My Brother and I

Over the last couple of months I been pondering and planning a new sewing machine purchase. Last week I finally took the plunge and now I’m the proud owner of this beast!


Just today I was wondering how I’d managed to have overlooked the important job of blogging about it. Almost as soon as I had that thought I read that Sew Mama Sew were hosting a mass-machine review. So I’m linking up with lots of others to talk about what we love (and hate?) about our sewing machines!

What brand and model do you have?
Brother Innovis 350 Special Edition

How long have you had it?
About 2 weeks!

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
£600 (inc quilting kit)

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
Quilts, bags, gifts

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I usually sew about 3 times a week I guess, so it gets medium usage.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I love my machine! It’s still very new. It’s bigger and more technical than my old machine. 

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
It has lots of labour saving gadgets, (auto thread cutter, auto needle threader, auto reinforcement stitch & a knee lift). It came with lots a quilting accessories like an extension table, free-motion, walking and 1/4″ foot.
The knee lift is brilliant, never thought I’d use one and didn’t realise it was a feature of this machine, so it was a nice surprise. It’s super-useful. It has a larger throat plate space than some in the same price bracket) which makes quilting easier.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Not too much yet. One annoying thing I’ve found is that when I put on the 1/4″ seam foot I have to remember to change the needle position before I sew or the needle hits the foot and snaps. I’ve done it once and I’m sure I’ll do it again!

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Yes! Great features for the money but depends what you are after.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
What about you old/current machine would you like to improve? Is this a stepping stone or your forever machine? How much money do you have to spend? What features would you like/need/not fussed about. Go to an independent retailer with a show room. Try out everything in your price range. Buy from them even if there are better deals online, it’s worth having the backup down the road. Go to a sewing show to see lots of models. I wasn’t planning to get a Brother, so I was surprised to like it so much. Look for the wow factor if this is your forever machine, you want it to make you go Oooo!

Do you have a dream machine?
I guess a bigger long-arm machine if I stated making a lot of quilts but this one is pretty much a forever purchase so I won’t be looking to upgrade any time soon!

6 thoughts on “My Brother and I

  1. I have the same machine for several years now, and still happy. You can change the setting on the machine so that the needle is in the middle when you turn on the machine, saves a lot of needles!! Have a look in your manual or get back to me and I’ll find how to do it – it’s been a while since I did it… 😉

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