Making the Best of the Daunting Task Ahead of You

What kind of sewing machine do you need and with what features?  This decision is not to be taken lightly.  Many have made an abrupt purchase, not fully thought out, and had regrets about it later.  This was my experience.

When I talk about sewing or about my sewing machine to friends and family, my husband always mentions that my (gulp) very expensive Pfaff could launch rockets.  He is probably right.  After all, NASA depended on computer technology equivalent to that in a standard digital camera for circumnavigation of and landing on the moon.

Ten years after purchase, though, there are many things to love about my Pfaff (otherwise known as the Rocket Launcher).   If I had known then what I know now, I would have opted for a simpler, more affordable model.  In the spirit of finally making good on my investment, I’m here to help you avoid making a similar blunder by sharing everything you need to know about making a wise sewing machine purchase.  I’ll be doing a series of posts on this topic, but for now, here are some ideas to think over.

Maintain Focus Through the Confusion

Have you at some point thought that you knew exactly what you needed, then excitedly jumped onto the web or into your car filled with confidence that you would find that perfect machine, only to have that confidence replaced with complete uncertainty and vulnerability?  Pressure to quickly make a decision, concern of over-spending, mistrust of the salesperson, company or website?  How can a simple task be so difficult?

  • What companies can you trust to sell a sewing machine to you?
  • Which manufacturers are reliable or good enough?
  • Will you ever use all of those cool stitch options?
  • Is a lightweight sewing machine going to handle the demand you might put on it in the future?

These are some of the areas that I will help you evaluate for yourself so that you can make a decision that is tailored to your specific needs.

Cherish the Simple Things

There are lots of machines on the market, and in many big box stores that you are acquainted with.  If you are desperately in need of a sewing machine, there are essential features and capabilities that every sewing machine should have.  Make sure the one you are eyeing has these:

  • straight stitch and back-tack
  • zig-zag stitch
  • button-hole stitch
  • hemstitch options
  • bobbin winder
  • accessories area in the body of the machine
  • easy to operate tension and stitch settings
  • foot pedal
  • durable sewing machine cover
However, if you are not necessarily in a bind for time in purchasing your new sewing machine, there are more features and capabilities you can find in a machine that will vastly improve any tasks you may need to perform.  Spend time in finding the right machine for you; it will keep you from worrying how much money you spend.

Add the Extras You Require

Could the above essentials really be enough for you?  Yes and no.  Taking a bit of time to stop and think about what it is that you require from a sewing machine, and to evaluate with a personal checklist, even of pros and cons can help pin down what direction you need to go with your purchase.

First and foremost, consider your sewing endeavors.  Are you:

  • into a lot of different crafting hobbies?
  • tapping back into that love of sewing that you put on the back burner for several years?
  • an advanced seamstress who has worn out the machine she’s had for only a few years?
  • embarking in a new direction in your sewing repertoire?
  • completely new to the world of sewing?

Secondly, what is it that you will be sewing, and what specifically interests you about any sewn items that you’ve seen lately:

  • Is this interest related to you making or repairing clothes for your family, or to earn extra income tailoring clothing?
  • Are you going to attempt your first quilt?
  • Hoping to style your living spaces with small or large sewn home decor items?
  • Embarking on prototyping for a new business that you have founded or are you going to freelance doing piecework?
  • Might you be hoping to embroider some little things on the weekends?
  • Are you pondering the fact that you have a perfectly good machine, but want a new one, just because?

Finally, what volume of fabric and materials will you be handling and how frequently:

  • Thick fabrics, or many thicknesses of fabric that will be fed through the machine simultaneously?
  • Will you be sewing the same fabrics on a regular basis?
  • Do you need a machine that can handle seasonal heavy use?

What you answer in any of these areas may require a different type of specialized machine and specific durability, size, and stitch options than you had previously thought was necessary.

Gaining the Clarity Needed to Proceed 

Congratulations!  Now that you are more narrowly navigating a course for your needs, it’s time to think about the financial investment. Click here to continue finding your way to the right sewing machine, one that is tailored to you.

I hope these ideas are helpful and I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment below.

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