Ask anyone who sews, and they will tell you that the best utilitarian invention of the last two hundred years, by far, is the sewing machine. The sewing machine allows you to sew your garments and household décor items quickly and skillfully. A sewing machine makes quick work of sewing even large pieces of fabric together which in the past would have taken hours to do by hand.
As the sewing machine has evolved, it has taken on a whole new dimension in crafting. What was once used simply to save time making useful items is now able to do complex, colorful embroidery and do many other creative tasks much more quickly than can be done by hand. The possibilities are literally endless with today’s modern sewing machines.
Because every sewer is an individual, it is impossible to say there is one “best” sewing machine out there for everyone. Your sewing needs should ultimately dictate the machine you purchase. For example, if you never plan on doing machine embroidery, then you do not need a sewing machine capable of doing it. You can save your money because embroidery sewing machines are much more expensive than a more basic model which will meet your needs just fine.
Do you want embroidery capability?
The first thing you should do is sit down and make a list of all of the things you want your sewing machine to be able to do for you. Do you want embroidery capability? Do you want free-arm capability? Do you want to be able to quilt with your sewing machine? Will you be sewing on very heavy fabrics such as denim? By answering these questions you can form a good list of your sewing machine expectations.
If you are new to sewing it is a great idea to get together with other people you know who own sewing machines and see if you can try theirs out. Ask if they will let you try sewing on their machine and will tell you all of the things they like and dislike about their particular models. This can help you determine a good machine brand versus a dud. If you bring along your list of “wants” you can see if their machine will meet all of your needs or not as well.
Research on the Internet
Once you have some idea of what you might want in a sewing machine, hit the Internet and do some serious research. Go to manufacture websites as well as those which are owned by sewing experts. Read what is out on the web and see if the machine you are interested in gets good reviews or bad. People like to complain, so you might find complaints about every sewing machine out there. Ignore the one or two complaints but listen to those where you start reading the same criticism over and over again. One or two people can be a fluke, but twenty people are probably not.
Go out into the stores
Once you have a good idea of what sewing machine you want to purchase for yourself, then go out into the stores and look at them. Look at sewing machine stores and even at your local craft stores as well. Go armed with your list and with enough knowledge to not “over-buy” a machine. Stay steadfast at your goal of getting what you want and need and not paying extra for features which you will never use.
Test the machine
When you are in the stores ask to test out the machines and see if you can find one that you really like that meets your needs. If you can then that is your machine. If you cannot, then it is time to move on to another shop.
Purchasing a sewing machine is an investment in your craft so it is important to take the time and make the right choice. Make sure you find just the right machine for your needs and it will serve you well for many sewing years to come.