When I decided I was going to sew my own clothes, the first thing to do was to inform myself about all the models and brands available. I wanted to pick the best sewing machine for beginners, but I was clueless, so I spent a few weeks researching and comparing various options.
This article is a guide for all those who wish to buy a sewing machine but have no experience in this area. Hopefully, I can save you some trouble.
1. How Much Can You Spend?
The first thing to consider is your budget. This is very important, because sewing machine prices may vary quite a lot with various parameters. If you have almost no money, you need to limit yourself a a machine that does mainly the basic operations, without thinking about complicated embroidery patterns or other things like that. You should probably go for a second hand machine. If you insist on buying a new one, it’s probably going to be very basic. Nonetheless, it can be good for you to practice on it and then move on to a better one when you can afford it.
I had enough money to start with, so I went for an automatic machine with several neat functions and over 200 different stitches. If you only care about being able to perform a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch, you might find good machines that aren’t very expensive.
2. What Do You Want To Do?
This brings us to the purpose you want your sewing machine for. If you are sure you only need straight stitches, you should care more about choosing a robust and versatile machine rather than a sophisticated one. It would be a shame to pay for functions you are never going to use, so do your research well before purchasing anything.
If you think you are going to sew fabrics of different textures and thicknesses, you might want to consider getting a machine with adjustable stitch length. This is very important, as very thin fabrics call for shorter stitches, otherwise you risk to do a lousy job.
I wanted to have multiple stitch choices, so I picked a Janome 2032. This is a very good machine, with lots of cool functions and within a reasonable price range, at least for me.
3. What Accessories Would You Need?
This is very hard to determine, especially if you are new to sewing and you have no idea what are the possibilities. For instance, if you want to make clothing items, you should consider getting a machine that has the capability of performing buttonholes, sew zippers and execute a blind hem. All these operations require specific feet, so you should get them as standard attachments. If you wish to make quilts, you are also going to need a 1/4 inch foot, as this is the one used for patchwork. Nonetheless, you should at least make sure there are such accessories available for your machine, should you be willing to buy them at a later stage. You should also look into their cost, as you might not be very happy if you had to pay a fortune for each extra attachment you buy.
There are also criteria such as the size of the motor and the materials the machine is made from. Plastic is cheaper, but it is less resistant, so you should consider whether you want to use your machine for decades or you don’t really care about that.
If you do your research well, you have good chances to pick a sewing machine you are going to love, like I did with mine.