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I just bought the Brother BC-1000 for myself for Christmas. I though I'd try it out since it was a good price at Target (Only $149) and they said I could bring it back any time within 90 days after Christmas. I've taken it out of the box and given it a "test drive" and read the manual. It's a truly WONDERFUL machine for the money! It has great reviews on Amazon.
But, I'm thinking I want just a little bit "more", a computer machine with more decorative stitches and a built in alphabet. I'd like to stick with a 'Low Shank' machine (like Brother, Kenmore or White) because I already have several costly attachments from my old Brother. I don't need an embroidery machine, as this would just add to the cost, but this isn't mandatory. I am definitely looking for something under $400, preferably even under $300.
About 3 years ago, DH and I were in Walmart looking at sewing machines. I have always been a user of another noted brand so I was off in a corner looking at them, leaving my DH to entertain himself. He was reading the carton info on a Brother Project Runway machine and another customer asked him if he was going to buy it. He explained what he was doing and what I was doing. She started singing the praises of the Brother Project Runway, like she was on TV.
He called me over there and we looked at one out of the carton. He lifted the one in the carton and noted it was heavy and probably had some metal in it and would be sturdy. The clerk came over and told us some good things about it and that she was getting one come payday. DH said "Do you want to try this?" We were both thinking it was more expensive than "my" brand, but he said that didn't matter. We walked out of there with my new sewing machine for less than 200 bucks and I love it!
It is the best sewing machine I have ever had. It was also below the amount we had decided we could spend that day. As the little kid on TV used to say, "Try it! You'll like it!" The stitches are numbered and you use the buttons on the front to key up and down to show the number in the little screen thingy. So simple to use and it is very sturdily built. After 3 years of almost daily use, it still fires up and does what I tell it to do. Best sewing machine ever! And did I tell you it was less than 200 bucks? The manual is about the size and thickness of a supermarket magazine (you know the one I mean). Mine is in English, but I'm sure they have them in other languages. I certainly hope so because this is one terrific little sewing machine!
I just recently bought a Brother Project Runway sewing machine. It is computerized, has 80 stitches, automatic needle threader and many other features.