Learning how to sew opens a completely new world for your creativity. However, deciding on what is the best sewing machine for your needs can be challenging due to so many options. It will be much easier if you know exactly what to look for. This article gives you all the important tips and tricks for picking out just the right sewing machine. We start with the general factors of your choice that are common for every type of sewing machines and then move on to the description of different types.
What brands offer high quality?
No matter what money you are ready to invest, it is always better to stick to well-known brands with a good reputation. There are six brands worth paying attention to:
- Ever Sewn
Buying their products, you can be completely sure that even models under $150 sew well and don’t skip stitches. As for pricier ones, they are high-performing, durable, and reliable.
The machine should have a warranty, and the longer the better. Acceptable warranty period starts from 2 years on electronic parts and from 5 years on mechanics. The ideal warranty is 10-year limited or more on electronics and 25-year limited or more on mechanics, like the warranty on Brother or Janome sewing machines.
Tip! Better, do not buy a sewing machine with not specified warranty or without one.
What price to expect?
Every type of sewing machines has budget picks and the models that are on a pricey side. Low-cost units have fewer functions; expensive devices are more feature-rich. If you are an entry-level hobbyist sewer, you can buy a $100–250 machine that offers all basic functions. With this equipment, you will develop your skills to a professional level and then upgrade the unit. If you are more accomplished sewer with many features required, the ideal machine for you will cost at least $1,000. For professionals who need an industrial machine, the prices start at $2,000 and go up to $3,000 and more.
Who sews – a child, teenager, or adult?
Sewing and embroidery are inspiring hobbies not only for grown-ups but also for kids. From the age of 7 or even 5, they can operate a real sewing machine with a thread. Of course, a little help from the adults is required. Teenagers are good with computer control devices and they easily get along with computerized sewing machines.
Best sewing machines for kids or teenagers are easy-to-use, safe, and durable. Easy-to-use features include automatic thread tension, speed control, automatic bobbin winding, drop-in bobbin, and so on. The machine should be lightweight and portable because the child will eventually try to move it.
For adults who are just starting up, we also recommend choosing easy-to-use machines that have as many automatic functions as possible. Manual control requires skills and may cause difficulties while sewing.
What’s ideal for hobbyists and professionals?
For occasional projects, it would be enough to have an ordinary sewing machine made by a reliable company. For bigger projects, for example for home business or for sewing classes, you need an industrial heavy-duty sewing machine. These devices can handle continuous hours of work. When properly used, such units don’t need repair for many years.
A heavy-duty machine costs more than the ordinary, but it fills the bill. It also saves your time and energy. Thanks to its high stitch speed, you will successfully finish more projects in a shorter time.
What type of sewing machine is right for you?
There are two main types of sewing machines. The first is general-purpose, also called multi-purpose or all-in-one units. They are not specialized in any kind of sewing. They can perform hemming, some embroidering, simple sewing and more. Their performance is good yet not perfect for professional-level projects. The second type is specialized machines that are extremely helpful in single-purpose tasks.
Typically, professionals have more than one sewing machine. The first is for sewing only, and the rest are for embroidery, working with leather or other purposes. Below, we explain the features of typical specialized devices.
Benefits of embroidery machines
Embroidery machines are used for embellishing home décor items like pillowcases, curtains, and bedding sets. With these devices, you can customize a child’s belongings or create one-of-a-kind tapestry.
At the same time, embroidery-only machines usually provide more embroidery options. They are ideal for those, who already have a general-purpose machine and want to own a specialized one.
The best embroidery machines offer several alphabets for lettering and monogramming. The units have a large number of built-in stitches, including utility, decorative, quilting and more. Moreover, you can choose from a wide selection of the frame patterns and built-in designs (holidays or kids styles, floral, ethnic and so on). With the right embroidery machine, the variety of your projects is endless.
Sewing machine for leather and thick fabrics
Leather sewing machines are designed to sew heavy and bulky materials such as faux leather, canvas, denim, sailcloth, vinyl, and other thick fabrics. The devices have great piercing power, a special-purpose foot, and a feed dog to make accurate seams on delicate and thick materials. Sewers buy such machines to create tack repairs, holsters, belts, bridles, harnesses, leather garments of any type, and accessories like bag packs, wallets and so on.
To pick out the best sewing machine for leather, concentrate on two points. The first is a type of leather with which you aim to work – thick or thin. And the second is a number of your projects. Heavy-duty industrial machines loaded with features are best for everyday sewers. More simple home sewing machines are good for occasional hobbyists. But in this case, don’t forget about special-purpose accessories like feet and needles.
Choosing a sewing machine is all about what your sewing needs happen to be. So to summarize, if you are an entry-level beginner, stick to a general-purpose machine with all basic functions. If you already have skills and preferences, then read a dedicated guide to help you buy a best special-purpose machine.