ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sewing 101: A Word About Sewing Machines

Updated on April 25, 2016

Your Most Important Piece of Equipment

Sounds rather serious when you put it that way. Now if you're a first time sewer you might or might not already have a machine. A lot of people seem to inherit them from friends or relatives either when the person upgrades to a better machine or when they stop using the machine for one reason or another.

If you already have a machine, that's great. Especially if you're a first time sewer, don't be picky. If the machine can do a straight line and you can figure out how to thread it properly, don't look that gift horse in the mouth! My first machine was a Singer that my mom got secondhand when bellbottoms were making their FIRST go round.

But if you don't have a machine or you're looking to get a better one, then let's talk about what you're planning to use that machine for.


Basics

The first thing you need to ask is what do you plan to do with the machine? Are you just going to be doing the occasional repair? Are you planning to make a wardrobe for your Scottish Terrier? Are you helping with costumes for a production of Phantom of the Opera? Are you recreating Betty Davis' gown from Jezebel? Are you making curtains?

You probably don't know EVERYTHING you're going to make with that machine and I don't blame you. Which is why it's a good idea to know your skill level and know what you need to be comfortable in that level and perhaps expand a little over time. If you are a first time sewer, you probably don't need a sixty stitch machine with fifteen different attachments and automatic tension gauge.

So my first suggestion is to go cheap. I don't mean buy a fifty dollar machine from Wal-Mart that will die the first time you try to sew anything heavier than gauze. Buy secondhand. The internet has made this much easier than before. Craigslist is popular and prices are usually pretty reasonable. There is the downside of places like that and that is that you don't know exactly what you're getting. Take someone with you who knows a bit about machines. Ask to play around with the machine, thread it or even stitch a seam or two. Get a feel for it before you commit.

Sewing machines come with all kinds of bells and whistles and we'll talk about them later. Most machines will come with a bunch of different feet, most commonly a standard feed foot and a buttonhole foot. You may have to purchase some special feet depending what you plan to do later with the machine but the good news is that feet are universal and can go between machines so if you decide to upgrade, then you can keep your special feet .


Source

One Last Thing

One last thing before I go. Right now, I have a Brother CS-6000i. It's a great little machine I got off of craigslist and I couldn't be happier with it. I don't want anyone out there thinking they need to rush out and buy one but I will give fair warning that that is what I work with. I will try to keep it in mind when I'm writing up the later posts so everyone knows that their machine might do more than mine can or might well do less.

In particular, my machine and a great many of the newer machines have automatic tension set up so that if you are sewing through tough fabric, it adjusts then readjusts when you change to lighter fabric. THIS IS NOT STANDARD ON ALL MACHINES. There is a way to adjust your tension and I will talk about it at a later date but for now, just know that mistakes can and probably will happen. Whether it is because my machine is set up differently than the one you're working on or because I skip a step, please be patient. We're all of us still learning.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)