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Brother Sewing Machines

 

Brother Project Runway Limited Edition Machines:

A Guide to their Features, Differences, and More

by Jessica Harris / Love to Sew Studio Manager/Instructor/Costume Designer/Fashion Show Director

            There are multiple models of Brother Project Runway sewing machines, some which vary greatly and some which seem quite similar. You might be asking yourself what the differences are between them, how they differ from other Brother models, and what model among them is the best for you. Here, I will show you, side by side, the Brother Project Runway machines.

            To begin with, there are three different models which are nearly identical in design, all of which we carry in our studio at Love to Sew. They are the Brother CE-5000-PRW, the Brother CS-5055-PRW, and the Brother CE-8080-PRW. (PRW, meaning Project Runway Limited Edition.) The later two seem to be an update or variation on the CE-500, which is perhaps the original design. All are electronic models with plastic horizontally set-in bobbins. They’re easy to use, with subtle threading directions on the machine, an automatic needle-threader, and a variety of buttonhole stitches. The LCD screen at either the top right or top center displays the stitch number, stitch width, and stitch length, and the lighting is LED. The main difference between the first two models and the later is the number of stitches--the CD-8080-PRW can execute 80, while the others 50, as well as each new machine is gradually, marginally lighter in weight. After working with these machines for three years or so, the one complaint I have is that there are occasionally unexplained bobbin problems, most of which are easily resolved. Extra supplies and pressure feet are included in a pouch that fits into the free arm of the machine. (For those new to sewing, this is the area at the bottom of the machine, which can be taken out to more easily sew cuffs, hems, etc.)

            These machines range in price between $170-$300, depending on the retailer, and if the item is on sale. We have had beginners, experienced sewers, children, and adults alike work on these machines with good results, and they’ve mostly been used for dressmaking, garment construction, costuming, and crafting. Below is a chart that displays the models and the features in contrast to each other.

     

Model

Brother CE-5000-PRW

Brother CS-5055-PRW

Brother CE-8080-PRW

Machine

Features

50 Stitches; LCD screen which displays stitch number, length, and width; drop-in horizontal plastic bobbin; vertical thread; LED light; bobbin winder; 5 button hole styles; free arm; 6-point feed dog

50 Stitches; LCD screen which displays stitch number, length, and width; drop-in horizontal plastic bobbin; horizontal thread; LED light; bobbin winder; 5 button hole styles; free arm; 7-point feed dog

80 Stitches; LCD screen which displays stitch number, length, and width; drop-in horizontal plastic bobbin; horizontal thread; LED light; bobbin winder; 8 button hole styles; free arm; 6-point feed dog

Other

Award Consumer’s Digest Best Buy Award

   

Weight

11 lbs

10.65 lbs 10.58 lbs

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     Other Brother Project Runway Limited Edition sewing machine models include Brother PC-210-PRW, the Brother LB-6800-PRW, and the Brother PC-420-PRW. These vary more between each other than the models above. The Brother PC-210PRW seems to have similar features to the earlier to models we looked at before, and the differences appear to be mostly aesthetics; this model has a more rounded body, a white monochromatic coloring, a case to protect the thread from dust, and a much heavier build (at least six extra pounds). Another difference is that the stitch length and width appear to be adjusted by dials, as opposed to numbers viewed on the LCD screens. Extra features this model has that those shown in the other charts don’t are its speed control options, and a little organized drawer inside the free arm with specific spots for bobbins, pressure feet, and supplies. The Brother PC-420 is similar in style to the PC-210, with a thread cover, rounded boded, and all the features just listed. However, the number of functions of this machine increases dramatically. The earlier model can execute 50 stitches, the later, nearly 300, including an alphabet, and has a knee lifter, which makes sewing over thick layers easier. Finally, the LB-68000 is a sewing machine as well as an embroidery machine. It’s computerized, which means you can connect it to your computer and download programs to embroider numerous designs. In addition to all previously listed features, has 294 stitches, three different alphabets, a knee lift, an LCD screen that displays built-in embroidery patterns, letters, and instructions, and comes with a lovely carrying case, as well.

            Again, the costs will vary depending on your retailer and if the item is on sale.

Model

Brother PC-210-PRW

Brother PC-420-PRW

Brother LB-6800-PRW

Machine

 

 

 

Features

50 Stitches; LCD screen which displays stitch number; drop-in horizontal plastic bobbin; speed control, horizontal thread with cover; LED light; bobbin winder; 5 button hole styles; free arm; 6-point feed dog

294 Stitches; LCD screen which displays stitch number, length, and width; speed control; drop-in horizontal plastic bobbin; horizontal thread; LED light; bobbin winder; 10 button hole styles; free arm; 6-point feed dog; knee lift

294 Stitches; computerized; LCD screen which displays stitches, embroidery designs, and directions; drop-in horizontal plastic bobbin; horizontal thread; LED light; bobbin winder; 10 buttonhole styles; free arm; 6-point feed dog; knee lift; 13 pressure feet included

Other

Cost is about $350

Cost varies from $350-$600 Cost ranges from $470-$700

Weight

17 lbs

17 lbs 26 lbs

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