What to Look For in a New Sewing Machine
A new sewing machine can be a great investment for any home. With the right machine you can quickly and easily make your own clothes or repairs to clothes, and make new items for your home including curtains, pillows, and quilts. You can also make clothes for dolls for the children and they too might enjoy sewing new projects with you. The better the machine you choose, the easier it will be to handle all these projects, so you want to invest wisely. Spending a few extra dollars on the best features will make sewing jobs easier and will result in a machine that lasts for years.
One thing that many experts recommend for a sewing machine is a dual feed/ built-in walking foot. Projects are easier to manage with a walking foot. Trying to piece long fabrics in without a walking foot can result in the top fabric not keeping up with the bottom fabric. This walking foot is also needed for quilting and binding. Separate walking feet are often very noisy and cumbersome, so look for the built-in walking foot.
A large harp space is also needed. This is the space under the arm of the sewing machine and to the right of the needle. If you handle larger projects like quilts or clothes, you will want at least 8” to make these projects easier. Without enough room, your projects will bunch up next to you and this can cause pulling and even ripping of your materials.
It is also good to look for speed control so your stitches do not get away from you, an accessory tray, a good lighting feature over the needle so you can see small details, and a needle threader and free arm. An auto buttonhole is also good for standard repairs and for making clothes. These simple elements will make the machine easier to use and make many of your projects simpler.
When shopping for a new machine, you also want to consider what accessories it may have to make your particular projects easier. This may mean a wider variety of stitches, or larger and stronger needles for working on thicker materials.
To save money on new machines, you can search for something used. Look at internet sites, even eBay or Craigslist. If possible, try out the machine before you purchase it. You can also look at discount retailers like overstock.com, as these will offer marked-down items that still offer all the features you want. Be sure you get a warranty for a new machine, and only buy name brands like Singer, Brother or Viking. Read consumer reviews for new machines so you know what is worth your money and what machines have a poor reputation for quality and value.