What to Consider in Buying a Sewing Machine

So you’ve finally decided to get your own sewing machine. Congratulations!!!

But then you realize that there are a lot of options in the market and now the question is, which one to buy?

Don’t panic! For me, buying a sewing machine should not be complicated as long as you are crystal clear with what you need. Do not rush buying also, because your sewing machine will be your constant companion for years to come.

My Story and What You Can Learn From It

I acquired my very first sewing machine in 2013. It was a portable Brother sewing machine refurbished from Japan. Yes, I bought mine at Pier!

It was cheap! I got it for about Php 4,000 only, complete with a transformer and some accessories. The store owner kindly helped me pick from the many sewing machines available, and also demonstrated to us how to use it.

I was happy, until a week later, when it just stopped working.

I live far away from Pier and it will be too expensive to get a cab back and forth so I did not bother to return it.

My point here is – there’s nothing wrong in buying second hand machines, but my mistake was that I went there with no knowledge, no idea, of what I should look for or check. So make sure that if you decide to buy there, you have at least some basic knowledge of sewing machine operation, or at least tag along someone who does. If no one is available, I suggest just buy a brand new one.

My very first sewing machine – a refurbished Brother portable machine from Pier

A year later, I bought a Brother GS2700 at Automatic Center at Megamall, and still using it until now. 🙂

Here’s my list of what you should consider in buying your first sewing machine:

Budget

First, set your budget. A quick scan at Lazada can easily tell you that sewing machines can go as low as Php 1,399 up to Php 30,000 and more. I do not, however, advise buying those cheap unbranded sewing machines because they break easily and you will just end up frustrated. Best to go with either Brother (from Php 5,999) or Singer (from Php 6,400).

What Type of Machine?

If you have enough space and would be mostly sewing thick and/or stretch fabrics, and most especially if you plan to use it for business, go for Industrial Sewing Machine. Just note though that it costs more than portable machines, are heavy, and has louder sound. It’s also heavy so you cannot just move it around.

On the other hand, the main advantage of having a portable sewing machine is – you guessed it – its portability. You can basically sew anywhere! It’s the perfect home machine because it is lightweight, it’s relatively quiet, and has many optional accessories. Careful though because they make break easily especially if you’re using it everyday. They also have a hard time sewing thick fabrics.

Personally, I’ve been using my Brother GS2700 since 2014 for business. Considering that I am using it for several hours everyday, I’m pretty happy with its performance. It’s motor got replaced once already, and other than that I haven’t encountered any issues.

My Sewing Area. Here’s my Brother GS2700 Sewing Manchine and my Juki MO-50e serger

Functionality/Features

Next consider the features. My best advise at this point is this – don’t be blinded by the many stitches a machine has. The truth is, I am only using 2 stitches – straight and zigzag. Really, you don’t need a lot of fancy stitches especially when you are just starting.

Also, very convenient and very useful if the machine that you will get has an automatic needle threader. This saves my life especially during those night-time sewing!

Final Thoughts on Choosing Your Sewing Machine

As with any big purchases, it is important that you do your own research before heading out and buying your sewing machine.

In my almost five years of sewing, I’ve realized that sewing machines need not be fancy – at the end of the day, it’s your imagination and creativity that matters.