Are you trying to find the best sewing or embroidery machine? Knowing what machine is the best can depend on what type of work you plan on doing, your budget, and your skill level. The experts at Idaho’s top sewing stores, Jones Sew & Vac, can help you find the sewing machine that best matches your needs.
Features to look for in a sewing or embroidery machine
With different capabilities and a wide range in price, there is no single best sewing machine — just the one that best suits your particular needs. Are you a quilter, or a beginner looking for something more entry level? Perhaps you are an embroidery expert with years of projects under your belt, and you need a machine that can keep up with you. Whatever your specific need, there is a model that is right for you, and Jones Sew & Vac can help you find it.
What to look for:
Lighting. It’s hard to work on a project that you can’t see. Good sewing machines will naturally incorporate light into their design, some setups being adjustable and including magnification.
Work Space. Most important is the space available to the right of the needle. The smaller the work area, the more of your project will have to be squeezed through the bed, creating a difficult working environment. Some models incorporate a free arm that can extend out to increase your workspace.
Automation. There are many tasks that your machine might be able to do for you. From end-of-stitch features like tying off your thread, to fully-automated set-it and forget-it embroidery designs, which are available on a variety of machines.
Free Motion. Computerized sewing and embroidery machines have become very good at allowing free motion stitching. Drop the feed dogs and gently guide the fabric around to “draw” on it with the thread. This is a feature you really want to test drive before buying.
Built in stitches. What can your sewing machine really do? At the least, it should come equipped with a straight stitch, a zigzag stitch, a button stitch, and a back stitch. These are the basics, and most modern machines will come with dozens of variety, at a minimum. Many will come with pre-programmed shapes and designs you can place with the simple touch of a screen.
Embroidery Positioning. Large designs that require multiple hoopings can be difficult to accurately place on your fabric. A good machine can help you with marking and alignment issues.
Buttonholes. Buttons aren’t hard, but the holes they go through can be. Most machines have the capability of making this process accurate and easy, from four-step buttonholes to pre-programmed, touch-screen-enabled, automatic buttonholes.
Modern Technology. Don’t be limited by what comes stock — many sewing machines offer PC connectivity (or even their own CPU) so you can pick up new stitches or embroidery designs from the internet and work them into your next project.
The Top Sewing Machines for Home Use in Every Category
Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist
The Singer 9960 has a big bag of tricks, especially considering its relatively humble price tag. Few sewing machines in this price range perform so well and come off the shelf with so many capabilities. It has hundreds of pre-programmed stitches including designs, several fonts, and buttonholes. The Singer 9960 is a great machine for beginners and advanced sewers alike.
Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2
There is virtually no quilt that is beyond the ability of the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2. The 4.2 comes loaded with 254 stitches! We also like that the large work area is well lit with LED’s. With so many computerized options, the graphic display is handy. Its 250 mm quilting bed can handle king-size quilts, and is packed with bells and whistles to make your quilting efficient and seamless. This is a must see machine!
Rated a Consumer’s Digest Best Buy, the Brother PE770 is a customer and staff favorite. While there are 136 built-in embroidery designs and 6 lettering fonts, the PE770 can import thousands of designs via a USB transfer from your computer. Brother has access to a multitude of designs, from Disney and Nickelodeon.
Juki Pearl Line MO-654DE 2/3/4 Thread Serger
This Juki Serger is definitely a pearl. Made for durability and reliability, the MO-654DE can handle the most difficult fabrics for years without flinching. Easy to adjust and coming with numerous stitch options, this is one of best Sergers on the market.
Brother Dream Machine 2
The Brother Dream Machine 2 might be the most advanced sewing machine ever made for home use. Despite having every feature you could ever dream of, it isn’t difficult to use, which is why it’s a Consumer’s Digest Best Buy.
There isn’t enough space here to even describe everything, but a few of the highlights are:
- Massive work area, with LED lighting so you can see it all
- 773 on-board embroidery designs, with USB connectivity to add more
- Hundreds of on-board stitches, with a max output of 1,050 stitches per minute
- Large 10.1 inch HD LCD display
- Complex CPU with 3 USB ports, mouse function, on board camera, and lots of memory
Did I mention the Dream Machine 2 has Wi-Fi?! That’s right.
Husqvarna Viking Opal 670
The Husqvarna Viking Opal is another favorite of ours that was rated as a Consumer’s Digest Best Buy. It boasts 200 beautiful stitches and 4 built-in fonts, with a large 200 mm sewing space. Get the benefits of modern technology with a computerized touch screen, automatic needle threader, and one-step buttonholes, all while preserving the durability of the best mechanical machines.
Pfaff Creative Sensation Pro II
The Pfaff Creative Sensation Pro II is the iPhone of the sewing world. The design is sleek, with few buttons and most of your inputs coming through a responsive touch screen. This machine is a marvel when it comes to working with difficult to use threads and fabrics, as it uses sensors to regulate the perfect balance between the needle and bobbin threads.
Husqvarna Viking Designer – Epic
The Designer Epic is one of our favorites for those that like to take on large projects. It features an extra large bobbin and a sewing area that measures 310 x 140 mm. Add to that the 650 on-board embroidery designs and the massive library of 1200 stitches, and the Husqvarna Viking can keep right on sewing all the way to Valhalla.
If you’re in the market for a new sewing machine, make sure to stop by one of our three convenient locations in Pocatello, Idaho Falls, or Boise to learn more. We’ll be more than happy to help answer any questions you may have, as well as let you take a machine or two for a test drive during your visit.
For the love of Embroidery!
Jones Sew & Vac Team