Are you new to the sewing game and cannot afford to spend a fortune on a sewing machine? Do you want to learn sewing without drowning yourself in tears of mechanical frustrations? And most of all, do you not want to be stuck with a nightmarish machine that will waste your time and hamper your learning and efficiency?
If all the above questions describe your current dilemma, you have come to the right place. Read on to learn what to look for before buying your first sewing machine.
Where to Start?
The first thing you need to do is research and learn about the different sewing machines out there and recognize which one suits best to your needs.
A well-designed sewing machine can make your learning journey so much easier and happier. Choose a poorly-designed or complicated one, and you might end up giving up on sewing even before you learn it!
To expand your sewing horizons, you need to be well aware of the features and the costs that come along with it. Don’t see it as one-time research; keep in mind, it’s always best to keep up with the next best thing in the market to compare with what you are buying now or to add it to your collection later.
A Mechanical or an Electrical Model?
When you start researching for a suitable model, you will come across mechanical and electrical models of sewing machines. They both have their pros and cons, but for a first-timer, it’s recommended to buy a mechanical model.
Mechanical models are basic in design and functionality. Their parts are usually made from metals, so they tend to be bulky and heavier.
But, the reason why mechanical models are recommended is because of their basic functionality. They are good for learning as there aren’t a confusing number of options and functions, and that makes it easy to learn the basics and techniques of sewing.
Also, a mechanical model doesn’t need regular maintenance like an electrical one. But, they are not very convenient if you need to carry them to classes or move around a lot.
They can also be noisy, unlike their electrical relatives, but that can be solved by putting a thick mat underneath them.
The computerized and electrical sewing machines come in a vast range of design, price, and functionality. Functions such as auto-threading, stop/start buttons, a wide variety of stitches, and width selections, etc. are far superior to a mechanical model.
Electrical models are smoother and quieter to run, but they also need regular maintenance checks and repairs that you can’t do at home or by yourself.
According to Crafts Selection, the best sewing machines for beginners are the ones that fit your skill level, budget, and needs. Their list of top seven sewing machines with reviews can help anyone find their perfect fit.
How To Find The Best In Your Budget?
Whatever your budget may be, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to get the best out of your money. It’s no secret that quality should always come first when you are choosing a sewing machine. But not all of us can afford to spend big money on a quality product for a first trial.
But, fear not! A small budget shouldn’t stop you from getting a great deal on a quality product. Keep an eye out on dealers who take trade-ins. With a bit of patience and a few rounds around the shop with the dealer’s recommendation, you can find sewing machines for any budget. Plus, you will get a small warranty and a tutorial if you need to know how to use it.
You can also buy lightweight sewing machines. A lot of companies are making highly-rated, low-cost decent sewing machines for beginners. They are usually priced around a hundred to one hundred and fifty dollars.
But, there’s a catch. Most of the parts in this type of sewing machine are usually made from plastics, and if broken, there are no replacements for it. However, they can still serve you a few years if you take care of them properly.
What Kind of Features Should You Look for?
This can be a bit tricky: a feature that may make my sewing life easier might not make a difference to yours. But, there are certain features that can help anyone. These features can quicken your learning and help you get around the ropes faster. Here are three features that can help you in the long run.
Look for a sewing machine with a built-in needle threader. Expensive, high-end sewing machines will have an automatic needle threader while the budget ones will have a semi-automatic one.
Whichever option it is, a built-in needle threader will save you lots of time and trouble. If you feel like you don’t need one, just remember you’ll be threading your machine every time you sew, and that could be hundreds or thousands of times.
In most cases, a top-loading drop-in bobbin is better than a front-loading one for a beginner. A front-loading machine has a removable, concealed case for the bobbin behind a storage box. You have to take the casing out and put the whole thing together again after you replace the bobbin. Needless to say, these extra steps can be daunting for a beginner.
In a top-loading bobbin system, the bobbin pops out and drops in place without the need to remove any casing. The cover plate is also transparent; it can’t get easier than this to know when you are running low on threads.
Free Arm Capability
This feature will ensure freedom and a wide range of things you can do with your sewing machine. The free arm capability gives one the option to sew narrow, round garments like sleeves, pant hems, etc.
As a newbie learner, you will need to work on a lot of small projects to master the art of sewing slowly. Without the free arm capability, your sewing can be very limiting.
Now that you have decided to take up sewing, there are few disciplines you should follow. Keep a designated sewing space and remember not to do any other task there. Keep it tidy and clean, keep everything in its place to avoid distractions and sharp focus.
Learn the hard, boring stuff first. It all comes down to the basics and how good you can do the mindless, time-consuming mending, stitching, and tweaking. The better you get at these tasks, the better you will be at tackling the complicated ones.
Sew with a deadline or in a pattern of habit. If you want to learn a technique, give yourself a time limit and keep yourself accountable on how much you learn every day. It’s okay to miss your deadline, but always keep track of your progress.
If you wish to be great at sewing, first, you need to learn how to love it and for that, you need inspiration. You can find inspiration in thousands of Pinterest boards and YouTube videos. Keep on looking and keep on sewing!