All sewing enthusiasts want to know how to find the best sewing machine, but in order to do that, one must understand what makes them the best. There are several things that you must consider before you purchase a sewing machine. Some of the considerations are the features that the sewing machine has and whether they’re important to you.
Here is what you should look out for when purchasing a sewing machine:
Learn How to Find the Best Sewing Machine for You
1. Buy Trustworthy Brands
You should look out for leading brands that are known to offer the best sewing machine models at the most economical prices. Brands such as Singer, Brother, Janome, and Juki offer some of the most reliable sewing machine models that have several attractive features.
2. Check for a Warranty
You should inquire about the duration of the warranty. Also understand what is included and what is not included in the warranty. You should know about the location of repair facilities and what are the terms and conditions for repairs. Ask about the turnaround time. Check if you will have to travel to a repair center in town or to the manufacturer.
You should keep in mind that repairs made by third parties will void your warranty. You should also keep the packaging and all material intact in case it is required for repairs.
3. Find Savings Online
If you decide to shop online, then you can go to Amazon and check out the prices of different sellers. By comparing the prices of different sellers, you will have a good understanding of the price range. If you are lucky, you can even find discounts.
You should also consider the different types of sewing machines to decide which one is best for you. Here they are:
4. Mechanical Sewing Machines
If you have to sew on a budget or if you will be sewing occasionally, then mechanical sewing machines will be sufficient for you. You will, however, have to perform a couple of tasks manually so you will need to have intermediate sewing skills. You should be able to perform sewing tasks like crafts projects, simple clothing, hems, etc.
Mechanical machines are easy to repair, unlike modern, electrical sewing machines. As a result, mechanical sewing machines tend to have a longer life as compared to computerized versions since they are more rugged and durable.
Since the parts of a mechanical sewing machine are generally quite cheap, you will be able to save repair costs.
Mechanical sewing machines are commonly used by those who want to go beyond vintage sewing machines. These people find computerized sewing machines to be rather complicated, so they settle for mechanical sewing machines.
5. Computerized Sewing Machine
These sewing machines have built-in computers and a small monitor display to make it easier for you to operate them. The computer is used to control the motor and precisely move components like the feed dog, tensioning discs, needle bar, and other parts.
Since the computer is being used to control parts, these machines offer hundreds of different stitching patterns. You will not find so many stitching patterns in mechanical sewing machines. You can also program the machine to store different stitching patterns or even download new ones.
Computerized sewing machines can offer a lot of convenience to sewists. If you have to sew often, then it will be worthwhile to invest in a computerized sewing machine. Many tedious jobs that have to be performed manually with mechanical sewing machines can be performed by the computer. A typical computerized sewing machine has the settings for hundreds of stitching patterns, LED screen and touchpad panel.
The trouble with computerized sewing machines is their heavy repair costs, due to their expensive parts. Unlike mechanical sewing machines, you will have to replace expensive parts like electronic components if they break down or get damaged.
6. Embroidery Sewing Machines
You will find several sophisticated features in an embroidery sewing machine. You will find that embroidery sewing machines are the best choice if you have to do embroidery work on pillowcases, bedspreads, and garments.
Embroidery sewing machines maintain a hoop below the needles and move the hoop around in different directions while the needle is operational. You will have to begin by stretching your fabric around the hoop. The hoop must then be secured below the needle.
There will be built-in designs within the memory of the machine. For extra designs, you will have to load designs using flash memory, CDs, memory cards or link the machine to your computer. By using the computer link or the onboard touch screen, you will be able to specify colors and choose your design pattern.
With an embroidery machine, you can mirror, reposition and resize designs as required. The machine will sound an alert when you need to change colors.
Sewing machines must have a number of features to facilitate sewing. Here they are:
7. Automatic Buttonholer Available
This feature will let you create professional looking buttonholes in just one step. You will not have to stop, turn over your fabric or adjust the dial. Some sewing machines even have a slot where you can position the button so that the machine sews a buttonhole that will fit perfectly.
8. Feed-Dog Adjustment Available
You can do darning or free-style embroidery by moving the toothy mechanism beneath the sewing surface in certain sewing machines.
9. Good Controls and Ergonomics
The sewing machine must respond in proportion to the pressure applied to the foot pedal and should be easy to control. It should not stall and make strange noises when you are sewing multiple layers and thick fabrics.
Controls must be located so that they are easy to reach and manipulate. Symbols printed on the machine should be bold, and the LED screen should be sharp enough for you to read without eye strain. Machines that have a longer arm will make it easier for you to use a larger cloth size.
10. Weight of the Sewing Machine
If you require your machine to be portable, then you must check the weight and make sure that it has a handle on top and a dust cover. You should think about portable sewing machines if you have to go to sewing lessons or to your friend’s house to try out new sewing ideas.
11. Available Needle Positions
With this feature, you can position the needle as well as the stitching line towards the left or right. You can also place the needle in the up or down position when you have stopped sewing. With the needle down, it is easier for you to raise the presser foot and turn the corner around with no need for a jump stitch.
12. Automatic Needle Threader
Threading the needle is one of the biggest nuisances that sewists have to put up with. This often involves a lot of eye strain and frustration, and it can take the fun out of sewing besides wasting time. With an automatic needle threader, you will be able to avoid these problems.
13. Does it Have Presser Feet?
You should know about the different types of presser feet that come with the sewing machine. You’ll need a multi-purpose foot for basic sewing in order to generate zigzag and straight stitches. You will also need a buttonhole foot and a zipper foot as well.
With the help of an adjustable presser foot, you can control the pressure that the presser foot exerts on the fabric while you are sewing. This will prevent the fabric from stretching when you are sewing knitwear. The right pressure will also prevent fine fabrics from puckering.
14. Sewing Machine Speed
You should think about your sewing needs in order to decide which sewing speed is sufficient for you. If you will be doing a large amount of sewing work every day, then you should consider a heavy duty sewing machine. These can have a maximum speed of around 1200 stitches per minute. Your sewing projects will be finished much more quickly with higher speeds.
The foot pedal should also be responsive enough so that you won’t have to disrupt the flow of sewing by starting and stopping. Instead, you can vary tempo by adjusting the pressure on the foot pedal to control speed.
15. How Many Different Stitches it Has
There is a huge variety of stitches ranging from basic to zigzag to decorative. If you plan to do fancy sewing work, then you must look for more stitching pattern variety.
Don’t just look at the number of stitches. It is more important to look for the type of stitches that you will actually be using.
For the most basic sewing work, you will need two types of stitches: straight and zigzag. Here are some important stitches:
As mentioned previously, this stitch is necessary for all basic work. But you must also ensure that the length of the stitch can be adjusted from 0-5 mm.
With the zero setting, you can lock stitches, and with the 5mm adjustment, you will be able to gather and baste. A basic stitch length of 2.5 mm will suffice for most purposes.
You will find it much more convenient and have access to more options with variable stitch length. You should find machines that make it easy to adjust the stitch length.
You must check the sewing machine to ensure that both the length and the width of the zigzag stitches can be adjusted.
Knit or Stretch stitch
There are a few stitches with which you can sew knits more easily. One stitch that will serve well in this regard is the lightning shaped stitch pattern. The triple stretch stitch is also great for sewing knits.
With these stitches, you stretch the knits without popping the threads once they have been sewn. The zigzag stitch can be used to sew knits for satisfactory quality. But to achieve outstanding results, it is best to use these special stitches since they are ideal for the job.
Blind Hem Stitch
With this stitch pattern, you can create hems on skirts and pants that are virtually invisible. That is why these stitches are called ‘blind’.
Good models will also have a couple of utility stitches. These will include knit/stretch stitches. They are good for securing seams and can also serve as decorative stitches.
16. Tension Adjustment
The tightness of the thread is an important factor behind good sewing. If the tension in the thread is too high, the fabric will pucker up. If the tension is too low, then you will end up with loopy stitches.
17. Featuring a Top-Loading Bobbin
In the older sewing machine models, there was a recessed compartment where the bobbin had to be threaded. Many present-day models allow you to the slide a panel open where you can slip in the bobbin. With the help of a clear cover, you can monitor the amount of thread that remains.
18. Lighting Features
Lighting used to be a problem on many older models because they used bulbs for this purpose. These bulbs were not particularly reliable and were prone to burning out.
Almost all new models now use LED lighting. But it is surprising how many models have rather dim LEDs. This is one feature which you will have to check carefully to ensure sufficient lighting.
19. Knee Lifter Available
With this feature, you can now lift the presser foot and keep the fabric in place at the same time. This important feature can allow you to sew conveniently around sharp corners and curves.
20. Free Arm Sewing Machines
This can be detached from the sewing deck so that you can slide something narrow beneath the sewing needle, for instance, a sleeve. It can also serve as a storage space to hold your sewing accessories right in front.
Ready to Find a Sewing Machine Now?
These are the features that you should consider when you’re wondering about how to find the best sewing machine. Now you’re better suited to make the right choice.