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Hi there and welcome to SewingBeginner!
Today’s post is full of tips on how to find the right sewing machine, what to look out for when buying a machine and tricks how to save money🔥
My first tip💡
Give sewing a try before you invest in a machine (also see my post how to get started here). How can you do this? Well, there are various ways.
A few examples
- Borrow a sewing machine from a friend or family member.
- Join a sewing class near you which provides sewing machines, e.g. at Sew Over It.
- Rent a sewing machine from an online marketplace, such as Fat Llama.
Tips for Buying a Machine
Once you’ve tried it and you’re sure it’s the right fit for you, you might want to buy your own machine. Be warned, there is a huge selection of sewing machines out there!
So how do you find the right one for you? This depends on your ambitions and your budget of course but I’ve got a few tips for you😊
Think about the long-term
While you probably don’t need the fanciest expert sewing machine in the world, you might want to buy a machine that allows you to grow your skills with it. There are a few features that might become important to you as you progress (see recommended features below).
Must-Have Machine Features for Dressmaking
Especially if you intend to go into direction dressmaking in the near future, I recommend you buy a sewing machine that has the following features:
- Selection of stitches. Make sure the machine has a good variety of stitches (e.g. straight, zigzag, decoration etc.) and that you can adjust the length and width of your stitches.
- Buttonhole function. It’s very useful to have a machine that can sew a buttonhole automatically so that you don’t have to stop and pivot your fabric manually.
- Speed controller. That’s a very useful feature, especially for beginners, as it allows you to control your speed. Taking a stitch-by-stitch approach will save you a lot of time unpicking incorrect stitches.
- Zipper foot. Check if the machine comes with a zipper foot. It will be a massive help when inserting zippers and prevents that you sew into the zipper teeth.
Warranty & Repairs 🛠️
Another tip is to have a quick look at the warranty and repair services from different brands and models. For example, if your sewing machine would become damaged, could you just drop it off for the repair in a store near you? Or how long is the warranty and what is included?
Testing the machine
Before making a final decision, you should have definitely tested the sewing machine that you’re aiming for. Do some test stitches, experiment with the different features and bombard the seller with all your questions. Don’t buy a pig in a poke.
Tips for Reducing the Costs💰
So you’ve fallen in love with the sewing machine of your dreams but it’s above your budget? Don’t panic, I’ve got some ideas about what to do in this situation (been there, done that🙈).
- Get it second hand. Maybe someone tries to get rid of the machine you’re looking for, so check out some websites like Gumtree or eBay.
- Put it on your wishlist. If your birthday or Christmas is not too far away, inform your loved ones about your sewing machine wish🎁 I’m sure they will appreciate as well if they don’t have to worry about what to get this year.
- Exhibition samples. Ask the seller if you could buy the exhibition sample for a reduced price. The right time to bring in your negotiation skills!
- Look for sales. Ask if a sale is coming up or wait for the ‘classic’ sales periods (e.g. after Christmas🎄and Mother’s Day). It could also be worth waiting until the brand releases a new model as they might lower the price for the other machines at this stage.
- Search online for coupons. If all else fails, I usually give it one last shot and search online for a coupon. You never know, maybe you’ll be lucky!
- Recover your costs. Remember Fat Llama, the online marketplace? Well, you can also proceed the other way around. Once you bought your machine, put it on the platform so that other people can rent it. With that, you can recover a part of the costs or if you do it long enough, maybe even make a profit.
Last but not least, if you are wondering what type of sewing machine I’m using, it’s a Janome CXL301 and so far I’m super happy with it😊
Hope this post was helpful for you and good luck with finding the sewing machine of your dreams 🙂