New Sewing Machine

I’m taking the plunge folks – I’m going to invest in a new sewing machine! It’s been almost a year since I picked up a needle and thread for the first time and my love for sewing has only grown so I think it’s high-time I got some new kit. Don’t get me wrong, I love my current machine but it’s pretty limited. When I proclaimed to Ian that I wanted to start sewing, he was pretty sceptical as I have been known to make grand, spur-of-the-moment decisions and then go off the idea a month later. Ever the pragmatist, he encouraged me to go for a low-end machine to start with, with the hope of upgrading once I knew it was something I would stick with. I sure showed him.

*sidenote* My first machine was from Ikea and I can’t recommend it enough for budding sewists.

1 year down the line and countless broken needles later, I’m ready for a big girl machine! It was all fine and well committing to the idea but my problem now is deciding exactly which one to buy! Here are some of the MANY thoughts and questions floating about my head right now:

  • Which brand should I get? A Singer is a classic, but then a lot can be said about Janome. What about a Brother? Is it just the new kid on the block and will inveterately cut out after a few years? Who the hell is Bernina?
  • Do I really need a computerised machine?
  • Yes, I want a computerised machine they’re so cool!
  • But what if I get a computerised machine and they’re too complicated to work?
  • Sack that! I’m an intelligent wo-man who is a dab hand with gadgets if I do say so myself.
  • What’s my budget?
  • Where do I buy it from? Is Amazon an appropriate place to buy a sewing machine?
  • I’m hungry.
  • Is there some place that will let me play about with their machines?
  • What about accessories? How many feet do these things come with?
  • Do I really need access 140 different stitches when I currently use about 3?


I have little to no idea what I want. Google has only taken me so far, but from my extensive research I think I have narrowed it down to 2 machines – the Janome SM3000 and the Brother AS40. I’m leaning towards the Janome model purely based on the amazing reviews it has. It is more expensive than the Brother but I think I would rather pay a bit more and get a machine that will last 10+ years. On the other hand the Brother machine has a built-in light which I’ve been spoiled with in my current machine… WHAT TO DO?!

If anyone reading this has either of these machines please let me know what you think of them. Or if you have a machine that you love let me know and I’ll add it to the list for consideration. I want to buy from Sewing Machines Direct because of their extended guarantees but apart from that I’m open to suggestions. I definitely need as much help as I can get!


Published by boldlygold

I am a Marketing professional by day and a nifty crafter and DIY'er by night. Join me as I indulge in all of my (many) past times!

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  1. Hi, I’ve just found your blog via Bloglovin’

    I’ve never used either of these machines, but to answer some of your questions above;
    My computerised machine (a Pfaff Ambition Essential if you’re interested) is no more complicated than my old, non computerised one.
    Physical shops that sell sewing machines are getting harder and harder to find. If you DO find one, then yes, if they’re any good they will let you trial the machines.
    The machines will come with a few different feet – how many depends on the manufacturer, but you’d probably get a buttonhole foot and a zip foot at least in addition to the standard one. You might want to check the cost of other feet too incase you suddenly get a burning desire for an invisible zip foot, or a piping foot, or whatever.
    No, you don’t need 140 different stitches! I think my machine has 90, I’ve used all of them once to see what they were like, but regularly use only 3 or 4.
    I’m sure the Janome machine also has a built in light – I think they would be standard on a machine at that price level, but you could always check.
    I hope that long ramble has been at least a little bit helpful!

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Thank you so much for your comments – they really help! I hope the Janome has a built in light – the site only specifies that the brother has it but I’m thinking that it must be a standard feature of all newer machines by now? I’m leaning towards to Janome I think. Your machine looks very swish!

  2. So tell me, did you finally pick the Janome or the Brother? And how are the computerised features working out?
    I find myself in almost exactly the same position as you were when you wrote your blog. I’ve had my mum’s old machine for many years, and when I press on the foot control it buzzes for half a minute before the machine rockets off at 100 mph!! – no matter how gently / steadily I try to control my pressure on the pedal.
    I’ve been studying the Sewing Machines Direct website for over a week, and keep changing my mind about the one I want. The ‘speed control’ thing feels important to me, and I’m told by SMD that the Brother AS40 is the cheapest one they do, with a ‘speed limiter’ feature… But that takes me into the realms of a computerised machine – which I had not been considering until now.
    I’m not a hugely experienced sewer, but I learned at school, and I’ve run up a few tops and soft furnishing things over the years.
    I was encouraged by Sam’s reply that computerised machines are not too complicated, so I will probably go that route….but then there’s quite a few different ones to choose from… so I’m still as confused as ever!

    1. I’ve not actually bought it yet but I’m about 97% sure that I’m going for the Janome! I’ve read that the brother can jump about a bit and I feel like the Janome won’t do that as much because it’s about 3kgs heavier. I know that I probably won’t use every single feature on a computerised machine right but I at least want them there for the future. From what I’ve read the Janome is a good middle-road machine if you’re working to a budget. From doing a bit more research, if money was no object then I would probably settle on a Pfaff but I just can’t afford to drop £500 on a hobby machine lol! Thanks for taking the time to stop buy and let me now what machine you eventually go for 🙂 Amy x

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