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I recently had a friend decide that she’d like to take up sewing. The first question she had for me is, “What machine should I buy?” While I think that’s a difficult question to answer (I equate buying a sewing machine to buying a car – while I may like one particular model, it may not work for you), we were able to ‘narrow down the field’ a bit by determining what she might like to do with her sewing machine and how much she might want to spend.

There are 3 styles of machines: mechanical, computerized and electronic.

The best way to describe mechanical sewing machines is to say they have ‘all the basics’. Knobs and dials are used to change the settings on the machine which make for a bit less precise stitch than it’s electronic and computerized counterparts. ‘Higher end’ mechanical machine may have several decorative or utility stitches. Mechanical sewing machines will be the most affordable.

Computerized machines will be the most expensive style. These machines not only do a variety of utility and decorative stitches, but have the capability of creating embroidery designs. Some machines will only accept cards with designs loaded on them, while others can be linked directly to your computer.

Electronic sewing machines are a ‘hybrid’ between mechanical and computerized other styles. These machines offer a larger variety of utility and decorative stitches, several styles of buttonholes, and very possibly an alphabet, but will not allow you to do embroidery. Electronic machines will typically have an LCD screen that allows you to make adjustment to your stitches – giving more precision in your sewing.

Which type of sewing machine do you use?

35 Comments

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    Apr 19, 2011, 09.10 AMby dreamfast

    Well, I’m using a mechanical machine. I could almost say this in the past tense, because about two weeks ago the bobbin of this particular machine started malfunctioning and it’s a bit a no go… I’m having hard time replacing it due to the fact that it was made in the late ‘80s. I might find the replacement in some flee market, I suppose, but it’s a question of time, really. While I was crying my heart out over my dearest Seagull (it’s name), my mom mentioned that she’s got an old pass-me-down machine. So, boy oh boy, I went and claimed it for my own (because she didn’t want or need it). And it turned out to be an old Singer, made around ‘70s, all bruised and battered, but in perfect working condition. I spent some time getting used to it, but it’s (almost) OK now. My mom told that she tried using it, but decided it has some problems. Well, it was my MOM who had the problem, not the machine, because she didn’t know how to adjust it (and no wonder, cause she’s still using a machine that she inherited from her mom, very crude and simple). So, all in all, I’m still mechanical (which is a bonus, like someone mentioned above – I can actually see the problem if there is one and fix it). And both of my machines (one on vacation at the moment) have decorative stitches, so I have nothing to complain about. The nice change, concerning Singer, is that it works really quietly, so I can do quite a lot of work late in the evening. And it’s a fact that I wouldn’t say NO to a new, computerized or electronic sewing machine if I got one (fat chance)! But at the moment I am completely satisfied with my mechanical friends ;)

    1 Reply
  • Missing

    Apr 19, 2011, 01.56 AMby Jodie St. Clair

    I used to have a mechanical machine, but bought a electronic one last year and now I can’t believe I used to sew without it! It is so precise and has a lot of features that help me save time. Plus I like using an occasional decorative stitch.

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    Apr 19, 2011, 01.05 AMby aerianaeve

    I use my mom’s sewing machine, a hefty ol’ Elna you might name Bess. I love that when something is wrong, I can usually fix it just by peering around a bit, (unlike a computer where any number of things can cause an issue that I just can’t see) but it’s so heavy and loud I tend to use it only in spurts.

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    Apr 18, 2011, 05.50 PMby aniomatronika

    I have a mechanical one and i think that it’s enough for domestic use.

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    Apr 18, 2011, 03.12 PMby bodicegoddess589

    I have a mechanical machine – specifically, a Husquvarna Viking Emerald 116. And I LOVE it. I think I like mechanical machines for the same reason I drive a Jeep Wrangler with a manual transmission. I need something with durability, utility, and I like to have a lot of control over the machine.

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