Looking for a feature rich sewing machine to make cosplay with? Read my write up on The Project Runway Sewing Machine: Brother PC-420PRW.
After my trusty old Brother Innvo-is 1500D started giving me trouble again, I had to start looking for options to keep me sewing. My Innov-is was a floor model embroidery machine that I’d bought used nearly 7 years ago. It had been through 6 moves and years of heavy use. Buying a new embroidery machine was not in my budget, though. I was spoiled by the convenience features of my embroidery machine and worried that I’d be priced out of all those features. When I saw the Project Runway Special Edition Machine, my interest was piqued. The design similarities are notable.
"Can I use a moon stone to evolve PC420 into 1500D?"
Seeing as though this machine was only a fraction of the price of what Innov-is models cost, I was worried it couldn’t hold a candle. Still, it seemed like an interesting option for a cosplayer spoiled by automated features. So, how does it sew? Exactly how it should right out of the box. Better than my Innov-is had lately, that's for sure! The thread tension works fine, the stitches are even, no fabric puckering or feed dog problems to speak of. It is easy to thread, and works well. I’ve used it with cotton, linen, chiffon, satin, basketweave, Indian khadi, and several other blended fabrics so far and it has preformed consistently with all of them.
A good number of features of this machine are the same as what is included on Brother’s higher end embroidery machines. The decorative stitches are the same ones my Innovis came with, minus the embroidery files. When comparing this to my old Brother 1500D, I’m struck by how much is the same. Granted, there’s no touch screen or crazy options to do things like sew on pockets for you but the overall impression I get from this little machine is just as positive. Brother lists this as a ‘Professional Grade Computerized Sewing Machine.’ It is feature rich, making it more impressive than many entry level machines but it is not an industrial machine. Professional should not be confused with industrial here. You won’t find this in a tailor’s backroom or factory floor. It will not preform with the same strength as an industrial model that sews through leather like butter, but it will do just about all the things a cosplayer needs it to… and maybe a few more. The first thing new users will notice are the buttons on the front. These control different convenience functions that will make many a cosplayer fall in love with it like I have.
This machine has an automatic needle threader AND a built-in thread cutter. The thread cutter is the button with the scissor icon and it is so handy. After using it, you will get spoiled. The button with the needle icon raises the needle to the correct height to thread it. The u shaped arrow button is a backstitch button. The button with an arrow pointing up is an auto-stitch button. It is a blessing when making yards of ruffles. To activate this button you have to unplug the foot pedal. To start sewing, press the glowing button. To stop, press it again. If you are using one of the stitches with a built in knot & cut feature, the machine will then finish off the stitch for you! It is worth playing around with since it has many applications.
If you forget to remove the foot pedal, the LCD screen will remind you.