As I mentioned on Friday: I got a new embroidery machine. I’d been hoping Robin would get a Janome Memory Craft 500e as a trade-in, and she told me it was unlikely since she was a Brother dealer. I’d’ve “settled” for a big ol’ used Innov-is but that wasn’t likely to happen either, the Innov-is is what people trade other things in for. I was checking her website for something else (which I’ve completely forgotten now) and just idly checked the trade-in machines and… there was a 400e. Not as big a hoop as a 500e, but still almost 8×8 to my PE800’s 5×7, so a little more breathing room. And at the price, it was reasonable to get as a backup to the PE800 – which has been working fine, but it has 8 million stitches on it and I have been unable to find a MTBF for consumer-grade machines like that. She even honored a mistake on the handwritten tag which I hadn’t seen since I agreed to the price on the website so that was pretty amazing.
I needed to give the thing a good test, and the snap tabs for Gabe and Herbie did two things: they had a million jump stitches between the letters on the back, and the front was solid fills on that mushy white vinyl. 400e’s can trim jump stitches, so I tried that out.
It slows the machine down greatly and I understand why the pros I have talked to are kinda skeptical. But instead of making a tiny hop the thread is cut, and a new run is started. The tail still ends up looking the same sometimes, but one end is floating so you can usually just gently lift it out.
It trims up pretty cleanly, though of course the camera shows every place I need to go back and clean up a little more.
But when there are so many jumps, it does make it nicer to clean up.
The next part of that test didn’t go so well: what happens on the back of a double-sided design when you have those tails floating loose. Luckily Ink/Stitch lets you choose whether or not to put a trim on something.
The solid fills went much, much better. I think I had made the satin stitch denser after the last run of these, so it’s not a perfect comparison. A couple spots on the blue and red fill show a smidge of white, but overall not bad for such an awful vinyl.
The machine only has square hoops, 8×8 and 5×5, so the Brother will still be more efficient for what I’m currently doing most of the time. And the freebie designs will mostly continue to be 4×4 and 5×7, just because Brothers are so common – but I’m doing a version of the Mini Composition Book Cover that fits a small Moleskine Cahier, and that’ll require the larger hoop. That won’t happen until I require some cahiers to test it with though.