Product Type: John Lewis Sewing Machine
Newest Review: ... have a great reputation for producing reliable products and are also very helpful if any problems crop up. The machine is really pretty... more
Cute, pink and girly...
John Lewis Mini Sewing Machine
Member Name: katyj10
John Lewis Mini Sewing Machine
Advantages: Does small sewing jobs
Disadvantages: Can't cope with thick material or many layers
The machine is really diddy and simple to use. I asked my mum to give me a crash course to start me off and she was surprised at the quality of it.
My first project was taking up a pair of jeans and the second one was a pair of curtains for the bedroom. The machine coped well with the jeans but struggled a little with the upholstery material plus header tape and I broke a couple of needles so perhaps this was a little too ambitious. Next up I made a taggie comfort blanket for my daughter using ribbons and material from her outgrown baby clothes so we could enjoy and remember them.
This is such a simple machine, it was perfect to start on. To begin, you need to prepare the bobbin for underneath the needle (to lock stitches together) and the empty plastic bobbins were provided. I picked up the method of filling the bobbin straight away. You have to fill it from a large cotton reel in the colour you want.
Threading the machine takes a little more practice. You follow the booklet diagrams that come with the machine and the thread has tension being threaded around the machine (sorry I don't know the technical terms). The most difficult part is pushing the thread through the eye of the needle which is tricky and it foxed my mum the first time as you pass it through towards the back of the machine, then dip the needle to catch up the bobbin. A little flimsy needle threader tool is provided that may help some people but I found it more difficult to use. Around 10 cm needs to be left spare before you begin to give you enough slack to turn the needle up and down.
The machine has an A-J reel of different stitches and you turn the knob to choose the style of stitch. You can alter the sizes of the stitches too. A lever on the machine enables reverse stitching which is handy for securing the ends of pieces. There is a little drawer at the base to keep spare needles and bobbins in.
An AC mains adaptor cable is provided so you can plug in and go and another foot pedal with a cable at the same end so you can control your stitching with your foot.
Lifting the needle
You just turn the reel at the end so you lift the needle and a complete rotation will send the needle downwards. When you start sewing you lower the needle into the material.
I love this little machine and I think we are well matched. I still have minimal ability to machine sew but can do basic jobs on this machine and have made peg baskets, bunting, spare cushion covers (around a baby moon shaped awkward sized pillow!) and other bits and bobs. For the money paid I think I have had good value out of this machine and it is easy to stash away when not in use. It is quite noisy though when in play so I try not to use it at night time as it can be a bit disturbing for others in the house. There is no light on the machine and this doesn't bother me as I just use an overhead light. I do wish there was a "cotton snapper" on it to cut the threads as it is annoying to have to keep using the scissors to do this.
If the machine is incorrectly threaded, it will let you know, namely by jamming or snapping the thread and making you rethread. I had a few hours of hair pulling before realising that I had incorrectly threaded the machine.
Price and packaging
The sewing machine comes in a great little box that is so compact and you can't believe it is all in there. It is not heavy to carry and was priced at £50 at the time I purchased my machine. I looked at them every time I was in John Lewis and finally thought just go for it! I have had it over a year now and do not regret my purchase.
I have since acquired a full sized machine but have not dared use it yet as I have found the JL one to meet all my needs so far. It looks lovely and performs well enough for me. An established sewer would probably find this machine far too basic but a beginner could learn the basics on a machine like this. There are cheaper mini models on the market but I like my hot pink model!
Summary: Basic macine, ideal for beginners
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