Sewing machines – the essential guide

Advice on everything from choosing the right model, to understanding the jargon

Advanced sewing machines

Looking for a sewing machine with versatile features? More substantial mechanicals such as the Janome Sewist 525S, £229, and the Brother XL-6600, £301, offer more styles of stitch, a variety of stitch lengths, attachments for inserting a zip and sewing buttonholes, all with manual operation.

Embroidery and quilting machines

Machines that feature a frame embroidery package have stitching designs built in or software that allows designs to be downloaded. The Singer Futura CE-150, £549, combines sewing machine, embroidery unit and software, while the Janome Memory Craft 200E, £599, is an embroidery-only machine to use in conjunction with a sewing machine.

For keen quilters, the Bernina Aurora 440 Quilters’ Edition, £1,395, has a unique stitch regulator, which simplifies freehand sewing.

Overlockers

These machines give a professional finish to seams and hems by trimming raw edges at the same time as oversewing them. Look out for models such as the Husqvarna Viking Huskylock S15, £259, that colour code the routes for threading the two, three or four spools of yarn, which can otherwise be quite taxing.

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