Spring daffodills from Wikimedia Commons

Spring daffodils from Wikimedia Commons

It turns out that April is going to be completely insane. There’s a lot going on here at Nerd Girl Sewing that all comes due in between April 29th and May 15th.

The first is that I have another article I am working on for Your Wardrobe Unlock’d. My article on Sewing with Ease and Pleasure was published last week and I’m very pleased with it. The next article is due on the 29th and I am working to have the initial draft finished by Friday so I can focus on editing and images.

The second is that I have a project due by May 15th. It’s kind of top secret but I can say that it involves my brand new toy, Brother’s PE Design Next Software. It’s pretty powerful digitizing software and I can’t wait to start playing with it. Once I get the hang of it I would like to try my hand at some tutorials so we will see how that goes.

The third is that I working on a project for the Sew for Victory 2.0 sew along.  I’ll be posting more on that in another post this weekend so stay tuned.

I’m also still trying to decide between two gorgeous red wools for my doublet project.  I need to make that decision soon so I can order my fabric.

So you want to learn to sew but you need a sewing machine?  Lucky there are a several options.

Borrowing a Machine

You don’t necessarily need to run out and buy a brand new machine.  In fact, if it’s an option I would strongly recommend borrowing a machine from a family member or friend before your first purchase.  When you are learning to sew there is a lot to learn and I think it’s nice to get an idea of what you like and what you want in a machine before you purchase one.  There are lots of options available now and they aren’t all fancy stitches.  When you are just starting out learning to sew I think it’s best to learn a little bit about what you are doing so that when you go out to buy you first machine you have a little knowledge under your belt about what you need, what you want, and what you could live without.

It’s still very common for beginning seamstresses and tailors to sew their first projects with their mother’s or grandmother’s machine.  I learned on my mothers c1970 Singer.  It has awesome big orange flowers and still works great.  In fact I just had it tuned up for her recently and it’s still sewing like a champ.

Many beginners also have friends that sew, that’s part of what got them interested in the hobby.  And if you friends are anything like me the probably have an older machine or two that they still use but could potentially lend you to help you get started.  Even if they don’t have a machine that they could lend you the could probably go on for hours about the options they like on their machine and the things the wish they had gotten and/or hadn’t gotten when they bought it.

Beginner Classes

If you want to get started with sewing check to see if any of the shops or community colleges in your area offering beginning sewing classes also have beginner machines.  It’s not as common but some places do have machines available to their students.  A quick internet search of my local area found two private studios offering lessons that had machines available for students and two shops that required students to bring their own machines.  So it’s worth checking class offerings in your area to see if any of them have machines available for student use.  This is a good option when you are getting started because it also offers you a chance to learn a bit about what you want and don’t want in a machine before you make a purchase.

Buying a Machine

Buying a machine to get started is certainly always an option.  To help make sure you are getting the right machine for you take your time and look at machines at several reputable dealers in your area.  Sew something with them.  Try them out.  There should be a sales rep that can talk to about the machines and their features and help you with testing out the floor models.  Visit several shops.  Some of the higher end shops will also offer refurbished models, specials on floor models, and models sold on consignment for customers that have upgraded their machines.  Since you are new to the craft try everything out to get an idea of what you like and don’t like.  And don’t be afraid to take some time to think on it if there is an option that you are on the fence about.

I recently purchased a new machine and will be discussing my adventures shopping for it in an upcoming article!