You Don’t Need a Fancy Embroidery Machine to have Fun

two expensive embroidery machines
You’re a crafter or sewer and the thought of creating your own machine embroidery is mouthwatering.

You could easily add color and design to all of your projects. All you need is a home embroidery machine.

You’ve watch videos online, visited dealer showrooms and witnessed them running at your favorite craft expo. You’ve gotta have one! And you’ve gotta have it now!

It seems everyone is using these incredible top of the line embroidery machines. It does everything you could ever dream of. Including things, you’ve never thought about doing before.

Then you see the price tag of $6,000, $10,000 or more and you think…

Are you ever going to be able to afford a home embroidery machine?

Yes, and I’ll show you how to get the best one to fit your needs.

Sewing and Embroidery Machine Manufacturers Want You to Spend Lots of Money Now

Remember, sewing and embroidery machine salespeople make their living when you buy a machine. For every machine sold the shop and manufacturer make money.

Yes, the salespeople have great knowledge when it comes to embroidery machines, techniques and all of the coolest supplies. It’s their job to know what to sell you based upon what they think you need.

One manufacturer is not necessarily better than another. The shop owner is under contract with specific sewing machine manufacturers. Some embroidery machine stores carry one specific brand or many different brands. This doesn’t mean a brand they don’t carry is inferior to one they do. It just means the store doesn’t have a contract with a competitor’s machine.

Some sewing machine shops take trade-ins of all brands of machines. Some stores will sell these to their customers, others do not.

And the higher end embroidery machines with their bells and whistles are targeted to your emotion of “I gotta have it now”.

But let’s get real. You don’t need all those bells and whistles to get started with embroidery. Instead of buying nothing at all, buy one you can afford right now. Then, you can upgrade to a fancier one when you’re ready.

How to Decide which Embroidery Machine You Want or Need

Before you decide on a specific model or brand of sewing, embroidery or a combo machine figure out the following:

What projects will you be doing now and in the near future?
Are you interested in adding embroidery to quilts, stand-alone projects or embellishing existing projects? Your project size determines hoop needs and machine capabilities. Some machines come with one hoop size while others have four or five available.

Do you plan on being mobile with your machine?
Do you like going to sewing, quilting or embroidery guilds? Do you like going to sewing retreats? Or are you a nomadic person who likes to have their machine with them at all times? If you fall into any of these categories, you need to make sure your machine is the right size and weight for you to move and set up easily.

What’s your budget?
This is not how much can you spend, but how much you should spend. You don’t want to spend so much on your new embroidery machine that the purchase becomes a burden. This will only make the purchase less enjoyable when you’re using it.

You’ll also need to decide on the capabilities of your machine. Do you want it to only embroider? Or do you want the machine to sew and embroider?

Should You Get an Embroidery-Only or Embroidery-Sewing Machine Combo?

Two sewing machines where one just an an embroidery machine and the other is a combo sewing and embroidery

If you like to sew as well as embroider, you might consider investing in a combo machine.

Many combo machines have better embroidery and sewing capabilities than individual machines.

They can be more expensive than embroidery-only machines, but they’re less expensive than buying one of each. Plus, the embroidery unit comes off easily for transporting or storing. And, of course, having one machine takes up less space than two.

If you already own a sewing machine, you might be able to sell or trade it in, making the cost of a combo machine less.

If you’re not a sewer, an embroidery only machine might be perfect for you. If you like to sew, then deciding on a combo machine or two individual machines is a must. Each option has its own pros and cons.

The Two Most Important Things to Look for When Buying an Embroidery Machine

A sewing machine is held up on garage jacks with a repair person underneath it

It’s not the brand, not the price and not the fanciest.

It has nothing to do with a specific model or feature on the machine.

In fact, it has nothing to do with the embroidery machine at all.

The two most important things to look for when you’re buying an embroidery machine has to do with people.

Where will you get the best service and support for your embroidery machine?

Who’s going to service or fix your machine when needed? Your machine needs maintenance servicing at least once a year. And if something breaks on the machine, you want it fixed now.

Who will give you the best support for your machine? You’ll want someone available to show you how to do basic embroidery. Plus, someone to answer questions as you learn and create on your new machine. Someone you have access to so you’re not alone learning everything your new machine can do.

Most good sewing machine repair shops can fix any type of machine. But embroidery machines that come from a box store or online aren’t the same quality as those which come from a dealer.

Manufacturers make different models depending on where they’re being sold.

Yes, some dealers are starting to sell online. Some manufacturers allow this while others do not.

But you’ll still have the same issues of who will give you the best machine service and support.

Why You Should Consider Buying Your Machine From a Dealer

You may consider buying an embroidery machine from an individual, as it’s usually less expensive.

But an individual can’t give you the same support and service a dealer can.

When buying from an individual you can ask specific questions about the machine. You can ask why they’re selling the machine. The last time it was serviced. And what they liked or disliked about the machine. Their answers can give you insight on what type of embroidery machine you’re looking to buy.

But they won’t help you beyond that.

When buying from a dealer they’ll service and fix the machine before you take it home. Before buying ask the dealer what needed to be fixed if anything on the machine. Plus, any history the previous owner might have given them.

Ask the dealer if they add a warranty to used machines. And if they offer free lessons on used machines.

How to Get the Most When Buying From a Dealer

When purchasing a new embroidery machine from a dealer remember, they want you to buy the most expensive machine you can. Keep your needs in mind and don’t let them push you into a machine you don’t want.

Before purchasing your new machine find out every perk and incentive the sewing machine shop offers to their buyers.

Let the following questions be your guide.

  • Do they have free learning classes? If so when.
  • What deals are available on the machines you’re considering?
  • Do any of the machines include free gifts or incentives? If the incentives aren’t something you want, ask for a substitution.
  • Does the shop take trade-ins towards used and new machines? Make sure you check around for the value of your used machine before you trade it in. You might be able to sell your machine to an individual for more money than the dealer is willing to give you.
  • Do you get free servicing on your machine? And if so, how often and for how many years?
  • Is there a trade up policy? Some shops allow you one year to trade up to a higher value machine, without losing the money you have invested in the current one.

Before you leave the shop with your new machine, schedule a follow-up learning class.

After you’ve purchased a machine use the support and service as you need. A good sewing machine dealer will give you good service if it’s over the phone, email or in person just for asking.

Time to Get Embroidering and Crafting

8 different traditional clock faces

Sure, those fancy embroidery machines do really cool things and make crafting fun. But you no longer need to believe you have to start with the fanciest machine. There are plenty of less expensive embroidery machines on the market. Machines you can buy right now and get started embroidering.

Remember the right embroidery machine for you gives you the ability to craft as you choose while getting the best service and the support you want.

Now go do your research, buy the right embroidery machine, and get crafting!

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