Brother are one of the most popular sewing machine manufactures in the world and there computerized models are some of the best. The Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW is a fantastic computerized sewing machine that is well priced packed with features. Perfect for beginners, with a lot to offer more experienced users. In this Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW review I will outline why it is such a great machine for making clothes and why I have featured it in my list of best sewing machines for beginners.
Compared to other Brother sewing machines the CS5055PRW is a little disappointing in the style department, it has clearly designed with functionality in mind. While it is not ugly it there are defiantly more beautiful machines on the marked. Luckily this is the least important aspect of any machine. A huge positive of its design is that it was clearly inspired by some of Brothers mechanical machines. Meaning that it is well laid out and super simple to use. For those who are fans of project runway it features a limited addition label inspired by the show.
Being a computerized machine most of the settings are navigated through the screen on the right. Before even reading the instructions it is clear how the buttons and screen works a huge positive considering how overly complicated some computerized machines are. On inspection it is clear how well the CS5055PRW is made all the buttons, dials and levers feel sturdy and robust.
A big factor featuring the CS5055PRW in my list of best sewing machines for beginners is that it is compact and lightweight. At only 10.65 lbs and 11.65 x 7 x 16.26 inches it is one of the most portable machines on the market. Perfect for attending sewing classes.
Let’s start with the screen and navigation. As mention earlier it is very well designed and easy to use. The stitch, stitch length and stitch width can all be altered using the navigation buttons around the screen. So that it is clear which stitch is which, there is a nice diagram on the front of the machine positioned under the screen with a detailed picture and corresponding number for each stitch. A brother staple and great addition.
There is a bright light over the work area giving plenty of illumination. Two brilliant features for accessibility and speed are the automatic bobbin winding and automatic needle threader. The auto needle threader not only saves time, it makes the machine much more user friendly for those with visual impairment or poor dexterity. The automatic bobbin winder is a must have these days and makes change the bobbin quick and easy.
For smooth the performance the Brother CS5055PRW features a 7 part feed dog which allows for sewing speeds of up to 850 stitches per minute. Storage is available for accessories by removing the extension table which will also allow access to the free arm. While in theory this great for cuffs and sleeves. The free arm on the CS5055PRW is much too wide.
An important decision to make when purchasing a sewing machine is whether it includes the stitches that necessary for an intended project. The Brother CS5055PRW has 50 built in stitches and 87 stitch functions. This large range offers plenty of versatility, enabling the use of lots of different techniques. Along with the basic stitches such as a straight and zigzag stitch there are also stitches designed for garment construction, quilting, heirloom stitches and decorative stitches. Additionally there are 5 styles of 1 step button hole. This is one of the most standout features of this machine giving fantastic variety of different buttonhole styles, each offering a unique professional finish.
The generous number of stitches designed for making clothes, in addition to the 5 unique one step buttonholes make the CS5055PRW a fantastic machine for producing high quality clothes at home. All stitches are selected using the LCD screen which is quick and easy to navigate. To add the level of customization the width and length of each stitch can be altered. The stitch length can be alter up to 5mm and the stitch width can be alter up to 7mm. This is a great range not often found on machines at this price.
SETUP AND ACCESSORIES
Setting up the Brother CS5055PRW is no problem, the machine is intuitively set out and everything is well explained in the user manual. Adding to the easy of setup are the automatic bobbin winder and automatic needle threader making the job a lot less fiddly. To go with the manual there are also a range of additional accessories included, which are:
- 6 presser feet
- Twin needles
- Extra spool pin
- Ball point needle
- Seam ripper
- Small spool cap
- Medium spool cap
- Large spool cap
- Cleaning brush
Nothing out of the ordinary but it’s great to see that Brother have included everything that you will need to get started. Since additional presser feet often cost around $20 it is great to see that 6 are included straight out the box. The included presser feet are: buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, overcasting foot, zipper foot, zigzag foot, blind stitch foot and monogramming foot. As I have mentioned this machine is a great tool from making clothes. Largely due to the great range of additional presser feet.
There are a great range of presser feet available to purchase separately further increasing the versatility of CS5055PRW. Some of my favourite are the gathering foot, fantastic for making beautiful gathers easily, and the open toe foot, which is a perfect all round foot offering great visibility and range of needle positions.
The final thing to mention is the lack of dust cover or case. It would have been nice if they had included something to help transportation since it is a really plus of this machine. Cases are available for a reasonable price if need be. Beginners who will be attending sewing classes would defiantly benefit from a case however it is not a must to safely transport a sewing machine.
When talking about a machine that is light and compact there is a concern that the performance will suffer especially when sewing thicker fabrics. The Brother CS5055PRW surprised me with how well it performed. It features a 7 part feed dog, more than many of its competitors, and you can tell the difference. I test it on a variety of thick materials including multiple layers of denim. The performance remained consistently smooth through-out. Making it really standout from other computerized sewing machines at this price.
Number of Stitches: 50
Stitch Speed: 850
Bobbin Loading: Top
Weight: 10.65 lbs
Dimensions: 11.65 x 7 x 16.26 inches
Included Presser feet: 6
Auto Buttonholes: 1-step Auto sizing
Auto Needle Threading: Yes
Warranty: 25 Years Limited
To conclude this review: The Brother CS5055PRW is fantastically affordable computerized sewing machine that is clear aimed at those wanting to make clothes (and fans of Project Runway). Along with this it is an excellent machine to learn how to sew and should be seriously tempting for a beginner.
PROS AND CONS
- Great value
- Fantastic for making clothes
- 50 built in stitches
- 5 one step buttonholes
- No dust cover or case included
- Design is boring
I’m a true sewing enthusiast and have spent almost the entirety of my adult life practicing this age old art. Sewing genuinely has a special place in my heart and I’m glad to be able to share all of my experiences with each of you.