Being able to sew opens up a world of creative possibilities. From sewing decorative accessories for your home such as curtains or throw pillows to designing your own clothing, once you master the use of a sewing machine, you can sew just about anything that you put your mind to.
Of course, before you can start making projects, you need a good sewing machine. Here are some tips on what to look for when shopping for a starter sewing machine, or a good quilting machine:
1. Determine how much money you have to spend. Setting a budget before you begin shopping can help you avoid wasting time looking at machines that are outside of your price range. Ideally, you should set your budget as high as possible. That way, you will have a little bit more flexibility in terms of the features that you want your sewing machine to have. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, you may be able to get a high-quality machine by shopping for one that has been gently used.
2. Consider the stitch patterns that the machine comes with. At the most basic level, there are only two stitches that you really need – a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch. Using these stitches, you can sew just about anything. There are, however, some additional stitches that can be beneficial and time-saving. You may want to look for a machine that includes a buttonhole stitch, a blind hem stitch, and a stitch that is specifically designed for stretchy fabric.
3. Look for features that will make the process of sewing easier. For instance, sewing machines that have a built-in light are a good choice since they make it easier to see the project you are working on. Time-saving features such as an automatic needle threader or an automatic thread cutter can also save you time. Think about how you will use the machine to determine which features will be the most beneficial to you.
4. Decide whether you want a mechanical or computerized sewing machine. Old-school mechanical sewing machines tend to be less expensive than their computerized counterparts. They are also generally lighter weight and are easier to care for. If they break down, having them serviced is usually much more affordable. In fact, you may be able to do some of the work yourself. Computerized sewing machines, on the other hand, are usually more expensive and are quite a bit heavier. However, they typically offer many more options in terms of the types of stitches and features that are available.
When buying a starter sewing machine, you don’t need to spend a fortune. You do, however, need to look for a machine that is well made and that incorporates all of the features that you need. By setting a budget upfront, you can look for sewing machines that fit within your price range. If you can’t find what you need, don’t forget to look at used machines as well since this may allow you to get a higher quality machine at a reasonable price.