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Sewing Machines Buying Guides – FAQ & Tips

Whether your sewing skills are beginner, basic or advanced, there’s a sewing machine just right for you. Find your model and must-have features.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is an automatic buttonholer?

All electronic and computerized sewing machines feature buttonhole programs that simplify the construction of a buttonhole, either as a 4-step function or the completely automatic 1-step buttonhole.

Is a computerized sewing machine difficult to operate?

Computerized machines are actually easier to use and more versatile than most mechanical or electronic models. Stitches are selected by touching a keypad. A visual display unit shows the details of the stitch being used. Much of the sewing process is automated so that even a novice sewer will be able to tackle complex stitch-work and elaborate embroidery.

Will a serger alone meet my sewing needs?

Sergers have revolutionized home sewing, by sewing, finishing and cutting thread in one easy operation. Its main function is to quickly sew seams, so a serger alone may not meet all your needs.


Tips – Troubleshooting

Bobbin won't wind

The bobbin-winding spindle may not be fully inserted into the bobbin. You must insert the spindle and listen for the bobbin-winding spindle to "click" into place along the resin stopper.

Machine won't turn on

If the light bulb does not turn on or the foot pedal does not engage the motor after you plug the machine in, try using a new power cord.

Fabric does not feed

Fabric will not advance without the feed dogs raised into position for normal sewing. Look at the owner's manual for your machine and review the step-by-step instructions on how to raise or drop the feed dogs.

Needle won't go up or down

Make sure the clutch is engaged. On mechanical machines this is done by pushing in the hand wheel. On electronic machines, push the bobbin spindle from the right position to the left position to engage the clutch.

Thread bunching or tangling

Threading mistakes cause tangling and bunching. Follow the thread through all four threading points to make sure it's done correctly. Proper threading resolves almost every bunching or tangling issue.

Accessories don't work

Make sure the accessories you are using are compatible with your machine.

Tension failure

Using good quality thread helps ensure proper tension. Old, dry or brittle thread can cause improper tension.

Machine won't complete a buttonhole stitch

Make sure you are using the buttonhole lever. Many sewers miss this step in set-up. Also, some models require re-setting the lever after each buttonhole is sewn.