Happy New Year 2020!
Ring in the new year with a decade worth of Cricut deals: Cricut New Year Sale
A Portable and Lightweight Sewing Machine
A wise person once said that, sometimes, less is more. What do you think about this idea?
Now, what do I mean when I say “less is more”? How does this apply to a sewing machine?
In this fast-paced world, technology advances rapidly, and even sewing machines are getting faster, “smarter,” and more versatile.
However, if you’re not into the whole high-tech sewing movement, I’ve got something in store for you today!
I’d like to introduce you to Brother GX37, a compact, lightweight, and, some would say, basic sewing machine that’s extremely good at what its meant to do. Also, it’s insanely affordable!
Again, this product is a potential favorite of people who are into straightforward, no-fuss machines, as well as those who are taking their “baby steps” in sewing.
If you are a beginner sewer, you’ll definitely enjoy working with this model. Since it goes for such a low price, it would be a pity not to buy it.
In case you like what you’ve read so far, I urge you to keep going and learn about all that Brother GX37 can do!
Brother GX37 Key Ratings
Let’s have a quick look at how I’ve rated the most important features of this machine.
|Brother GX37 Review|
|Value for money||5/5|
As you know, the grades are like that for a reason. To find out why GX37 scored like it did, please read on!
Taking a Closer Look at Brother GX37
The first thing that you ought to learn about are all the technical features of the machine, and what’s their practical application.
See what this machine is all about:
Specifications and design
GX37’s dimensions go as follows: 12.48 x 16.26 x 7.01 inches (31.6 x 41.3 x 17.8 cm). As you can see, it’s relatively small, so that we can place it in a small to mid-sized category. The device is very light for its size and weighs only 10.14 lbs (4.59 kg).
All of the above makes this machine the ideal option for those who want a portable, easy-to-transport model.
The design of GX37 is basic, even simplistic if I may say, and it gives you the perfect idea of what this product is all about.
There are no advanced controls or computers here, just plain old mechanical operations. This means that learning how to operate it should not be an issue at all. All of this makes it a fantastic learning tool for first-time sewers.
Here’s what you’ll find in the box:
Using the machine
Once you unbox the machine, take the foot pedal and plug one of its ends into the device and the other one into an electrical output. Flick the little black switch on the back, and the machine will be on, but the needle won’t move until you step on the pedal.
When it comes to speed, the maximum that this model can reach is 850 stitches/min, which is not wondrous but not bad either. As with many other Brother units, you control the speed by how hard you press the pedal.
The LED light lights up the working area, and it starts shining as soon as you turn on the device.
Given that this machine is very lightweight, I was concerned about it moving around or shaking too much while the motor is working. However, this isn’t the case, and even though it isn’t as stable as more massive models, it stays put.
This model has a top-loading bobbin which first needs to be threaded. If you’ve never threaded such a bobbin before it might be tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually. After that, place the bobbin into the compartment conveniently put under the needle plate.
GX37 can stitch materials of up to 6mm of thickness, which is pretty good and means that it can be used for sewing anything from jeans to quilts and pillows. I tried it out on a denim vest, and it worked like a charm.
As for the stitching patterns, it has 37 built-in ones, and this is probably more than you’ll ever need (unless you’re really into decorative stitches). All designs are printed on the side of the machine and are chosen using a dial l right located below these images.
To choose the SS patterns (printed in purple color), you’ll first have to pick SS on the stitch length dial located on top of the machine.
Speaking of dials, three of them are located on the top, and they go as follows (from left to right):
- Stitch tension dial
- Stitch width dial
- And stitch length dial
I’m sure there’s no need to explain what they’re for.
The stitches are smooth, and you can be sure that you can do very quality work with this model.
For all those interested, yes, free arm sewing is possible with this unit so you’ll be able to work on cuffs and sleeves with ease. Also, the detachable part of the working surface doubles as a storage container for bits and pieces.
Reverse stitching is something that you’ll eventually have to do, and it’s very straightforward with GX37. Press down the lever located on the right side of the thread guide, and keep it down while you need this function. After you’re done, release the lever and proceed with sewing.
Practical advice on working with Brother GX37
As I’ve mentioned before, the machine is straightforward to use. Now I’d like to give you a few pieces of advice on what to do and what to avoid when trying to operate it for the first time.
Instinctively, most people will probably go straight for the manual, which is relatively good but can be quite vague at times and lacking precise instructions about particular operations.
Take, for example, threading, an operation that has a lot of sequences, and although it is not terribly complicated, it might seem very intimidating for first-time users. I’m afraid that most inexperienced sewers will have to resort to YouTube videos for clear instructions as the manual probably won’t help them with this.
Here’s some threading advice:
One thing that upsets me is the quality of the plastic that the pedal is made from, so I would advise against pressing it with hard-bottom shoes. Instead, if you can, sew in soft house shoes or just in your socks.
I’ve explained how to choose the desired stitching pattern, but you need to do something very important before that. Before picking your desired pattern, remember to raise the needle using the dial on the back! If don’t do this, you will risk damaging the needle and the presser foot.
You will get four bobbins with the product, and it’s important to note that they are specifically made for Brother machines. Don’t use universal or bobbins from other manufacturers, as they may not fit and might hinder the proper functioning of this machine.
When unboxing the machine, you’ll find a pack of regular needles as well as a pack of twin needles, both of which are great.
What’s crucial to understand before starting sewing is the needle/material/thread compatibility. By this, I mean that each needle size is suitable for a specific material or thread and should not be used with another one. This could lead to the needle breaking, the machine skipping stitches, and overall poor performance.
Speaking of skipped stitches, here’s how to prevent them:
With that being said, make sure to consult the table below to know which needle and material combination.
The great thing about GX37 is that it can be used to sew many materials of different types and thicknesses, which makes it a very versatile unit.
Now that you know all the essentials let’s see what the best things about GX37 are.
This model has 37 built-in stitching patterns, which isn’t amazing by any stretch on the term, but considering the price and how well it was built, 37 is still a very decent number.
Again, unless you’re solely interested in decorative stitching, the patterns that are featured here will most likely be more than enough for you.
A feature that makes every sewer’s life much, much easier is the automatic, one-step buttonhole stitch. It will enable you to make perfect buttonholes in mere seconds and let you attach or reattach buttons.
Automatic threading is another beneficial option that GX37 includes. It’ll spare the frustration of squinting and missing the hole several times in a row.
The free arm is also a significant feature as it provides the best and most practical way to sew sleeves.
Portability is one of the main attributes of this model and what the company tries to emphasize when promoting it. It is indeed super-easy to transport due to its size and weight, although it would be better if it had a carrying handle too.
Perhaps the main reason that people want to buy the GX37 is its unbelievably low price. I would dare say that you’ll hardly find such a well-made sewing machine for the same amount of money.
Besides the price, this device is very durable and is designed to last for years. It might be hard to believe that once you see how lightweight it is, but the 25-year warranty will reassure you of its quality.
Extras and Additional Components
GX37 comes with all the usual extras so there are no big surprises here. As with some other Brother machines, you’ll get six presser feet:
- Zipper foot
- Narrow hemmer foot
- Button sewing foot
- Buttonhole foot
- Zig-zag foot
- Blindstitch foot
Check out the narrow hemmer foot in action:
Another useful addition is the cover that can be placed over the machine when you’re not using it, and prevent it from getting dusty.
Summing Up My GX37 Impressions, From Good To Bad
- Easy to use
- Lightweight and portable
- Very affordable
- Quality stitching
- Automatic threading
- A wide section of supported materials
- Suitable for beginners and intermediate sewers
- Not great for advanced sewers
- The manual is a bit vague
The Final Word About GX37
If you’re looking for a reliable, easy-to-use, and portable sewing machine, then Brother GX37 could be just what you need. Besides all of this, you can get it at an excellent price, and it’ll last you for a long time.
This unit is able to produce exceptional stitches and could be a very good learning tool for beginners. Although advanced sewers might find it limiting, those at an intermediate level will probably love what it has to offer.
All things considered, if you like what you’ve read, then don’t hesitate to get one for yourself.