What are the Pros and Cons of Owning a Sewing Machine

Stitching Machine

Pros and Cons of a Sewing Machine to help you make an easy and informed decision. Should you really invest in a sewing machine or not!

I have been sewing for fun since my teenage and now I have turned my sewing hobby into a lucrative career. Designing, sewing and sharing has taken over my life.

I find that sewing machines are useful if you want to wear something different from what everybody else is wearing.

But they aren’t necessary any more, because clothes are widely available at much cheaper rates.

To keep a sewing machine, fabrics, patterns, trimmings and all those tit-bits take up a little space.

Then, your sewing machine requires occasional oiling and lint removal to keep it in running condition.

These are some of the pros and cons of owning a sewing machine, which I have compiled over my sewing experience of almost three decades.

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The course that takes the fear out of learning to use your sewing machine.

Pros

  • You are able to make clothes you like if the ones in the stores aren’t what you want, or if they are not your size.
  • You can sew anything from fashion to costumes, home decor items, accessories and leather goods on a variety of different sewing machines.
  • You can do alterations and repairs. You can easily do your own mending and make your clothes last longer.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Sewing machines on a basic level are inexpensive.
  • Sewing is a fun hobby which is relaxing.
  • Some sewing machines (especially older ones) are beautiful to look at. They are vintage pieces, look like an art form.
  • A sewing machine with designing features allows you to be creative. It provides a way to express creativity.
  • You are able to decorate your home, office or whatever place the way you want, instead of the way local stores want you to.
  • You get a great feeling of satisfaction when you look at a finished project and realize you did that.
  • You can use your sewing machine for various outreach or volunteer work like clothe bags as a replacement of plastic bags to local stores, pillows to shelter homes, security blankets for emergency services, pet beds for your local animal shelter etc.
  • You can connect with online sewing communities and share your interests. It is also a good way to meet people  in local sewing group of some sort.
  • You can use sewing machine to make your own clothing, gifts or earn a living.
  • You can work from home using your sewing machine - showing YouTube Tutorials, writing about sewing machines, sharing sewing machine pictures on instagram or pinterest or may be doing some real work of sewing for money.
  • You can work from anywhere in the world. If you can carry a portable sewing machine, you can make a living sewing things for people on location.
  • You can teach other people how to sew and use a sewing machine. 
  • Sewing can get as free, cheap or as expensive as you want. Sewing machines are an investment but an asset you can use to make money. You can go to town on a free hand me down sewing machine or spend well into $10,000 for computerized quilting, embroidery or other fancy machines.
  • If you do research to know what to look for and take the time to look well, you can usually find a very good used machine for a reasonable price.
  • Above all, you don't need to buy something new when a seam rips. You can just sew it up and you've saved yourself some money and energy to store unusable clothes.

Cons

  • People try to take advantage and they tend to tantrum when you say no or give an actually realistic price for the materials and work involved.
  • Relatives will ask you to hem their pants and fix their dirty clothes. They think if you sew, you got all the free time in the world to sew their torn off clothes and you got nothing else to do.
  • There is a slight element of danger as you can put a needle through your finger. But it's a rare that could happen if you have lost your mind.
  • You have a sizeable machine that costs money, takes up space if you don't use it, it's dead stuff.
  • Sewing takes a certain amount of skill and patience and improves over time. It can be hard and frustrating.
  • A sewing machine takes some maintenance, and if you need to bring it to the shop, it will cost you to fix or tune it up.
  • You’ll need to learn how to do basic maintenance yourself or take it for maintenance regularly.
  • Watch out for ‘repairman’ who just try to upsell you a new machine whenever you take yours in for work or routine maintenance.
  • Sewing can take it's toll on your body. Some days I sew 8 hours or more. Get a comfortable cushioned rolling chair (no arms) and mind your posture.
  • Fabric is the pornography of sewing. You will become obsessed with finding, coveting and hording amazing fabrics. This can quickly take over a shelving unit, closet, room!!
  • Sewing can become an addiction. There's nothing wrong with addiction as long as it's a healthy one. Your sewing space can quickly go from a corner of a room, to the spare bedroom, to needing a studio space.
  • The nightmare of sewing is when you have to rip off seams without tearing up your fabric. Undoing a messed up seam is part of the job.
  • If you think sewing looks easy. Think again. I've been sewing since I was 13 years old and I still have to think about the design engineering of a project for an hour or day or more sometimes if it's complicated or I'm looking for ways to improve the construction of a design.
  • Engineering, math and geometry skills will make you a better stitcher. If you get confused by sewing things inside out or can't conceive of how to reverse engineer or construct a garment from scratch in the proper order so you don't sew yourself into a corner, then it can be frustrating.
  • There is a learning curve.
  • Modern machines are less sturdy and durable than older, all metal machines.
  • Sewing machines can be addictive. I had one inexpensive modernish plastic machine. Then I found an older one at a yardsale. I found accessories to it online. I found that it worked better. I keep on adding things to it. And after having three machines, I am yearning to upgrade to a better model. I know, they take up a lot of room in my very small home.
  • Sewing does not actually save money. Nowadays, fabric usually costs more than ready-made clothes or blankets, and then you have to add thread, zippers, buttons, etc to the cost. Although you can sometimes find materials in thrift stores.
  • People do not appreciate the work and love that goes into that handmade gift. They weigh the usefulness of a gift by the money that you have spent on it.
  • If you don’t like to make things, you won’t enjoy it. Don’t get an expensive machine until you’ve found that you’ll actually use it regularly.
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Sew Your Own Clothes Without Sewing Patterns

No Sewing Patterns Needed No Need For Intimidating Sewing Patterns

Conclusion:

Sewing machines are always of value, even if only to do mending. If this is the primary reason to desire a machine, a smaller, simple machine would be quite adequate. 


On the other hand, if you wish to sew a variety of garments or household items, a “regular “ sized machine with a well known brand is preferable.


Should you wish to sew garments from both woven and stretch fabrics, household items, and quilts, look for a solid machine which is very highly regarded for it's consistency and relatively easy maintenance.


There are also machines which are quite specialized. A serger is primarily used for stretch fabrics to make active wear, bathing suits, etc.


Some sergers come with a built in cover stitch (think double row of stitching at the lower hem of a t-shirt), however, it is possible to purchase a machine designed for this purpose only.


Some sewing machines are specialized for quilters, having numerous decorative stitches to choose from.


A person that quilts a lot can also opt for a long arm machine which is used specifically for quilting larger quilts.


Lastly, there are sewing machines which include an embroidery component.


A multitude of patterns and designs can be placed on garments, used for craft projects, and general appliques or patches.


As you can see the options are many. My advice, however, would be to visit local shops and speak to staff regarding the specifics of any machine you may be considering.


Before making a purchase, I would also recommend reading online reviews and checking the Consumers Report assessment.


Sewing machines take up space. They must be maintained, if you only use a machine every few months then it definitely needs to be oiled and lubricated. They can lead to a VERY expensive hobby!


As a reward, you are able to sew! You can save money by learning to do your own repairs and alterations, learning to hem pants and jeans will likely pay for both the machine and the class. I personally find them very therapeutic to operate.

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