Buyer’s Guide to Your First Sewing Machine

If you are ready to make your first sewing machine purchase, you probably have a lot of questions. There are so many brands and models on the market that narrowing down your choice to a single one can be nearly impossible. The idea is to get the machine that will serve your purpose and last a long time without breaking the bank. You want a machine that you will enjoy; not one that you wish you hadn’t purchased and don’t feel comfortable using.

Start by Setting a Budget

A sure way to end up making a purchase you regret is not to determine how much you can afford to spend before you go shopping. Sewing machines cost anywhere from around $100 to several hundred dollars with commercial or industrial models usually costing more. While you should decide how much you are willing to spend, you don’t want to simply buy the cheapest one you can find. Your goal should be to get the best value for the money you can afford to spend.

Quality vs Quantity

Your first sewing machine should be as good a quality as you can afford to buy. That doesn’t mean being loaded with features but made to perform well and last a reasonably long time. If you are still in the beginning stages of sewing, you probably aren’t going to be doing a lot of professional-style stitching.

Probably every sewing machine that you will find will have a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch. Most will also have at least one buttonhole stitch. Beyond that, there are machines that have only a few stitches to those that have hundreds. These basics are all you are going to need on your first machine.

A machine that has a lot of features but costs less than other models with fewer features probably isn’t a great deal. It’s more likely that it is lower quality. Stick with machines that are full-size, brand names like Singer, Brother, Janome, Bernina, Juki, or Kenmore. Off-brands are more likely to be made with less metal and poor construction that won’t hold up.

Shop Online

There are many advantages to shopping online for a sewing machine in comparison to going to local dealers or sewing stores. For one, you can shop around for the best price once you find what you are looking for. It’s also a great way to see which ones other users have determined easy enough to master for beginning use. A truly complex threading system can be all it takes to crush your enthusiasm and keep you from ever getting started.

Look for Guidance

Many of the high-end computerized sewing machines have tutorials on the LCD screens. If you are shopping for something in a lower price range, look for a machine that either offers online tutorials or that has demonstrations on YouTube. Seeing the machine demonstrated firsthand makes it a lot easier to understand than reading from the owner’s manual.

Look for Bargains

Anytime you can take advantage of discounts, you have the opportunity to get a better quality machine without spending more money. Some stores already have machines over-priced so that when they go on sale, you really aren’t getting a bargain. You want to get the best bargain available to you but first, make sure it really is a bargain.

Don’t Overthink It

Following this guide will help make sure your first sewing machine serves its purpose and inspires you to continue to expand on your craft. Don’t spend so much time trying to find the best machine or the best deal. The time you lose could be better spent sewing!


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