Nearly every seamstress comes to a point when she starts to think about new/ better sewing machine.
New sewing machine is usually pretty expensive and before you start to search it is good to ask yourself few questions:
1. Do I indeed need a new machine or in other words, why do I want new one?
2. For what purpose do I need it? The answer sometimes is not so straightforward as one can think. When you know the answer to this question it is worth to consider the following:
3. Do I really need a new machine or a well functioning second-hand is sufficient.
At first, let’s talk a bit about above questions.
1. Why I want new sewing machine?
There can be few reasons, e.g.:
- Because I do not have one
Well, this is actually quite good reason. You can jump to point 2.
- Because my machine is old and new machine = better machine
It is not always the case. Sometimes vintage machines are really great and if you treat them with love can serve you long years. Old sewing machines are often made out of metal and therefore, are more durable. You can easily buy replacement parts and service is usually cheaper as they do not have electronic parts.
- Because when I will have new sewing machine I will sew better (like my favorite blogger/seamstress)
Sewing machine has not so much influence on the quality of your work as it may look. How you work will eventually looks depends more on your talent, experience, technique. If you are talented then will be able to make a beautiful piece with only needle and thread. But if you do not have skills then even the best device will not help you.
It is just like with photography, it is not the camera but person who takes the pictures = not machine is sewing but you!
Other factors that will influence the final work are the quality of fabrics, color combinations, threads.
Often the work does not look nice only because the fabrics were not pressed before sewing. Remember that properly pressed fabrics is like half of the battle.
Sometimes new crafters compare pictures of their works with pictures of more advanced crafters and are getting upset. It can be that your work is fine but the picture is not. In such case is better not to spend money on new machine but to invest some time in improving photography skills.
- Because my machine often brakes down, brakes needles, tears threads, loses stitches.
It can be a good reason to look for new one. Before you will do it, check whether needles breaks because you use too thin ones or the threads tears often because the needle is blunt (it happens very quickly) or you use bad quality threads or threads that are not supposed to be used for sewing machine.
Let be honest and ask yourself how often you oil your machine? It should be done every 8 hours of work! Take it sometimes to service for check!
- Because my machine doesn’t have a function I need
This is also a good reason to buy a new one. But anyway, think good whether you really need this function or you just want to have it. Perhaps it would be good to check in the shop whether this function is really what you expect it to be.
Ok, now you are 100% sure you need a new toy so it is time to evaluate the following question:
2. What do I need it for?
Of course, there are universal sewing machines but once you know what you are going to do with it you can chose something you will really love because it will make your work easier! Do not buy machine with 160 sorts of stitches unless you plan to go for machine embroidery.
Here some tips for buying sewing machine for different purposes:
- making clothes
Look for something that has, besides strait a zigzag stitch, also stitches for elastics, button holes, has narrow arm etc.
Go to websites, blogs and discussion groups about making clothes and search there for advice or ask local semesters.
- patchworks, appliqué, quilts
You will need machine in which you can lower feed dogs, with daring and walking food, extra table and long arm are very useful during quilting. You will probably use only strait stitch, sometimes zigzag.
Also here, start your search by asking peoples working in this field. You may find them locally or in the internet.
- machine embroidery
Those of you who dream about embroidering tablecloths, beddings, scarves etc will search for machine with lots of stitches. In this case the more the better.
Again, start from seeking advice of more crafters more advanced in this field.
3. You know now that you need new machine, you know also what for you need it. It is time to think whether you need a brand new one.
New, good quality sewing machines are pretty expensive, while second-hand device costing little money, can be as good and while treated with love can serve us years just for few pennies.
Before you buy a second-hand machine check it thoroughly!
I own thirty-year-old Bernina 830 electronic (there is no electronic in it at all!). It is a Swiss machine, made completely out of metal. It has twenty stitches, which I do not use (but I did not bought it for these stitches) but I can lower the feed dogs, it has extra table and is simply great. Everyone who visits me is surprised how quietly it works. I bought it for 100 euro. I own also much newer machine (7 years) which does not have possibility to lower feed dogs but I still was able to make several small projects and two big quilts on it! However, it is much easier to quilt with Bernina.
When you will be in shop searching for your new sweetheart, please, pay attention to few more things that could make your life (sewing) easier.
- How easy is to change the bottom thread
- How easy you can oil different elements (do you need to use screwdriver to open your machine?)
- How easy is to clean it?
- Is it fast?
- Is it quiet?
These are pretty important things. In my Bernina I can change the foot with only two fingers, in the newer machine I need to use screwdriver to do it! The same is with cleaning, to open my Bernina for cleaning or oiling I need to press two buttons while with the other again, I need to use screwdriver!
And this is it. I wish you lot of fun with your search and with your new machine!
Po wersję polską zapraszam na Chabrowe pole. Jeśli po przeczytaniu artykułu będziecie mieli jakieś pytania to zostawcie tutaj pod tym postem.