Sewing Machines – What to Look for in a Sewing Machine


What to Look For in a Sewing Machine

Since sewing machines seem to get more feature rich by the minute, let's take a look at what to keep in mind when purchasing a sewing machine.

The power users that need all the latest bells and whistles you know who you are. But lots of others just want a reliable sewing machine that is easy to use.

Those who don't intend to do everything under the sun with their sewing machine will want a variable straight stitch, a broken zig-zag stitch that is useful for stretch knits and hemming stitches. Also buttonhole capability. There may be add-on features that you can buy later on if you need them. For example, a walking foot and edge and top stitching feet.

It is worth mentioning that there will be all kinds of accessories available but sometimes the manufacturer discontinues them after a while. Then you can watch for them on eBay.

Quilters may want additional features such as a good sized space to the right of the foot so that larger quilts can be worked on more easily. Another nice feature is the ability to set the stitching speed. That way when you are machine quilting, you can have a nice slow, even speed. You also want to be able to drop the feed dogs to you can do free-motion stitching.

Embroidery Machines are different than traditional mechanical sewing machines. Mechanical sewing machines move the fabric with a feed dog but embroidery machines hold the fabric in a hoop which moves. These kind of machines will not work well for ordinary sewing tasks such as clothing construction, mending or sewing curtains and such.

Many newer machines have compromised and offer embroidery features as well as regular sewing. But many feel that for sewing (not embroidering) they do not work as well as the older mechanical sewing machines. So it is good to think carefully about what kind of sewing you intend to do.

Other notes:

It is better to choose a sewing machine with metal parts – they will last a lot longer.
Read the manual to find out about oiling your machine – it will help it to last longer.
A fishing tackle box is great for storing needles, bobbins and so on; and less expensive than similar things sold at a sewing machine store or crafts store.