All About Brother Brand Sewing Machines: Basic Parts And Accessories

Brother brand sewing machines, their basic parts, optional accessories, how they work, and how they compare to older models.

Brother, one of the most popular national brands of sewing machines, continues to come out with newer and better machines each year. A couple of decades ago, sewing machines came in a heavy case with only a few accessories, if that. Now, sergers, embroidery machines and computerized sewing machines have upgraded sewing to a new level. Machines come standard with dozens of accessories and there are even more accessories which can be purchased individually. Some of the basic features in most Brother machines now are stitch functions which allow you to change from a straight stitch, to a zigzag stitch, to a floral stitch with a push of a button. Carrying cases, built-in lights, extra bobbins, screwdrivers, oilers, and speed control are other standard features with most new Brother machines. Since different sewing projects require different accessories, Brother has allowed for this by providing quite a list of accessories which come included with many of their models. The zipper foot is an accessory which makes installing zippers much easier than with the standard foot. The zipper foot resembles a small ski, and rides beside the zipper for sewing, without running over the actual zipper teeth. They also have a different variety of zipper foot which sews the zipper in with an invisible stitch. This lets you set zippers in sheer fabrics without the visibility of the threads. The button sewing foot eliminates the need to hand-sew all buttons onto garments. It holds the button still while the needle goes in and out of the buttonholes, securing it to the garment. This foot works for buttonholes with two or four holes. The buttonhole foot is also an extra which saves time and hassle.

If you've ever tried to darn socks with a regular sewing machine, you'll appreciate the darning plate which prevents loosely-knit fibers from being shoved down into the bobbin case while darning. There is also a special foot which you can attach for darning which helps keep the socks from stretching, yet holds them in place while stitching. Small little extras like a stitch separator are handy, particularly when you've made a slight mistake and want to fix it rapidly. These little tools take seams right out, without tearing the fabric. The arm convertible surface feature which, although not available on every model, allows the removal of a portion of the sewing surface, for easier access to tight areas like cuffs and small necklines.

Older model sewing machines made sewing elastic and bias tape difficult, since it seemed there were never enough hands to hold everything. Brother now has a complete line of accessory wizards which make it a snap to put elastic in waistbands and bias tape around armholes. These wizards just screw onto the foot, or in place of the foot, and you're set to sew. You can also get attachments which fold the hem for you and leave you a blind stitch. This is great for delicate fabrics, curtains and linens. For sewing cords on bedspreads or curtains, you can purchase a special cord foot which prevents the cord from rolling or scooting out from under the foot during stitching. Putting lace on any garment can be challenging and often when you're finished, the gathers don't look evenly divided. This is cured by a gathering foot which gathers the fabric or lace to your specifications. A similar foot is the ruffler which ruffles a fabric while attaching to necklines, plackets or cuffs.

With Brother sewing machines, there's no need to purchase an expensive embroidery model if you only do occasional embroidering. You can now purchase a special embroidery foot which makes the job so much easier. For a professional look to your garments, screw on a side-cutter and the accessory will trim the excess fabric off while sewing any seam. When purchasing a Brother machine, check with your area Brother dealer to see what accessories are standard and which you should purchase for the type of projects you will be doing.

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