Oct 112011

Pfaff cylinder bed sewing machineThe first thing you can consider when looking for a sewing machine for making a purse is what level of sewing are you looking at.

Is it for fun or are you starting a business? If it’s for just the casual purse making venture then you may want to purchase a good home sewing machine. If your sewing pursuits are more on the profit making side, an industrial machine is highly recommended.  Please note that while I use a Pfaff, it is not this model. You will need to do your own research to determine which machine (brand) is to your liking.

Your First Sewing Machine

If this is your first sewing machine don’t be timid about choosing one with power. In any event you would want to have a machine that has power to sew a variety of fabrics. Home machines vary greatly in this. The less expensive models are generally a little low on power so they sew very s-l-o-w-l-y. Though you may want to start with this as a beginner you will find that you quickly out grow this machine and would be looking to invest in a more powerful one in no time. To avoid this frustration it is recommended that you invest in a model that can move. Perhaps even a portable commercial machine is worth considering.

What Kind of Sewing Machine Will You Need?

While you can sew a bag with a flat bed machine, a cylinder arm machine allows you to get into places a flatbed dare not venture. You may also want to consider a machine with a walking foot. This is especially handy for sewing painted fabrics as it easily rides over the lumps and bumps without any problem.

But if you have a flat bed and you want to sew heavy materials or painted materials then you also need to know what needles are suitable for your projects. A typical needle for me is a #17 or a #18. You would have to downsize this a bit when you sew more delicate fabrics.

It is not important to have a great amount of features on your machine, but as you develop in your skill you may like to have the fancy accessories and added benefits. What is most important is the ability for your machine to have:

  • A good sturdy straight stitch
  • Back stitch or reverse capabilities
  • A means to make button holes
  • A zigzag stitch
  • A great presser foot (adjustable)

While these features may be standard on most home machine, an industrial or commercial machine may be great for speed and heavy duty stitching but low on the other features unless you invest in the attachments. It’s a good idea to shop around to various sewing machine dealers to see the variety of machine available and test a sample of the type fabric you will be using.

When I’m looking for a new sewing machine I generally get advice from my local sewing machine mechanic. He’s usually aware of the sturdy and the not so sturdy machines on the market their functions and the availability of parts for a particular machine. He may also be able to direct you to a machine that is excellent for sewing bags.

Although most of us would rather have a brand new out of the box machine, many times it is better to invest in a used or refurbished commercial sewing machine that will last you a lifetime. Industrial sewing machine dealers generally offer warranties on their used machines. So all in all if you have the space, the funds and the desire to sew purses you may just cut to the chase and purchase a good industrial sewing machine or even a portable industrial.

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