Maybe you’ve been sewing for a long time or maybe you just stumbled on Creative Fashion Blog for the first time. Either way, to complete most of the projects on this site, you’ll need the best sewing machine! If your trusty old friend is finally starting to break down, or your getting ready to take the plunge and buy one for the first time, this post if going to save you sooooo much time and headache!
There are a few little tricks and strategies that make shopping for a sewing machine incredibly simple. I’ll walk you through each step so you understand why some are more expensive than others, where to shop, and what adds the most value. (If you want to skip these tips and jump to my inexpensive recommendations, you can find them at the bottom of this page.)
But which sewing machine is the best buy? After all, there are so many out there and they all look so similar but vary so much in price. If you buy one for less than $100, will it even hold up?
Well my friend, I’ve got some incredible news for you. Not only can you actually buy a legitimately great sewing machine, you can do it for less than $150….. Even less than $100 sometimes.
When I started sewing, I inherited my moms old singer sewing machine. I loved that Singer. It’s name was Frank. Yes, I name my sewing machines. Frank lasted through tough canvas and fabrics I had no business working with. The poor little guy. I miss him. But after his passing, (and a brief mourning period) I was forced to put myself out there again and start looking for someone new.
Here are a few things to consider when you are shopping for the best sewing machine for you:
3 Money Saving Tips:
Shop Refurbished Or Used Machines
I was terribly afraid of refurbished sewing machines for the longest time, but the one I have now has lasted longer than my previous ones despite it’s “refurbished” title.
A refurbished sewing machine just means that the first time it was shipped, there was a problem that caused it to be delivered back to the factory and get re-made. After any repairs, the factory only re-sells the machine after it has passed a series of tests and proven to function as effectively as any other machine. Basically, you just had your new sewing machine serviced by the factory that made it instead of a small repair shop. What this means for you is also major savings and even more bang for your buck.
Used machines can be picked up almost anywhere. I once bought one from a thrift store (but it didn’t work well.) I have also purchased massive, industrial machines from Craigslist that held up incredibly. Yes, you’ll have to service even the best sewing machine every once in awhile but everything of value needs maintenance.
Opt for Quality Over “Extras”
If money is tight and you want to buy the best sewing machine available, always opt for quality over extra features. When it comes down to it, you’ll likely only be using a few basic stitches to make each project. Spending more money on decorative stitch options will eventually be a waste of money.
Decide What You’ll Be Working With Before You Shop
Like a lot of people, I have a problem with “shiny object syndrome.” I decide what I need, head off to the store, and then discover there are sooooo many other cool features that I “might need” later.
To avoid this, take a pen to paper and jot down what you are actually shopping for and avoid leaving with something excessive or unreasonable. For example, if you are planning on using your new sewing machine primarily on clothes, you can save a lot of money buy purchasing a smaller, more compact machine. It will also take up less space in your closet in between projects and usually will be simpler to use. On the other hand, if you plan on making large quilts, you will likely want a larger machine (maybe even with suction cups on the bottom) to prevent it from sliding around on your table while you are working with large, bulky pieces of fabric. Make sense?
Minimum Features In The Best Sewing Machine
Save money by making sure the sewing machine you’re about to buy has these features at a minimum!
In general, the more expensive sewing machines will have lots of extra features. While it can be fun to add extra embellishments or stitch details, they are never necessary and often hike the price of the best sewing machine up quite a bit. At a minimum, you are looking for a sewing machine with a straight stitch (which you will use for almost every project) a zig zag stitch, and a button-hole stitch.
If at all possible, I recommend looking for a machine with a knit stitch (or stretch stitch.) These stitches will look like a lightening symbol or a triple stretch stitch on your machine. They are awesome for sewing stretchy fabrics and other knits without popping any threads. Often, in my tutorials I refer to a basic zig zag stitch for these fabrics simply because I like to keep my tutorials as simple as possible. However, if you have the option of using a knit stitch, your project will come out even better. 😉
If you are buying your sewing machine used, be sure to ask for the extra attachments and manual or instructional DVD. Often, the seller overlooks these items and they can make a world of difference while you are working.
In general, your sewing machine should come with the basic attachments inside the box. While the attachments you’ll need will be specific to what you plan to make, it’s important to have a few basics: a zipper foot, a walking foot, and a button-hole foot. Worst case scenario, if you ever need extra attachments and feet, you can buy them from the manufacturer later on for $20-$50 each.
To ensure your new sewing machine comes with all the attachments you’ll need, I recommend looking at models that are tailored to your interests. For example, I have been using the Brother Project Runway Sewing Machine for the last several years since it was designed specifically for people who make their own clothes. It came with all the attachments I need to make nearly anything I want.
The 15 Best Sewing Machines For Under $150
Last but not least, I have scoured the internet to bring you 15 of the best sewing machines from the best manufactures for less than $150. Scroll through the images, click on something you like for more information, and have fun! Happy making!
Projects You Might Like:
The 7 Days Of Creativity Challenge
A FREE series to define your style, makeover your closet, and get in touch with your creativity.