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Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide

Are you confused about which sewing machine to buy?  Simply read this guide to give you an insight on what's what and to help you find out which machine is best for you. 

Once you have have read this guide and decided which kind of machine is right for you, browse through our catagories  and check out our exciting range of sewing machines.

 

Step One - About You!

A new sewing machine is a great investment, however only if you choose one that matches your skills. Be realistic about your usage and what you will be doing with your machine, this can help you to make the right choice the first time round.

For simple hem & garment adjustments and alterations, you will need a machine that is easy to operate and that can be packed away easily. Take into account wether you will be transporting the machine from place to place? If you need to carry your machine to workshops, classes or pack it away after use, look for a machine that is light weight, a carry bag would also be a great investment (or you could make one with your new machine!)

If you want to keep all your accessories within easy reach, a machine with built in storage space will be a great advantage!

If you class yourself as a beginner you may want to start your hobby with a simpler machine so should be looking for a quality machine with all the basic features - minimal stitch types, lightweight and robustness.

Aa an experienced sewing machinist you may need to look ahead at the type of projects you may want to take on. It is generally more cost effective to invest in a sewing machine that can adapt to your sewing ability. Be sure to look out for machines with a wide range of functions and stitch types to keep your projects looking different each and every time.


Step Two - Think About Features

Before buying, make a note of the features that are particularly important to you.

When taking on larger projects you will need to make sure your sewing machine has enough inner arm space to manoeuvre the fabric. Sewing machines with large workspaces and extension tables will make working with larger projects easier. 

Look out for the term 'free arm' if you plan on sewing trouser legs and cuffs, it makes life so much easier.

An automatic needle threader is another key feature to make life that little bit easier. The automatic needle threader will save you time and ease your eyesight by doing all the hard work for you.

Sewing machines with a button-hole feature allows the user to complete this tricky task in one easy step. One-step buttonholes are achieved by turning the dial on your machine, the machines will automatically determine the opening size by placing a button in the buttonhole foot. The machine then stitches a buttonhole, without the user having to manipulate either the fabric or the machine any further.

Four-step buttonholes are also achieved by turning a dial, but different settings create different components of the buttonhole. In four steps the machines will measure the button and set the guide on the button-hole foot before sewing each side individually.

Machines with a drop in bobbin are ideal for those who don't want to fuss with a traditional vertical bobbin case. It also allows you to see when the thread is low through a transparent cover for extra convenience.

You might also want to look out for the seven-point feed dog system for added convenience. This feature is available on a range of different machines and is particularly useful for those who have a passion for quilting. This particular feed allows the fabric to be guided through the machine a lot smoother resulting in a better stitch quality.


Step Three - Type Of Machine

Mechanical
A mechanical sewing machine will offer you all of the basic functions that you may need and is a great introduction to the world of sewing. Features are selected using a jog-dial and the machine is controlled by a traditional electronic foot pedal. Simplicity doesn't mean a compromise on features as even the basic machines have multiple stitch types - including different styles and widths - automatic needle threaders and bobbin winders.

Computerised
A computerised machine is ideal if you want advanced sewing abilities. If you want precise results, a computerised machine enables you to control the exact stitch length and width. This type of machine features a wide range of stitch designs and lettering styles to create bespoke projects - some machines can feature the option to design your own stitches. Computerised machines can also have easy-to-use touch button control pads and LCD screens.

Sewing And Embroidery 
Buying a combination machine may be the most cost effective investment if you are a more enthusiastic sewer. They offer the flexibility to sew and embroider using the same machine as well as built-in designs that can help to personalise any project.

Many machines now come with a USB connector so additional software can be accessed via a PC. There is a wide range of embroidery softwares which will allow you to create your own designs, from images found on the net to pictures you have taken with your camera.

There are also some machines which now offer a cutwork tool which, will allow you to cut-out precise parts of your designs. Another great tool is a punchwork tool, this will allow you to punch holes into your project using the embroidery unit of your machine. A great finishing touch to this is to place gems, crystals or diamantes into your template which simply iron onto your project, leaving you a perfect crystal design.

Embroidery Only
If you are thinking of starting or already run a home businesses it may be wise invest in a slighter larger machine so bigger projects are more manageable. Embroidery machines can feature multi-needle technology that can help you complete mass projects a lot easier. Most are fully automated, you simply press start and the machine does all the work for you (whilst you sit back and enjoy a cup of tea!).

You can choose from a vast selection of built-in designs and most machines are compatible with most software, so additional designs can be created and downloaded.

Quilting
Quilting sewing machines are specifically designed to handle the precise requirements you need as a quilter, this includes a range of features that can make this hobby an art form. You will want to look out for a large work space and a knee lifter to make it easier to manoeuvre your project through the machine. The drop feed function on a quilting machine allows for free motion sewing making your project easier to handle.

Most quilting machines feature a walking foot wether it's a standard accessory or an optional accessory. A walking foot will keep pressure applied to your project at all times, this will ensure no slippage of materials.

There are also machines which can take motion sensor's this means the machine will only sew once it detect's movement of the fabrics/materials.

Overlock
Overlockers are finishing machines and are used to sew hems, trim excess fabrics, and overlock raw edges in one step to prevent fraying. Overlockers are ideal for your simple projects such as clothing alterations and sewing knitted fabrics. We have a wide range of overlocking machines for you to choose from, featuring different thread types which can eliminate puckering and rippling on the fabric.

Most overlockers include a free-arm/flat bed convertible sewing surface for easy control when overlocking cuffs and sleeves, saving time and producing professional results.


If you are still unsure about your needs, please give us a call on 0208 5741750 or 0208 5741587 for expert advice.

 

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