What to Consider When Purchasing Your First Sewing Machine
Buying a new sewing machine can be an extremely bewildering experience not just for those new to sewing, but also to experienced sewers. There are a multitude of machines on the market produced by a variety of brands all promoting different sewing functions and features that you just “must have”. So, how do you know what machine is right for you as a beginner, and what features do you really need? As a beginner looking for a first sewing machine to develop your skills on, there are a number of basic functions and features you should focus on to make your task easier.
choice of sewing machine to purchase should be based on both performance and
ease of use. The performance of your new sewing machine will become a more
important issue as you gain experience and expand your skills to more complex
sewing projects. Ease of use is a much more important consideration when buying
your first sewing machine. Operating a sewing machine requires a significant
degree of both patience and dexterity, as they consist of intricate and
delicate components that must be treated and set-up with care. A sewing machine
that is easy to use and set-up will allow you to gain confidence in your sewing
and make the learning process less demanding.
One of the first
things you should look for in a new sewing machine is the location of the
bobbin, which holds the lower cotton shuttle. Front loading bobbin type
machines (versus top loading types) make it much easier to access the bobbin
and are able to hold more cotton, which means you will spend less time
replacing cotton shuttles. For a beginner, it would be wise to purchase a
machine with an automatic needle threader, as it can be quite difficult to
thread cotton through the machine’s needle when you are unfamiliar with the
operation of sewing machine. Additionally, you will want to make sure that the
machine’s presser foot (the plate that holds the material down onto the
machine) has adequate pressure control for your uses. If you will be working
with thicker textiles, you will need a presser foot with greater pressure
control. Greater levels of pressure control for the presser foot will allow you
to work with a wider range of textiles.
An important aspect to consider for beginners buying their first sewing machine is speed control. It is vital that the sewing machine is able to be operated at slow speeds, as it is easy to make mistakes for beginners who are not accustomed to the speed at which a machine creates its’ stitches. Related to speed control, the foot control pedal (which controls the speed at which the machine makes its’ stitches) must be of a decent size and weight, so that it is easily controlled. Foot control pedals that are too light or small may slip from under your foot.
You will also have
to examine the types of stitches that your potential machine is able to sew.
This will depend entirely on your needs, though most modern sewing machines are
able to sew a range of different stitches, including straight, zig-zag,
backtracking, stretch stitch, and buttonholes for example. The quality of
stitches will vary widely across different sewing machines, so it is important
that you test out different stitches on different machines before you buy if it
is possible to do so.
The perfect sewing machine for a beginner would be one that has simple and easy to use controls. There are many machines on the market that have a confusing array of buttons and knobs. Controls and buttons that are easy to use and relate to specific functions will allow you to produce the best out of your machine.
It is important
that you make sure your new machine comes with detailed instructions and/or
manuals. Every machine is different, and will require you to be familiar with
its specific design and use. Finally, it is vital that your new sewing machine
is easy to maintain, as they contain many moving components that need to be
While these aspects are not the only things you should consider when buying a new sewing machine, they are the most important aspects for beginners to take into account. Remember, when searching for a new sewing machine, there are significant differences between machines in terms of quality and price. The most expensive machine is not always necessarily the best machine. Sewing machine salespeople and experienced sewers are valuable sources of information in regards to the best sewing machines to buy. If in doubt, consult these individuals if buying your machine in person, as they are the most qualified people to match you with the machine you require to place you on the right track to learn and develop your sewing skills.