novice’s first (and last?) machine
I am looking to buy my first sewing machine and am really overwhelmed! I am fine buying on eBay or used from a dealer, but I don’t even know where to begin or what features to look for. All of the terms thrown around on discussion boards might as well be in a foreign language, so a salesperson could easily take me for a ride. I have learned that brand loyalty is very fierce, so there are highly-touted models from every brand on every discussion board — which doesn’t help me narrow my search. I don’t know which model numbers are good quality and which are being sold on eBay because they’re crap. Everyone says “the old Singers” or “the new Vikings,” but that doesn’t tell me anything. I got the Consumer Reports ratings, but they don’t help if I don’t know what all the details mean.
I sewed a little on my mom’s old Singer and am a very fast learner. My home ec. class did hand sewing only. I’m a crafter and have so many ideas that require access to a machine, I’d finally like to get my own. I’d also like to be able to do basic and advanced general sewing, mend (or even make) garments in a range of fabrics, have access to decorative stitches, and do detail work (like attaching trims and appliqués). Quilting and embroidery would be nice, as would electronic capabilities, but I realize those could really up the price tag. I can definitely spend $300 and may be able to go $400ish. I don’t even know if that’s a ridiculous amount to try getting a machine with or not. I’d like this machine to last me for a long time, since it’s a pretty big purchase. I don’t want a “starter model” that only does the baby basics (like the $99 models at Wal-Mart) because I want room to grow with this machine.
I may be describing an exact model perfectly with my expectations/desires, or I may be expecting too much. I don’t even know what features should be sacrificed in favor of price and which are standard. Weight doesn’t really matter to me, if that is a factor. In my ignorance of sewing machines, I desperately need some unbiased (non-salesperson) guidance here.
Thanks so much!