Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

Have I mentioned how much I adore the Sew, Mama, Sew blog? They are always coming up with something new and juicy! June is sewing machine month and they’ve posted a sewing machine meme. At the end of the month, they’ll compile all of the links by brand of machine, so be sure to check it out!


What brand and model do you have?
I have a Brother cs6000i

How long have you had it?
Since December 25th, 2008 (You’ll have to scroll down to get the story!)

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
The MSRP is listed at $449, but savvy shoppers (and sneaky husbands) can find them on Amazon.com for about $175.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I do a lot of bags and wallets, as well as other fun projects like yoga accessories, aprons, and kitchen towels. Right now I’m working on a water bottle sling.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I usually sew at least one full day a week, but sometimes more often. If I had my way, I’d do nothing during the day except sew, blog, cook, and play with the dog. Unfortunately, things like laundry, vacuuming, and errands creep into my life. Nights and weekends are saved for time with the hubby, and I would dream of letting sewing time encroach on that. (Okay, maybe sometimes…)

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
My machine’s name is Stitch (unoriginal, I know) and I love her dearly. I do wish I had a better home for her. Oh how we both dream of a lovely studio with hardwood floors, and windows and space galore…

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
We’re still getting to know each other, but my machine definitely has a lot of great features. It came with a quilting package which I’m really eager to learn how to use. Oh, and I love the speed control on the machine! I’m quite the lead foot, but also a beginner so I try to take it slow along the curves. If it weren’t for that feature, I might be doing a little off-roading… Oh, and I also love the needle up/down button– talk about convenient!

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
She has a drop-in bobbin and the thread is supposed to be brought up automatically, but unfortunately that leads to thread nests at the beginning of the stitches. I’ve found that if I bring up the thread that doesn’t happen.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
Oh I do have a good story! I had been wanting to learn how to sew for awhile, and outside of the middle school home-economics class and the occasional project mostly completed by my mom, I haven’t had much experience. I had mentioned to my husband that I was hoping to look for one after Christmas with the money I always receive from my mom. Never in my wildest dreams did I think hubby would go online and look at all sorts of sewing machine reviews and secretly purchase one for a Christmas gift!

On Christmas day, the last two packages for me to open were a very large box and a smaller shirt-sized box. He told me to open the smaller box first, and so I did. Inside of that box was Diana Rupp’s Sew Anything Workshop book. When I saw the book, I couldn’t help but look at the giant box sitting in front of me and blurt out OH MY GOD, YOU GOT ME A SEWING MACHINE! Lucky for me (and him!), he had!

The surprise was almost ruined the day the machine was delivered to our apartment. Luckily, I wasn’t home and hubby had taken off of work to babysit the dog while we had some people from maintenance fixing a leak in our apartment. When the machine arrived, it wasn’t encased in any other box as he had forgotten to check off the “gift” option on Amazon. Thankfully, he was able to wrap it and hide it away just minutes before I arrived home, allowing me to have a wonderful surprise on Christmas morning!

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Yes. It’s easy enough to use for a beginning sewer such as myself, but I know that it has enough advanced features that it will be a good machine for me to grow into. Also, you can’t beat the price.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
I think knowing what types of things you’re planning on sewing and finding a machine that fits those needs is a great way to decide which machine to buy. If you have no desire to quilt, there’s no need for a machine that comes with quilting accessories. (Unless you’re fickle, that is.) There’s no need to pay extra money for more stitch options if you’re never going to use them. I think a good way to start is to list out your needs and sewing goals, and then find a machine within your budget that fulfills them. That’s what M did for my machine and it’s been a great match.

Do you have a dream machine?
Believe it or not, I don’t. Maybe one day as my needs change, I will, but for now I’m very happy with what I have.


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] CE-5000PRW Brother CE-5000PRW Brother CE-5000PRW Brother CS-100 Brother CS-6000 Brother CS-6000 Brother CS-6000i Brother CS-6000i Brother CS-6000i Brother CS-8060 Brother CS-8080 Brother HE-120 Brother EX 660 […]

  2. 2

    Looking for a new machine soon, and was wondering if you’re still happy with your CS6000i

  3. 3

    Sue said,

    I bought this machine for the purpose of teaching new sewers. It’s a GREAT little machine with LOTS of features, especially the larger bed and quilting package. I was initially disappointed that it didn’t come with a 1/4 inch quilting foot…until I read on a blog somewhere that the “J” foot and stitch #37 makes a 1/4 inch seam.

    I’m intrigued about the fact that it runs with a pedal by using an “on/off” swithc at the front of the machine. However, I’m reluctant to teach young children to use this button…or new sewers in general because I’m a quilter. One day…most quilters progress to free-motion quilting which would be impossible to do without both hands on the quilt.

    All in all….it’s a tremendous value for the money, and is easy to use, although it does require the new owner to read through the manual to understand the computerized settings. However, the pictures of the stitches also include a legend telling you what kind of foot to use with each stitch.

  4. 5

    Cookie said,

    I just got the Brother cE5000PRW. Is there a manual that shows how to use all of the stiches and what to use them for. I am sure there are things on this machine that I have no idea are there and/or how to use them. Do I need all of the quilting accessories, at the extra charge?


  5. 6

    Edith said,

    Hi .I need to see how the different foots work on the sewing machine.I learn by see.I can read but i do better with see.I sewed a letter (F) on a jackit.I did very good.The letter F was like a iron on but sewed it on a jackit.I donot want to brackit anything.

  6. 7

    tina said,

    I have a blog about the brother cs6000i. I think it’s a great machine for beginners.

  7. 8

    Lonni said,

    I lost my users manual to my brother cs6000i, and I am trying to sew through thick fabric, but I keep getting an “Error” msg. It does fine on regular fabric.
    Can anyone help? I don’t sew much and haven’t used the machine lately.

    • 9

      Kiki said,

      Hi Lonni,
      Without knowing the exact error message I’m not sure what the problem might be, although with very thick fabric you might need to use the walking foot. You can always visit the Brother website to view the manual there: http://www.brother-usa.com/manuals They also have a support section where you can look up problems/frequently asked questions: http://welcome.solutions.brother.com Hopefully one of these links will point you in the right direction!

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