When you are new to sewing, looking for a sewing machine can be a tough job. With so many brands and models in the market, it can get confusing that you end up not knowing which one you should buy. Furthermore, with the different price range for different models, you are also likely to feel pressured to buy what you think is a better machine.
Actually, what you need to do before stepping into a shop is to assess your needs first. Be aware that different machines cater to different needs and skill levels. Not everyone needs a $1,000 machine but at the same time, you should not go for the cheapest model either without thinking.
Determine what you need a sewing machine for and the items you are going to sew first. For example, do you want to do embroidery? Are you going to work on thick materials regularly such as denim? Or do you just want a machine for the occasional repairs?
Once you know what your needs are, then you can start looking at the different machines and find out their features. Basically, you should narrow down your search to the ones that best fit your needs. That way, it is easier to do further research as you would have confined your selection down to a few models compared to the very beginning when you are faced with numerous choices.
Also, bear in mind that you can never get a perfect machine. There will be trade-offs in terms of price, features and other factors between one model and another. Furthermore, a sewing machine usually would not be able to last you a lifetime. This is not an issue on quality but the fact that you may end up outgrowing the machine as your skills improved over time.
If you have narrowed down your choices to a few models, but are uncertain which you should buy, try reading through consumer reviews for each of them. Usually, you will be able to find out a lot through these reviews such as durability, ease of use and pros and cons of the machine.
Nowadays, there are many online stores that also carry sewing machines and you can find pretty good bargains through these merchants. One big advantage is the lower price but the drawback is you would not be able to check it out physically prior to purchase. Sometimes, brick and mortar specialty stores can also help you to set it up and teach you how to use the machine before you bring it home as compared to buying it online.
This is the trade-off you need to make and it really depends on your budget and preferences. Do not forget to check out the merchant's return and warranty policies too. Then, you will have a better idea where you should buy your machine and what you are comfortable with.