What To Look For When Choosing A Sewing Machine

Choosing the right sewing machine is an important decision. You want to invest in something that will last, give you lots of options, and is easy enough for even beginning sewers to use.

There are so many options available to you, and not all of them are good especially if you’re a beginner. But that doesn’t mean you should just buy the cheapest one you see on sale.

The best sewing machine for you is the one that fits your needs and budget.

In this blog post, I will be discussing how to choose a sewing machine from the many sewing machines on the market.

Here are our top picks.

How to Choose a Sewing Machine

Type of fabric / Project

When choosing a new sewing machine, think about what kind of fabric you’re going to be working with most often. If you sew primarily with lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen, then a lighter-weight model such as Brother CP100X, Janome 234, and SINGER MX231 Sewing Machine would probably be good for you – but if your favorite fabrics are heavyweight knits, you’d likely be better off with the best heavy-duty sewing machine that’s up to the task.

For those who want something simple yet still powerful, there are some really great budget models on the market such as Singer 4423 Heavy Duty sewing machine, which is a great machine for beginners.

If you plan on sewing thick fabrics such as leather then it would be advisable to look for a machine with all the special features that can handle such thick fabrics. such as Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine or Singer 4423 Heavy Duty sewing machine

LED Lights

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Having a sewing machine with LED lighting around the sewing area is vital especially if you have bad sight or working in low light areas

If you’re working on a relatively straightforward project that doesn’t require lots of precision, then having a sewing machine with no light is okay

However, if you’re working on anything more complex than a simple nightgown or pillowcase, then having LED lights on your sewing machine is highly advisable.

How often will you be using this machine?

If you plan to sew frequently, then a lightweight machine would be better for someone who does not sew often.

However, if you plan to use the sewing machine every day for more than 8 hours, then it needs to stand up against heavy-duty tasks and with a lot of built-in features.

The general rule of thumb is that heavier usage requires a heavier sewing machine – so if you plan on working with bodycon dresses all day long (or any other type of challenging fabrics), then get a good sewing machine like Brother ST150HDH, Brother ST371HD, HD3000 Janome Sewing Machine, and Singer Heavy Duty 4411 Sewing Machine.

Number of sewn stitches per minute

The sewing speed will vary by machine, so it’s important to be comfortable with the one you choose. If you want something that sews quickly, look for a unit that has these speeds, 500 stitches per minute (SPM), 800 SPM, or 1000 SPM.

The general rule of thumb is the more stitches per minute, the faster it will sew. You can also look at different machines that offer variable speeds for more control over the speed of your sewing projects.

When choosing the best sewing machine for your needs remember to consider the number of stitches. Speed is determined by the number of stitches per minute (SPM). For instance, Singer Heavy Duty 4423 sew at a speed of 1100 stitches per minute, Janome HD-3000– 860 stitches per minute, Singer Quantum Stylist 9985 – 850 stitches per minute, and Singer 4452 – 1100 stitches per minute.

Number of built-in stitches

The number of built-in stitches available in your machine is an important thing to consider when purchasing a sewing machine. The more stitches the better, and the higher quality your machine is likely to be.

When you’re a beginner starting out, you need a few sewing stitches such as straight stitch and zig-zag. But for a professional sewist, you want to opt for a sewing machine with a number of built-in stitches

Weight of the sewing machine

As a beginner, you need a machine that is lightweight. It should also be lighter than the heavier models. However, as you become more experienced and want to sew heavy fabrics such as leather then you can opt-in for a model that is heavy and can take on such fabrics.

If you’re attending sewing classes with your sewing machine or group, go for a lightweight and portable sewing machine that is easy to carry and handle.

Brother XM2701, Brother CP100X  and Singer MX231 Sewing Machine are considered portable and lightweight sewing machines. Janome HD-3000 and  Singer Quantum Stylist 9985 are some of the heaviest sewing machines for heavy-duty sewing projects.

Interested both in sewing and embroidery

If you’re interested in embroidery or sewing, you’ll want to choose a machine with sewing and embroidery capabilities. You don’t need to spend money on two machines. You can get a sewing and embroidery machine that is capable of handling the two.

 Who is the sewing machine for?

Is it for beginners, intermediate or professional sewists who want a variety of stitches?

There are a variety of different machines to choose from when deciding what’s best for you. For beginners who only need simple stitches, go with an inexpensive model that has progressive features such as easy threading and fewer tension levels than really expensive models such as Brother XM2701, Singer M1500, and SINGER Start 1304 Sewing Machine.

Intermediate and professional sewers will be seeking out more advanced features such as variable speeds and automatic needle threading, reverse stitching capabilities and more extensive stitch selection offered by the following models: Juki HZL-F600, SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960, Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850, and Brother CS6000i 

Your budget

Choosing a sewing machine within your budget and has the features that you need is the first thing you should consider. If you’re on low budget you will not be able to afford high-end sewing machines.

  • Cheaper sewing machines cost between $100 – $200
  • Medium priced sewing machine cost between $200 – $500
  • High end sewing machines cost between $500 – $5000 and more

Easy to ue

One of the most important things you need to consider when buying a sewing machine is whether it’s easy to use. You don’t want to spend hours just trying to figure out how it operates, so be sure to read reviews and watch tutorials on how it works before making your purchase.

Beginners should start with a simple machine and easy to use sewing machine.

Automatic Needle Threader

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You don’t want to spend all your time threading the machine by hand rather choose a sewing machine with an automatic needle threading system specially if yu’re a beginner or you don’t have time to thread a sewing machine manually.

Automatic needle threaders are incredibly convenient to have in a sewing machine. The automatic needle threader will take the hassle out of having to thread a needle all on your own.

They are easy to use. And if you have any vision problems, this feature will be a lifesaver for you.

Type of Sewing Machine

There are many different types of sewing machines, such as mechanical and computerized. The type you buy will depend on what you need the machine for.

Both types of equipment accomplish the fundamental function of stitching uniformed thread, but factors like sewing expertise, demands and budget will determine which machine is more appropriate for you.

With automated alternatives, you get extra features and features that may save you time and make your garmentmaking experience better.

Computerized sewing machines make up a lot of the more expensive ones and they’re also easy to use. These are a good choice if you’re a beginner and want to learn how to use a machine while not spending too much money up front.

Mechanical machines appear to be less impressive than their computerized machines but they can still do basic stitching tasks. Older, high-quality mechanical devices may also make excellent entry-level machines since they are simple to learn and tend to be heavy, allowing you to sew through thick layers of linen, leather or denim.

Free Motion Sewing

If you like to quilt or do free-motion embroidery, then be sure the machine holds enough weight for the project. A basic computerized machine with roughly seven pounds of pressure is enough to get the job done, but if you really like to dig into projects, then look for a machine that offers more.

Sewing Space

Don’t forget that your sewing machine should have enough space the fabric doesn’t get caught in the mechanism. Choosing a model with a larger workspace will provide more room to maneuver, which is key if you’re trying to do more complex or detailed sewing.

Check for different presser foot options

You can use a clear one if you want to see your work underneath the fabric, and adjustable ones let you change quickly between applique and other types of fabric manipulation.

Look at the bobbin area

It should be easy to load and remove the bobbin thread. The bobbin should also be clearly visible so you can check its level and wind more easily.

Sewing machine brand

Before choosing a sewing machine, the brand is also something you should consider. You should consider a sewing machine brand known for innovative and high quality sewing machines.

There are a lot of brands to choose from when looking for a sewing machine, but the following ones are among the best:

Brother: This is one of the most popular brands because it produces high quality, affordable sewing machines that are reliable and user-friendly. If you’re looking for a basic machine to get started with, this is the brand to go with.

Singer: This is one of the most famous sewing machine brands that has been around for more than 100 years and their machines are designed to be easy to use, long lasting, and easy to maintain.

Janome: One of the oldest brands on this list, Janome was founded in 1950 and became one of the largest producers of sewing machines in the world.

There are also other brands worth mentioning such as Bernina, Bernette, Juki, Babylock, Elna, Husqvarna Viking etc.

How Big Is the Motor

Sewing machines with smaller and less strong motors can be much more affordable, but you should note that they won’t be able to sew through thicker fabrics.

A strong motor make a sewing machine strong and capable of handling heavy sewing projects.

Sewing Feet

Attachments and feet will be related to the types of stitching you intend to perform. A walking foot, a free motion foot, and a 1/4″ foot are all necessary for quilters. Garment sewists should search for a zipper foot, an overcast stitching foot, a buttonhole foot, and a button attaching foot.

Other Special Features to consider

Adjustable Speed Control

Some sewing machines have the ability to adjust the speed control which is important if you’re trying to sew through thick layers of fabric.

Foot Pressure

This allows you to alter the amount of pressure applied to your fabric as it is being moved under your sewing foot.

Automatic Thread Cutter

The thread cutter is an important part of the sewing machine. The thread cutter gets rid of the loose thread on the bias, which makes your garmentmaking experience better.

Knee Lifter

A knee lifter is a little lever that sits on the front of the machine, near the needle. When you sit down to sew and use your knee to hold your fabric in place, you can push the lever with your foot to make it a lot easier to lower and raise the presser foot.

This is a feature that’s only available on some machines, but because it helps to raise the presser foot when your hands are holding the cloth in place is a convenience. This feature makes curves and sharp angles simpler.

Free arm

A free arm sewing machine is a sewing machine which can be used to sew a tube or a shaped article, such as a sleeve.

One advantage of free arm sewing machines is that they allow you to use the feed dog as well as the presser foot at the same time. This means that you can sew from either side of your fabric. You can also use it to turn out feet and sleeves.

Needle Up/Down

This function allows you to quickly and simply pivot or turn fabric by stopping the needle at either the up or down position.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right sewing machine is a lot more complicated than most people assume. From deciding which features are important to you to comparing prices, it can be overwhelming.

We hope that this article has helped by providing some guidance on what factors to consider when choosing your next sewing machine and how they will affect your experience with the machine in the long run.

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