First of all, it just runs like a dream. Smoother, quieter, prettier stitches. I've also highlighted some of my favorite features for you, thanks to random stickers from picnik.
- First, draw your attention to the red arrow. That first button on the left is just the start/stop sewing button. This seems so simple, but you can actually use this to sew instead of the pedal if you need to. Of course, I prefer to use the petal, but Stephanie at Sewn pointed out that this would be great for teaching a kid to sew, since they don't really have the foot coordination thing down yet.
- The button next to that one is just the reverse/backstitch button, which I think every machine has, but the one to the right of that is pretty cool. This machine ALWAYS stops with the needle in the down position, which in itself is revolutionary. (You know, because if you have to stop and adjust anything, the fabric can't slide around everywhere.) But if you press this button once, the needle goes up, and if you press it twice, it makes just one complete stitch. Awesome.
- The button next to that with the scissors on it is the automatic thread cutter. My old machine had a blade way over on the side you had to pull over to, but this just cuts it nice and neat for you right there, no long tails or anything.
- Now you'll see a switch getting struck with some BA neon yellow lightning. That is the speed control. If you were doing some really intricate turning or detailed applique, you could set it on slow or medium so that the petal never goes any faster than that. This would also be good for teaching beginners and kids.
- The green arrow to the left is pointing to the automatic needle threader, which you can't really see. It's just a lever you pull down, and ka-BLAM, the needle is threaded. My other machine had some device that was supposed to be an automatic threader, but it was so confusing I always just found it easier to do it myself. This one is truly easy and automatic, not a lie. All of the top threading and bobbin winding is easier too.
- Now you'll notice an area being landed on by a tiny blue spaceship. Well, that's because the LCD screen is bright and clear enough to be a nice landing pad for tiny extra-terrestrials. The machine has something like 300 stitches and it's all very easy and computerized. It can even embroider 3 different styles of letters. I haven't had much chance to play around with these fancy things yet, but adjusting the basic stitches I have used in width and length is very easy. There is also a little icon on the screen that tells you exactly which foot you should be using for the selected stitch, which is pretty cool.
This little attachment on the right of the machine might be favorite thing though. You can just press it over with your knee to raise the presser foot. Today I was sewing the end of a piece of elastic into the casing, and it was easy using this, because I needed both of my hands to avoid losing the elastic down into the casing. Love it.
Also, that picture on the right shows the little accessories tray stored right in the front. It came with something like 12 specialty feet, and there is a place for all of them (more room under the tray.) This is great, because I'm very unorganized, and I could never find the few accessories that went with my old machine.
Ok, enough babbling about new love for now. I realize that there are going to be maybe 3 people who actually read this post, but hopefully this is helpful to someone in the market for a new machine. Here it is on Brother's site.