With a while array of different sewing machine brands on offer AND multiple models within each brand, choosing a new sewing machine can be overwhelming.
When I upgraded my old mechanical Silver machine a few years ago it was because I had completely outgrown it: it didn’t do what I wanted it to do, I was finding it frustrating to use, and besides which it had started sewing beautiful curves. Not great when you want a straight line!
So whether you are a complete beginner looking to start sewing or have been sewing a while and think it’s time to upgrade / add to your growing collection, here are my top tips for choosing a new machine.
- The absolute cheapest is not always the best for you. Unless you’re going to get it out to sew up the odd hem occasionally, you’ll find the real entry level machines a little frustrating. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you should go for the most expensive….unless you definitely want the most expensive because you’re now addicted to owning sewing machines.
- Buy a machine for the sewer you want to become in about three years time. You may not understand all a machine’s bells and whistles now, but you will grow into them as you add to your sewing skills.
- If you haven’t had a sewing machine before or are upgrading, then try lots of brands of machines to find the brand you get on with. That’ll mean lots of foot work around different dealers (although this is where the national shows come into their own because all the brands are under one roof). And just because everyone seems to have one particular brand of machine…that doesn’t mean to say you have to have it. Some companies have bigger marketing budgets than others; it doesn’t meant to say their machines are any better. The perfect machine for you is the one that you love and you’re excited by. A bit like your significant other really.
- Buy from a dealer that you like and trust. You may need to go back to them for training, servicing, repairs (hopefully not many!) and accessories.
- Don’t be scared of computerised machines. They are actually easier to use and more forgiving and versatile than mechanicals. If you can use a mobile phone then you can use a computerised sewing machine. A good dealer will spend time with you to train you to work your brand new shiny machine.
- If you’re considering buying a sewing machine for a child: I would recommend buying an entry level computerised machine or good mechanical. Children find higher spec machines much easier to use than the small machines you can buy designed specifically for children. Do ask for advice: I’ve both bought starter machines for my own daughter (money wasted) AND seen how children cope with the machines in the shop. A machine with a built in speed function is excellent for children, allowing them to build in speed as they build in confidence. (Actually this function is good for adults too).