You may be thinking about purchasing your very first sewing machine. Or maybe it is time for you to be buying another one? In any case, you probably already did a search and realized how varied the price of a sewing machine may be.
So, are you asking yourself whether there is any correlation between a sewing machine and price? If so, carry on reading, as I will try to explain what the price of a sewing machine may depend on.
What is in the price?
Sewing machines are super complex gadgets and they literally amaze me every single time I use one in the way they work. If you think about it, not only is the top thread stitching along as you sew, but it goes through the fabric, loops the bottom thread, and repeats this motion in a split of a second. Amazing!
So really, the price does reflect the capability of sewing machines. Hundreds of tiny parts need to work with each other in perfect coordination to create your perfect sewing project. It might be my technical background, but I am in awe as to how sewing machines work.
I guess this is the reason why sewing machines are not sold for a dollar or pound!
Does the price depend on sewing machine type?
Absolutely! The phrase ‘sewing machine’ will describe a vast group of machines – domestic, industrial, mechanical, electronic, overlockers, embroidery machines.
As a general rule of thumb, the larger, more specialized and more rare a machine is, the more expensive it will be. Domestic machines are a fraction of the price compared to industrial equivalents, mainly because the latter ones have to be built to withstand enormous quantity and volume.
As for domestic machines, many mechanical ones will be considered as budget lines, followed by their electronic counterparts. By far the most expensive sewing machines for home use will be overlockers, also known as sergers, and embroidery machines.
What should I pay?
Very good question! Whenever I am asked this question, it is normally for a starter sewing machine. For this type of machine, my recommendation always is to start off with a budget, mechanical sewing machine. The reason for this is that at this stage you want to learn how to use a sewing machine, how to complete a few projects, understand how a sewing machine works and find the correlation between settings and results.
That is so much to learn in one go! So do you really need the added complication of using an electronic sewing machine, or will you be using 30 different stitches at the very beginning? The answer to both of these questions is most likely no. All of this will come with time and you will get to a stage when you will want to upgrade your machine. At that point you will be considering all of these points again.
So speaking about budget, mechanical sewing machines, again the price will vary. This will depend on the brand, model and capability of the machine. However, I would estimate that you will be able to purchase a decent first sewing machine in the region of $120 or £100.
Where will I get best price?
As with most purchases nowadays, you will have a choice of two purchase methods – either in-store or online. When in-store, you will be able to have a look a various makes and models, maybe even try a few out!
On the other hand, if you do know what you are looking for and you do have a specification in mind, chances are that there may be some very good online deals available for the purchase of that machine.
Obviously another option would be to purchase a used machine. However, a word of caution with such option – make sure you know what you are purchasing. Even better would be to try the specific machine out before purchasing, although this is not always possible. I personally know of a few incidents when used machines have been missold, and the purchaser received a machine different to description, specifically as far as condition is concerned.
Used machines may have faults that are not disclosed by sellers, and unless you notice them at point of purchase, you might not even know about them until you start using the machine.
My personal advice would therefore be to decide what sewing machine you are interested in, and to then search for that specific model online.
Do you pay for what you get?
In my personal experience, this is a yes and no type of question. You certainly do not need a top of the price range model as a starter machine just to get into sewing and to learn how a machine works. A budget model will be more than sufficient for this.
The very first sewing machine that I bought was a budget start range, which was also reflected by its price. However, until this day I use that specific machine on a regular basis. At the time I was searching for a machine that could sew. What I received was much more than that! With time, I realized that this budget machine can feed double threads. Then, with further practice, I noticed that I could adjust settings and the foot, and use the same machine for quilting. Afterwards, I learned freestyle embroidery, and that very first sewing machine is the one I use for this technique.
My last piece of advice is to avoid sewing machines that seem super cheap for what they are. A friend of mine bought one and it has actually put her off sewing altogether, since the quality of sewing had a lot to wish for. The footer wasn’t capable of pressing the fabric, inserting a zip turned out to be hard work, and overall these machines will not demonstrate to you what an amazing piece of equipment a sewing machine is.
So just to sum up, I would say don’t buy something that seems to cheap for the product, but on the other hand, there is no need to pay a fortune for a starter machine.
Comment below about your own experiences, it will be great to hear from you!