A guide to choosing a sewing machine.
You don’t need a sewing machine to sew. Hand sewing is a craft in itself. Knowing the basics of sewing by hand will always stand you in good stead for any sewing project. However, purchasing a sewing machine usually comes at the top of the list for those who are new to sewing. I remember how challenging it was choosing my first ever sewing machine. For that reason, I’ve provided some important points to consider before investing in a sewing machine. They’ll help you to choose the best one for you.
How Much to Spend – Budget
Have a budget in mind when searching for a sewing machine. It’s very easy to get carried away looking at machines with all the bells and whistles, then spending too much money on a machine. Be clear on how much you want to spend before you start looking.
Machine Condition – Brand New Vs. Second-hand
In most cases, your budget will determine this choice. A shiny, new machine is always an exciting purchase but it’s important to stick to your budget. Second-hand machines can be a fantastic, affordable option. Just make sure you do your research. Find out the last time the machine was serviced. Check and make sure that the machine is in good working order before any money is exchanged. If you don’t feel happy, don’t buy the machine (this also applies to buying a brand new machine).
Where to Look – Online Vs. Local
Visiting a local sewing machine dealer or sewing shop is great for three main reasons. Firstly, you get to support your local businesses. Always a win! Secondly, you get to view the machine in person and be hands on. Thirdly, you can get free, in-store tuition on the machine you’ve purchased. If you have any questions or issues with your machine, they can be dealt with quickly, in person.
Viewing a machine online means that you can see a vast range of machines available from each different brand. There are often great deals to be found, making it potentially cheaper to purchase a sewing machine online, in some instances. However, I personally feel that you miss out on physically seeing the machine before you purchase, and asking questions from a knowledgeable source. A happy compromise might be to view a machine locally, then purchase the machine online if you see any great deals.
Personal Requirements – Manual Vs. Computerised
Choosing a manual or a computerused sewing machine will be based on your personal requirements and preferences. Budget will also have a significant part to play in this decision. It might be best to purchase a basic sewing machine that will enable you to get used to the different functions and stitches. Once you feel that you are progressing in your sewing, and you are more aware of exactly what you are looking for in a machine, you can then upgrade.
Some people want to buy the best machine they can afford as their first machine. It can be very motivating when you have a machine with all the bells and whistles, because you want to make sure you make the most of your purchase, by sewing as much as possible. However, do be careful not to purchase a machine that is too complex for your sewing abilities. It might prove to be an unwelcome barrier to your sewing, if you find yourself needing to constantly look at the sewing manual, just to figure out how your machine works! Also, you don’t want a machine that you’re too afraid to use for fear of breaking it.
A sewing machine is an investment, so take your time when deciding on which one to get. Finding the most suitable sewing machine for you may take some time, but it’s worth the careful consideration. Once you’ve found the right one, your sewing journey will go from strength to strength.
This is a non-exhaustive list of factors to consider when buying a sewing machine for the first time. I hope you’ve found this post useful and that it helps you find the right sewing machine to meet your needs.