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A lightweight, computerized sewing machine, the Brother CS5055prw itself offers a lot of options for experienced sewists and has many beginner-friendly features to appeal to aspiring sewists as well. It’s a reliable sewing machine that offers decent versatility for a fair price.
Dreaming of becoming a fashion designer like the contestants on Project Runway? Need a reliable and feature-rich sewing machine to help you accomplish your sewing goals? In that case, the Brother CS5055prw might be a good fit for you!
This Brother CS5055prw review will answer many of your questions and give you more information about the features of this sewing machine. In the end, I’ll recap the differences between the newer Brother CS5055 and this CS5055prw.
So, read on!
Brother Project Runway CS5055prw Review of Features
|Dimensions||11.65" x 16.26" x 7"|
|Stitch Length and Width||5 mm x 7 mm|
|Maximum Sewing Speed||850 stitches per min (spm)|
|Stitches||50 built-in stitches|
|UL/CSA Listed Voltage||110V|
|Feed dogs||7 points|
What comes with the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine?
If you decide to purchase the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine, you’ll find the following items included in the box:
- The sewing machine unit, cord, and foot controller pedal
- 7 presser feet
- Accessory pouch: 3-piece needle set as well as ballpoint needle and twin needle, 3 bobbins, extra spool pin, 3 spool caps, seam ripper, screwdriver, and cleaning brush
- English and Spanish operations manual and quick start guide
Is there anything else you need before getting started sewing?
What’s not included is a protective case for the unit. You do have the option, though, to buy a universal Brother hard case or could sew a soft case for yourself!
While 3 bobbins are included, I like to have a ton of pre-loaded bobbins for my sewing machine. If you’re looking for more bobbins, I’d recommend buying only Brother bobbins. They’re SA156, Class 15 bobbins.
What presser feet are included, and what do they do?
There are 7 included sewing machine feet that will allow you to sew most projects. They are released with a touch of a lever on the back of the presser foot holder.
- Zigzag foot: your everyday presser foot for the majority of projects needing a straight or zigzag stitch
- Buttonhole foot: use this foot to make automatic one-step buttonholes with one of the 5 buttonhole stitches.
- Button sewing foot: holds buttons in place for sewing.
- Zipper foot: sew a zipper on with this narrow presser foot,
- Blind stitch foot: create a practically invisible hem, which is useful for hemming garments,
- Overcasting foot: works with the overcast stitches on the sewing machine to create a seam and finish fabric edges at the same time
- Monogramming foot: use with the sewing machine’s decorative stitches
How many stitches are there, and what are they?
There are a total of 50 stitches on the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine for a total of 87 stitch functions.
Stitches are selected with the push of a button below the small LCD screen on the front of the sewing machine. Stitch length and width are selected on the right side of the LCD screen.
These stitches include:
- Straight stitches (needle left and center)
- Zigzag stitches
- Overcasting stitches
- Stretch stitch and triple stretch stitch
- Blind hem stitches
- 5 automatic one-step buttonhole stitches
- Quilting stitches
- Applique stitches
- Bar tack stitch
- Decorative stitches including fagoting, scalloping, shell tuck, and more!
How do you set up the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine?
Setting up the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine is an easy task, even for a beginner! (If you’re wanting detailed pictures, check out my post on how to thread a Brother sewing machine!)
Automatically Winding and Setting the Bobbin
Winding the bobbin on the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine is accomplished easily following the instructions in the quick start guide. There are also “cheater” instructions on the top of the sewing machine to remind you.
After the bobbin is wound, you’ll drop it in the bobbin case on the base of the machine. Easy instructions on a sticker show you how to insert and prepare the bobbin for sewing. Since it’s a quick-set, top drop-in bobbin, it is easy to set up!
Threading the Needle
Threading the needle is also easily accomplished following the quick-start guide and imprinted numbers on the sewing machine body itself. The thread is passed through the eye of the needle with the automatic needle threader apparatus.
This threading apparatus takes some time to figure out, and I’ve personally found mine to be more hassle than it’s worth (it’s currently broken thanks to me toying with it.)
As someone with good dexterity and eyesight still, this finicky needle threading system is not a deal-breaker, though. Threading the needle the old-fashioned way is what I’m used to.
Brother CS5055prw Sewing Machine In Action
Now that you know how to set up your sewing machine, here’s a quick video of the CS5055prw sewing machine in action.
How do you start sewing on the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine?
Once the bobbin is wound and the upper thread is passed through the needle, you’re ready to get sewing. With the quick-set bobbin, there’s no need to draw up the bobbin thread. The needle does that automatically once you start.
You start sewing by pressing your foot on the foot pedal controller. Pushing harder will increase speed, and easing off will slow down your stitching. There is no speed slider to control your maximum sewing speed.
When reverse stitching, press the button on the front of the sewing machine.
What other features are there on the CS5055prw sewing machine?
An LED light above the presser foot holder will light your workspace area. While some CS5055prw sewing machine reviews claim this light is not bright enough, most users find it adequate. The lighting apparatus is very similar to most of the basic Brother sewing machine models.
Also included with this sewing machine is a built-in free arm. Once you remove the flat-bed attachment on the front of the sewing machine that houses the accessories pouch, you’re left with a smaller area called a free arm. This free arm, standard to many Brother sewing machines, allows you to sew cylindrical or tubular items.
How good is the CS5055prw for quilting?
If you’re looking to create gorgeous quilts, the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine can help you accomplish that! There are a few quilting perks missing on the CS5055prw sewing machine, though, that you will find on more expensive Brother sewing machine models.
For instance, the CS5055prw sewing machine does not include an oversized, wide table that helps to hold larger projects. You can purchase the extension table separately if you’re wanting, but it’s pretty expensive. Other Brother sewing machines that do include the oversized, wide table are the Brother CS6000i, Brother HC1850, and Brother XR3774.
The throat size of the CS5055prw sewing machine is approximately 6″ from needle to base and 4″ high. You might have problems with space if you’re planning, for instance, to sew thick, king-sized quilts.
If you’re an avid quilter desiring some extra presser feet, you can choose to purchase your own quilting accessory feet such as a walking foot to feed even layers, a spring-action quilting foot to do free-motion quilting, or a 1/4″ quilting foot to sew precise seam allowances.
As a plus, the feed dogs do drop without the need for a darning plate to allow for free motion quilting.
Can the CS5055prw sewing machine sew thick materials such as leather or denim?
Yes, the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine will sew thick materials. Keep in mind, though, that it is not a heavy-duty sewing machine. If you are wanting to routinely sew thick leather or other difficult materials, you may be better by purchasing a heavy-duty sewing machine.
It’s important to know that success with sewing these fabrics also comes from having the correct materials and techniques. When sewing denim or leather, you need to select an appropriate needle size and thread type. Also, make sure you’ve adjusted your tension and stitch to match the fabric. Sewing slowly through thick materials also decreases the risk of breaking a needle or machine jamming.
Does the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine embroider? Is it a serger?
No, this is neither an embroidery machine nor a serger.
It may be confusing to see that the CS5055prw sewing machine comes with a monogramming foot when it isn’t a computerized embroidery machine.
It does not have built-in alphanumeric stitches (unlike the Brother HC1850 or XR9550prw), and there is no capability to load embroidery designs from a computer to the machine. If you are wanting to practice free-motion embroidery, though, you are able to accomplish that skill with this sewing machine!
As for serging, the CS5055prw sewing machine does not have the capability to sew a seam, finish fabric edges, and trim the excess fabric at the same time. What is pretty awesome, though, is the included overcasting foot. This does allow the sewing machine to finish fabric edges and sew a seam at the same time. All you have to do beforehand is trim the fabric yourself.
How do you make buttonholes?
Making buttonholes is really easy using the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine. I think it’s worth the extra money to choose a sewing machine with an automatic one-step buttonhole functionality if you’re planning to ever make buttonholes on garments or other sewing projects.
To make a buttonhole, simply attach the buttonhole presser foot, load the button for automatic sizing, and select the buttonhole stitch you want. (You can choose one of five buttonhole stitches.) The sewing machine will automatically make the buttonhole for you!
Is the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine beginner-friendly?
The computerized aspect of this sewing machine makes it more beginner-friendly than some of the more inexpensive models, in my opinion.
With the LCD screen, you can find what presser foot is going to work best with your selected stitch. And if your sewing machine malfunctions, the screen will display an error message (E1-E6) that will help you troubleshoot the problem. You’d be surprised how many times as a beginner I forgot to put the presser foot down!
Automatic one-step buttonholes are non-negotiable for me. As a beginner, it was SO much easier to navigate buttonhole sewing with the help of the sewing machine rather than manually having to sew the buttonhole in 4 steps.
I do wholeheartedly recommend reading the user manual in full before starting to sew. While the quick start guide will help you learn to set up and thread your CS5055prw sewing machine, knowing the ins and outs of how to work the machine is incredibly important!
What is the Brother Warranty?
Like most other Brother sewing machines, the CS5055prw sewing machine carries the 1/2/25 year limited warranty. While the chassis (sewing machine body) is covered for 25 years, the mechanical components are warrantied for 1 year, and the electronic components for 2 years. You also have to have proof of purchase for the warranty to be valid.
Some Brother CS5055prw reviews will make this sound like the warranty is a full 25 years for everything, but this really isn’t the case.
- A simple, computerized sewing machine that’s easy for beginners and experienced sewists alike to use
- Automatic features making setting up and sewing a breeze
- Lightweight and portable
- Relatively quiet sewing machine
- Not as feature-rich as some other comparably priced Brother sewing machines
- Not a heavy-duty machine and could include more helpful quilting accessories
Brother CS5055 vs CS5055prw
The Brother CS5055 is the newer and better version of the Brother CS5055prw. Instead of 50 built-in stitches and 5 buttonholes, it has 60 stitches and 7 buttonholes. It also has an improved needle threader. The tension dial is located closer to the sewing workspace, and the bobbin case closes slightly differently.
It is thus a more feature-rich sewing machine but doesn’t carry the Project Runway name. It’s also strikingly similar to the Brother CP60X. (Read more in my Brother CP60X review!)
Brother CS5055prw Review – Conclusion
The Brother CS5055prw is a reliable Brother sewing machine that’s easy to set up and easy to sew with. Packed with features, it’s still beginner-friendly but also useful for more advanced sewists.
This Project Runway sewing machine will accomplish all basic tasks and many advanced ones as well, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with it. (However, if you’re not sure but are still interested in a Project Runway sewing machine, I’ve also reviewed the best Project Runway Limited Edition sewing machines.)