When I decided that I wanted to start sewing, in a typically Amy fashion, I wanted to start sewing immediately! I was so excited at the prospect of something new to learn, I just wanted to run out, grab a machine and give it a spin. There is so much great advice out there online, and none of it said what I wanted to hear, which was “pick a machine, they’re all just fine, just order one online and go for it!”. Needless to say, I ignored all of the advice available to me, and yet here I am, still happily sewing!
Here are the things I learnt by choosing a sewing machine the “Amy way”:
1) Whichever machine you buy for your first machine, it will be the best decision you could have made, knowing what you knew at the time that you bought it! No regrets!
2) All sewing machines sew … some of them might make learning to sew slightly more seam ripper heavy, but fundamentally, you can sew stuff!
3) You can buy a really cheap machine and still sew some quite cool stuff – you just really need it to have different feet. The real essential – a zipper foot!
4) You don’t absolutely have to test a sewing machine before buying one. If you don’t know anything about sewing with a really nice machine, you won’t know any different!
5) For the majority of projects you need a straight stitch and a zig zag stitch. Unless you buy a Hello Kitty toy children’s machine, whichever machine you choose, it will do that. (Hell, I may even be doing Hello Kitty a disservice – those machines might do that too!) Do not get distracted by all of the fancy stitches on more expensive models – they are fun but rarely used!
6) Having a machine that happily sews both forwards and backwards will improve your sewing life drastically. This was one of the great failings of my first machine and one of the things I love most about my upgrade. It didn’t stop me sewing though!
7) Know your machine’s limitations and when it will be time for an upgrade. When I started I wasn’t making a lifetime investment, I was testing something out that I thought I might enjoy. When I knew I would enjoy it, and I knew what kind of sewing I enjoyed, THEN I made my lifetime investment!
8) Do your absolute best not to be distracted by pretty coloured casings (I know how hard that can be!). Both my sewing machines have been white and funnily enough it makes no different to the outcome of my sewing projects!
If you are looking for a machine right now, I wish you lots of excitement and fun with your new toy! If you already have a machine, I’d love to hear about how you chose your first!