- Don’t buy on impulse – you’ll buy the wrong one.
- Before you buy make a list of what it is essential for it to do and what’s desirable. You will need at least a straight stich and a zig-zag stitch both of which should be of variable length.
- Think about the projects you’re planning to do. If you’re planning upholstery with thick fabrics you’ll need a machine which can cope rather than a lighter dress making machine. If you’re planning on quilting make sure you’ve got a quilting foot and a machine which can cope with thick wadding.
- If you’re buying new research machines as much as possible and read lots of customer reviews. Some machines look great but are really toys and many new machines are prone to breaking.
- If buying second hand test the machine before you buy and ask for a demonstration of all the functions and attachments.
- Go simple. Do you really need a machine which can sew a seam that looks like a row of tulips? Many new sewing machines can also be attached to your pc to run embroidery programmes, but if you’re a beginner, do you need that? The more the machine does the more there is to go wrong.
- Do consider second hand. There are a lot of older machines which are robust, reliable and can be easily mended when they do break. This isn’t always true of newer machines.
- Lift it. Sewing machines can be very heavy so make sure you can easily lift and carry the machine.
- How often will you use it? Consider how you’ll store it and what space you’ve got at home.
- Can you understand it? My Mum’s machine has so many functions and you have to remember to do lots of different things to set it up that I get quite befuddled. I much prefer my simple sew-and-go machine.
I have an incredibly ugly 1970’s Elna but good grief is it good at sewing. Check out the website here: http://www.elna.com