My husband wanted his own sewing machine as I’m very protective of my own. His requirements were fairly simple as he wanted something cheap that would be a machine he could tear apart if desired. So we went browsing at Joann’s Fabric & Craft to see what they had available that would qualify. We found the Singer 4411 Heavy Duty on sale for around $150 & decided it would fit the bill. Since then I have sewn a few different projects with this machine to get an idea of how it sews in general.
Threading the machine is shown nicely with numbers and pictures labeled directly on the machine. Winding the bobbin thread is very similar to other machines, simply wrap the thread around the metal guide and the bobbin before pushing the bobbin to the right and pressing the foot pedal. Selecting the stitch preferences is fairly simple as the dials are large and very well labeled.
It took me a while to figure out why at times the machine wouldn’t let me pull out the material as it would keep the tension tight. This machine doesn’t automatically stop with the needle at its highest position, therefore the tension may still be active. It’s easy enough to manually crank the wheel to move the needle, but I found this very frustrating as my machine automatically stops up!
My niece & myself also found it hard to control the speed of the machine, it seems to whine until the foot pedal is pressed far enough for it to take off fairly fast. This also makes it difficult for me to use the machine when my 3 year old wants to ‘help’ momma sew by sitting in my lap. After using the machine constantly for a week I feel I can control it fairly well, but I still would prefer being able to slowly start.
I put the machine to use on several types of fabric, from duck cloth to chiffon. It handled the heavier duck cloth fairly well, I found it needed a bit of a boost via extra fabric behind the presser foot if it was starting near a seam with multiple layers. My experience is that many machines need this assistance & so I don’t feel this is really an issue to worry about. The machine also handled the lighter weight chiffon well, although I did need to adjust the pressure for the presser foot with the +/- dial on the top of the machine.
Overall for the price paid for the machine I’m not disappointed. For a young aged sewist I would suggest looking for a machine with more speed control, but for other beginning sewists I think this is a decent machine to get started.