There are so many different brands, types and models of sewing machines, shopping for one can get very overwhelming especially if you are new to sewing. Our instructors often get asked by students which sewing machine they should purchase hence we have decided to create this guide for beginners looking to purchase their very first sewing machine!
Every sewist has different needs and wants in a sewing machine. We recommend spending some time writing down what you plan to use the sewing machine for. For example, what kind of projects do you plan to sew? Clothing? Quilts? Home decor items? Bags? What types of fabric will you be sewing with? Mainly cottons and polyester or thicker fabrics like denim, canvas and leather?
What are the different types of sewing machines?
Sewing machines can be categorised into domestic sewing machines for home use and industrial machines which are mainly used in factories for production. However, a domestic sewing machine can still be further broadly categorised by motor type - mechanical and computerised.
Mechanical sewing machines are more traditional and operates using a system of gears and levers. They do not come with a display screen and all settings are being controlled and adjusted by using the knobs/sliders on the machine.
The types of stitches that comes with a mechanical sewing machine are often quite basic but the machines are very reliable and some may find it more of a workhorse.
Computerised sewing machines on the other hand can get quite fancy. These machines have a display and comes with lots of programmed stitches to enhance your projects. They may also include additional features such as speed control, automatic thread cutter and automatic needle up/down function.
However because of these additional functions, computerised sewing machines may cost more.
It is easy to get distracted by the bells and whistles of a computerised sewing machine however, always look back at the list you've written at the start and ask yourself whether you need all of these functions or would they end up being a white elephant.
Some may find mechanical sewing machines easier to use as there isn't so many buttons and functions to learn. On the other hand, others may prefer a computerised sewing machine as the automatic functions helps aids them in their sewing.
We always recommend students to try out the different kinds of sewing machine before deciding on one to see which is more suitable. Head down to any of the sewing machine distributors listed below to test them out and find a sewing machine that best fits your sewing goals and budget.
A list of sewing machine distributors in Singapore:
1. Ghim Soon Machinery Pte Ltd
82 Lorong 23 Geylang, #04-07
2. Ban Soon Sewing Machine Pte Ltd
431 Clementi Ave 3, #01-328
3. Guan Lee Long Sewing Machine
Blk 52 Chin Swee Road, #01-61
If you're unsure whether sewing would be a long term hobby and don't want to spend too much on a sewing machine, ask your family and friends if they have a spare sewing machine that has been lying around in their house untouched! If they don't, we also recommend searching Carousell for some good bargains on secondhand sewing machines. However, do beware of scams and always check with the seller on the condition of the sewing machine before purchasing.
We welcome our students to bring in their sewing machine for class so that you can be familiar with your own personal machine as you learn to sew.
The SewFun Team