Our Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Sewing Machine
Buying your first sewing machine isn’t an easy job, these machines do not come cheap, so choosing the right one is important if you want to get the most value for your money.
When choosing a high quality machine you need to be considering the type of sewing machine, the price, stitches it comes with, the weight and features like the sewing feet and bobbin.
We’ve put together an informative buying guide below which will take you through where you should you choose a mechanical or electric sewing machine, types of sewing machines and the top guideline features to be watching out for in your machine.
Should I Choose A Mechanic Or Electric Sewing Machine?
Before we get into the main features and guidelines you need to know when choosing machine, let’s first start with the basics, should you choose a mechanic or electric sewing quality machine?
Mechanic Sewing Machines
A mechanical machine is much more affordable than modern sewing machines and simple to use, as a beginner sewing machine they are a great pick if your just getting used to sewing, you will need to be able to change the dials in order to select options like stitch size.
Although this type of sewing machine is a cheaper machine, it should be noted that the machine does lack additional features with a limited number of stitch lengths and types, it’s also slower to use than a computerised machine.
- Cheap machine.
- Easy to use and fix.
- Portable machine.
- Limited decorative stitches options.
- Slow to use.
- No automated features.
Electric Sewing Machines
A computerised sewing machine is a great choice if you have a current machine you want to upgrade or you want to turn sewing into a professional career.
Although more expensive, these professional style machines are great for heavyweight fabrics and fast production, thanks to their digital system your getting lots of automated features too like auto needle threading which is great for beginners and speeds up work flow.
The biggest drawbacks to these computerized machines are that they are an expensive machine and can be harder to fix and maintain if the software inside develops problems.
- Perfect for heavy weight fabrics.
- Faster workflow.
- Automated features for ease of use.
- Lots of stitch options.
- Expensive machine.
- Hard to fix and maintain.
- Heavy machine weight.
Which Kind Of Sewing Machine Should I Pick?
When choosing your type of sewing machine, consider what sewing projects you will be doing first, for simple sewing projects at home as a beginner, a mechanical sewing machine which isn’t too expensive is the more suitable choice, but if you can afford it, computerised sewing machines have more room for growth in your work.
What Are The Different Types Of Sewing Machines?
Now we know the two main categories of sewing machines we can move on to learning about the other three types for more sewing options before choosing additional features in your model.
Embriodery sewing machines are much more expensive than other types but are worth it if you want to make embroidery a career from sewing. These types of sewing machines will have a huge amount of designs allowing you to transfer designs via the USB with ease.
Overlocker Sewing Machine
These kinds of sewing machines are mainly used for sewing knits and fleeces, they typically come with around four threads and can help you trim and over sew the edges and seams of items.
Serger machines like this can also be used to create gathers in material.
Quilting Sewing Machines
For making large quilts, this is the type of sewing machine you need, with a longer arm, it allows lots of fabric to pass through the machine without getting stuck as the feed makes sure that the material stays steady while you sew.
Important Guidelines To Consider When Buying A Sewing Machine
After picking the type of sewing machine that you want, we can now move on to the best features you should be considering in your machine from respected brands down below.
- The brand – A good brand indicates a reliable range of sewing machines, some notable ones to name are Singer, Brother, Huqsvarna and Bernina, these often come with great warranties too.
- Sewing feet – Depending on the type of sewing projects you want to be doing, you should ensure your sewing machines comes with certain feet, for example, a zipper foot, multi-purpose foot and button-hole foots are essential in a sewing machine.
- Top-loading bobbin – Make sure that your modern sewing machine has a top loading bobbin not a standard bobbin, these can be very fiddly to use and slow down your work flow.
- Special additions – When making sewing machine choices you should consider special features such as; an automatic needle threader, free arm, knee lifter and adjustable speed control.
- The weight – If you’re looking for a portable sewing machine, consider the weight, some sewing machines can be very heavy, especially electronic ones. Do bear in mind that very lightweight sewing machines will not cope as well with heavy duty fabrics.
- Noise – This is often a very under looked feature, you should consider the noise your sewing machine makes, if it’s very noisy it might disturb others around you.
- Your budget – Your budget will determine the kind of sewing machine you buy, the higher the budget you have, the better the machine you can get, for a good budget machine you will be choosing mechanical machines likely, which can also be good but have less stitch options.
- Warranty – Sewing machines are not a cheap investment, therefore always make sure your model has a few years warranty to protect you from any faulty parts so you can get your money back.
Tips For Using Your New Sewing Machine
If you’re a beginner sewer, it can take some time to get used to your new machine, we’ve listed some of the essential tips for using your new model down below.
- Match threads – Use the same weight in your thread for the top and bottom, this will ensure that the tension is even, we suggest using the same colour too to make it uniform.
- Practice first – Before you begin, to make sure your tension is correct by testing on a practice piece of fabric, if the stitches are too tight adjust again.
- Service it – Doing a regular service to your sewing machine is very important to keep it in good condition and maintain its parts.
- Stitch straight – Keep the edge of the fabric running straight so as you can keep the stitch straight, this is essential for neat work.
- Change the needle – Needles eventually become blunt overtime, replacing them is essential and choosing a high quality needle will give you the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing A Sewing Machine
How much does a sewing machine cost from the sewing shop?
Most standard sewing machines can cost anything between £100 and £500 from a normal sewing machine shop like hobby craft.
Are arm quilting machines expensive?
High quality quilting machines can be very expensive, your looking at between £3000 and £10,000 for names like Bernina and Millie.
What sewing machine is best for embroidery designs?
The best sewing machines for embroidery are computerised electronic machines, these have a wide variety of design options and allow you to transfer designs via USB.
Overall, the guidelines for choosing a sewing machine differ according to the type of sewing machine you choose and the type of sewing projects you want to complete. Always consider the weight, warranty, special features, sewing feet and stitches included with the model before choosing the right sewing machine for you.