If you talk to anyone who sews, they will let you know that the sewing machine is the perfect utilitarian invention of the last 200 years, by far. It lets you make your own clothing, bedding, quilts and decorative items quickly and skillfully. It makes quick work of stitching pieces of material together. With the advancements and improvement to the sewing machine through the years, it has taken on a completely new dimension in crafting.
What was once a fantastic time saving gadget for the women of yesteryear for sewing and mending, the machine is now capable of complex, brilliantly colored embroidery, also many other artistic duties and is a fantastic time saver compared to doing any of these tasks by hand. The possibilities are limitless with all the advancements and computerization of these fun sewing machines.
Since each person has their own ideas and needs for their sewing tasks and projects, there is not the overall "perfect machine" for all. Do you embroider? If not you do not need this option on your machine. Embroidery machines can do some fabulous work, but are also expensive and this option will be useless to you if you are not planning on doing embroidery.
You will need to take the time to do a mental inventory or with pen and paper write out what type of projects you are planning on doing, maybe you have a favorite TV sewing show you watch and you wish to recreate those projects, what types of sewing do they do? Will you be sewing multiple layers of fabric, leather, or other materials? Sewing on buttons, doing quilting squares, doing quilts, sewing carpets, reupholstering, etc., etc. By making a list you will have an excellent idea of the sewing machine that will best suite you.
Are you new to sewing? Do you have friends or does your mother or grandmother sew? Great, ask them if they will show you around their machine and their likes and dislikes of their machine. Does it do everything they want it to do or are there additions they wish they had. Usually someone that is familiar with their machine will be willing to tell you if they like their machine, or if I only knew I would have go a different machine or I should have got the one with such and such attachment that this machine does not have and it can't be added to. Carry your list with you. Would a machine like mom's or grandma's fit your needs, how about your friends? This is a long lasting relationship, so take your time and pick wisely, you will be happy if you do.
Ok, now you should have a good concept of the type of sewing machine you, yourself are looking for. It is now time to get on the internet and start doing your research. Check out the fabric websites, sewing websites, pattern stores, there are many sites out there to glean some great information from. See a machine that you believe meets your needs? Don't buy yet! Type your chosen machine's name and model number into Google or another search engine and now start checking reviews on your machine choice, what are people saying, is it a good machine, or it's just OK, or I would never buy this again.
Take some time and look around numerous review sites. Now is the time to go out and actually take a look at these sewing machines. Get on the phone to your local sewing centers and fabric shops and find the ones that may have the sewing machine you are looking for. Now, go to your local sewing center and fabric stores and look at their selection, make sure to take your list. Stay firm with yourself as to what you are looking for, remember these are stores to SELL merchandise and will try to sell you a higher priced machine with attachments and functions you may never use.
While you're there, ask to try out the machines, there may or may not be sewing machines you just do not like. Is it easy to operate? How easy is the bobbin winder to use, how about ease of inserting the bobbin, does it self-tread the needle? Etc. Test these babies out now if you can. You do not want to purchase a machine that is going to sit and collect dust because you just do not like using it.
Have you found the sewing machine you want? If so now you have a choice to go back home and get back on the internet and check prices for that model or you can purchase the one in the store you were in. Usually you will find a better deal on the internet due to the internet stores do not have to pay the large overhead of renting or owning the store, hiring employees, etc. "lots of expenses" that the internet merchant does not have and can sell the same sewing machine at a lower price.
Purchasing a sewing machine is an investment into your hobby or craft, it is very important to take the time to make an educated choice. The proper choice of sewing machine will give you years of service and pleasure for your hobby or craft.