a little review

Back in March I was asked if I would like to review a sewing machine, and I said yes! But due to my slowness I’m only actually writing it today, 3 months later, but I think it will be better for it, as I have sat down, made a new untried bag design, and I have to say it has been a very enjoyable experience : )

The sewing machine is question is a Toyota SPA15, and is a lightweight and ergonomic designed machine.
I would describe it as an entry level machine, but that is really doing it a disservice, as it is a very good machine : )

As you can see it is a neat little machine, not heavy at all, and I also had the use of an extension table which had adjustable feet to alter the height which was useful on my slightly uneven table!
One thing going against it, which to be honest I have not photographed, because it may just be a little niggle for me, but the storage of, and in the machine, is not great. I guess as it is entry level it would explain why it doesn’t come with a cover, or decent storage built in, or somewhere to keep the pedal and lead, but you could make all of those!!

Ok, the machine, and what it does, looks like and works like!

It is a very ergonomic, as I’ve said, and also very graphical, and what I mean by that, is that everywhere are clear indications of how it works and what you do!

As you can see, you don’t even need to look at the manual to work out what to do! I have to say the manual is extremely clear as well!! The whole machine is like this, this is the stitch selection dial,

Could it be any clearer! Actually I don’t think so, another reason why I think this machine is perfect for a first time sewing machine user, it is so clear, how could you go wrong, but I would have preferred a bit more choice on length of straight stitch, but the ones you do have, they are very even and work well.

And now down to the foot,

Again, more graphics, really easy to use and understand, then we have the winding of the bobbin, which to be honest I thought was maybe a bit of a novelty, but actually it works really well.

You don’t have to double de-clutch the motor, it works off a battery, set in the back of the machine, and you just squeeze a little lever across to wind it, very nifty!

And then I hand the experience of loading the bobbin, now my machine is a front loading, under the foot set up, but I have always been curious about these drop in ones, they look cool for one thing!!

so very easy, just drop it in, and do a little loop so the thread can be caught,

and then, it’s done!

woo-hoo, so now you are ready to rock and roll!

What can I say, really smooth, It took a bit of getting used to, especially the pedal, and of course because it is new, it was a bit stiff, but then I was away!! Straight line sewing, really good, I had a few problems with stitching circles,

I think this was mainly because this was the first bit of sewing I did, so the pedal was a little stiff, but once the machine and I were tuned in, it was great!

All worked really nicely, and having the extension table was great for doing that stitching off the circles onto the bag.

Now one main problem I have always had with sewing machines is the chewing up and lack of oopmhh to go through layers, well no problems here!

I really thought I would have problems with that piece of the bag, as the piece I was sewing was quite narrow and short, but also 4 layers thick, well, no problems with that, or this,

There is at least 6 layers here, and interfacing, and it was a breeze! Really smooth, and no jamming problems, so very successful.

Finishing off was good too,

Again, really smooth and just sailed though this.

So I made a new bag, which I can’t show you yet, as my lovely friend doesn’t have it yet, and it wouldn’t be fair to show you before she gets her mitts on it, and the machine worked like a dream.

So summing up, it is an incredibly easy machine to use, it would be perfect as your first machine, or maybe to replace a hand me down. I loved being able to see how much thread I had left on the bobbin, very useful.
There is so much more as well, I haven’t tried the other feet yet, which are clip on ones, I have also only tried two stitches, so I’m going to use it a bit more and hopefully come back to you with a bit more info.

I would like to point out I have not been paid to write this review, and it has been sitting here for three months, and not one person has asked me about it, so no pressure has been put on me.
It has been a pleasure to use it, and I’m going to let my friend, of the knitting bag fame, have a play as well, so a total novice! Ooops, I’ll get a smack about that! So after her play and a bit more from me, I’ll let you know how it goes : )