How To Pick The Right Sewing Machine

There are so many brands and types of sewing machines on the market. How do you pick the right one for you? I had a hard time with this when I was researching which machine I wanted. First I thought I would just go with the cheapest because I am not a seamstress. I do it as a hobby for myself and don’t sell anything I make. But then as I asked around and did my research, I realized there was more to it than price. To learn about the different types of sewing machine brands, check out this Consumer Report article.

  • What kind of sewing do I do? Do you make garments, clothes, embroider, quilt? Are you a beginner or a more advanced seamstress?
  • How long do I plan on keeping this machine? If you know you will be upgrading your machine in the future or if you are just getting something to learn on, you may want to go with something cheap. If it’s a machine you want to keep for a long time, maybe even pass down to your children, then you will want to pay more for a nice, sturdy machine (the interior is made of all metal).
  • What features and functions would I like? You have the luxury of deciding whether you want a manual or computerized sewing machine. Manual machines are like the ones your mom or grandma used. Computerized or electronic machines have a touch screen, can memorize settings, tell you when your bobbin is almost out and give you suggestions. Not only that, but there are other features such as drop-in bobbin, needle threader, automatic button hole and number of stitch types.
  • Do I have a preference for the layout of the machine? Some machines have buttons and knobs in different place on the sewing machine. It’s personal preference where you like things and what is easier for your usage.
  • Where do I want to purchase it? If you want a machine that will last and is made of all metal, then you will have to go to specialty sewing stores (not like JoAnn or craft stores). Some top of the line brands of sewing machines are only sold in stores that are licensed sellers. And often times these nicer machines purchased from specialty sewing stores provide repairs and warranties that covers parts and labor. And the specialty stores allow you to test out the machines before purchasing them.
  • How much am I willing to spend? The price difference is depending on brand, features and what the machine is made of. The nicer brands have machines that are made of all metal whereas the some of the cheaper brands (that you can get at discount retail stores) have plastic parts in the machine and those then to break or wear easier. And the more features you would like with your machine, the more expensive it will be.

ยป What kind of sewing do you do? Do you do it as a hobby or have you sewn all your life?



8 Responses to “How To Pick The Right Sewing Machine”

  • Andrea

    I feel like I’m going through the same purchasing dilemma except with a serger! Do you have one you prefer?

    • Tiffany

      i don’t have a serger right now. so i can’t help you there. but i do know that the brand that makes my sewing machine also has awesome sergers (i’ve heard, not from my own experience).

  • Crystal

    What a fantastic blog post. Such great things to keep in mind when buying a sewing machine. I sew for my home business (I make appliqued shirts) but when I bought my machine I had in mind that I was buying it for a hobby with the thought that I might turn it into a business. I have a brother sewing/embroidery machine. For the most part I really love it but I think I will probably buy a second machine in the next year and turn the brother into a full time embroidery machine and buy a real work horse of a sewing machine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sewing Princess

    I mainly sew garments and little accessories. I only sew as a hobby after work, but nevertheless I decided to buy a serger and I really like it.

  • green

    I am sewing more as a hobby business and for fun… and my machine is a Bernina 830 – the 1970’s version. If anyone is looking for a true workhorse of a machine that will do all of the basics and do it well, this is THE machine. It’s not super fancy, but among those of us who love to sew, this is the top of the line and coveted greatly. In fact, they cost more used today than they did new 40 years ago! (Well, unless you get lucky like my mom did and find mine crazy cheap.) I went through a series of cheap machines and they just weren’t worth the effort. If you can’t afford a good new one, definitely look at these. Used now, this one is about $600 and should last you another 40 years!

  • maribee

    I am looking for a sewing machine too!

    I would like a quality (all metal if possible)
    embroidery would be great
    at least one alphabet
    a nice selection of stitches but not crucial
    heavy duty work with drapes and jean needed

    between 200 and 700

    any ideas?

  • Rob

    I’d like to surprise my wife with a sewing machine for this Xmas holiday. We are expecting our third and I know my wife has expressed an interest in being a bit more creative with our kids’ clothing, toys, etc. so I think a simple traditional sewing machine would be greater learn on. What’s a good brand, type, price point I can start looking for?

  • Kimberly

    I am currently wanting to learn to sew. I would like to begin with a quilt n dog pillow. What type of features do I need?


Leave a Reply