Beginner Sewing Machine
by Mrs. Moriya Chesler
If you plan on getting a sewing machine just for this class, such as buying a new one or borrowing from someone else, here are a few tips on what you should be looking for.
Front-loading vs. top-loading bobbin
A sewing machine uses two types of thread – a top thread and a bottom thread. The top thread comes from a spool that you place somewhere on top of a sewing machine either vertically or horizontally.
The bottom thread is supplied by a bobbin. A bobbin is a cute little thread holder that holds the bottom thread.
The older sewing machines come with a front-loading bobbin compartment. The disadvantage of using this type of machine is that you will have to adjust the bobbin thread’s tension manually and the process is not straightforward, and may be frustrating to the beginner.
The newer sewing machines come with a top-loading bobbin compartment. The top-loading bobbin is easier to place with direction guidelines shown on the machine itself. Plus, you don’t have to adjust the bobbin tension most of the time, unless you’re dealing with elastic thread.
Sewing-quilting machine vs. embroidery machine
You are looking for a simple sewing machine. Sometimes these machines perform quilting functions as well and often comes with a wide table attachment to it. A beginner sewing machine doesn’t have to support quilting. You will be using mostly straight and zigzag stitching and sometimes a few fancy stitches for embellishment.
Watch out for the computerized embroidery machine which is a specialized machine for embroidery but looks like a sewing machine. It comes with an embroidery hoop attachment. You don’t need this for the class.
Mechanical vs. Computerized machine
You should be able to tell the difference between a mechanical and a computerized sewing machine. The latter usually has an LED display on the front of the machine with lots of push buttons or touch screen. A low-end consumer mechanical machine is usually cheaper than a computerized one. You can get a mechanical machine for under $100 at your local department store, while a computerized machine is usually sold for more than $100, and in the $200-$250 range.
If you have any questions, please ask in in the “Comments” section below. Thank you.