I know a few of you are curious about these machines because they are brand new to the Australian market. I had a good play, made 4 garments and tested out a bunch of stitches and wanted to give you some feedback based on my experiences.
- It was easy to thread and use.
- It had no issues feeding the fabric.
- It handled elastic and rubber beautifully.
- It didn't have any trouble going over layers although I did help feed it when I knew a seam was coming (I also have to do this with Janome and Juki overlocker).
- I found the plate and under side of the foot to be slightly slippery compared to my Babylock so it was difficult to keep the layers together when starting to sew things in the round. I was able to overcome this easily by adding a dab of glue or keeping a pin at my starting point until I had it positioned under the foot.
- It worked beautifully with both all purpose and stretch thread and I was able to stretch the hell out of it and twist it with no broken threads.
- I think it does a lovely rolled hem, I can't achieve one that nice on my Babylock.
- I love that this machine had a flat lock stitch option which do not always come with machines in this price bracket. If I owned one, I would probably use this all the time. I actually don't use it on my Babylock enough because it is slightly more complicated to change the settings, but it was easy on this machine.
- The manual is comprehensive and has a good page telling you all the settings for different stitches and is thorough in telling you how to thread the machine.
I love the thread catcher and led light (also in the threading area which is great for night threading). The free arm would be a really nice bonus for those who use bands a lot.
I have a Janome 644D and a Babylock Imagine and have had a good play with the Juki MO-2000QVP so I only have those to compare to. This is a really nice machine and I don't have any hesitation in recommending it for spandex sewing.
The Imagine is nice because it has auto-tension and I am time poor (but I also find this a bit limiting at times because you can't adjust it).
If I was in the market for another machine, I would get one.
If you are located near an Echidna store, it is definitely worth popping in with some scraps of fabric and having a play for yourself but for those not close by, I hope you find this helpful.
Disclaimer: Customers purchasing from Echidna as part of our Christmas Promo (now ended) receive a $100 BOO! voucher that Echidna purchase from me if you buy one of these machines, so I do benefit from you purchasing, but if it was a rubbish machine, I wouldn't recommend it.
Here are a few of the things I made.
Reverse coverstitch done on Babylock Coverstitch
Flatlock done on Merrylock Overlocker
These is the bonus feet pack you get with the machine. I have the elastic foot a whirl... loved it!