Whether you are jumping into a sewing hobby for the first time, or have overused your borrowing privileges: it is time to buy a sewing machine. What you need to know when shopping for a beginning sewing machine. It is much like shopping for a new car or a home appliance. You probably won’t need a 12 passenger van or high end luxury vehicle for a first car, nor would a bachelor need a extra capacity washing machine or baby proofing supplies for their home. The same goes for sewing machines, there are high end models with a dizzying array of bells and whistles. Buyer beware, you probably do not need to start there.
Before you step foot in the store, realize there is a wide range of machines available, in all price ranges. Be prepared for this. Be upfront about your skill level and how you are planning on using a machine. If you are a true beginner, all the extras could overwhelm. Start with a good, basic machine.
Take a test drive. Carry a scrap of fabric and some thread with you. Use your own rather than the demonstration materials provided to get a better idea if this is the machine for you. How easy is it to thread? Does it have the features you need? Feel free to try out some of the latest features to see what is out there.
Try a used model. Like cars, people often trade in perfectly good models for the latest and greatest. Take advantage of someone else’s upgrade by purchasing their used model. But, just like you wouldn’t buy a used car from a junk yard, or a fixer upper for a 16 year old girl with no mechanical inclination, be careful to purchase used models that have already been refurbished or at least looked over by a professional. Thrift store or garage sale varieties can often be much more trouble than they are worth.
Don’t shy away from plastic parts. This is not always a sign of a cheaply made machine. Metal parts require regular lubrication and maintenance.
Know your price range. Let the salesperson know what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend. Being upfront helps them direct you to the right manufacturer and available deals.
Ask what comes with the machine. Some stores offer packages including lessons, tool kits or service packages. Research the possibilities and don’t be afraid to shop around.
Consider gathering information from different retailers. List their best offers, the manufacturers and models they recommended as well as the ones you like the best. Check online for the deals direct from the manufacturer on their websites;