The Brother Innov-is NX-800 is a professional quality sewing machine that gives you just about any sewing and quilting abilities for tasks from simple day to day sewing to complex projects.
Ease of Use, Performance: 24/25
Look & Feel: 25/25
How much I enjoy 24/25
I do know how to sew using both a machine and by hand but my sewing has been limited in range from sewing my own uniform patches to hemming my pants while in the military. I have used a few sewing machines and from my Air Force days of sewing name tags on my work shirts and hemming my pants a simple Singer worked well for me.
The old Singer machine we still have leaves a lot to be desired for a sewing machine with only a few attachments and the basics of 19 stitches available from a hand dial on the front. The machine was one of those 1980’s electric sewing machines that required a manual just to thread it, the first thing my wife mentioned about the newer models by the way.
The older machine was okay but the bottom bobbin that went into a side compartment with a large metal ring was at times working fine but mostly it was a pain in the neck. The thread would catch and jam the machine beyond sewing more than a few times during its life that would often mean cutting the thread out with a razor knife and pulling pieces out with tweezers.
Those days of bobbin jams, licking thread to finally get it in a needle and a limited selection of stitches is behind me with my new purchase, a Brother SE-400. My new machine is an entry level contender for basics at sewing but is a great compromise between cost and features for my needs.
The Brother SE-400 is a sewing and embroidery machine but gives me the taste of the better world such as the Innov-is NX-800 that does include many of the same functions and even parts. Brother has done a very smart thing in keeping all their lines of sewing machines to the same needles, feet and other parts but a few things are machine specific like pedals.
Moving up the line in price, quality and included accessories is the Laura Ashley Limited Edition sewing and quilting machine Innov-is NX-800. This machine has over a hundred stitches, several specialty feet and even three different fonts for lettering along with a lot of accessories.
The Brother NX-800 comes with a lot of accessories and attachments including several feet like the side cutting foot and tools for maintenance as well as a couple of bobbins to get you started. The model I received comes with a large flip down cover for the thread spool and thread guide areas so you have the spool and other open components of the machine protected from dust while not in use.
It also has a hard plastic cover with a hole for the handle to protect the machine while not in use and when transporting with a slot for the manual and essential papers or patterns. The Brother Innov-is NX-800 costs about $1450 but is only available from authorized dealers which I do have in Fargo, North Dakota, a store called Rae-Bon Sewing Center.
The Brother NX-800 has a snap on guide with the sewing stitches for handy use to tell which numbers to input when changing to any of the 138 stitches. You also have memory storage slots that you can save any stitches from the preprogrammed ones that you alter and want to use again.
These changes are the length, width or tension of the stitches but if you find a specific set of numbers that works for a project and you will be repeating it for other projects this is worthwhile to save. The manual will guide you through this and simpler stitch selection, threading and other important functions and features but the guide on the front of the machine is a godsend.
To use the machine for the first time all I had to do was toss a spool on the machine and thread a bobbin using the top bobbin winder and wind the thread according to the little pictures on the front. Using the bobbin threader is simple and going to the full sewing is also easy by just following the little numbers and pictures on the front of the machine.
The automatic threader is simple to use and after just following the threading directions on the front you push down on the button and it should pass the thread through the needle. A few times I had to retry this and it worked eventually but even with a second or third attempt and finally getting it to thread it is so much better than hand threading.
Once I had the machine threaded and the bobbin inserted it I started to test sew on pieces of material and had no problems which led me to more complex trials. I finally had to open the manual and use it for things like button holes and the side cutter which are included with this very versatile machine.
While I did not use the Innov-is NX-800 a lot on common sewing my better projects are a messenger bag, a couple of multipurpose pouches and a carry case for my tablet. The messenger bag used not only regular stitches but some overcast stitches to reinforce the seams along with the strap and was a fun project.
I did some many layered sewing with four, five and six layers of material while sewing the carry case for the tablet so I had no visible material ends as I wanted a nice looking pouch inside and out. I did use my Brother SE-400 to create some embroidery designs, Opus the penguin and Mythbusters, for the outside of the carry case and messenger bag but for all the other sewing I used the NX-800.
I found the NX-800 very easy to use and even a very durable and capable machine for leather and thick or layered materials and had no problem with thickness or tougher materials. I received a product called the Pad Strap that is simply an elastic strap between two corner pieces to hold the tablet from the back using one hand.
I wanted to try and make one of my own and the Brother NX-800 handled three layers of a fake leather material just fine without binding up the bobbin or needle. The machine has the power to sew leather and precision to thread a needle with the push of a button for a very capable sewing machine.
The Brother NX-800 has three methods to control the sewing with a side pushing bar for knee control, a foot pedal and a push button which is used all the time for starting stitches. While the machine is easy to use the manual is very helpful for changing feet and setting up stitches while the guide on the machine for threading and bobbin winding is fantastic.
You have an automatic thread cutting button that cuts both the top and bottom thread and a reverse button used for starting and stopping stitches to sort of tie off and lock the beginnings and ends of stitches. The machine is very easy to use with buttons, instructions and diagrams on the machine to help you get started without having to refer to the manual all that much.
Several times while sewing my projects I had to raise the needle foot and move my piece without cutting the thread and this was easy with the button on the front. Raising the foot is also easy and can be done through the body opening of the machine that includes a safety feature to not allow the needle to be moved while the foot is raised.
I did have to use the manual several times for step by step directions like trying my hand at button holes but for general sewing I did not have to use the manual at all. Even for changing the needle and feet I had no problems working with the machine by just looking at how things are set up.
The Laura Ashley Innov-is machine does more than just simple sewing with the numerous attachments and feet that would be just about all the ones you could need for all your sewing. The machine has a lot of features and all well integrated into a fully featured yet easy machine to use from threading the needle to finishing a stitch line with automatic cutting.
I guess that is one of the things that make the modern sewing machine even better, a way to thread the machine without opening up a manual and automatic needle threader. The front panel uses buttons below the information screen and makes switching stitches easy and adjusting them so simple that this truly is a professional quality machine.
You can not only change the stitches on the panel but you can adjust things like stitch width, length, tension and general size of special stitches like the patterned ones. The patterned stitches make for a unique way to quilt or sew to give you a professional looking final product.
You have the usual things for patterns like flowers, leaves and even letters and numbers but you can only size them up to a height of 7mm or about a quarter inch. Other stitches like the common seams and overcasting can also be set to go this wide or a little less depending on the type of stitch.
Button holes can even be this wide for the whole stitch but button holes are a bit of a tricky thing and you really should do some practice before attempting them on the real project. There are several things you really should practice with and any stitches you are not familiar with you should do on some scraps to get the hang of the machine.
While the Brother NX-800 is a professional sewing machine you do have some getting used to it and the little idiosyncrasies of some features and functions. I did not have any problems getting used to the little things that you need to pay attention to and you really should not either.
The Brother Innov-is NX-800 is a great machine and while it may not have the added feature of embroidery it does have the wide variety of stitches for professional looking results. I have had the Brother NX-800 for a couple of months but must now sadly return it, it has proved to be a useful sewing machine and one that will be missed.
Brother has sold me on their quality and professional results so much that I purchased a lesser priced machine after trying out the NX-800 for just a few days. I wanted the embroidery ability and bought the less expensive SE-400 that may have a few less stitches and accessories but does have the ability of embroidery.
The NX-800 Laura Ashley Edition machine does include a lot in the way of accessories and about the only thing I found that did not come in the basic package but they did send me was the wide table. The area for sewing that your material will be laying on is 11 by 7 inches and the Wide Table will move this up to 11 by 17 inches.
The little removable caddy that fits into the base holds your tools, feet and other accessories nicely in a tray and the bottom of the caddy. The NX-800 comes with the wide assortment of feet for just about any sewing and quilting you could need so with all the accessories this comes with it is a bargain.
The Brother Innov-is NX-800 does have 138 stiches and 10 button hole styles for a very wide selection of sewing choices and with the higher quality of this machine it would make a great purchase. If you’re tired of the inexpensive and limited machines you may have used the Brother Innov-is NX-800 will definitely turn your attention to their quality and features.
I highly recommend the Brother Laura Ashley Limited Edition NX-800 for a fantastic quality sewing machine for professional results that is also easy to use. The Laura Ashley Limited Edition NX-800 is a great sewing machine for common projects like clothes but really excels at more complex ones using heavier fabrics, more layers and complex stitches.