The Best Sewing Machines for Beginners

 

So you want to purchase a sewing machine? As a beginner, I know how difficult it is to decide which machine to buy.  It can be downright overwhelming. This post is going to give you information on what I found to be the best sewing machines for beginners. I searched Pinterest, Google, and Amazon to find out what sewing machines were rated highest. I also spoke to other sewers to find out what features seemed to be the most important/helpful to them.

Top of the line machines can cost you thousands of dollars. They are amazing, but you can get a great sewing machine for much less. On the flipside, as tempting as it is to go for a very inexpensive machine, please stay away from ones that are under $100.  They may have some great features, but they can easily break and it could cost you up to $50 to get it fixed.  Sometimes spending less can actually cost you more!

If you have the opportunity to go to a store and test out some machines please do it! Also, do not forget to search for reviews of the machines you are interested in purchasing. Amazon & Google are great sites for finding reviews. There is going to be positives and negatives with any machine you choose, so decide what features are most important to you and do not worry about having it all. You will not use all those bells and whistles as a beginner.  Before I get into the best machines, It may help if you understand what the different features actually mean. So here is a quick explanation of each. Well, as quick as I could mke it!

Disclosure: Sew Many Pins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post contains affiliate links.

Sewing Machine Features

Mechanical VS. Electronic Machines
Mechanical Sewing Machines require you to manipulate most controls by hand.  This machine can handle basic repairs, hems, simple clothing, and crafts projects.

Electronic Machines are typically a little more expensive, but they come in handy if you sew frequently. Usually, the machine offers touchpad controls, an LED screen, an array of presser feet, and settings for many different stitch types.

Weight
I know this sounds a little silly, but it is something to consider. If you plan on moving your machine around a lot (i.e. in and out of the closet or to and from sewing lessons) you may want a lighter machine.  If you are interested in using heavier fabrics and quilting, a heavier machine will be best for those materials. It is good to have an idea of what you want to sew and how often you will need to lug your machine around!

Needle Position
It certainly helps to be able to independently adjust the stitch length and width. Look for a sewing machine that allows you to move the needle from left to right, and up or down. A cool feature: With the needle down, you can lift the presser foot and turn the fabric to sew in a different direction without missing/skipping a stitch.

Needle Threader
This makes me happy! It is a little gadget that helps pull the thread through the eye of the needle for you. It is a time-saver and allows for a squint-free sewing session!

Presser Feet
A presser foot holds the fabric in place while you sew. It can help in preventing puckering and stretching. There are hundreds of specialty presser feet out there. For basic sewing, a multi-purpose foot lets you do straight and zigzag stitches; however, you will most definitely want others. Especially a zipper foot and buttonhole foot.

Automatic Buttonholer
Some machines allow you to insert a button and the machine automatically judges the size of it. This easily creates a perfect match! Most machines come with a one-step or four-step buttonholer.

Feed-Dog Adjustment
The feed-dog is a set of metal teeth that grip the fabric and feeds the material under the needle. Most sewing is done with the feed dogs up, and visible, but darning and freehand quilting are two tasks performed with the feed dogs either lowered beneath the throat plate by a switch or covered with a special plate.

Speed Control
Being able to control your pace will help you perfect your sewing skills.  Speed Control will allow you to choose how fast the fabric is fed through the machine. You will be able to sew at a nice tempo once you get that speed down.

Stitches
The number of stitches available will vary depending on what machine you purchase. There are very basic stitches, such as straight and zigzag, to gorgeous, decorative stitching. It is nice to have a machine with a number of stitch lengths and widths as well.

Tension Adjustment
Most machines will automatically adjust the tension for you. Sometimes you’ll need to change the tension yourself. Adjusting the tension helps you to form a row of stitches that looks identical on both sides of the fabric. When it’s too tight you can end up with puckered fabric; if the thread is too loose, the result is loopy stitches.

Top-Load Bobbin
Many newer machines require you to slide open a clear panel and drop the bobbin directly in place. The clear cover allows you see when the bobbin thread is running low.

Free Arm
Many machines allow you to remove a part of the machine bed so the free arm protrudes. This makes it easy for you sew sleeves and trouser legs. Without this feature, it would be difficult to sew those smaller pieces.


So, I hope I did not overwhelm you! Let’s move on and get to the reason for this post. Here are my top choices (with their best features) sorted by price (lowest to highest). Most of this information is directly from Amazon.

The Best Sewing Machines for Beginners

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine – 50 Built-In Stitches – Automatic Threading

Price:  $132.99

There are over 660 reviews and 71% of those customers gave it 5 stars

Eligible for Amazon Prime

Features:

  • 850 stitches per minute
  • 87 built-in stitches
  • 5 one-step buttonhole styles
  • 7 presser feet: Buttonhole foot, Zigzag foot, Zipper foot, Button sewing foot, Overcasting foot, Blind stitch foot, Monogramming foot
  • LCD display
  • Super bright LED-lit work area
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Quick-Set bobbin
  • Also Includes: Screwdriver, Needle (3pcs), Twin Needle, Extra Spool Pin, Ball Point Needle, Seam Ripper, Cleaning Brush, Large Spool Cap, Medium Spool Cap, Small Spool Cap

Brother CS6000i

Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich Sewing Machine With 60 Built-In Stitches, 7 styles of 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholes, Quilting Table, and Hard Cover

Price:  $138.50

Amazon’s Choice: #1 Best Seller on Amazon

There are over 7,200 reviews and 74% of those customers gave it 5 stars

Eligible for Amazon Prime

Features:

  • 850 stitches per minute
  • 60 built-in stitches
  • 7 one-step buttonhole styles
  • 7 presser feet: Walking foot, Spring Action Quilting Foot, Overcasting Foot, Monogramming Foot, Zipper Foot, Zigzag Foot, Blind Stitch Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Button Fitting Foot
  • LCD display
  • Adjustable speed
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Dial thread tension
  • Manual thread cutter
  • Detachable, oversized table
  • Stop/start button allows use without included foot control.
  • Jam-resistant quick-set top drop-in bobbin
  • Also Includes a Hard protective case, Oversized table for larger projects.  Accessory pouch with seam ripper, needle set, cleaning brush, screwdriver, spool caps (3), spool pin, bobbins (3), eyelet punch, Power cord, operation manual

Singer 4423 Heavy Duty

"<yoastmark SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine with 23 Built-In Stitches -12 Decorative Stitches, 60% Stronger Motor & Automatic Needle Threader, Perfect for Sewing all Types of Fabrics with Ease

Price: $166.99

Amazon’s Choice for Singer Sewing Machines

There are over 2,600 reviews and 65% of those customers gave it 5 stars

Eligible for Amazon Prime

Features:

  • 1100 stitches per minute
  • 23 built-in stitches
  • 1 One-step Buttonhole Style
  • 4 Presser Feet:  All-Purpose Foot, Zipper Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Button Sewing Foot
  • Adjustable speed
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Auto thread tension
  • Manual Thread Cutter
  • Heavy Duty Mechanical machine
  • 3 Needle Positions
  • 6 Segments in Feeding System
  • Automatic Reverse Stitches
  • Also Includes: Seam Ripper / Lint Brush, Quilting Guide, Needles, Bobbins, Screwdriver, Auxiliary Spool Pin, Spool Pin Felt, Soft-Sided Dust Cover

Janome 2212

Janome 2212 Sewing Machine Includes Exclusive Bonus Bundle

Price: $189.00

Amazon’s Choice

There are over 430 reviews and 78% of those customers gave it 5 stars.

Eligible for Amazon Prime

Features:

  • Mechanical sewing machine
  • 860 stitches per minute
  • 12 built-in stitches
  • 1 four-step buttonhole
  • Manual Needle Threading System
  • 4 adjustable Presser Feet: All-Purpose Foot, Zipper Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Blind Stitch Foot
  • Dial pattern selection
  • Zig-zag stitch width adjustment and stitch length adjustment
  • Twin Needle Capability
  • Manual and Adjustable Thread Tension Control
  • Front loading bobbin
  • Free Arm
  • Dial Pattern Selector
  • Reverse Stitch
  • Built-in Thread Cutter
  • Also Includes: Pack of 10 Janome Bobbins, Size 14 Needles

SINGER Stylist 7258

"<yoastmark

 SINGER | 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with 76 Decorative Stitches, Automatic Needle Threader and Bonus Accessories, Best Sewing Machine for Quilting

Price: $189.11

A Consumer Reports Best Buy (and the one I own) 

There are over 2,500 reviews and 73% of those customers gave it 5 stars.

Eligible for Amazon Prime

Features:

  • 750 stitches per minute
  • 100 built-in stitches
  • 6 one-step buttonhole styles
  • 10 presser feet: All-Purpose Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Blind Hem Foot, Darning / Freehand Embroidery Foot, Gathering Foot, Satin Stitch Foot, Overcasting Foot, Narrow Rolled Hem Foot, Quarter Inch Foot, Zipper Foot
  • LCD display
  • Adjustable speed
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Auto thread tension
  • Automatic bobbin winding clutch
  • Automatic reverse
  • Auto tie-off function for straight stitch
  • 6-Second Threading
  • 13 Needle Positions
  • Twin Needle Capability
  • Top Loading Jam-Proof Bobbin System with Clear Cover
  • Also Includes: A Pack of Needles, Bobbins, Darning Plate, Needle Plate Screwdriver, Thread Spool Caps, Soft-Sided Dust Cover, Foot Pedal, Auxiliary Spool Pin, Spool Pin Felt, Seam Ripper / Lint Brush, Power Cord, Instruction Manual, Machine Intro DVD

So, there you have it! The top sewing machines for beginners. Please feel free to leave your questions and/or comments below.  I cannot wait to create SEW many amazing things with you!

~Tara

Disclosure: Keep in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission. I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you choose to buy something is completely up to you. 


 

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34 thoughts on “The Best Sewing Machines for Beginners

  1. This is a great guide and I’m sure that beginner sewers will find it really useful. I have a Singer and a Brother and they’re both brilliant machines.

  2. Such a good overview on machines for beginners! My Mother-in-law gave me a brother similar to the second one listed for my first Christmas in the family over 6 years ago. It is still my primary machine and has plenty of years left in it. I would love to get a fancier one at some point but it is a great machine.

  3. We had a Brother similar to the first one listed when I was younger. I learned the basics of operating it, but never much more than that. I’ve since married and moved away from home. Someday I would love to get a machine and pick it up again. Thank you for this list friend, this is so helpful for newbies like me who really don’t have a place to start!

  4. Oh my goodness. I had no idea so many components went into purchasing a sewing machine. Great to know though for furore reference. Thank you for your knowledge!

  5. I have always wanted to learn to sew. Especially now that I have a son who really gets into halloween and dressing up. I had to hand sew some pieces for costumes and it was difficult and took forever. I know very little about sewing machines, but this is a GREAT resource! Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Awesome! I too have been working on a beginners guide for sewing. I always love to read what other sewers recommend too. I loved that you added a lot of sewing machine terminology too. Great for true beginners! ❤️

  7. I needed this! My mom made all our clothes growing up and is a heck of a designer. We don’t live in the same city so getting sewing lessons from her is tough. Now I feel more confident about striking out on my own.

  8. I have the CS6000i! It’s so great to work with! I actually bought it a couple years ago as my “grown up machine” to graduate from a 5 or 6 stitch brother I had received in the 90s! I love how detailed these reviews are! Perfect for someone in the market to buy! ???

  9. This is very helpful information! I’m still trying to teach myself how to sew well, and I know that a lot of times the sewing machine makes a HUGE difference.

  10. I bought the Brother project runway one you suggest last year to teach myself to sew and it was not nearly as daunting as I thought. It came with great instructions and even has YouTube videos. I had my mom who is more experienced come and test it out with me and show me the ropes and she said it was nicer than her higher end one, she was very impressed with it. I definitely need to get back to it. I taught myself some basics like pillow shams and I made catnip pillows for my macrame cat toys, but I want to learn to make aprons and some other things. Let me know if you post tutorials 🙂

    1. Christin,

      That is awesome! Definitely not as daunting. It is so nice that your mom can help you. Keep in touch because I would love to see what you are creating. I have tutorials to share for sure!

  11. Awesome and informative post. Well timed also (for me) since I was just gifted a Singer sewing machine by my mom for Christmas!

    My first project was pillow cases!

    I like that you broke down the different types of machines and their features. It can get overwhelming deciding on which one to purchase.

    Keep these posts coming!

    1. Sam,

      Thank you SO much! I haven’t made pillowcases, but I think I need to! I did cut one apart to make a pillowcase dress for my daughter. I cannot wait to share more. Thank you so much for your kind words. It means so much!

  12. I started out with a singer tradition, it worked well for what I needed and I was able to re-sell it after I decided to upgrade. You hit all the good starter machines in this post!

  13. I started sewing many moons ago on a Singer Heavy Duty, the design really hasn’t changed much. Amazing machine.

    Now, I sew on a Brother brand. It is a good beginner’s machine (I taught my daughter to sew on it). But I find myself wanting my Singer back when it comes to heavier material such as denim.

  14. I have always wanted to learn to sew but every time I look at sewing machines, I leave overwhelmed. I forwarded your article to my daughter . . . we already discussed her helping me find a machine so this should narrow things down a bit.

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