The popular television program, Project Runway, has spawned a brand new interest in home sewing. This is a much welcomed shot in the arm for the sewing machine industry.
The folks at Brother International were successful in partnering with the successful show that shines the spotlight on talented fashion designers.
This partnership has resulted in an exclusive line of Project Runway sewing machines and sergers. I had the pleasure of reviewing one of the limited edition sewing and quilting machines in the Project Runway line.
At A Glance
If it were not for the Project Runway logo, you might mistake the Brother Project Runway NS 80 Limited Edition for any other sewing and quilting machine on the market.
However, one look at the on board stitch selector guide mounted to the carrying handle, thread cutter, needle threader and other time saving features will let you know why this machine is so good for the high paced Project Runway competition.
The on board accessories case, free arm and speedy threading and bobbin winding features only enhance this machine’s value when you find it necessary to get the best results in the least amount of time.
The long list of quality time saving features that are standard on the Brother Project Runway NS 80 Limited Edition includes:
- Exclusive Brother advanced needle threading system
- 14 Needle Positions
- Top, drop-in, Quick-Set™ bobbin
- Automatic bobbin winding system
- Manual upper tension
- Drop feed function
- Free arm
- Maximum Sewing Speed: 850 stitches per minute
- LCD Monochrome display
- 10 key digital control panel
- LCD monochrome display
- On board accessory storage case
- Carrying case
- Warranty: 25 year limited warranty
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- Lightweight: 14 pounds
Working on the Brother Project Runway NS 80 Limited
Starting with the stitch chart attached to the top of the Brother Project Runway NS 80 Limited sewing and quilting machine, the easy to follow threading guide and automatic bobbin winding system, I was immediately reminded of how user friendly this machine actually is.
Threading the machine and winding the front drop in bobbin were as easy as they could possibly be.
The process of actually sewing on this machine was even easier. Selecting stitches was made less complicated by the immediate access of the stitch chart.
Having it attached to the top of the machine was a sheer stroke of genius. When you are dealing with 80 stitch options and 10 different buttonholes, it is, indeed a challenge to commit all of the stitch codes to memory.
The fact that the Brother Project Runway NS 80 Limited Edition is capable of storing up to 35 stitch combinations in its on board memory is another major advantage to users.
As with most other reviews, I decided to test various utility and decorative stitches. As expected, the stitch selection process was quite easy.
Dialing up the desired stitch was as easy as entering the stitch number on the digital buttons on the right side of the sewing machine.
The LCD screen walked us through the stitch selection process, yielding perfect results each and every time. The user friendly owner’s manual explained in clear detail which tension setting was best for various fabric types as well as selected stitches.
The on board accessories case and free arm make quick presser foot needle changes so fast that Project Runway competitors can say in the race without missing a single stitch, of losing any time in the process.
The three speed slider control is an ideal feature for working on intricate projects as well as for beginners and intermediate sewers with limited experience who are becoming familiar with the Brother Project Runway NS 80 Limited Edition, its features, specifications and operation.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
Standard accessories included with every Brother Project Runway NS 80 Limited edition sewing and quilting machine are:
- 7 Presser feet
- Blind stitch
- Seam ripper
- 4 bobbins
- Eyelet punch
- Lint brush
- 3 Spool caps
- Extra spool pin
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
To sum it all up, the Brother Project Runway NS80 Limited Edition is one of the best computerized sewing and quilting machines in its price range. Do not let the term “Limited Edition” scare you off.
Unlike some other limited edition sewing machines, this one is designed to fit any budget. With a manufacturers suggested retail price of a mere $899, I believe the Brother Project Runway NS80 Limited Edition is well worth the asking price.
The owner’s manual is written in such a way that it is an ideal learning tool for the beginning sewer and an excellent resource for those who have been sewing for many years.
While I hesitate to recommend any computerized sewing machine for use by children, I believe this one might be the exception to that rule.
I believe anyone beyond the elementary school level would be able to use the Brother Project Runway NS80 Limited Edition with ease.
The on board tutorials provided by the LCD monochromatic screen and the easy to follow threading guide and bobbin winder are so user friendly that I think anyone 12 years of age or older would not be challenged by the processes.
They might be challenged by having to manually adjust the upper tension, but this is a step any student would have to master if working on a mechanical sewing machine.
Based upon that simple fact, I do not think a manual tension adjustment should be a dissuading factor in deciding to purchase this machine. In addition, the adjustable speed slider is a major advantage for the beginner.
As their sewing skills improve, users have the option of increasing the speed up to 850 stitches per minute.
People who have been sewing for a very long time and accustomed to faster sewing machines might be put off by the fact that the highest speed is only 850 stitches per minute.
Although this is a little slower than the 1,000 or 1,500 stitches per minute some intermediate and advanced home sewers may be accustomed to, I believe the other options make up for the lack of speed.
When you consider the fact that this machine renders 10 automatic one step buttonholes, on board thread cutters, an automatic needle threader, and 80 utility and decorative stitches along with an on board accessories case, snap on presser feet and so many other attractive features, the speed or lack thereof is a minor inconvenience.
Another major advantage to having a Brother Project Runway NS80 Limited Edition sewing and quilting machine is the fact that it is portable.
Sewing students can carry this machine to class with ease. This machine comes with a soft carrying case that makes it easy to transport to and from college campuses, vacation homes and anywhere else you may want to take it.
At just 14 pounds, it is lightweight and easy for event the smallest home sewer to lift and carry. Even though an extended worktable is an optional accessory, it takes very little table or desk space, making it an ideal travel companion.
You could even sew while taking a long train trip if you choose to spend the time creating something fabulous to wear once you reach your final destination.
When it comes to picking the right computerized sewing and quilting machine, there are a lot of options to consider and lots of models to choose from.
If you have an on the go lifestyle, the portability and light weight of the Brother Project Runway NS 80 Limited Edition is a viable option for you.
You should also consider this machine if you are new to sewing or have been sewing for a while but want to expand into machine quilting and monogramming.
This machine is good for students, for the intermediate sewer as well as the advanced level home sewer who is in the market for a new sewing machine that is capable of sewing, quilting and monogramming with the latest computerized technology.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Easy to use stitch selection key pad
- Easy to read monochromatic LCD screen
- With a maximum speed of 850 stitches per minute, this machine may be a bit slow for some users with lots of sewing experience