I have been a quilter for the past eleven years and I guess that makes me a semi- expert at sewing. I started out using the old Singer sewing machine.
Lots of cursing at the so -called drop in bobbin left me searching for a new and wonderful machine.
My tips are:
- Know ahead of time before you enter the store exactly what you will be using this machine for. Are you a professional quilter or are you looking to just sew a hem or a button on for your little one’s? The salespeople are helpful, but it can be a little like looking for a car. You don’t want to have a Honda budget and walk out of the showroom with a Rolls Royce.
- Bring the types of fabric swatches you know you’ll be working with most. Don’t be shy about bringing in a bag of knits, wools or cottons. The fastest way to really test a machine is to sit down and test run it for yourself. Try to get a lot enough time for this. You don’t want to be rushed into buying a totally unusable machine.
- Check that you can service the machine by oiling it easily and removing the bobbin casing easily. Very important.
- I saw lots of machines that had alot of plastic on the housing. I did not think this was a good sign. I ended up with a Swiss Made Bernina because of it’s sturdy metal housing. Make sure it will hold up well. This is not something you want to replace every year.
- Don’t buy more features than you think you will use. If you know you’ll use computerized stitches – go ahead and get that model.
- Check to see if you can change the bobbin thread easily and if the tension is self adjusting. This is very important on big projects.
- Make sure the presser feet can be easily changed, as well as the light bulb, all the little things etc.
- Lastly, Have fun with the machine while in the shop. Sew seams, change stitch length, put it in reverse, check all the features. Then go home, have a cup of tea, if after thinking it over for a day you can’t forget how wonderful the machine was …it’s the one.