By twitter or email, I often get asked “what machine do you use?” or “what machine I should buy”. Picking a sewing machine can be a daunting prospect during a very exciting time!!!
What do I need vs what’s available
Sounds common sense right? You will be surprise how much I hear about “wrong choices” and that people are changing their machines after a few years. By identifying the user real need it will eliminate the feeling of “there are too many options” that many go thru and narrow the search to suit more specific purposes.
Both my best friend Cris & I started sewing at the same time but we have very different approaches to sewing that has grown more visible over the years. Something that we both were unaware of it at the time. Lucky we meet a lovely sewing machine shop keeper that asked all the ‘right’ questions preparing ourselves to made our decisions well. Two very excited sewing beginners shopping trip could have turned terrible wrong if we just went on “best buy deals”.
In my heart from the point I decided to purchase my own sewing machine I knew I wanted to sew every single free minute I had spare. To use every fabric my imagination took a fancy. I wanted to make both clothes and crafts and have a machine that in a few years wouldn’t feel outdated. I needed a ‘work-horse’ that didn’t break the bank balance (as a beginner I didn’t want to mess up a very expensive machine straight away either) so my search focus on middle range machines, that were marketed for both sewing & quilting.
Cris does loves sewing but has other priorities so her sewing time is not only rare but not as frequent. Her projects tends to be mainly home improvements and crafts, with a few clothes when she feels inspired. (Or I nag her into it lol) She is trilled with her simpler machine because it fits her necessities perfectly. She didn’t let the hype of ‘fun things you could have extra’ distract her from what she really needed. She saved money by focusing her search on entry level sewing machines.
One of my friend’s young daughter wanted to learn how to sew (thanks to Sewing Bee) but my friend never sewn. Having something very user friendly, easy to control and with safety mechanics end up being their priority independent of other specifications.
Write about your real intentions
for the sewing machine. Dig deep in your heart!
Clearly sewing has inspired you enough to make an investment. When we feel excited by a new hobby is so easy to get carried away and just want everything. It sounds so cool, it must be good. Just remember you can have a very good machine without spending tons of money on specifications you don’t need.
Your machine has to be fit for propose.
Each person requirement is individual so don’t feel you have to have the latest “it” machine that everyone is blogging/ raving about. Do you really need 400 fancy stitches when 150 would be perfect? If you are planning to take the sewing machine to clubs etc can you easily carry your machine? Is the machine to sew crafts, home furnishing, clothes, quilts? Visualise what you want to achieve short term.
Now write 3 goals for the future.
That will help you to consider a model to growth with your skills. You don’t want to keep changing machine because it outdates your needs.
Write your budget. Things can change during this exercise but it is worth to have a value in mind.
Got your favourite machines down?
Go and do a test drive. You will easily notice what suits you after you trying. It’s just like when you pick a car.
Internet deals are great but buying from a brick and mortar local dealer can be a lot better. You get a better service and often they can match a deal. When Cris & I first got our overlocker back in 2011 we took to the shop a few times when we couldn’t sort out the thread tension. In 5 minutes it was ready to use and it was free. We were also taught how to use it/ basics. This kind of service should not be allowed to disappear. #supportyourlocalshops.