How to buy a sewing machine

comments (12) August 1st, 2008     

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Shannon_Dennis Shannon Dennis, contributor
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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!

posted in: how-to, sewing, buy, machines

Comments (12)

MARIETTAMorin35 writes: If you're in the corner and have no cash to get out from that, you would need to take the loans. Just because it should aid you definitely. I get secured loan every year and feel myself fine just because of that.
Posted: 6:08 am on September 23rd
Craig27Jannie writes: People in the world get the credit loans from different banks, just because that is comfortable.
Posted: 3:10 pm on September 8th
Lorraine68 writes: To me one of the key factors in selecting a sewing machine if you're pretty new to the whole thing is to not buy a machine is that too advanced for you. As tempting as those gorgeous, expensive embroidery/quilting/everything-else-you-could-possibly-need-dream-machines are, it's way better to keep it simple initially. If you buy something that's too advanced for your skill-level, you'll get extremely frustrated and confused trying to learn how to use all the bells and whistles that you don't really need, and you might even give up on it!
My advice is to buy a good-quality but fairly straightforward machine--janome sewing machines are good for those who are willing to spend a bit more; for something decent but a little cheaper a Singer might be your best bet--I've used both and feel that for beginners, either is more than adequate, just make sure you get something that is not too complex, but is of a quality good enough that you won't be having technical difficulties that will detract from trying to learn the skill!
Online sewing forums are also a great place to get some feedback on different machines--particularly if you have difficulties in getting to a machine dealer--you can get a lot of advice from people who own different machines that you can use in selecting a machine yourself!!!
Posted: 7:39 am on May 16th
srberts writes: hey i really need an industrial sewing machine..srberts@yahoo.com
Posted: 7:02 pm on October 10th
merrmerr writes: In need of a new sewing machine myself and all the advice and feedback is soooo wonderful. I love this site!
Posted: 10:58 pm on August 21st
Shannon_Dennis writes: I think that is a great idea!
Posted: 9:05 am on August 19th
ccrisac1 writes: Hello

I have been reading some of the posts and threw experince I think the best way to buy a sewing machine is to go to the local sewing shop and ask if they have clases on sewing. if so can you use one of their machines. then you can decide what brand you might like and know how much to save for your buget for you future investment.

Chris
Posted: 2:31 pm on August 16th
LittleAmiss writes: When looking for a sewing machine, something else one might want to consider is buying used. I don't think that I would recomend ebay, can get pretty burnt there, but sometimes you can get them at garage sales or auctions for $25-$30. Some of the older machines are pretty great.
I recently bought a White machine that was originally sold in 1951, and after it was cleaned and oiled a bit it ran great.
Posted: 6:24 pm on August 3rd
Shannon_Dennis writes: The_Kids_Are_Alight - I think if you follow the steps and get in touch with your local retailer you could work something like that out. Maybe take a simple class on the machine you're looking at buying or ask if you can have an hour at their store with the machine to experiment. Most independent retailers will completely understand this request and you'll feel more comfortable (and happy) with your purchase!
Posted: 9:49 am on August 2nd
The_Kids_Are_Alight writes: Thanks for this. I've been thinking of buying a sewing machine as well... but it's been so long since I've done any sewing at all - I wish there was some way I could have access to one for a while BEFORE the purchase so I could see if I'm any good at it..

you can get some pretty cheap ones, so i guess thats where you start..


Posted: 7:52 am on August 2nd
Shannon_Dennis writes: OH! I'm so happy it was helpful to you! Let me know if you run into any other questions!
Posted: 6:25 pm on August 1st
halfaperfectpair writes: This is great info & just what I was looking for - thanks Shannon!!
Posted: 4:44 pm on August 1st
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