Each year around this time, more and more videos pop up around the search for the best sewing and/or embroidery machines of that year. “The Best Machines of 2020” is an eye-catching way of getting you to watch a collage of promotional videos from different machine manufacturers without ever telling you which machine is actually the best. This blog entry is not that, but I did want to give you some things to think about if you are contemplating buying a new machine, either for yourself or for someone on your holiday list. I myself am the owner of machines from Husqvarna Viking, Pfaff and Brother, all of which I have purchased from Bonny’s Sewing and Fabric. I have owned Husqvarna Viking machines the longest. If you talk to five people who own five different brands of machines, they will give you five different opinions. That makes sense. I think you will find my advice here is more universal than brand-specific. I think of these as my rules for buying.
Rule #1: Assess your sewing. Take the time to look at what type of sewing you are currently doing and what you hope to sew in the future. If you are a quilter, for instance, do you think you might like to branch into some home décor sewing if you had a machine that made that easy? Are there certain accessories that would really enhance your sewing and do they fit the machine you are thinking of purchasing?
Rule #2: Look at the warranty on the machine. Are you someone who will be buying a less expensive machine that will meet your current needs or are you a person who buys for longevity? Understand that if you buy a machine at a big box or discount store it is not meant to last many years. Depending upon the machine, these units are meant, by the manufacturer, to be disposable machines: the manufacturers do not make replacement parts for them. If you are buying for longevity, you will want to purchase a more expensive machine with a more robust warranty that is meant to cover a repair, should something go wrong. You’ll also want to develop a relationship with the dealer who sells you the machine so you will have somewhere to go for help should you need it.
Rule #3: Buy as many features as you can afford. How much are you willing to put into this purchase? For example, if you are looking at embroidery machines, I suggest you buy the machine that offers you the largest hoop and the most amount of on-screen design editing you can afford. If you are looking for a sewing only machine, I would look for the one that offers you the most decorative stitches, the best stitch quality and the most ease of operation. I tend to buy a machine based upon my potential so I can grow as a sewer. I want to learn new techniques and learn new skills, not just continue at the same level at which I sew now. Each machine I have ever purchased has had new features that I was sure I would never use, but features I ended up using on a regular basis.
Rule #4: Make a promise to yourself! The amount of money you are willing to spend on a new machine is usually directly proportional to your commitment to its use. I have heard many customers say they don’t use their machine enough to justify the price tag. For me, I sew every week because I promised myself I would. Since I have put a lot of money into the machines I decided to buy, I have made a personal commitment that I will make time to justify that price tag by using the machines a lot. This comes in the form of garment sewing for me and my family, sewing our gifts, sewing our home décor items and sewing for charity. Don’t try to use the machine often: make a commitment and keep it.
I hope these rules help you. Have a great week and Happy Sewing!