How are you? Safe and sane, hopefully. Things are crazy around here, but we're getting used to our new "normal". Will life ever go back to the way it was? Who knows.
Let's talk about mask making for a second. Whew! What a whirlwind that is, amiright? I've never made hundreds of one item before, until I decided to sew face masks. They were needed everywhere overnight. I've donated them, sold them, made them for friends and family, etc., just like most of us in the sewing community.
Just like many of you, I got tired of sewing masks. Making the same thing over and over takes a toll on you. Mind, body, spirit, and soul.
At some point in the midst of mask making, a new sewing machine was ordered, by magical fairies who love me, presumably. I had my eyes set on this particular one for a couple of years. It wasn't an essential item, but with all the necessary sewing going on, I allowed it.
They sent me the wrong machine at first, and then finally, 2 weeks later the correct machine arrived. Wheeee!! I was so excited.
Although, hesitation and fear kept me from opening it right away. What if I didn't love it? Maybe it was too advanced for me. It is a straight stitch only machine, after all. It sat outside for 24 hours to decontaminate before opening up the box and bringing it inside. Crazy, I know.
Let me start off by saying, WOW! She's a heavy beast!
My new Brother PQ1500SL sewing machine was here and itching to be used. And, holy cow, she exceeded all my expectations and some.
The machine came with a plethora of accessories and I totally nerded out on all of these, of course!
The machine has a large extension table that is dreamy. It came with multiple feet including a whopper of a walking foot.
Threading is as easy as pie. Winding the bobbin is easy as well.
It doesn't have a drop-in bobbin, which I thought would be annoying. However, it's easy to change because there are 3 doors that open up, making it convenient to change during a project.
A fun surprise that was included was a loaded bobbin. I've bought a few new machines in my almost 20 years of sewing, and they've never come with a loaded bobbin! This was exciting for me. It really is the little things.
Or I lost my marbles after making hundreds of masks, and any small thing was pure joy at this point. Who knows!
Once I received my new Brother sewing machine, I got a second mask-making wind. I was so antsy to use it. Give a kid a new toy, of course they want to play with it right away!
Nevermind the stack of things that I started and couldn't finish before the pandemic. I couldn't sew something for myself during a crisis, that just felt wrong to me. So, I made more masks. So many more masks. But, they were made with a big smile because I had a shiny new toy.
I'm a sucker for accessories! Do you love gadgets and get excited to use them? Here's everything it came with.
That particular invisible zipper foot is the greatest thing I've ever used! I sew a lot of invisible zippers into my clothes, I'm familiar with invisible zipper feet. But, my metal go-to foot has nothing on that plastic YKK beauty! It even looks different, see the pointy middle part? It's a game-changer. I didn't have to pull and yank, and coax to the zipper while I sewed it in. It just did its own thing and we sewed in harmonial bliss. It's a high shank foot, so check what type of sewing machine you have before you order this puppy. But, if you use invisible zips often, get yourself one. You won't regret it. ;) I saw them on Amazon and online shops, look for a Juki invisible zipper foot.
The machine came with a cover made of vinyl and has a concealed layer of foam inside the front and back. It's nice and roomy. It says "For Professional Use" on the front and that makes me feel all professional-like. No big deal. ;)
You have to remove the table for the cover to fit properly. But, I plop the cover over the machine and call it a day.
Onto the fun part, the actual sewing. Squeee!!
I had a minor hiccup in the beginning because the bobbin wasn't "clicked" in all the way. Once that was figured out, we were good to go. Just make sure it makes a loud click. If you get a new sewing machine or serger, it's good practice to load the bobbin and thread the machine a few times. It helps you get familiar with the motions. I loaded 2 bobbins and those went smoothly, a little louder than a plastic bobbin, but they wound quickly and evenly.
Threading the upper thread was easy. It's a tad different than my other home sewing machines because the tension discs are on the outside. The manual walks you through the process and even shows an alternative way to thread if you have tension issues. Thank you Mister manual writer, or Miss. ;)
The Brother PQ1500SL does not alert you when the bobbin is running out. My other Brother machines make a warning beep when the bobbin is low. I thought this would be frustrating because let's be honest, it's nice to know when the bobbin is empty before you've sewn a whole pant leg. But... I prefer not to know! My other machine starts beeping at you and stops you from sewing, a good 2 feet of length before the bobbin is empty. I get frustrated and it's more hassle than it's worth.
Not knowing when I'll run out is much less stressful. I sew until I notice my seam is wonky. I take the bobbin out, load it, and pop it back in. Quick and painless. No annoying beep. Woohoo!!
This machine only sews straight stitches, nothing else. I will have to use another machine when I sew my bras and other things that need a zigzag. No biggy.
I cannot wait to sew a pair of pants on this machine, it's so fast and will sew a long inseam in a jiffy. 1500 stitches per minute (SPM) is life-altering! I used to count seconds of my life go by, while sewing with my much slower 400 SPM machine. LOL
The Brother PQ1500SL has a pin feed system and I honestly have not played with that part, yet. I'll update the post when I figure that all out.
But, it has a pin that feeds from below the feed dogs, upwards. It pokes the fabric layers and helps move them along. I assume it's similar to a walking foot, in theory. The manual says to use it with difficult fabric like velvet, leather, and suede.
I've sewn close to 100 masks and a Rita Blouse with the machine since it arrived.
I've test sewn through a small variety of fabrics- super thin cotton, stretchy poplin, elastic, stretch knit, denim, and sheer fabrics. It didn't eat the thin cotton or sheer fabrics. It went over the mask pleats easily too, no crunching sound like on my other machines.
Overall, I'm completely head over heels with this machine. I could kick myself for not buying it sooner. But, I had mom guilt. That guilt where you can't buy something nice for yourself because... kids.
If you're looking to elevate your sewing game, this is the machine for you! It's fast and powerful. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a beginner sewing machine. However, if you've been sewing for a while and need more power and more speed, this is for you! I sound like a car salesman, LOL. Give me all the sewing power and speed!
It doesn't have 400 decorative stitches like many other machines. It's a utility machine for sewing clothing and quilting. I don't quilt, so I can't recommend it for that. But reviews online say it's wonderful for quilting.
Disclaimer: I was not paid by Brother and I'm not sponsored - although I wish I was. Ha! ;) I bought this machine with my own money. And, oh my gosh, every penny was well spent!
Let me know in the comments if you have had your eye on this machine or already have it. Do you love it too?
Stay safe and healthy,
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.