So you’re ready to join the sewing world and get your hands on your very first sewing machine. Congratulations! So here comes the next dilemma: which sewing machine should you get? I remember the time before I got my first sewing machine — I did so much research that at the end of the day, I was confused and overwhelmed by all the information I read. With so many machines out there, how can you choose just one?
Well, you don’t have to go through what I did, because I did all the work for you and compiled it into this article. You’ll not only find out what to look out for when buying a sewing machine, but also which ones are the best under various categories including ease-of-use, heavy duty, quilting and computerised.
Read on to know all you need about picking the perfect sewing machine for beginners!
What To Look Out For
Before we get into the actual machine models, you need to generally know what to look out for. Various models, even in the same company, offer different features that others don’t have, even if the difference is small.
Before you go sewing machine hunting, you need to decide these three things: the number of stitches you want for your sewing machine, the accessories included and if you want it to have any other extra features.
Number of stitches
Depending on the sewing machine model, they’ll offer various number of stitches. The most basic sewing machine offers one stitch: the straight stitch. Generally, beginners would only need that type of stitch as well as the zig-zag stitch.
I personally only ever use one type most of the time, but it really all depends on what you’re going to sew. Embroidery and quilting enthusiasts would look our for machines that are more capable of that than a sewer who would generally be sewing dresses and shirts. A lot of the mid-range machines now would offer about 20 stitching types, anyway.
Be sure the machine allows you to change the stitch length, tension and zig-zag stitch width. This is the most important part to look out for in a sewing machine.
On most occasions, when you buy a sewing machine, it comes with accompanying accessories like a bobbin or two and the standard presser foot, If you do a bit more research, some machines come with tons more accessories.
For example, The Janome 7025 Sewing Machine comes with a few spool caps, seam ripper, an extra spool pin, spare bobbins, various types of foot including blind hem, buttonhole and over-edge, and even a screwdriver. That’s when you’re getting the most for your buck.
The last thing you’d want to look out for is tht some machines have special features that others might not, and these features can possibly make sewing easier.
Thread cutter or automatic needle threader are some features that I’d swear by — sometimes I get tired of manually doing it myself when I use my sewing machine that I’d switch to my industrial sewing machine that has these functions.
Light is another thing — if you’re a night owl or you want to sew in the dark, make sure the sewing machine has light installed into the frame. They’re not only convenient but also so much better for your eyes in the long run.
Easy-to-Use Sewing Machines
We’re finally going to look at our first category of sewing machines for beginners. Of course, being a fresh learner, you ought to want to get a machine that’s easy to use and going to be good to you. It’s the worst thing when you not only have to deal with a new skill but also figure out how to use a new equipment.
In this category, there are three: I’ve selected the best budget one for those who are tight on cash, a mid-range one if you don’t mind spending a bit more, and one that’s generally the best.
Best Budget: HAITRAL HP-CS141WPU ($25)
A lot of us have sewing as a hobby, and sometimes we wouldn’t want to splurge too much on it. It can also be difficult to decide just how much you should invest in it, especially when there are other parts that require cash like fabric supplies and accessories. I mean, some of us don’t even know if we want to keep this hobby for a long time — it could just be a phase.
If all these sound like you, then you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to spend too much money at all. HAITRAL HP-CS141WPU is only at $25! Not only that, it’s petite and lightweight, making it a great portable sewing machine. It has pretty much any great sewing machine has: speed, lighting and a thread cutter.
One thing to note about this fabric is that it’s not the best when it comes to sewing thick fabric, so if you’re thinking of quilting or sewing denim, you might want to consider another type.
Best Mid-Range: Brother XM 2701 ($100)
Another value-for-money option, however it’s not as cheap as our first one, is the Brother XM 2701. It’s one of the most popular sewing machine models out there under this category as it’s extremely easy to figure out and full of convenient features.
With 27 built-in stitches, automatic needle threader and about 6 various feet included, this sewing machine ticks all the boxes. You don’t even need to go through the manual book — it comes with an instructional DVD that’ll show you step-by-step how to get started with your sewing machine and even sewing projects.
It is also a light duty machine, and thicker fabrics may not be a good idea. If you don’t mind dim lighting, Brother XM 2701 is ideal, but not if you prefer a stronger light from the machine. It’s only ever so slightly dimmer though, so a table lamp next to it will do the trick of brightening up your work space.
Best Overall: Singer Start 1304 ($140)
My overall favourite in this category is the Singer Start 1304 — it’s so user-friendly, durable and, in my opinion, still extremely affordable. Though it’s the most expensive of the three, it’s worth every penny. There are tons of pre-set applications, 57 different stitches, automatic bobbin winding — not to mention it being quite lightweight, so it’s a great portable choice. Its compact design is the icing on the cake — easy to store away and doesn’t take up a lot of space at all.
Included with the machine are various accessories like zipper foot, buttonhole foot, packs of needles, lint brushes and screwdrivers. You don’t have to worry about getting them separate.
Heavy Duty Sewing Machines
Following that, we have heavy duty sewing machines. If you want to sew thicker fabric like denim and leather, opting for this kind of sewing machine is probably the best choice. What’s more, you can still use it to sew lighter fabrics like cotton and chiffon — you just have more use with this type of sewing machines.
In this category, there’s 2: a mid-range one and the best splurge one.
Best Mid-Range: Singer Heavy Duty 4452 ($289)
Singer is one of the most popular sewing machine brands out there, and this model, Singer Heavy Duty 4452, is one of the most popular ones for this category on the market. It’s perfect for thick fabric as it uses size 16 needles and it has a non-stick foot included — so vinyl and leather fabrics are no problem. Don’t worry, there’s also a presser foot and its pressure can be adjusted to use for lightweight or heavier weight fabric.
With 1,100 stitches per minute capability, 32 different stitches and even a buttonhole option, this machine is everything you need neatly packed in one contraption.
Best Splurge: Singer Heavy Duty 4411 ($400)
If you’re willing to fork out a bit more money, get Singer’s Heavy Duty 4411 — yeap, Singer is pretty amazing when it comes to heavy duty machines. This model is powerful and capable of any heavy-weight fabric like leather and denim, with 105W motor (most entry-level sewing machines are at 60W).
Its speed is no joke either — similarly, you can sew 1,100 stitches per minute and it’s still top-notch quality. Not only that, it’s extremely convenient — changing feet is fast, featuring snap-on type feet. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best heavy duty yet beginner friendly sewing machines out there.
Quilting Sewing Machines
Now we’ll look at quilting sewing machines. Quilting is a pretty simple skill to tackle when you’re a beginner sewer, so it’s the best to practice your craft. If you’re into quilting and that’s the main thing you’re going to do for sewing, it’s best to get a machine that’s made for that.
In this category, I highlight two: a mid-range one and a splurge one.
Best Mid-Range: Brother CS7000i ($186)
The best mid-range quilting sewing machine that’s great for beginners is Brother’s CS7000i. It’s without a doubt the most popular choice for quilting — stable, durable and convenient with automated functions. The machine also comes with a large table that makes quilting so much easier.
There are about 70 built-in stitches ranging from basic to decorative, buttonholes of various sizes, automatic functions like needle threader and adjustable speed. With so many customisable options, you can get this machine to work at your own personal pace.
Best Splurge: Brother SE625 ($650)
If you’re thinking about investing in this hobby, get the Brother SE625 — it’s on the higher end of the spectrum, but in this category, it’s worth it. There are over 100 stitches as well as 80 embroidery designs, along with a USB port to upload your own embroidery, so you can bump up your quilting game with customised embroidery.
Together with the machine comes tons of extra accessories like the embroidery arm, loop and foot. With its multiple functions including bright LED, automatic needle threader and a drop-in bobbin, your sewing experience with this machine is a breeze.
Computerised Sewing Machines
Our last category is the computerised sewing machines. In this day and age of technology, everything’s got to be high-tech and fancy — sewing machines are catching on with its techy gadget functions like a computer screen and customisable features.
Here there are 3 machines highlighted: budget, mid-range and splurge.
Best Budget: Brother HC1850 ($190)
For the best budget sewing machine, Brother HC1850 takes the spot. It’s one of the most ideal for beginners as its interface is extremely easy to use but can also handle tougher projects. With controllable speed, 130 stitching and 8 buttonhole options, quilting capabilities, tension settings and a top drop-in bobbin, sewing with this machine is like a walk in a park.
Since it can handle anything from basic to advanced sewing projects, you don’t have to worry about not being able to handle it when you first bought it, or outgrowing it when you become a veteran sewer.
Best Mid-Range: Brother XR9550PRW ($295)
If you want to put in a bit more cash for your computerised sewing machine, go for Brother XR9660PRW. This model is one of the best ones out there — a lot of reviewers mentioned that they purchased this as their first sewing machine and it was no problem at all because it’s so user-friendly. Even an 8-year-old can learn how to use this sewing machine — as a reviewer wrote.
There are tons of added features as well like the automatic bobbin threader, needle threader, speed controller and needle placements. And when you think about it, for the price and getting so much out of the machine, you’re actually getting it for a steal!
Best Splurge: Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 ($400)
The best splurge for a computerised sewing machine is none other than Singer Quantum Stylist 9960. Even though it’s on the higher side of the price scale, it offers so many functions that every penny is worth it. With a large, colour LCD touchscreen that provides a clear viewing of all the functions of the machine, you’re not going to go wrong with this Singer machine.
There’s the “push and play” feature where you simply push the specialty stitch button and the machine tells you exactly what you need to do to set up your machine for that particular stitch — from stitch tension, length and width, to the type of foot.
So now that you have a range of the best 10 sewing machines for beginners, what are you waiting for? From heavy duty to quilting, computerised to quilting machines, you now know which is the best in each category. Get on clicking the links to the machines and order your very own machine now!