Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sewing Machines

When I first bought my sewing machine in high school, I had these bright eyes and this hope in my heart that I'd become a cosplayer right off the bat and I'd be great in everything I do ever. We didn't have that many fabric stores, so I ended up buying a Singer machine from Walmart. It either *IS* this model or one very close to it. I got it for about $100.

It was a really simple model and it jammed up after my little cousins played with it. (Guess how annoyed I was when I came back down one day to sew a simple hem and found that the needle wouldn't even move!!) A few years down the line, my dad needed to do some hemming and VOILA! He fixed it for me. Hahaha. If only my dad had more motivation to do the things around the house. XD

Since then, I haven't had any problems. Growing up with this machine just made me used to it. I looked at the reviews and there are a lot of complaints, but I haven't had a problem with this one. It has everything I need and hasn't let me down yet. If you would rather not use this one, here are some (but not all!) things to look for in your next sewing machine.

  • Built-in Stitches
    • Take a look at what kind of stitches you'll get with your sewing machine. Most sewing machines come with basic stitches. I would recommend the straight stitch, the zig-zag stitch as well as options for zippers and buttonholes. There will be sewing machines with 70+ stitches to choose from, chances are you're only going to need 5 or 6 max.
  • Sewing Feet Included
    • Make sure your machine has the proper feet included for sewing. You'll need a standard foot (which should be good for the zig-zag stitch as well, at least for my model it is; otherwise, you should look for a straight-stitch foot and a standard foot), a zipper foot, and a buttonhole foot.
  • Bobbin Winder
    • I want to assume that most sewing machines have the bobbin winder, but I don't know enough to think of any machines that don't. Just check the specs and make sure that your machine has one of these. It'll save money from you needing to buy one on the side.
  • Cost
    • Cost is always a big one, and it was one of the main reasons why I ended up with the machine that I ended up with. Make sure you know how much you're going to use your sewing machine.  You will be tempted with the 70+ built-in stitches, but you have to think about whether you're really going to use them or not.

Now you've got your beautiful sewing machine. I have one helpful hint for you: DO NOT THROW AWAY THE MANUAL. It will explain a lot of sewing mechanics to you and will help you a bunch as you learn to sew. Don't throw it away. I repeat, DON'T THROW IT AWAY.

Most questions that you have about your sewing machine (how to switch stitches, how to sew a button with your machine, how to sew a zipper with your machine, how to use the bobbin winder, FAQs, etc) will be in that manual.

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