Question by kiki: What is the best sewing machine for embroidering small words?
I’m starting my own business and I’m going to upgrade by buying a new sewing machine to handle all the products I’ll be making. A major part of the products I’ll be offering is optional customization, so I’d need to embroider their name. However my products aren’t going to be that big and so the names would have to be embroidered fairly small, the height of the letters being 3/8″ tall. I’ve looked at many sewing machines that also offer alphabet stitching but I haven’t been able to find any examples of what the finished words would actually look like that small so I’m having a lot of trouble deciding what to get.
I’m only seventeen without an income and I’m a full time college student so I don’t have a lot of money to spend on the machine, probably less than $ 500, but definitely more if they have a payment plan. That being said, I want to get the most out of my startup money and try and get something that sews nicely as well as embroiders to do everything I’ve described above so I don’t have to buy a sewing machine and an embroidery machine. I honestly could care less about decorative stitches since I’ll only be using a straight stitch and possibly a zigzag stitch and the only thing I’ll be embroidering will be the alphabet. Any other large/complicated/multicoloured embroidery I’m ordering as custom embroidered patches in bulk from overseas so that won’t ever be a problem for me. All the other bells and whistles in a machine like a drop in bobbin, automatic threader, fully computerized, etc don’t matter to me because I’ve only ever sewn on a very basic $ 70 sewing machine for the last six years so i’m quite used to that and it doesn’t bother me at all.
Also if you could recommend me a very cheap 3 or 4 thread serger that’s not complete junk for the price that would be fantastic!
Answer by HappyDog
Small lettering is tough to do, and can end up looking unprofessional if it’s not just right. The best advice I can give you is to find some machine dealers, visit them and have them show you what a 3/8″ letter looks like on one of their machines. Any machine that you buy in a box is a mystery. You need the dealership to show you what it can do, demonstrate how to use it and to support you when you have issues.
Brother has dealerships and you can find Viking Husqvarna (moderately expensive) and Singer (can be quite inexpensive) at JoAnn Fabrics. Some of those “sew and vac” stores also have staff capable of demonstrating the machines. Bernina, Babylock and Janome also have dealerships but may be too expensive for your college student budget ;o)
My serger is 20 years old and a Kenmore that they don’t make any more, so I can’t advise you on that, except to say don’t go cheap! I believe Babylock is the best, but again, pricey. And again, go see it in person and see what features it has an how easily it threads.
Best of luck with your business.
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