What to Look for in a Sewing Machine

No matter what your sewing experience is, it is sometimes necessary to have a sewing machine. You may find you need to do some basic hemming, or perhaps you'd like to make a set of curtains. Both are much easier with a sewing machine. But, where should you begin if you are considering buying one?

The sewing machines made today are almost too easy to operate. They come complete with attachments, bells and whistles so that they can almost do the sewing themselves. However, if you are looking for your first sewing machine, you must decide what you need it to do. There are two questions to ask yourself: How much will you use your sewing machine, and what kinds of sewing will you do with it? Your needs will determine what type of sewing machine to buy.

You can choose a machine that is simple or highly complex. Sewing machines have three options: mechanical, which is the least expensive and best for beginners; electronic, a higher price but perfect for an adept sewer; or computerized, which is the most expensive and geared toward the expert sewer. Each type of sewing machine is capable of different sewing functions.

Saving money is always a plus, so it's possible to find a used one in good condition if you are starting out. Just consider how much you are willing to spend. A good rule of thumb is that if you don't understand what some of the features are you probably won't use them and don't need to spend the extra money. However, it is still important to ask which features and accessories come with it. For instance, is a carrying case included? How much is the warranty, and what is covered under a service contract? Are you such an avid sewer that you're willing to pay more for an expensive model?

It's a good idea to test out the sewing machine if possible. Have some swatches of different fabric on hand so you can try them out, and sew the kinds of stitches you will typically be making with the sewing machine. This way, you know if you will need to keep looking or if you've found the type of machine that will perform best for you.

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