Sewing Machine Review: Brother DreamCreator VM5100

Brother VM 5100 Dream Creator

Brother VM 5100 Dream Creator – AKA George

I’ve been sewing on George, my new Brother DreamCreator VM5100 for almost three months now, and I’m ready to talk about my initial impressions. Keep in mind I still have some things I want to try out with the machine, but I’ve done a fair amount of piecing on it already (I’ve pieced two 70″-ish square top on it in the twelve weeks or so since I’ve had it). What I haven’t really done much of is free motion quilting, though I’ve done a good deal of embroidery on it. So with those disclaimers … here we go.

This is my fourth Brother sewing machine. The first one was my PC-8500 which was purchased used, the second was a Brother SQ-9050 I bought at Walmart and the third one was a “refurbished” 2500D. I still have all but the 2500D, and I’m still kicking myself for selling it in 2012. I would love to have that machine back, but that’s not going to happen. As a matter of disclosure and if you’re uaware, I also have a Janome 8900 that I purchased in February 2013. Up until I purchased George, the Janome (Ricco, by name) was my primary machine. Since I bought George, however, Ricco has seen almost NO sewing time. More on this in another post.

I brought George home and unpacked him almost immediately. Since it had been nearly two years since I’ve had an embroidery machine, I decided to give embroidery a go first. Of course, I first had to buy embroidery thread (I’d let all mine go with the 2500D), and then I found a design to use on the Green Eggs and Ham quilt I’m working on for my friend Julie. This embroidery design is meant to be the quilting. This is actually one design, stacked to be embroidered twice.

Star Overload

 

So far, the embroidery I’ve done with this machine has been wonderful!

But what I’m REALLY thrilled with is the stitching this machine does. It is so nice and pretty! I mentioned earlier that I’ve put together an entire quilt top on the machine in the weeks since I got it, and the machine really sung through the whole thing. I did run into a small problem, as one of the blocks in the quilt was a pinwheel, and George sort of bogged down where all the seams intersect, but I did a little reading, made a few adjustments to the automatic height adjustment (the machine’s default from the factory is to have that feature turned off), and voila! No more problems. In my research, I found that the little black button on the side of the J foot is actually there to be pressed in to help you get over those tougher seams. In more than 10 years of sewing, I never knew that. When I told my mom about it, who’s been sewing for more than 40 years, she didn’t know it either, so I didn’t feel so bad. LOL

The machine comes with a good variety of feet, including a 1/4″ foot with a guide. However, I’ve found that I much prefer the J foot and the use of the 1-29 stitch, which makes the perfect quarter inch seam. The reason why I like the J foot over the 1/4″ foot is that the feed dogs don’t make enough contact with the sole of the 1/4″, whereas the J foot’s sole is making full contact with the feed dogs. It really makes for a much more even feed and a lot fewer problems with fabric shifting.

In the three months I’ve had George, he and I have made a quilt top, made a pair of elastic waist dress pants, a couple of t-shirts, and repairs to a pair of my husband’s jeans. In every case, George has really done a fabulous job. I couldn’t be more happy about his performance.

The only thing I was not really happy about – and this is totally my fault – is that I didn’t do enough research before I bought this machine. If I had been more thorough, I would have chosen the Brother DreamWeaver VM6200D instead of the VM5100 for two reasons. First, when I bought my machine, the difference in price between the two at my particular dealer was about $1100. I thought I didn’t need the laser seam guide nor the V-Sonic pen, which seemed to me to be the primary differences

between the two machines. There were also two other feet included with the 6200D – the MuVit digital dual feed foot, and a droplight embroidery positioning marking foot. I was told the cost of each of these feet were about $150 each. To be clear, this information did NOT come from the dealer where I purchased my machine, but when I actually got my machine home and decided I wanted the MuVit foot, I found the cost is actually $400. The droplight foot is about $250. If I’d known that two features I did want would cost me $650, I would have just paid the extra $1100 and gotten ALL the extra features at once. But overall I am very happy with my machine – so happy, in fact, that I’m considering adding another one next year.

Really, three months isn’t long enough to give a full review, so I’ll post another review in a year or so, once George and I have been able to get even more familiar with each other. But I want to spread the word that this machine is FABULOUS, and if there’s anyone on the fence about buying it, DO IT. You will NOT regret it!

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10 thoughts on “Sewing Machine Review: Brother DreamCreator VM5100

  1. Pingback: Catching Up | Under the Texan Sun

  2. My wife is ready to give up on the VM5100, it lopes like crazy, the thread comes off the spools to loose and the machine stops or breaks the needles.
    We had the Brother Quattro 2002udl. and never had any problems

    • Karl, I’m sorry to hear you’re having problems with your machine. I’ve never had any problems and I love it. I’m assuming you’ve taken it to the dealer for service and they have been unable to correct the problems? Have you contacted Brother directly?

  3. I also have the vm5100. I have loved it up until now. I have tried to embroidery numerous times. My upper thread continues to break. I have taken it to be serviced and it still does the same thing. Very frustrated!!

    • Sheila, May I suggest if you haven’t already tried a topstitch needle, give that a whirl. I use my VM5100 almost daily for embroidery and it does so well, I am often impressed.

      If you have tried the topstitch needle, there are a few other things you can try, like changing your thread brand or your stabilizer. Can you give me some idea of what’s happening (how fast the machine is sewing, the thread being used, etc) when the thread breaks? Maybe I can give you some suggestions on how to correct it.

    • Sorry to hear this. What type of thread are you using? I was told Isacord was the best brand to use on this machine. I have this and use the Isacord, no problems.

  4. Pingback: Updated Review: Brother DreamCreator XE VM5100 - Texas Quilt Girl

  5. I have had problems with this machine and I have had it serviced but it still is not right. I love to do lace designs and this machine screws up doing lace. No matter what I try, different thread, stabilizer, net over thread, different needles, slowing speed down, nothing works. Thread bunches and breaks. It is horrible. I can do lace on my 8200 and no problems. Wished I would not have bought this machine and ready to trash it.

    • I’m sorry to hear you’ve had problems with the machine. I still love mine and recently did some lace butterflies. I just cannot imagine what could be causing your issue.

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