For the past month I’ve had a new machine in my sewing room! Brother Canada approached us here at SWN to ask us if we would like to try the NQ3500D Fashionista sewing, quilting, and embroidery machine. It took me less than .5 seconds to say “CERTAINLY!”. Since the NQ3500D arrived, I’ve been “playing” with it every day as a beginner quilter, and embroiderer. This computerized sewing machine is impressive. I’m currently using two large mechanical industrial sewing machines, and a domestic computerized machine (without embroidery capabilities) for the day-to-day sewing. The switch to the Brother Fashionista machine for my everyday “selfish sewing” was a fantastic learning experience!
The Brother Fashionista set up easily for me. I was able to learn how to attach and detach the embroidery parts when I needed to without too much trouble. Navigating the advanced features on this machine was intuitive to me because I have some experience with a touch display, and a computerized sewing machine.
“Just read the manual!” Brother Canada sent all of the manuals – which by the way saved me more than once. I’m not much of a manual reader obviously but I did force myself to sit down and go through them. Brother has done an excellent job of providing a visual step-by-step for just about every single adjustment you’d ever need to make on the NQ3500D. Learning to use to touch pad was no trouble, however not all of the symbols were familiar to me, so again, it’s a very quick check within the manual to figure it out.
One feature that had both pros and cons was the “bobbin empty soon” warning that pops up on the LCD touch screen display. Unless there is a reason to leave 12″ or more of your bobbin thread to throw away every time, you are forced to push the “go” button every five stitches to use up the thread still on the bobbin. Perhaps changing the parameters within the programming of this incredible machine would be a consideration, or an option for users to use, or not, and if so, options for thread tail length for empty bobbin warnings. (?)
Winding the bobbin took some practice, and careful attention until I got the hang of it. For some reason, I had my thread winding around the bobbin winder post, instead of the bobbin. :( Every sewing machine has it’s own little personality and quirks. I just accepted that this was one of them and to be a little more careful with the thread. This is a sewing machine that would take me at least six months to master fully and feel confident using as my main machine. Remember, I’m really a rookie embroiderer and quilter with the attention span of a gnat!
The NQ3500D is a licensed Disney embroidery machine! Of course this machine is fully computerized (with USB input to import designs from your memory stick) and offers many of the features that the Brother DreamWeaver has, such as the automatic thread cutter that worked perfectly every single time, and the needle threader, which I will admit, I had to get the hang of but as soon as I mastered it, it worked perfectly every single time. The first embroidery design that I set up, and ran worked beautifully. (phew!) See below:
The stitch tension I did not adjust, not once! My stitches had perfect tension, every single time. The stitch speed was pretty good. Comparing the speed of this machine to the speed of my industrial machines shows the computerized NQ3500D slower, but fast enough for a domestic home machine. I really loved the ability to adjust the speed with the slider on the head of the machine, and the ability to start, stop, back-stitch, with one finger, rather than the foot pedal. I did not install or use the foot pedal at all. The presser feet were easy to switch and identify, each in their very own place inside the flip-open storage compartment at the front of the machine. Each stitch, and design presented on the touch screen, also indicated which presser foot should be used to eliminate guessing, and saved me time.
The Brother NQ3500D test was fun, productive, and I learned a lot. Everything was beautiful.