Monday, June 3, 2013

Review of Brother LS590 Sewing Machine

NOTE: I have not been in any way compensated for the remarks of this review. I purchased the machine with my own money, for personal use, and nobody asked me to buy the machine or to write about it.

Okay, so now that the disclaimer's over... :)

Recently, I purchased a new Brother LS590 sewing machine because my old one (an inherited New Home that was just ancient) wasn't doing it for me. Although I am by no means an expert seamstress, I still thought it would be helpful if I wrote about what I thought of it. This is basically a review by a beginner, for other beginners!

I did a fair deal of research before I purchased my machine, because I didn't want to spend money on anything I'd regret or something which would work fine for a week and then die. I came across many different reviews and recommendations in my research (I also saw this open letter to Husqvarna Viking which made me think twice about the higher price = better quality thing), and every review that I read for this machine suggested that it works just fine. It has good ratings on both Hancock Fabric's and Joann's websites, as well as multiple reviews. I went with it half because of price and half because of review quality. If the reviews had been not as good, I would have spent a little more money to get better quality.

This is the machine:

Design: I think that it looks very nice. It's small; the website says it's a foot long but in my mind it seems a little bigger than that. It's simple, with no overwhelming (to a beginner) features. It also does not have the kind of boxy look that I'm not fond of, which a lot of professional machines have. Stitches are selected with a dial, as are stitch length and width. It isn't computerized, which is just fine for my purposes. You press a lever under the stitch selector to backstitch.

Stitches: This machine comes with 25 stitches (other models have upwards of 50, I believe). Most of them are fairly basic, although there are some I'm totally unfamiliar with. This particular model does not have built-in quilting stitches. If you're looking for a quilting machine, this one obviously isn't it. (Additionally, the space between the needle and the body of the machine is too small to fit a quilt, or anything else too substantial.) Every stitch that I have tried so far works well. The one-step buttonhole feature was exciting, easy to learn and it turned out beautifully.

Performance: It's slightly louder than I would prefer, although I can live with it. I sew in the living room and I do think that sometimes it disrupts my roommates watching TV. As far as the actual sewing, so far it's been awesome. It has no problems whatsoever with woven cotton. I also sewed with an ITY knit and at first, it got bunched up below the feed dogs. I managed to get it out (by pulling a little harder then I'd have liked - I was afraid I'd break something) eventually and tried again. I stayed about 1 cm away from the edge of the fabric, and that helped it not get stuck again. I'm not sure if this is a common issue or not.

Price: This machine was under $100. I don't really have to say much more than that. Since I'm new to sewing I didn't want to make a big investment in it. (Also, I'm a student and therefore super poor.) If you are an expert seamstress, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that you should probably get a better (read: pricier) machine.

Overall: I recommend this machine to any beginner. It would work well for small craft projects as well as apparel projects. I'm sure it could do home decor as well, although I haven't tried it. Its main drawback is that it is made, as far as I can tell, entirely of plastic. I think this means that it will not have the durability of an older machine made of metal, or of a higher-end machine. But, since it is inexpensive, I think it's worth the investment just to determine if sewing is your thing or not. And, a sewing machine is never a bad thing to have around, so even if you decide you aren't meant to become a goddess (or god) of sewing, you can still keep it tucked in a closet somewhere until you have a hole to mend or a button to re-sew.


  1. Hi! Did you know there are people who just love heavy older sewing machines? It might be worth a bit of research to see if your New Home machine is one of the more desirable ones. It could be an excellent machine - I believe they were made by the Janome company, one of the very best - and only need a good cleaning and oiling and a new needle to purr like a kitten :) Then you could decide whether to keep it as a backup or sell it.
    I'm not an expert seamstress, but I do love to sew (and cook and thrift). Glad you're enjoying your new Brother, and I'm enjoying your pattern drafting. Thanks!

  2. Thank you Libby! That's really great advice. The machine is actually my mom's, so I'll have to pass this along to her. I'm glad you're enjoying my posts!

  3. I have been looking for a small machine to get my 12 year old neice started on for sewing. By your review this sounds like it could be perfect. Straight forward machine. You mentioned no quilting stitches but I saw on the ist of stitches that it has the stippling stitch which is for quilting. Also, I know I am a little late in reading your review but thinking you may or may not have figured out how to stop the fabric from getting bunched up in the feed dogs. When you start sewing always hold on th the thread that is behind the needle keeping it taunt. A lot of sewist (including myself) keep a leader going. A leader is about a 2x2 scrap of fabric that you sew on before you start your project. There are a lot of YouTube video's out there about it as I am sure my explanation was not so great.
    Thanks for the review. One of these machines on an estate sale that is an auction. So I will put my bid in and see what happens. (-:

  4. Hi Rheanna!

    Your post was really helpful, as I recently acquired this same sewing machine. If it's ok with you, I would like to reference your post in a post I am doing about my first sewing class and using this machine!