I get asked a lot at Sew Crafty what to look for when you are buying a new sewing machine, lots of our customers are intimidated by the sheer number of different kinds out there and where to even start looking. Here are my top ten tips for buying a new Sewing Machine.
- Before you dive straight in, why not try and borrow a friend or relative's machine for a while and see how much you really use it and what kind of things you like sewing. It will give you a better idea of what you like and don't like so you can make sure the machine you choose has those features.
- Be careful of picking a machine with too many bells and whistles. If it is your first machine you may be overwhelmed with too many stitch variations To start with keep it simple, you can always sell on your old machine and upgrade if you feel you are missing out.
- Always buy from a reputable source. I would always recommend buying from a bricks and mortar shop. If your machine is faulty or needs a service (it will eventually need one) you want a place you can go back to. It is not always possible of course so if you are buying online, head to a reputable company like John Lewis, and if you can, pay on your credit card so the purchase is insured.
- The added joy of finding a shop that sells Sewing machines locally to you is that you can go and try them out. You can ask questions of the shop owners, they should have good experience and if you have your list of requirements and budget they can hopefully match you to your perfect machine.
- Head to online guides like Which best buys or search online for reviews and recommendations for the machine make and model you are looking for.
- Buy the best you can afford, like I always say in haberdashery you get what you pay for and in most cases this rings true with sewing machines too.
- Try and choose a brand with parts that are easy to find locally or again from a reputable online source. It can be so annoying when you want or need to buy a new foot and you can't find where to get it from.
- When you purchase your machine, find out where you can get it serviced. If you are buying locally you can often take it back to the shop for servicing, but if not you may need to contact an independent engineer. Your machine will need a service every year -18 months after the end of the guarantee to keep it running efficiently. Regular servicing will help to avoid larger repair bills and replacement costs further down the line.
- Your machine will need to be cared for. It will need cleaning and maintenance to help it run smoothly. Your machine manual will have information about how to dust and oil your machine to get the best results. It should be stored somewhere warm and dry. If it has been stored in the cold make sure you run it for a while to warm it before you start sewing.
- Ask to see the instruction booklet. It will be your best friend when late night sewing. Your local machine shop owner will not appreciate late night phone calls to chat about tension, but your machine book, if it is a good one, will answer a lot of questions. It should also explain all the accessories and extras that you can get and how to use them.
I hope that has guided some of you in the right direction when searching for your new sewing machine. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will try my best to answer them. If you have already bought your machine and are struggling to enjoy using it, check out my post on How to Fall in Love with Your Sewing Machine.
Have a great weekend and happy sewing!
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