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Brother Laura Ashley Innovis Nx-800 Sewing Machine Review

A Designer’s Dream Machine

In our experience, one of the simplest and most radical ways to transform a space is through . From cushions to slipcovers, a lick of can extend the life of old furnishings, transform dowdy pieces into debutantes, and make your home more comfortable. Yet upholstery is often overlooked. Some of us are terrorised by the whimsy of previous generations—lace doilies, dusky rose florals—or worse, avante garde eighties get-ups, like the pink sateen and truqouise velvet get-up a certain room of my acquaintance used to sport. Upholstery seems vaguely out of sync with our hard surfaced and glossy generation. But good upholstery is like a perfectly tailored suit, all about sleek luxury.
In other cases, professional upholstery services may seem expensive, particularly when compared to the cost of furniture from your local mega-store. But discarding a sofa simply because its cloth is worn is to throw out the coffee with the cup. A well sprung 8 way hand-tied sofa is hard to come by, and certainly worth a slipcover!
In fact, think about the chair you’re sitting in now, if you’re like most of us, chances are you’re wheeling around on black nylon, in an chair years older than your computer, hopelessly out of sync with the rest of your home.
IKEA office chair
A secret, dear reader? We’ve had our office chairs for a good long while, and they aren’t Herman Miller. In the years we’ve had them, they’ve gone from their original black nylon, to (yes, we’ll admit) slick green, brown, and yellow stretch polyester (think a Jackson Pollock thrown up over your chair), to a black and white houndstooth (our halycon days), and then a tasteful check.
They are now wearing thick brown linen, a project undertaken as the first step in weighing the merits of a Laura Ashley Brother Innovis Nx-800 sewing machine we were recently sent for .
IKEA chair
Brother laura ashley sewing machine
The Nx-800 is a practical compromise between the long-armed behemoth of the professional upholsterer and the dainty frou-frou embroidery home-machine. Simple embellishment and monogramming stitches are available, while an included cutting & overstitch foot, walking quilting foot, extendable table, and knee lifter complement its work-horse-like sewing prowess. We fed the machine layers of thick denim, sewed princess seams in delicate modal, made curtains, altered knit garments, quilted and sewed outdoor fabric. The machine handled each need like a champ.
The basic workings of the Nx-800 should be familiar to anyone who’s used modern computerised sewing machines. It is not a touch-screen based model, and while it has some embroidery features, is clearly not geared toward that task. Instead, the ‘computerised’ aspects of the machine include all the other niceties – keyed in codes corresponding to each of 138 stitches, measured stitch length adjustment, auto-tension, lcd screen, one button thread cutting, touch-button sewing and easier adjustments all around.
Brother NX800
If you haven’t used similar machines before, you’re in for a treat. The learning curve isn’t at all steep, and Brother provides a well written manual, as well as a quick start guide. Moreover, many of the neato features that never ever work on a fancy sewing machine actually perform as advertised. The needle-threading lever never once malfunctioned in all of the times I used it, the thread-cutter consistently cut both the top and bottom thread without fault.
Brother NX800
Typical of Brother machines, the Nx-800 only uses Brother’s specially sized bobbins, which isn’t all bad, a little fatter than usual, they take more thread—though of course this means that you can’t use bought pre-wound bobbins. Other quirks of the machine include its myriad assortment of specialised feet. This isn’t at all bad—in fact, its one of its strengths. The feet specialised for freehand quilting, piping, monogramming, overcasting, mongramming, zipper, et cetera, mean that each particular task is performed with ease. The trick of it is, that every time you select a new stich, you need to check which foot you should be using. The display indicates the corresponding foot with a picture labelled with the corrsponding letter—it’s not at all hard to figure out, but can be surprisingly easy to forget! Learning to attach each foot also requires a moments thought, and perhaps more screwing and unscrewing than you might expect.

Brother NX800

Altogether, the machine is absolutely ideal for home decor projects, while I occasionally missed the ultra deep arm of an industrial machine, I certainly have no room for one at home! The wide table, knee-lifter (a lever which raises and lowers the pressure foot), foot pedal, and smart feed-dogs allow you to keep both hands on the fabric at all times. Surprisingly, the machine is also capable of sewing horizontally useful in appliques and for sewing tight spots. The level of embroidery capable is adequate for most purposes, and the machine includes three fonts with upper and lower-case character sets (sans serif, college lettering, and script). For quilting purposes, the machine has an incredibly straight and even stitch, even without emplyoing the walking foot. For clothes, the auto-tension and the delicacy of the machines slower-speed sewing make even thin synthetics a treat, while the quality mechanics prevent denim and cordura from being huge chores.
Brother nx800
Brother’s suggested retail price of this machine is approximately $1450. We were given this machine to review but were not compensated in any other way. We plan on featuring projects related to home decor several more times in the near future.

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