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Buyers Guide

Sewing Machine Buyers Guide

Our guide to sewing machines below will help decide which machine is right for you, by explaining the options, features and benefits available to consider.
If you'd like to speak to a member of our team, we'd be delighted to help you.
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Embroidery Buyers Guide

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Overlockers Buyers Guide

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The Sewing Studio are here to help match a machine to you and your needs. Let's start with our simplest advice...

  • Think long term.

    A good domestic sewing machine should give years of good service. Think about what you want now, and the next 10 years. Make the right decision first time not second!
  • Buy cheap, Buy twice.

    DON'T be tempted by the price tag or claims the sellers make, if the largest sewing machine manufactures in the world like Janome or Brother can't make a reliable sewing machine to retail for less than £99 then it cannot be done.
  • Buy the right tool for the job.

    Don't expect a cheap light weight sewing machine to sew up your heavy weight curtains trouble free, it just won't happen wherever you buy it from. It has to be 'fit for purpose'.

    The machine can have all the features and functions you need but if it is not capable of sewing your denim jeans or curtain header tape you will want to throw it through the window! The sturdier the machine is, the better.

Next, consider the fabric you will be sewing with...

  • Thick Fabrics

    To sew thick fabric, you will need a strong machine with a high presser foot lift, adjustable presser foot pressure, good needle penetration and a long stitch length. If the machine is too lightweight, it will dance around the table - so the heavier the better.
  • Stretch Fabrics

    Generally speaking, top loading machines (bobbin is dropped in at the top next to the needle plate) perform better on stretchy fabrics. All good sewing machines will have a stretch stitch included. So, if you intend to sew stretchy fabric or knitwear you will need this stitch.
  • Light Fabrics

    An adjustable presser foot pressure is very important if you intend to sew silks and satins because the feed dogs can mark the underside of the fabric if the foot pressure is too high
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Size

When deciding which sewing machine to purchase, you’re going to want to make sure that the size of the machine is what you want and need. Machines come in a few different sizes, and size can determine the types of projects you work on as well as where you can keep it in your home.
Machine Sizes...
Mini Sewing Machine
We find mini / children's sewing machines are too small and only cause frustration, even if they’re only being used for travel machines / beginners.
Small Sewing Machine
Commonly with limited features, small machines are useful for beginners and children who are just starting out and/or are on a tight budget.
Medium Sewing Machine
Medium size machines are best suited to occasional sewers wanting a general purpose machine that’s not too big to be easily portable. Those who like to take classes or attend sewing retreats will prefer something smaller and easier to lift. They are also great for those who need to store their machines when not in use because of space constraints.
Large Sewing Machine
Large Sewing Machines are best suited to sewers that need a bigger machine for bigger projects, they tend to be heavier duty than smaller machines and computerised. They are particularly suited to sewers that want to do quilting and soft furnishing- basically larger projects because they offer a larger workspace to fit projects.
Extra Large Sewing Machine
Extra Large Sewing Machines are best suited to serious sewers wanting the very best and biggest of sewing machines. Almost any sewing project can be tackled with one of these machines, from king sized quits to large curtains and soft covers to ballgowns and garments of any type. These machines tend to be heavy and not easily stored in small spaces, so they’re best suited to not being moved around much.

Workspace

The amount of workspace available on the sewing machine itself will determine what kinds of projects you’ll be able to work on. Most sewists won’t need a huge amount of space on the machine - However, preference should also be taken into consideration. Workspace includes both the throat space and if there is an extension table included.
Workspace Sizes...
6-7 Inch Workspace
6-7 Inches of workspace is generally the starting point for most sewing machines. Many sewists will find that this is enough space to work. It’s small, but enough for piecing quilts, sewing garments, and most accessories such as bags. This amount of space isn’t ideal for quilting projects larger than a baby-sized quilt, and that could be difficult, depending on how you manoeuvre the fabric. Anything less than 6 inches isn’t a good workspace, in our opinion, and will only cause frustration as you work.
8-9 Inch Workspace
Medium-sized machines will have around 8-9 inches of workspace to the right of the needle. This amount of space is better for quilters and dressmakers who are sewing larger projects and can usually handle some home décor projects as well. You’ll be able to utilise free-motion quilting and embroidery easier than on a smaller machine. 8 inches is a great balance of workspace and compact size for a sewing machine if you’re looking to store it while it’s not in use.
10+ Inch Workspace
Reserved for professional or industrial sewing machines, 10 or more inches are ideal for those who are sewing constantly and sewing those larger projects regularly. These machines are ideal for free-motion quilting and embroidery as you’ll have ample space to work!
Extension Tables
Extension tables allow for added working space around the machine, other than to the right of the needle. They help to support the fabric as you sew and keep it level with the needle. This is incredibly useful to anyone who is quilting or sewing with heavier fabrics so that the project doesn’t stray away from the needle as you work. Extension tables are starting to come standard with more machines as time goes on, but they still aren’t always included. However, they can be purchased after the fact, and there are some companies that can custom make them for any sewing machine if the manufacturer either doesn’t sell that machine anymore or never made an extension table for the sewing machine model.
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Weight

The weight of your new sewing machine can be important. If you can’t lift more than a certain amount of weight then you want to make sure you’re getting a model that’s within that range. You may need to consider if you’re going to be travelling, for example to a local sewing class, then you want to make sure that it's light enough to carry easily.
Machine Weights...
Light Weight
Great for those who travel or plan to store their machines when not in use so that they can be easily lifted and moved whenever needed. These machines are also great for those who might have accessibility issues and cannot lift heavy objects. 

Weighing between 5 - 8kg.
Medium Weight
Still good for some accessibility, these machines are medium-sized and might be more durable than their lightweight counterparts. 

 Weighing between 9 - 12kg.
Heavy Weight
Heavy or large sewing machines are meant to stay in one place at all times. They’re professional-grade machines that stay in the professional’s studio.  

Weighing over 13kg.

Control Type

Sewing machines come with three main control types: mechanical, computerised, and touchscreen. This is all about preference in how you control your sewing machine and select stitches.
  • Mechanical Control.

    Mechanical sewing machines are typically controlled using dials and the flywheel. They’re very basic and usually only have up to about 20 stitches built into the machine, unless they’re straight stitch only machines, in which case they’ll only have one stitch choice. You’ll control everything with multiple dials, including stitch width and length, as well as tension.
  • Computerised

    Computerised machines are able to have many different stitches programmed into the machine. This is a huge asset to people who want to use decorative stitches. These machines will either have buttons or dials for stitch selection. There may still be dials for other adjustments, but you’ll have access to more features such as needle up/needle down, lock stitches, and an automatic cutter.
  • Touchscreen Controls

    Touchscreen sewing machines make selecting stitches even easier than other computerised sewing machines. And they can even come with applications that make your sewing experience much more fun and easier, such as built-in tutorials or project specific stitches such as quilting applications. You’ll want to make sure that the screen size is something you like and can see.

Price...

The price of the sewing machine you purchase will be a big indicator of the quality of the machine. It will tell you how high of quality materials were used to build the machine and how many features are included with the machine as well.
  • Entry Model to £250

    'Budget' sewing machines are on the lower end of the quality and feature spectrum. They tend to be basic in what features you’ll have access to, and will more than likely be mechanical only, meaning that there won’t be much, if any, computerisation. These are great for those who want something to mend with or for beginners who want to keep things simple.
  • £350 - £800

    For those who are hobby sewists, meaning that the machines are used moderately often, but not used for the operator’s main income, this price range will be the sweet spot. These machines offer a great range of features, workspace size, and are built to last for years (so long as you take care of them!).
  • £800 to Top of the Range

    Machines in the highest price range are the machine that professionals gravitate towards because they are built to endure high volume sewing and offer large amounts of space and features. They tend to come with more accessories, too. These machines are usually very high quality.

Condition

When you’re looking into purchasing a new-to-you machine, you want to be sure that you’re getting a quality machine.
  • Ex-Display

    Often a shop will sell its display machines for a lower price than brand-new machines, but the previous owner will have only been the shop that’s selling it, only having been used for demonstration purposes. They will have all of their parts and have only been used for a few hours at the most. Often, the balance of the warranty will be supplied too!
  • Open Box

    Open Box sewing machines are usually machines that were returned by customers, for various reasons such as ordering the wrong model or part exchange for a newer model. Purchasing these machines isn’t as scary as it sounds (some are brand new!) as the shop that took them in will have them cleaned up and tested before selling them to the public.
  • Brand New

    Sewing machines that are brand new in the box when you purchase them are going to work great right out of the box, typically speaking. And, if that’s not the case, you can go to the manufacturer and get a replacement very easily. You’ll have warranties on these machines, so that if something happens with the machine in a certain amount of time, you can get it fixed for cheap or free.

Covers and Cases

What kind of case comes with your machine is important. If you have plans to travel or you plan to leave your machine out on your sewing table, a cover is essential to protect it from dust and any bumps or bangs.
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Hard Covers

Hard covers are great for machines that will be stored in places that might damage the machine (such as in a closet or under the bed), or if you plan to travel with the machine. Hard cases are great for protecting the machine against both dust and physical damage over time.

Dust Covers

It might seem backwards that some of the more expensive machines come with dust covers instead of hard covers, but that’s because they’re meant to stay in one place. Dust covers do a better job protecting the sewing machine from dust than a hard cover as they don’t have as many holes for the handles of the sewing machine to carry the machine while covered, which is important in keeping your machine in great working order.

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Accessory Compartments

Where you store your machine’s accessories is important to consider. Some machines come with elaborate compartments with specific spots for each presser foot, others come with no place to store your accessories. It’s rare to find a sewing machine with no accessories compartment, but they are out there. These machines generally won’t have too many accessories and are typically straight-stitch-only machines, so you won’t be able to use other presser feet anyway.

Flat Bed

Top

External

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Flat Bed Compartments

Typically, most sewing machines will have a compartment in the convertible flat bed area to store the accessories that are included with the sewing machine. Some of these spaces flip out so that you can access them easily, others will require you to slide the flat bed off to access the compartment. This is the most popular for domestic sewing machines.
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Top Compartments

Some sewing machines have a spot on the top of the machine that are carved out for specific presser feet- usually the feet that are used the most such as the zigzag foot, 1/4inch foot, and so on. These are easily accessible to the machine operator and are great for quick conversions. However, they aren’t always great for machines that will be traveling a lot, as it’s not as secure as other options and you might lose your accessories easily.
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External Compartments

Finally, there are machines that either come with no storage on the actual machine or just so many accessories that they won’t all fit within the machine’s limited space. These machines might come with an external accessories box! This option is great for travellers or professionals who need that extra bit of organisation for their tools.

Front vs Top Loading Bobbin

How you load a bobbin can make all the difference in your sewing experience. Some people tend to prefer front-loading bobbins, which are found on many older machines like Singer Featherweights. They’re tried and true, but they come with their own faults. Others prefer the newer top-loading bobbins for their ease.
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Front-Loading Bobbin

Front-loading bobbins have been around since the 19th century. They can be difficult to load- they can be hard to see unless you bend over at an odd angle, and they’ve been known to jam more often. If your machine is in tip-top shape, you shouldn’t have difficulties. However, there are benefits to a good front-loading bobbin, especially if you’re looking for a sewing and embroidery machine as you won’t have to unload your embroidery project every time you have to change out the bobbin. You’ll find this bobbin style on Bernina machines in particular.

Top-Loading Bobbin

Top-loading bobbins are much easier to load and clean. They’re also called drop-in bobbins because you simply drop it into the machine and wrap the thread where the arrows point and you’re ready to sew! And to clean, which helps you to avoid jams, you can pop off the needle plate to brush out the lint and dust that’s been collecting. This bobbin style is used by Janome, Brother, and many other brands on their computerised machines, especially.
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Easy Set Bobbin

Easy set bobbins, or quick set bobbins, are a type of top-loading bobbins. They’re able to drop in the bobbin and pull the thread through quickly so that you can take off sewing much quicker than other machines.

Motor Type

The type of motor in your sewing machine will determine how powerful the sewing machine is. This affects speed and durability.
  • AC Motors

    AC stands for Alternating Current. These motors are what you’ll find in regular domestic sewing machines. They’re standard for most sewing machines.
  • DC Motors

    DC stands for Direct Current. These motors are more powerful than AC motors. Machines with a DC motor will stitch faster and work harder through thicker fabrics. These machines are great for professionals who are sewing on their machines constantly and need to prioritise speed.

Adjustable Foot Pressure

Being able to adjust your presser foot pressure is a feature that’s usually found on higher-end models of sewing machines. It’s meant to help you sew different types of fabrics and feed them through the machine easier so that nothing gets stuck, ripped, or bunched.
  • Adjustable

    For people who are sewing garments of many different types, such as heavy denim, chiffon, cotton lawn, and upholstery fabrics to complete all sorts of different projects, having adjustable presser foot pressure is going to be extremely helpful. You’ll be able to adjust it do allow easier feeding depending on which fabric you’re currently sewing.
  • Non Adjustable

    Machines that do not have adjustable presser foot pressure are usually on the lower end of price and quality. If you’re using the machine for one or two functions, such as piecing and quilting quilts this is totally fine!

Stitches

When you’re working with knits and other stretchy fabrics, you want to make sure that you’re using the appropriate stitches. When you’re working with fabrics that need to be able to stretch, you need to be using stitches that will allow it. A normal straight stitch won’t do that, in fact it might cause tearing over time. Luckily, most machines, both mechanical and computerised, will come with at least one or two stitches that are meant for stretchy fabrics.
  • Twin-Needle Selection Mode

    Intermediate and advanced dressmakers may need a twin-needle function on their sewing machines. It allows the sewist to finish hems and seams in a professional way so that they lay correctly, almost like a coverstitch. It’s a great asset to have if you’re making a lot of garments and want to add that extra touch.
  • Built-in Lettering Style

    Stitch fonts are some of the best stitches to have if you’re making something that you want to put a tag on, like a quilt or ribbons for a project. Also if you're wanting to put a sweet little message on for the recipient. Lettering like this is different than embroidery fonts. Lettering styles are only found on computerised machines, not mechanical.
  • Combine Stitches

    For those who love to use decorative stitches, being able to combine stitches into a custom design. This is great for people who create their own tags and ribbons.
  • Mirror Imaging

    Mirror Imaging is similar to combining stitches- it’s a great way to customise decorative stitches, but will flip them as the sewist needs so that they’re being sewn in the correct direction of the project itself.

Separate Length / Width Controls

Needing to control and customise your stitches by length and width can really change your sewing experience. For more advanced sewers, they’ll be able to customise their stitches to suit specific projects!

Singular

Separate

Buttons

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No Separate Controls

Sewing machines with limited stitches might not allow you to customise those stitches. They’re built in with very specific settings and you can’t change them. This is ok for people who either only need a straight stitch, or you’re just starting out on your sewing adventure.
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Separate Controls - Dials

Mechanical sewing machines may allow you to change the stitch width and length using a separate dial on the machine. Some computerised machines will also use a dial for lower-priced and quality machines. Dials might be harder to make sure your stitches are uniform if you’re guessing where your dial was the last time you turned your machine on.
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Separate Controls - Buttons

Computerised machines will typically have buttons to select stitch length and width sizes. Buttons can be easier to use for some, and it’s all about preference. These controls are more precise, and you can make sure that if you turn off your machine mid-project, you can get the same measurements when you come back to it!

Buttonholes

If you’re a dressmaker, you’ll want to be sure that the sewing machine you purchase has all of the buttonhole stitches that you need, and you want to make sure they’re easy to stitch. Mechanical sewing machines tend to have limited buttonholes that can take a few steps to create, while computerized machines may have upwards of ten different buttonholes programmed in to choose from.
  • 4-Step Buttonholes

    Sewing machines that have 4-step buttonholes tend to only have one option for your buttonhole. It will be one that is as universal as possible.
  • 1-Step Buttonhole

    Computerised machines offer 1-step buttonholes. They’re easier to create and usually offer more options when it comes to buttonhole choices so that dressmakers can sew on any kind of garment fabrics.

Types of Feed Dog

How fabric will feed through your sewing machine should be considered when you’re making the decision on what kind of sewing machine to purchase. Different feed systems allow for more precise stitching and feeding, and can even allow you to work on different types of fabric.
  • 6 or 7 Piece

    Typically speaking, the more feed dogs pieces you have on your machine, the easier your fabric will feed through the machine because you’ll have more contact points.
  • Box Feed

    Box feed feed dogs move in a square movement. It’s precise because they stay in contact with the fabric longer than other feed dogs.
  • SFS

    Superior Feed System combines both box feed and 7-piece systems for a superior feed! It’s the best of both worlds. There are more contact points as well as more time that the feed dogs are in contact with the fabric.
  • Walking Foot

    Walking feet are game changers in the sewing world. They add a small set of feed dogs to the foot and work with the machine via the needle bar so that they feed the fabric through at an even rate. Walking feet are usually sold separately from the sewing machine.
  • Dual Feed / IDT / Acufeed

    Sewing machines with these features, depending on the brand it will be called something different, essentially have a built-in walking foot option. Machines with this feature will work with your machine to evenly feed fabric through it, even more precisely than a regular walking foot because it’s working with the inner mechanisms of the sewing machine itself, instead of moving with just the needle bar that a regular walking foot does.
  • BSR

    The Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) is only available on Bernina brand sewing machines. It can be sold separately but tends to be included with higher-end models. This technology works to regulate stitches as you sew. This is especially great for those who free-motion quilt. If you aren’t moving your fabric through at an even rate, the BSR will slow down or speed up stitching as needed so that your stitches are even.

Flat Bed vs Free Arm

How your machine’s bed is built will tell you what types of projects you can use the machine for. Most machines come with both a flat bed and a free arm and are easily convertible. But there are machines out there that only offer a flat bed, and you should make sure that if you’re looking for a machine with a free arm that you’re getting exactly what you need.
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Flat Bed

Machines with only a flat bed are few and far between, but they are out there. They come in all sizes and price points. They’re great for quilters who don’t need to use the free arm for smaller, circular projects or have an immediate want for an extension table. You can get extension tables custom made for these machines, but you might be paying extra.

Free Arm

If you’re sewing garments, you’re going to need a free arm. The free arm allows you to sew cuffs on shirts and pants with ease! And most extension tables are built with the free arm in mind so that your sewing space is sturdier and more seamless.
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Other Sewing Machine Features

  • Automatic Tension

    Automatic tension allows you to switch between stitches easily and be able to just take off sewing without needing to adjust anything. Many stitches that are fabric-specific will adjust tension to accommodate the specific fabric types such as a knit fabric. But don’t fret if you want to adjust tension yourself- you can still do that with a machine that has automatic tension! It's the best of both worlds!
  • Automatic 1-Step Buttonhole

    One Step Buttonhole is when the buttonhole size is automatically determined when the lever is pulled down and the button is placed into the sliding foot.
  • Bobbin Winder

    A lot of machines, most sewing machines available to be honest, will come with bobbin winders built into the machine. They’ll wind as fast as the sewing machine can sew, and you usually need to thread the machine separately and then re-thread once you’re done winding the machine.
  • Extra Bobbin Winding Motor

    There are a few sewing machines on the market that come with two motors built into the machine, one specifically meant to wind the bobbin! These are typically industrial sewing machines that are meant for professionals who sew constantly.
  • Embroidery Module (Optional)

    If you’re interested in machine embroidery, purchasing a sewing machine that you can purchase an optional embroidery unit for might be a great way to get into machine embroidery! It’s optional, meaning that you can attach it when you want to use it and detach it when not in use, so that it’s not taking up too much of your working space at all times.
  • Elongation button

    This feature allows some satin stitches to be elongated, up to 5 times.
  • Feed dogs

    The saw-shaped teeth ensure the fabric moves through the machine as the needle stitches. These feed dogs can be dropped for free motion embroidery or quilting. Some machines have auto drop feed dogs so when the presser foot rises, the feed dogs will drop automatically making it easy to set thick fabric.
  • Drop Feed

    If you’re into free motion quilting or free machine embroidery, you’ll want to make sure your sewing machine has a drop feed option! The drop feed feature is found on the side of the sewing machine, sometimes on the back of the machine, in the form of a lever that you simply flip to drop the feed dogs. You’ll be able to move your fabric about in more than just one direction!
  • Foot control

    This pressure pad allows you to control the machine's motion and to stay hands free to support your sewing.
  • Foot Pressure Dial

    The pressure of the sewing foot can be adjusted, for example when stitching applique to help turn corners smoothly.
  • Free Arm

    The accessory box section of the machine will pull away to reveal a narrow cylinder-shaped arm which can be used for sewing around cuffs and trouser legs.
  • Hand Stitch Style

    Function to add distortions to designated stitches to make them look more natural/casual.
  • Hand Wheel

    Operates the needle to form the stitch. Always turn towards you.
  • Knee Lift

    A knee lift is a great asset to any sewist. It’s meant to allow you to lift your presser foot without having to take your hands on your project as you work. A lever will plug in to the front of the sewing machine and hang down by your right knee. It won’t be in the way that you’ll be bumping it constantly, but it will be easily accessible when you need to use it.
  • LED Sewing Light

    Lighting is one of the most important features of a sewing machine. Having proper lighting while you’re sewing is not only essential to making sure that your projects are coming together properly, but it’s also important so that you’re not straining your eyes.
  • Lock Stitch Button

    This feature is great for making sure that where your seams meet doesn’t get too bulky. Instead of using your reverse button for a couple of stitches back and forth in order to lock the seam, but with the Lock Stitch button it won’t layer stitches on top of each other. It will reverse ever so slightly in between your previous stitches so that the thread isn’t piling up on top of itself. This is perfect for quilters who are piecing so that their corners don’t end up too thick to quilt through.
  • Needle plate

    The metal needle plate fits over the bobbin/feed dog area and has seam guides engraved on it to help measure the seam width whilst stitching.
  • Needle plate - Angle scales

    By using the angle scales on the needle plate, you can easily seam patchwork pieces at the desired angle. The angle scales are marked at 45, 60, 90 and 120 degrees.
  • Needle Threader

    Most machines will come with built-in needle threaders. They’re helpful to anyone and everyone, as we all know how difficult threading a needle can be, especially a needle that can’t be moved to see better. Needle threaders come in different makes and sturdiness, though, and the more expensive the machine is, usually the better the needle threader will be.
  • Needle Up/Down

    You can control your needle position by turning the fly wheel on the side of the sewing machine, as you’ve been able to do since sewing machines were invented. But, on many computerised machines, there is an easier, more precise way to lift your needle. An auto needle up/down button on the front of the machine can control whether your needle is in the up or down position. This is great for when you want to pivot your fabrics while on the machine, or you want to pinpoint a starting point.
  • Presser foot

    The presser foot holds the fabric in place against the feed dogs so that it doesn't move about whilst you are sewing. To assist in sewing different processes a variety of different feet can be attached to the presser foot holder. Most presser feet are quick change, snap on type.
  • Automatic Presser Foot Lift

    If this is enabled, the presser foot will automatically go up when the machine stops. This feature is useful when turning corners and quilting.
  • Snap on Presser Feet System

    Snap on presser feet are great for quick presser feet conversions. There is no need to get out your screwdriver every time you want to change your presser foot! Instead, you press a button to release the foot that’s currently attached to the machine, line up the foot you want to use with the shank, and lower the shank until you hear the new foot snap into place! It’s easy on the fingers and very quick to do!
  • Reverse / Reinforcement Stitch

    Sometimes you want to reinforce the stitches, and the little bit of bulk is not an issue. An automatic reverse is a great feature to have when you’re sewing bags, home décor, and many types of garments.
  • Reverse / Reinforcement Stitch

    Sometimes you want to reinforce the stitches, and the little bit of bulk is not an issue. An automatic reverse is a great feature to have when you’re sewing bags, home décor, and many types of garments.
  • Speed Limiter/Slider

    Having a speed slider on your sewing machine can make all the difference when it comes to either sewing skill level and the project you’re working on. Being able to control the maximum speed of the machine will allow you to sew with confidence no matter if you’re a beginner or working on delicate fabrics and projects that you want to make sure you’re keeping a close eye on as you work.
  • SPM

    The speed at which the machine stitches per minute
  • Stitch adjustment

    Use to override default stitch settings for stitch width and stitch length.
  • Stitch Memory

    Stitch memory is great for sewists that like to use decorative stitches on a computerised sewing machine. Stitch memory allows you to save a combination of stitches for future use, even when you turn off the machine. This is great for when you’re creating quilt labels or garment tags and using alphabet stitches, in particular, but you can use them with any decorative stitch!
  • Stitch Selector

    On computerised machines it is easy to select a stitch by pressing a key or using a touch pad. More basic machines generally have a dial for the stitch selector.
  • Start/Stop Button

    Start/Stop button enables you to use the machine without the foot control.
  • Thread Cutter

    The single-handed thread cutter is conveniently positioned on the side of the machine and can be used with a one hand swipe when finishing a seam.
  • Thread Cutter (under-bed)

    An automatic thread cutter can be a very useful feature. At the end of each seam, you can simply hit a button to trim your threads. While they tend to cut closer to the seam than if you were to use the usual blade on the side of the machine, you’ll still have enough of a tail for any reason you need. You’ll end up saving thread, and therefore money, in the long run, too!