Everybody knows that Industrial Sewing Machines are more powerful work tools, but there are a lot of amazing home sewing machines that are capable of a lot more than they get credit for.  I can vouch for this after using a Bernina Activa 125 for the last 12 years to sew pretty much anything I wanted including leather!  After abusing my home machine for years, I eventually moved to an Industrial Machine.  It took me a while to transition over.  Getting use to an Industrial Machine is hard, but once you do, it will open up a whole new world of sewing options and more professional results.  I still love my home machine for certain projects, but it is like comparing an Easy Bake Oven to a Commercial Gas Oven.  I want to explain what I like about each machine and why I still hold on to a good home machine.

The Reasons I love using a Home Sewing Machine (Bernina Activa 125)

USER FRIENDLY!  A beginner or advanced stitcher can benefit from careful slow sewing for certain projects.  Guiding the needle into to intricate areas and going slow is much easier with a home sewing machine.  It’s like someone holding your hand.

ZIG ZAG STITCH:  I love to zig zag and the typical industrial machine is limited to a straight stitch. Home machines come with zig zag and many many other stitch options.  Industrial machines tend to specialize in a certain task.

EASE OF BACK-STITCH:  On most home machines if you want to stitch backwards you press a button once and you can stitch backwards forever.  On most industrial machines you have to continuously hold down a lever to go backwards.

PORTABILITY:  This one is obvious, but very important.  There are a lot of situations where being able to relocate your sewing project comes in handy.  This is probably what I love most about having a home machine and why I still keep one around.

FREE MOTION SEWING:  This is the other reason I will always have a home sewing machine.  Free motion stitching is one of my favorite embellishment techniques and it must be done on a home sewing machine.  There are specialized embroidery sewing machines that will do it too, but for occasional detail, having the ability to do this technique on my home machine is ideal.


THREAD OPTIONS!  The need to use heavy threads is the main factor that pushed me into getting an industrial machine.  Home machines are very limited in the thread category as far as weight goes.  I love sewing with Bonded Nylon Thread Tex 69 on my industrial machine.  The stitches look professional and they are strong.

FABRIC OPTIONS:  Home machines can sew through some pretty thick materials, but abusing your home machine can burn out the motor overtime and damage your needle bar.  I can 100% vouch for this.  An industrial machine is better suited for the heavy weight materials.

WORKHORSE:  If you are sewing more than 5 hours a day on your home machine you run the risk of again, damaging your machine.  This type of sewing time is better suited for an industrial machine that is designed to work overtime with you and then some.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  Using the correct thread with the correct fabric with the right machine is an amazing concept that will produce clean strong stitches with minimal fussing (hopefully) with your machine.

The Big Duck Canvas You Tube Channel has several instructional videos that show sewing on both machines I have.  In the SlipCover Video and the Tipi Video I actually use my home machine.  In the Easy Tote bag Video I use my Industrial Machine.   The portable home machine is ideal for making videos!

Continue reading "Moving from a Home Machine to an Industrial Sewing Machine."

6 comments on “Moving from a Home Machine to an Industrial Sewing Machine.

  • lisawdegregorio

    Really good job on the site, Keep up the good work! Visit my site

  • Frances Tardy

    Nice tutorial. When I first learned to sew I thought basting was a waste of time but I soon realized it was faster to bast two pieces of fabric together than remove a line of sewn stitching. Thanks. Visit My website

    • Big Duck Canvas

      yes basting is often faster than fooling with pins! Thanks for checking out the video.

  • keny.vic

    Thank you so so much for this tutorial. I watched the video twice before starting …watch twice, cut once.
    I’ve just finished my first zipper pouch and I’m a bit excited.
    It’s a bit wobbly and I sewed a little too close to the zipper but… it works!!!

    • Big Duck Canvas

      Thank you so much! So glad to got your zipper in!

  • Joy

    This tutorial is really good and can be the perfect ally to new sewing machine for leatheran article with specific brands for sewing leather. I believe that the best research one can do is by comparing the info on different articles. Yours gives already a pretty good idea of what to look for in a new machine, no doubt!

Leave a Reply