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Buying a New Sewing Machine

Choosing the Best Sewing Machine

Are you considering getting a new sewing machine? Prior to making a purchase, it's a good idea to evaluate your skill level, how often you'll use the sewing machine and what your budget is. Once you've assessed these factors, it may lead you to look for a sewing machine for beginners, which have features that will "grow" as your sewing skills increase. There are also more complicated sewing machines that are loaded with all the bells and whistles and are typically purchased by more advanced sewers. If you're not sure what direction to go in, make a list of the types of projects on your sewing to-do list. Will a sewing machine capable of handling basic sewing needs like simple home projects, alterations and repairs fit the bill? Or would you be better served by a computerized embroidery machine? Or a sewing machine specially designed to work with patterns and designs? Typically, computerized machines offer touchpad controls, an LED screen, and are known for making easy work of automating tasks like needle threading, cutting, making buttonholes, stitch finishing and speed control. An additional determination you'll want to make is whether your machine will be stationed in your sewing room or if a portable sewing machine will be more convenient.

Another consideration is how many different types of stitch styles you expect to use? You can find machines that offer hundreds of stitches, but this might be too many. Even seasoned sewing enthusiasts typically use only the two most versatile stitches—the straight stitch and the zigzag stitch. If you intend to sew clothing, you'll want to be sure the machine you select offers a variable stitch length feature, and comes with sewing supplies like zipper, buttonhole and button sewing feet attachments. If you enjoy quilting, you'll want a sewing machine with a walking foot and spring action foot.

Sewing Machine Projects Preparation

Once you've selected the best sewing machine for your needs, it might make sense to turn your attention to accessories that will help you prep your fabrics. This is especially important when you're making clothing because properly prepared fabrics will perform more in line with your expectations when it comes to things like colorfastness and shrinkage. That may mean pre-washing (per the provided instructions) or dry cleaning, and ironing or pressing. One of the large variety of irons available can help you create projects with seams and stitches that look more professional by removing wrinkles either by ironing (sliding your iron back and forth on the fabric) or pressing (placing then removing, without sliding). Or you may not want to use an ironing board and would prefer one of the garment steamers to flatten and remove dust from your fabrics.