One of the things I've been thinking about buying was the little mini machine that John Lewis is selling as a back up and for taking places like the retreat. http://www.johnlewis.com/230962733/Product.aspx. For those that are coming to the retreat from out of town, they have a big store in Oxford Street.
Off I went to Bluewater this morning; I was going to go for the yellow but ended up with the red as the yellow wasn't nice. They didn't have all the colours in stock but a good selection. It is a proper red, I just couldn't get the photo to show it.
It's funny when you start using a machine like this you realise all the little things you take for granted.
Firstly, when threading it there isn't a needle threader. Well, sorry, I tell a lie it does come with one of the little hand held things you use for hand sewing. But I managed. There also isn't a light, so that makes a big difference, especially when trying to thread the needle.
I've had a little fiddle with the foot and it doesn't seem like it comes off. I was going to try and see if any of my other feet fit it but that clearly didn't work.
It has a teeny tiny pedal. It basically starts and stops it. You press to go at one speed only and release to stop. It doesn't go at a mega speed (you won't win the jelly roll quilt race with it) but it isn't painfully slow. I noticed it most when winding the bobbin how long it took to finish.
It does come with 5 straight stitch lengths and 5 other stitches. I must admit I only tried the straight stitch. I started with the smallest and this was teeny.
Without a quarter inch foot I'm rubbish, so I just used the edge of the foot as my guide. This was a bit over 1/4 inch so if you really needed accuracy you would have to put a bit more effort in to get it right.
I just used some old ugly charm squares to give it a run. It doesn't have a needle up/down but I used the manual turning to get my needle down at first. I think it was a fluke that when I stopped sewing it was still down (I don't think it is clever enough to remember how I start).
This is what I achieved without any bother at all.
It is only when doing this post I've also realised I forgot to try reverse!