The Brother Innov-is 1300 from Jaycotts.co.uk
It is fabulous for both dressmaking and quilting having just over 8" workspace to the right of the needle, quilters will know the importance of this.
It has an advanced square feed drive system (SFDS) which delivers a really good feed on all fabrics but - and this is my favourite - it enables the machine to sew sideways as well as backwards and forwards and it means too that it has the capacity of sewing extra wide decorative stitches.
This is my machine which I unpacked as soon as it was delivered. I know some of us feel out of our comfort zone with a new machine, but please do not worry, take it slowly and you will be fine.
Don't forget that Jaycotts can arrange tuition for you from Brother which I do recommend you take advantage of if at all possible.
I was really pleased that it fits into my horn cabinet even with its hard case. The extension table for the machine, available separately is not shown.
There are many styles of Horn sewing furniture so there is bound to be one which suits the style of your decor and the size of the sewing space you have available. I love the fact that I can put everything away in a matter of minutes and the room is totally tidy.
All of the instructions are displayed clearly on a large LCD screen. It is from here that you access and amend all of your utility and decorative stitches.
These are the basic utility stitches which you access just by touching the buttons shown. The other features are in "folders" which are again accessed from this screen.
The machine itself has a list of all the stitches it is capable of actually printed onto them inside of the top cover. But don't worry that they look small, they are printed in the manuals too!
The machine comes with a comprehensive instruction manual and also a quick start guide.
It is important to thread the machine and bobbin correctly so follow the instructions in the manual to the letter. There is also a blog post Troubleshooting your sewing machine by Alex Jaycott which explains the importance of correctly threading your machine and choosing and replacing machine needles and much more, so do have a read.
Can you guess which feature I was desperate to try first? Really a normal straight stitch is a good place to start, but I longed to know how the sideways function worked.
The instructions were easy to find in the manual, so armed with some thread and a piece of cloth I set off on a mission to sew sideways!
This function has so many uses, it can be done in a straight or zigzag stitch. Imagine the ease of adding a decorative patch or new pocket to a pair of jeans or a sleeve ! There is absolutely no requirement to turn your fabric as the machine stitches a perfect square.
Each stitch has its own section in the manual, for example these are the utility stitches. Don't forget that these are easily accessible by pressing the relevant button on the home screen.
Some of the sections are rather longer as there are 182 built in stitches and 10 styles of buttonholes to choose from but the manual breaks down each type of stitch into sections and numbers them which makes it easy to find them and program them into your machine.
The instructions really are very easy to follow, don't forget this is a Brother machine we are talking about, and Brother machines are very user friendly.
I was exploring other functions too. I especially like that when you are using a decorative stitch there is a button to press which stops the sewing exactly when the end of the pattern is reached. This is especially useful on garments when you want exact placement of your design or when you want to combine designs
The machine is the easiest one I have ever used for programming characters. It has a massive memory too which is easy to access so when you produce something you like you can save it very easily.
There is a video on my YouTube channel which I would like you to watch
The Brother Innov-is 1300 on YouTube