I think this week alone I have had more than 5 emails or messages about buying a Sewing Machine - so it has suddenly dawned on me that I should share all this info with you as well. I love getting emails from people asking questions about different subjects and so here is what I tell people about "Buying a Sewing Machine" - this is just in my humble opinion and from my experience.
Think when you buy a sewing machine - it is likely to be a one off purchase. I have two Sewing Machines and 1 Overlocker. I have had my trusty Pfaff Tiptronic 6270 for 11 years.
Considering how hard she is worked rarely has caused me any grief. I grew up using Pfaffs and this machine does have fancy stitches (although not nearly as fancy as the new ones) but at the end of the day I only straight stitch, zig zag, sew buttonholes and it also sews on buttons. I do use her for machine quilting as well but rarely touch all the fancy stitches.
Assess what type of machine you want by
1 - What are you going to be primarily sewing with it?
Machines can get very fancy but at the end of the day if you are going to only be using a small handful of the functions then do you need one with lots of bells and whistles?
2 - Have a budget in mind
I believe like with all things you get what you pay for. Buy the best you can afford - this does not have to be a fortune but a machine that is reliable and easily serviced. The machines like the Brothers, available from Spotlight - are inexpensive but do have some limitations. Base, simple model Janome or Berninas, are a great place to start for their cost and reliability.
I have the DC 2101 - mine was $500 as it did not come with the extras - This machine is used by my girls for sewing and is the one we use for the classes as a spare or if anyone needs to borrow one. This machine is excellent and has lots of features like speed control and easy one touch button system.
3 - Go to a local Sewing Centre and get their help!
My machine came with a free lesson as well. If you look under Sewing Machines in the Yellow Pages or google Sewing Machine Centres you can easily find one local to you. You can then see a whole range of different models and machines and you can see them working. This will give you a great idea of what you like and what type of machine will be suit you.