind stitch foot
- Monogramming foot
- Foot for zippers and cording
- Zigzag foot
- Button foot
- Walking foot
- Spring action quilting foot.
Other accessories are a flat head screwdriver, a set of needles in three different sizes as well as a twin needle, a second spool pin, three spool caps, three clear plastic Brother bobbins, cleaning brush and separate seam ripper, an eyelet punch, a power cord, a bilingual Operation Manual, hard protective case, and an over-sized extension table especially useful for quilting and other projects that do not require a free arm.
|Stitches Per Minute||Number of Stitches||Buttonhole Styles||Presser Feet||Auto Threading||Thread Tension||Adjustable Stitch||Thread Cutter||Adjustable Speed|
With a maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute, projects are done quickly. Twenty garment stitches include straight, stretch, overcast, blind hem, basting and several zigzag stitches. Seven different styles make buttonholes for every type of garment.
Twenty decorative stitches, seven quilting stitches and six heirloom stitches for fine garment sewing make this a good all-around machine for beginning and intermediate sewers. While this is a computerized machine, is not designed to be connected to a computer so it is not possible to download other embroidery stitches or patterns or do upgrades.
A threading diagram actually printed on the machine shows the thread path with a number labeling each step. An automatic needle threader and drop-in bobbins save time on the more tedious aspects of sewing.
Stitch selections as well as width and length settings are done with an LCD display, a stitch chart with patterns and numbers and four buttons labeled with plus and minus signs. Other controls are a needle-up button, a reverse button and a lever to set the sewing speed.
Several Brother CS6000i reviews make the point that it is not well-suited to heavy fabrics and has trouble with more than four layers of fabric stitched at the same time.In practical terms, this may not be the best machine for making suits and coats, hemming up jeans, or sewing all the layers of a quilt together.
Part of the reason for this is the limited space between the needle and the body of the machine. There is little room for bulky fabrics and this Brother cannot be considered a heavy-duty machine.A comment made in one Brother CS6000i review is that the light does not effectively illuminate the sewing area. This is a minor problem. Lamps designed for sewing and hobbies are widely available in a range of prices for every purpose.
This machine is very quiet, according to some reviews, but the light weight means that it may not be stable at the top speed. Some sewing issues mentioned in reviews can be solved by not tugging or holding back the fabric as it moves over the feed dogs. Guide the fabric with a very light hand and the stitches will be perfect, well-spaced and even.
Advanced sewers might want to consider a machine with more stitches and the ability to sew heavier fabrics. But portability, versatility and a very complete set of presser feet and accessories are the pluses of the Brother CS6000i sewing machine. Even the person who has never owned a sewing machine before will find everything needed to start sewing once the box is opened.
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