07 Oct 2012 25 Comments
Are you just starting to sew, want to learn more about it and eventually sew your own clothes? You’ve probably bought a sewing machine. From my experience as a sewist, there are 3 ways of looking at sewing out there:
They say “Oh you made that? That’s great!” only to realize a few moment later “Oh, but you must have a sewing machine. Oh I see. So that’s how you do it.
Some people think sewing machines are magical. You put your fabric in and they create a garment for you.
It really doesn’t matter all that much what kind of sewing machine your own. If you’ve set your upper and lower tension correctly, the machine is cleaned, oiled and serviced, you can make almost anything. It’s all in the skill of the sewist and how well you know and love your sewing machine.
Of course there are sewing machines that are sturdier, sew better stitches or even do things like threading your needle and embroidering your logo on your garment, but do you really need that? It’s nice to have it, of course, but I wouldn’t say you “need” it.
“Oh I have a sewing machine that costed me a fortune. I use it to hem pants and coverstitch my kitchen towels”.
If you’re just hemming pants and sewing little projects a basic sewing machine is perfect for you. It might even be easier to start using it and make friends with it.
Other people think sewing machines are old-fashioned and don’t see why would anyone bother to make something that can be bought from a shop, many times cheaper (in both terms of time and supplies) than the self-made item.
And then there’s the third angle, the one I disagree with most.
“I do a little bit of sewing and I am planning to learn more but I am saving to buy a new sewing machine. Oh yeah, I have one, but this one is you know, just basic and I can’t do all the things I want on it.”
I’ve owned a basic sewing machine for years. I bought it from the supermarket. That didn’t stop me from making everything from bags, to sheets and pillowcases, to pants, skirts, dresses and even a cape before after 7 long years it decided it needed surgery that was almost more expensive than buying a new one.
The only things I couldn’t sew on it was lycra and leather. Everything else worked just fine. I hemmed jeans, made backpacks and lots and lots of purses.
What about you? What kind of sewing machine do you own? I now own a Sigma, which is a domestic sewing machine and I’ve previously worked on a Hyundai. I also own a Brother serger, but about that in a future post.
I am curious to see what you think of this subject. Do you really need an expensive sewing machine to start making your own clothes? What kind of sewing machine do you own? And before that?