What to Look for When Buying a Sewing Machine

When shopping for a sewing machine, it is easy to get confused. There are so many features, brands, price ranges and more. How do you know where to start? Some of the key elements you should be looking for to get the best machine for you can be found below.

Get the Best Machine for What You can Afford

This doesn’t necessarily mean get the machine with all the best features, but rather the one constructed of quality parts. This is a machine that will not break on your in just a few months and not be worth it to repair. Think of this as an investment, like a good bike or camera. If you are not sure how much you’ll sew, it could be a good idea to borrow one from a relative or friend, or renting some studio time to see how you like it. You could also put a quality one on layaway so you can save for one that is of quality.

Purchase from a Dealership, Rather Than a Chain Store

When you purchase from a big chain store, they can’t help you thread your new machine or even know much about the machine at all. Purchasing from a dealership will gain you a resource where you can get experience, assistance, advice and a many times a machine owner class which can guide you through the machine’s features and learn how to maintain and clean your machine.

They can usually service machines and will have a warranty guarantee. See if they also offer trade-ups and trade-ins. This could take pressure off your initial purchase if you know you can start with the one and move up if you want. They could also have used machines which are serviced.

Sit Down and Try the Machine

In this way you can see how smoothly the machine runs and if it makes a lot of notice. How much control do the feed dogs feel like they have? How easy is the button hole? Is the fabric weaving all over? How is the stitch quality? How about the tension? How do you choose or alter stitches? Look at the different stitch options – is there a blind hem, a zigzag, stretch stitches? Can you change the position of the needle?

Test Out Samples of Fabric you Work With

A bit of time spent on a machine with your swatches can really help you to decide whether the machine is right for you or not. Ask what presser feet comes with the machine and what else is available. There could be better options for the kind of work you plan on doing.

Get a Machine That won’t Overwhelm you with Features, but that you can grow into

Some features definitely make sewing easier. Some of these would be a knee bar or freehand system, needle up/down, an automatic butthole, and adjustable presser foot pressure. Think about what you plan on using your sewing machine for, and what you hope to possibly do with it in the future. Will your sewing machine be able to accommodate those goals in the future?