If you have fallen in love with sewing like us and am dreaming of owning your own sewing machine, this article is perfect for you!
“Which sewing machine should I buy?’ is a common question we often receive at Fashion Makerspace.
Ever seen those classic black sewing machines lying around in your grandparents’ or parent’s place? These machines are often from brands such as Janome, Elna, Bernina, Pfaff, Singer & Juki and can probably still work after some repair work and TLC – they were built to last a long time!
If you do not own a classic sewing machine, here’s 2 questions you need to ask yourself:
Question 1: How often do I foresee myself using this machine?
Question 2: What will I be sewing?
Usage: Infrequent, and mostly for clothes
If the above is your answer, most domestic machines would be good enough. What we always recommend and cannot stress enough is the importance of testing the sewing machine before deciding. Test the machines on very thin fabrics like crepe de chine or chiffon and very thick fabrics, such as 4-6 layers of denim. The outcome will help you decide which sewing machine to purchase!
Some mechanical machines are good and strong like the Singer Heavy Duty, but they may not stitch very evenly when it comes to handling buttonholes. Computerized machines are another option and they are definitely getting more fancy, with speed control for novice sewers, variations of stitches and patterns and even inbuilt embroidery with customisation options.
Entry-level computerized machines start off in the $400 range upwards and will hit $1000 once they have embroidery functions. If you are looking for something fuss-free, you can even go for features like the auto-cutter to finish cutting of your threads with a push of a button, or some just do it automatically once you finish sewing and backstitching.
Honestly, with the advent of OEM, many brands quality and features are starting to converge together. Big companies like SVP Worldwide have now taken ownership of Singer, PFAFF, Husqvarna Viking and Brother themselves have been dominating the market increasingly especially in the recent years, heavily investing themselves in creating newer and better models each time.
Usage: High and multi-purpose
If your answer to question 1 is high, we will recommend to invest a little to make your sewing process a breeze.
For this category, we do not recommend machines below $300 as there is a high chance you will see yourself replacing it soon when the mechanism starts to wear and tear and you feel that it’s not strong enough to take on your heavy duty projects.
There are 2 brands that we would like to highlight for this category. First is the Juki and Janome semi-industrial machine, it has the power of a industrial machine, with the ‘portability’ of a domestic machine. Though portable, it’s still rather heavy, making it amazing for steady sewing through ultra-thin or ultra-thick fabrics! With the benefits mentioned, it does come with a downside of only being able to sew straight lines- just like a dedicated industrial machine.
If you have a slightly higher budget, we will recommend you to check out Bernina (or their more affordable series – Bernette), an elite brand that many rave about in the West. Heavily equipped with quilting functions and great for thin and thick fabrics alike, it’s the Apple of the sewing world with a cult-like following but has some level of inflexibility in his ensemble – you would need a Bernina bobbin, Bernina footers that can only be worn by a Bernina machine, much like Cinderella.
[Bernina B380 https://www.bernina.com.sg/bernina/b380]
In order to really answer the question ‘Which sewing machine should I buy’, once again, we recommend you to go to the shops and test out the machines, and ask yourself the 2 questions:
How often do you foresee yourself using this machine? AND What will you be sewing?
If you ever are interested to know whether you need an overlock or serger machine as well, we will cover that in the next blog article!
In no particular order, these are some of the Sewing Machine shops we frequent in Singapore:
Courts https://www.courts.com.sg (Brands: Singer, Brother, Husqvarna Viking)
Sewing Guru https://www.sewingguru.com (Brands: Janome, Juki, Brother, Singer, Husqvarna Viking)
Ghim Soon http://ghimsoon.com/ (Brands: Bernina, Bernette, Janome, Juki, Brother, Singer, Husqvarna Viking)
Sing Mui Heng http://www.singmuiheng.com/ (Brands: Brother, Bernina)
Bernina https://www.bernina.com.sg/ (Brands: Bernina, Bernette)