The 10 Step Guide to Buying A Sewing Machine

Are you looking at buying a sewing machine...but you're not sure where to start? If you answered yes to this question then you are in the right place!

Because, lets face it:

Buying a sewing machine can be overwhelming.   With so many brands on the market today, finding the right sewing machine can be difficult.

 Thats why we’ve decided to put this buyers guide together for you!

Why We Created This Sewing Machine Buyers Guide

If you've been on the hunt for a sewing machine, we’re here to help you narrow down your search.

Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine

Our goal is to present a list of 10 things to consider to find the perfect machine for your lifestyle and your budget.

A Beginners Guide to Buying a Sewing Machine: 10 Steps you Need to Take

Okay guys,

To make help you with your purchasing decision, here are 10 steps that you can take to find the perfect sewing machine for your projects:

#1: Determine the Budget and Price that You want to Spend on your Sewing Machine


Sewing machines come in varying prices. Some are budget friendly while others are more a little more costly.

 For example:

A basic sewing machine like the Brother XM2701 can start anywhere from $85-$150. These machines are perfect for sewing everyday projects like quilts, garments, home decor, and more.  

Whereas, advanced sewing machines like the singer computerized sewing machine or the Brother HC1850 have more advanced features and range from $150-$300+.

Ultimately,

As you consider the cost of the machine, you will also want to make sure that it has all the features that you need for your sewing projects.

#2:  Consider the Type of Projects You Plan to Sew


Before buying a sewing machine, you should consider the kind of projects you will be using the machine for. 

This could include things like making alterations to clothes, freelancing, and sewing projects for your home. 

Making Alterations to Clothes


So you have a pair of jeans that don’t fit to well.

Or you have a skirt that needs a new hemline added to it, but you dont want to pay to have them altered.  Well friends, these are different types of alterations that you can make with the sewing machine. 

This saves you money and also you will get a different sewing skill under your belt.  A few examples of different types of alterations that you can make with sewing machines are:

  • Changing the hemlines on jeans, skirts and dresses

  • Making new clothes

  • Adding Buttons 

  • Replacing or removing broken zippers

Sewing Projects for The Home


Do you find yourself looking for curtains, pillows or floor mats to decorate your home with in stores?  But, you cant seem to find them.

We understand…

When it comes to decorating your home there are a ton of DIY projects that you can create with your sewing machine.  This will save you a ton of money and add that special decorative touch to your home. 

Some examples of popular projects that you can sew for your home with a sewing machine include:

  • Curtains

  • Pillows

  • Throw sheets

  • Shirts

  • Advanced sewing projects (with embroidery designs and etc)

  • Blankets and beadspreads

Offering Freelance Services


So you’ve used your sewing machine for a while and have fallen in love with sewing.  Now, you’re looking for ways to earn some extra cash with the advanced sewing skills that you’ve picked up.

Well friends,

One thing that you can do to start making money is to start a side business by becoming a seamstress and here’s why:

There are a lot of people that get frustrated with the way their clothes fit. This is where you come in.  With your newfound sewing knowledge, you can start offering alteration services.

This can include things like: fixing zippers, hemming clothes and fixing ripped jeans.  After you've done this long enough, you can move on to offering more advanced tailoring services.

The Bottom Line is This:  

Deciding which sewing machine to buy boils down to figuring out what kinds of sewing projects you plan to tackle.

Basic projects only require basic machines, wheres advanced projects may need specialized sewing machines.

#3:  Your Comfort Level and Experience with Sewing


Are you an expert at sewing?  Or are you just getting started?  Either way, its a good idea to assess where you are.   If you are a beginner you may need to consider buying a general purpose sewing machine like this one

Here's the best part:

You can always upgrade to a more advanced sewing machine later on once you outgrown a basic one.

But, if you are an expert in sewing, its better to invest in a sewing machine that has more advanced features like the Quantum Stylist 9960.

#4:  Think About How Often You will Use Your Sewing Machine


If you plan on using your sewing machine a lot, it may be a good idea to invest in a heavy duty machine.  

Heavy duty machines like the Singer 4423 sewing machine are all purpose ones that you can use for all kinds of sewing projects.

This machine has a sturdy metal frame and will stand the test of time.

But, if youre not planning to use your sewing machine much, a beginners level machine like the Brother XM2701 will do the trick.  You can read our review on this machine here.

#5:  Consider Mobility and Storage


Storage and mobility is essential for beginners and advanced sewists.

Heres the great thing though:

Most sewing machines have a storage compartment that you can for your sewing accessories.  If you happen to buy a sewing machine that does not have a storage compartment, a sewing basket or tote will help. 

Sewing Machine Tote Bag

As far as mobility is concerned:

You'll need to make sure that you get a sewing machine that isnt bulky and heavy to carry.   If you happen to buy a heavy duty machine, consider investing in a sewing machine table or making sure that you sit it on sturdy surface.

#6:  The Types of Stitches and Patterns you will Need


Here's the thing:

If you're planning to do basic sewing projects (i.e, make curtains for your house, throw pillows and , then using a sewing machine with basic stitches will work.

Some of these basic stitches include:  straight stitches, zigzags, button stitches and blind hems stitch.  

For this type of work, we recommend using a sewing machine like the Brother XM2701. 

Source:

However, if youre planning to sew more advanced sewing projects, then you will need more stitching patterns. 

As an example, embroidery designs will require specific stitches and patterns from a sewing machine for embroidery.  Whereas, if you're planning to sew quilts, using a sewing machine for quilting would be best.

#7:  The Type of Machine


There are three types of sewing machines on the market today. They are as follows:

Manual Sewing Machines

These are the earlier types of sewing machines. They are quite a task to operate. One turns a handwheel with one hand as the other hand moves the fabric under the needle for stitching.

If you decide to purchase this type of machine, you should check for one that has standard needles so as to find replacements easily.

Another factor to check is to ensure the bobbin is round and not long.   Round bobbins make it easier to wind. A popular manual sewing machine that folks seem to rave about is the Brother XM2701 sewing machine.  Be sure to check out the reviews for it here.

Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine Review

Electric Sewing Machines

Unlike the manual sewing machine that has both hands engage in the sewing, the electric sewing machine allows both hands to be free. The free hands are used to guide the fabric. An electric sewing machine has single motor in the body that uses electric power.

The movement of the needle is coordinated by the motor together with the material that is automatically fed to the machine. All this is controlled by a foot pedal.

The foot pedal increases or decreases the speed at which you sew. An electric sewing machine has a dial that allows for different size and range of stitches.

This is accomplished by turning the dial. The Brother CS5055PRW  is a popular electric sewing machine in the sewing community. You can read more reviews about it right here.

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW

Computerized Sewing Machines

A computerized sewing machine uses several motors. The motors control different functions of the machine.

They are controlled by a computer that is pre-programmed. A computerized sewing machine can do different stiches styles.

The different stitch styles are made by using a touchpad or pressing a key on a screen.  A computerized sewing machine can save different stitches that you have done before for future use.

One can also download new designs form the internet. The Brother CS6000i is an excellent example of a great computerized sewing machine. You can click here to read the reviews and get more insights on this sewing machine.

Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine

#8:  Scan Reviews and ratings from customers


Buying a sewing machine for the first time is a bit of an investment...

But here's the great thing about it:  There are a lot of passionate sewing enthusiasts out there that share their experiences with different products.

Before purchasing your first sewing machine, you will definitely want to scan customer reviews and feedback to see what other people are saying about the product before making a purchase.

#9:  Check out Accessories and Add On Compatibility


Most sewing machines are accompanied by different accessories. These are items that will help you achieve the best with the sewing machine.  Some major accessories that one should look out for include:

  • An instruction manual - An instruction manual will help you when a problem arises. it also guides you on how to use the sewing machine.
  • Cleaning kit - A cleaning kit will ensure your sewing machine is always neat. A soft dust cover will help keep of dust that can delay the operation of the sewing machine. A hard case cover will ensure the machine is safe and free from interference and dust.
  • Repair kit - A repair kit will contain recommended oil for lubrication, heads needed to fit and tighten screws if need arises. A repair kit will also be accompanied by an instruction manual to help one use the tools appropriately.
  • Seam guide - You do not want to sew seams that are not straight. Therefore you need a seam guide that will ensure the seams are straight and neat.

#10:  Attachments & Accessories


These are specialized tools attached to the sewing machine that improve the functionality of the machine. They also allow the machine to perform specialized functions.  

Examples of these attachments are hemmer, binder, and buttonholer among others. Each attachment has a manual to outline its functions and how to attach it on the machine.  

Most sewing machines come with a few attachments and accessories. However, if you want to get more speciality attachments, consider getting one fo these.

Bonus Tip: Check The Warranty

Any sewing machine that you plan to purchase should be accompanied by a warranty either from the manufacturer or the store where you buy.

Through research we've found that most sewing machines have a 5-25 year limited warranty which covers certain parts on the machine in case there is a defect or failure.

Quick Rundown and Overview of What We've Covered In the Post

Here is a quick rundown and list of our guide to buying a sewing machine of things to look out for:

  1. Price

  2. The Types of Projects You Plan to Sew

  3. Your Level of Experience

  4. Frequency of Use

  5. Mobility and Storage

  6. The Types of Patterns and Stitches you will Need

  7. The (Type) of Sewing Machine (Manual, Automatic, Computerized)

  8. Customer Reviews and Feedback

  9. Accessories and Compatibility with Add-Ons

  10. Attachments

  11. (Bonus) Check The Warranty

We really hope that this 10 step guide to buying a sewing machine has been helpful in helping you make the best decision towards finding the perfect sewing machine for your sewing projects.

Happy Sewing!

Shelly
 

Shelly is the main editor and author of this website. She is passionate about helping fellow sewing enthusiasts find the right sewing machine for your sewing projects plus design beautiful sewing spaces that inspire your creativity. If you're ready to DIY a stunning sewing room (on a budget), be sure to check out the Sewing Room that Sizzles Workbook bundle (complete with a 50+ page workbook) and two Bonus Guidesthat will put you on the fast track to setting up, designing and organizing a sewing room that is TOTALLY you (on a shoestring budget).

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