I decided it was time for a new sewing machine. Not for classes - I use my Janome J3-24 for those as it's such a reliable machine that I've had for around 8 or 9 years now. I want to replace my home machine. I have a Singer Brilliance 6180 which is great for dressmaking & most sewing, but doesn't deal with all the layers involved in bag making well. It also doesn't have a way to drop the feed dog, just a plastic plate to cover it. That works fine for sewing buttons on, but it doesn't really cut it for free motion embroidery.
I ordered a Necchi online, but when it arrived, it wasn't what I needed. So I called the company, and after talking about what I needed, they switched the Necchi for an AEG 260. It arrived on Friday, and I didn't get the chance to open it until early evening.
I've never come across an AEG machine before, even though I've seen a lot of machines in my classes & workshops. It's german made, and comes with a 15 year guarantee, so it should be fine, but I thought I would give it a proper test.
First, on some mid weight scrap fabric, I tested each stitch pattern. I especially love the ones shown in the detail photo . The flowers are lovely, but more importantly - CROCODILES! That one is going to be used all the time!
Then I tested all the buttonholes. You can see where I started the second one too close to the first and had to abandon it. I don't know why anyone other that a professional tailor would need 8 buttonholes, but I like to check them anyway. I'm pretty sure that I will use the default one most of the time (top, rectangular), but I also really like the top left one with the pointed end bar & rounded (rather than keyhole) top.
Finally I tested layers. The bottom left photo shows the results. I didn't change needle or thread, but switched to denim. The straight line was sewn through 4 layers. All the others were sewn through 8 layers, without the slightest problem. The only thing I haven't tested yet is free motion sewing but as you can drop the feed dog, I don't anticipate any problems All in all, it's a great start - and it looks like I'll be able to sell my Singer!
What do you do when you get a new sewing machine? Do you leave it in the box like lots of the people who end up on my sewing classes? Do you test stitches like I do? Or do you just dive right in and make clothes?