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Brother CS5055prw Sewing Machine Review: Is It Right For You?

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Dreaming of becoming a fashion designer like the contestants on Project Runway?  Needing a reliable and feature-rich sewing machine like the Brother Project Runway CS5055prw electric sewing machine to help you accomplish your sewing goals?

This Brother CS5055prw sewing machine review will help you determine if this sewing machine will be a good fitf for your sewing needs.

A lightweight, computerized sewing machine, the Brother Project Runway CS5055prw electric sewing machine offers a lot of options to more experienced sewists but has enough beginner-friendly features appeal to aspiring sewists as well. It’s a reliable sewing machine that offers a decent amount of versatility for a fair price.

This Brother CS5055prw review will answer many of your questions and give you more information about the features of this sewing machine.  Read on!

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine - 50 Built-In Stitches - Automatic ThreadingBuy Now on Amazon

But first, what’s so special about Brother sewing machines?

Brother International Corporation is a leader in sewing machines as well as other electronic and electrical home goods.  Recognized for technologically advanced but still affordable products, Brother prides itself on producing reliable and quality sewing machines and electronics.

They’ve been in the sewing industry in the United States since the 1950s and have produced over 60 million sewing machines!  Wow!

After the success of Project Runway, Brother teamed up with the TV show to produce the line of Brother Project Runway sewing machines.  They’re a selection of reliable, versatile, affordable, and technologically capable sewing machines.

Brother Project Runway CS5055prw Review of Features

FeatureSpecs
Dimensions11.65" x 16.26" x 7"
Weight10.7 pounds
Stitch Length and Width
5 mm x 7 mm
Maximum Sewing Speed850 stitches per min (spm)
Stitches50 built-in stitches
Sewing Feet7
UL/CSA Listed Voltage110V
Feed dogs7 points
Warranty25-year limited

What comes with the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine?

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine - 50 Built-In Stitches - Automatic Threading

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

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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 protective case, which is nice for protecting the sewing machine.  You could even 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:  Here’s your everyday presser foot that you’ll use 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: sews on buttons so you don’t have to sew by hand
    • 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: a really cool presser foot that works with the overcast stitches on the sewing machine to create a seam and finish fabric edges all at once.
    • Monogramming foot: use with the sewing machine’s decorative stitches

Since this is a computerized sewing machine, the LCD screen on the front of the sewing machine will showcase a little letter every time you change stitches.  This letter corresponds to a letter on one of the presser feet so you’ll know which one you need.  Thus, there’s no need to refer to your manual every time you want to change stitches!

How many stitches are there, and what are they?

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine - 50 Built-In Stitches - Automatic Threading

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 that will serve 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 on the base of the machine will show you how to insert and prepare the bobbin for sewing.  Since it’s a quick-set, top drop-in bobbin, this bobbin system is easy to set up!

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine - 50 Built-In Stitches - Automatic Threading

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.

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine - 50 Built-In Stitches - Automatic Threading

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 as 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 will do that automatically once you start.

You’ll start sewing by pressing your foot on the foot pedal controller.  Pushing harder will increase speed, and easing off will slow down your stitching.  If wanting to reverse stitch, there’s a button on the front of the sewing machine you’ll press to sew a reinforcement stitch.

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 will claim this light is not bright enough, most reviewers find it perfectly adequate.  If lighting is a problem for you with this sewing machine, you may want to consider another brand of sewing machine or an auxiliary natural light lamp.  The lighting apparatus is very similar on 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.  You’ll just place your pants leg or sleeve, for example, around the free arm for easy, uncomplicated sewing.

Taking up a small footprint and weighing less than 11 pounds, the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine is very portable as well.  It’s a full-size sewing machine, but it can be easily transported around the house or to sewing classes.

How good is the CS5055prw for quilting?

If you’re looking to create gorgeous quilts, the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine can definitely 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.  Definitely consider if these are necessities for you before purchasing this machine.

For instance, the CS5055prw sewing machine does not include an oversized, wide table that will help with holding larger projects.  Other Brother sewing machines that do include the oversized, wide table are the Brother CS6000i, Brother HC1850, Brother XR3774, and Brother XR9550prw.  You can purchase the extension table separately if you’re wanting, but it’s pretty expensive.   You’re really better off cost-wise buying a sewing machine that includes the table already if it’s a must for you.

Speaking of large projects, the throat size of the CS5055prw sewing machine is approximately 6″ from needle to base and 4″ high.  You thus might have some problems with space if you’re planning, for instance, to quilt 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.  These accessory feet are included with the Brother CS6000i sewing machine but can be purchased separately for use on this low-shank CS5055prw sewing machine if desired.

As a plus, the feed dogs do drop without the need for a darning plate to allow for free motion quilting.

How noisy is the Brother CS5055prw?

The CS5055prw sewing machine is a very quiet sewing machine, especially compared to many of the Singer machines out there!  Pushing it to the max spm and using an overcast stitch, for example, will make it a bit noisier, but it’s not going to wake the neighbors or anything. To get the best idea of the noise level, I’d recommend watching a video of the sewing machine and listening for yourself.

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.

Some Brother CS5055prw sewing machine reviews will mention difficulty with thick fabrics, but the majority will sing the praises of the sewing machine.

It’s important to know that success with sewing these fabrics comes from having the correct materials and techniques.  Failure may not be the sewing machine’s fault.  When sewing denim or leather, you will need to select an appropriate needle size as well as thread type.  You’ll also want to make sure you’ve adjusted your tension and stitch to match the fabric.  Sewing slowly through thick material will also increase your sewing success and decrease the risk of breaking a needle.

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 an embroidery machine.  It does not have any 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.  (Check out some Youtube videos to see what I’m talking about!)

As for serging, the CS5055prw sewing machine does not have the capability to sew a seam, finish fabric edges, and trim 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!  No need to figure out how to do this manually, and you are guaranteed to have equally sized buttonholes along your project.

When it comes time to sew on the corresponding button, attach the button sewing presser foot and sew on your button.  Easy as that!

Is the Brother CS5055prw sewing machine beginner-friendly?

The computerized aspect of this sewing machine makes it much 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 a non-negotiable for me these days.  As a beginner sewist, 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!

When I first started sewing, I skipped straight to the excitement of completing my first project, and I caused myself a lot of frustration when I couldn’t get the sewing machine to work.  Turns out if I had just read the manual beforehand, I would have known it was incorrect tension causing me so many problems!

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.  I wasn’t too impressed with the warranty, personally, when the automatic needle threader on my sewing machine broke.  Since it was just outside the one year warranty, Brother was not willing to cover it.  That being said, I’m going on year 5 with my Brother sewing machine, and it’s still rocking on in every other aspect!

CS5055prw Pros

  • 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

CS5055rw Cons

  • 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 CS5055prw vs Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine?

I personally own and sew with the Brother CS6000i sewing machine, and I love it!

The Brother CS6000i has 60 stitches, 9 presser feet, and 7 automatic buttonhole styles.  In comparison, the Brother CS5055prw has 50 stitches, 7 presser feet, and 5 automatic buttonhole styles.

The CS5055prw sewing machine is going to cost a little less (usually), but it’s not as feature-rich.  You may be paying more than you should with the Project Runway name on it.  If cost is not an issue and you want more than what the CS5055prw sewing machine offers, I do think the Brother CS6000i sewing machine offers more features for not that much more money.

For instance, the Brother CS6000i sewing machine comes with a detachable wide table.  This table is great for use with larger projects such as quilts.  Included with its presser feet are also a walking foot and a spring action quilting foot with a quilting guide.  These are helpful for quilting as well.  Furthermore, the CS6000i sewing machine comes with its own protective hard case.

Additionally, the Brother CS6000i offers pedal-free sewing.  Using the foot controller is optional, and you can control start/stop and needle up/down with the touch of a button.  Speed is also controlled with a slider on the top of the sewing machine.

Read my full Brother CS6000i sewing machine review for more details if you’re interested!

Brother CS5055prw Review – Conclusion

As you can see from this Brother Project Runway CS5055prw sewing machine review, the 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 at all!  If you’re not sure about it but are still interested in a Project Runway sewing machine, I’ve reviewed the best Project Runway Limited Edition sewing machines. Check it out!

Brother CS5055prw Sewing Machine Review

Brother CS5055prw Sewing Machine

4.4

Beginner Friendly

4.5/5

Bang for Your Buck

4.2/5

Portability

4.5/5

Pros

  • Portable and versatile
  • Automated functions
  • Beginner friendly

Cons

  • Not as many quilting perks
  • Not feature-rich as some other machines

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