How to Choose a Sewing Machine
We know buying a sewing machine can feel complicated at times, with so much to know about your sewing machine before you choose. So we’ve listed some handy tips and hints about what to look for, to make sure you find the best machine to use!
What am I looking for?
There are a few things to consider when you’re purchasing a new machine. Some of the basics to take into consideration are:
- What will you be using the sewing machine for? Can it perform all the tasks you will require?
- Is the machine easy to set up, and straightforward to use?
- Is the machine light enough to be stored easily?
- Are spare parts and extra accessories easily obtained?
- Does the machine come with a guarantee and good customer support?
- Do you like the look and feel?
Covering these basics will make sure that using your machine is easy and carefree, that you enjoy working with it and having it around, and that caring for it won’t be a problem. Leaving you free to enjoy your sewing without worries!
Sewing Machine Features
As well as the basics of the machine, you’ll want to consider any extra features/functions available, and how they benefit you. Even novice sewers will appreciate extra functionality to make their lives easier! Some beneficial features to look out for include:
- Fabric control – A good sewing machine should be able to handle all kinds of fabrics from satins to denims without stretching, puckering or producing loose or loopy stitching. It should be able to sew through layers of fabric to produce features such as hems, etc.
- Foot controller – A sewing machine should respond to pressure exerted on the foot controller smoothly, there should be no stalling or making harsh sound when sewing thick fabric or layers of fabric.
- Drop feed – Some sewing machines are fitted with a drop feed facility which enables you to lower the feed teeth and manually move the fabric backwards, forwards and sideways. This feature is particularly useful for beautiful free motion embroidery.
- Available stitches – Having extra functional or decorative stitches available besides straight and zigzag stich can be very useful, and add extra depth to your work! Having width and length control of your stitches is also a benefit.
- Accessories – A sewing machine that comes with a variety of feet allows for a more versatile style of sewing right from the beginning, and is particularly useful for more advanced sewers.
- Needle threading – Having an in-built needle threader can make sewing much more streamlined, taking a lot of hassle out of setting up your machine.
- Controls – The machine’s controls should be easy to reach and understand, and the symbols on the machine should be clear.
- Free arm and flat bed sewing – The ability to remove the accessory container in front of the needle plate to allow for free arm sewing is useful for circular items.
- Buttonholing – the Oekaki comes with three differnt buttonhole styles. If you often sew garments you’ll definitely find a buttonholer an absolute must-have!
- Computerised stitch selector – some machines come with a more manual stitch selector like a knob. If you prefer a simple interface, then a computerised stitch selector may be better for you. With the Oekaki, changing stitches is as easy as the press of a button.
- Look and feel – sometimes, it’s just got to look the part. Decide what sort of sewing machine you’d be happiest looking at, you may be sitting in front of it quite a while! The Oekaki Renaissance comes in three different colours perfect for your individual style.