Beginning a new hobby like sewing can be daunting, particularly when you only know the fundamentals but with a little practice, you’ll be creating some gorgeous clothes for yourself and your family and saving a boot full of money in the interim.
But when you’re just beginning and choosing the right sewing machine is like trying to fix a car when you are not a mechanic, a little guidance goes a long way.
With a budget in mind, bearing the fact that machines can be as cheap as chips or as expensive as that car you can’t fix, we’ve put together a list that we hope will narrow down your choices. We’ve included what to look out for when you want ease of use, what you should consider when you’re a beginner and want absolute reliability and what the best machines are for beginners on today’s market.
All our recommendations will hopefully have you using your machine long past its use-by date. We don’t want you to go and buy the cheapest machine just because of its price only to find that it breaking down in twelve months. You don’t want a sewing machine with all the latest and greatest gadgets, buttons, dials and features on it that will undoubtedly overwhelm you either. So, let’s find that balance and get you sewing in no time at all.
Best Beginner Sewing Machines
Brother XL2600 is priced at about $100 but if you watch for the sales, you’re bound to find one on special for a little less. Regardless, this is a manual machine that is very easy to operate. You have 59 stitches, an automatic needle threader, a buttonholer and a free arm that accommodates a flat surface for cuffing trouser legs. It’s a lightweight unit that is easy to carry and will give you hours of reliable stitching with options that will have you quilting, sewing dresses and pants, tops and shorts in a breeze. This machine is an excellent choice for a beginner who is just starting out.
Janome Magnolia 7318 is a reputable brand and this machine is manually operating with a load of features like an 18 pre-programmed stitch selector, a buttonholer, as well as the usually expected thread cutter, a top loading bobbin that stays jam free, and a handle for easy carrying. It’s a lightweight tidy little unit that is a little more expensive, but you’re getting a machine that can handle bulky fabrics like denim. It will also quilt and at about $300, you’ll be very pleased with it’s performance. It also comes with a 25-year warranty.
Singer 7258 Stylist is a popular machine for beginners and with The Singer Company’s reputation that has carried it since the early sixties for several decades. The construction of this unit is a metal frame rather than plastic and is very capable of working through dense fabrics although it doesn’t like upholstery. It comes with 100 stitches, a buttonholer, and 10 presser feet. Basic but so user-friendly and probably why it has become a model that keeps on keeping on. It is a machine that functions without fuss and at a price of about $160, it is perfect even for the intermediate sewers.
Singer One Plus is computerized and is jammed with a host of features that include an array of 221 stitches. If you’re not in a hurry to create a dress, you’ll be in awe of the variety of stitches this machine spits out. Anyway, it also comes with an automatic needle threader, a free arm that is removable, a drop-in bobbin that won’t jam, a very generous sewing space and it’s as quiet and smooth as it flawlessly sews through most fabrics. It is offered at around $700 but it is an investment that will last you a lifetime.
Brother CS6000i is computerized making sewing an experience that is not only a pleasure but technology has had a hand in making this machine a really lovely addition to the beginner’s sewing room. We chose this one for beginners because it is an inexpensive computerized machine that has loads of features and still remains one of those easy to use units. It has 60 stitches, 7 one-step buttonholes, an automatic needle threader and a stop-start button if you don’t wish to use a foot pedal. There’s a jam-less drop it in bobbin, variable speed control dial and to top it off, you get a 25-year warranty together with phone support for a lifetime. About $120 will pick up this tidy little unit.
Brother XL2610 is a cute little machine that gives you a 4-step automatic buttonholer, a free-arm and has 25 built-in stitches with 59 stitch functions. There’s a thread cutter, a drop in bobbin, it’s lightweight and has a little handle for easy transportation. With a 25 year warranty, there’s a little instruction manual, a foot control, and a bobbin winding system. This cutie will set you back about $150.
For beginners there is no hard and fast rule that says you must use a manual machine, however, manual sewing machines don’t offer as many features as the computerized, or even the more expensive models, but they have everything you could possibly need and more, for a beginner. It is entirely up to you to choose what you will be comfortable with. We just don’t want to overwhelm you with all the buttons and features, the knobs and dials, the gorgeous looks and the convenient carrying handles that might have you pulling threads instead of your hair, and have you running for hills. That’s not it’s about, however, with technology the way it’s traveling, we think you’re in for the best experience sewing can offer.
You want to be able to walk before you can run and so it is, that when you step gradually forward with your machine, the both of you will build unforgettable memories together. And don’t be surprised if this newbie becomes an oldie that you’ll pass down to your beginner children.
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Many individuals, who have a family and a career, often sacrifice their work in favor of dedicating their time and efforts to their families. Is this really necessary though? What are the consequences of this and is there a way to maybe succeed in juggling both?
Effects on the Family
The question many busy working parents ask themselves is related to their children’s well being — will they be negatively affected by their dedication to work? This is a reasonable question, but it doesn’t necessarily imply that the effects would be negative.
Several studies have shown that parents who are successful in their careers are more fulfilled and confident, which makes them even better parents. What makes children negatively affected is something else entirely — parents who feel they keep sacrificing their talents and passions for being successful parents and homemakers.
Children were given a survey in one study, which shown that children didn’t need their parents to be at home all the time and not work, but that they would like them to be less tired and stressed from their jobs.
So, parents are encouraged to work as having a fulfilling career will ultimately make children more successful academically as well as better socially adjusted.
There are some things each working parent should consider to be able to juggle work and family life successfully:
If you are a working mother that continued to work soon after your child was born, don’t listen to other people’s comments that might make you feel guilty and even reconsider your decision. Being a working parent will not bring damaging effects to your children — feeling guilty will prevent you from actually enjoying your life to the fullest.
This is a crucial skill you need to develop in order to be able to juggle your family life and a great professional life. There is a helpful tool called SCAMPER that you might use to be able to make most of your time.
S: This refers to substitutions. Consider if there is any way you could do your business faster, by substituting a certain process with another, more efficient one.
C: Referring to combination. Combine different activities that consume a lot of time into a single activity.
A: Referring to adaptation. Learn to adapt certain processes and ideas to do your work more efficiently.
M: Referring to modification. Modify and minimize some activities in your personal life.
P: This refers to putting something to another use. Think how you can train others in your professional life to make them functional in different areas.
E: Referring to elimination. Eliminate what is unnecessary in your life. This may include everything from activities, expenses, other people, attitudes etc.
R: This refers to rearranging. Consider rearranging your everyday routine and improve it for your family.
This includes both your professional and personal life. Sometimes you’ll need to change your working processes and tactics according to their efficacy. You will occasionally be able to dedicate more time to work, whereas other times, you will spend more time with your family especially if any issues arise. This will require flexibility so that you would be able to deal with all sorts of situations.
These two segments of life don’t have to be antagonistic, and can be combined. You can talk about your work with your family. This can help you optimize certain processes and get another perspective.
In order to be able to keep everything in balance and never fail, you’ll need to make your own physical and emotional health a priority. With your family members or your employees depending on you — you need to feel well. This implies that exercise, quality sleep and food are necessary so that you would be healthy and able to withstand stress.
If you are a busy person, you cannot avoid feeling stressed out occasionally. However, you need to reduce it as much as possible to avoid any long-term consequences to your health. Stress can influence your emotions and thus, your personal life as well. Everyone knows how detrimental stress can be, so developing effective strategies for coping with it are paramount. These might include turning off your cell phone and computer while you are at home, eating in a relax manner and enjoying your family time, avoiding yelling in front of kids. In addition to this, you need to have a bit of time just for yourself. You might dance, sing, exercise, enjoy a bath or go for a walk — anything that will help you feel strong enough for another day.