In previous posts I’ve written about my search for a new sewing machine. This was a very difficult process, which took almost a year. I was a beginner seamstress and didn’t quite know what to look for in a machine, and was overwhelmed by all the options. I finally purchased the Janome Skyline S3, and I truely believe I couldn’t have made a better decision. In this post I want to share with what I’ve learned during my hunt for a new sewing machine, hopefully making it easier for you to pick the machine that is right for you.
Set a budget
You do not need a expensive machine to create beautiful things. You can work with the most basic, old and raggedy machine there is. As long as it sews a decent straight straight stitch, you’re good to go. But, you will probably encounter some problems along the way. So it is worth your while to invest in the best machine you can afford. The advanced options on a computerized machine will make sewing a lot easier and enjoyable. And the more expensive models also are likely to have a metal frame that can sew through heavier fabrics and will last you a longer time.
List the requirements
If you have been sewing for a while you’ll probably have a idea of what you’re looking for in a machine. You’ll know which features are an absolute necessity, and which features are nice to have, but not indispensable. Put it in a list. What’s an absolute dealbreaker, and what is nice to have? Are you a beginner seamstress and you’re not sure what you’ll need? Just ask around. What do more experienced people say? This way you can still get a general idea of what features you will and will not need. And I do believe it’s not a bad idea to sew on an old or cheap machine for a while, so you can get the hang of it and see if you truely like it, before investing in a more expensive model.
Research and compare
Don’t you just love the interweb? There’s a world of information out there. Nowadays you won’t have to take that eager salesmen’s word for it, but you can conduct your research all on your own. Machine specifications are easy to find, and compare. I like to put them in a spreadsheet to be able to tell the differences in a glance. Reviews tell you how the machine performs in real life, but don’t just fixate on that. The choice for a sewing machine or brand is very personal.
Try it yourself
It’s a good thing to read reviews and compare specs, but don’t do it for too long. Sometimes it only makes things more complicated, because it’s almost impossible to find a machine that has all the features you could ever imagine and comes at a amazing price. Forget it. Ain’t gonna happen. At the end of the day, the specs aren’t the most important thing. The feeling the machine gives you is equally as important. And you’ll only be able to experience that feeling if you take the machine for a spin yourself. Go to you local store and try a few. Trust me, you’ll soon notice you’ll develop a preference for a particular machine or brand. The sound it makes, the ease of use, the way it feels, or even looks. These are all things you want get from reading specs or reviews, but you should experience them first hand.
Service is important
It might be tempting to find the best price deal online and just order. But it does have it’s advantages to buy at a local sewing machine store. Pick a vendor that will take it’s time with you, and doesn’t mind demonstrating a few models. A shop where you’re able to experience different machines, and where they know all the ins and outs of the machines. The store owner of the shop where I’ve bought my Janome Skyline S3 was also a machine repair man, so I could trust his advice on what to look for in a good machine. If I might have questions about the machine, or need to have maintenance done, I know they’ll be able to help me. And that’s a pretty reassuring feeling.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure
It might be worth your while to look around for a used machine. You never know what treasure you might find. Once top of the line machines can still sew like a charm and be very affordable. Just be sure to check if the price is realistic, and if the machine was well maintained. Take a look at the inside, is it dust free? How about stitch quality on different types of fabric, etc.
That’s the advice I can give you on buying a sewing machine. I hope it is of use to you. If so, do share this post with your friends on social media and follow Blacklovesgold for lots more sewing tips!