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Forum > Sewing Machines > Quality of buttonholes on lower-end Brother machines ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Quality of buttonholes on lower-end Brother machines
To buy or not to buy
purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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Date: 1/8/14 1:43 PM

How well do the Runway Limited Edition and similar-priced Brother machines sew buttonholes?

I would love to have a lower-cost sewing machine that sews buttonholes well. My trusted Pfaff Tiptronic just won't do it despite many different techniques and use of notions I have tried. I was most impressed when I saw how the Babylock Grace makes buttonholes, but I didn't like the price tag. The innovis-40 evidently is her "Brother," but still more than I want to spend. So I started looking at the Runway Limited Edition machines. I thought I had the chance to buy on CL on older version for about $80 and wonder if that would have suited my purposes. The deal fell through, but I am still toying with the idea. No, I didn't have a chance to actually try it in person, so I wanted to do some online research for now. Any do and don't advice out there? Or suggestions for specific models?

Thanks.

Claudia
-- Edited on 1/9/14 11:16 AM --

RadarRadiance
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RadarRadiance
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In reply to purplebouquet <<
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Date: 1/8/14 1:48 PM

I had the brother SE-350 (just sold it) and it made great buttonholes. It was very easy to make a buttonhole with it I used it a lot just for the button holes. I did change the density, etc. to get the look I wanted. On the cheaper brothers you don't have a balance adjustment so if one bead is more dense than the other you don't have an adjustment to fix it. Mine did excellent.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 1/8/14 2:03 PM

I think both these models are sold at WalMart, so if you don't like it you can return it.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Brotherlover
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Brotherlover
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Date: 1/8/14 11:18 PM

My Brother SQ-9050 was $200 at walmart sews beautiful buttonholes, looked better than some of the high end machines in my happy feet class

------
Brother XL-3500i
SQ-9050
Dreamweaver VM6200D

schmammy
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schmammy  Friend of PR
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In reply to purplebouquet <<
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Date: 1/9/14 10:07 AM

In the last year I have made buttonholes on:
-CE5000PRW
-CE5500PRW
-XL2600i

All three of these machines have the one-step buttonhole and, when handled correctly, made satisfactory buttonholes.

------
Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet

http://chihuahuaonmylap.blogspot.com/

Dianne22
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Dianne22  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/9/14 12:20 PM

I have a brother CE5500PRW (about $150 at Walmart a couple years ago) that sews 5 different one-step buttonholes. I, too, find they come out well when handled correctly (and interfacing the buttonhole area makes a better buttonhole). Also, don't force the presser foot lever up too high if using heavy/bulky fabric or it will cause the machine to "error." Good luck.

DonnaH
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DonnaH
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Date: 1/9/14 12:32 PM

I have an older, cheap Brother (an XL-something). Pretty sure I got it at Walmart, and I know it was under $200.

It has the 1-step buttonhole (among a lot of stitches for a cheap mechanical), and I would say "satisfactory" is a good description. The setup/process is easy, and the stitching is acceptable (at least to me), but not "OMG" quality. It also has the button foot, which makes sewing the buttons on go really quick/easy. (But again, only with proper attention to the setup.)

beauturbo
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Date: 1/9/14 3:16 PM

I think lots of very inexpensive machines make pretty nice buttonholes (even if I don't like the rest of the machine much) if you just mean having a lever to pull down and use a more automated button hole foot that you stick the real button into and the button hole gets sewn out all in one fell swoop that way. But to actually see if you like it each time, you would really have to sew one out.

So if you had some other nicer, older, more expensively made in no matter what year that happened to be kind of machines. and machines that did not do that for you, no matter what the reason, it might be worth getting a real cheapie one just for that one thing. And just use it only for that. And just use it even only for it's buttonhole if you like everything else about some older and way more expensive machines that you got.

Button holes are kind of very dependent on just how you happen to make one though, and more than the machine, I think is often your needle, stabilizer, and your thread, and some choices in things like stitch length and width and all that stuff when even sewing one. The cheapest of inexpensive new machines made with a one step button hole, don't give you many choices of that kind of thing in there, so I think it would just depend a whole lot if you liked the one default one you got with no changing of some of that stuff though.

Best chance to get a good looking one that you might really like, on just default which is what you would probably have, like that, would be probably on very stabilized fabric, the fabric being firmly woven cotton, the thread being only 2 ply cotton for embroidery and not 3 ply sewing thread, your needle pretty small and not over a size 12. But if you want to see the best you can get, those are the factors I would always try it with.

Obvious your Pfaff Tiptronic is a much better machine than something sold at walmart for $89 or $199 for most things. But if for any reason you just don't like buttonholes there, and you would like one on a machine like that instead, I see nothing wrong with having a machine like that for just even the button holes either.

But a button hole is just what you can do and see, on any machine at any point in time, and all those other things count into it a whole lot too.

jannw
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jannw  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/9/14 3:45 PM

I've had several very cheap Brother machines and they have all made excellent buttonholes. My SQ9000..a computerized machine inder $200, makes buttonholes better than my Greist attachments. Many don't realize that there is a buttonhole balance adjustment on the rear of the mechanicals. I've found that it will also fine tune your regular sewing stitch.

The one thing that they don't like to do is to travel over a seamline, so it does take a bit of planning, especially when there is a collar attachment.

------
2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

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