Choosing the best sewing machine for beginners is no easy task. With all of the different models and features available today, the purchasing process can be overwhelming. But don’t worry! We’ve put together some insider advice on what to look for when buying your first sewing machine, so you’ll know just what to do.
Sewing is so satisfying, creative, and useful. You can use it for almost anything from fixing clothes to making new ones. What sort of projects are you looking forward to starting on? Maybe you’ve thought about making your own clothes and maybe you want to make a quilt, or even make a pillow.
There’s a lot that goes into choosing the best sewing machine for beginners, so it’s important that you take some time to think about your personal needs before making any purchases.
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What to Consider When Buying A Sewing Machine
Finding the best sewing machine is all about price, weight, features, and other variables. For those who frequently sew on the go, there are lightweight, portable machines that are ideal, as well as heavy-duty machines that are ideal for those who have a designated sewing area. All sewing machines have different functions, with some oriented toward novices and others designed to meet the needs of the most seasoned professionals.
Need more details of what to consider? See our full guide on What to Look for in A Beginner Sewing Machine.
If you would like to jump ahead and see the winners, below is a table for each category.
Due to this, we picked several different winners for different sewing types to help you find the perfect machine to meet your needs. Before jumping into our list of machines, let’s do a quick overview of what to look for in a sewing machine.
Sewing Machine Type
A sewing machine can be computerized, electric, or mechanical depending on the type of machine. There are still some sewers who choose to utilize old-fashioned mechanical machines as an homage to their childhood memories. There are pros and downsides to every sort of machine.
Sewing Machine Portability and Size
From the tiniest mini-sewing machines to the most powerful full-size versions, sewing machine sizes range widely. Think about where you’ll be using and storing your sewing machine when deciding on the ideal size for you. When you’re short on crafting or storage space, a compact sewing machine with a small footprint is a great choice. For those who want a more traditional sewing experience, a full-featured sewing machine can be found in a standard-sized sewing machine. With a wider table space, this type of machine may be better suited for large stitching projects.
Beginner Sewing Machine Features
Sewing machines may all serve the same basic function, but the extras that can be added to them vary greatly, making them suitable for a wide range of projects. You should look at the accompanying sewing machine attachments like a presser foot and a walking foot if you want to do any quilting or other specific projects with your new machine. A sewing machine with self-threading capabilities is a popular choice for many individuals. A drop-in bobbin or buttonhole maker are other characteristics to keep in mind if you’re shopping for something that’s easy to use. Another feature you may be interested in is an edge-guide foot.
Below is a great presser foot tutorial video.
The bodies of sewing machines are often made of plastic or metal. Because they’re made of plastic, these machines are less expensive and lighter. There are a lot of sewing machines on the market today that are made of plastic. Because they are easier to create at a lower cost, they are more widely available. They are also more versatile in terms of size and weight, making it simpler to take them from storage to a tabletop.
Metal machines are exceptionally long-lasting, but they’re also more expensive and heavier than their plastic counterparts. Denim, canvas, and leather may all be sewn using metal machines, which are primarily used in the industrial sewing industry. Clothes manufacturing and tailoring companies commonly have metal sewing machines.
In addition to the machine, consider the material used for the presser foot. Sometimes the foot pedal may contain mostly plastic materials. Since the foot pedal is used often, cheap parts may cause durability issues of the foot pedal over time.
Your Sewing Skill Level
Your skill level will dictate what features you desire in your sewing machine. Determine what kind of sewing tasks you’d like to try. Do you wish to make pillowcases, home decor, clothing, and accessories? Do you intend to try your hand at quilting, do you need a foot pedal or maybe need a computerized machine for embroidery?
In most cases, a simple sewing machine with the option for a few decorative stitches can handle most home sewing chores. Quilting and embroidery applications necessitate sewing machines with additional stitch possibilities and bigger sewing arms for larger pieces of heavy fabrics.
There is a fundamental straight stitch that is provided by all sewing machines. A sewing machine’s ability to make a variety of stitches must be taken into consideration while choosing a purchase for your sewing projects. Sewing requires the capacity to select and modify stitches in some cases.
Presser Foot and Other Attachments
Using a presser foot, the cloth is held flat as it is fed across the stitch plate and sewn. When stitching, the fabric is kept flat to prevent it from rising and falling together with the needle. Presser feet are available in a wide variety of styles to accommodate a wide range of materials, stitches, seams, and more.
Looking for more sewing tool reviews, checkout our Best Irons for Quilting
Dust covers, magnetic sewing guides, needles, and bobbins are among the other sewing machine accessories that may be purchased.
My advice is to start with your budget and work your way outwards from there before focusing on specific features. Most sewing projects may be successfully completed with a basic straight stitch and zig-zag machine, including stretch fabric and leotards, as well as many other types of cloth.
Cost vs Performance
Speaking of budget, another consideration is the cost vs performance or convenience of a beginners sewing machine. For experienced sewers, the bells and whistles on an expensive machine may be needed and get used regularly. For a beginner sewer, the extra sewing machine features may never be used and add expense to the machine. One feature I suggest for a sewing machine for quilting is the Magnetic Hoop. If you plan to quilt a finished top using an embroidery machine, you’ll want to look for a machine that has a magnetic hoop option on it.
List of Best Sewing Machine for Beginners
Below you will find details of each sewing machine I reviewed. All of these I have personally used either in my home, at a quilting circle or via a friend. If there is a machine missing from the list that you love, it does not mean I did not like it, simply I have not tried every machine out there.
Brother CS6000i Sewing – Best Beginner Sewing and Quilting Machine
Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine
Best Beginner Sewing and Quilting Machine
There is so much to love about the Brother CS6000i. In addition to having an extensive stitch library and being simple to operate, the Brother CS6000i sewing machine also comes in at a reasonable price. In the opinion of many of its owners, it is a wonderful machine for newbies and offers a wide table and outstanding value. Also, it works well with both thin and thick textiles.
The machine’s relatively low weight can be attributed in part to the use of plastics in its construction. Although it does feature a fair amount of plastic in the construction I have found it to be nothing but durable and a workhorse for me.
At 850 stitches per minute makes it one of the fastest machines I tested, allowing even the most experienced sewers to sew at breakneck speed. And it doesn’t make a loud noise at this pace. This machine was very quiet during use and did not have any issues hearing a conversation while sewing.
The CS6000i features 60 stitch patterns, which is in the more than enough for most beginner and experienced quilters. With 60 patterns to pick from, including seven buttonhole types, you have a wide variety of options.
The LCD panel of the sewing machine provides easy access to the automatic settings for each stitch. Instead of having to fiddle with the width and length of each thread individually, you can simply input the number that corresponds to the stitch you desire and get sewing immediately. If you so desire, you may still make manual adjustments.
Janome MOD-19 – Best Mechanical Sewing Machine for Beginners
Janome MOD-19 Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine
Best Non-Computerized Sewing Machine for Beginners
If you’re looking for a quiet, low-cost mechanical model sewing machine that can handle a wide range of fabrics, go no further than our top pick for best sewing machine for beginners, the Janome MOD-19.
The Janome MOD-19 is a straight-forward basic machine that still offers a ton of functionality. No fancy computers or LCD screen to scroll through, just solid sewing and trouble free use.
As far as use, the MOD-19 can handle a variety of fabrics including heavier fabrics with no issues. The dials are easy to read and use and it has 19 different stitch options including 19 Stitches including 1 Four-Step Buttonhole.
It has enough specialized features (such as adjustable needle position, stretch stitches for knits, and a four-step buttonhole) that you’ll probably be happy sewing on it for many years.
One thing I do not love about the Janome MOD-19 is the look. The decals they use make it look dated compared to other machines but it does not take away from the quality of the machine. This machine comes with all the bells and whistles, but we don’t think you need to spend a lot of money on it.
Overall, if you are looking for a solid machine with all the basic features that will give you years of use, look no further than the Janome MOD-19.
SINGER MX60 Mechanical Sewing Machine – Best Cheap Sewing Machine
SINGER | MX60 Sewing Machine
Best Cheap Sewing Machine
A lot of times starting out you are not looking to drop a fortune on a sewing machine. This is where the Singer MX60 comes in, it is a cheap sewing machine in the price as it is a quality machine with a lot of great features.
To operate and maintain, the Singer has manual controls that can withstand the passage of time. Stitches for basic sewing, home projects, adjustments, and more, are pre-installed.
In terms of portability, the MX60 sewing machine is the best option for carrying to a sewing lesson or sewing in tiny places. Even novice sewers will have no trouble operating this machine thanks to the pre-set stitch length and width. Sewing clothes, piecing quilts, making crafts, and even simple mending are all options.
Some highlights of the MX60 include:
Using the Stitch Selector Dial, you can easily make buttonholes in four simple steps. As far as stitches, there are 6 to choose from including basic sewing, ornamental stitching, and more!
The machine features reverse which is great in order to keep a seam from unraveling and it has simple-to-follow threading guides.
All together, the Singer MX60 is a great little machine that is portable and perfect for any beginner sewer on a budget.
HAITRAL Mini Sewing Machine – Best on A Limited Budget
HAITRAL Mini Sewing Machine
Best on A Limited Budget
If you are on a very limited budget but still looking to get started in sewing, take a look at the HAITRAL Mini Sewing Machine. It has dual-thread, 2-speed, and dual-power architecture of this home sewing machine makes it ideal for everyday usage. You can sew without worrying about straining your eyes because to the machine’s integrated light and thread cutter, as well as its removable foot pedal. Multi-function tiny sewing machines have pre-threading, pre-set tension, and automatic winding, so that you may start sewing right away without any hassle and get the job done.
This is not going to be your life-long dream machine and it will give you some frustration but for the price it cannot be beat.
Brother HC1850 – Best Computerized Model Sewing Machine for Quilting
Brother HC1850 Sewing and Quilting Machine
Best Computerized Sewing Machine for Quilting
I wanted to add the Brother HC1850 as it is one of my favorite machines. It is a bit overkill for a beginner quilter but if you are looking for a sewing machine that you can continue to grow with, look no further.
An entry-level machine like the HC1850 can do many things that other machines can’t, such as blind hemming, quilting, and decorative top-stitching. Keyhole, horizontal, and fastened (for backing materials) buttonholes can all be made with the buttonholer.
This machine has an air vent on the right side to keep the motor cool when working on large or lengthy tasks. Although this computerized sewing machine is quite sophisticated, the instruction manual is well written and easy to follow.
The decorative stitching options on this machine are quite breathtaking. Stitch possibilities for the automatic buttonholer include 12 heirloom stitches, 42 utilitarian and blind hem stitches, as well as 94 ornamental threads, 14 appliqué stitches, and 14 quilting stitches. Although only one typeface is offered, this machine can also sew character and number stitches. Stitch lengths and widths can be adjusted between 0.2mm and 5.0mm, respectively.
It would be our top pick except for a few items. First, it is a bit more expensive compared to our top beginner sewing machine, the Brother CS6000i. Second, it is not as straight forward to use for a beginner sewer as some of the other machines in the list.
Janome Fastlane Fuschia Basic Sewing Machine – Best Beginner Sewing Machine for Kids
Janome Fastlane Fuschia Basic Sewing Machine
Best Beginner Sewing Machine for Kids
Lookin to start your sewing journey with your kids. Nothing could be more enjoyable finding a hobby you and your kids can enjoy together for years to come. When it came time to teach my grandkids sewing, I wanted something safe and that was comfortable for their smaller hands and actually worked versus just being a novelty toy. After a lot of looking, I can say the Janome Fastlane was my pick and my recommendation.
In addition to being attactive to look at, the machine is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, light enough to be easily carried around, and well-organized so that you can quickly access all the important capabilities.
It’s easy to overlook the machine’s more professional features, which allow for a smoother transition to a larger, better-equipped machine in the future. In addition to the free arm feature and ten useful automated stitch settings, the machine offers a built-in needle threader. In addition, the drop-in bobbin method makes it easy to learn how to wind. What’s great about this sewing kit is that it comes with a needle that has a small, easy-to-navigate finger guard built in into it. Always put your children’s own safety first!
Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine – Best Portable Sewing Machine for Beginners
Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine with Extension Table
Best Portable Sewing Machine for Beginners
One of the best-reviewed and most highly rated small sewing machines is the Magicfly. This machine has a retractable extension table, making it easier to stitch larger items with it.. This machine may be used for free arm sewing if you remove the tabletop. Hemming pants, completing sleeve cuffs, and sewing other little items are all made easier with free arm sewing. Fast or slow sewing is possible with this machine. In addition, a foot pedal lets you fine-tune the sewing machine’s speed even further. You can also use this equipment to automatically thread bobbins. If you want to learn how to sew doll clothes or hem your own clothes, this would be an excellent first sewing machine.
There are numerous extras included with the Magicfly tiny sewing machine. It comes with a variety of threads and bobbins. Additionally, a tape measure, scissors, and a needle threader are all present and correct. A seam ripper, thimble, and four spare needles are also included with this little sewing machine. The Magicfly tiny sewing machine comes with a travel bag for storing and transporting it.
SINGER | Heavy Duty 4452 – Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine for Beginners
SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine
Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine for Beginners
The Singer Thick Duty 4423 sewing machine is a classic that has long been used to sew heavy fabrics like denim and leather. This sewing machine’s powerful motor allows it to sew 1,100 stitches per minute, making it ideal for quick stitching jobs. Strong motor can easily handle thick seams. This machine has 32 stitches and a number of buttonhole possibilities, but isn’t too much to keep track of. Singer plastic bobbins are the only ones recommended for this machine as others will cause issues.
Advice for Beginners Sewers
Below are some tips to help you get started sewing.
Find tutorials on specific models or from the company you purchased from to get the most out of your new purchase..
Your machine’s user manual should not be thrown away: Take the time to set it up correctly and practice threading it before beginning your first job.
In order to create confidence, “Make mini-win projects,” which are smaller, simpler projects, such as boned ball gowns.
Look at the thread: You may have a problem with the threading of your machine if it isn’t sewing the way you expect it to I always start by re-threading my machine and checking that everything is in the appropriate position while troubleshooting.
Be careful not to place your fingers under the needle, as this could lead to an accident.
I hope this list helps you find the perfect beginning sewing machine to meet all of your needs and gets you off to a great start. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. I will add some FAQ’s as new comments come in.
How do I thread a sewing machine?
Threading your sewing machine is the first step in getting started on any sewing job. The presser foot must be in the up position to begin the procedure, and your machine’s manual should include precise instructions for your model and make.
As a next step, attach your needle to the machine’s top and insert your thread spool into the thread guide. Pull the thread back up through the tension mechanism after inserting it through the metal disks. Place the thread through the opening in the take-up lever. Use any available thread guides to help direct the thread toward the sewing machine needle.
Finally, adjust the handwheel so that the needle can be seen. Place the thread in the bobbin. It’s usually a good idea to conduct a test run on a sample swatch to make sure your sewing machine is ready to go.
Manual versus electric sewing machines, what should I know?
Electric (sometimes known as computerized) sewing machines have been increasingly popular in recent years because of their ease of use and additional functionality, such as embroidery.
A mechanical sewing machine is the best option if you’re searching for a simple stitching experience that doesn’t require any bells and whistles. Some people believe that these devices are more trustworthy in the long run because they don’t have any electronic components. The learning curve for some beginner sewers may be shortened using computerized sewing machines, since selecting stitches and settings needs only a single press of a button.
What type of maintenance do sewing machines need?
Maintaining today’s sewing machines can be done with only a few simple steps. A small, soft brush and instructions included with your machine should be sufficient for cleaning out any lint, thread, or other debris that may have become caught inside the machine. In order to maintain your equipment functioning properly, it may also need to be oiled.