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The free sewing article service of frequently asked questions in the world of sewing. Each week we will add a new article about a common sewing technique or problem. These sewing articles are brought to you by thesewingguru.com

We hope that you enjoy our sewing articles and that they answer some of the questions that you may have about sewing.


What is the best sewing machine to use?



The sewing machine allows the machinist to produce garments and furnishing items with a professional finish at speed and with ease. Many different types of machines are available from the manually operated to the computer programmed, and it is important to purchase a machine with at least the minimum of functions required, usually straight and zigzag stitches. Sewing machines have special machine feet and other attachments that are designed for specific tasks. These can generally be purchased separately. Sewing machines are available in a range of styles depending on there brands and ages but ultimately they all perform the same task at hand and that is to sew your projects with ease.

Once you decide to buy a sewing machine, take the time to carefully look over the products available on the market. As mentioned before there are many types of machines on offer so first you need to evaluate your sewing needs: do you plan to sew occasionally and need only a relatively simple machine or do you plan to sew a great deal and undertake complicated sewing projects? Of course price will play a roll in any decision you make.

Sewing machine sales centres provide detailed information and will explain and demonstrate the machines offered for sale. You should always try out the machines yourself. The machine should not be too complicated to operate, the buttons and levers should be well placed. Test the following: can the needle be easily threaded? Does the lamp light up the work surface properly? Does the machine move both heavy and light fabric evenly? Does the machine stop immediately when you remove your foot from the pedal? You should also ask what extra attachments come with the machine and where it can be repaired. The instruction manual should be detailed, easily understandable and have clear illustrations.

Choose the sewing feet as carefully as the machine but do not mix and match feet and attachments from different manufacturers as there is no guarantee they will work as they should. There are feet and attachments for hemming, edging, darning, making button holes and the overlock stitch, as well as for all kinds of decorative work  such as applique and attaching sequins and beads. For beginners and for all those who want to learn a new technique, taking a sewing course is an excellent idea.




Sewing machine types



The hobby and general sewing machine.

This entry level machine offers many useful stitches such as zigzag, stretch and blind stitches. Many machines have a built in button hole maker and can be used to sew buttons into garments. This machine type is an excellent beginners machine. It is also useful for simple alterations and repairs.


The electronic sewing machine.

Used mainly by the home sewer, the electronic machine has more than three times as many programmes for decorating and professional finishes as the hobby machine, including stretch and overlock stitches. It also has a buttonhole maker and an automatic needle threader.


The computerised sewing machine.

Along with a  large selection of all-purpose stitches, the computerized sewing machine offers many kinds of embroidery stitches. Using an attachment, these machines can often be transformed into a professional embroidery machine. Some come programmed with over 170 decorative stitches. They also offer features such as an automatic needle threader and can also be attached to a computer  to transfer data.


A word of advice from a real English tailor   

In the sewing industry there is a huge range of sewing machines available on the market today but I think the best sewing machine is the one that you feel most comfortable with. I personally use Bernina sewing machines because I like the design, the range of feet and accessories available. Personally I really like the quality of the stitching that Berninas produce. So the best advice from me is, go into a sewing machine centre and test out the sewing machine that you really like and purchase  the one that you feel most comfortable with.



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