Tuesday, July 17, 2012

R.I.P. CS6000i

You guys.

Seriously, you guys.


My beloved and trusty Brother CS6000i has bit the dust.  My first sewing machine has seen me through learning to sew, making countless skating costumes, trousers, tops, and several heavy-duty coats.  I have had it for over four years and (ab)used it quite a bit in that time.  For a $120 machine from Amazon it has done its duty far better than I could have hoped.  But oh man did it pick a bad time to crap out on me.

Basically, I am running out of time and I still have several things that MUST be sewn before I leave for nationals.  I was in the middle of sewing a fairly basic pin tuck on some men's pants and the machine made an awful crunching noise.  At first, I thought it was just a tangled bobbin, because I often get tangled bobbins and jams.  I cut the thread, remove the fabric, took out the bobbin housing and realize that there was no problem there.  The machine was still stuck.  The fly wheel wouldn't turn.  A restart did nothing.  It dawns on me that the sickening crunch was actually probably some critical component in the mechanism that actually makes the machine work.  After poking about a bit I still can't figure out the problem, but realized that that:

(1) This problem was not going to be solvable by me.  At least, not in a reasonable amount of time.

(2) Any repairs on this machine was probably going to cost more than the machine is worth (as it is too old to return, I bought it with no service contract from Amazon, and there aren't any local Brother repair places that I know of.  Also, whenever anyone I know tries to get a cheap computerized machine serviced it isn't worth the cost.  Also, I don't have time to get the machine serviced).

(3) I need a sewing machine ASAP.

(4) It is just about 9pm and all stores with regular business hours have closed.

(5) My options for buying a new machine are limited, as the Joann's in the area aren't carrying them anymore, and Hancock is too far out of the way to go buy one.

(6) I need a sewing machine NOW.

So, while I had been hoping that this machine would last me until I had the financial resources to buy a fancy high end Bernina of my dreams, and while I really would have been willing to consider a used machine from a local sewing shop, in the end time was more important than finding the perfect machine.  Also, I don't have time to learn the quirks of a new machine.  Which left me with 2 options: Amazon 1-Day shipping or Walmart.  I looked on Amazon and really fell in love with the features of the Brother PC-420 PRW, but the 1-Day shipping still meant 2 days of no sewing.  Not good enough.  So, while I am sure it pains every sewist reading this, to Walmart I went.  Regardless of how anyone feels about the business, its practices, or its products and services, there is something to be said about a place that is willing to sell sewing machines 24 hours a day.

The options were limited but not totally abysmal.  I knew I wanted to stick with a Brother if at all possible, and of the three options, only one had the features I was looking for.  Overall, it is quite similar to my old sewing machine, except this one can do letters (with umlauts!).  In fact, because it is so similar, I haven't even unpacked the power cord or pedal yet - I literally unplugged the old one, plugged in the new one, and started sewing.  I didn't even think about adjusting the tension because it felt just like sewing on my old machine (luckily, it was good out of the box).

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to my Brother SQ9050:

Her name is Lacey and I loves her already.

I know a lot of people name their sewing machines (and dress forms, and sergers, etc.) but I never have.  At least, not until now.  The decorative decals and utter relief at being able to complete my projects has endeared this little machine to me, and the name Lacey popped into my head.  Hopefully she will be my new trusty sidekick through many more sewing adventures.  I have already used her to complete some pants, and I have to say this machine is QUIET!  So much less noise than the old one.  Sews very smooth, the stitch quality looks a lot better than my old machine, and all of the dials and controls are basically the same, so I can pretty much sew on autopilot and it works out well.  No, it isn't the souped-up machine that I wanted (and was actually going to ask for for Christmas this year), but here's hoping this machine gets me through several more years of my sewing addiction.  Or, you know, at least through the next few days.

Good-bye Brother CS6000i, you have served me well and shall not be forgotten.



  1. Good luck with your new sewing machine!

  2. Good luck with your new machine. I've upgraded to a "dealer" type machine (and can tell the difference), but I had great luck with my Walmart Brother and my cheapo Kenmore. It bothers me that people on websites like Pattern Review insist there is nothing good to be had at Walmart. I have to admit, I'm shocked to find out you were using the CS6000i (that is my go to recommendation for new sewers- I wanted one when I bought my Kenmore but at the time it was $250 and I couldn't afford it). Your work is amazing. I think the new machine looks great- skipping getting the machine serviced was a smart idea. My Brother dealer charges $80 for a cleaning, so buying a new one at the under $200 price point pretty well makes sense.

    The PC-420 PRW does look fabulous- but I think you chose a good one.

  3. You are right about inwardly cringing about buying a machine from The Mart of Wal. That was only because everyone I know that has gotten a machine from them has regretted it. At least this one works, if it isn't too long, at least it/she got you through the crisis. Here's hoping it lasts till a Bernina finds its way to you. 8-D

  4. Good luck with your new machine, and at the Nationals.