How do I decide on the right sewing machine?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Looking to invest in your first sewing machine? Or maybe you've been wanting to upgrade your old machine?

From personal experience and working with students of all skill levels, we have gathered quite a bit of information and recommendations concerning the purchase of a new machine and have prepared a checklist to guide you in your search.

Begin at the Beginning
Some personal questions to consider:
*What will you be using your new machine for? Home projects, garment construction, quilting, etc.?
*How often will you be using this machine? Occasionally for clothing repairs, every day to manufacture your ouwn clothing line
*Do you need to transport/move the machine often?
These questions will help you determine what machine functions you need to look for when reviewing the product details of the machines

Tried and True Brands
These names have been around for ages and still continue to produce quality products in varying price ranges.

Basic Machine Capabilities You Can't Live Without
Must have...
*Varying stitch functions including
   -Straight stitch with adjustable lengths
   -Zigzag stitch with adjustable widths and lengths
   -Blind Stitch for sewing trouser and skirt hems
*Free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves
*Zipper foot for inserting zippers
*Buttonhole foot to guide you while sewing

Life is easier with...
*1-step buttonhole function (4-step buttonhole is okay, but a little more tricky to sew)
*Drop in bobbin
*Quick change presser feet or snap on presser feet
*Decorative or quilting stitches (fun, but not necessary)

Price is not always an indicator of the machine's quality. Purchasing a high priced machine does not always mean it's the best one for you and your end use.
My suggestion... start off with the basics. As your skills develop and grow, you will get a better grasp of what you need from your machine and can reinvest in the purchase of a higher-functioning machine.
Computerized machines are not always best. They are push button friendly, but are quite a pain to fix especially of the electronic board decides to burn out.
My suggestion... the simpler, the better. The dials and switches of a basic machine are much easier to adjust and fix than an electronic board or touch screen panel that may burn out.
Let us know if you need help! Good luck shopping.


Katie for SEW Moni

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