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Buying a Sewing Machine
My sewing machine is as important to my well-being as my computer. I think of them both as essential tools for my varied creative output. Prices for sewing machines range from $150 to $3,500 with the average machine costing around $1,000. Today’s sewing machine is technologically advanced, eliminating the need to thread needles and trim excess thread. Computer memory has enhanced creativity, allowing for elaborate embroidery designs and mono-gramming. Buttonhole work can be “saved,” then repeated identi-
cally. Top-of-the-market machines can scan a design from a magazine or newspaper and produce it, incorporating the sewer’s own changes and color choices.
Selecting a sewing machine is similar in many ways to selecting a car. You consider its features, durability, and dependability and expect it to last a number of years with a minimum of care and repair. The number and type of features a sewing machine has will affect the price. Consider the features you select as an investment in the development of your sewing skills. If often used, these features will eventually pay for themselves. Three good ways to ensure the quality of your purchase are: select a known brand, buy from a reputable dealer who offers good service, and ask the opinion of friends who are accomplished sewers. Remember the two big “don’ts.” Don’t pay for more features than you will use, and don’t economize by selecting a machine that will fall short of your expectations in a year. Beware of a “too good to be true” deal. You’re also buying the service a reputable dealer offers.
Features to Look For
Certain features are basic necessities, while others are special extras that are nice to have.
1. Machine starts and stops smoothly and is jam-proof as you sew off the edge of the fabric.
2. Bobbin doesn’t vibrate while sewing, and feeds thread evenly.
3. Bobbin is simple to wind and easy to insert into bobbin case.
4. Thread guides are easy to thread.
5. Needle is easy to insert.
6. Variety of easy-to-change attachments.
7. Needle-plate markings to guide seam widths.
8. Accurate reverse stitching.
9. Controllable stitch lengths and widths.
10. Adjustable tension and pressure knobs.
11. Light that illuminates needle area without shadows
12. Foot pedal is easy and comfortable to operate.
13. Easy to clean.
14. Instruction post you can understand!