Friday, September 30, 2011

HOW TO: Buy a Sewing Machine

If you are thinking of purchasing a sewing machine, new or used, but have no idea where to get started, there are a few important details you should keep in mind while shopping for your ideal machine.

Machine model
Think about what kind of projects you will be using your machine for the most. Will you be making clothes for yourself or other people? Do you need a machine for basics, such as hemming or minor alterations? Maybe you require a specialty machine for cover stitching or embroidery, or one that is equipped with a buttonhole function. There are tonnes of different kinds of machines and this brainstorming process will help you pinpoint the type of machine you need.
Your budget
Sewing machine prices can range anywhere from $60 to $9000. Once you have determined what kind of machine you need, come up with a spending limit. This will clearly keep more of your pennies in the bank, but it will also narrow down your search. If you happen to come across a bargain, do not let the impulse purchase feeling take over you. A bargain does not always end up being a good deal. Do your research, which brings me to the next!
Shop around and compare sewing machine companies, machine functions, prices, as well as warranty. You want a machine that will give you the most bang for your buck, and one that does not lack anything you need when making projects. Research locally or online. Read machine reviews. Ask for tips from friends who sew. Find a great sewing machine store that has a good reputation. And while you're at it, make sure you locate a machine repair shop (preferably close to your home).
Testing out the goods
Make a list of all the things you want to try out on an machine before making a purchase. Go to a few stores and check out different machine models. Bring someone who sews with you and bring your own scrap fabric. Try threading the machine, changing the needle, removing and inserting the bobbin, adjusting the tension and sewing with a variety of fabrics. Keep testing out functions until you are fully convinced you have found "the one."

I often compare sewing machines to cars. Finding a machine that is just right for you is like picking the perfect car off the lot. All you need to do is know exactly what you are looking for. And that can definitely be a challenge. Follow the tips above, and you will be on your way to a smooth sewing ride. Yeehaw!

Send me your sewing machine questions below.

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