Sewing machines span from less than a hundred dollars to closer to a thousand. What is the difference? What features are useful?
When I was in grade school, I used to use the OLD machine that we had around the house. The tension was always off, and I was forever screwing around with the bobbin and untangling thread.
I started sewing as an adult with a $79 refurbished Singer I got at JoAnn's. It was magical. It sewed straight and zig-zagged, and rarely tangled up the threads. I was hooked. I used it for a few hours a day for a year, then it started making a noise. I took it to a local repair shop, and he explained that I should have been cleaning it regularly by opening it up and getting the lint out (huh?) and I should have also been oiling that particular model. Hmm... Its parts were all plastic, and he explained that he could fix it for a hundred bucks, or offered a trade-in by discounting a model they offered.
I took him up on the trade-in, and got a BabyLock Creative Pro. I LOVE it. It doesn't need to be oiled ever, its parts are metal (read: 25-year life span), and all I need to do to keep it purring along it to get the lint out every so often and put in a new sharp needle every so often. The electronic screen makes choosing stitches very easy, and I love the drop-in bobbin. I never need to thread the bobbin. It automatically leaves the needle down when you stop sewing. It pulls the fabric along when I sew, and I use the different stitches regularly. It is great, and makes sewing easier.
Fancier machines than mine have more features for quilting and for embroidery, which I haven't spent time doing and didn't see in my near future.
If you are looking for a new machine lower on the cost spectrum, I would recommend the Brother Sew Advance Sew Affordable. It has a drop-in bobbin (it can be so frustrating to thread a bobbin, especially at first) and a lot of stitches to choose from. Brother is a reputable company. It looks like a great intro to sewing machine.
Whichever you choose, make sure you spend a few days poking around on it with the manual open. Find an easy project or two and get a feel for how to manouever it. Have fun!
|This is the Creative Pro on their website. It doesn't look like the one I have.|
|This looks like mine. On the website, it is called the Grace.|