You don’t have to use a sewing machine, but if you do, you want to make sure it’s a good one. A good machine is different for different people. Below are some of the most important things to look for.
To find a good sewing machine you should look for one that has a good quality straight stitch and a zig zag stitch. It’s best to buy your machine at a place where you can try it out. This way you can see how it works and how good the stitches are. You shouldn’t buy a used machine unless you can try it out, and either you or someone you know knows about machines and can look at them.
If you are short, you should look for a machine that has an automatic start and stop. I am pretty short, and it is easier to sew when you don’t have to stretch to reach the pedal. If you are tall, you may not find that neccessary.
Long arm arm machines are longer from the needle to the controls and are better if you do a lot of quilting, while a free arm (you can remove part of the base) is good if you make a lot of clothes.
To try out the stitches you can get either sample fabric if you want to work on a woven or a cotton, or bring your own knit if you work on knits a lot.
If you are buying a new machine, you should make sure it is one that comes witlh lessons. Even if you know how to sew well, they can teach you how to use the machine and all of accessories. This will make it easier to sew more in the future.
Expesnsive machines aren’t always the best choice, so be sure you look for the machine that is best for you. There are many modestly priced machines like Baby Lock, Singer, Viking, and Janome. Most importantly, you should like the machine and not let yourself get talked into something you don’t like, because you aren’t likely to be happy.