Thursday, October 14, 2010

Choosing Your Sewing Machine

I am often asked; how do you select a sewing machine? So here are some thoughts on the topic.

I purchased my first sewing machine about eighteen years ago and I still use it today. My basic Singer machine was a Costco purchase for less than two hundred dollars, courtesy of my mother after I told her I wanted to develop my sewing skills and start my own business.

Since then, I have purchased several sewing machines and sergers for my business. I have found myself investing primarily in a selection of Singer and Janome machines. I also have a Brother sewing machine and a Kenmore serger. This pass year I purchased my first embroidery machine a Janome Memory Craft 350E. I have been very happy with the machines I've gotten over the years, and hope that I can help you with your selection.

Sewing machines can be found from under a hundred dollars to over ten thousand dollars. Identifying what type of projects you will like to produce is a great place to start. When it comes to different textiles and weight of materials, all sewing machines are not created equally. I also suggest that you consider taking a sewing class and gain the confidence you need to work independently on projects. This will also guarantee that you will use your machine.

If you are a beginner looking to develop your garment construction or home furnishing skills, you will work primarily with light to medium weight fabrics. A basic dressmaker machine with a selection of basic stitches would properly do the trick. A machine with a built-in button hole feature and some basic decorative embroidery stitches may also be an asset and will support more advance projects.

Doing your research is key in finding the right machine. Visit several dealers and prepare a list of questions you may have about machine features, maintenance and servicing. It is most important that you are comfortable with your sewing machine, so if possible try it out in the store to get a feel for the machine.

Singer 20U73 Professional Industrial Sewing Machine

If you are looking to invest in an industrial sewing machine. The Singer industrial sewing machine featured above is one of the machines that are used in my studio. This series has been in production for well over 20 years. It can be used to sew a wide range of materials including light weight leather. With 2500 straight stitch per minute, this machine is a staple in the studio.

Kenmore Serger and Singer Sewing Machine shown above

As you develop your sewing skills and you start sewing more projects, you may want to consider purchasing a serger or overlocking machine. The serger or overlocking machine is great for seams and adding a finishing touch to your projects. This machine is especially helpful for finishing sheer light weight fabrics, such as chiffon. At Verona Collections we have a Janome and Kenmore four thread serger and have been very happy with their performance.

Sources for sewing machines:


I also hope that once you have gotten your machine, you might find the following demonstration helpful.

Please share your thoughts. Your suggestions are also welcomed.


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