I have a Brother XR7700 sewing machine.
How long have you had it?
I have had this machine since February (Valentine's Day!).
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
From looking around online, it looks like it's been discontinued, but it retailed at around $200. My husband got mine on Overstock, refurbished, with tons of extra accessories.
What types of things do you sew?
Just about anything! Purses, baby items, pincushions, aprons, and pretty soon, my first quilt.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew a couple times a week, and mostly on weekends. I would say my machine gets used somewhere between 3 and 5 hours a week, so I'm pretty light on it. I would use it more if I had the time!
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I really love my machine. You definitely can't tell that it was refurbished, and I haven't had any problems with it. I make use of the features and extra feet often. It's fun to play with all of the decorative stitches.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
Bright sewing light, one-step auto-size buttonholer, thread cutter, automatic needle threading, automatic bobbin winding, tons of decorative stitches, doesn't require foot control, quick-change presser feet, and a picture frame that opens up and on the inside has the stitches on the machine and the different feet on the inside of the frame so that you know what foot you need for what stitch! The deal on Overstock also came with a flatbed (is that the right name?) and 10 sewing feet (including a walking foot and free-motion foot).
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Only two things drive me crazy. When you power the machine on, the default stitch is straight stitch on the left. I wish it would default to the center. I've had a tiny bit of trouble with the bobbin thread not threading correctly. I've learned that when I load the bobbin I have to sew a short amount on a side piece of fabric to watch and make sure it catches correctly, and then I'm good to go. (Edit: I have since learned that if I use a higher quality thread, this is not a problem. Guess I need to stop buying cheap thread!) Something that doesn't bother me, but might bother some, is the fact that the measurements on the machine are metric, and then back behind the foot are the measurements in inches. I've learned to estimate, and I haven't had a problem.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine?
My husband bought me my machine for Valentine's Day! My previous machine for some reason had started sounding like it was an airplane about to take off of my desk, so it was perfect timing.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
I would definitely recommend it to other light sewers. I can't say much for heavy sewing since I use it lightly.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
I think making sure you get the features that you want is pretty important, along with reading reviews. It seems like every machine has a few bad reviews out there, but look at the overall view of it and think about what people liked and disliked about it. If you can sew on it in a store before you buy it, definitely do that.
Do you have a dream machine?
Nope, I already have everything I want in a machine. :)