At one time, sewing was a popular hobby as well as a way to create exciting fashions and save money in the process. The increasing number of low-cost high style fashion of the 80s and 90s put sewing on the back burner. The high price of clothing today has once again made sewing very popular and many beginners are looking to buy sewing machines. With so many on the market, both online and at retailers, choosing the right machine can be difficult. Hopefully, this review of the top 10 sewing machines for beginners will prove helpful.
If you’ve already begun your search, you may be thinking they’re all the same. They may have some similarities, but at the same time they all offer some unique and slightly different features. We’ve included a comparison chart that lists some of the most common yet important specifications.
Only through pedal
Only through pedal
Only through pedal
Only through pedal
Only through pedal
Brother CS6000i – 2018 Women’s Choice Award
The Brother CS6000i is a computerized sewing and quilting machine that comes with 60 built-in stitches, a built-in free arm, an easy-to-view LCD display, an auto needle threader and a wide table for quilts and other large projects. It also includes 27 stitches exclusively for sewing clothing. The Brother CS6000i gives you complete control by offering an adjustable sewing speed despite being capable of sewing 850 stitches per minute.
It comes with a hard protective case for easy carrying. Everything about the Brother CS6000i is easy, including threading the machine, bobbin winding and selecting stitches. If you’re looking for a basic sewing machine that offers the features you need to create beautiful apparel or home décor items, not just to do mending jobs, this one fits the bill.
Singer 7258 – Computerized Sewing Machine
The Singer 7258 is a computerized sewing machine that offers a total of 100 stitches, which include 76 decorative stitches as well as 7 styles of buttonholes. The round-end, keyhole or basic bar tack style are perfect for designing outerwear or menswear. The brightly lit workspace uses an LED bulb, good for 1,000 hours.
The speed control lever allows you to slow down or speed up the sewing speed based on your project. The storage compartment can be easily removed if you need the free arm for sleeves, pant hems or other round items. Other special features include a 6-second threading, a twin needle capability, an auto tie-off function, an automatic reverse, 13 needle positions, an auto bobbin winding clutch and an on-board storage. Included with this machine are tutorials and various accessories.
Brother XR9500PRW – Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing Machine
This limited edition computerized sewing machine offers you endless options in the way of stitches and special features. Included in the 100 built-in stitches are decorative, heirloom and alphanumeric stitches as well as 165 utility stitches. The Brother XR9500PRW also includes an extra-wide decorative stitch (0.27 inches) and a built-in font for personalized monogramming.
Additional features of the Brother XR9500PRW include an auto needle threading system, an easy-to-use bobbin winding system, a needle position button, a jam-free drop-in top bobbin and a free arm for sewing round items.
You get all the accessories you need to get started: extra needles, spool caps, bobbins, a spool pin, an eyelet punch, a cleaning brush, a seam ripper, a power cord with a pedal, an owner’s manual and an instructional DVD.
Singer 4423 – Consumer’s Choice
You won’t have to use the Singer 4423 long to understand why it’s ranked as one of the best mechanical sewing machines. It’s also listed as one of the best sewing machines for beginners. It’s affordable, easy to operate, durable and gives you high-quality performance – all the criteria wanted in a top-ranked sewing machine.
It’s super-high sewing speed of 1,100 stitches per minute will have you whipping through sewing projects. The automatic needle threader, top drop-in bobbin and one-step buttonhole feature make sewing fun and easy. The accessory tray includes all the items you need to get started, including extra needles, a lint brush, a seam ripper, bobbins, an auxiliary spool pin, a spool pin felt and various presser feet. This durable machine has a stainless steel bedframe and a heavy-duty metal interior frame. The Singer 4423 sewing machine comes with a 25-year warranty.
Brother XM2701 – Women’s Choice Award & No. 1 among Amazon’s Best Selling Sewing Machines
The Brother XM2701 is a very user-friendly sewing machine that offers many sewing options. You can choose from 27 built-in stitches, 63 different stitch functions, six sewing feet and various decorative stitches. By a simple touch of a button you can switch from one stitch to another. If speed is an issue, you’ll love how this machine can whip through 800 stitches per minute.
This machine comes with a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin and six quick-changing sewing feet, including a zipper, a buttonhole, a zigzag, a blind stitch, a narrow hemmer and a button sewing foot. Also, included is an instructional DVD to make setup even easier. The machine comes with a 25-year limited warranty, a bilingual owner’s manual and free telephone support for the life of the machine.
Janome 2212 – Amazon’s Choice Sewing Machine
The Janome 2212 is a lightweight and easy-to-use machine. It is good for entry level because it doesn’t have tons of extra features they’ll have to learn to use or try to understand. The Janome 2212 is not a state-of-the-art sewing machine but is a reliable one that offers just about everything a beginner could want. It comes with a special bonus bundle of 10 Janome bobbins and some needles for thick fabrics.
The Janome 2212 is a durable machine that will sew as easily through boat awnings or denim jeans as it will through simple cotton fabric. It includes accessories such as bobbins, an instruction manual, a screwdriver, a foot control, a vinyl dust cover and several presser feet.
The Janome 2212 comes with 12 built-in stitches, one of which is a four-step buttonhole stitch. A popular feature of this machine is the stitch width and length adjustment because it makes simple projects even simpler. The drop feed gives you free motion whether you’re quilting or sewing. High-quality sewing and durability are two of this sewing machine’s best features. Dial pattern selection is also a feature sewers love.
Brother CS5055PRW – Women’s Choice Award Electric Sewing Machine
The Brother CS5055PRW, also part of the Project Runway Limited Edition group, is an electric sewing machine that’s ideal for a beginner seamstress. It’s a user-friendly sewing machine that’s affordable and lightweight enough that it can be easily transported from place to place. It’s one-step buttonhole feature offers five different buttonhole designs.
If speed is what you’re after, you’ll love how this machine can sew up to 850 stitches per minute. The free arm makes it easy to sew cuffs, sleeves, pant legs or any number of round things. The six specialty feet you get offer almost unlimited possibilities.
Another thing this machine is great for is giving you the perfect tension on both the top and bottom stitches. It also can sew through many types and thicknesses of fabrics. With this machine you’ll be able to do so much more than just basic mending and sewing. From overcasting edges and making decorative designs to creating quilting stitches, this machine will give you an endless job and few problems.
Singer 4411– Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
Everything about the Singer 4411 points to it being a great machine not just for beginners but also for experienced sewers. It has 11 built-in stitches, decorative stitches, 6 basic stitches and 1 built-in buttonhole stitch. It doesn’t offer dozens of stitches like some machines, but instead it presents great quality and craftsmanship.
This is a durable machine with a heavy-duty metal frame. It is made to last with a powerful motor that can kick out 1,100 stitches per minute. With the adjustable presser foot pressure, you’ll find that it can easily sew through both heavy and lightweight fabrics. It also has an adjustable needle position that changes to three different positions to make it easier, whether you’re cording, creating decorative stitches or inserting zippers. The free arm makes sewing round things so much easier. Fabric slides easily across the arm thanks to the stainless steel bedplate.
Singer 9960 – Quantum Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine
The Singer 9960 is a high-speed, portable sewing machine that comes with 600 stitches and 5 alphanumeric fonts. With an exclusive buttonhole under-plate and 13 built-in 1-step buttonholes, making buttonholes has never been easier or more fun. You can choose from various stitches, such as stretch stitches, decorative stitches, basic stitches and quilting stitches. With a capacity of 850 stitches per minute, this sewing machine can help get your creations done in no time at all.
Additional features that this machine offers include:
- Automatic needle threader
- Auto pilot mode
- Extension table
- Programmable patterns
Brother SE400 – 2018 Women’s Choice & No. 4 in Embroidery Machines
If you’re in the market for a machine that offers the option to sew and embroider, the Brother SE400 might be the perfect fit. You can make fashions that look professionally made while still adding your own personal touch to them. This machine offers 67 built-in stitches, which include heirloom, utility, quilting and decorative stitches as well as 70 built-in designs, 120 frame patterns and 5 lettering fonts. For a beginner’s machine, there is very little this baby can’t do.
Whether you’re sewing or embroidering, you’ll be able to view it easily on the back-lit LCD touchscreen display. You can also utilize this feature to edit your designs and have the chance to look them over before they’re actual completed. No more thinking you got it right only to have to rip them up and start over. The built-in tutorial is viewable on the LCD display.
The Brother SE400 also includes these special features:
- Quick-set drop-in top bobbin
- Easy bobbin winding system
- Built-in embroidery card slot
- Automatic needle threader
What Sewing Machine To Buy For Beginners: Video
Sewing machines typically last for several years, so you want a machine that you won’t outgrow in a few months. The biggest choice ahead of you will be choosing between a mechanical sewing machine and a computerized sewing machine. It seems like almost everything today is computerized or computer-based and sewing machines are no exception.
If you’re a beginner and slightly nervous about sewing, I would recommend the mechanical sewing machine. Don’t get me wrong. Computerized sewing machine are awesome and it’s unbelievable the things that they can do. You may not want to be bombarded with too many options or complications that might frustrate you. Look for a basic sewing machine with a few extra options.
On the other hand, if you’re a person who loves adventure, you’ll find some excellent computerized machines as well. Most of the new machines come with DVD tutorials that offer step-by-step instructions. If you stay with a name brand that offers a good warranty, you really can’t go wrong.
Things to Consider When Buying a Sewing Machine
Now that you’ve decided to buy a sewing machine, you probably don’t know where to begin. Here are some tips that may help to make it easier. Here are some factors to consider when buying your new sewing machine.
- Budget. Before you begin shopping for your new machine, know how much you want to spend. You don’t want to waste time looking at sewing machines that you can’t afford to buy. Knowing what you can spend also allows you to narrow down your search to maybe a dozen or so rather than hundreds.
- Features. Do you know what features you want or need in a sewing machine? Don’t pay for features you’ll probably never use. Here are some features you definitely would want: a top-loading drop-in bobbin, a built-in needle threader, free arm capability, a one-step buttonhole feature.
- Brand name. While I’ve never been a consumer who only buys top-of-the-line brand name products, I do believe in staying with well-known brands. They usually offer the best customer service. Brand names like Brother, Singer and Janome offer excellent deals on their sewing machines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: I’ve been told that since I’m a beginner, I should only buy a sewing machine with only a few features. Isn’t it better to buy a better machine that will last me a long time rather than having to buy another one in a few years?
Answer: While your question does appear to sound sensible, I still feel you’re better off starting with a basic machine until you’ve mastered basic sewing. Machines with more advanced options are often designed for people with some sewing experience. Basic sewing machines for beginners are very affordable, so you won’t be out hundreds of dollars when you’ve reached the point where you want a more advanced machine.
Question: I notice that most sewing machines come with a 25-year warranty. Is the cost of general maintenance covered in the warranty?
Answer: The sewing machine warranties are for the actual sewing machine in the case that it should stop working and there are certain limitations in the warranty. They do not cover routine maintenance.
After reading these reviews, you’re probably even more excited about getting your new machine than ever! New sewing machines offer so many great options for beginners, it won’t be long before you’re creating some exciting new fashions and designs. It’s also an item you’ll have around for a long time. Happy Sewing!