Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sewing Machine Features - Top Three

Sewing machine features – what can’t you live without? For me, the needle down position selection is number one on my list. The process of turning accurate corners and having to raise the presser foot to adjust going over open seams are critical points when creating projects.
Yellow box indicates where my main control buttons are located.
My number two “must have” is the automatic needle threader. It’s the little hook thingy that the thread hooks to then you push the catcher through the needle’s eye, then pull the loop out with the fingers. I’m so thankful mine I bought YEARS ago has this feature! Especially as the years go by and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be, this has been a God-send!

Number three is the “free arm” capability. On my machine, part of the base where the fabric rests as I sew will lift out when I physically remove it. This arm allows for sewing small circular areas. It’s a must have for creating doll clothes and bags!  

The availability to adjust stitch length and stitch width are also a must!

Speed control is an awesome feature I have on my machine. Sometimes I have a heavy foot, and shouldn’t!

What other machine features make sewing easier?

New machines are coming out with all sorts of gadgets and decorative stitches built in. Another feature I’m thankful mine has is the drop feed dogs. Sometimes I want to move my fabric through the stitches by hand, rather than at the machine’s pace.

Also, an adjustable presser foot is a must! This allows for a variance in thickness of fabrics to go through with ease without puckering or pulling.

Mine has a buttonholer, but honestly, I rarely use it!

A few other features I’ve read about, but don’t have, are:

Top Load Bobbin
Bobbin-Thread lift
Compatibility for add-ons

Don’t buy a machine without its instruction manual! The instruction manual is your best friend! Read it! Know your machine! 

Learn things like when do you oil it (IF YOU need to oil it), and where do you put the oil? One can ruin a machine in a heartbeat if the oil is either not used and it should be, or used in the wrong place!

Sewing machines are a major investment that should last a lifetime! So, lightweight, but sturdy, is always a good thing!

On the QuiltingGallery website, you’ll find a great article with several contributors sharing their favorite features and tips!

What are your top three must haves on your sewing machine?

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