You know that Dan Zanes song, House Party Time? I think of it every time I talk about my house party.
What's a house party? Here's the best way I can describe it... You apply to get free stuff. If you get the free stuff you must share it with your friends "house party" style.
I had applied for a Singer sewing machine house party, and I got it! The free stuff? Use of the machine for 2 weeks, 4 yards of fabric, patterns, thread, decorations, JoAnn coupons.... list goes on.
I was pretty thrilled to get to try out the machine. You see, I do all my sewing on a very basic Huskystar E10. It's ridiculously basic, and I don't love it. I haven't been able to try free motion sewing on it, and I've just kind of outgrown it. But I have no idea what to get as my next machine! Ideally something that will last me the rest of my life. Something that my sewing skills are worthy of, something that's not too expensive. I had narrowed it down... either a Singer, or a Bernina, or a Janome, or a Brother. So you see, that's not really narrowed down at all.
So getting to demo an electronic machine for two whole weeks? Awesome! I've learned a lot about it, and what to look for when I really start trying out machines to buy.
The machine I demo'ed is the Singer Confidence Stylist. Short story? It's a great machine for a beginner. It is really easy to use and comes with a bunch of extra feet and has some great features. It's also got a really good price point. But it lacks the "heft" that I need.
Pros: Amazing number and variety of feet (standard, satin, zipper, darning/freemotion, walking, gathering, and a fancy cutting foot. Like a serger... but not! and more I'm sure I've forgotten). Automatic button holer. It was awesome. Drop feed capability. Automatic needle up. Numerous embroidery stitches. Automatic needle threader. Very very easy to use. Does not jam up! Even sewing with the foot up! It's a good little machine. Very smooth.
Cons: Automatic needle up. It would be nice to have the option for automatic needle down (for going around corners, or stopping while quilting). I can't control how many stitches it back stitches. Since it is electronic and always ends in needle up position, sometimes I'd get too many backstitches with one press of the reverse button. The needle plate hole is too big! When sewing thru thinner fabrics, the fabric would sometimes get pushed down into the bobbin area. This never happens with my basic E10. Lastly, the feed is not nearly as strong/heavy duty as it should be. It gets caught up going over zippers, which shouldn't be a problem for any machine. So overall, not enough "machine" for me, though I have been taking good advantage of the built in embroidery stitches!
And some pictures from the sewing party I held to show off the machine: