But is having a sewing machine enough? No, it isn’t. You need to be familiar with the various uses of sewing machines. You also need to familiarize yourself with the different types of sewing machines; there are mechanical, electronic and computerized sewing machines.
What is also important is that before embarking on getting a sewing machine for you; take it as a very important investment. And worthwhile investments are not made by guesswork; there are various factors to be considered. This article provides you with useful information and tips on most of the things a beginner needs to know about sewing machines.
Uses and Benefits of a Sewing Machine
A sewing machine is used to make stitches on fabric. It is used to hold pieces of fabric together with the use of a thread.
As we learned from science classes, machines are made to make work easier for human beings. So are the sewing machines; they are designed to make sewing easier for human beings.
Traditionally, people used to sew clothes and fabrics manually with manual threading that proved hard and strenuous especially to the eyes. Although manual sewing is still in practice till to date, the inception of sewing machines has made everything concerning sewing easy and quick.
Sewing machines also help to produce neat stitches a variety of sewing patterns and decorative features.
Types of sewing machines
The industry has evolved so much in the recent past from producing mechanical machines, to electronic then computerized sewing machines. Today, all these types of machines are available giving customers an opportunity to choose the one they feel is best for their needs. Others are combined with electronic and computerized features to ease the process of sewing.
Here is an overview of the three types of sewing machines.
Mechanical Sewing Machines
Mechanical machines are the first type of sewing machines to be produced. The ones used by our mothers and grandmothers. They make use of basic features like knobs and manual adjustments.
However, mechanical sewing machines are less expensive and are the simplest type of sewing machines in terms of usability and construct.
Electronic Sewing Machines
Electronic sewing machines possess improved sewing stability and precision. They consist of more advanced features that offer elevated utility and decorative abilities than the mechanical machines. For example, the adjustment knobs are replaced with buttons that only require a single press for a change in settings. They are however expensive than the mechanical machines.
Computerized Sewing Machines
The computerized sewing machines are more advanced than the mechanical and electronic machines. They are designed with features like USB ports that enable the user to connect to a computer and also program it with repetitive sequences of designs and stitches. The computerized machines offer a higher utility and variety of options in terms of decorations.
Note: We have sewing machines that combine some electronic and computerized features. The same applies to an application of both mechanical and electronic techniques.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Sewing Machine for Beginners?
Buying a sewing machine can be overwhelming especially for a beginner who has no idea of what she should get. It gets worse when you get to see the various options the market presents you with.
Wipe the sweat! There are very many articles with information regarding what to consider when buying sewing machines. I will share some of the considerations to make here.
Consider Your Sewing Needs
For a beginner, you should start by acknowledging the fact that you are a beginner and not a pro. Secondly, identify your need; do you need a machine to help you learn how to sew? Do you need a sewing machine that you can grow into? Do you intend to take sewing as a full-time engagement? Is the sewing machine for an adult or a child?
Consider your sewing expectations too, whether the idea of sewing is long-term or short-term. Figure out your plans for the future. As you start out with a few light fabrics and work, will you at some point want to venture into professional sewing dealing with all kinds of fabrics and long periods of sewing?
Having these questions sorted out will help you get the best sewing machine that will cover your needs and expectations fully.
How Much Are You Willing/Ready to Spend?
Having defined your needs, expectations and acknowledged your skill level. You should be able to set a budget. Or better still, before you proceed to buy a sewing machine, you should know how much money you are willing to let go.
Many good machines out there do not necessarily require you to spend all your savings on them. Having a $200 budget limit is okay. For this limit, you will get a variety of sewing machines with quality features for a beginner. What’s more, a $200 budget gives you room for adjustment up to the $100 mark. Just remember that budget does not mean cheap and that cheap is in truth expensive.
Where Can You Get the Best Sewing Machines?
There are very many places from where you can buy a sewing machine. With a defined need and a set budget getting a good sewing machine from whatever place shouldn’t be hard.
There is the option of online stores; place like Amazon offer a great variety of sewing machines at great prices. Furthermore, buying a sewing machine from online is advantageous since you will get everything you need from there. From information on various brands and models to the price range of each, not forgetting the very many customer reviews based on their experiences with their specific machines.
You can also choose to buy your machine from a local store. What is important is to ensure that you buy it from a trusted dealer.
Decide on Which Machine You Want to Buy
As you have read above, there are three types of sewing machines; we have mechanical, electronic and computerized sewing machines. Each of the three machines has added features that are absent in the previous make. Now, you as the buyer and the user have to decide which machine you think are best for you.
Know that your budget has a great impact on the type of machine you can buy. Mechanical machines are less expensive while electronic machines cost a little more than the mechanical machines. Computerized machines are more advanced and are therefore bound to cost more.
Additionally, if you are set on a specific brand or model then go for it that is if your budget allows.
An important tip is to make use of your research abilities.
Test the Usability and Functionality of the Machine Beforehand
The main advantage that comes with buying a sewing machine from a local store is the ability to practice on and test the usability of the machine.
Take a few pieces of fabric with you to the store and try sewing on the machine. Find out, how easy it is to sew on the machine? How much noise does it produce? How much control do the feed dogs provide? Check out the quality of the stitches it creates on the fabric; are they tangled or bunched up?
Evaluate the functionality of the features it presents. Check out the ability to adjust stitch lengths and stitch widths. Look at the button holes; does it produce clear button holes? Is it easy to use?
Determining the ease of use of a machine is essential especially for a starter, you don’t want to buy a machine that will make you run up down due to its complexity or poor functionality.
To get the right sewing machine, you need to compare both the positives and negatives. Relying on the positives and choosing to ignore the negatives will make you buy something that may end up to be defective or inefficient. The most appropriate way to get to learn of some pros and cons of a sewing machine is by looking through the many materials/articles posted online. There are many sources of information on such on Google. All you need to do is to type in the specific keyword, and multiple results will pop up.
Last but not least, remember the money is yours and that you are the one going to use the machine do not let your local dealer convince you of what they think are the best. Some may be genuine with the advice while some may just be trying so hard to clear stock. Be wise.
How to Use a Sewing Machine (for Beginners)
You might be getting confused on how to get started with your newly acquired sewing machine. But don’t worry; this simple guide will help you learn how to use your sewing machine in very few easy steps.
Step I: Position Your Sewing Machine
Ensure that your machine is properly positioned. The needle is supposed to be on the right hand-side while the body of the machine on your left hand-side. The chair you will be using should also be comfortable; one that will not strain your back.
Step Ii: Thread Your Machine
Before threading, you should install a needle onto the machine and make sure it is installed securely. You can refer this from the user manual.
Secondly, wind the bobbin by placing the bobbin spool on the bobbin winder. Then slide the thread onto the threaded spindle and then from the spindle to the next thread.
Now pull out a piece of the thread and insert through the thread holder, guide one end of the thread onto the bobbin and wrap it round. Turn on the bobbin winder and let the thread wind around the bobbin until the capacity is okay/the bobbin is full.
Remove the bobbin from the bobbin winder and put it in the bobbin cage.
To thread your needle, with the basic machine you only have to drop your needle using the hand wheel and then pull it back up. When the needle is pulled up it will have the bobbin thread with it. If your machine is more advanced, then refer from your instructional manual on the appropriate steps of threading.
Step Iii: Select Stitch Type
From the stitch length adjustment, select your preferred stitch length. For first time sewing, go for a straight stitch with medium length.
Note that different machines come with different varieties of stitches. But the straight stitch is usually the first. Like indicated above, start with a straight stitch.
Step Iv: Start Sewing With a Simple Piece of Fabric
Choose a small piece of material, preferably scrap material.
Fold the material into two and place it on the machine under the needle; So that the needle can go down the material and up.
After you have lined the material correctly, lower the presser foot, this is to secure the material when sewing.
Then use the hand wheel to lower the needle onto the material. Remember that while doing this, your foot should be on the foot pedal, press the foot pedal downwards in a gentle motion and start sewing.
Make use of your hands to direct the material through the stripe. Sew a few stitches and stop to check the quality of the stitch you just made.
Hint: Start with small pieces of fabric and with the simplest stitches as you progress onwards.
You can practice with all the stitch types, patterns just to learn how each one of them looks, and works.
Having made a decision to be a sewer or to learn to sew, it is imperative that you take the necessary measures and steps to familiarize yourself with the basics of sewing and the sewing machines. Get to know the structure of a sewing machine, the parts involved in sewing with their functions and the different uses of sewing machines.
Since you will also need to acquire a sewing machine of your own, it is important to know the three types of sewing machines, the difference between a mechanical, electrical and computerized sewing machine. Look through the various reviews with information on different brands and models of sewing machines. Customers reviews will help you gather information besides gaining insight on what various brands and models have to offer in terms of features, functionality and price.