We can trace embroidery and sewing disciplines back to historical times when people did the two processes by hand. But since then, both sewing and embroidery have highly evolved where people are now using special machines to do them. These machines feature various built-in features to help ease the work. As compared to many decades ago when people had to stick to either sewing or an embroidery machine solely, today if you are sewer you can also be an embroidery enthusiast. Most machine manufacturers have also factored in this element and have developed machines that have both embroidery and sewing machine functions. Big questions most beginner sewers ask relates to whether an embroidery sewing machine combo is really worth it.
To decide on this, there are few factors to consider. We have discussed some of them below.
#1 – Your plans for the machine
Before purchasing sewing or an embroidery machine you have to be clear on how you will be using it. The main reason behind this is that buying embroidery and sewing machine combo is more expensive if all you just need the embroidery or the sewing function – not both. But however, if you are always engaged in the two disciplines or you are planning to grow your skills grow your skills, then the question of whether you need embroidery sewing machine is valid.
#2 – Cost effectiveness
To get a logical conclusion on whether you should purchase the separate unit or a combination unit, you will have to compare the cost of purchasing sewing and embroidery machines separately versus single unit combining the two elements. To save the manufacturing cost and time, most brands and manufacturers design combinations which feature both sewing and embroidery functions into a single machine. In fact, this is the new route sewing machine manufacturers are now taking. Spending around 75% of the amount you would have spent if you purchased two separate machines makes sense.
#3 – The workstation space
Regardless of whether you are working from a rented workstation or from your home, a size of the available space is among the factors you have to consider when purchasing a machine. The main reason behind this is that having two separate machine units in your squeezed room is not as convenient as having embroidery and sewing machine combo in your room. A degree of comfort when embroidering or sewing will highly affect your project’s end results.
#4 – The special features in the machine
Built-in features of the embroidery or sewing machine should be the primary consideration when deciding on whether separate or combo machines are appropriate. Embroidery sewing machines always come with more features than the separate machines. The following are some of the unique features you have to look for when purchasing a machine.
- Number of built-in stitches: When purchasing a sewing machine, ensure that it has all utility stitches and utility stitches. And if you are after basic stitches, decorative stitches aren’t ideal. A one-step buttonhole will help you in sewing different sizes buttons. People prefer one-step buttonholes to the four-step buttonholes because the later is more primitive and it can be a handicap for most beginners. With a one-step buttonhole, you will easily direct the machine on a size and the shape of buttonhole you want.
- Automated needle threading: Most sewing and embroidery machine combo feature automated needle threading. Moreover, separate sewing and embroidery machines will have automated needle threading but in most cases, this feature will not work as expected and therefore most people go for the manual threading which is somehow tedious. Automated needle threading will save you time and also allow you to concentrate more on your main project rather than on the threading function.
- Top drop: Machines with side loading bobbins are an inconvenience, especially when changing those bobbins. But top drop-in bobbins permit the user to drop the bobbin and allow the thread to start rolling. A machine with transparent bobbin cover will enable you to see the thread supply properly.
- The weight of the machine: A lightweight machine is important, particularly when you are travelling or taking classes a considerable distance from your home. Most manufacturers use heavy materials to make sewing and embroidery machines and therefore this can be a challenge. Combinations are modern in construction and utilize materials such as strong but light plastics. Look for a machine that has a weight below 4.5Kgs.
- Special layered fabric feeding system: Whenever you are working on the regular seams, standard feeding systems which feature dogs and presser foot will do a great job. However, as you will be getting to thicker fabric sandwiches or dealing with shifting fabric layers, your machine will require more help. Most embroidery and sewing machine combos have walking foot system which utilizes special presser foot to operate in synchrony with feed dogs. While pull dogs will be pulling from the bottom, the machine’s presser foot will be grabbing and pull from the top, therefore, making the fabric layers pass the needle at the exact same time without shifting or bunching.
#5 – Top 3 embroidery and sewing machine combos in the market 2016
Have you realized that whenever you search embroidery and sewing machine combo, the Brother SE400 will be among the first in the search engine results? For many years, the machine has remained at the top. All machines will not provide all the features, the level of performance you need and come at the price you expect. But however, the SE400 provides all these features. it is among the least expensive machines in the industry.
It features 70 built-in embroidery designs with 5 different lettering fonts and 67 sewing stitches. It has a 4”x4” embroidery area and due to its USB connectivity, you will import designs easily from the internet – you won’t feel limited to the 70 built-in designs. The machine is also easier to use and comes with several advanced features such as automatic needle threader, programmable needle up/down and automatic thread cutter. Overall, this is the best sewing and embroidery machine you will get in the market at an affordable price.
Pros and cons
- It’s easier to use
- Have many advanced features
If you are an experienced user, you will find the 4”x4” embroidery area to be small.
This machine is very close to the SE400. However, it has Project Runway branding. Differentiating between a Brother LB6800 and an SE400 is very hard but one primary difference that you will notice is the price. Brother LB6800PRW comes at a higher price but this shouldn’t affect your shopping decision as it fluctuates depending on the season. The machine comes with some extras such as a rolling bag, additional feet and felt.
However, there are people would do not require an additional rolling bag for their machines and may not spend any money for it. Most of the features you get with this machine are more like those of the SE400.
Pros and cons
- Allows importation of more programs from the internet
- Comes with extras such as rolling bag, feet and felt.
- Higher price
- It is a huge bummer
The Singer XL-550 is the best combo machine that Singer offers. It comes with very many special features and in addition, it is a performer. The machine has whopping 215 inbuilt sewing stitches and 125 inbuilt embroidery designs with 20 different fonts and outline lettering. its 10”x6” embroidery area is large and has a multi-hooping capability and therefore you can easily do larger designs than you would do with original hoop sizes.
This machine also includes two hoops: 10”x6” and 4”x4”. It is a suitable machine for the advanced and professional users. After purchasing the machine, you will receive an AutoPunch, Hyper font, and Advanced Editing Software. This feature justifies the machine’s price clearly. At first, the look will make you believe that the sewing and embroidery combo machine is very expensive. You will get high-quality stitches regardless of the type of fabric you are using and moreover, you can use to add a professional finish to all your projects.
Pros and cons
- The machine is suitable for both advanced and professional users
- It comes with advanced editing software
- The machine has a great appearance
- You will get higher quality stitches regardless of the fabric you use
- With the machine, you will add a professional finish to all your projects
- You will need to do all the editing on a laptop or a PC with the help of the included Software. In other words, you will need to connect the laptop or PC to your singer machine when operating it.
- The machine features an LCD screen but it limits the user to stitch selection only
Everyone will go for the best particularly when it comes to productive equipment (such as embroidery and sewing machine usage). Embroidery and sewing machines combos are more versatile and they will handle several tasks perfectly. The advanced and amateur users will highly benefit from the available 2 in 1 machines available in the market.