Because investing in a sewing machine can be a major decision, you want to be certain you’re getting the best sewing machine available. How do you go about making the decision? The best way to get started is to spend some time going through sewing machine reviews online. By putting in the time to do a little homework, you’ll be certain to get the best sewing machine for your specific needs.
There are thousands of brands on the market, from simple mechanical machines that do the basics and nothing more, to fully computerized marvels that would make a professional designer salivate. What you plan to do with the machine you purchase is what should guide your decision on which model to buy. You’ll want to get the best sewing machine for beginners that you can find, or the best machine for an experienced designerthat gives you all the latest in sewing technology.
The type of projects you have in mind really should have an impact on your decision to buy a specific machine. The first thing you should decide is whether what you think you want is based on an actual need, or is it just wishful thinking? Are you holding yourself back from that amazing, expensive machine that you really need because you lack confidence in learning something new? Or do you just want that computerized marvel because it looks so very exciting?
If you find the thought of learning how to operate all those options and computer-enhanced possibilities to be exciting, then the high-end machine is probably for you.If the thought of all those programs and selections and buttons intimidates you and makes you nervous, then you may not need the machine that comes with the massive instruction manual.
If what you want is to simply make your own clothes, then a machine with variable stitch lengths, some degree of “fancy” overlocking stitches and possibly a twin needle setting would probably be a good investment. You’ll probably want a buttonhole attachment foot and a zipper foot, as well. If you’re feeling adventurous, perhaps an embroidery attachment or monogramming application could be exciting.
If you’re planning to put together quilts that will become family heirlooms, then you’ll need something a bit more advanced than basic attachments and limited variables in the speed. You’ll want to look at some of the more expensive, high-end machines.
Reviews: Best Sewing Machines for Beginners
Now that you have an idea of what type of machine you need and can afford, it’s time to do a little comparative shopping. We offer here our reviews of the best sewing machines for beginners among the 2016 models. The selections are presented in no particular order:
Top 10 Sewing Machine:
Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine with 60 Built-In Stitches
With this user-friendly, feature-rich machine, you can sew a variety of projects easily and affordably, including quilting. This Brother CS6000i comes with 60 built-in stitch patterns that include multiple decorative stitch styles. The LCD display allows you to select your stitch at the touch of a button. You can choose from 7 types of one-step buttonholes. There are 9 included presser feet, such as overcasting, monogramming and zipper foot attachments. One-touch automatic threading and an easy winding bobbin feature are also included. Sewing cuffs and sleeves is easy with the built-in free arm. A Quick Start guide and an instruction manual (English and Spanish translations) are included with purchase. The design includes a stop/start button for using the machine without the included foot control.
SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Sewing Machines
One of the features that sets this SINGER 4411 apart from the rest is its metal frame and stainless steel bedplate construction. Fabric glides smoothly over the bedplate for even sewing, and the extra-high sewing speed gives you faster, more professional results. With construction like this, the SINGER 4411 can sew through just about any type of material you want. The top drop-in bobbin feature and adjustable presser foot pressure let you tackle those more demanding sewing challenges. For sewing cuffs, collars and pant hems, there’s the free arm feature for ease in access. You can automatically sew in reverse, as well, to reinforce stitches. As the machine is non-computerized, you can manually adjust the stitch length and stitch style with easy-to-turn dials. You can also manually adjust the needle position, tension and stitch width.
Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine
Not only will this Brother SE400 Combination Computerized machine take care of all your basic sewing needs, it also gives you a 4-inch square embroidery attachment. The design of this machine is geared to give your projects a professional, high-end feel without breaking your budget. The computerized design comes with 70 embroidery designs already installed, and there is a USB connection (PC or Mac capable) that lets you download thousands of other designs. There are 67 built-in variations for regular sewing stitches and 5 lettering fonts. There is a one-touch automatic needle threading system and the LCD display touch screen is backlit for easy reading and use. Fabric advances smoothly through the 7-point feed dogs and the bright light over the workspace means you don’t need any additional task lights to illuminate your work in progress. The included user manual comes in English and Spanish.
SINGER 8763 Curvy Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine
This computerized sewing machine makes everything simple and easy. The SwiftSmart threading system automatically threads the needle for you, and the stitch length and width are adjusted automatically to ensure the right stitch settings for any task. Buttonholes are a snap with two completely automatic one-step buttonhole attachments that require no more effort than the touch of a button. There are 30 built-in stitches to choose from, including five stretch stitches. If you’re planning to do quilting, the included extra-high presser foot lifter allows for thicker fabrics and expert quilting results. There is a foot control for speed adjustment. The free-arm gives you easy access to collars, hems, and cuffs for professional results every time.
Janome DC2012 Décor Computerized Sewing Machine
If you’re looking for a more high-tech, high-end machine, this Janome DC2012 may be just the thing you’ve been seeking. This fully computerized sewing machine offers 50 different stitch patterns as standard, including 3 buttonhole styles, to meet a variety of sewing requirements. Janome features its exclusive Superior Feed System to assure an unsurpassed quality in your stitching. The speed control slider and one-hand needle threader add to the convenience of use that you expect from a Janome. Short-cut buttons are positioned directly above the needle so there’s no fumbling for the memorized needle up/down control, or reverse and locking stitches. Jams are a thing of the past with the seven-piece feed dog and automatic tension and foot pressure. The LED screen is backlit to go easy on your eyes and includes an easy navigation button that lets you select stitch pattern and set width and length at the touch of a button. You can control the speed with the included electronic foot control, and the available 15 needle positions give you the professional results you want.
Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine
This Project Runway inspired sewing machine is great for beginners, whether you are new to fashion or know you way around a fitting room like a pro. This machine offers an automatic threading system to get you started quickly, and the free-motion stitching and quickset bobbin make jams a thing of the past. The Brother CS5055PRW lets you add decorative buttonholes, multiple zipper styles and decorative top stitching to your designs. The 50 pre-loaded stitch patterns cover a range of stitching, from heirloom styles to quilting stitch functions. There is a handy reference guide to the stitch patterns printed on the front for easy reference. The LCD display lets you choose your stitch style at the touch of a button. The display includes the selected stitch, the length and the width of your selected stitch, and tells you which foot to use for each type of stitch you select.
SINGER 7258 Stylist Award-Winning Computerized Sewing Machine
If you’re ready to move beyond the restrictions of a novice sewing machine, this SINGER 7258 Stylist computerized sewing machine may be just what you’re looking for. The 100-stitch collection that comes standard, along with the 10 included presser feet, makes this machine the perfect piece of equipment for crafting, sewing and quilting. The automatic needle threader makes setting the tread super-easy. You can monitor you stitch length and width easily on the LED display screen. The automatic tension gives you a consistent stitch quality on all fabric types and thicknesses. The top drop-in bobbin system with the clear cover is easy to load and resistant to jamming. You can even set the machine to electronic auto-pilot, which allows you to sew without engaging the foot pedal to manipulate the easy-to-adjust speed settings. Includes the DVD “Ready, Set, Sew!” to walk you through the basics of setting up the machine, threading, the basics of stitching and tutorials on the use of the included presser feet.
Brother XL2600i Sew Advance Sewing Machine
This mechanical sewing machine by Brother is a great tool for new beginners in the world of sewing. It features an easy-to-use needle threader and thread cutter. The bobbin is a simple drop-in load and auto bobbin winding is included. Buttonholes are a snap with the one-step auto-size buttonhole foot. The free-arm feature makes it easy to access collars, cuff sleeves and pant hems. It comes with an easy-to-control foot pedal for varying speed as needed. The 25 built-in stitches include a wide variety, from basic utility stitching to decorative and heirloom stitches. Selecting the stitch you want is as simple as turning a dial. The bilingual English/Spanish instruction manual includes everything to walk you through the basic setup to the custom-size buttonhole attachment.
Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine
If you’re looking for a simple to use sewing machine to get you started on your way to beautiful crafts, quilts and clothing, this Janome Magnolia 7318 may be just the simplicity you need to get started. It comes with all the basic features you need for great sewing without overwhelming you with high-tech gadgets and advanced computerized gizmos. There are 18 included stitch patterns from which to choose, including a simple-to-follow 4 step buttonhole foot that includes balance adjuster to assure the best results when working specialty fabrics. The top loading, jam proof bobbin system makes managing threading easy and the full 7-piece feed dog gives you precise control over the fabric. If you want a machine that lets you learn the art of sewing without being intimidating, this is the machine for you.
Brother Designio Series DZ2400 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine
If you want to jump into sewing with a machine that includes all the bells and whistles, then the Brother Designio Series DZ2400 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine may be just what you’ve been wanting. With 185 included stitching patterns to explore, including 55 alpha-numeric stitches, the DZ2400 is designed to help you expand your quilting and sewing abilities. It sports a 33 percent larger workspace that makes it perfect for working formal wear, quilts and costumes. The backlit LCD display screen lets your see your selections clearly with easy to read fonts. You can easily create custom designs with the included sewing and quilting feet. You can select your stitch settings at the touch of a button and simply press a lever on the side of the machine to engage the easy needle threading system. The variable speed control is easy to operate with the included foot pedal. The one-step buttonholes include 8 built-in styles that are automatically sized to fit your button selections. A comprehensive English/Spanish operation manual is included.
Specifics to Consider Before Buying Your Sewing Machine
Always do your homework before making any purchase of a major appliance. Pricing on sewing machines can run the gamut, from super cheap to extremely expensive. Before you decide which machine to get, there are a few specific points you should consider.
1. How much can you afford to pay?
Deciding if you can actually afford the machine you’re considering is the first step in making a final determination to buy. Study your finances and decide how much you can invest in this purchase without straining your budget. Let your budgetary constraints guide you in which machines you have to choose from, then find the best sewing machine you can within your budgetary guidelines.
2. How many choices do you need in types of available stitches?
Once you’ve got your budget firmly in hand, then you need to consider what you really want this machine to do for you. To complete just about any sewing project, really all you actually must have is a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch. These two basic stitches will allow you to do just about anything you want, from making clothing to sewing draperies to basic quilting. Some machines offer 200 stitch designs or more. That’s all fun and exciting to play with, but do you really need them? If your budget allows it and you want it, go for it. If you’re working under a more constrictive budget, consider carefully the difference between what you want and what you actually need.
3. Is the stitch length adjustable?
No matter whether you have a multitude of stitch options or only two or three, being able to adjust the length and the width of the stitches is vital. Most machines will allow a variation of stitch width and lengths but some of the lower priced machines don’t. Be sure to check this before purchasing to make sure you get the features you need. Also check to see if the machine performs reverse stitching automatically. This is important in the finishing of your seams.
4. Do attachments come with the machine?
Some attachments will come with the machine but others may be an additional cost to obtain. If you’re going to be sewing different types of material, you’ll want a choice of presser feet. If making clothing is your goal, you’ll need a buttonhole foot, a blind hem foot, and a zipper foot in your standard attachments. If you’re planning to make quilts, a walking foot and a ¼” foot will be needed. For freehand quilting, a freehand embroidery foot is a must.
Not only do you need to check specifically which feet attachments are included and which will cost you extra, you need to look at how easily, or not, the feet can be changed.
5. Simple mechanical or advanced computerized?
Touch screen and programmable stitch patterns are standard on most high-end machines on the market. But these conveniences come at a price. A mechanical machine may not be as exciting as the computerized model but they can still take on basic sewing tasks.
Computerized machines can be customized, so that specific stitch patterns can be programmed in and remembered. These machines offer a large selection of embroidery and other decorative stitches, and may include automatic tie-offs and thread cutting.
Mechanical machines are generally lighter, which is great if you don’t have a dedicated sewing area. They are easier to service and maintain, and often feature removable covers for ease in oiling the machine.
6. How powerful should the motor be?
You’re not expected to be a mechanical engineer in order to operate a sewing machine. But the size of the motor is something that you need to consider for the simple reason that the heavier the motor, the stronger the machine will be. If you’re planning to use it a lot, or use it for heavier fabrics such as upholstery fabrics or denims, then you’ll want to pay attention to the motor. A general rule is that the heavier the machine physically is, the stronger the motor will probably be.
If the machine is predominantly plastic, it will not stand up to the wear and tear of regular use like a machine with metal parts will.
7. What sort of noise level should I expect?
The sound a sewing machine makes is distinctive. And the noise level is generally not something that most people give much consideration to before purchasing a machine. Once you’re actually sewing on the machine, however, the noise level can influence how, where, and when you use the machine.
If you only have time to sew in the evening, after work or after the children are in bed, you may find that your nightly quiet is decimated by a sewing machine that sounds like a jack hammer. If you have to worry about the amount of noise the machine produces, you’ll be less likely to use the machine as much as you may like. So take into consideration whether or not you’ll be disturbing your family or your neighbors with the use of the machine during inopportune times.
Sewing can be a fascinating, entertaining, exciting, and potentially profitable skill to cultivate. Whether your intention is to make a quilt for your family to cherish through the years or you plan to design and market your own clothing line, investing in the right machine for your needs is the first step toward immersing yourself in the art of sewing.