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What do you look for when buying a new/used Sewing Machine?

I am starting a little boutique store, and coming more from the angle of furniture repair. I have little sewing experience, and now I really want to learn the basics. I want a decent machine that will let me get creative. maybe with various materials…. What are the various options on a sewing machine, and what makes them valuable? I have seen $ 5 thrift store versions up to $ 400 models with digital readouts. Any buying tips?

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13 Responses to “What do you look for when buying a new/used Sewing Machine?”

  1. joyceeleann says:

    if my hubby can use it or not! He he

  2. wilderone74 says:

    that it works before i purchase it

  3. da_hammerhead says:

    What I look for? Made in the USA

  4. truthful says:

    i have never in my life head a guy ask about a sewing machine

  5. dances_with_unicorns1955 says:

    I’ve been sewing since I was about 11 years old, and I’m 51 now. The most important consideration to me in a used machine is whether or not all the parts run smoothly, and to make sure that nothing is bent. Allow it to run for a few moments without any thread in it at all, to be sure that you don’t get any rubbing or grinding, and that the needle moves freely. Also be sure that the tractor (the toothed feeder) works – otherwise, the cloth won’t feed through on its own, which would make sewing much more difficult. Be sure that the thread tension setting dials work, and that the presser foot lever works. Beyond that, the more bells and whistles a machine has on it, the more you will pay for it as a rule. Decide what you need a machine to do – not what the seller thinks you need.

  6. Patches6 says:

    Hummm…I have been told by a skilled repair person in the business for years that the older machines with steel gears are or were durable. The key is finding them…Find someone in your area who repairs them and ask…If you are wanting to work with heavier fabrics you would look more toward the commercial durable machines and please stress durable. Plastic gears and guts do not work for long. Different embroidery stitches are what alot of the more expensive machines are set up to do. It takes time to learn how to operate the expensive machines vs a short time learning a basic machine. Best of Luck…

  7. Penny says:

    When you buy a used machine you should try the machine out first . for $ 5. you are not going to get much. The options on a machine does a lot of things. go to Wal-Mart they have good machine at low cost.

  8. ernestine says:

    Depends on what you want to use it for. For routine hemming, taking in a skirt with a straight stitch, making simple garments, a flat bed that can be converted into a free arm is good. With a free arm you can fit the sleeve or pants leg over it. You can get a Singer with 25 to 35 fancy stitches. If you want to learn to embroider you want a computerized machine that stores stitches. They all can use a double or triple needle that makes a pretty stitch. TV’s Nancy Zieberman has useful DVD’s on sewing basics, embroidery and quilting. Nancy comes on public TV or look up Nancy’s Notions on the Internet. Nowadays, everyone is using sergers to finish raw seams on garments. It gives the garment that professional look inside that factory garments have. They run from around $ 200 and up. I wouldn’t sew without one if the garment doesn’t have a lining. Other features in a sewing machine is how the bobbin fits in–does it drop in or go in in the front, does it have a self threader (good for someone with poor eye sight). You may want to check to see if it’s quiet enough. High price models such as Bernina and Pfaff can run into a $ 1000 or more while Singer runs about $ 100 to $ 300 or more.As for fabrics that depends on the needle and presser foot sometimes. The thinner the fabric the smaller the needle–a size 8 needle for very thin fabric and about an 11 or 14 for medium and 16 for denim.

  9. handyman says:

    That all depends on what you wish to sew with.. I mean if you buy a used one or cheap one make sure it runs, and it sews properly and if you prefer the digital or something with more options on it. U get what U pay for.. I got my wife a nice little sewing machine, that is pretty much plain jane , but it does button holes, and does have several stitch opitions she says, and I paid like $ 129.00 for it.. It has a few other things it does also. She has had it 10 yrs now, and it still runs and looks brand new..

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