Your Guide for Buying a Sewing Machine

Last updated on January 23rd, 2021 at 04:31 pm

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The determinant of your sewing success is how well you choose a sewing machine, an element that will become even more significant as your sewing experiences advance with time. It is a fact that no sewing machine is for everyone.

Buying the right sewing machine will give you the urge to sew anything, while a wrong sewing machine will make you give up on sewing for good.

But before you get a migraine, it is worth considering this definitive guide which will show you how to a sewing machine that caters to your needs.

Skill level and Your Budget

Buying the best sewing machine that is suited for you depends entirely on your skill level and budget constraints.

Considering how much you have to spend will narrow down your search or choices to make. Take for example you simply want to spend $100 – $150. You should consider sewing machine at this price range suitable for your skills. 

In this regard, consider how you might use the sewing machine when your skill levels improve in the near future.

The projects you are undertaking may likely change as you continue to develop your sewing skills. Knowing your individual skills and having a budget will tremendously assist you in deciding what features in a sewing machine are vital to your projects.  

Just buy a good one at a price that works for you!

What are your needs!

After establishing your skills and budget constraints, you need to think about what really is your sewing needs. Questions like these should come to mind:

What type of sewing machine do I need? Do I need it for some specific task?

Some sewing machines are adapted to a particular or more task. Some are specially designed for quilting, embroidering, monogramming or more options.

To sew successfully, one only needs two types of stitches, zigzag and straight stitch. With these stitches, you can do everything else you wish to do on your sewing machine. Some sewing machines have hundreds of stitches that look extremely great and some are just fun.

However, how often will an average user use them more often? With little planning, research and the right choice, you can get a sewing machine with all the functions you need, that work in whatever small space you have.

How flexible is adjusting the length of a Stitch

While one may use a zigzag stitch and straight stitch, having the ability to adjust the length and width of the stitches can prove to be very valuable.

Fancy stitches can really be fun, although a variety of choices and options may certainly prove useful. Consider flexibility in both stitch width and length when purchasing a sewing machine. More so, if the attributes can be independently adjusted and possess the widest range possible.

A good example is a stitch width range of 0-7mm and a stitch length range of 0-5mm. The ability to adjust them independently offers a great number of combinations. The Janome 2032 is a perfect example of low-priced sewing machine that still offers variable stitches.

Number of the attached accessory

Having an available selection of presser foot can really make the difference in your sewing experience.

It is important that you find out the attachments that come with a standard and those that are available and can be bought separately.

For example, if you to want to sew clothes, then you can look for a sewing machine that has a zipper foot, a blind hem foot and buttonhole foot as a standard attachment.

However, if your intentions are to create quilts, you will require a walking foot and if your intentions are to freehand quilt then you will need freehand embroidery foot.

And if the sewing machine you are thinking of purchasing does not come with feet of your liking, ensure that they are always available separately and they do not cost you a fortune.

It is also important to check how easy the foot can be replaced. A number of sewing machines come with a foot that clip off and on, which saves time spend if you discover yourself switching forth and back between the feet.

Janome 220XT comes with Snap-On feet that are affordable.

Weight – The size of Motor and Metal Frame

The strong and heavy motor makes it easier coping with the frequent use of the sewing machine and sewing heavier fabrics, which includes denim and upholstery weight fabrics.

A sewing machine that is mainly made of plastic may not be able to withstand the usage that a sewing machine with a metal frame can handle. 

Singer 4411 is heavy sewing machine, with an extremely high-speed motor plus heavy duty metal frame, that can sew everything thrown at it.

However, you should also consider the weight, If you need to move around with your sewing machine. Sewing machine with metal frame tends to be heavy and not suitable for moving around.

Choosing by Fabric Type

A sewing machine that you choose should be adapted to the type of fabric you use most often. Majority of sewing machine handles lightweight fabrics.

How about if you want to sew a thick or heavier fabric? You should consider the type of fabric when choosing a sewing machine to buy. Below you would find sewing machine suggestion considering the type of fabric.

Fabric TypeSewing Machine Suggestion
Delicate FabricAdjustable presser foot pressure is required here to reduce risk of snagging.
For smoother movement, use Teflon coated foot
Fine needle is required; therefore, the chosen Sewing Machine must accept a fine needle.
Thick fabricLonger stitch length and higher presser foot necessary.
Go for machine with an option for short and long stitches.
Thick fabrics such as Jeans, Denim, Leather and Suede materials will thrive only on a sturdy and heavy duty sewing machine. Sewing thick fabrics needs a good needle penetration or even double needle. A higher presser foot lifts and an adjustable presser foot is very important.
CurtainLarge sewing table or working area for handling large pieces of fabric is required.
You should choose a sewing machine that can seam fabrics of diverse weights and depths while providing extra working area.
Stretch fabricTricky to sew
Choose a sewing machine with stretch stitch option. As easy as that if you are not a professional.

The Brand and Seller

Brand name does make big difference with machines. Sewing machines are not all equal and are not made of same parts inside. 

 Singer, Janome, and Brother are successful brands; however, with exception of some Janome brands, are likely to be a bit lightweight and hobby machines.

In addition, you will also find brands like Pfaff, Bernina, Juki, and Husqvarna. These sewing machines are high-end and tend to be favorites of professional makers. It’s always best to purchase at low-end of a good brand than high-end of above average hobby brand.

How Noisy Is the Machine

If you are like the majority of people who sew in the evening, that is, after work or when kids are in the bed, it will be shocking to get your new sewing machine home and surprisingly discover that it sounds more like a pneumatic drill that keeps everyone in your neighborhood awake.

When you are worried about the amount of noise your machine is making as you sew, chances are that you are far less inclined to use it.

In this regard, you should invest more on sewing machines with servo motto. You can easily find a Juki brand with servo motor

Mechanical Versus Computerized

Majority of the high-end sewing machines on the market are fully computerized.  They can be programmed, enabling specific stitch sequences to be memorized.

They offer huge selections of embroidery stitches and decorative stitches as well as automatic tie-offs and thread cutting.

Modern electronic or computerized sewing machines are light, easier and cheaper to maintain. Also, computerized sewing machines have strong motors and the extra power, meaning they don’t struggle with the heavyweight fabrics and continuous use.

Talking about durability, the mechanical sewing machine tends to last longer.

Frequency of Use

A quality sewing machine may enhance your sewing experiences and encourage you to sew quite often.

But in case, you have been bitten by a sewing bug and the only thing that stands between you and your daily sewing is lack of a good sewing machine, then purchasing the right sewing machine you can afford and will give you plenty of scope for growth.

If you need to use your sewing machine frequently, then you should consider going for everyday semi-mechanical working machine. This machine can stand a test for a long time.

This is not to say there is no computerized sewing machine that is robust. However, you will need to spend more to get an everyday computerize sewing machine.

You’re Sewing Expectations

If the idea of learning how to sew on a new machine fills you with a lot of excitement, then a sewing machine with lots of options and exciting possibilities is the one you need.

But if the thought of all those buttons and programs make you break out with a cold sweat, then there is a high chance that huge instruction manuals and all symbols and patterns may actually put you off using a sewing machine.

Equally, if your sewing ambition is to make heirloom quality quilts, then purchasing a sewing machine with basic attachments will definitely hinder you from achieving your sewing goals. Most likely leave you feeling very frustrated.

And if you wish to get to a point where you can make your own clothes, then spending some money on a sewing machine that has a variable stitch lengths, ability to switch to a twin needle and overlocking stitches will definitely be a good investment.


It is important to understand your unique sewing needs before choosing or buying a sewing machine. For many of us, the sewing machine is the most important tool in life.

Sewing machines provide us with a peaceful escape from the cares of the world, and a conduit for expressing ourselves creatively.

Naturally, we want these machine to function efficiently and comfortably. Sometimes a little help is all you need to put a dream within reach. No matter whether you just need a basic sewing machine or help in choosing a complicated sewing machine, this is a guide that would have help you in buying a sewing machine that you need.

Best of luck!

Are you happy with your sewing machine? Have you been using a sewing machine or did you buy one recently? Share with us your experience (your sewing machine reviews) and what helped you in making the right choice.