If you have been in the market for a new sewing or embroidery machine you may be feeling a little overwhelmed right now and that’s probably why you’re reading this.
The features, the brands, the price… there is a lot to know. Its almost like buying a used car, if you don’t know the lingo you’re likely to get something you don’t need or want.
You can get a good basic household machine for about 200 dollars. You, however need to decide what features you need. Will you be doing button holes often? Decorative stitching? I’ve found the Kenmore to be a great little starter machine. It sells for just under 200 and you can get it at Sears. I’ve used it in my home business and the mileage I’ve put on that is amazing. Walmart sells Brother machines, one for 99.00 but you get what you pay for. 100% plastic, flimsy, garbage. If you want something decent, that will last more then 1 year you’re going to spend about 200.00 for it.
Of course there are really fancy machines for literally hundreds of dollars out there. Beware when dealing with sewing dealers because each one will say theirs is best. CALL AROUND! You might find a department store more to your liking because they aren’t making their living solely on selling you a sewing machine.
Write down the features you want. You can also buy some patterns (if you are brand new to sewing) of things you want to make and see if they require any special stitches (like applique) Make sure to get a good warranty as well.
Also 1 more thing to look for… where does the machine come from? Can you easily find parts and get repairs? Pfaff is from Germany and parts can be expensive, one reason why I turned down buying one. Make sure who you buy it from can fix it and you can easily buy needles, bobbins and other parts. Most household machine can interchange with singer parts but make sure!
If you are looking for a serger the 1st thing to think about is number of threads (3,4,5) Keep in mind these stitches are much different from one another and a 4 or 5 string can be used as a 3 string if you have a project you need that for. A 4-5 string will give you much more diversity. If you are just doing basic clothes, serging hems, a 3 string may be all you need. I have a 3 string and 4 string and once I got my 4 string I have never used my 3 string again. A good serger will run you between 300-500 dollars, depending on threads. If you are a home sewer, just sewing for family you may be able to get by zig-zagging your hems. You may also get by with the serge stitch built into your sewing machine (Kenmore has this) It doesn’t cut the fabric or give a true serge stitch but that is another option for the family sewer.
After reading many embroidery machine reviews I’ve purchased an industrial machine. Now if you want headaches just start shopping for one of these!! My ‘cheap’ machine ran about 750.00 It is a Consew brand and seems to be working great. Again the old saying holds true ‘You get what you pay for’ before I got the Consew I purchased a Yamata. Do NOT buy Chinese machines. USA, and Japan make quality machines. Keep in mind though Singer went bankrupt for it may be hard to find parts and accessories if you buy a singer. Anyway my Yamata broke before I even got to sew something on it! I found a BIG thing to ask is ‘Is it sew-in’ meaning the dealer, factory actually sewed on it and about an hour or so and made sure it was a good machine. Some sites online sell industrial machine cheap but they are not sewn in so be careful, you may luck out and get a great deal or get a massive headache. Either way I think buying these from a dealer is necessary. Then you have a contact for repairs and at least some guarantee.
I hope this does help someone. As the owner of 2 sewing machines and 2 sergers and running a home sewing business it can be aggravating for the novice and well as the expert to find a good machine. I can’t wait to see sewing machines come down in price some though.