November 4, 2002 at 6:00 PM CST - Updated July 26 at 10:21 PM
The speed and power of a full-sized sewing machine in the palm of your hand!
looks just like another hand-held machine called the HandyStitch -- so don't get them confused! TheEasyStitch sells for around $17, and runs of 4 AA batteries.
"Always use the rotary wheel to move the needle," read Penny Kurre and Becky Daume. They're Family and Consumer Science teachers in Jackson -- teaching sewing classes at the junior high. Since Amy Jacquin admittedly knows nothing about sewing, they agreed to help test theEasy
"Hold the machine with your right hand, placing the thumb on the side of the switch at the top of the machine," they read from the directions.
They try Easy Stitch on scrap fabric, and hope to create a hem.
"It makes it sound like you can hold it with one hand and lift the plate up at the same time," they say. "It's not quite thateasy!"
"It will feed the cloth to the left," Becky warns as Penny gets ready to turn it on. "Okay... It works. But how do you keep a straight line or anything?"
They notice right away you will still need to measure and pin the fabric, to help get as straight astitch
as possible. Or, if you're repairing a hem, maybe the crease already created may help you guide it. But just because it's mobile, doens't mean it offers any shortcuts.
"This is a straightstitch
," explains Becky. "If you want a nice hem, like on your pants, youre not goint to get that type of hem."
Stitch creates a chainstitch. And since you can't double back over your hem to secure thestitch, directions say to manually tie the thread.
"It has a full-sized needle," says Penny. "I was surprised at that."
Becky gives it a try, but holds theEasy
Stitch in the wrong hand... wanting to guide the fabric as it goes through the machine. This leaves thestitch spacing very uneven. So it's important to use your right hand.
"This has a spindle for putting on regular spools of thread verses the bobbin," Penny notices.
Penny and Becky change the thread... and this is where theEasy
Stitch starts becoming difficult.
"Okay, why aren't we working?" Penny mumbles as she fiddles with the Easy Stitch. "Now it's not working at all."
After just a few minutes of use, the button becomes very touchy. There's a weak connection inside, and she has to push the button extremely hard.
"Push is now, compared to a while ago," Penny says as she hands it to Becky. "It's a whole lot harder to press."
You can see the pressure on their thumbs... and the red tip it leaves behind. They plug ahead, and try theEasy
Stitch on wool, which is a thicker fabric. You can hear it bogging down.
"I cannot go over the seam, where two pieces are joined," Becky says, as she struggles with the little machine. "Okay, it went now."
But another problem quickly develops.
"It keeps popping out of tension!" Penny says in frustration. "It wasn't doing that. It keeps popping out on its own."
And adjusting the tension doesn't help.
"I could sew by hand much faster, and it would look 100% better," Penny says.
So in the matter of 15 minutes, theEasy
Stitch developed start- button problems, tension problems, it drags on thicker fabrics, and it's difficult to get a straightstitch. Plus, you expect the product you buy to match the picture on the box. TheEasyStitch doesn't! We notice several differences, which may or may not affect it's performance.
Don't get "stuck" with theEasyStitch
... this $17 machine flunks out. Its portability doesn't make up for a lack of performance.