Sewing: Finding the pefect machine


his came about due to a question posed by a friend on my previous quilting post.  Heidi (and Phil) are friends from college, who have started their own DIY blog.  (They’re also recently engaged!!–check out their blog, there’s lots of fun stuff going on over there–like wedding planning, AHHH!)

Heidi had a few questions about finding the perfect machine, for lighter sewing and repairs as they are needed.

Although I’m a little partial to my machine (hey, I have to be, because it can read this and you never know when those things are going to revolt)–there are many great options out there.  [The opinions are all mine–everyone’s got one, and this is my blog, so here you go!]

Not too long ago I was in the same [preverbal] boat as Heidi.  She wants a sewing machine, that isn’t too expensive, that won’t break within a year of purchasing it.

[Let me be honest with you for a minute.  The finale of American Idol is on.. and I write about 5 words and then get distracted… so if this doesn’t make any sense… then I’m sorry–deal with it!]

Here’s my beauty, I call her Victoria.

She’s a Brother XL 3750.

Five things to consider when searching for the perfect machine:

[I knew I wanted to by a ‘Brother’ machine due to all of the awesome reviews I have read about them. I also have a ‘Brother’ printer and it’s been good to me!]

1. It COMES with what you need to start using it
Being the sewing novice I was, I didn’t even think about all of the ‘extras’.  After reading several reviews on different machines, I noticed some people said, it didn’t come with this, it didn’t come with that. [I can tell you that when I pay $100+ for a machine, it’s only fair they ship a few bobbins, as well.]
Machine came with six different presser feet, five bobbins, numerous needles, a double needle and some other stuff that I still don’t know how to use!

2. It’s in your price range and skill level
I was a complete novice when I started, I kinda winged it.  I remember when I told my mom I bought myself a sewing machine, she said “Michelle, have you ever used a sewing machine?” And the honest answer? Nope.  But I did know that it was something that I wanted to learn how to use and it came with an instruction manual. ha!

3. It allows you to ‘grow’ into it.
Aside from being a novice, I knew what ‘end’ product I wanted when I bought my machine–a quilt [or several quilts, for that matter.] So even if I was only spending $30 on it, my $30 would be wasted if I couldn’t get to my end goal with it.
With that said, it doesn’t mean that I won’t upgrade at some point.  I looked for a mid-price range machine–not the best, not the worst–that would be able to do what I wanted it to do!

4. Customer reviews
These suckers were a big part of my decision.  I read what others had to say.  This doesn’t go to say that there were no bad reviews, it simply means the good out-weighed the bad.  The bad will always be there, because there is some idiot that just didn’t read the directions or know how to function the machine.
These are the things I looked for when reading the reviews:
-Things to ‘watch’ for and how to prevent them
-How long the machine lasted
-What kind of sewers were using this machine, experts? Novices? Idiots? If the expert says they use this machine for certain things and like it, I take that with more weight than the idiot gave one star because they can’t find the on/off switch.

5. It’s pretty
Just being honest, folks.  Who wants to pay that much for an ugly machine!?

Also, just know, you and your machine’s relationship has to be built.  You have to stroke it and clean it and take care of it, before it’s nice to you.  The first night I got my machine, I started sewing and then ‘something’ went wrong. I didn’t know what, so I proceeded to change each bobbin, walking foot, and needle until something made the awful clicking sound in the machine quit.  At this point, I’m familiar with it, so I usually know what’s wrong–but it takes time.  Get to know your machine, it’s parts and how to change them, and learn what each of them do and how they function.

Any more questions?  What more details? Let me know.

I kinda learned to sew all on my own, I searched for blogs to help me on my journey, I want to be here to help you!  [Because I’m so experienced, after one apron and two quilts!]

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One Response to Sewing: Finding the pefect machine

  1. Pingback: Craft: Refinishing a Storage Trunk |

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