* Prices may differ from that shown
~*~*~ Brother X5 Sewing Machine ~*~*~
~ What is it? ~
This is of course a sewing machine by Brother. It's called the X5 and it is a decently priced machine.
~ Why I bought it ~
I have wanted a sewing machine for a while despite not having any experience is using a machine apart from brief lessons back in high school but still I really wanted one, and after checking numerous reviews online I very nearly bought a different sewing machine that ended up being a very poor machine which I found out from further research. I checked out a few online reviews on this machine after seeing it on offer in Argos and this machine seemingly (excuse the pun!) seemed to fit the bill.
~ Features ~
This is a decent sized sewing machine for a starter, it's not big but it isn't too small either. It is operated via a foot pedal, the foot pedal feels quite flimsy in my hand but in actual fact when on the floor it feels sturdy and fine.
The machine is mainly white in colour, apart from the blue and white plate on the front. It is this that holds all the relevant information as to where the dial needs to be turned for the machine to perform a certain action.
It also comes with a very detailed instruction manual that I have found incredibly useful over the last few months.
The machine is able to do 14 different stitches. It can make button holes, and it comes with the following accessories -
Zig zag foot
Zipper insertion foot
Button sewing foot
Darning plate (for free motion sewing).
All the extras come in a little white plastic bag which can be located in the removable tray at the front.
~ Using the sewing machine ~
After pulling the machine out of the box I had the tedious task of learning how to not only thread the machine but also how to wind a bobbin. This come with three empty clear plastic bobbins and I have to be honest and say at first I got really frustrated and couldn't figure out what I was meant to be doing. I read the instructions and they are the only bit of the book I just couldn't grasp, so I looked online and still couldn't manage it, so I then turned to You Tube and looked for a step by step instruction video which I found and when I followed that I found it very simple indeed and can now get it done without really thinking about it, I don't know why I couldn't get it at first I just couldn't do it!
To wind the bobbin you simply pop the reel of cotton onto the metal prong, pull the thread over the metal stand and then cross it back over before tying the end to the hole in the bobbin, you then push the clip into place which locks the bobbin into place and then push your foot down on the lever until your bobbin is filled with cotton.
Then came threading the machine, this was quite simple, you drag the cotton down the machine, over the metal stand and then down through the inside of the machine before inserting it into a holder at the back of the needle, taking it up the machine and through a little hook and then bringing it back down to thread it through the needle.
You also have to insert the bobbin into the bottom part of the machine, to do this you are required to remove a plastic box, this is also you sewing 'table', it simply clips off and then under another flap you will see a metal part of the machine, you lift the arm which releases the bobbin holder, obviously you need to put your filled bobbin into the holder and then insert it back into the machine before closing it all back up.
When you turn the machine on you will see that a bulb illuminates the sewing area, this cannot be turned off but it is quite important to have it on as you do need to see what you are doing when sewing!
On the front you will also find a little push operated lever and this is used for going back over what you have sewed in a backwards motion.
There are two dials on the front, one is for choosing what sewing method you require and the other changes the tension in the cotton.
I paid around £65 for this a few months back and have been impressed with it. I have made cushions for my sons bed out of event t-shirts, I also made some cool Halloween costumes for my children and myself. My two eldest children wanted to be werewolves complete with furry hands so I added faux grey fur to gloves by sewing it on around the edges, I made the trousers from an old black duvet cover and the end results looked really cool. My 5 year old wanted to be a devil so I made him a red smock type top and trousers and then it was topped off with shop bought items. My youngest was a pumpkin, I made him an orange waistcoat with big comedy type buttons, orange trousers to which I painted on a pinstripe with a fabric pen and then I made him a little pumpkin lid hat! Very cute!
I hadn't planned on going out for Halloween but I got talked into it by my cousins, it wasn't until 9 o'clock Halloween morning that we decided to go out so I had a few hours to get myself a costume, I had no money to spare to go and buy something so it would have to be made. I got a black dress and to the back of that I added a long trail which was once my table cloth, I pleated it and then sewed it onto the back of the dress. I did the same with a smaller table cloth as a veil and then borrowed facepaints! I was dead bride!
Without the machine I think hand sewing all these would have taken a fair amount of time, and what I also liked was that I knew the stitches were nice and secure.
I have taken in a pair of wide legged jeans and made them into skinnies with this machine and used it for other bits and bobs too.
For what I have used it for I have to say that I am very impressed, it seems to get through stuff with ease and it is something I like to get out when I am bored!
It isn't a very quiet machine but it isn't loud enough to wake a sleeping baby so it's not too bad although I cannot hear the TV when using it!
It is currently on offer in Argos for £79.99.
I am quite impressed with this machine. It's very easy and simple to sort out and chop and change cottons as you go. It's also easy to use and I am pleased that I went for this rather than a more fancier, expensive model as being new to using sewing machines, I didn't actually know what to expect.
Thanks for reading :o) x
Short name: Brother X5