Singer 7258 Stylist Review
Pros: Good sewing performance, easy to use, high value
Cons: A bit harder to set up
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|Pros||Good sewing performance, easy to use, high value||Excellent lighting, clear and easy stitch selection, very easy buttonhole set-up||Excellent straight stitching on cotton jersey, very easy to get stitches set up||Bobbin quality and winding, simple, great at scallop stitches across multiple fabric types||Light provided by the machine is excellent|
|Cons||A bit harder to set up||Trouble with the bottom of zippers, basic side-mounted manual thread cutter||Lacks a needle up/down button, no presser foot lock, trouble with bottom strap of average zipper||Not computerized, trouble with our 8-layer denim test||No included paper manual|
|Bottom Line||A great machine for the price and a good bet for both beginning and seasoned users||Good for those starting out, but advanced users will get better performance out of other machines||Great machine for a beginning sewer, but lacking a few helpful computerized features||A solid, non-computerized model that leaves more to be desired with buttonholes and lighting||An average machine with some nice features but a higher price than we think is warranted|
|Rating Categories||Singer 7258 Stylist||Brother CS6000i||Brother CS5055||Brother GX37||Singer 4452 Heavy Duty|
|Ease of use (35%)|
|Specs||Singer 7258 Stylist||Brother CS6000i||Brother CS5055||Brother GX37||Singer 4452 Heavy Duty|
|# of Built-in Stitches||100||60||60||37||32|
|# of Buttonhole Styles||6||7||7||1||1|
|Measured Weight||14.6 lbs||9.4 lbs||10.8 lbs||12.5 lbs||14.5 lbs|
|Maximum Sewing Speed (stitches per minute)||750||850||750||850||1,100|
|Buttonhole Sewing (number of steps)||1-Step||1-Step||1-Step||1-Step||1-Step|
|Maximum Stitch Width||6mm||7mm||7mm||7mm||6mm|
|Maximum Stitch Length||4.8mm||5mm||5mm||5mm||4mm|
|Automatic Bobbin Winder?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Twin Needle Capability?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Singer 7258 Stylist is a good scoring machine with a price that won't empty your wallet. This computerized machine has 100 built-in stitches and comes with ten presser feet in the box. It excelled at setting up and making buttonholes, had a good sewing performance, and was easy to use. The Singer 7258 is well worth its cost, and we would recommend this to any friend who is beginning to sew.
Sewing performance is one of the first and most obvious rating metrics that we looked at for each machine in our lineup. As expected of an award winner, the 7258 Stylist received one of the top scores for sewing performance. To assess this, we compared various stitches on different types of fabrics — some easy to sew and some difficult. Ultimately, we compared each machine's performance using the four stitches most common in sewing: straight, zigzag, blind hem, and attaching a zipper. We also looked at basting, scallop, diamond stitches, and basic quilting options.
This machine did a stellar job with the blind hem but faltered a little with zigzag stitching, which is odd because the blind hem uses the zigzag stitch. It did a stellar job with straight stitches on silk, but only a so-so job on satin. Then we came to the denim test and were blown away by the ease of sewing and the beauty of the stitching. It truly did make our hearts go pitter-pat.
The 7258 also did a great job sewing all of the stitches for our quilting sample: two layers of batting between cotton muslin. This test is more difficult than it sounds because the two layers of batting give a lot, and the presser foot can get bogged down if there is not enough power to push through.
The zippers we installed, however, needed a nudge or two over the bottom straps and the zipper stops, but the overall score was above average, with no areas that were apparent outliers.
Ease of Use
Intended to make your sewing easier and more efficient, the best sewing machine will not be a source of any frustration and will be designed with the user in mind. The 7258 Stylist fared well but still landed below quite a few other machines.
The directions on where to thread are slightly confusing for steps 1 and 2. The 7258 has the instructions for threading the machine and bobbin right next to each other, and there isn't a differentiation in the "thread look." For example, one thread would usually be a solid line, and the other would usually be a dotted line, which was confusing at first. But once you figure it out and use the machine enough, this will stop being an issue.
The 7258 Stylist has 100 built-in stitches and is one of the easiest machines to switch between stitches, using the arrow keys and the legend printed underneath the indicator screen. It's a computerized machine and has automatic sewing capabilities but lacks an automatic thread cutter, only having the standard shrouded blade on the back of the machine. That blade, however, works well and uses the cut-towards-yourself motion, which our testers found to be the most ergonomic and efficient.
The sewing functions of each button on the machine are clearly labeled, though the speed control uses a bar graph instead of fast forward arrows like other products. One thing that we felt made this machine much harder to use, especially for novice sewers, was the lack of recommendations on which presser foot worked best with each stitch.
At best, the built-in work light is mediocre, and most people will want supplemental lighting to adequately see the fine details on their sewing project. We tend to like a large, bright area of light with little to no shadows, and the Singer 7258 Stylist just didn't deliver on that.
The final metric we look at is buttonholes, which made up 20% of the total score for each machine. There are those out there who have messed up enough buttonholes (and therefore projects) to think that it ought to be closer to 80%. We make no judgments.
The Singer 7258 did an admirable job with buttonholes, scoring far above average on every material except cotton jersey, but hardly any machine scored well with that. We found that it was easy to line up the marks on the presser foot with your mark on the fabric for the location of the buttonhole, though we did notice that the front bar tack of the buttonhole tended to exceed the marks on the fabric slightly — though that is being really picky. Our only real complaint with this machine when it came to buttonholes was the actual quality of the finished product, which was not quite as wonderful as the set-up. We noticed a tiny bit of bobbin thread poking through when we made buttonholes on sheer fabrics, but this flaw disappeared on heavier fabrics. Again, we are being picky.
The Singer 7258 Stylist offers very good value. An admirable overall performance for a price that won't break the bank makes it a perfect choice for the budget-minded sewer.
A good computerized machine, the Singer 7258 is a great choice for anyone looking to purchase a new machine or upgrade their existing one to a computerized model. This machine performed well and received a top score for buttonholes and sewing performance. It doesn't have quite as many decorative stitches as the higher-end machines and lacks a handful of features, but it is more than capable of handling almost any home sewing project. Overall, if there's one machine we would recommend to the majority of our friends, this is it.
— Ruth Bruckbauer and Austin Palmer
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