Smart Sewing Guide: Introduction

On a cold, dark, winter night, you are propped up in a warm, cozy bed thumbing through your favorite sewing magazine. You stop and stare at yet another enticing advertisement for one of those newfangled, do-it-all, top-of-the-line sewing machines and wonder:

Could they really be as good as they claim? Is it time to buy one?

You toss. You turn. You dream of repeatable automatic buttonholes, exquisitely embroidered blouses, and quilts to die for.

But wait! Who is that figure hiding in the shadows of your dreamy sewing room? You can hear it whispering: Be careful. This is going to cost a bundle. You should be ashamed of yourself—what’s wrong with the old machine? You’ll never be able to use it... didn’t you say it’s computerized? As soon as you pay for it a new model will make yours obsolete. Those dealers will take advantage of you if you give them a chance.

Wake up! Wake up!

I’ve written this guide because making a decision about a wonderful hobby like sewing shouldn’t be a nightmare.

I have spent years working with every domestic sewing machine on the market (I currently have 12 of them in my workroom) and have spent a lot of time in sewing- machine stores and sewing-machine repair rooms.

That’s how I’ve learned a lot about customers, dealers, sewing machines, the sewing industry, and ways to make sewing more enjoyable. In this guide, I’ll share the things I have learned so you can make some sensible decisions about one of the most practical, pleasurable, relaxing, and satisfying hobbies on earth: sewing.

In Section One, I’ll look at sewing and sewing-machine trends and what and why sewers are sewing today. What you sew depends a good deal on your personality, so I’ll talk about sewing temperament. See if you fall into any of the categories I’ve created from my observations of sewers throughout the years.

In Section Two, I’ll talk about whether you should buy a sewing machine and when. I’ll talk about the basics of good decision making, including the difference between making decisions with your brain and with your heart.

In this section, I will also discuss the various kinds of sewing machines that are on the market and the pros and cons of the features available—which ones work and which ones don’t. The more you know about the products available, the less likely you will make an expensive mistake when it’s time for you to buy a machine.

In Section Three, I’ll discuss how to clean and keep your current machine in good running order, I’ll also give you some tips on how to modernize that old machine.

In Section Four, I assume that you’ve decided to buy a sewing machine and have also made some decisions on what kind you want and approximately how much you want to spend.

I’ll take you step-by-step through the buying process so that you’ll feel comfortable negotiating the purchase of an important part of your creative life. Here you’ll find tips on how to find a good dealer, how to negotiate a good price, and how to avoid those “tricks of the trade” that have your mind spinning as the money flies out of your wallet.

In Section Five, I’ll talk about making the most of your machine after you get it home. I’ll share with you some of the things I’ve learned over the years that can make your investment pay off in productivity and sewing enjoyment. For example, I’ll tell you why those tables that are designed “especially for your sewing machine” are the worst things you can buy, and I’ll give you some suggestions to improve the accuracy in your sewing. I hope you enjoy my efforts. I wish you happy sewing dreams.

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Saturday, 2009-05-30 2:39