Tanja Sews

These Are the Best Sewing Machines

These Are the Best Sewing Machines

Do you need a new sewing machine? If so, you have probably been looking for a new one for some time, and maybe even started looking for prospects. Unfortunately, approaching the purchase of a new sewing machine like this is putting the cart before the horse. A better approach is to first determine what you need and want then go out and look for features that answer those issues. First, what are your skills and needs? You might want to begin your search by purchasing a sewing machine that has basic features, then buy something more complex when your skills improve. It is also good to know that many sewing machine businesses offer free tutorials, and even classes, for those wanting to determine which machine suits their needs best. You should take advantage of all the advice you get, but this article will provide you with some general guidance.



The Basics

There are several makers of sewing machines that are long established and well known. These offer a good starting point for shoppers. Choose your retailer wisely, since smaller stores usually charge for their machines, but they also frequently provide more personalized service, lessons, and even in-store repairs. Larger retailers, on the other hand, usually offer a wider selection at lower costs.


Wherever you shop for your sewing machine, you should always ask about several key points. First regards warranties. Make sure you understand what it covers and what it doesn’t cover. You should also look for sales since Mother’s Day and Christmas usually offer the best buys. Finally, check on the store’s repair policies. Some stores send their repairs out to be done, others handle repairs themselves. Either way, you should check to see how long repairs usually take to complete. And always remember that technicians that are not authorized by makers will often void warranties.


Sewing Machine Types

Before you select a sewing machine, you should always give consideration to the specific type of machine you want. Sewing machines are offered in several different types: mechanical, electrical, and embroidery machines.


If you only sew occasionally or are on a budget, a mechanical machine is usually fine. With these types of machine, the controls operate manually, and can handle most repairs, simple clothing projects, and others. If you plan on sewing more often and you can afford more, an electrical machine is probably best for you. Electric machines usually take a lot of the tedious work out of sewing by utilizing computers instead of hand work. Embroidery machines will perform nearly all of the functions that you can do with an electronic model, with the addition of embroidery and monogramming for projects such as pillowcases, bedspreads, garments, and bedspreads.



Even the most basic sewing machines will offer a variety of functions to handle different fabrics without stretching or allowing it to pucker with stitches that are too loose or tight. Beyond this, there are several features that you will want to consider. These include an automatic buttonholer, feed dog adjustment, handy controls, lightweight, needle threader, presser feet, tension adjustment, and more.



If there is one thing that should be reassuring about the sewing machine brands that are available today it’s the fact that many have been in business for many years. As a result, the brands that today’s fashionistas trust are many of the same that their grandmothers–or even great-grandmothers–used in their day. More than 70 percent of the sewing machines sold today are made by three brands: Singer, Kenmore, and Brother. This should not diminish the quality of brands that are also popular today. These include Husqvarna Viking, Bernina, and others that have done an excellent job in producing machines that are of high quality. Below is a look at these individual brands.


Singer has been the leader in the sewing machine business since its founding 1851. The company offers a variety of models and styles for beginners as well as more experienced sewers. If a retailer sells sewing machines, chances are good they have a selection of Singer machines to offer. Singer dominates the sewing machine market with 43 percent of total sales.


Kenmore is another leading maker of sewing machine and enjoys a 23 percent share of total sales. Kenmore offers a variety of models, from basic to very advanced. Some of these machines are very high tech, enabling users to perform basic functions as well as intricate embroidery projects.


Husqvarna Viking has been in business for years, making a wide variety of electric and computerized sewing machines. The company is headquartered in Sweden. The company recently launched their newest label, Designer Diamond, their high-end full-service line of sewing and embroidery machines.


Janome America is a relative newcomer to the sewing machine business, but has become one of the top manufacturers in the field, primarily with more advanced sewing machine models.



It doesn’t take long for anyone, whether they are familiar with sewing machines or not, to determine that there is a lot to consider when making a selection for the best beginner sewing machine, best sewing machine for children, and many other types. Fortunately, makers offer a lot to those in the market.


The good news in this is that just as is the case with buying any project, those in the market for a sewing machine should take the time and effort to evaluate what their needs are as compared to what the market offers. There can be little doubt that with this as a buyer’s standard, a good selection can be made.

5 Things Sewing Beginners Should Know

5 Things Sewing Beginners Should Know

There are a couple of things every beginner at sewing should take to heart. The following are 5 tips that will save time, heartache, and even money when one is just starting out:


  1. First Projects do not need to be perfect.


In fact, first projects can even be terrible. There may be several reasons for this including bad fabric selection, technical issues, or simply trying advanced technique too soon. However, the only way to learn is through practice, so keep going!


  1. Start small and practice each new skill one at a time.


As a rule, make the first project something very simple to sew, like a pillow case. Pillow cases help the seamstress work on foundational skills like cutting, measuring, sewing in a straight line, and finishing seams. Plus they are a fairly low cost and low risk investment that result in lots of awesome decorative pillows.


Once the pillows are mastered, try other simple projects like clutches and purses. Clutches especially are a great practice project because they are essentially rectangles and squares with the added skill of learning to sew in zippers and buttons.


  1. Learn that patterns are just guidelines.


Pattern companies, especially the big four (Simplicity, McCall’s, Vogue, and Butterick) make patterns to accommodate the largest amount of people possible. For example, many patterns for women assume an average height of 5’5″ with a B cup. That means if a woman who is 5’11” with a D cup makes a pattern straight out of the package, it will not fit her. At least not in the way she wants it to. This is where fitting comes into play, leading to this next point…


  1. There is no “one size fits all” adjustment.


Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Even if someone has the exact same measurements as another person, the same piece of clothing might look different on each individual. So the skill of sewing is learning how to tailor the adjustments so that the garment works for the individual.


Here is a quick list of common adjustments


-For adjustments smaller than a B cup, make Small Bust Adjustments (SBA’s)


-For adjustments larger than a B cup, Full Bust Adjustments (FBA’s) are necessary


-If the fabric is pooling at the back of the neck, make Swayback Adjustments


-Wide/Narrow Shoulder Adjustments might be necessary for larger or smaller shoulder frames (respectively)


  1. Quality tools make life much easier.


Sewing can be a costly hobby right up front, but the following tools are necessary investments:


Scissors: While an expensive pair of $80 shears are not needed right up front, a good pair of fabric scissors are. Not only will the initial sewing projects look nicer, but the scissors are more ergonomic for the wrist.


Machine: Again, a $1000 machine is not required, but get a machine that is not a daily battle. One recommendation for starters is the Singer Stylist.


Iron: This is one of the most vital tools. Pressing a seam takes a project from looking like a junior high class project to something one might buy off the rack. Look for an iron that has multiple heat settings and includes a steam function.


Beginner’s Guide to How to Sew

Beginner’s Guide to How to Sew

People have been sewing since the beginning of time. For many it still seems like a task trying to figure out how to thread a needle. There are some general guidelines that can be followed to help out beginners so they can learn the basics of sewing with a needle and thread.



Be sure to wash and iron the fabric. This is especially important for items that may shrink. Be sure the fabric dries before moving on.


Put the thread in the needle. Cut twice as much thread then what is needed. Put the thread between the thumb and the forefinger and ease it into the eye of the needle. Bring the needle to the halfway point so both ends of the threat are even. Tie a knot to hold the thread together.


Straight Stitches


Stick the needle through the wrong side of the item being sewn. The “wrong side” is the side that people will not see. Pull the needle through and the thread will follow. Do so until it is stopped by the knot on the thread. If the knot goes through tie a larger knot and this will solve the problem.


Stick the needle through the ride side of the fabric close to the initial spot. Push the need through again followed by the thread. Congratulations. This is the first stitch.


Repeat these two steps for the rest of the fabric. The last stitch should end up on the wrong side of the item being sewn. Be sure to make keep the length between the stitches even.


Other Kinds of Stitches

A stitch known as the basting stitch in longer in length. The shorter the stitch the more sturdy it will be. Be sure to keep the stitches as close to other as possible.


A zigzag stitch can be used when the straight stitch will not work. A zigzag is often used when sewing on buttons of fabrics that can stretch. It can also be used to hold two pieces of fabric together around the edge. The stitch can be short, medium, or long. The length will depend on the item being sewn.