Meet the New Baby: Juki TL-2010Q!

Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well! I’m traipsing around Iceland at the moment, but I thought I’d share a little review of my new machine with you while I’m away. I’ve had my new Juki TL-2010Q for several weeks and have constructed quite a few garments on it.  There are already a few reviews of it online, but most seemed to be written by quilters and I thought a garment sewing perspective on this machine might be useful to someone who’s considering this guy.

So, long story short, this machine is entirely Oona‘s fault. I visited Sew-Right in Bayside, Queens with her when her machines were on the fritz, and friends, I had NO intention of buying a new machine. NONE. I was just there to play with a Bernina or two and to gab about sewing! I’d heard the Thread Cult podcast episode, “Boost Your Sewing Machine IQ” with Harvey from Sew-Right and was intrigued to visit the shop. I expected to be completely blown away by the Berninas as I’d always heard so much about them, but nothing really clicked for me (although the Bernina 350 Special Edition made a buttonhole so beautiful it nearly brought tears to our eyes… you guys, it was ART). What DID click was this machine! I placed my foot on the pedal and was smitten! I tried fabric after fabric on it, placing layer upon layer of thick denim under the presser foot, and he chomped away happily! Impressive! I managed to tear myself away from the machine, thought about it for about a month, and did some research to see if I really wanted it. I noticed in a photo on Cloth Habit that Amy owns this Juki, too, so I sent her a long, annoying email with many, many questions, and after her kind reply, I knew this was the machine for me!

Juki TL-2010q | Ginger Makes

So, some facts about the machine: it’s a straight-stitch semi-industrial. What this means is that it only does straight stitches- no zigzags, no buttonholes, no fancy stretch or embroidery stitches. It’s also much, much faster than the average home machine (about 150% faster). This thing is FAST, like an industrial, but doesn’t take up as much space (and isn’t as loud). It has a speed control lever, though, so you can cap the speed if you’re worried about getting used to it (or letting a child or newbie sew). Also, it has a knee lever to raise the presser foot and a thread cutter (for both needle and bottom thread) in the pedal- you just press with your heel and it cuts the thread. Between the knee lever, thread cutter, and faster stitching, I feel like I whiz through garments now!

Juki TL-2010q | Ginger Makes

This machine is a BEAST. It’s a SOLID machine, and is insanely heavy, so it doesn’t shake at all when sewing. It topstitches beautifully, and stitches together garments really quickly. Mary Ann at Sew-Right uses it to sew bags, and I can see why- it has no problem getting through thick fabric (I tested it with six layers of heavy denim and it sewed without complaint). It comes with a MASSIVE extension bed- good for big projects, but a bit too big for my workspace- and several feet, including a walking foot, a zipper foot, and a 1/4″ foot (dudes, this makes topstitching super easy). I love that it comes with the walking foot- I love using one, and buying them separately is annoying. It uses Juki industrial feet, which are really cheap, so that’s nice.

On the negative side, this probably isn’t a good stand-alone machine for garment sewers. Like I said before, it’s straight stitch only, so if you want to sew knits/buttonholes/etc, you have to use another machine. I’ve been really happy with my basic Janome mechanical, but have wanted something heavy duty as a second machine, so this really fits the bill, but I couldn’t have just this machine. It’s been a nice luxury to be able to say, stitch on one machine, and do all my topstitching on the other without having to stop to re-thread. Another thing that’s different/slightly annoying is that you have to oil this machine before you use it every. single. time. It’s very quick and easy to do, but I struggled at first to remember to do it.

Juki TL-2010q | Ginger Makes

Now, I know you could find tough, reliable straight-stitch machines in the used/vintage market, and it was every bit my intention to buy one as a second machine. But I couldn’t shake a nervous feeling about it. I grew up with used cars and appliances that always felt like they were inches from death, and it kind of stresses me out now to think about spending money on something that’s not under warranty (especially after my previous car, a 1976 Volkswagen purchased on eBay… an awesome set of wheels, but it was just too nerve-wracking to have to mutter a prayer before turning the key every single time!). I know it’s a luxury, but I wanted to invest in a machine that’s covered by manufacturer’s and dealer’s warranties, so that’s why I splurged on this machine. I absolutely get the appeal of vintage machines and I really wish I had the guts to get one this time around, but I’m just terrified by the thought of buying something used and having it crap out on me right away! I also really liked buying this from a dealer. It’s really nice to have someone show you different machines, help you decide what works for you, and run you through the paces with a new machine. My Janome Magnolia 7318 was a gift, and was purchased online, and while I love it, it would’ve been nice to have someone to show me its capabilities in person. 🙂

So, that’s my new baby Juki! Hope this review is helpful to someone! Now, tell me, what’s your philosophy on sewing machines? Top of the line with lots of bells and whistles? Cheap beginner machine? Vintage all the way? Too many machines to count? Dish!

77 responses

  1. Oh my goodness, what a neat machine! I’ve had my eye on getting an industrial machine myself, but couldn’t quite justify the expense, as I now own 4 sewing machines (2 modern, 2 vintage). The one I mainly sew on is my cheap-o Singer I got for under $200 new about 10 years ago. I call her “The Clunker” because that’s the noise she makes when sewing. Then I also have a semi-modern White sewing machine that I got at a thrift store for $7 (it was originally $14, but I had a 50% off coupon). That thing sews like butter, but it has one of those weird bobbin contraptions that you have to remove (which drives me bananas), so I don’t use it as often as I should. Anyways, I’m rambling! Congrats on your new machine and hope you’re having fun in Iceland!

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  2. awesome! i’ve thought about getting that machine b/c there are a lot of things i don’t love about my janome horizon. but i haven’t taken the plunge yet. so does this mean you’re going to take up quilting? b/c c’mon it’s perfect for that! 🙂

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    • I really think this would be great for a quilter! I haven’t taken the quilting plunge yet, mainly because my mom quilts and I already have five or six quilts! But I should start because so many of my friends are having babies!

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  3. I have three sewing machines and a serger. The first sewing machine is a new-ish Brother that I have been tempted to drop-kick out the window several times. BUT, it’s not so bad for the basics, so I keep it around for my students to practice on (and for its automatic buttonholes). The second is an Elna from the sixties that my neighbor gave me (Thanks KJ!). I love that machine! It stitches beautifully. The trick is that it doesn’t “get” knits, unless it’s something like a ponte that’s super-stable. The Elna was made before modern knits were 🙂 Also, the foot doesn’t lift quite as high as I would like, so making things like jeans on it can get pretty hard towards the end. My third is a Bernina 1008 that I found on Craigslist. It’s pretty old (from the styling on the front I’d guess late 80′s?), but it’s a beast and runs without a hitch on ANYTHING. It’s so nice to have a monster machine! And my serger is a Brother that my husband got me for Christmas, and THAT Brother works like a dream as long as you don’t expect it to make it through 6 layers of sweater knit (trust me).
    ANYWAY, I’ve found that I really like having a few machines, especially for projects that require a couple different colors of thread. It’s really nice not to have to be re-threading all the time. They’re all useful at different times. Plus it makes me feel pro-ish 🙂

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    • Oh man, I’ve heard such good things about Elnas! But I started sewing on a basic brother and I hated it! I borrowed it from my sister, and it always made tangled up nests of threads- yuck!

      It’s so nice to have more than one machine! Makes life so much easier. 🙂

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  4. Wowza! That is a serious machine!! So exciting, what are you going to make on it first? 150 % faster than a regular machine is crazy – this means you can finish your projects 150 % faster ! I have a Janome intermediate level machine, I invested after experimenting on my ex’s crappy Walmart special he left behind. My philosophy was to love the machine for 10-15 years at least. My mom had her sewing machine for probably 25 years, so I figured that is a good time frame to aim for. And then I invested invested in a serger the next year. That should be enough machines, for now anyway!

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    • That’s a good philosophy. I understand why people want to buy starter machines when they’re just beginning, but now that I’ve been sewing a while I realized that much of my frustration at the beginning was due to my not-so-good loaner machine. I really like my Janome and I feel like you get really good bang for your buck with their machines. Mine was only about $200 and it’s a really, really reliable machine.

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  5. Wow, that sounds like an awesome machine. Of course, I’m already a little bit jealous 😉 . I sew with an 1980s mechanical Bernina, bought without any sort of warranty on Ebay and it has worked out beautifully, I love my machine. But this is the first time I’ve even considered buying used, normally I – like you – wouldn’t want to deal with the dress of having an unwarranted machine.

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  6. I’ve just inherited an old Singer from my great grandma, and god that thing is awesome! I totally didn’t need it, as I have a pretty good, brand new, top of the line Janome, but since no one else in the family wanted it, I gladly took it 🙂 It’s crazy old, exactly 96 years old, and is the kind that works with no electricity, yup, I need to pedal to sew! I had to change a few parts, but they’re still very easy to find, it comes with a ton of feets (I’m missing a few, and I still have to figure out if they’re easy to come across), and it runs fabulously! The fact that there is no electricity involved means that it’ll probably last forever. It’s just straight stitch as well, but sews through pretty much everything – as long as I pedal hard enough. haha. If you ever find one, I can only strongly recommend it!
    Anyways, your machine sounds awesome! Knee levers & thread cutters makes sewing so easy!

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  7. Damn you woman, don’t tempt me with this haha!! I’m getting fed up with computerized machines after the last two I’ve had. …they’re amazing up until they’re just not amazing anymore lol aka tension issues, random jams, and auto button hole stitches that just won’t make a button hole. *sigh* Might have to upgrade to a machine like this sooner than I wanted to. It looks like a thing of beauty and I’d love to be able to sew my own jeans some day!

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  8. Please tell me you’re going to make a quilt!! 🙂
    I have this machine and use it for sewing quilts and woven garments. I love it so much! It isn’t picky about thread, either. Make sure you oil it all the time. Like daily.
    xo

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  9. that machine is such a beauty! i’ve been stalking craigslist for a second machine lately. i can’t justify buying new at the moment, but i really want a backup for top stitching! hate changing out the thread all the time… so annoying. enjoy the new machine!

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  10. usually i am all over the vintage/pre-owned machine. not only is it cheaper, but it makes me feel a little better to buy something old and saving it from the trash heap. this is especially true with my sewing machines because i’ve never felt the need for anything fancy: i learned on my mom’s kenmore that she sewed her prom dress on, and my first personal machine was (and is – until last week it was my primary machine!) an entry-level kenmore i bought on sale at sears.

    then i scored a used bernina 1130 on craigslist for a song. (i am pretty sure it is the same model machine kenneth king claims he would run into a burning building for!) it’s smooth and lovely and more substantial, and all the features i thought were ridiculous – i.e., automatic needle-down – make a huge difference when you add them up. that plus my birthday babylock have put me squarely on the “splurge when it’s right” camp. so enjoy the new juki! and blame it all on oona – really, what isn’t her fault when it comes to sewing enabling?

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    • Your arsenal of machines is seriously impressive! I really believe there isn’t a single “right” machine- different machines are great for different reasons, and if you have the room for multiples, why not?!

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    • It’s so huge it’s kind of crazy! It’s actually really nice when I’m sewing with delicate fabric (my work table is kind of rough, so it can snag fabric if I’m not careful).

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  11. Oooh, you will be sewing up a storm with this machine!! Hooray! I went thru some of the same agonizing over my last sm and serger purchases too. In the end I went with dealer/modern for many of the same reasons – ie: warranty, knowing where to go when I have a problem/question, and those neato features.

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  12. That is a thing of beauty! I was about to get rid of my vintage singer (to make some room in my sewing space–it’s getting crowded with 4 machines now), but then I did a test buttonhole on it while cleaning it up, and it was so beautiful that I just stopped right there. She stays. And I totally used her the other day for some basting stitches so that I didn’t have to change out the twin needle I was using on my Janome–having multiple machines rocks!

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    • Oh man, that’s so great! If you have the space for it, you should totally keep it! Just get rid of your bed or your couch or something and make room for the Singer! 😉

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  13. I am weeping tears of joy for you. This, is my dream machine. I love love love my vintage Bernina. But, this is the machine my sewing dreams are made of. Have you tried random industrial feet with it yet? Also, I think there is an old old past vintage buttonholer that works on these. I’m so glad to have a garment sewer talk about one of these!

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  14. Congratulations on your new machine, it looks like a really sturdy machine. I have some experience working with a juki. At school I learned to sew on an industrial one and my mom has used one for almost 20 years working at a factory. For many years I used my moms 30 year old Brother and its still going strong but when I decided to finally buy one my mom thought that a juki would be the best choice. After a long time of thinking I finally decided to buy a juki industrial/computerized one. I must admit that it was a tough decision because of the price but I have never regretted it. I sewed bags to sell, childrens clothes and it sews beautifully. I think that you made a good investment because these machines are made to last a lifetime. Happy Sewing 🙂

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  15. Oh,but that machine WILL make buttonholes! There is an attachment for it like the really old singers. I hated the attachment but gosh darn it, the buttonholes were the best ever.

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  16. Congrats on your new machine! I tried it out before, but it didn’t sing to me like it sings to you. At the time I tried the machine, I was used to Industrials and it wasn’t fast enough!!! Now I’m working on a regular speed machine, and an industrial speed machine would take getting used to again. I remember your Juki being a great machine though and you will love the speed. I didn’t realize it takes industrial Juki feet. You will LOVE that feature. I recommend getting the rolled hem feet. I find they work better on an industrial then they do on regular home sewing machines.

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    • I bet it’s hard to switch from an industrial to a semi- or home machine! Everything else must feel so clunky and slow! 🙂 I’ll have to pick up the rolled hem feet. Thanks for the recommendation! I actually don’t think I’ve ever done one before!

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  17. Ack I’m green with envy!!!!!!! Lucky you! It’s an awesome machine. I have the Viking mega quilter similar / same machine loud compared to the juki but got a great deal. They are tanks and mechanical so I can tinker and also sew without fear in bad weather (& why I HAD to get the bernina 1008 hehe). Hmm me thinks you should try making a smallish quilt- then you’ll really flip over her! Made a queen (simple design) pieced in a day and a queen swoon in a day lol! As far as machines- ask Harvey and the ladies lol (they’ll roll their eyes)!! Majority of my machines were purchased with them- awesome store. I could open my own shop hahaha. But if that Tula special edition hits- I think Harvey will be having a few trade ins for it (and maybe I’ll add the juki too heheh). Congrats!!!!!!!!!

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  18. I have an industrial Juki, inherited from my mom when she got a computerized industrial Juki. I learned to sew on this machine, doing 99% quilting. But I rarely quilt anymore, having caught the garment sewing bug a few years ago, and I do all of the sewing I can possibly get away with on my Juki. I know exactly how you feel when sitting down to sew on one of these machines. I think you made a good choice and you’ll only grow to love it more as time goes on.

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    • Oh, that’s so cool! I’ve always been so intrigued by industrials, but I don’t have anywhere in my apartment that I could fit the table they drop into. The semi just feels so nice when you’re sewing- the industrial must be amazing!

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  19. I need dis.
    I hope theyre available in Aus?
    Been wondering whether to switch to industrial and it seems like a big step. The industrials I’ve played with all have a big oil sump (messy) and use the big rolls of thread. And so fast. I didn’t know you could get something in between. Thanks SO much for making me aware of this Juki – now to see if I can find one!

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  20. Congrats on your new machine! I think you just have to find the right machine for you and it sounds like you did 🙂 Personally, I ‘inherited’ (bugged my grandma to give it to me) a 1930’s treadle that has been in the family since it was brand new and I couldn’t imagine sewing on anything else. It’s straight stitch only and I love it. I never took to electrical machines the way I took to treadling 🙂

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    • That’s so cool! It’s so cool to have a family heirloom sewing machine! Plus, in a power outage, you’ll be whizzing away while the rest of us are moaning and groaning! 😉

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  21. I am lusting after this machine! When I was shopping for machine (Bernina 350) I wish there were more information. I love my machine, but sometimes, a better value would have been the pfaff.

    I grew up sewing with an industrial machine, so I’m glad this is similar to an industrial machine except for the weight! I’m used to the straight stitch only, so this is right up my alley! I’ll be saving for this! Thanks for the great review!

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  22. Congrats! 🙂 Wow I have major machine envy now. In the best possible way!

    I love the fact that its a semi-industrial. My mum has an industrial machine and it is an absolute pleasure to sew with. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little-non industrial machine. It’s great for so many reasons… BUT sewing with an industrial feels amazing! When I use my mums machine I am totally fearless when sewing through layers and/or heavy fabrics.

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  23. Wow! sounds like the perfect second machine! I’ve got a pfaff, which does all the extra things, and I’m really happy with it. But I also still have my old toyota and two very old vintage treadle singers.. My bf won’t let me have more machines, which I think is for the best 🙂

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    • Ooh, i’ve heard such good things about Pfaffs! Hoping to get a chance to play with Oona’s new-to-her Pfaff someday. It’s really tempting to hoard machines, isn’t it?! 😀

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  24. Yeah girl. It’s almost like you KNEW you’d need to sew through a million layers of denim soon, huh?! Congrats on the new acquisition!

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  25. Oooo, nice! I was reading about this machine online a while ago. I would love something semi industrial for jeans and other heavy duty sewing. I have a Juki that is great and I love it but when I get too many layers I feel like I might break it! I also have a serger, a coverstitch and a Janome Travelmate that is currently broken but I am hoping I can fix. And my daughter has a Janome hello kitty machine. So we don’t really have room for another but I want one anyway! I hear you on buying used, it makes me nervous too.

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    • The space issue is such a difficulty, isn’t it? I was really careful when I bought a table, calculating the largest size I could possibly fit in my apartment, and making sure I could fit two machines onto it, but now that I have two machines and a serger it’s too crowded! But I bet your daughter looks adorable on her machine and everything else you have seem so practical and helpful, so… what’s a girl to do?!

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  26. Oooo…a new machine! How exciting! Thanks for sharing your review – that baby looks like a workhorse and I get what you are saying about vintage machines too. They scare me too! I can only imagine paying a bunch of money for one and then having it crap out on me, only to have to go buy a new machine anyway – so good choice in my book! Hope you are having lots of fun in Iceland! Did you guys get to the Blue Lagoon?

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  27. Great post – thanks for the review. Nothing better than finding the machine that makes your heart ga-gank!!
    Quick question : have you tried leather? I know you said you tried upteen layers of denim but Im curious about how it stitches leather seams, top-stitch etc.

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  28. I have had a lot of machines (both new and used) over the years. My hands-down favorite of the bunch has to be the 60-year old Singer Slant-O-Matic that my brother found in a dumpster about 15 years ago and gave to me. It’s the one machine that I can always rely on, and it’s the one machine that I will never part with. I don’t use it for my everyday garment sewing, but I do frequently set it up when I need to do a lot of topstitching. I also have my mom’s Singer 20U industrial, but the motor is so loud and squirrely that I don’t like to use it.

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    • Wow! I have dreams about finding an awesome machine on the street or in a dumpster, but I think Peter of MPB beats me to all the good dumpster stuff! 😉 Sounds like you have a good brother!

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  29. Congratulations on your new machine. I must admit it looks like a machine that will do the job well done. I agree with the buy new machines philosophy. I also like to buy them new, you never know what the previous owner did with it. I started of with my mothers old Singer machine (the one that was still manual, with the lever on the side) That machine really did a great job. She has a Elna as well, but she kept using the Singer and only the Elna for button holes and things the Singer could not do. When I got married I bought myself a cheap brother machine, but it was just not up to standard. Eventually I bought myself a Bernina 380. And yes those buttonholes! (just don’t try to unpick them though, Bernina really does a great job!) It took me a year to decide to buy it, because it is quite pricey. I guess I will invest one day in a industrial machine as well or just inherit my mother’s old Singer. At least I now what she has done with it! For now I just need to get myself a new Serger. One again looking at the second hand stuff makes me a bit nervous, but what serger to buy? My head is aching already :-). Enjoy your new machine and enjoy your trip through Iceland!

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    • Oh wow, the 380 buttonholes must be awesome! As far as sergers go, I was blown away by the Babylock Imagine, but I don’t actually need something that fancy. I have the Brother 1034D that everyone has and it’s been good for me.

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  30. Congrats on the new SM. I hope you two have a fruitful life together and create many of lovely babies (garments). LOL Seriously Congrats.

    My sewing machine preference is Metal. I want SMs with mostly metal parts. Part of me wants to have an industrial machine, but realities says, no room. I also would love to have a featherweight.

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  31. Congratulations Sonja! I can’t express my love for Juki enough. I have a Juki DDL 5500 (industrials) and it sews like a champ! Before I had my PFAFF, I had a Juki home machine and that thing was a beast as well.

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  32. Oooh new and shiny. Congrats! I am going to upgrade my sewing machine in Aug. My Toyota has lots of good settings but it also is missing basic functions like the ability to adjust stitch length and an on/off switch! I’m going to get something that ticks all my “basics” and has some fun bells and whistles too. Can’t wait to get spending!

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