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Product Review: The Tutto Machine-on-Wheels

Tutto now offers rolling carriers for extra-large machines (Bernina 830, Babylock Ellisimo, Elna 5300, etc.)

By Lynn Holland

I am not very good at moving things. First, I’m not very strong, and second, I’m relatively dense about things mechanical or spatial. After all, my third son was around five months old when a kind person pointed out to me that it was a lot easier if I put the child’s LEGS in the snowsuit first! You get the picture.

Consequently, hauling my sewing machine to different classes has always been comical, if not detrimental to the well-being of me and the machine. It usually consists of dragging cords and flopping foot pedals and usually at least one broken needle in transit. Travel of any sort, even with rolling luggage, is a similar torture. I never guess which is the “right” way to roll the suitcase and usually wind up with a sore shoulder before I pass through security. As a result, I hadn’t made the investment in a rolling carrier for my machine, because I wasn’t totally convinced that it would improve my life in proportion to the expenditure it required. Remember, I like to hold on to my money!

However, when I spotted Tutto’s Machine-On-Wheels at Houston this fall, I had to have one. Susan Lee, the Tutto rep, allowed me to test  drive it. She even sat on it to show that it is very sturdy despite its ability to fold down to about 3 inches high for storing. That was a plus because half of my attic is filled with luggage that I use only occasionally.  Inside had lots of pockets to store accessories, and straps to keep your machine from flopping around. No more broken needles. Furthermore, there was a nifty optional “buddy” case that you can strap on top of the main bag to accommodate a serger or just stuff you have to take along with you. Once I figured out what size would work best for my machine, the only difficult part was deciding which color. I picked burgundy.

I could hardly wait for the MOW to arrive to check out all the features. As you may know, I try to investigate all aspects of a product by myself, including opening the box. When I started on the box, I had a moment of panic when I saw that “green” was checked on the side. Thankfully, the contents were the burgundy I had ordered.

Another flaw of mine is that I don’t always read directions. However, I was able to set up the sides without instructions, and located the handle in a side pocket. I attached that using my wits, too. My machine fit perfectly, but then I couldn’t figure out the strap things, so I was forced to request a spousal consult. Duh. The top zips open, too, so you can strap it at the top and more easily access the machine. The side pockets are sectioned (and I found the directions in the one that didn’t have the handle in it). The whole thing is well-padded, to prevent shocks to the machine as it travels.

Even with the heavy machine, this baby doesn’t care which way you want to roll it, it just glides along. I am told that  is because instead of the usual two wheels on luggage, this case has four, each of which turn 360 degrees.  They call it "four-wheel drive for your machine." It will go forward, backward and I can turn it around in elevators without wrenching my arm. I can maneuver my own machine without incurring sympathy or ridicule. I can even sit on it if I get tired in the airport.

And speaking of airports, in case you’re wondering,  the medium goes in the overhead bin, but the large must be checked. The company has discontinued the small size, which would fit under an airline seat, but wasn't large enough for most machines. The size you should purchase is determined by the size of your machine of course. (Unless your machine folds down like the case!) The company has provided a handy guide, which we have reproduced here. It is important to note that the size of the top opening of both sizes of bag (medium and large) is 10 inches. So if the base of your machine is more than that, it must be loaded through the side opening of the bag. If you are in doubt about what size carrier to buy, I recommend going with the larger one. If nothing else you'll have more room for fabric. Although the handle does not retract into the body of the case, it does pop off when held at a 45 degree angle and can be zipped easily into the side pocket. This is required by the airlines when checking the bag. (By the way, I don't recommend checking an expensive sewing machine on a flight in this or any container that is not hard-sided. Carry it on if you must.)

The buddy case is a roomy zipped bag in which a serger and/or tons of fabric can be stowed. The case can be secured to the MOW by the bungee cord from the MOW’s pocket, or it can be toted separately. I figure about the only thing that I couldn’t stuff in there is my large Olfa ruler.

Tutto products have been cited by numerous consumer and health conscious organizations for being outstanding products when it comes to luggage. Although not bargain basement price-wise, the MOW is not considerably more expensive than other wheeled machine cases which aren’t nearly as machine or quilter friendly. For those of us who like to look cute, one disappointment is that it is not available in adorable prints or tapestry. However, it is not ugly, and really has a cool high-tech look that emphasizes features and function.  And at this point, both my aging Bernina and my aging body need to protect what we’ve got. We both deserve our Tutto.

Recently Tutto began making larger cases for the new giant machines from Bernina, Pfaff, and other manufacturers. Matching embroidery arm carriers are also available. You will find them here.

The Tutto Machine-on-Wheels is available in the Planet Patchwork Store

(c) Copyright 1995-2012 by The Virtual Quilt Company. All rights reserved.

 


                                          Four Wheel Drive for your Machine!

The Tutto Machine-on-Wheels is the strongest, most lightweight, and most ergonomically friendly of sewing machine luggage choices!

Read our review and check out the wide assortment of sizes and colors (and great prices) for this highly maneuverable carrier for taking your sewing machine across town or around the world!

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