Q & A to Help You Choose Your Electric Sewing Machine
How much does a sewing machine cost?
- An entry level sewing machine will cost you around $80 – $400 (£50 – £250 ) and a non-computerised machine will be fine for basic sewing tasks.
- A middle of the range machine has quite a broad spread of price and you can expect to pay anything between $300 – $1,250 (£200 – £800).
- Top of the range machines can cost between $1,500 – $3,200 (£1,000 – £2,000)
Can I add on features once I’ve bought the machine?
The simple answer is no. What you buy is what you get so think carefully about what you need before you dig into your pocket (well, OK, before you swipe your credit card! Ha Ha) Having said this, you can get lots of accessories such as different types of feet or different types of needles from most of the large manufacturers and these will give you greater flexibility. To take a look at some of these accessories, have a look at the list we have compiled for sewing machines for beginners.
On the other side of the coin, don’t buy a machine with all the bells and whistles (plus doing a dance at the same time) that you’ll probably never use. Hands up those people who have a mobile (read cell for our American friends) that has every function under the sun, but you only use the ‘send’ and ‘receive’ functions? that sounds like me, by the way.
I only really want to sew curtains. What should I look for?
A basic machine will probably be all that you will need, but do make sure that the machine can handle the material you intend to use. If you are planning to use heavy materials, you may be better to look at the middle range machines that have a longer stitch length.
Do I need to buy a computerised machine?
If you plan to do a lot of fancy stitching or embroidery and you have the money, then do it! However, if you only ever intend to do some basic sewing then a non-computerised machine will do the job.
Do I need to have a free arm?
Well, most machines have one of these anyway. It’s really good for difficult to sew areas such as sleeves and trouser hems. In essence they have an extension table that sites around the free arm, which can be removed from the machine, converting it from a flat bed to a free arm.
Do I need to buy an over-locker machine?
This really depend on how many garments you are planning to make at home.
If you are planning on making just a few, then probably not and in fact using the zig-zag stitch on your ordinary machine will do the job.
If you plan to make a lot of garments or even set up a small business then an over-locker machine would be a good investment. It gives a professional finish to the seam of garments.