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"Does It Work?": 03/25/03

Easy Sew: "Does It Work?"

Got a quick sewing job on your list of things to do? A hem, a zipper, a loose seam? This week's "Does It Work?" item may just fit the bill. By far, this is the most popular request we've had since we started doing these reports. And this time, we put the Easy Sew sewing machine to the "Does It Work?" test.

The Easy Sew is cordless, portable and claims to be powerful enough to handle almost any job. For about 20 bucks you get the machine, bobbins, needles, the foot pedal and 100 spools of thread.

Laura Burton, who does a fair amount of sewing at home offered to help us test it out. We popped in the batteries-- 4 AA, and started out with a pretty thin fabric. We were surprised with the power. But soon we found a limitation. "When you are stitching a pant or anything, you want to be able to backstitch it, make it go backwards to reinforce your stitch from the beginning of your stitch and the end of your stitch," says Laura. "And it does not do that so you have to take it out turn it around which you might not have as straight of a line if you re stitch over it to reinforce it."

Next, a tougher challenge... a thick blue fabric. And to really test the strength of the Easy Sew, we'll fold it over a couple of times. "Pretty easy, it's good. It's going right through it with no problem at all." That's four layers of pretty thick stuff. We're impressed. We reinforce the end of the seam by turning it around and... "It's pretty good," says Laura.

The Easy Sew loads a bobbin in an interesting way. First you attach the bobbin winder on the end of the main dial, and you guide the thread while it does most of the work. We changed to the black thread so we could hem a pair of boys pants.

"These pants are courduroy so they're pretty thick," Laura says. But they were no match for the Easy Sew.

Laura notes there are no guides on the machine, so you have to sew the line straight on your own. "I was very surprised at the power, how fast it would go with ease, it worked really well, " said Laura.

The instructions were well written and illustrated, fairly easy to thread with the exception of the needle. Laura found the hole was very, very small. And, frankly the free thread wasn't of the best quality, so that made threading the small hole even tougher. But was it enough to spoil the experience? "I think someone who doesn't have a large sewing machine, who doesn't want to invest, because they are expensive, I think this would be good," says Laura.

So, does it work? "It works," says Laura.

The lack of a backstitching feature hurts the Easy Sew a bit. But for its compact size, unbelievable power and the 20 dollar price tag, Laura says the Easy Sew deserves a "yes".

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