Before buying a sewing machine, you first need to determine your budget, and of course, assess your skills. Consider what you will primarily use the machine for once your skills improve. A sewing machine is an investment, and a piece of equipment that you will most likely keep for years, so you will need to do some research.
A computerized sewing machine is the top of its range, and needless to say, the most expensive of the models. But consider the upside; you do not have to be a computer whiz to operate them, and most models are very user friendly. They practically run themselves once they have been programed correctly. These machines will remember your favorite stitches and preset configurations based on how often you use each program.
Before you take the plunge and buy the first fancy machine you see, keep the following tips and pointers in mind to ensure that you get the most out of your purchase;
Know Your Material
- Even the most standard machine should be able to handle a variety of fabrics, from soft silks to sturdy denims without tearing or stretching the fabric. Any dealership worth the name will let you test a variety of machines to see what you like. Some will provide you with different fabric samples to use in the demonstration, but it is advisable to bring your own thread and material similar to that which you will most likely use in sewing. Very much like a used car, do not buy a sewing machine without testing it first.
Don’t Forget The Features
- Computerized sewing machines have so many features it will leave you reeling. Don’t get duped into buying something you won’t use. Some machines have an additional embroidery feature. If you’re not going to use it, opt for a more basic model.
- Always make sure that the machine comes with an easy to understand user manual. Based on sewing machine reviews, the best machines will be lightweight with adjustable speed control. They will automatically set the stitch length and width while adjusting the tension.
- Some dealerships will offer lessons and crash courses on how to work the features, or will be able to point you in the direction of a sewing center. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and compare notes at different retailers.
Hardware and Software
- How will you obtain your designs and preset stitching patterns? The best option is a machine that can be linked directly to your computer, as opposed to machines that can only read information from a specially designed card. If you are purchasing a model that will connect to your pc, familiarize yourself with the hardware requirements in advance. You will be thoroughly unimpressed if you have to buy a new pc to go with the new sewing machine, so do your homework to avoid nasty surprises.
- Don’t forget to consider the cost of the software needed. Remember, sales consultants work on commission, so they will want to upsell to the latest software. While some models will require brand specific software, others will work just fine with generic software that will save you money in the future.
Repair Policies and Warranties
- Don’t buy a machine that does not have a substantial warranty in place. If the manufacturer doesn’t have faith in their product, neither should you. Ask your dealer if they provide an in-store repair service, and find out what the turnaround time is. However, any repairs done on the machine that are not authorized by the manufacturer will void the warranty.
Shop around, and take your time. Sit in front of the machine, play with it, ask for demonstrations, and compare prices. The machines aren’t complicated to use at all, but if you are a newbie, you won’t recognize some of the basic functions because of the control settings. If the shop sells it, they should have a knowledgeable grasp on how to work it.