Are you interested in learning how to sew but searching for an uncomplicated sewing machine for a fun adventure? Then you should give the Brother LS14 (its variant is LS14S) a try; you will be glad you did. This two-thread, beginner-friendly basic sewing machine first hit the UK market in 2011.
Ever since then, users have had nothing but raving reviews about it. The LS14 is a non-computerised machine whose number of stitches are limited to just 14 to accommodate the needs of first-timers who are yet to be introduced to advanced sewing techniques. Given its trendy look, flexibility, and the wonderful functions it performs, it’s surprising that this device is budget-friendly. Need we say much about the easy-to-manipulate controls it features?
Solidly built with superior lightweight materials, you can comfortably move the machine from one part of your sewing studio to another without overthinking the move. Added to that, it’s less than 10kg in weight which makes it your suitcase’s featherlight travelling companion. The inner compartment of the LS14 is metallic, accounting for its rock-solid stability during operation, and durability through years of regular sewing. In other words, you are free to use this machine for extended periods of intensive sewing projects, unlimited group practice sessions, and even for sewing hundreds of garments to kick-start your clothing line. It’s an entry-level sewing machine best used for lightweight and medium-weight fabrics.
Features Of Brother LS14 Sewing Machine
Stitches and Buttonholes
This sewing machine comes with 14 stitches which can be manually selected by turning the jog dial bearing their individual sketches. The 14 stitches include: zigzag stitches, straight stitch, buttonhole stitch, stretch blind hem stitch, blind hem stitch, and elastic stitch. Ideally, these are the essential stitches needed for everyday sewing projects for fabrics of an assorted kind. To enhance the quality of the stitchings delivered, this sewing machine features a. a reverse button which helps you to tightly secure the seams on your fabric at the beginning of your sewing, and b. a lock stitch option used in the sewing process to fasten the end of the part of fabric sewn.
Zigzag stitches are mainly used to overcast the edges of your fabric to keep it from fraying after a number of wear and washing.
The straight stitch is the fundamental stitch in dressmaking. With the straight stitch, you’ll be able to join pieces of fabrics together permanently. Also, you can use the stitch to tighten the beginning and end of your seams. Since the LS14 is a basic sewing machine, the majority of the 14 stitches are straight stitches of varying stitch lengths and needle positions. The straight stitch lengths measure 1.6mm, 1.8mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm, 3.0mm and 4.0mm.
Furthermore, this machine features a four-step buttonhole. You’ll manually select any or all of the four buttonhole parts via the selection dial while creating buttonholes on your garment. Thankfully, the presence of the buttonhole stitch ensures that your fabric has neatly fastened buttonholes done with impressive accuracy. For beginners who would want to take lessons on embroidery with the LS14, the buttonhole stitch will do the job perfectly.
Apart from the machine’s basic stitch presser foot for rudimentary sewing purposes, there are also the zipper foot (which you attach to sew on zippers to fabrics), and the buttonhole foot (for creating and securing buttonholes). The zipper and buttonhole feet come as accessories. However, we recommend buying another zipper foot for a hassles-free sewing of zippers.
It features a foot pedal to be placed on your right-hand side. The foot pedal gives you control over the speed of the sewing machine: the longer and farther down your foot pressure on it, the faster the machine and quicker your sewing and vice versa. All the same, it requires practice to accurately match the speed you think in your head with the outcome from your foot pedal.
As a modern sewing machine, the Brother LSI4 is top-loading with a plastic drop-in bobbin. That said, you can lift the bobbin case off the surface of the machine before inserting the bobbin horizontally. With the transparent nature of the LSI4’s bobbin case, it’s easy to keep your eyes on the bobbin to know how much thread is left to prepare you to rethread beforehand. As accessories, two extra bobbins are delivered with the machine. It’s best you stick with the plastic bobbins provided since metallic bobbin could be damaging to the machine.
As mentioned in the introduction, this chic sewing machine is mainly for light and medium weight fabrics. That can be attributed to its 50 Watts motor. That means, the machine could stagger under the weight of very thick fabrics such as felt, denim, heavy scuba, and canvas. If you must sew multiple layers of medium weight fabrics, it’s best you limit the number to four. But that doesn’t imply you can’t feed the machine with heavy fabrics; you should bear in mind that it could be a bit of a struggle to accomplish.
Free Arm FlatBed
This is one of the unique selling points of the LS14. The free arm provides the needed space and comfort for sewing sleeves, cuffs, collars, tubular pieces and other hard-to-reach areas on a fabric. Without this feature, it’ll be an honest nightmare performing that particular task.
The clear, bright lighting from the built-in LED bulb makes it comfortable to sew where there’s poor illumination, either from a natural source or an artificial one. In that case, you won’t have to deal with the wrong colours of thread nor find it difficult to see the stitching on dark fabrics. The bulb – powered by removable batteries – can be replaced with a new one.
On the left front side of the sewing machine is a tension dial. When turned manually, the tension dial adjusts the top thread tension following your specification. This way, you can work on different fabrics with the desired strength and uniformity of stitches.
As well as the zipper presser foot, buttonhole foot, foot pedal, and bobbins, the LS14 has these accessories:
- Set needles
- A screwdriver shaped in the form of a disc
- A dust vinyl cover to protect your machine from settling dust particles when you’re not using it
- A comprehensive instruction manual and DVD which will sufficiently guide you step by step, on the ways to thread and operate the machine
It’s interesting to note that the manufacturer’s warranty for this sewing machine is three years. That says a lot about the level of trust bestowed on the machine’s durability. If you ever encounter any issues with this sewing machine within the stipulated years, Brother will conveniently work on it for you, free of charge.
Brother LS14 is perfect to begin and advance with in sewing. Not only is it strongly built with a visually appealing design, it’s also simple to operate and master. Besides the instruction manual and DVD which can direct you on how to thread the machine, there’s a clearly visible illustration of the threading guide sketched on top of the machine.
This machine has everything you need for basic dressmaking and can work with domestic voltage of up to 230 volts. Generally, it can sew fabrics of maximum depth 6mm. There’s no in-built needle threader on the LS14. Also, it’s ideal you use spools of thread on a narrow pole; they run much more smoothly than the ones on a wide pole. As earlier assured, you’ll have no regrets buying this basic sewing machine.