Brother Innov-is A60SE sewing machine review
Our expert tester takes this fantastic all-rounder sewing machine out for a spin – it's a great choice for those who want a reliable everyday machine
With 60 different stitch options and a range of other handy features included as standard, Brother’s Innov-is A60 Special Edition (SE) is a reliable domestic machine that covers all bases at a surprisingly low price point. It feels robust and is quiet and steady when working, even at its top speed of 850 stitches per minute.
The A60SE offers twin needle sewing and a drop feed function, alongside handy time-savers such as a start/stop button, lockstitch option and one-step automatic needle threader. The machine weighs just 6.5kg and comes with a free hard case cover included, meaning it’s ideal for taking the road – it also includes seven different presser feet and a small tool kit to ensure day-to-day maintenance is never an issue.
Despite this, advanced stitchers may find that they outgrow the machine or struggle when using its relatively small arm to make ultra large-scale projects such as Queen sized quilts and patchworks. We’ve put the A60SE through its paces to weigh up the pros and cons, and find out more about this sturdy machine.
Fancy shopping around? Read Gathered’s guide to the best sewing machines.
What is the Brother Innov-is A60SE?
The Innov-is A60SE is a great all-rounder that offers a range of different sewing functions at a budget-friendly price. It includes 60 built-in stitches and twin needle capability alongside time-saving features such as a handy start/stop button, lockstitch function, one-step needle threader, and more.
What does the Brother Innov-is A60SE do?
The A60SE has been designed to cover all bases, and can be used to take on a wide range of different sewing projects. An intuitive jog dial allows for easy stitch selection and the LCD display shows lots of handy information about the stitch type, length, width, and more – a bonus for beginners and those who like to keep track of their settings.
- Computerised machine
- 60 built-in stitches
- Six buttonhole styles
- Twin needle sewing
- Drop feed function
- Start/stop button
- One-step needle threader
- Seven presser feet included
How much is the Brother Innov-is A60SE?
This machine retails online with an average price of £439 upwards.
Is the Brother Innov-is A60SE good value for money?
When compared to other machines at the same price point, the Innov-is A60SE offers a good range of features and functions that many other models simply can’t compete with. It’s been designed to work with a wide range of projects and I’m sure it’ll prove itself to be a sturdy sewing companion for many years to come, far more than its low price may at first suggest.
Is the Brother Innov-is A60SE easy to use?
Upon unboxing the A60SE I just knew I was going to like it – the main body of the machine isn’t too bulky and at just 6.5kg in weight it was easy to carry around and set up on my sewing table. The front of the A60SE features an ergonomic jog dial that’s used for stitch selection, and a list detailing each of the 60 stitch options that users can choose from. The dial felt great to use and was easy and quick to get the hang of – I actually preferred it to the traditional button selection that many other machines feature.
A handy quick-reference guide is included in the box that immediately explains how to get everything threaded up and ready to sew – it’s a lovely added extra that’s ideal for people like me who are excited about their new machine and want to get stuck in immediately. For those who want to take their time, a full manual is also included that’s packed with set-up guides, illustrations, how-tos and more. I found this particularly useful when working automatic buttonholes and other techniques that relied on specialist presser feet.
Set-up was simple and intuitive and after just a few minutes I was ready to go. The machine comes supplied with seven different feet which was a welcome bonus – swapping them out was quick and simple and the included automatic buttonhole and button fitting feet were especially helpful when making garments.
Brother Innov-is A60SE quality / durability
Having been in the sewing business for over 100 years, Brother have built up a reputation for producing good quality, reliable machines that don’t scrimp on high-tech features. The A60SE is certainly proof of this, offering a sturdy, high-spec machine at a relatively low price point.
The main body of the A60SE feels robust and well-built and the jog dial removes the need for lots of breakable additions that could be damaged over time. The rest of the controls, such as the start/stop function and the lockstitch feature, are selected via flat touch-buttons that feel sturdy and shouldn’t be damaged by day-to-day use. The position of the upper spool pin at the back of the machine keeps it neatly tucked away from damage, and a drop-in bobbin keeps things tidy underneath the needle plate, too.
A fold-out caddy beneath the needle plate opens to reveal hidden storage for the seven included presser feet and a small tool kit (which is also included in the box) – this is always a bonus for stitchers like me who lose their tools and accessories all too easily. Having the opening of the caddy at the front of the machine also means it can be accessed easily mid-project, which is another plus point.
Brother Innov-is A60SE functions and stitch options
With 60 different built-in stitch options and the capability to work with twin needles, it’s clear that the A60SE was designed to be a good all-rounder. With a decent mixture of both utility and decorative stitches it can be used to create a wide variety of projects, including trickier makes such as thick patchworks and quilts. However, as the machine is on the smaller side (it measures 419mm long x 196mm tall) you may find you’ll struggle to fit large-scale makes through the arm without a bit of clever folding.
The machine showcases several time-saving features such as a one-step needle threader, start/stop function and lockstitch button, all of which saved me time and effort during my makes. The addition of a drop feed function means the A60SE can be used for freemotion work, and the twin needle function is also a handy feature for those who work with stretchy knits and jerseys a lot (or just like the look of dual seams). Not only is the machine set up to handle twin needle sewing but a twin needle is included in the box, so those who wish to dabble can get stuck in right away.
Also included in the box are seven different presser feet, with a zig zag foot, a monogramming foot, an overcasting foot, a zip foot, a blind stitch foot, a button fitting foot, and an automatic buttonhole foot. A mini tool kit is also provided, meaning that any small maintenance issues you do run into should be quick and easy to sort without the hassle of visiting a repair shop or buying new tools. It’s worth noting that all Brother sewing machines come with a three year warranty so any bigger repair issues may well be covered, anyway.
How portable is it?
At only 6.5kg in weight and with a hard case and sturdy handle included as standard, the A60SE is an ideal model for taking on the road with you. The range of features and functions included also make it the perfect companion for attending classes and workshops – the machine can take on a wide variety of different fabrics and thicknesses, meaning it works equally well with denims as it does delicate silks.
Our verdict: should you buy the Brother Innov-is A60SE?
If you’re looking for a sturdy, reliable machine that provides a decent range of features at a low price point, you’d have difficulty finding a better option than the Innov-is A60SE. With 60 built-in stitches and the possibility of expanding the machine’s capabilities with add-ons such as a wide table and specialised feet it can be used to create a wide range of projects and would prove itself to be a great sewing companion for both new starters and for intermediate sewists looking to replace their current every day machine. Advanced makers looking to take their sewing skills to the next level may find that they eventually outgrow the machine, but for the average hobby sewist, the A60SE is a great option.