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Trying to figure out what to look for when you buy a sewing machine can be overwhelming. With machines ranging in price from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, it is difficult to know which one suits your needs. This is probably the largest and most important investment you will make in any of your sewing tools. Before you make a decision, take the time to compare several brands and read customer reviews. Most manufacturers have websites offering detailed information about each machine.

Here are some key features that you should look for in a sewing machine:

Size

Consider whether you will use the machine in a multi-function area or you will be setting it up in a dedicated space. If you are traveling a lot, look for a sewing machine that is light enough to be packed away easily. Those who work with heavier fabrics and upholstery should purchase a more solid machine. Before you go shopping for a sewing machine, analyze which type of fabrics you would use the most.

Ease of Use

Sewing machines can be very basic to extremely complicated. Electric machines are more difficult to use. If you are a beginner, purchase a basic machine that allows you to change the needle and presser foot, wind the bobbin, and make buttonholes with ease. Test basic sewing techniques that you use on the machine that you are interested in.

Solid Construction

A quality sewing machine shouldn’t have pieces that can be easily snapped off. Choose one that operates quietly. In order to make an informed decision, ask yourself a few questions. What type of things do you sew (bags, clothing, etc)? Are you interested in machine quilting or machine embroidery? How much money are you willing to invest in a sewing machine? Which features are essential? Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced sewer?

Functions

A basic machine should have the following features:

• Adjustable needle position

• Good built-in lighting

• Nice stitch quality

• Stitch adjustment

• Walking foot

• A bobbin that’s easy to wind

• Free arm

• Stitch length control

• Stitch width control

There are many other optional features that are not necessary for a beginner, including:

• Extra presser foot

• Combined sewing/embroidery machine

• Speed control

• Decorative stitches

• One step buttonhole function

• Up and down needle position button

Brand

It is advisable to buy sewing machines from established brands that have good repair and technical records. You can either purchase the machine online or go to a dealer. If you order online, make sure the retailer is an authorized dealer for the brand.

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