This week I have been working on my Doris Daisy Sewing Pattern, and as I was working through it I thought it would be nice to take a detailed look at the sewing machine I use for most of my projects.
I upgraded to my latest sewing machine last August and I absolutely love working with it. In the past I have used both Singer and Brother, alongside many other brands, including Pfaff, Toyota and various generic ones. My first machine was actually a Singer, bought for me by my Dad when I was fourteen, because, being a shoemaker he had always used the Singer leather stitchers.
My machine is the Brother FS40 with the extension table, it is my first computerised sewing machine, and to be honest I wasn’t so sure about it when I was first doing a bit of research. The idea of having a machine that you didn’t need to use a foot controller with was extremely strange to me, in saying that I do use the foot controller most of the time, and the 3 speed switch on the front of the machine some of the time.
But on the other hand I did like the fact that it had 40 stitch options & 3 needle positions, 1-step buttonhole, embroidery feature, drop feed mechanism, an absolute must if you want to do freehand machine embroidery, twin needle capability, perfect for working on stretch materials, LCD screen, stitch pattern indicator, stitch length control, stitch width control all of which I have used since getting the machine.
Another, new to me feature, with this sewing machine, is the needle automatically stops in the down position when you take your food off the foot controller, this in particular has saved me loads of time, because I work mainly on smaller projects and they need to be manoeuvred consistently.
The machine also came with a great selection of feet, which in themselves can be quite expensive if you have to source them separately.
From left to right in the image below, the kit included:
- Spare needles including a twin needle set, ballpoint needles and standard needles.
- 4 bobbins (I have included a video tutorial at the end of this post demonstrating threading up one of the bobbins).
- Disk shaped screwdriver.
- 7 presser feet including a button hole foot, overcasting foot, monogramming foot, zipper foot, zig zag foot, blind stitch foot and button fitting foot. (Over the next few weeks I will be working on a selection of video tutorials demonstrating how each foot is used).
- Cleaning brush.
- Stitch ripper.
- Spool caps, small, medium and extra, (they are for holding the thread onto spool pin).
They all came stored in a white plastic pouch inside the accessory compartment, which you have to remove before you can position on the extendable table. I must say I have used the extendable table since I purchased the machine, and I love it.
From working on a simple projects to working on more sturdy pieces, for example the tweed and canvas messenger bag below, the machine just whizzes through perfectly, and it is pretty quiet.
The stitch length and width are controlled by the two buttons to the right of the LCD screen, and the various other stitches are easily programmed by keying in the number from the stitches display below, it even tells you which foot to use with each stitch. If you look at the top left of the LCD screen you will see a little letter, this corresponds to a letter on the foot you need.
As a mid range domestic sewing machine, this suits all of my needs and some, perfectly. It has some great embroidery embellishment options, which are perfect for the type of patterns I create.
Over the next few weeks / months I will be working my way through video tutorials for all of the different functions and uses of this sewing machine. So if anyone has any queries or would like to see a particular area covered in a video please do leave a comment or send me a message.