With so many types, brands, and models of sewing machines on the market today, naturally you might get confused. But you don’t have to be in a rush just to buy a sewing machine because it’s available.
First, try to narrow down your choices. You have to consider the model. But if you’re still not so sure, focus on the features that you’d like the most. Let the tips below guide you to buy the best sewing machine you can afford.
1. Buy the best sewing machine you can afford
Think of buying a sewing machine as an investment, like what you would do for a phone or a camera. Don’t be lured by the attractive added features that sellers are trying to peddle, but get one that has the most basic but quality parts. Get a sewing machine that will not easily break — it will not be worth it when you have to take it to the shop for repairs. Besides, a broken sewing machine also means additional unnecessary expenses on your part.
2. Where to buy sewing machines?
One of the first things that come to mind is where to get the best sewing machines possible. Unless you know a store well with a good merchandise and great sewing machine deals, you can do your research by asking friends or neighbors about a good sewing machine store nearby, or browse online.
Most knowledgeable arts and crafts hobbyists will recommend Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores (http://www.joann.com/). First-time subscribers will enjoy fabulous discounts and they can score slashed-down prices on the top rated sewing machines like Singer and Janome (and they come in different and cute colors too!). Subscribers will also have the chance to sign up for Jo-Ann’s free owner’s class (in-store or online) where they learn arts and crafts.
Amazon is also a great place to score sewing machine discounts. What’s great about it is, of course, it’s the world’s biggest online marketplace and you can readily trust its merchandise. You can refer to sewing machine reviews on Amazon written by the consumers themselves, as well as customer ratings. These reviews will greatly benefit you when you’re actually shopping for sewing machines.
If you want to buy a sewing machine from an actual store, you’d rather buy one from a dealership, rather from the countless chain stores. Aside from the fact that dealerships can offer you the best sewing machine for its value because they know its features and functions very well, they also provide their experience, expertise, advice and assistance that will guide you on how to maintain your sewing machine. Plus, dealerships are also likely to offer service warranties on their products.
When it comes to sewing machine brands, you’d think of Singer, the longest-established sewing machine company. Some of the best Singer models of late include Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, Singer 5278, and Singer 4411. But you shouldn’t ignore other excellent brands like Janome, a globally recognized Japanese brand which is preferred by many sewing/arts and crafts hobbyists. Their sewing machines are extremely user-friendly and can be used even by beginners. Another Japan-based sewing machine brand Juki is popular the world over for its efficient and durable sewing machines and sergers — they can even stand up to intense and frequent use. You may check out each of these companies’ websites for more information and again, read consumer reviews for additional buying guide.
4. Your skill level
If you tend to sew often by hand and have gotten tired of it, then you should buy the most basic sewing machines that will get the job done of doing stitches, attaching buttons, and joining seams together, etc. Ideally, first-time users should get a unit that is developed with the beginner in mind, to make sewing as simple as possible — a lot of brands offer those kinds of machines.
But if you have used a sewing machine already and love to make different sorts of garments, dresses, bags, plush toys, etc., then you will need a sewing machine that is more durable, can withstand intense use, and has added features that will enable you to do your job smoothly and efficiently.
5. Which type of sewing machine would you like?
If you’re on a budget or you just want a simple sewing machine with no bothersome attachments or complicated add-ons, go for the mechanical machine. It is less expensive to maintain and doesn’t need batteries or electricity to get it running. Just make sure that you have the mechanical sewing machine oiled well so that it can maintain its performance for many years to come. In fact, because of their simplicity and durability, mechanical sewing machines tend to last the longest compared to other types. You may have inherited a mechanical sewing machine from your grandmother and it still works as finely as it did then.
If you want a faster sewing, go for the electronic sewing machine, which is basically a mechanical machine which is run by electricity. It makes decent and clean stitches in half the time, but it doesn’t do embroidery.
If you’re into “smart” appliances, then you should never pass up the computerized sewing machine. Obviously, this is the most expensive of the three types. It can memorize some of the previous sewing tasks, and it always comes with a touch screen, dials, or buttons. It makes stitching so easy that all you have to do is to set the programmable stitch selections, length, and sequence. Computerized sewing machines have high-powered motors which make them the machine of choice for doing extensive and professional sewing projects.