Tips for Buying a New Sewing Machine - Beginners


If you are thinking about purchasing a new sewing machine here are some tips to think about beforehand.

1.    I believe the most important thing to think about when purchasing a sewing machine is what are you going to use your machine for and what do you want to do in the future. Are you a dressmaker and enjoy making clothes for yourself or children, are you going to start patchwork and quilting, do you like to mend and that’s about all? These are all questions I ask my customers when they come in looking for their sewing machine.

Your needs on a sewing machine will be different for each application.  If you are a dressmaker just starting out you may not need the big space that a quilting machine offers, but you might like some decorative stitches to use on little people’s outfits or even your own.  If you are looking at Patchwork and Quilting you need space and also Needle up/down function as well as maybe a cutter and free hands system. So write down what you want to use your machine for and also think ahead .

2.    Budget is probably the next important aspect to think about.  Machines can cost anywhere from $199 to $12,000.  A basic machine for a young person starting out can range from $199 to $399.  Going any lower than $199 is usually not worth the frustration.  Do your research with this price range and look at the functions available, build quality and warranty on the lower priced machines.  Going to $399 will  get you  a much easier to use sewing machine and also a lot more options with stitch function and buttonhole ease and generally a few extra presser feet as well!


My recommendations for Beginner / Basic Sewing Machines:


3.   Always ask about the Warranty covering your new machine and also check the reliability of the sewinng machine you are looking at. Mechanical is not necessarily better that electronic in my opinion.  Your car is now electronic, so are our refrigerators and washing machines - so why not our sewing machines.  With electronic you get way more options and they are so much easier to use than a mechanical machine.  Your buttonholes are easier, your needle is either in the most upper position or lowest position (if you don’t touch the fly wheel) and therefore when you go to sew again your needle won’t come unthreaded.  The stitch length and width is always picked for you but can be altered if need be. You get lots more stitch options and can do sooooo much more. The majority of modern day electronic machines have better lighting and don’t over heat.  Electronic does not always mean computerized either and the sewing machines are generally easier to use.  Most sewing machine companies offer a good warranty on the electronic boards in their machines.

I will say this - you should get your machine serviced on a regular basis, just like the manual suggests, as dust will collect on the electronics of the machine and can cause corrosion. Sewing machines are like cars - they need servicing to get the best out of them and longevity.

4.    Buy from a local dealer that has classes and an onsite fully qualified sewing machine technician.  If you do have a problem or don’t know quite how to do something, they can help you.  Your local dealer may be a little more expensive but you will get your money back in advice and tuition.  Most local dealers offer great classes and use the machines that they sell themselves. Also, it is a lot less of a hassle to take it back locally to have it looked at than posting it back to the online store.  

So please do your research, write down all the features you want on your list and aim for the one that suits you and your budget.

Happy shopping and Stitching

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