sewing machine envy – Brother Dreamweaver

If you’ve been reading here for a while then you know I love my sewing machine – a Brother QC1000. And if you’ve ever emailed me before you know what machines I recommend – Brother. For  a few reasons. My very first sewing machine was a little Bernette which I bought new while I was at uni for $299! Saved up my cash to get it as I was doing a sewing course and it was a great little machine except the lower bobbin would get a bit messy as it had a bobbin case. It was heavy but a good sturdy basic machine.

Once I started sewing a bit after Keira was born my mum lent me her Janome Memorycraft……………………………from the 80’s. All brown and beige but top of the line back then with a few fonts and embroidery stitches. She was the original retro mummy and always making most of our own clothes, flower girl dresses, swimmers and more. Did your mum sew? I think a lot of crafters do craft because they grew up with it. Anyway she loved that machine and I loved it too EXCEPT when I had to take it to a class. It was really really heavy………….like stop a couple of times as you walk to class heavy!

So I did my research and bought a Brother Innovis NV600. I was attracted to it by all of the features it had – auto tension, needle threader, cuts threads, extension table and feet for quilting. It was a great machine. I did 2 single bed quilts on it and the nice little features made it a dream to use. After I’d done a few quilts I wanted something a bit more industrial and faster for my free motion as I’m pedal to the metal and would love to go a bit faster while I’m quilting. I was doing some work for Notebook magazine and we were trained by the lovely Brother state rep on the NS range.

Now they are  great machines and actually the ones I recommend to people looking for a machine to start out or a mid range. Lots of good features, great price, easy to get parts here in Australia, reliable and really good technology because they come from Japan. Anyway I was telling her I was looking at the PQ-1500 which is a semi-industrial machine and she told me I needed to be looking at the Brother QC-1000. Which I did. Picked it up 2nd hand from John Watts (who does the quilting frames) and saved myself $1500. Of course I tell retro daddy machines cost about $500. Some things are best kept to yourself.

OK so fast forward 2 1/2 years and I’m still always looking for a new machine, a bit faster and I’d love a bit more room to fit quilts under. The Janome Horizon has been out a while and tempts me with that big throat space (the space to the right of your needle). But I’m a Brother girl and was a bit nervous about teething problems with the Horizon. But I’ve read good things about it so far.

Anyway cut a long story short and I was doing some pinning on pinterest on Saturday (as you do) when I saw that Brother have released a brand new machine for sewing and quilting – Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 (you have to love the hand movement at 45 seconds!!!). Ohhhhh I’m in love. All that space to fit quilts under (11 1/4 inches just smidging ahead of the Horizon), lots of features that I already love on my Brother like touch screen, auto tension, needle threader etc. I also quite like the laser light to help you sew in a straight line (nice for quilting lines). It doesn’t come cheap so I have my eye on it but will wait for prices to come down a little (or a lot).

I’d love to know what sewing machine you are using and why you like it!! Or what are you dreaming of?


  1. Corrie,
    I too have been through the Janome’s and I have to say in this day and age they haven’t kept up.
    I have a Brother Innovis 1500D. I embroider.. and love it!!
    It is an amazing regular sewing machine as well as an embroidery machine. It does everything that I need it to be. So much so that I bought my daughter a Brother for her birthday a few years ago, but should have spent a little bit more money and got the electronic one. Not that hers is no good just that the electronic ones have more stitches and are smoother to use.
    Go the Brother!!

  2. I’m a Bernina and Janome girl – LOVE my Bernina – I’d love a top of the range one – a girl can dream!

  3. I have a Bernina Aurora 440 QE which I absolutely love. It is my dream machine and looking elsewhere would be like being unfaithful! I have made more than 4 quilts on it along with clothes and other bits of sewing. The bsr is great for those starting out on free motion. And my machine to was around the $600 mark! Lol. My overlocker is a brother and it has been great too.

  4. Corrie – I saw the new Brother Dreamweaver in action at a quilt show here in Michigan back in August and I was very impressed. It has a very cool stylus that all you have to do is touch the fabric where you want to start your stitching, no more up and down of the needle as you try to get it just right. It just seemed to run so smoothly.

    I currently have a Janome MC5700 that my grandmother gave to me, but it can not really handle FMQ like I would like and it is such a pain to even do straight line quilting on a big quilt. This machine drives me crazy, I pray every day that the computer dies in it and then it won’t work so I could get a new one. :) A girl has to dream.

    Thank you for such a great blog, I look forward everyday to reading it.

  5. I am currently using a Bernina Aurora 430, which I am loving! In fact, as it is my mother’s machine, when she went to look at getting this new one (after her 20+ yr old elna died) she took me along with her & leaned heavily on my opinion as she knew I would probably use it more than she would … and as it turns out, this is certainly true!! While I love using it, I believe that when I do eventually buy my own machine (it’s not feasible to get one until I/we move out, as the one we have is wonderful already … and if I got another one, this one wouldn’t be seen, lol!) I will probably keep in the Bernina range, but go up in “numbers”, to possibly either a “7 series” or an “8 series” (the top range machines … all perfect for sewing, embroidery & quilting – and I definitely want to have the embroidery options available to me this time!!).
    … Though, I have to say that my ultimate machine would be a long-arm quilting setup!! For some reason (lol!), this year I have been *dying* to try one out … and have even been learning some FMQing on my domestic machine to explore and expand my skills in that area – never thought I’d be brave enough to do that, but I’m now *hooked*!!!

  6. Hi Corrie
    My last machine was a Brother, then I made the mistake of starting work in a sewing machine store and patchwork shop. So many machines, but which to choose!!!!! I bought an embroidery machine only, Janome 320E, (I spend so much money buying embroidery designs but love it). I can then sew on my new beautiful Janome 6600 while the embroidery designs are being made on the other machine, so my output is doubled in a day!!!!!!!!! I will probably update in the next few years but will either buy Janome or Brother for the larger quilting areas they provide.
    I have come a long way from my first machine that I bought to sew my wedding dress. It was an Empisal with a heavy wooden base, but I still have it put away somewhere in the shed!! One of my daughters said “don’t get rid of that, it will be an antique one day”!!!!!!!!

    • Marilyn, I’m on my way to buy a Empisal Honey sewing machine today (I admit I’m in love with the retro color!). I expect this machine won’t have a manual with it. By any chance do you have the manual for your Empisal?
      Regards, McKenna

      • Hi McKenna I was just given an Empisal sewing machine (unsure of which design)
        If you have a manual or know how to use it would you be able to teach me please?
        I also have a janome (also ancient steel thing). I’m taking two fashion/textile subjects for year 11 next year and will probably need to know how to use them lol.
        (Luckily the school has sewing machines so I won’t need to cart one in every day)

        Thanks, Alicia

  7. I got my Janome 6260QC I’m January this year. It’s second hand so I saved myself quite a bit. It’s my first machine and I went for Janome because that’s what I knew (my Mum has an older model Janome). I absolutely love it and was given a quilting extension table for my birthday from my lovely hubby. But the one thing I do wish it had – more throat space. Dream Machine position is open for me… It may just become a Brother!!!!

  8. I have a Husqvarna Optima 190 bought 1982, a Janome 4900 QC bought 6 years ago for my 50th birthday and a new this year Pffaf GrandQuilter, hobby1200. The Husqvarna is a great non electronic machine that Lily (4 year old granddaughter will learn to sew on). My Janome is my piecing machine and is a great machine, came with walking foot, quarter inch foot and darning foot. It has a needle threader but not cutter. My Pffaf is a workhorse, it can be set up on my frame-a second hand Brindabella frame or with its big extension table on the dining room table to do small quilts. The 9.5 throat is good but won’t be big enough to do the King size quilt, it will be done on a fancy longarm quilt machine

  9. I have a Brother QC 1000 also. I bought it secondhand last year as I need a machine will a little more room for quilting. I like it although it doesn’t reverse stitch. Makes me wonder if it is faulty. It does a holding stitch, but won’t sew in reverse. My old Brother Super Ace that I still have does a reverse stitch just fine. I really should take it to be looked at, but don’t want to be without it! Jacinta

    • It reverse stitches you have to hold the button down. I had the espire so I know the qc-1000 can do a reverse stitch. Also had to say the dreamweaver is well worth the money, traded my espire in for the embroidery combo and it is extremely wonderful. If you love your qc-1000 you will adore the dreamweaver. Sewed through six layers of denim flawlessly, just wanted to test the power of the mu-vit foot and it surpassed my expectation. I too drooled over the janomes, but brothers sew better in some aspects of sewing so I wasn’t completely swayed but when the dreamweaver came out the janomes went right out the door, and I went to see it demoed at the fair, and walked away with one. I have no regrets.

    • QC1000 – I also thought it didn’t reverse stitch only lock stitch and after owning it for two years have discovered yes it does reverse stitch BUT you have to be in the normal stitches NOT the quilting stitches.

  10. I’m a Brother girl too! Until Jan 2012, I did all my sewing since moving out of home (yes my Mum was & is a sewer/crafter too) on my old Brother basic-not-sure-what-it-was-called. About $250 17 years ago. This year at long last I upgraded (it was my 40th birthday present) to a Brother BC-2500. I love it! So much smoother, faster, more features & until I saw my current machine’s stitch I had no idea how dodgy my previous one had become! But now I’m lusting after faster & better models already. Something with more throat space. And I’d like a beep when the bobbin runs out so I don’t go on sewing for ages before I realise – arrgh, does yours do that?

  11. Love your blog. I have two Janome’s and love them both. The DC2010 is great for taking to classes. The Horizon 11000 is a fabulous machine, the throat space allows for any type of quilting, both machines are dependable, easy to use, and a good value.

  12. Charlotte E says:

    I have a Janome DC4030 that my Mum bought as a 30th birthday present for me. As a beginner sewer and quilter it does all I need it to and has functions I’ve not even used yet. I would love more throat space and I’ve not tried FMQ on it yet (a darning foot is on my Christmas list) but it is certainly helping me to produce some nice clothes and quilts.

  13. I have a Janome DC4030 that my hubby bought me a few months back, I started ona loaned Brother (starter machine) but HATED it. It jammed, bobbin chocked, tension was haywire.
    The Janome is a dream, its not failed me once, I generally only make clothes (plucking up the courage to try quilting) I know many people feel its a lower end of the range machine but at over $600(NZD) it was certainly an investmant that I hope will last me a long long time.
    Dream machine wise I’d have to say that Janome youve mentioned looks lovely.

  14. I have to say of all the machines I’ve used, Brother doesn’t rate with me, but then I haven’t used any of their top of the line machines. My fave’s are my old Pfaff 1222E, my old Janome Memorycraft and my vintage Singer 201K. I also love Bernina’s and don’t think I’ve yet met one I haven’t loved! I’m a bit of a vintage girl and love my old tried and true machines. The only Brother I’ve used was a cheap and nasty one. I did love the old Brother over locker I started out with though – it would sew through anything, especially microfiber and hemp I used for myncloth nappy making. My current Babylock Eclipse doesn’t deal with those fabrics quite as happily!

  15. I have a base model brother at the moment, just like the one you have pictured but I saw a Jenome at a free motion course I did and WOOOOOOOW.

    so so nice.

    there are things I like about the brother, but she doesnt handle heavy duty quilting action (like free motion) with much chop. If I had a more expensive model, maybe.

    but there is no way I can afford a jenome. I can go to Thailand next year with hubby for the price!!!!

  16. Wow I feel like a dinosaur! I am currently using a no frills, cheapo Singer that I bought my 8 year old daughter to learn on – it was $99, but surprisingly sturdy for my style of simple sewing. Then my trusty Janome my style rotary of 20.5 years has spat out every tension command telling me clearly NO MORE…hubby took me on a surprise 2nd Honeymoon to Paris this September, so I don’t feel too good about moaning about getting a new machine this year. I don’t quilt but am very keen to read about others views and reviews! Thanks!

  17. Given I only make quilts, FMQ stitch quality and space are my main requirements. It’s good to see more brands coming out with the larger machines. I dreamed of the Bernina 8-series for a few years, and have had mine since February. In 9 months I’ve clocked up 3 million stitches on about 20 of my own quilts, and a handful of customers’ quilts, and it has been the dream I expected every stitch of the way. It copes with everything I throw at it

  18. I just bought the sewing machine I had been dreaming of! I had been a janome girl but I was seeing on the machine that was my grandma’s and I had pushed to it’s quilting and free-motion limits! So my priorities were as big a space for pushing quilts through, free motion capability and FAST! I arranged with my hubby to have a couple of precious hours to my self (left my 1yo at home!) and went test driving sewing machines! The main ones I looked at were the janome horizon and pfaff quilt expression 3 (my local shop had a discontinued quilt expression I could purchase at a reduced price) and I had a ball! I was disappointed with the horizon as it keep skipping stitches when in free motion but my local dealer is new and it may be that we didn’t have it set up correctly. I then sewed on the pfaff quilt horizon 3 and I was in love!!!! It was a tough choice as to if I should have gone for the quilt expression 4 but my supplier didn’t have one to try and the quilt expression 3 was right on my price range! I’m only just discovering it’s capability but I LOVE it already!!!!!

  19. Pamela Gilfoyle says:

    I have had the Janome 6500 which was a real workhorse lovely machine I traded up to the Janome 6600 and wondered for weeks if I had done the right thing . I have just been told to sell my 6600 as For my 60th birthdayvI will be getting the new Bernina 750 Q I think it has a longer harp and a huge bobbin80 % more than a standard bobbin and the BSR . I had a play on one at the Brisbane show and as w e are moving in 2 weeks I will get the new one from the closest shop so I can have lessons and service etc so exciting anyone want to buy a Janome 6600 ? Lol

  20. Jantine Urban says:

    I love my Husqvarna Viking 425 but I have been told the newer ones are not as good. My mother has her Brother for over 25 years, it was the first computerized one!
    I have been eyeing the Janome Horizon too because of the bigger throat and am wondering why you said something about worries about the teething problems, haven’t heard of them yet?

  21. I have a Juki domestic which I love. It has a larger than normal throat and huge flat bed for quilting and does a lot more stitches per minute than standard domestic but I guess there are no surprises there because it is made by Juki. I bought it earlier this year after owning a Janome memory craft for 20 years. It was reasonably priced and Juki have a great reputation.

  22. I, too, am a Brother girl. I absolutely love both of my machines, but am looking for a more substantial one. I looked at the same new Brother you have your eye on, at Quilt Festival in Houston. I Loved It! I will save up for it, and will have it someday!!! :)

  23. I am a Janome girl and I have just returned from a quilting camp where I had the chance to work with the Janome Horizon for four days. I will never be happy again until I get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is just perfect. The only thing that doesn´t do is TALK. LOL!

  24. Fashionista says:

    Aren’t we a funny lot sticking to our beloved brands? Bit like cars really, my last four cars have all been the same make/model, just brighter shiner versions. I have a Janome *something* that my husband bought me for our 1st wedding anniversary 24 years ago. It was 2nd top of the line then and weighs a TON, certainly not portable in my view with all its metal bits. It replaced a smaller Janome that Mum & Dad had bought me for my 18th birthday (can’t see me buying my daughter a sewing machine for her 18th LOL). It is a fabulous machine and chugs away dutifully and as I’m not a quilter (only dressmaking and mending) I don’t need too many fancy bits. I also have a Janome overlocker that is 25 years old and has never missed a beat. Once again all metal and weighs a ton. Just thinking about it, they are probably in the realms of vintage now….

  25. There is a lot of choice out there. My first machine I received for my 15th birthday (they don’t make the brand anymore) and some 20 yrs later it started to play up. I broached the subject with hubby that I could do with a new one and possibly make things and earn money!!!! hehehe. Well he fell for it! I had just started quilting and wanted a machine to do some FMQ on. I did loads of reserach but the budget wasn’t real good for one of these great FMQ domestic machines but I ended up very happy with my Bernina 350PE. I would have liked the BSR (built in stich regulator) but I think it was another $500 to $1000 so was out of the question. I recently went and had a look at the Bernina 7 serious – oh my lordy!! Dream dream dream………….ah.

  26. Corrie I have an Elna. It’s a fantastic machine and had a sewing teacher comment on it being a beautiful machine to sew on. It’s from the 1960s I think and it was top of the line at the time. I love it mostly because it was my grandmother’s and I inherited it when she passed away. Sewing with it reminds me of her, and particularly her beautiful sewer’s hands.

  27. Hi )
    I have got Brother NV-350

    It’s perfect for ANY fabric, I even managed to sew 10(!) layers of hard jeans together. So many functions (also functions for quilters). I’m in LOVE with it!

  28. Hi, just found this blog while researching for the new Brother Dreamweaver Series.
    I really want a dedicated quilting machine. First choice midarm sit down model. So not going to happen. Need kids to leave so i can have the space to use one, plus financially well,,,,,
    Anyway I am thhinking the Dreamweaver Quilting model. Love the throatspace.
    I am now a Brother girl after purchasing a demo model TOL Quattro about a year ago.
    My mother had Janomes so I originally stuck with the brand then diverted very temporarily to a base model new shiny brother base model mechanical thing. Swore of Brother after that as it ate everything that I tried to put a buttonhole in. So disappointed. Traded it in for a new Janome- not quite basic, bought it because it had a speed controller & extra stitches that the same priced Husqvarna had at the time. Well about 5 years later I was after an ambroidery machine so then I fell in love with HV brand for 17 years, & 2 TOL embroidery/sewing machines. The last one I had for 10 years & the only Tech I had access to nearby managed to upset the poor thing every time it needed a basic service.
    Then I discovered the Brother Quattro & its camera option, wider hoops etc & I have found my new love.
    I still have the old Janome & a general HV sewing machine plus a Babylock Evolve which I love. Use them all. My daughters use the Janome if they need to sew which isn’t often.
    I just need to justify a dedicated new machine for Quilting & FM. I love my Quattro for this but it is usually embroidering & I hate upsetting it’s set up for quilting, even though it is possible to actually sew with the embroidery arm in place. Just have to change the foot! although I prefer to remove the Embroidery Unit & use the addon table to actually quilt so that I have more room.
    I often piece with the HV sewing machine but I don’t like it’s 1/4 inch guide much, so I have to fiddle with it.
    Someone tell me where I can get a really good price on the Dreamweaver VQ3000 from & how to justify it to my significant other. He won’t fall for the making money with it part any more though.

    • Hi Tris. I have been moving around the internet and saw your interest in the Brother Dreamweaver. I have one I need to sell. I absolutely love this machine but it’s a second machine for me and our son is having a rough time right now financially with a new baby, etc. We want to help him get his feet on the ground so I am looking to sell my Dreamweaver. I have a Janome Jem that I take to classes and that is all I really need right now….If you are interested, please email me and I can send pictures, etc. I plan to list it for sale on line as well. Asking $3,800 and will share the shipping cost. I have all the original boxes and everything that came with the machine.

  29. Leanne Cronin says:

    Well memories came flooding back as the machine from the 80’s I think you meant was the Memorycraft 6000?? I still have mine, though my young niece has taken to sewing and loves it…it still sews as nicely now as it did twenty five years ago…now I have a little collection of machines…so it would seem…I have a Janome 6600 the previous one to the Horizon and it sews beautifully as well. For my embroidery I started out on a Janome 300E but it was a Friday afternoon debacle machine and ended up having it replaced by Janome with a 350E, but I agree that they have not kept up with the times…the way you connect the hoops is clunky and unstable…I now have Brother 4000D which is my absolute Dream Machine…there is nothing this machine cant do it would seem…I would dearly love the 6700 but when I compare the two I really dont think i can justify the extra money…the 4000D is a combo embroidery sewing machine so it is just amazing

    This sit he first time i have beent o your blog but it is wonderful…keep going with it all.

  30. Hi, just fell on your site, and was reading this with interest. I always like to keep up to date with what machines people like. I am a Janome girl, but have had a pfaff (which I truly wanted to throw in the pool and teach it to swim 😉 Just sold my Bernina but not because I didn’t like it, but because I have to many machines…(is this possible?) I have the Janome Horizon and I have had a single problem with it, so it went back to Janome and was fixed immediately. Was only a small tension problem, nothing at all serious, but yes I know a few people with teething problems, but having said that I cannot say enough about how I love this machine, and while it was away, I have missed it terribly. I always suggest to people, before you make your mind up, please try as many machines as you can, and always buy what your wallet allows you, don’t undersell yourself as next week you may improve and want a new machine!!! Personally I have found the Brothers a tad light weight and noisy. Sounds like they are improving. :)

  31. I like your machine and would like to appreciate your great job as you wrote such blog, it inspires me to sew something my self. Thanks corrie! I will keep visiting your site.

  32. Really enjoyed reading all the comments. I am thinking about upgrading from a Janome deco3050 to a Janome 770. Has anyone used this machine or has anyone found a good price??? It is pricy .
    I love reading all the info about different machines.

  33. I currently have a Janome Horizon 7700 and have had continuous problems with the bobbin case unseating. This is a known issue with the 7700. I would not recommend it and am thinking of trading it in for the Dreamweaver 3000. I’d love any input on how the 3000 compares to the Brother Laura Ashley 2000. I also have a 1951 Singer 301 straight stitch and LOVE it!!! I sewed on a QC1000, so I can see why you love it so much.

    • yes you’re not the first person I’ve heard who has problems with the janome! in the school hols I’m off to test out the brother dreamweaver so I’ll let you know!!! I’m pretty excited. The Brothers are great and very reliable so i’m looking forward to testing it out

  34. Hi Corrie,

    I’m dreaming and saving up my money to buy the Brother DreamWeaver sewing/quilting machine.

    Have you tried one out yet? By the time I save the money, there will be something else out there.
    I’ve been sewing on a little Brother SE-350 and it has sewn plastic/foil drink pouches into tote bags. I sewed through 8 layers for a beach bag. I’ve sewn layers of burlap for costumes, thick fleece and canvas for bags. Jeans are never a problem. It is now 5 years old and I want the DreamWeaver so bad. I work 2 part time jobs and wear the same clothes over and over (and over) so I can save money and still help hubby pay bills.
    I am paying for braces for granddaughter for 3 years, so I have to get that paid off first. I hope I will remember how to sew by the time I can buy the “dream” machine.
    I have a few other sewing machines I may decide to sell. Haven’t decided yet.
    Sorry for long post. Hope you have new information on the DreamWeaver machine.

    Take care and have a great day.


  35. I have the dreamweaver combo and it handles anything I throw at it. It is the most wonderful machine I have ever owned or sewed on. I have sewn on singers,husky, and a Bernini 550QE and none compare in my opinion

  36. I know I seem a little behind on you blog but I want to pitch in haha.
    The sewing machine I’m currently using is a Bernina 750QE. I have to say this is the best sewing machine I have purchased so far. This machine does everything I want it to do. It sews wonderfully (although it’s servicing and updating is well overdue right now). A few of my favourite features includes the automatic thread cutter, the knee lift, the hover feature (i believe it’s called the pivot function on the brother.), the lighting as the sewing bed is very well lit I had to reduce the brightness to about 50% actually, sewing with the embroidery unit on and also the large embroidery area capabilities. I could go on actually but I’ll stop there. :-)

    The real downfalls of this sewing machine is the thread is constantly cut too short when using the auto thread cutter, it’s a repeat offender when it cuts jump threads in embroidery mode (I’m sure this problem will be resolved easily at my dealer). The size and weight of this machine does not make it an ideal travel machine for sure (not that I take sewing classes as much as I would like to).

    currently I have been dreaming of a more portable sewing machine that has both the auto thread cutter and knee-lift features. My eyes are dawn to the Brother innovis 600 (or 610 since it’s their current model now), the QC2000 (I love the idea of an 8 inch throat space as ludicrous as it seems to have this as a travel machine).

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