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!

Lets face it:

Buying a sewing machine can be overwhelming.  And…since there are a lot of sewing machines available in the marketplace, finding the right one 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 have you been on the hunt for a sewing machine, then this guide was created specifically with you in mind.  

To make help you with your purchasing decision, we have decided to put together a list of the top 10 things to consider before buying your first sewing machine. 

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

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

To help you find the perfect machine for your sewing projects, we’ve outlined some tips, tricks and guidelines to buying your first sewing machine:

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

Sewing machines are available in varying prices – some are budget friendly while others are more a little more costly.

For example, basic sewing machines like the Brother XM2701 can start anywhere from $85-$150, while advanced sewing machines like a singer computerized sewing machine can go for $300+.

Please note:

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.

If you’re just getting started with buying your first sewing machine, be sure to check out our reviews of the best sewing machines and brands before purchasing one.

Our reviews feature some of the top-rated sewing machines from popular brands that include: singer sewing machines reviews, brother sewing machine reviews and janome sewing machine reviews.  We also cover the benefits and features of each machine.



#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 doing things like making alterations to clothes, creating new clothes, and sewing projects for the 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 that you invest in.  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 certain curtains, pillows or floor mats to decorate your home with but you just 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 different types 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


Sewing Project Examples

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 and need some adjustments made to them.  This friends is where you can come in.

You can easily start offering basic sewing alternation services (i.e, fixing zippers, hemming clothes, fixing ripped jeans) then move on to offering more advanced tailoring services to your clients.


Bottom Line is this:

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

For instance, if the machine will be used for repairs, a basic machine with basic stitches will be the most appropriate.

However, if youre planning to do more advanced sewing projects like making pleated curtains, chair cushions or denim projects, then a computerized sewing machine or heavy duty sewing machine will be the best choice.


#3: Asses Your Comfort Level and Experience with Sewing

Are you an expertise in sewing or a beginner? If you are a beginner you may need to consider buying a sewing machine that has basic stitches.

If you intend to upgrade in future, you may prefer buying a sewing machine that offers more features. You may not necessarily need these features at the beginning but upgrade with time.

If you are an expert in sewing, you may want to invest in a sewing machine that has advanced features.


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

If you will be using the machine frequently, you may want a sewing machine that is strong with a metal frame, various types of stitches and advanced attachments.

On the other hand, if youre planning to use your sewing machine sparingly it may not be cost effective to buy a sewing machine with these advanced attachments for one day or few times use.


#5:  Consider Mobility and Storage

Another important factor to consider is whether the sewing machine will have a permanent sewing table. If this is the case, then weight may not be a factor to consider.

On the other hand, if the sewing machine will have a moving sewing table, then weight becomes a factor. For mobility purposes, make sure that you get a sewing machine that is not bulky and heavy to carry.

Most sewing machines are purchased with storage devices that keep off dust and also make transportation of the machine easy and safe.

Some sewing machines also have storage compartment that give you safe storage for your sewing accessories. Before purchasing a sewing machine, its a great idea to create a space and plan out where your machine will be stored.


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

There are different stitch patterns for sewing machines but others are basic. One will consider the stitch patterns according to the type of projects they will do.

Types of Sewing Machine Stitches and their Uses



Some of the stitch patterns include, straight stitch, zigzag, button stitch and blind hem stitch just to mention a few. Remember though that the more advanced your sewing project is, the more stitching patterns you will need. 

As an example, embroidery designs will require specific stitches and patterns from a sewing machine for embroidery.  If youre planning to sew this type of advanced design, you will surely need more than just basic stitches.


#7:  The Type of Machine

There are generally three types of sewing machine.  The three major types of sewing machines are:

  • 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 bobbin makes it easier to wind. Folks seem to rave about the Brother XM2701 sewing machine.  Be sure to check out the reviews for it here.
Brother XM2701 Manual Sewing Machine

Brother XM2701 Manual Sewing Machine


  • Electric sewing machine – 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 Electric Sewing Machine


  • 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 Computerized 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 Compatibilty

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.  

Sewing Machine Accessories Kit for Janome, Brother and Singer Sewing Machines


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.

Bonus Tip: 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) 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!


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