If sewing is a hobby you enjoy, you may be thinking about buying a sewing machine. No matter how steady your hand-stitching is, machine sewing offers a quicker and tidier alternative and many of the modern machines provide a variety of stitch types including decorative stitches and even machine embroidery. But sewing machines cost a bundle, and that can put off a lot of buyers – particularly ones who aren’t very familiar with sewing machines and don’t quite know how much of an advantage to expect.
It’s always a good idea to see if you can’t score a second-hand sewing machine from a family member. My own sewing machine was originally my mother-in-law’s; it stitches straight or zig-zag, in a variety of widths and lengths, and stitches forwards or in reverse. That is all it does – it’s from the seventies – but it’s also all I need, and it saved me literally hundreds of pounds. Additionally, it’s sturdier than my house and it runs like a dream despite its advanced age. Even if the sewing machines you find don’t run so smoothly, it’s easy to get them serviced and could still save you a lot of money. Talk to your local repair shop for details on how much a service will cost you.
It’s tempting to buy a machine that sings and dances as well as stitching clothes, but don’t go paying through the nose for a million of features you don’t necessarily need and may never use. You could be paying for quality instead of quantity, and use those extra pennies to afford a more reputable brand or a more reliable machine.
Don’t be tempted by portable little sewing machines that cost a small amount of money. You’re saving money by buying a unit you’re never going to get much use from – in other words, you’re not really saving money at all. Instead, face the cost of a good-quality sewing machine and buy an appliance that will stay with you for years to come and may one day grace the home of your children, too. You’re looking to spend between eighty and one hundred fifty pounds on your first sewing machine, unless you’re sure you’ll keep using it – in that case you might want to look at anything between two and three hundred pounds.
Buy a book specifically geared towards first-time sewing machine users, and take it slow. You may be a genius at sewing by hand, but the speed of the machine will need some getting used to; don’t overwhelm yourself with complex projects but get accustomed to the machine in your own time and give yourself a chance to build up your experience until you get to the point where you’re as proficient with the sewing machine as you are by hand.
A sewing machine can be an amazing addition to any sewer’s life. If you find the right one, don’t hesitate to spend the money required, and carefully teach yourself how to use it to maximise the enjoyment you get out of it. Happy stitching!