Jan 18, 2009

Buying A Sewing Machine

I run my sewing machine class twice a week. This is the time of year when everyone who got sewing machines as gifts bring them in to learn how to use their new machines. In my class I teach everything about the machine, how it works, all the features and accessories that come with your machine. I also give troubleshooting for your machine. Basically, in my machine class I teach the owners manual.

I teach my students that buying a machine is like buying a car. There are many different brands but basically they all work the same. You have your high end and your low end for each company or brand. Depending on how much you spend will decide how many features and accessories you get with your sewing machine, just like a car. When you buy high end your machine will purr and the lower end machines bang more when used, just like a car. And most of the time the parts used to assemble the machines come from the same factory. Sometimes different brands are made in the same factory then sent off to each company for distribution, just like cars.

I've never been the type to buy a high end car or sewing machine. I'm very happy with the small things in life. Don't get me wrong, I love ridding in nice cars or using high end machines when my students bring them in to learn on but I've never been the type that "has" to own them. You don't "need" to have all the bells and whistles the high end machines have. Most of the time you don't use all the features. They are there to make sewing easier for you, to do your projects faster but their not "needed" to have fun with the art of sewing.

I have many people this time of year bring in their new machines they received as presents. I want people to feel comfortable using their machines so I allow you to bring your machine to learn on. When I tell my students the few things I look for in a sewing machine because of troubleshooting issues they realize the person who bought them a gift did it with good intentions but didn't buy them a well working machine. It all goes back to - you get what you pay for.

When you buy low end machines I can tell you there will be many problems with the bobbin because most low end machines have the bobbins that have to go into a casing before installed in the machine. You have a lot less problems when your machine has a drop in bobbin. If you have this type of bobbin and your machine has problems making a stitch more than likely it will be because you didn't wind the bobbin right or it isn't installed properly. Another problem with these kind of bobbins is they hardly ever finish their rotation when you finish your last stitch to pull out the fabric from the machine. A lot of times you have to turn your hand wheel to bring the needle all the way up to the highest position for the threads not to jam the machine.

Another thing a lower end machine has is a one step buttonhole. When you have to make a few buttonholes it's a lot easier to have the one step as apposed to the four step. In the four step you have to mark where your going to start and stop each hole. In the one step the button goes on the back of your buttonhole foot which decides how big to make each buttonhole.


One more thing I look for when buying a new sewing machine for first time sewer is an automatic threader. It's not like you have to have it but it sure dose make it easier to thread the needle when your eyes don't work so well for you.

So you have your low end $75-150 machines to your high end machines which could be $9000
I stay away from the low end because I promise you - you will have a lot of problems troubleshooting. I don't buy high end either because it is way more machine than I need but I do love to use them when my students bring them in. I like to spend around $400-800 for my machines.

If you need to learn how to use your new sewing machine bring it in with you to any of my machine classes. You can view my schedule online. They do fill quickly so sign up soon to a class that fits your schedule.

If you have taken my classes stop by and sign my guest book I started on my website.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,
Cindy