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What Are Computerized Sewing Machines?

By Angela Johnson
Updated May 16, 2024
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Computerized sewing machines are advance models of traditional sewing machines with a computer that controls much of the stitching, threading and movement. Many computerized sewing machines also double as embroidery machines, making complex embroidery designs easy for a novice to complete. The computer inside of the machine is completely controlling the motor and how fast the stitches are coming together. There are patterns as well as several different stitches that can be downloaded into the sewing machine's computer, allowing complex garments to be produced by most anybody.

When compared to traditional electric sewing machines, the computerized machines seem more intricate at first glance. Once the user becomes familiar with the coding and elements she can program into the computer, this piece of equipment can actually make it much easier to operate than its traditional electric counterpart. Some brands can offer more elements of design than others, and they can range in price according to their features.

Some of the more hi-tech computerized sewing machines also have an option of embroidery added. This allows the same machine to be used for both sewing and embroidery. Countless embroidery stitches can be downloaded and programmed to create monograms and other embroidery art. These machines also keep the fabric in place as well as move it at the appropriate time when the embroidery is being stitched. This type of combination instrument is similar to a miniature version of an industrial embroidery machine.

The options that can be purchased with a computerized sewing machine are special disks with an assortment of pasterns and stitching options, special cases that can make a sewing machine mobile and additional memory. Many of the decorative cases that are made specifically for the computerized case are stylish and have many different colors to choose from. It is important to be sure that the carrying case fits the brand of sewing machine because there are countless different cases that are not universal. Typically, each case includes a list of which computerized sewing machines fit into the case.

Upon purchasing a new item that has a large ticket price, such as an advanced computerized sewing machine, it is important make sure the piece of equipment is under warranty. Many sewing machine repair shops do not specialize in the computerized models, and they can be quite tricky to repair. Certain stores offer extended warranties that can be purchased for an additional price. This can offer peace of mind when purchasing an expensive item.

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Discussion Comments
By JessicaLynn — On Feb 14, 2012

I don't see anything wrong with buying a computerized sewing machine. I've been looking at sewing machine reviews because I want to buy a machine soon, and I think I'm just going to go ahead and get a computerized machine.

I know the machine kind of does everything for you, but I think that's kind of great. If you can get a machine to do it, what's the point of doing it by hand? I'm all for getting the latest and greatest technology.

After all, if anyone really wanted to sew the "traditional" way, we would all just sew by hand!

By strawCake — On Feb 13, 2012

@starrynight - I know what you mean about taking the fun out of it. I think it really depends on what you want the sewing machine for. Do you want the best sewing machine for sewing as a hobby or are you doing it professionally?

I can see how a professional (a tailor or a designer) would benefit from having a computerized machine. I also could see a hobbyist benefiting too. In that case though, it would depend on what kind of crafter you are: someone who is in love with the results, or someone who enjoys the process.

If you like getting great projects done quickly, you'd probably like a computerized sewing machine. But if you really enjoy the process, an electronic machine would probably be better.

By starrynight — On Feb 13, 2012

I had no idea something like this even existed! I've just started shopping around for a portable sewing machine, and I can't believe how many options are out there! Truthfully I'm a little bit overwhelmed!

I think I'm leaning towards getting a regular sewing machine first though. It almost seems like "cheating" to have a sewing machine that can do everything for you. How are you supposed to learn to sew when the machine basically does everything?

Also, my mind is officially blown you can buy a machine to embroider for you. I have to say I think that takes some of the fun out of it though.

By everetra — On Feb 13, 2012

@nony - If you want sewing machines for beginners I think you should try a traditional model first, and then switch over to the computerized machine.

I will say in the end however both experts and beginners alike can benefit from these machines. One of the neat features of the computer sewing machines is that some of them have the ability to remember your prior stitch; it’s kind of like an undo feature if you will. This is a great feature in the hands of a skillful sewing machine operator in my opinion.

By nony — On Feb 12, 2012

@miriam98 - I think that you are a prime candidate for computerized sewing machines. Read some sewing machine reviews online first to get an idea of which options you need.

I like the embroidery option myself but you may want to stick with a basic model. Since you say you weren’t very good at sewing, a computerized machine may be a little better for you; it’s like sewing on training wheels.

I’ve only heard negative reviews from people who have been sewing for a long time and don’t like the loss of control from switching to a computerized machine that tends to think for itself. Sometimes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But for beginners I can’t think of a more useful solution.

By miriam98 — On Feb 12, 2012

I’ve never been very good at sewing – I never had the patience for it, I guess. But of course I was using the traditional sewing machine where the quality of the finished work pretty much depended on your skill with the machine.

I am beginning to think that perhaps the computer sewing machine might be a better bet for someone like me. Computers don’t make mistakes, and I like the fact that I can have access to patterns and templates and just plug them in and let the sewing machine do its thing.

I suppose you could probably design your own patterns too in something like an illustration program. This would open up a world of creative possibilities for you I believe.

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