Choosing the Right Sewing Machine
Having a good sewing machine is so important because it can impact your sewing project’s success. It is also worth noting you don’t always have to spend a lot to get a good sewing machine especially when you are learning a new skill.
Whether you are starting your sewing journey or looking to upgrade your current sewing machine, it is worth considering the following before buying. Researching sewing machines based on your requirements will ensure you buy a suitable machine for your needs and means you don’t spend unnecessarily.
In this blog, I will discuss choosing the right sewing machine and will also talk about the frequency of sewing, project types, and budget to help you know your options and how to pick a sewing machine that will work best for your needs.
How to Choose the Right Sewing Machine
Several factors play into your decision on a new sewing machine. I don’t know about you but for me I can see lots of questions popping into my head that you should be asking yourself when it comes to buying a new sewing machine.
Get your pen and paper and write down these sub headings and start thinking about why you want or need your sewing machine.
How Frequently Will You Be Sewing?
The frequency you will be sewing might mean certain sewing machines may not be suitable. Some sewing machines are better for challenging projects than others. Additionally, suppose you aren’t planning on sewing very often. In that case, you may choose a cheaper option depending on the projects you plan to complete.
Basic or budget friendly sewing machines tend to have limited features, whereas the higher end machines may offer numerous options.
What Sewing Projects Are You Going to Be Sewing?
Will you be sewing craft items made with lightweight materials, or will you be sewing different garments with various types of fabrics? You also need to consider whether you will be sewing items to sell. You need to consider where you fit and based on that it will help you with your decision as to whether to buy machine with basic features, or mid range machine that will accommodate various fabrics or a heavy duty machine that can be used extensively to support your items to sell.
If there is no specific fabric type you use often, your best bet would be to choose a sewing machine for all kinds of fabrics. These machines are going to be more advanced than the basic machine. Considering heavyweight and stretch fabrics, choices for your sewing machine should include heavy-duty machines, such as the Singer Heavy Duty 4423.
For embroidery projects, there are particular types of sewing machines designed for use in embroidery and will allow you to create beautiful designs. You can find some sewing machines that double as embroidery machines.
Sewing projects for business purposes ups the stakes of your sewing machine choice. You will need to prioritise reliability for this sewing machine due to your dependence on this machine for your business.
For the Future
You should also consider what you like sewing now and some interests in sewing that you might have in the future. Suppose you have always wanted to try quilting. In that case, you should consider buying a sewing machine with features perfect for quilting, for example.
What is Your Budget?
The budget for your new sewing machine will include which type of machine you want to purchase. There are two primary “types” of sewing machines. These types include different features, and they can even dictate what might be available to you within your budget.
Pick a sewing machine with quality parts, and you don’t have to spend lots and lots. So when picking you can now decide whether to choose a mechanical or Computerised.
All this means is you power the machine with your foot or hand or it is fitted with an electronic motor and is powered using the pedal. Basic machines do not have a display screen and tend to work by using knobs and/or dials, and normally have basic features. I would categorise this as your entry model sewing machine, more suitable for lightweight fabrics and for simple, basic projects. The more advanced mechanical sewing machines will have more features, and may also have a simple digital screen.
Normally offer a number of automatic features, will have a display screen and offer speed control depending on your budget. Computerised sewing machines can handle more stitching options and are better for those who sew more often. These machines can use computer technology to include stitches and fonts, and the features are more easily accessible.
Unfortunately, adding these incredible features can drive up the cost of computerised machines by quite a bit.
Basic Features of a Sewing Machine
In most sewing machines, you will find a motor and gears that help to attach thread to fabric. In addition, there will likely be presser feet and built-in stitches. Some of the most common stitches include a straight stitch, a zigzag stitch, and a back stitch. These allow you to complete the most basic sewing jobs.
You need to consider the following:
- Using various sewing feet, for example zipper foot, rolling hem foot etc. How many do you really require?
- Stitch options, as a beginner you may only want a machine with basic range of stitch options, for example 10 but you can spend more and buy a machine with at least 100 stitch options.
- Sewing button holes? If so it would be worth looking for a machine that offers this. Some, but not all, sewing machines include a buttonhole feature, and this feature is included on some basic machines. Still, if you are sewing clothes or other projects that need buttons, you should prioritise these extras.
- Needle position, depending on your budget you can find machines that allow you to change the position of your sewing machine. The bigger the budget the likelihood you will far more options.
- Thinking of quilting then consider if the machine you are choosing offer features to accommodate quilting.
Do you need additional extras for your sewing machine? Many people do. A basic sewing machine is designed for simple and household projects, but those trying to make more creative or challenging projects, working with heavy-duty fabrics, or operate a business will likely need more from their sewing machine.
What Are the Most Popular Sewing Machine Brands?
Popular sewing machine brands typically have great reputations. Some of these brands are newer, while others have been used for generations. You might even have an antique sewing machine from one or more of these brands in your family! There are a number of brands out there, from Singer, Brother, Bernina and Pfaff.
Perhaps one of the most well-known brand, Singer machines date back to the 1800s and the invention of the sewing machine for home use. These machines have a wide variety of options, and many people recommend the machines to beginners specifically.
Singer offers multiple lines of sewing machines, including very cheap sewing machines for beginner and budget options. They also have heavy-duty options meant for those who want to sew thick fabrics and make sturdier projects.
Brother is another established brand in the industry, but the brand’s history is pretty lengthy. These sewing machines were sold out of Japan since the 1920s. Brother is an excellent brand for beginners and experienced sewists for many projects.
The brand specialises in creating sewing machines for nearly all uses. Their embroidery machines are top-rated, and their models are generally considered affordable, even their computerised ones.
Janome dates back to the 1920s and is a brand founded in Japan. This brand is well-known for its higher-end sewing machines, which come at higher price points for a significant increase in quality. Their best sewing machines are priced well over what a casual sewing enthusiast would likely be willing to pay.
However, for experienced or those who sew a lot, and business owners, their machines might be some of the best options for purchasing sewing machines. They also have semi-industrial models of sewing machines that are extremely fast and sturdy.
Pfaff is well known brand, dating back to 1862. The tend to offer higher end sewing machines, embroidery and overlockers/sergers. They look elegant and they offer a number of options.
Hobby Craft has their own range of sewing machines and one or two are under £100 which is a great price, but read the reviews to ensure they offer good quality. John Lewis also has it’s own range of sewing machines and a good selling point to buy from them, they usually offer extended warranty.
Argos is another store that also sells entry level machines in addition to mid-range sewing machines.
There is also the option to purchase a second hand sewing machine. The benefits to this are you can get a better machine because it is used or you can keep your costs down if you are just starting off your sewing journey. It is worth doing a lot of reading before going down this route and there are plenty of ways to purchase a second hand machine. You can use platforms such as ebay, your local car boot sale or sewing machine retailers offering ex-display or refurbished options. If purchasing from ebay or car boot sales, or a private sale it is worth checking the machine works and there are no issues not specified as refunds are not usually possible and the machine could be beyond it’s warranty.
Other considerations when getting a sewing machine.
Other things to consider are the type of sewing needles you use, this can also impact your sewing project and it doesn’t make a difference if buying an entry level machine or premium. I didn’t realise this early into my sewing journey how important it is to choose the appropriate needle for the project which can impact the finish.
(I have written a blog all about sewing needles, available here)
It is worth going to an experienced sewing machine dealer if possible, to allow you to see all the options available and ask all your questions to ensure you are picking the right sewing machine.
Let me start with thank you for reading this far. I could have written a very short blog but I really wanted to provide real value when you are ready to select a sewing machine.
There are many options available for you to choose from when it comes to sewing machines. I hope you’ve learned plenty about the many features, types, and brands available on the market for sewing machines. Whatever your price point and intention, there is sure to be a sewing machine that fits your needs!
Now you are all set with your sewing machine, why not browse the website to take a look at all the beautiful fabrics available for your next project. Click Here