How to buy a sewing machinecomments (12) August 1st, 2008
This great query was posted recently:
"I didn't see a post on this, so if you already wrote one, please forgive me! I'm very new to sewing and am considering saving up to buy my own machine (currently using my mom's), but I have no idea where to start in the research/purchase process! It looks like there are a million options on every machine...GAH! Do you have any recommendations on where to start, what to look for, how to decide, or even if you recommend a particular brand or type of machine? Any direction you can give me would be greatly appreciated!!" - halfaperfectpair
To some, buying a sewing machine may not be that big of a deal but to many, investing in this crafting tool is a process...and one they want to do correctly! Here are some of my thoughts.
1.) Set your budget. This is a tool for your hobby and just like anyother tool you don't want it to break the bank. As you are setting your budget remember that for the most part in the sewing machine world you get what you pay for. Sewing machines range in price from $79 to $8000!
2.) Determine what you sew. Look at what you sew as well as what you want to sew. There are so many machines out there that just knowing what you want to use your machine for will help tremendously to narrow that down. Some machines have built in features that will help you accomplish the best home decor sewing while others may have built in features that will assist you in perfect quilting.
3.) Use the internet. My personal feeling (again, personal feeling) is to use the internet as a research tool...but not to buy your machine online. For a few sewing machine companies, purchasing your machine online will void your warranty and this is FOR SURE an addition you want on your machine. For research, however, use the internet to its fullest! Find out what other people bought and what they like (or don't like) about the machine. Research the brands.
4.) Find a local dealer. This is another personal feeling, but one I feel very strongly about. Bernina, Janome, Singer, Husqvarna Viking, Pfaff and Babylock all have local independent retailers for their sewing machines. To me this is beneficial in two ways. One, you stay close to home and are supporting a local business. Two, you get the hands on help you need to learn your machine. Most retailers have free users/owners classes where they teach you the basics of how your machine works. Go to a retailer that does these users/owners classes and make sure you take them!!!
5.) Once you have narrowed down what machine you are looking for, what you want it to help you accomplish and what your budget is it is time to shop! Visit each of the different retailers and try out the different models. Let them let you sew on them. Each machine will have a different feel and sound and you'll just know when you have found your new best friend! Take a little time to meet the staff at the retailer and see if they are a good fit for you.
These are the things that come to my mind as most important. I'd love to help you all and answer any more questions! There is also a SUPER cool page on Singer's website where you answer a few simple questions and it will recommend a machine FOR YOU! Hope this helps halfaperfectpair!