These days, when you decide you want to buy a sewing machine, there is a large range of styles, models, and prices from which to choose and can be rather confusing. However, if you know what to look for while you're buying, it's a bit easier.
Of all the tools you'll buy for your sewing room, the sewing machine is the largest investment by far, so you'll want to make sure it is the right one for you.
1) First, decide on how you'll be utilizing your sewing machine. Will you be sewing clothing, piecing and creating quilts, working with leather or denim, or creating embroidered items? The reason this is so important is because each sewing machine features different capabilities and you'll want to choose the one that will meet your specific needs.
2) Do you want an electric, mechanical, computerized, compact or serger sewing machine? The answer to this question will narrow your field quite a bit.
3) Do some research on sewing machine brand names, features, and price ranges. Check customer reviews as well to get an idea how well people either like or dislike a certain model of machine.
4) Before you even leave the house, decide on how much you can spend for your machine. The range of prices for sewing machines can range from under $100 for a basic model, to over $8,000 for a machine that does practically everything for you except cut your fabric. Be careful not to buy a sewing machine based on everything you want to learn "someday", but rather for the purposes for which you'll actually use it once you bring it home.
5) It is a good idea to attend some classes in your local area and talk to other people about their sewing machine. Be sure to ask a lot of questions! Some stores have several machines set up and will allow customers to give them a trial run.
6) Where will you spend your time sewing? If you have a larger space available, the size of your machine may not matter. However, if you are using a smaller area, you may want to consider a compact version to save on space.
7) Will you buy a sewing machine online or from a locally owned store? If you are purchasing online, make sure the dealer is reputable. Check the reviews left for the dealer and make sure to verify their address and phone number. Given the weight of a sewing machine, inquire about the shipping costs prior to placing an order, and ask about their return policy.
Some companies will ask you to pay return shipping costs and possibly a fee. Even if you decide to purchase a machine online, be sure to first visit a local dealer to try the machines in which you are interested.
8) Make a list of the items you either already enjoy making, or items you wish to make and take it with you when you visit a local dealer. Take along samples of fabrics you use most.
9) Test the basic stitches on the machine, as well as any other features of the machine you might use. All stitching should appear balanced, not loose.
10) Ask the dealer about the availability of replacement parts if they should be needed, the cost of servicing the machine, optional upgrades, and warranties. A reputable dealer will be glad to answer any questions you have and allow you to try out any machine in their store. Be sure to ask also if they offer classes as a bonus with your sewing machine purchase.
Although it is probably very simple to buy a sewing machine from an online dealer, there are several advantages to purchasing your machine from a local dealer. He is only a phone call away, he has direct support from the manufacturers of the machines he sells, and he probably already has a repair department on site, which means you won't have to wait as long for your machine to be fixed.
Let's say you decide in a few years that you want to upgrade your machine. Some local dealers will gladly accept the machine they sold to you as a trade-in on an upgraded model, which could save you some money.
Buying a sewing machine can be an enjoyable and educational experience, as long as you are prepared ahead of time. You'll have the tools to make an informed decision and be very happy with the machine you do purchase. Once you've purchased your sewing machine, all that's left to do is take it home and start getting creative!