I’ve had my Brother CE8080 sewing machine for a little over a month now, and so far I have no complaints. Here are some of the characteristics that I like about it:
Ease of operating the machine
- Great for beginners – the manual is good enough to get you sewing, no need to buy extra reference books (if you can resist, I sure couldn’t!). From threading the machine to troubleshooting, I’ve had no problems with this machine after around 6 weeks of using it once or twice a week. For experienced sewists, this will be a piece of cake for sure. If not, there’s always Youtube!
- Easy to use with different types of fabric in terms of thickness – I’ve sewn up to 4 layers of jersey and 2 layers of pretty thick elastic with no problems although I’ve had to lift the presser foot a few times to avoid jamming on the really thick parts
- Adjusting thread width and tension is so simple
- Digital screen makes it super easy to change stitches
If you’re like me and don’t have a sewing table or room set up, then you don’t want your sewing machine to be too heavy or difficult to store and take out again. The CE8080 is pretty lightweight at 4.8 kg, but not so light that you feel like you’re using a toy.
Useful features/Nice to haves
- Seam allowance guide with markings both in inches and centimeters, very useful for keeping your seams in check. It would be even better I think to have one of the magnetic seam guides that really guides the fabric, but I don’t plan to try using one since the machine is computerized and it might mess up the system
- LED light – makes it easy to see what you’re working on, but this is of course no way near the amount of light that you need while you’re sewing
- Basic stitches - With 80 types of stitches, the CE8080 has way more than enough stitches. I doubt that most people will ever get to use more than 5-10 types. I’ve only ever used 4 or 5 to make several projects and a basic garment
- Auto-size buttonholes
- Free arm – makes it easier to stitch sleeves and any round areas
- Drop-in bobbin with a clear cover (easy to see when you’re running low on your thread)
- Responsive foot pedal, important since I sew very slowly over curves, while topstitching, or when I approach corners
- Built in thread trimmer – for easy cutting of thread every time you’re done sewing a certain portion
Comes with your basic accessories, detailed in this post. Easy to find and easy to buy compatible upgrades (especially for those of you in North America) although a lot of the accessories don’t specify that they are compatible with the Brother CE8080 so we’ll probably have to contact Brother or do a little bit of trial and error. Hehehe. It’s a little more difficult for me over here in Asia, good thing there’s always Amazon. :-)
I recently received the following presser feet that I ordered online, total for all 4 was a little over 30 USD, although I’m not sure if all of them are compatible with my machine!
- Brother SA125 1/4 inch Piecing Foot
- Brother SA149 Picot foot
- Brother SA120 Gathering Foot
- Brother SA128 Concealed Zipper Foot
Reasonably priced for the features and quality at around 200-230 USD. Beginners may or may not outgrow entry-level machines priced at below 100 USD since usually these machines have only the most basic stitches (although those stitches are all I’ve used so far) and fewer features.
Overall, a great buy that I’d happily recommend to anyone. :-)