Do you ever post something just because before you did it / learnt it you couldn’t find it on Google? Well, this post is one of those posts. I love my sewing machine but there is NOTHING out there about it and I wanted to remedy that, in case anyone in the same situation I was two years ago (in a charity shop, googling a review of a sewing machine to see if they should buy it or not!) Sorry that this post will be boring for most of you… I’ve put everything behind a jump to make it easier to skim!
So, without further ado, after the jump you’ll find my review of my New Home 611 sewing machine and pictures of every page of the manual. (One day I’ll photocopy the manual into a PDF, but that day is not today, too lazy.)
Review (using the format from Sew Mama Sew’s sewing machine master list)
What brand and model do you have?
New Home Model 611
How long have you had it?
Two years, but I only started using it in January 2012 (so just over a year ago)
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
It was £20 in a charity shop, I’ve never seen one for sale anywhere else!
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I’ve sewn clothes, quilts, curtains (for my brother so no pics), cushions, softies and baby clothes on it.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew in fits and bursts, but this machine is definitely up to wear and tear!
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I love it because it’s the one I learnt to sew on. I’ll probably keep it forever, even once I upgrade. It’s very heavy but I like how sturdy it is. When it works it’s great but it does sometime throw a fit and I get angry with it, but normally discover it was user error later (like it needs or new needle or I’ve made a threading error).
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
I love that it’s mechanical and one glance at all the dials tells me exactly how it’s set up. The manual is clear (although the trouble-shooting section is awful) and it just does the job well. It has lots of useful stitches, including an overlocker stitch. You can use a twin needle on it. The free arm is nice and skinny. There’s plenty of space under the throat for quilting (I have quilted a queen size quilt on it). It goes like a tank most of the time.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Because it’s so old I find it hard to buy feet for it online, which is annoying. (Took me two tries to get a generic walking foot for it!) There’s no information about it online. None of these things are the machine’s fault – just the problems of using an older machine and not knowing my way around it perfectly. I’ve noticed this especially since getting my Brother 1034d, which has legions of tutorials dedicated to it!
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
It’s not a great story, but I bought it in a charity shop beside the sea during a lovely day with my then-boyfriend, now-nearly-husband. I think he was a little skeptical that I’d use it (we lived in a teeny flat at the time so all space was premium) but sewing is now one of the great loves of my life. The first quilt I made on it gave me some much-needed distraction during a trying time in my life, and sewing is still the best therapy I’ve found.
Update October 2013! I made 50 metres of bunting on it for our wedding!
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Yes! It’s simple enough for a beginner to use (I love how all the threading up bits and pieces are on the outside of the machine housing so you can see what’s actually going on) and feels nice and indestructible. When I last had it serviced the staff were very complimentary about it.
Do you have a dream machine?
I do love a mechanical machine and so have my eye on the Bernina 1008, but realistically it’s more likely to be a Janome 525S (also mechanical but about a quarter of the price). I just really like turning dials to get settings rather than programming a computer – and because I’ve never had the needle up / needle down setting I don’t think I’d miss it!
(This is a gallery you can click through like a slideshow, but if you’d like me to email you all the images in one zip file, send me an email! It’s annabel vita at yahoo dot co dot uk. Some pages are pictured twice because I wasn’t sure the whole thing was in focus.)
Here’s two links that might be useful if you own a New Home 611:
New Home 611 Manual PDF by email – $10 – but seriously! Don’t get this! Email me and I will photocopy my manual into a nice PDF for you! I just wanted to get this up as quickly as possible so haven’t done it yet but I can!
If you are the owner of a New Home 611 Sewing Machine – I’d like to make this page as useful as possible for all of us so please comment with any tips or tricks you’ve found (or just to say hello) and come back to visit as I update this page with any new information I come across!
Added 7 June 2013: I got a cheapie generic walking foot for my machine, and it works ok but pushed the needle out of centre when you sew. (The post I linked to below has an illustration of this).
I was going to buy a new one BUT, with some google-fu I’ve managed to find the solution to this problem. It’s not elegant but it works.
Update September 2013: I caved and got this cheapie generic walking foot instead, and it works like a dream! It’s only a pittance more expensive than the other one (£13.60!), too.