Learning how to sew is a little bit like cycling. Once you learn it, you never forget it. And once you know how to sew – you want the best sewing machine for you and your projects. Finding the best one is not that hard. But finding the right machine takes a little bit longer and it helps to have good advice at hand.
Sally Keys from Stitch&Sew explains the basics.
Fashion is so much more than just clothes and accessories. It’s a statement, a reflection of your personality or mood, and an outlet for creativity. When you are looking to create or personalize your clothes, accessories, or overall look, buying a sewing machine will have no doubt crossed your mind.
However, there are so many different types of sewing machines available that choosing one can seem overwhelming at first. The best strategy is to filter the options based on your needs, and below are some tips on doing just that:
Types of Sewing Projects
Before we discuss different types of sewing machines, let’s outline some of the common types of projects that sewing machines are used for. This way, you can determine what you will most likely be looking for before purchasing your machine.
- Repairs: Most sewing machines are designed to complete light mending and repair work. For those who choose fashionable clothing pieces with the intention of wearing them forever, or get attached to staples in their wardrobe, a sewing machine can greatly increase the longevity of any given garment by making quick (and frequent) repairs a breeze. It is especially useful if you spend a lot of money on good quality items, and want to make sure a little tear doesn’t mean a waste of a pricey outfit.
- Garment Creation & Alterations: If you’re the creative hands-on type, a sewing machine can be your best friend. It is a great device to make clothing pieces from scratch, and you can rest assured the outcome is really one-of-a-kind. For those interested in design – formally or informally, a sewing machine is a great investment for unique and creative garment production. You can also use it to make alterations to any given clothing piece, personalizing it to fit your body type or style. If a shirt you bought would look better with sleeves, you can easily add them. If you want to shorten a skirt, you easily can do so with a sewing machine by your side. Knowing you can alter any item makes shopping itself easier!
- Quilts/Thicker Fabrics: While some people may use sewing machines for the clothes they wear, others use them primarily for more specific projects – such as those that entail working with a thicker fabric. Creating quilts, blanket covers, pillowcases or altering drapes can all be done with a sewing machine, saving loads of time compared to doing it by hand. Just another way to add a personalized touch to all your pieces of fabric!
Here are some Top Tips for you for sourcing fabric efficiently.
- Embroidery: Add some glam, colour, detail, and personality to each and every clothing or fabric piece with a speciality embroidery sewing machine. You can easily get in touch with your creative side and add simple or intricate embroidered images to clothing, purses, backpacks, quilts, and pillow covers. While embroidery is more work than other types of sewing projects, the outcome is well worth it!
Types of Sewing Machines
Now that you’ve reviewed various types of projects, let’s look at the different types of sewing machines. We’ve come a long way in terms of sewing machines, and below are three of the more popular options currently available:
- The automatic/electric sewing machine is a common choice, powered by a single motor controlled by a foot pedal. Most automatic sewing machines include dials that enable you to choose your ideal sewing parameters, and they come with a good selection of speciality stitches in addition to the standard options. It is considered to be an all-purpose option, meant for a variety of different projects. While many seasoned sewers opt for this type of machine, it is also the best sewing machine choice for beginners.
- The standard-sized quilting sewing machine was designed primarily for dealing with quilts, but the appeal of being heavy duty machines capable of handling different types of thick materials made them a popular choice among sewers and quilters alike. Modern options today solve the issue of fabric getting stuck or bunched up due to thickness or bulk, by including attachable walking feet that aid in getting the fabric to move along smoothly.
- The embroidery sewing machine is a speciality device that is designed for complex stitching involving embroidery. This option typically includes a stitch library with the main stitch types used in most projects, as well as the tools necessary to create unique and creative designs. As they are speciality devices, most also include additional features such as a USB interface in order to allow for customizable design creation and a touchscreen that makes selections simple and smooth.
Choosing the best sewing machine for you
Although we have outlined three different sewing machine options, you can already see that they each have specific qualities that make them individually suited for the different projects listed above. To choose the best sewing machine, consider both the short- and long-term uses you may have for it.
- If you are planning to focus mostly on creating, repairing or altering clothes and general fabrics, with only a few occasional more complex side projects, an automatic sewing option is your best bet, with a price tag that most likely beats all other options.
- However, if you are looking to buy a sewing machine based on special projects, such as creating quilts for yourself and as gifts or consistently dealing with thicker fabrics, it is a better option to buy the more specialized heavy duty option of a quilting sewing machine.
- If your needs are mostly embroidery-based and you want to experiment with different designs and patterns, an option like the embroidery sewing machine has the functionality and stitch variety to make creative designs a breeze.
The key to choosing the best sewing machine to match all of your fashion needs is really three-fold. First, consider the different types of sewing projects you would like to work on or would like to learn. Second, examine the different types of sewing machines available, and the capabilities they have. Finally, choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.
Our guide simplifies it for you so you can express your creativity in whatever way you choose!
If you have any questions about finding the best sewing machine for your needs or want to give your feedback then please do not hesitate to leave your comments below.
Become a Fashion Insider
Join thousands of other fashionpreneurs and get excited about your inbox again!