|What ShantiSeamstressing likes about this machine|
First of all, WHY did I run out and buy this inexpensive (read: "cheap") little sewing machine with its plastic chassis? I was in a sewing machine pinch, that's why, needing to finish Christmas gifts on a deadline, with a sewing machine that decided to take an early vacation, before finishing her work! :-) Nevertheless, I read literally EVERY review I could possibly find to be sure that I was buying a solid, reliable "cheap" machine. Common sense told me that surely, if every single inexpensive machine was literally a piece of junk, eventually the manufacturers would not be able to afford to keep making them, with all the returns....That seemed logical to me, at any rate. So, I bought little Lucinda LX2500, with the lovely turquoise body and the retro swirling floral design. We've been a happy team for the past three weeks. Now as to the details....
I bought this at Walmart. Very convenient! (Any dealer I could choose to buy from, Janome, Bernina, Brother/Babylock, etc. is over an hour away from me.)
4 feet (zigzag/all-purpose foot; buttonhole foot; zipper foot; button sewing foot)
1 4-step buttonhole
Stitch width & length do not adjust
4 bobbins (1 in the machine)
pack of 3 Organ needles (size 90/14)
small oval "screwdriver"
12.0" x 5.86" x 15.31"
Feed dogs do NOT drop but the darning plate is supplied instead. [I've done some test sewing with it, and it works perfectly as it should.]
One (1) spool pin supplied; if sewing with a twin needle, an extra spool pin can be purchased, which will fit atop the bobbin winder shaft.
A "Quick Start" DVD is included which shows set up and threading of top and bottom thread, and basic stitches, as well as making a buttonhole and sewing on a button using the machine.
Detailed and helpful sewing machine manual
First of all, I was impressed by the helpfulness and detail of the manual, and the Quick Start DVD, for such a simple and inexpensive little sewing machine. I had assumed Brother would include a lot of help with their more expensive computerized machines, but figured I was pretty much on my own with this little under-$100 piece. Not so! In fact, the manual is so helpful, I believe that it, along with a good sewing reference book or two, could literally help walk a new sewist through the steps of learning to sew. Way to go, Brother. :-)
Secondly, I've always sewn on a fairly heavy machine with an all-metal chassis. I was assuming that sewing on a lighter machine with a plastic chassis would be "fussy" and delicate and require great care and caution. Not so! This surprised me - pleasantly. I have enjoyed my sewing time on "Lucinda."
It's easy to wind a bobbin and Brother goes out of their way to supply careful instruction so that really, one needn't leave out a step and have any problem. Threading top thread is simple; and threading the bobbin is also simple and quick. I always use good thread and needles and I believe that this, along with attention to detail when threading, solves a majority of the tension trouble that some sewists have with low-end models, also. And don't forget: Begin sewing with *needle in fabric* first, and hold your thread ends when you first begin stitching; and when completed, FIRST raise the presser foot; THEN turn the handwheel to raise the needle. Doing it in that order will also prevent thread troubles. It's so often the little things that make a difference. :-)
Now how does this LX2500 sew? Oh, she's a solid workhorse so far. I've gone over thick hems with no problem, just slowed down and took it nice and easy. I didn't use a Hump Jumper or Jean-a-ma-jig, (in a hurry), but that would have made it even easier I imagine. No skipped stitches at any rate, no thread nests, no messed up tension. I've worked on a moderate amount of layers as well, making potholders: fabric + two layers of heavy batting + fabric. The machine just sewed along smoothly right through the layers. Hurray! No fussing. I had the right needle for the thicker layers, and according to the customer service representative I spoke with at Brother, as long as fabric + thread + needle match, the machine should handle even thick and/or unwieldy fabrics just fine. A number of other helpful feet are available from Brother, and I plan to purchase a few others, ( walking foot, quilting foot, narrow hemmer foot, overcast foot, blindstitch foot), as they will make my garment sewing much easier. Some of these feet actually came with my low-end Bernette, but even as a low-end machine, it cost a good deal more than this Brother, so I am not disappointed.
Lastly, Brother customer service has been lovely! They are gracious, polite, and quick to help with the question or problem. Their site makes it easy to find manuals (available for free download) and buy accessories.
What ShantiSeamstressing does not like about this machine
Just a disclaimer: For the price, honestly, I'm quite happy with this machine and its included accessories. I probably couldn't ask for more. But if I could....
I think the zipper foot ought to be metal not plastic.
I think the pack of needles should include a range of sizes, rather than having them all the same size.
I think the overcasting foot ought to be an included accessory.
The "screwdriver" - just an oversized penny, in effect - is cheap. if they're not going to include a tiny real screwdriver, make this one more solidly, more substantial.
A little cleaning brush ought to be included, as I honestly can't imagine this would drive up the price significantly.
All in all, these are minor inconveniences, really, not actual "problems" with the machine.
The machine has given me no trouble and has been such a help in the nick of time!