How to Choose the Ideal Sewing Machine Part 1

If you feel inspired to try your hand at home sewing, or even make a return to it if you were a seamstress in a past life. Before you can pick up your fabric shears, however, you’ll need to choose which sewing machine to use.

The wide range of features available is enough to overwhelm a beginner. To decide which features that will benefit you, you’ll need to consider the type of projects you intend to sew, and how often. To start, you’ll simply need a machine that can a produce a straight stitch in a number of different lengths, a zigzag, and sew a buttonhole, which the majority of machines offer in a simpler single automatic step, as opposed to the manual four. The rest of the features are extras that could be useful depending on whether you wish to make the odd quilt and cushion or sew an entirely new wardrobe.

Features you may need and features you may not

Some features you will find useful include an up/down needle function, machine speed adjustment, and a bobbin loading from above with a transparent cover enabling you to see when it’s running out. Certain features like memory options or a lever that allows you to use your knee to lift the presser foot are likely only needed if you’re planning to sew on a regular basis. The majority of machines include feed dogs that pull the fabric through from below, while others provide a dual feed that also grasps the fabric from above. This is useful when working with tricky fabrics, although it’s not required for beginner sowers, and you could later use a walking foot that will achieve the same thing.

Buying the right model

If you choose the right machine, it could last you your entire life. You would be particularly wise to buy a sturdy model capable of handling some experimentation while you learn. Some sewers may prefer to stitch with a manual machine that are easy to grasp, while others might prefer to benefit from the features that come with computerised machines, in order to save time and effort when getting going. Many such modern machines can choose the optimum dimensions of individual stitches, which takes out the need for any guesswork on your part, thus limiting your errors. Below is a shortlist of machines that should assist you in finding the right one for you.

Janome 725S Sewing Machine

This machine fulfils much of the criteria for beginner sewers looking to stitch various kinds of projects while exploring new skills. It’s easy to use with three dials to choose stitch length, width, and type, and is sufficiently robust to deal with any challenge you present it with. The set up will be familiar to those who are experienced in sewing on a traditional manual machine with all the advantages of one-step buttonholes, a needle threader, a drop-in bobbin, and a decent variety of feet and accessories.