Pros: Ease of use, lots of features, lightweight, inexpensive
Cons: Automatic needle threader is a bit complicated
I've been wanting to buy a sewing machine since I can't remember when. I don't really know how to sew so I think I fall squarely in the "beginner" category. That said, in looking for a first sewing machine, I wanted something that wasn't overly complicated but which had enough features that I'd be happy with it for a while. The Singer Brilliance 6180 turned out to be a brilliant choice.
I looked at a lot of other sewing machines, other brands and other stores before shelling out $150 for the Singer Brilliance at Target in March. I read a few mixed reviews on it, but for $150 decided to give it a shot and return it if I didn't like it.
I love it!
The Brilliance is an electronic machine with a lot of features for the price. For beginning sewers, the machine comes with an instructional DVD that not only shows you how to use the machine but provides instructions for making the most out of the features. The DVD shows you how to use the button hole attachment, how to sew in a zipper, how to sew pretty decorative stitching on pillow cases and napkins, and more.
With only a quick tutorial from the DVD and a glance at the printed instruction manual I was off and running. The instructions were so clear I had the machine threaded and bobbin installed in a matter of minutes. Within an hour I was sewing!
The machine comes with more than 80 stitch patterns -- stitch selection is as simple as pressing a button. There are adjustments for stitch width and length, again just a press of a button.
The Singer Brilliance 6180 comes with a selection of presser feet, a botton hole attachment, extra bobbins, tools and accessories to make the most of the machine. These are more than adequate for the beginning sewer.
I like that the machine is lightweight. It's easy to pick up with one hand and small enough to store away when it's not in use.
It doesn't come with a case, but does have a lightweight plastic dust cover, which is adequate.
In my experience the machine works flawlessly. I've used a variety of fabrics and have tried most of the stitches. I've had no issues whatsoever. The fabric feeds smoothly and the stitches are even and attractive. Changing the bobbin is a cinch, as is threading the machine, which is simply a matter of following the thread guides.
I did find the automatic needle threader to be a bit overly complicated. I'm sure it's a nice feature, but I found it easier to simply thread by hand.
That said, the thread cutter is a nice touch and is positioned in just the right place for cutting thread at the end of a seam.
Overall, I'm really pleased with the Singer Brilliance 6180. It does what I need it to and without needing a PhD to understand how to use it. Everything works as expected and I've had no issues with any aspect of the machine or its use.
It comes with a 25 year warranty -- which is pretty amazing in this day and age of 90 day warranties.
I highly recommend the Singer Brilliance 6180 for beginners or even intermediate sewers. I don't think you can find a better value for the price.
Features: Free Arm, Built-In Thread Cutter, Built-In Light, De-Clutch Bobbin Winder, Stitch, Width, Length Adjustments, Reverse Stitch, Quilting, Automatic Needle Threader, Built-In Storage, Multi-Style Buttonhole, Portable
Includes: Needles, Seam Ripper, Bobbins, Spool Holder, Extra Presser Feet, Owner's Manual, Carrying Case/Cover, Feed Cover
Number of Stitch Patterns: 80
Bobbin Type: Front Load
Buttonhole Steps: 1 Step
Presser Feet Included: Buttonhole Foot, General Purpose Foot, Zipper Foot
Dimensions: 12.5 " H x 16.0 " W x 8.0 " D
Warranty Description: 25 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty