I did have a little trouble with the tension and that took up my attention for nearly a week. It wasn't until the needle bent (I used the wrong stitch for the overcasting foot) and I had to replace it that I found there was nothing wrong with the tension -- the needle was just too small for the fabric. We live and learn.
That round thing in the middle is a thread box and it's just the right size for Gutermann Thread spools and for bobbins. As it turns out the bobbins from my Toyota machine are nearly identical to the Brother ones, except for a little number 16 on the Brother ones.
The blue thing you can see under the presser foot is just a little denim mat I made as stitch practice. I leave it there so that I can keep the presser foot down when not in use (which saves straining the spring inside) and save damaging the presser foot so much on the feed dogs.
I could come to love this machine as I get accustomed to it. It's got some very pretty embroidery stitches, a scallop stitch, 5 one-step buttonholes and a bar tack.
The buttonholes' stitch width and length can be adjusted to suit different fabrics and they look a lot more professional than the 4-step buttonhole on the Toyota machine. These one-step buttonholes are also always balanced on each side, which I hope will save making so many test buttonholes!
The embroidery stitch that looks like triangles on the picture is actually really long (3cm?) when sewn and dosn't look very pointed at all, which to me is a good thing. There are two cross-stitch patterns, one pretty, simple one and one with more stitches to it. The latter requires medium-slow speed for good results, otherwise it dosen't look as it should.
Oh, and the purple rectangle on the door is actully a place for you to put your own pictures! The machine comes with a template for you to draw around and cut your pictures and photos to the right size.
It's a little lighter than my Toyota and a little smaller (until I put the hard cover on). Is this a great little machine or what?
I also got two books for my birthday: Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong, and Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide. They're both about A4 and roughly 3cm thick (I haven't measured).
I don't want to take photos of inside the books in case I'm not allowed to (copyright laws).
Let's look at the first one: Patternmaking for Fashion Design...
I'm not sure I will use the American system for drafting torso blocks -- the metric European one may be better for me. I think I will combine the systems for designing.
In this photo the zipper foot on the left is the Brother one and the other is the Toyota one. Can you see that the centre bit on the Brother one is almost non-existant in the front? I'm not a sewing machine expert at all, but it seems to make the foot less stable. The Toyota one has a little extra metal there. That seems to help, so I use the Toyota foot.
Now I have to go and put dinner on, so it's goodbye for now. Happy sewing!
If you would like a similar sewing machine to mine, I found this one. It's like mine, but with more features.