It is a well-known fact that Consew has a reputation for being one of the most sought after brands for commercial sewing machines.
It wasn’t until visiting the Gold Coast Sewing and Vacuum Center that I had an opportunity to review a Consew machine designed exclusively for the home sewer. The Consew Model 14TU854 is an overlock machine that was specifically built for use in the home.
At A Glance
Aside from the Consew logo and brand name, the first thing you notice on the Consew Model 14TU854 is the colorful lay in threading discs. The next thing that will catch your eye is the number of controls on the right hand side of the machine.
There are three dials and near the top is a lever. The balance wheel is the largest and is positioned just above the power switch. Just the left of the balance wheel is the differential feed. Above that you will find the stitch length adjustment dial.
The biggest surprise for me, however, was he lever at the very top. That, believe it or not is the presser foot lift.
I have seen presser foot lifts positioned behind the needle, next to the needle and of course there are knee lift presser foot controls and computerized machines with touch pads or push buttons that control the up and down movement of the presser foot.
This is, however, the first time I have ever seen a presser foot lift on the side of a sewing machine or serger.
Inside the looper door is a decal that clearly depicts the threading process. There is, however, no on board storage space for the accessories you need to properly thread the Consew 14TU854, like tweezers, needle threader, lint brush or extra needles.
A major plus is the free arm. All it takes to get access to the free arm is to slide off the small cover around the needle plate. When the free arm is exposed, sewing small items like children’s clothes, cuffs, collars and hemming pants is a breeze.
- Individually adjustable and replaceable loopers
- Color coded lay in threading
- Suction cups on the bottom
- Adjustable stitch length
- High-rise looper mechanism
- Heavy duty steel upper and lower blades
- Easy thread tension control
- Free arm
- Needle guard
- LED lighting
- Safety shut off switch
Working on the Consew Model 14TU854 Overlock Machine
The lay in threading system and easy to follow instructions for threading the loopers are just the beginning of what could be an excellent sewing experience.
The graphic details that guide the user through the process of threading the loopers are essential for anyone who has never used this machine before.
Once you master the technique, however, you will be able to thread the Consew Model 14TU854 with easy agility.
Once it’s threaded, the trick for me was to remember where to find the presser foot lift.
After so many years of working on sewing machines and sergers, my natural instinct was to reach behind the needle.
Having the presser foot lift on the right hand side of this machine was a real stretch for this left handed sewer.
The quality of the stitches, however is very good. I was not thrilled, however, with the level of noise or the way the Consew Model 14TU854 vibrates pretty badly even when not sewing at full speed.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- Lint brush
- Dust cover
- Owner’s manual
- Catch bin
- Looper threader
|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
Sewing on the affordable Consew Model 14TU854 was mixed experience for me. The stitch quality is excellent.
The Consew website and owner’s manual stipulate that this machine is excellent for silk, tricot, dressmaking and even denim.
It is not, however, suitable for truly heavy weight fabrics like canvas, upholstery fabric beyond light to medium weights, very heavy wool for coats and the like.
What disturbed me most about working on the Consew Model 14TU854 are the noise and vibration. After sewing just a few inches, it was little wonder why it comes with suction cups.
In addition to the noise and vibration issue, my other concern is the material used to construct the outer shell. It is that hard plastic that gives you the impression that it will crack if you are not extremely careful.
No one expects to bang a serger around or drop it, but accidents happen and I cannot help but wonder how it will stand up to several years of normal use.
To be honest, I was more than a little bit surprised at this because I had become accustomed to Consew’s well-constructed commercial sewing machines.
There are other brands that started out making sewing machines and sergers for industrial use that transferred the same quality and workmanship to their machines or home use.
I am sorry to say that this is not the case with the Consew Model 14TU854 overlock machine. I am not sure if they decline in the quality of the materials is an attempt to keep prices low of if there is some other reason for using the fragile plastic that feels like it will crack very easily.
The affordability of the Consew Model 14TU854 overlock machine and the addition of the free arm and the fact that the lay in threading system is easier to master than many other sergers I have reviewed are all definite advantages.
The quality of the stitches is the biggest advantage. After all, isn’t that the most important thing we look at? What good is a sewing machine or serger that is not capable of producing great stitches?
If a user friendly serger with great stitch quality is what you are looking for, then visit the Consew dealer in your and ask for a demonstration of the Consew Model 14TU854 overlock machine.
If, however, you are in the market for more than great stitches and affordability, you may want to consider looking further. Nearly all sewing machines and sergers have a plastic housing.
However, there are nearly as many different grades of plastic as there are sewing machines on the market. If the Consew Model 14TU854 overlock machine were made from more durable plastic I would be more enthusiastic about it.
Given the fact that the body of this machine is so tenuous, I cannot in good conscience give it a ringing endorsement.
I rated the performance as a 3 for this reason. This has been a bit of an eye opener for me because if you look at performance alone… meaning the way it operates and how the stitches look… it would get a higher rating.
When considering the long term performance, however, I am not so certain that this will be the case. I have seen other machines with sturdier construction that literally failed in every aspect after just a couple of years of use.
There is no way of telling if this will happen with the Consew Model 14TU854, but the possibility cannot be ignored.
If you are willing to take a chance and gamble on the fact that the Consew Model 14TU854 could very well turn out to be a wonderful machine for many, many years to come you might just be taking home a winner.
- 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 thread
- Free arm