Making the move from hand sewing to a sewing machine can lead to some confusion. There are hundreds of sewing machine styles, sewing supplies, and accessories that can leave you wondering which is better for your needs. Before you settle on a machine, consider the three things that every beginner should know about buying their first sewing machine.
The first thing you need to do is determine what kind of projects you will primarily be working on. If you will be handling simple projects like curtains, pillows, or even cloth nappies for diapering your baby then a standard three stitch machine will work well. These machines are often less expensive and have three basic stitches which are the straight, zig-zag, and buttonhole. These machines will usually be able to handle lighter fabrics like cotton and heavy fabrics, such as denim.
If you want to do more advanced projects, or work your way up to advanced options, then you may want to get a machine that does a little bit of everything. These machines will have several stitch options, accessories, and may even have a computer panel that allows you to input and download designs for various projects like embroidery.
Location of the Machine
One thing that some people overlook is the location for their sewing machine. If you have a sewing or craft room then you may be able to handle a larger machine for your sewing needs. This will also give you a location for your sewing supplies. If you don't have a craft or sewing room, then you may want to consider a sewing machine with a cabinet that allows you to hide the sewing machine when it isn't in use. This gives you not only a cabinet for the machine, but a dual use flat surface as a table or desk.
Drop Feed or Side Feed
One of the things that you may find is that some sewing machines offer a drop feed option for your thread while others offer a side feed. This is something that is completely up to you, but if you are new and have never used a side feed, a drop feed may be ideal. You can clearly see any issues with a drop feed, while a seed feed may be more difficult for you. Try both and see which one feels better before settling on a style.
If you aren't sure about any of your choices, consider speaking to a professional sewing machine consultant. They can help you decide which machine is ideal for you and help you with questions you have about needles, projects, and storage of your machine.