Irrespective of whether you were spurred into sewing by the ‘Great British Sewing Bee’ or you are looking to add some Benjamin towards your holiday funds, taking baby steps in the world of sewing can always make your head spin. At the forefront is the gazillion number of choices in sewing machines. Which one do you pick? It goes without saying that you would want nothing but one of the best sewing machines for beginners.
Thankfully, we step in with some tidbits on which way to go.
For beginner sewing enthusiasts, most of the machines out there are overkill. The last thing you want is to blow your money on a machine that overwhelms you out of the box and lies unused for ages.
Here’s a small guide that will help you make an informed decision while shopping for the best sewing machines for beginners.
What To Consider When Buying The Best Sewing Machines for Beginners
Since you are looking for a beginner machine, it would be fair to assume that you are learning stitching or have just started to learn recently. So, we will be covering basic machines that do not have schmancy features and paraphernalia. But it will certainly help you sew easily.
A few basic stitches, some fancy ones, automatic buttonholes, a top loading bobbin with a clear view top, ability to tackle a few layers of fabric and all-purpose machines, that can be used for a variety of sewing tasks, that’s what we are looking for.
Here are a few factors to consider when you venture out to shop for one.
Your budget: Don’t be surprised at all if you find a beginner sewing machine that costs more than $1000. From under $100 to above $1200, beginner sewing machines can be found in diverse price brackets. But what’s being sold at the top end of the price bracket not be the best of choices for you. It may not even be required for your stitching needs. So, once you decide on a budget, the next factor to consider is what you will be sewing.
Your projects: Beginner seamstresses looking to complete home sewing tasks with normal fabric (read lightweight) can very well make do with a machine that costs $100-$200. For heavier fabric, multiple layers or specialized tasks like quilting and sewing leather, upholstery or denim, you’ll ideally need a high end machine that costs at least $300 or more.
Mechanical vs. Computerized: The eternal conundrum that beginner seamstresses have is to choose between a mechanical and a computerized sewing machine. The fact is that there is no one type of machine that is best suited for everyone. Both mechanical and computerized machines have their own pros and cons. Mechanical machines are a tad more old school as compared to the computerized ones. If you have learnt sewing on a mechanical machine then you’d be more comfortable using one. On the other hand, if your old mechanical machine has bit the dust, then you’d want to consider upgrading to a computerized one.
The attachments: Last but not the least; you’d want to consider the attachments that come with the machine. Some beginner machines have a set of standard attachments that includes a bundle of presser feet. For quilting, you will need a walking foot, a quarter foot that gives you enough allowance for patchwork and a freehand foot for embroidery. Also, check whether it is easy to attach and remove the feet. Some models have a tedious attachment process that is time consuming.
There are other factors like portability (weight and carrying case), noise, the size of the motor and the number of stitches it can do in a minute. But usually, the above mentioned four factors suffice for you to be able to make a decision.
Without further ado, here’s a list of some of the best sewing machines for beginners that are easy to use, portable and budget-friendly too.
It would be fair to say that it was a ‘Computer’s Digest Best Buy’ award that bought the Singer 7258 Stylist computerized sewing machine to our attention. But the reason why it features on the #1 position in our list of the best sewing machines for beginners is beyond the award.
This is a versatile little powerhouse that brings tremendous value to the table. So much so, that it can easily feature in our list of sewing machines for professionals too. But the entry level price point and the easy to use features make it a beginner’s favorite.
100 Stitch Options
The impressive feature bundle is highlighted by the 100 amazing stitch options that more than suffice for beginner seamstresses. You can choose from 9 basic stitches, 8 stretch stitches and a whopping 76 decorative stitches. You have six options for one-touch buttonholes. The 7258 takes most stitching jobs that you throw at it with ease.
The top loading bobbin and the automatic needle threading eliminate the time spent in prepping while the 10 presser feet included in the package allow you to perform everything from basic stitching to zippers, embroidery, blind hem, satin stitches and quilts.
Durable and reliable
Beginner or professional seamstress, you cannot go wrong with the 7258. It is designed for precise stitching every time. Everything from stitch selection to altering stitch length and programming the needle position can be done with simple button clicks. The internal metal frame is way better than the flimsy plastic models that are so popular these days. Besides, it comes with a 25 year manufacturer warranty.
Verdict: This is hands down, the best sewing machine for beginners!
With a beginner friendly design and a bevy of versatile features, the Janome 2212 is one of the best mechanical sewing machines priced under $150. With just the essentials in terms of stitches and automation, it is also one of the best machines to start learning stitching. You will never feel overwhelmed with it. On the other hand, it serves as the perfect backup machine for professionals who are looking for a reliable second machine.
One glance at the Janome 2212 and you’d know that this is going to be a breeze to use. Across the face, we have most of the controls including the front loading bobbin, the needle plate with the seam guides, a drop feed and two large rotary dials which let you select the stitch and adjust the length and width. The reverse stitch button is also conveniently located on the front and lets you seal your stitches with ease.
Stitch easy with the 2212
Some people are thrown off by the limited 12 built-in stitches in the Janome 2212. But that’s just about what you need and what you’d use for most basic stitching jobs. Other than straight stitch and zig zag, it also comes with knit, blind hem and decorative shell. The drop feed allows easy free motion sewing and also lets you quilt.
An in-built bright light lets you work those late hours without worrying about an external light source.
Verdict: The Janome 2212 does not have many features to boast of. Instead, it works on pure old school reliability and durability. This is a barebones sewing machine that the old-timers worked on and it works flawlessly for most stitching tasks. Not to forget that it has a very affordable price tag too.
With an under $130 price tag and a user-friendly design, it is evident that the Singer 4411, which is one of the most popular models from the company is aimed at beginners. But with a top speed of 1100 stitches per minute, it rivals some of the higher priced and professional grade sewing machines. With the 4411, you get the convenience of a beginner sewing machine with the power of a professional one.
Heavy Duty Machine
The Singer 4411 is often advertised as a heavy duty machine. That’s partly due to the internal metal frame which keeps it rock-steady during stitching tasks. You can be rest assured that you can sew with ease and without skipping stitches. This also makes it one of the most durable machines at this price point. Despite the all-metal frame, it weighs just under 15 pounds which makes it a very portable machine.
At the heart of the 4411 is Singer’s popular powerful motor which lends some teeth even to its entry-level machines. This also gives it the ability to work flawlessly on just about any type of fabric.
Perform most tasks easily
The 4411 lets beginners perform most tasks in a snap without breaking a sweat. Everything from threading to changing the top loading bobbin and changing the presser feet can be performed in a minute. Club this with the ability to tackle most types of fabrics including upholstery and costumes and you have a winner on your hands.
Don’t forget that the Singer 4411 is one of the fastest beginner sewing machines in the market.
Verdict: A great machine for the price. It is reliable, long lasting and exceptionally easy to use. It is fast too. An unbeatable combination for beginners.
The Brother CS6000i is often touted as the best entry level computerized sewing machine. Earning that moniker in a market that is flooded with options from brands like Singer and Janome is no mean feat. The CS6000i boasts of a top speed of 850 stitches per minute which is close to the Singer 4411 and it also includes 60 built-in stitches. If you are looking for a machine that is fast and gives you more options in stitches, then you’ve just found it.
Automation where you need it
The Brother CS6000i automates the time consuming tasks and lets you manually customize the rest. For example, needle threading, bobbin winding and thread cutting are automated. The machine also automatically adjusts the length and the width of the stitch. But you can always customize this depending on your stitching task. As we mentioned earlier, it can stitch at 850 stitches a minute and if you were looking for something fast for your quilting projects without breaking your bank, then the CS6000i is one of the best options at hand.
Easy to use
The Brother CS6000i lets you control and select most settings through a large and clear LCD screen. The stitch type, number, length, width and error messages are displayed on the LCD. Beginners who are new to computerized machines may find that it has a slight learning curve. But once you are used to it, then working with the machine is a breeze.
One of the best features of the Brother CS6000i is the removable extension table which lets you work on heavier and large sized fabric. For tasks like quilting, this is such a useful feature. Also, it comes with a free arm that lets you stitch difficult to reach areas.
Verdict: The CS6000i, which is Brother’s entry level computerized offering, is a complete value for money package. It is a great choice for beginners and experienced seamstresses.