What Sewing Machine Should I Buy!!??

1 May

This is a question I get asked a lot. There is a vast array of brands and models out there but how do you know which one to go for?

My first piece of advice is you really do get what you pay for. It is a total cliche I know but it’s true. I remember I was reupholstering a chair and I went out and bought the cheapest staple gun I could find. Obviously it was absolutely terrible and counter productive as I had to go out and buy another one the next day. So I should really practise what I preach.

The first question I ask someone who is thinking of buying a machine is What do you want to do with your machine? If the answer is you would like to make bits and pieces from lighter weight fabrics. Maybe you want to make bunting for the rest of time. You are not massively interested in dressmaking or sewing things like denim or making curtains. If you also think that this could be a short lived hobby then the entry level model is for you.

Elna Sew Fun

Elna Sew Fun SRING PROMO PRICE £99.00

The Elna Sew Fun is their entry level machine. I usually say do not spend any less than £100 because £40 machines are a false economy believe me. Buy a brand you have heard of, not and Ikea one(sorry Ikea I love your fabric but can’t stand the machines!). So the first good point about this is it reminds me of a fruit salad sweetie. No I’m joking don’t buy a sewing machines because it is pink or something. John Lewis must rake it in with their pink and purple machines. It is a good entry level model. It has stretch and non stretch stitches and a 4 step button hole. It doesn’t have a massive amount of accessories with it but enough to get you started. It has a fairly strong motor, fine for going through layers of lightweight fabric but will struggle with layers of curtain fabric and curtain lining. This machine is currently on sale for £99 instead of the normal price of £119. BUY ONE HERE. Promotion ends 30th June.

So what if you love sewing, you know you’ll still be doing it in years to come and need a machine that will be capable of all sorts and one you won’t out grow? Step up Elna 340!

Elna 340


You may recognise this if you have ever been on any of my classes. These are the beauties we use in class. They are quiet, smooth and can handle layers and layers of thick fabrics no bother. They have a very strong motor which makes denim effortless! This machine is a top loading machine instead of a front loading like the Sew Fun. Top loading is easier to work with and tends to jam less often than the front loader. No need to fiddle about with a bobbin case either because top loaders have them built in already. You also get a tonne of accessories with this, zip foot, 1 step button hole foot, blind hem foot, overedge foot, satin stitch foot and extra needles, 4 bobbins, tiny screw driver, lint brush, seam ripper, quilting guide, spare bobbin pin…I think I’ve remembered them all! This also has a hard cover which is great for me because I transport them all over the place. It looks a lot better than the dust covers and protects the machine pretty well. I dropped one out the back of my car(a tiny 4×4 that is quite high up) and they all still work a treat. The 340’s are little troopers! The one step button hole is pretty special. The foot has a space that you put the button you want to use in, then you pop it on the machine, follow the manual to get the right settings and Bobs your…buttonhole – the machine works out exactly what size you buttonhole should be! There is also a needle threader on this which is an eyesight saver believe me. It also has a speed control on the foot so you can slow it right down or speed it right up. Basically this machine is a wee dream. It’s so easy to use with diagrams and arrows and number all over it. It just works well every time, no nonsense which is exactly what you need when you are learning. If you love sewing and want to progress without having to upgrade your machine in a years time then this is the model for you. This machine is currently on sale for £219 instead of £229.  BUY ONE HERE .Promotion ends 30th June.

So what if the 340 is a bit out of your budget but the Sew Fun is too basic for your needs? Lets have a look at the middle level Elna 240

Elna 240


The first thing you might notice is the 240 is a front loading machine like the Sew Fun. It’s a little bit trickier but not something to put you off. It has a lot more stitches than the Sew Fun and a much stronger motor. It is a bit noiser than the 340 but still not a massively clunky machine. It has a 1 step button hole and a needle threader so your eyesight will be saved! Accessory wise you have the buttonhole foot, Blind hem foot, satin stitch foot, zip foot, a screwdriver, extra needles and 4 bobbins. It comes with a dust cover too. You might eventually out grow this one so I usually say if you can afford it go for the 340. This model is currently on sale for £159 instead of £169. BUY ONE HERE. Promotion ends 30th June.

I stock the whole range of Elna machines but unless you are interested in quilting I tend to advise that no one spends more than the £229(currently £219) for the 340. I don’t see the need to be honest and I wouldn’t sell anyone a machine that has a whole load of features you will never use! There is a huge range of choice out there. You can walk into John Lewis and peruse their collection(mostly Janome now I believe which is the same company as Elna) of sewing machine. If you are lucky someone might talk to you but only if they think they will get a sale from you. I don’t think anyone has ever said hello to me. And i’m not going for another customer service in the sewing and haberdashery sector rant but C’MON JUST SAY HI.  My point is, you probably know me. You know I am self employed, you know if I had a shop IT WOULD BE LOVELY AND FRIENDLY AND FULL OF KITTENS… ok maybe not full of kittens for health and safety. But I am not going to make you feel like an idiot. I spend my days trying to build people sewing confidence. I have fixed students sewing machines via twitter(i’m quite proud of that). I’m always available and a sale means something to me. I want everyone to be delighted with their machines and if you get stuck you know I will help you out. So just like everyone is encouraged to shop locally for their fruit and veg, or visit their local fishmonger, buy from independents when you can(even if it’s not me!).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: