The Fabric Store Shopping Tips

Before shopping for any new sewing equipment, make a list of the features you liked and/ or disliked about your old machine, as well as those you'd like to have with your new machine. Be sure to include all of the types of sewing you'd like to learn.

Ask the following questions before making any purchase:

  • Is the dealer helpful and knowledgeable? Is the staff enthusiastic about the product they sell? Is the store decorated with a variety of stitched samples? Are you excited by the things you see in the store? Do you feel welcome and “at home” in the store?
  • What type of warranty and service are included? Does the warranty cover the expected life of the machine? Will the dealer be available to service your machine on a timely basis? A well-cared for sewing machine will last for years and years, becoming a treasured possession to pass onto a friend or relative.
  • Are instruction classes offered with the purchase? You’ll be much happier with your purchase if you understand how to use it, and know what your machine and/or software is capable of doing. Classes should be offered on a regular basis, at convenient times.
  • Is the manual clearly written and easy to understand? Are simple, easy-to-follow instructions included for all the procedures you’ll need to get started? And for when you’re ready for more advanced techniques? Is it easy to find the information you need?

Try Before You Buy!

After you have narrowed your choice to tow or three machines, take a few swatches of your own fabric (knits and wovens, as well as any trims you like to use) to the store an try each one of them using a variety of stitches. Sew a few buttonholes, attach some lace, hem a piece t-shirt knit, stitch a few bulky home dec seams…Get the feel of the machines and see how readily they accommodate the types of sewing you do.