Super Sewing Machine

Consumer Reports tests a wide variety of sewing machines, including one that carries the "Project Runway" name.

On "Project Runway" you see stressed-out designers desperate to stay in the competition.

The show has helped spark new interest in sewing machines.

In fact, Consumer Reports' latest sewing machine tests included one from Brother called the Project Runway.

In all, Consumer Reports tested 18 machines. One was well over $5,000 and threads the needle with a push of a button.

Pat Slaven of Consumer Reports checked how well each of the machines sew a variety of fabric, from lightweight, gauzy material, to thick denim jeans, a particularly tough task that some couldn't handle.

Pat tested two types of sewing machines.

"On the mechanical machine, I have to select the stitch, select the length, select the width," said Slaven.

The electronic machines automatically select the settings for whatever stitch you choose.

Among those, the Brother's Project Runway machine earned high scores.

At $400, it was named a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

"This machine has 40 preprogrammed stitches. It includes basic utility stitches, straight stitch, zigzags, buttonholes, and then it has some decorative stitches."

It's good for everything from clothing to costumes to curtains.

If you want a simple machine for basic tasks, Consumer Reports named another Best Buy that costs far less.

It's a $120 mechanical sewing machine from Sears-Kenmore model number 15358.


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