My top ten tips for buying a sewing machine

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My top ten tips for buying a sewing machine

My Top 10 tips for buying a sewing machine

  1. Always buy from a reputable retailer. Go along, discuss what skills you have (if any) and what you are most likely to use it for (for quilting you might consider a dedicated machine with a long-arm). Always, always try the machines out in the shop. Remember, you wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive.  Machines are not always cheaper on-line and you won’t necessarily get  the same level of advice or after purchase support (see no 3).
  2. Brand? there are lots of manufacturers so it is down to personal preference, reputation and budget (see no 3). I am thrilled to be an official supplier of the fabulous Elna’s range of sewing machines and overlockers. The studio is equipped for students to use or try-before-they-buy. I do have some views on other brands based on experience but I’m afraid I can’t express them here!
  3. Set your budget – think about how often you are likely to use it. Is it for occasional use, to learn to sew or do you need something you can grow into as your sewing skills and needs grow. Ask yourself some questions: do you need to pay for 500 embroidery stitches but would a fully automised buttonhole be less scary and more time efficient? I find prices tend to be controlled by the manufacturer so may not be any cheaper on-line and you won’t get the advice – see no 1.
  4. Brand new-v-second-hand and Ebay/auctions. A tricky one this. Can be a good move if you know the owner and the machine’s history but a nightmare if it’s a machine that’s been run into the ground and being sold to fund the owner’s next purchase.  No definitive answer I’m afraid other than take someone who knows about machines and try it out first. Ask the date of manufacture (I’ve spotted my first new machine bought in 1979 with my first month’s pay going for more than I paid for it then). Do your research – for a little bit more money you might get a new machine with a warranty and after purchase support. See number 1 and 2, use a reputable retailer.
  5. Manual or electronic/computerised? Manual machines have dials, knobs and sliders to control the functions. Electronic/computerised machines have an LED screen and more automation. As a generalisation a manual buttonhole will be made by you turning a dial for each part, an electronic/computerised machine will usually has a machine foot that holds the button, you press the foot pedal and the whole thing is done automatically. Electronic machines start at about £50 more than a manual. It depends on how much you are going to use the machine. Don’t be put of an electronic/computerised because you are a beginner. They are user friendly especially if you are into technology.
  6. Bobbin case –v- drop in bobbin? Open for debate, I prefer a drop-in-bobbin but either will do the job.
  7. Want to get the most from your machine? Get some tuition. Have a look at my 2 hour sewing machine skills one-to-one session or my how to use a sewing machine course I promise you will go away with lots of skills, confidence and in complete control of your machine. These sessions are also for anyone who already has a machine and wants to get more from it.
  8. If in doubt …. give me a call or email me. I am always happy to help.
  9. Still can’t decide? don’t despair, don’t buy anything! Come along to a workshop, course or for a sew personal session (see no 9) and then go to buy with confidence.
  10. Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!
By | 2016-11-24T11:18:43+00:00 November 13th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

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