Once our clothes were on, corduroy hanging inches below our ankles, I’d slink up next to her old best sewing machine, Singer desk. That is where she kept a tiny foot stool to take our measurements. “Who’s first?” she’d ask through the color-topped push pin; she’d have tucking between her teeth.
How would I forget Augusts? My brother and I would make the five-block trek to our grandmother’s old Brownstone in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. That was before school. With our bags of clothes in hand, she’d tell us, “go get into your new pants,” so she could get us “fitted” ready for school.
One by one my brother and I would take our turns while the other watched The Price is Right on her old black and white. She’d begin to mark her stitch points with pushpins, and then she would work her magic at the sewing wheel.
Pedaling away, she was no longer our old immigrant grandma but a cyclist in training for the Tour de France, a witch hovering over a bubbling concoction, a double kick drummer, a soldier dismantling a bomb. It was her craft, it was her trade, and she did it with precision.
“You two are growing overnight,” she’d tell us with a sigh, almost as if the professional in her were ashamed to be leaving an inch of material to be “let down” as the months went by.
That was the mid-1980, a time when I thought neither hemming nor sewing would ever be more than something old ladies did. Still, to my delight, sewing is now more popular than ever. It seems as if everyone is into needlecraft these days!
So, what’s the draw?
For starters, it is eco-friendly and financially responsible. It offers a bridge of memories to my grandma, who was the first to inspire my love of sewing.
I am a professional tailor with over 15 years sewing on a variety of sewing machines. From my own experience, I know that choosing the right machine to match your lifestyle can be a challenge. I am here to help.
There is a huge variety of machine options available in the market today. That is compared to back when my grandma was pedaling her Singer! Depending on your needs, this easy to follow guide will provide you with information. You would be able to single the best sewing machine from what is on offer for today’s sewing enthusiasts.
I will review the top sewing machines for beginners. In addition, other top ten sewing machines available for both beginners and professionals—some I have owned, others I have worked off of at friends’ homes, and others I took for a test drive at the dealership. I will share with you my experiences using each one, and then discuss which brands are best, and how they may meet the specific needs of individual users.
Choosing the best sewing machine for beginners can be an overwhelming task.
The market is overflowing with offerings from reputable names and also from some lesser-known manufacturers.
Where do you begin?
Research is key and I have gone out of my way to compile it for you. Time spent now will be money saved in the long-term. If you buy the wrong machine for your needs, it could be a very costly mistake.
There are thousands of options ranging from the most basic mini sewing machine, to those used by professional designers. The core is to focus on the best sewing machine that would suit your needs.
I will guide you through the decision making process. It need not be too confusing if you are systematic, logical and carefully consider what you need and what you expect.
Well, sewing machine reviews are vitally helpful in exposing you to different opinions. By all means investigate the manufacturer’s website but also look for impartial advice.
Table of Contents
- What Type of Sewing Machine Do I Need?
- Essential Criteria
- Key Features
- Best Sewing Machines for Beginners Comparison Chart 2018
- Top Ten Best Sewing Machines for Beginners
- #1 Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine with 60 Built-In Stitches
- #2 SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
- #3 SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Model Sewing Machine
- #4 Singer 9960 Computerized Sewing Machine
- #5 Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing Machine
- #6 Singer Start 1234 Portable Sewing Machine
- #7 Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and 4×4 Embroidery Machine
- #8 Janome 2212 Sewing Machine
- #9 Janome HD1000 Mechanical Sewing Machine
- #10. Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine
- A Buyer’s Guide for Sewing Machines
- Frequent Asked Questions
- Final Words
What Type of Sewing Machine Do I Need?
This is a crucial question to ask yourself before anything else.
Many beginners believe that the most expensive machine will be best but will it be best for you? Surprisingly, the inexpensive sewing machine might be ideal with respect to your needs.
Be honest about yourself and your requirements then choose accordingly…
Probably you are highly confident with technology and enjoy learning new skills. One of the more feature-rich and cutting edge models could be for you. However, the thought of a thick user manual and an array of programs and options may bewilder you. Essentially, consider the more basic sewing machines as you start from there.
A driving factor which should inform your choice is precisely what tasks you expect your new sewing machine to perform. Think about what you will actually use it for.
If your principle intention is to sew your own garments, check that the machine offers various finishing options and button hole making. Variable stitch lengths and a twin needle setting are invaluable.
Most types of home decoration call for a fairly heavy duty sewing machine.
Think about curtain fabrics, cushions and upholstery. All of these are medium to heavy in terms of weight. Make sure that if this is your prime intended usage. Afterwards you may opt for something which can handle the job.
The basic sewing machines will not make the grade if you want to produce larger quilts. Therefore, you equally need to look out for the best sewing machine for quilting. This would be helpful to get large and fine quilts.
Most of the entry-level models, while fine for many purposes, lack the necessary attachments for successful quilting. The cheaper and less advanced machines are simply too limited.
Now that you have thought seriously about your comfort with technology and the reason you want the sewing machine, here are some general pointers.
- Build quality
- Overall performance
These four basic concepts should underpin your research and decision-making process.
There are more specific questions you might want to ponder…
- Changing needles. How easy is this? How long does it take?
- How does the machine cope with multiple layers?
- Stitching ability on heavy materials. Watch out for problems with drop feed and bunching
- Tension control. Without this feature, some tasks can become tricky
- Creating a buttonhole. How simple is it and what system is used? 1 step is easier and more accurate; 4 step can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Pay special attention to the accuracy of a finished buttonhole
- Does a bound seam remain true? Quality counts
- Ease of threading and how long it takes. If you have poor coordination, then look out for automatic threading feature
- Changing a presser foot. Is this a Snap-On adjustment or does it need screws?
- Feed dog control. This is paramount with bulkier fabrics
- Versatility with different projects (quilting, straight sewing, free arm…)
- Built-in stitches. Go for a good range of basics rather than overkill with decorative alternatives
- Adaptability for different skill levels
- Speed. Is it being a priority for you? Remember, though: if the machine cannot comfortably operate at high speed then certain projects may turn out ineffective.
- Cost vs features: is it worth the investment?
Now that you have assessed your own needs and what you require from a sewing machine for beginners, bear the above advice in mind and check out 5 excellent options…
I have chosen different machines based on different user desires but all are featuring beginners.
These sewing machine reviews are very brief and cover just an overview of each machine. This is all you need to whittle down your options to a shortlist before researching further…
Best Sewing Machines for Beginners Comparison Chart 2018
I have comparatively listed the various top 10 sewing machines with their features in the table below.
|Machine Name||Image Products||Weight||Stitch Options||Size (Inches)||LCD Display||Type|
|Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine||13 Pounds||60||16 x 6.7 x 11.4||Yes||Computerized|
|SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine||15 Pounds||100||14.5 x 7.5 x 12||No||Computerized|
|SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Model Sewing Machine||15.5 Pounds||23||15.5 x 6.2 x 12||No||Mechanical|
|SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine||25 Pounds||600||17.2 x 8.2 x 12||Yes||Computerized|
|Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing Machine||9.92 Pounds||100||20.3 x 12.7 x 17.6||Yes||Mechanical|
|Singer Start 1234 portable sewing machine||12.7 Pounds||-||13 x 7 x 11.5||No||Mechanical|
|Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and 4x4 Embroidery Machine||10.9 Pounds||67||20.3 x 15 x 15.2||Yes||Computerized|
|Janome 2212 Sewing Machine||15 Pounds||12||17 x 9 x 13.5||No||Mechanical|
|Janome HD1000 Mechanical Sewing Machine||22.1 Pounds||18||18.5 x 8.6 x 15.1||No||Mechanical|
|Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine||14.7 Pounds||50||19.5 x 10.8 x 16||Yes||Electric|
Top Ten Best Sewing Machines for Beginners
#1 Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine with 60 Built-In Stitches
This past June summer I was lead costume designer for our community production of Greece. I borrowed my friend Holly’s Brother CS6000i, because I needed one of the best brother sewing machine, something fast, adaptable, and transportable.
The Brother CS6000i is a computerized free arm machine. It has multiple stitch functions and is an extremely sound and affordable sewing machine for beginners. It has 60 built-in decorative stitch options with speeds of up to 850 stitches per minute. It allows you to select, adjust stitch length and width through the display.
If you are a tech-savvy beginner, then this model should be on that shortlist. It uses at least 120V AC. One step buttonholing is the best choice for beginners and the CS6000i provides this. There is much less chance of misshapen or incomplete buttonholes. You have 7 different styles of buttonholing at your disposal
With presser feet you have an enviable choice of 9 varieties. This means you can cope with a wide range of projects as your confidence grows. These presser feet span most operations, whether purely functional or more decorative.
Forward and reverse sewing is available. For beginners, this improves the ease of double-stitching. This seams without the need to stop and shift the fabric. Sewing dark fabrics is easy as it features a super bright sewing area. Accessing and setting your bobbin thread is easy.
It is equipped with an LCD screen that will allow you to customize various features. Some including an adjustable speed, auto-needle threader, diagrams to help you with threading and presser foot. It is jam-proof. The LCD display is crisp and easy to read. Navigation is a breeze. Choose your stitch by touch, and view it without confusion. You may store your accessories right at the arm of the machine.
The best part about this machine is that it is reliable. It includes many functions, and comes at an affordable price. I mean you may not go wrong with a Brother machine like this.
It has an extra-wide sewing machine table that is great for quilt makers. For those of you still sewing off your old-mechanical of 20 years ago, have no fear. I found the easy to follow bilingual manual really helpful at explaining all the machine’s functions. The instructions and diagrams are perfect for visual learners like me. Besides, it has an all time warranty of 25 years.
I did find the light weight structure taking some time to master. Before I had a handle on it, I admit I did produce an uneven stitch or two. The combination of price and simplicity of use – the user-friendly manual means it’s quick to get going. Making this one of the most widely-sold machines for novices.
When I worked off heavier fabrics I did have the occasional jam and even broke a needle. When I tried to preplace the needle with a non-Brother one, I couldn’t. The machine works best with Brother products.
If you want an innovative and lightweight sewing machine for beginners, look no further than the well-reviewed Brother CS6000i. It is compact, easy to use and, as you progress, it will still serve you well. It’s perfect for beginners but more advanced sewers still find it a pleasure to use. Its size is 16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches.
- Extra-wide Sewing Table
- Not Good with Heavy Fabrics
- Only Brother Compatible
#2 SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
I bought the Singer 7258 for my niece Maya, because I had heard it was considered as the best learning tool. After a few practice runs, she was sewing her own cosplay costumes in no time.
It offers many lovely built-in stitch and presser feet options for fashion sewing, crafts, or home and decorative projects. It features up to 100 varying stiches, sewing 750 each minute. From 9 basic, 8 stretches, 76 decorative and 7 completely automated buttonholes. It has a 25 year limited warranty operating at 110 V only.
Its 750 stitches per minute quickens the sewing process thus saving time. Well if you are not after speed, you have an option to control your speed using the speed control lever. It lets you set a maximum and minimum speed depending on your preference.
I know you would wonder how to use the numerous stitches. The singer 7258 is fitted with a push button that acts as a stitch selector. You can easily make a selection of your desired stitch. It is only a push button away. The optimum settings that determine the tension, length and width are automatically set. They are preferably customized. Besides the width and length of the stitches are adjustable.
It includes automatic features like a self-threading needle option and LCD screen that illustrates different sewing patterns. A helpful see-thru bobbin allows users to keep tabs on their thread quantity. Forget about overfilled bobbins as the singer 7258 has an automatic bobbin winding clutch. The bobbin winder stops its movement automatically once the bobbin is fully filled.
Its automated threader is user friendly. You may thread the whole machine right from its spool right to the needles eye in a very short time. Surprisingly, the needle’s eye is threaded for you by the in-built needle threader in 6 seconds. This curbs eye strain and frustration. It has a twain needle capability.
The 7258 features mentioned above, coupled with optional footer, start stop button, and electronic auto-pilot, will make any novice eager to stich on! For those who have never set up a sewing machine before, take my word. This is really easy to get sewing on. When I opened the box, I was surprised to find that the machine included a DVD called Ready, Set, Sew! This video does a great job at guiding new users through the ins and outs of the machine in a friendly, step by step manner.
The optional foot features three different options. An all-purpose foot on the machine, zipper foot and the buttonhole foot. They respectively specialize in most of the sewing tasks, add zippers, do cording, pipping etc., and add buttonholes, ribbon slots etc.
Despite the sturdy metal frame, often found on more expensive sewing machine models, I had a real issue with the 7258 wobbling when I put it to higher speeds. This may be because it does not include an oversized sewing machine table, so the frame itself is not bottom heavy. It has a size measuring 14.5 x 7.5 x 12 inches.
- Easy Set-up
- It has an On board storage
- Performs Poorly at High Speeds
- Small Sewing Table
#3 SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Model Sewing Machine
My mother works off of a Singer machine from their Heavy-Duty line. She always mentions how, no matter if it is leather, 10 layers of curtains, or silk, that this machine gets the job done.
The 4423 features 23 built-in stitches; a fully automatic one step buttonhole; 25 years of warranty; top drop-in automatic needle threader; bobbin with clear cover; and Snap-on presser feet. If you are looking for speed, this machine has the capability of crafting 1,100 stitches per minute.
Its presser foot comes with four different presser feet boasting varying functionality. The all-purpose foot which is ideal for a majority of sewing tasks. The buttonhole foot is appropriate for adding ribbon slots, buttonholes and many more. The zipper foot is also included and lets you add zippers, cord, pipe etc. The button sewing foot is purposely for adding buttons.
The automated needle threading enables you to accurately and easily follow a printed path on the sewing machine. As a result, you neither undergo an eyestrain nor frustration as you thread the needle’s eye.
The speedy feature of the singer 4423, operating at 1100 stitches each minute, makes your sewing very quick. Its speed is complimented by a 60% advantaged motor strength which sees finer piercing ability and power for the thick seams.
I found this to be a simple machine with few functions, but it does provide a reliable stitch for a low price. It is built to last and pride durability, with lots of accessories at your disposal. The durability is engineered by its heavy duty metallic frame. The frame also stands in for the stability of the machine.
First off, this Singer sewing machine has no-frills! No embroidery, no tricky computer stuff. It does do everything a practical sewer needs, and it does it well. Operating at 110 Volts in US and Canada.
I love that this machine has stainless steel, plated parts. It feels like a solid product. Like my mom, I have sewn thick, rugged, and delicate materials—denim, vinyl, satin, Lycra-and the 4423 handles them all beautifully. In addition, you can do crafts, interior décor, fashions and quilts.
Because the machine works so fast, it took me some time to get a hang of the very sensitive foot pedal. Of course, high speeds mean a more powerful motor. I have a new baby in the house who needs his sleep, so I would much rather work off of a quieter machine. This one is a bit loud for my current lifestyle.
Nevertheless, Singer 4423 is described as a “true workhorse” with 15.5 x 6.2 x 12 inches in dimensions. This is because of its heavy duty metal frame on the interior, superlative speed, stainless steel bedplate, highly powered motor, and its ability to sew very heavy fabrics. In order to sew various fabrics, you adjust the pressure of the presser foot.
After some use I did run into a few mechanical problems that required repair. Presser foot misalignment, bobbin issues, timing belt and gears may need service sooner than later.
- Stainless Steel Parts
- Good with Multiple Fabrics
- Heavy duty sewing machine.
- Too Fast
- You may experience string tangles
- Mechanical Problems
#4 Singer 9960 Computerized Sewing Machine
I have been looking to purchase a new Singer, because my old one was starting to feel a bit too simple. When I test drove the Singer 9960, I fell in love!
When I saw the large LCD screen, which goes beyond typical display functions and serves as more of a digital information advisor, I was sold! It allows me to bring up stitch patterns and change the tension, length, and width in what can only be describe as a digital sewing workspace. The screen also includes a warning alarm and visual animation. They to help troubleshoot any stitching errors (have no fear, you can activate and deactivate these at will).
To add on top, it features a onetime functional stitch selection. All you require is a touch and your stitches will be displayed right on the front panel of the machine. The most you would have to do is touch the preferred stitch and kick off sewing. Besides, your 8 frequently used stitches would be displayed on the front panel.
There’s also a one-touch automatic thread cutter and needle threader; needle up/down button; a top drop-in bobbin system; a slow sewing speed option; and a lock stitch feature. Nevertheless, lots of accessories at your disposal!
The stitch pattern selection alone exceeds its competitors. It includes 600 built-in stitches with 13 styles of fully automatic one-step buttonholes, five different fonts, and 19 presser feet (I tend to buy a lot of feet, so yes, this is a huge plus!).
Talk of stability. The sturdy metal frame of the machine is built to deliver. The inner skeleton is made of a heavy duty metal. This issues great support cum durability, as the machine would rarely skip.
This may come across as a chic piece of technology, but once you learn the digital basics, you will have as much fun as I did. That is when I was getting to know and use all its features!
It prides a double needle setting that may be useful in achieving specific stiches. You would be able to reduce the width of stiches when using the twain needle function.
The 9960 creates lovely stitches for projects ranging from garment production to home decorations, giving you a great deal of freedom to personalize your sewing experience and make one-of-a-kind products. Advanced sewers and quilters will find the versatility for lettering and decorative stitching liberating.
Now let us talk about the sewing machine light! I do most of my sewing at night, once the house has been put to rest, and so lighting is important. This machine’s two LED bulbs let me sew any time of day or night with ease.
Ok, so here is the kicker: though it can create 600 stitches, 850 each minute, more is not always best. Like most home sewers I mostly use basic stitches in my projects, and do not play around with the more elaborate ones. I have yet to even scratch the surface of using the amount of stitches this machine includes.
This sewing machine offers a lot of room to the front and left of the needle, so there is plenty of space for your hands to work in. It also includes an extra-large sewing machine table and drop feed for special projects. So why is this a con, you may be asking?
Well, with these factors in mind, it is a big machine. It gets my vote for best sewing machine for home use because you are not going to want to lug this thing around town.
I think this machine is suited for the experienced sewer, or someone who likes the challenge of figuring out a new piece of tech. With all the sewing and digital features there are to learn, it may be overwhelming for those of you who are just learning the basics.
The 240 plus dollar price tag may also make you newbies take pause. I suggest starting off with a less expensive machine before moving on to something like the 9960, which is more complex and pricier. The machine itself weighs about 20 pounds with 17.2 by 8.2 by 12 inches in dimensions
- High Tech
- A Bit Excessive
- Tough to Learn On
#5 Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing Machine
This Brother model, the XR9500, is a machine for all levels from beginners to more skilled users.
The XR9500 is highly prized for its quilting abilities.
There are over 100 stitches to choose from. Ranging from decorative to heirloom stiches. Its decorative and zigzag stitches are extra wide with approximately 7 mm. These run from standard utility stitches through to heirloom and decorative varieties. Buttonholing is again the 1 step type. You are presented with 8 different choices which is more than enough when you are starting out.
If you are a beginner looking to do some quilting, then the large expandable table is just what you need. You can as well alter fonts as you monogram around your sewing art. The large table has its own hard cover. The XR9500PRW uses a total of 120 Volts Alternative Current.
As with most offerings from Brother, users routinely comment on the ease with which you can get up and begin operation. The manual is very clear and intuitive. As an added bonus, there’s an instructional DVD included. Many of us are visual learners and the DVD is a great free addition.
The needle threader can be awkward at first. Once you know what you’re doing, though, it’s actually fairly straightforward.
Often, lighting is overlooked. The XR9500 comes with an extremely effective light that illuminates the entire sewing area. This is especially crucial for beginners.
The monogramming feature gets mixed reviews. Most say that it’s very simple to put into practice but the quality of the finish is called into question.
There are many accessories and attachments thrown in. It size is 20.3 by 12.7 by 17.6 inches, weighting 9.92 pounds.
So, despite the impressive array of features, this lightweight and capable sewing machine is a cakewalk to use for absolute beginners. If you want to experiment with quilting, then you should certainly consider the XR9500 Project Runway. This machine will serve you well from the moment you set out on your journey and can cope well with even professional decorative jobs.
- It is lightweight
- Easy to use
- Jam resistant
- Low quality
#6 Singer Start 1234 Portable Sewing Machine
It is an electric sewing machine made portable with 6 in-built stitches and very suitable for beginners in sewing.
With the 6 stitch options, you are prompted to make a choice simply by the press of a dial. One of the main reasons why I would highly recommend the Singer Starter for beginners, is the preset stitch measurements. The width and length of the stiches are predetermined. You do not have to struggle hustling for figures.
Your options would range from a straight stitch recommended for fundamental sewing. Otherwise, you would sew an applique made with a zigzag stitch.
You would easily add your button holes to creations using the four step buttonhole feature. Its workspace is a slide off extension table that is removable. The table exposes a free arm used for hemming sleeves and trousers
Differentiating it from the other sewing machines, is the portability, simplicity and ease of carriage and storage.
Threading has been made easy using the threading diagram calibration. The diagrams are printed on the sewing machine. This saves time and eases up the whole threading process. The four step buttonholing is automatic.
Twain needle sewing is powered by the dual spool pins. The spool pins are vertical and apparently make the sewing process a walk in the moon. Suppose you are not interested in a twain type of sewing; you have an option to do it single. Myself I prefer my creations to have a double and parallel stitching. It adds a beautiful touch to creations.
Singer Starter is all easy. Selecting your stiches is made possible using a stitch selection dial which changes the stitches in one simple step. Still qualifying the Singer Starter for beginners and learners. It weighs 12.7 pounds and has a size of 13 by 7 by 11.5 inches.
Talk of sturdiness, the internal skeleton used in the machine is engineered with a heavy duty metal which enhances stability. This skeleton mechanically adds a touch of perfection to the machine’s alignment. As a result, the machines offers an assured durability and skip less sewing.
- Heavy Duty
- Light weight
- Fixed Stitch width control
- Few number of stitches
#7 Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and 4×4 Embroidery Machine
Before my son was born my friend, Leda, hosted an embroidery party in our honor. At this event, I used the Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine gives you the freedom to sew, quilt, and embroider.
The SE400 is built with an embroidery features to deliver that elegant and custom look on your tasks. Well its price range is quite affordable to fit almost any budget.
It features 67 stitches, 98 stitch functions, a library of 70 decorative designs, 120 frame pattern combinations and 5 lettering font on PC. It is capable of embellishing home decorations, gifts and clothing. All this facilitated by the 4 by 4 embroidery abilities. Designs may also be imported from you PC.
The SE400 is user friendly, as it is easy to use. It features an LCD screen that displays information to you as you use it. With it are in built quick start guides and tutorials that would be helpful when getting started with the sewing machine. It comes with varying types of accessories and lots of features for sewers. Nevertheless, crafters, and fashion designers find it helpful.
The 4 by 4 space allocated for embroidery is sufficient to label any text or shape. Its working space is also illuminated by sufficient light. This simply implies you do not have to dig again for more task lights.
Its LCD backlight is a touch screen. It comes with accessible design features. You can simply control the LCD designs, essentially view the tutorials among other LCD functionalities. You can as well keep your machine up to date using the built in computer connectivity. It lets you download updates and also outsource designs. You may connect it to your mac via USB connection.
Its needle threader is made to work automatically. Work less the tweezers. Simply use the magnifying glass to toss away and in a flick, your machine is perfectly threaded. User friendly bobbin preparation lets you thread up easily. The bobbing winding system is convenient thus prepares the bobbing so fast.
Experience a fast and reliable setting when on your drop in bobbin system. The system is jam resistant which leaves you lest fishing for the bobbin thread. SE400 as well lets you to smoothly feed your fabric using the 7-point feed dogs. Its dimensions are 20.3 by 15 by 15.2 inches with a weight of 10.9 pounds.
- Easy to Use
- Value for money
- Start-up Costs
- Must Learn Software
- Small Embroidery Field
#8 Janome 2212 Sewing Machine
Some believe that in our tech inundated world, it is best to learn to sew on a computerized sewing machine. From my experience working with new sewing students, I find that without a solid foundation in basic sewing machine structures and procedures, many will not fully grasp a sewing machine’s capabilities.
This no-nonsense sewing machine has 12 built-in stitches including a four step buttonhole function to quickly add buttons to a project. The stitches come out beautifully on this machine! I also just really love the look of this machine.
The Janome 2212 is a mechanical sewing machine that is above all dependable.
I continue to be amazed by the price of this Janome! Though the price tag may make you question its strength, as often cheaper machines cannot be used for serious work, take my word that the 2212 does a fine job on multilayer projects that require several layers.
It is great for novice sewers looking for a simple starter machine, or for advance sewers to use as a backup in case their sturdier machine needs a rest or repair.
I have carried the 2212 around in public and used it to teach others how to sew without using my more expensive model to do so. I believe it is one of the best sewing machines for kids to learn and practice on.
With only 12 stitch options, more experienced users may find this amount cumbersome, however for most projects, you will only use a few different stitches anyhow. It has a very high presser foot lift. When making stiches, I realized the maximum stitch length was around 4 mm and the width 5mm. In addition, when it comes to locking your stiches, it is very easy. This is because of the built in reverse lever.
This machine is a front-loader, and so the wheel must be hand turned to correctly position your needle before you can start a new seam. If you do not do this the 2212 will jam up when you start stitching (trust me, I found this out the hard way!). It did not take me too long to master the hand wheel, however, but a beginner may have more difficulty than they would with a top-loader. It took me a few tries to get the feel of the presser feet and bobbin adjustment as well. At 15 pounds, and 17 by 9 by 13.5 inches, it considered sizeable.
I found that this machine did not do well on leather and suede; fur; reptile skin; canvas and twill; plastic and rubber; extra thick fabrics or multiple layers. That said, quilters out there will have an extra difficult time working off of this machine, as it does not include an oversized sewing machine table to work with bulkier fabrics.
- Great Price
- Good Learning Tool
- Well Built and Reliable
- It is simple
- It is dependable
- Needle Jams
- Not Good of Thick Fabrics
- Small Sewing Table
#9 Janome HD1000 Mechanical Sewing Machine
It is a superlatively sturdy, mechanical sewing machine which is sold accompanied with a bonus free package.
Janome HD1000 prides a heavy duty construction design with highly considered user friendliness. It is dependably an enjoyable machine to get associated with.
It comes differentiated from other sewing machines with a bonus package that is limited. Once you purchase the sewing Janome sewing machine, you are given a free of charge bonus pack.
It top quality aluminum body is constructed heavily. This self-owned kind of construction enables one to comfortably deal with a huge fabric range. Nevertheless, you will easily tackle various types of sewing with no perceived worries.
It is made to provide the sewers with 15 different sewing stitches. Besides sewers enjoy a four step buttonhole provision. The buttonholes could be applied in a range of helpful ways.
An in built needle threader is also a feature to describe in the Janome HD1000. The mostly described bonus is a kit that entails a 10 pack bobbins, concealed zipper foot, and a size 12 needles.
Some amenities do not come packaged in the machine. Some of them include: The Teflon foot and leather needles. The machine sews leather. Well it leaves no other fabrics like polyester. It has a weight of 22.1 pounds and a size of 18.5 by 8.6 by 15.1 inches.
- Well Built
- User friendly
- It is made of heavy duty metal
- Low quality motor
- Few stitches
#10. Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine
Brother Project Runway is a computerized sewing machine made by the Brother Company, and does 50 stiches in built with an automatic threading.
It features an ease in threading cum dependable reliability at the bottom and top threads. It is capable of sewing a huge range of fabrics. The Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine lets you make advanced level zippers, buttonholes, overcasting edges, and even add neat stitches to your fabrics designs. It is built with an LCD display which allows you to preferably choose you best stitches. You can as well adjust the stitches according to your specifications and creations.
It also prides a 50 stitch capability that lets you choose and cover a diverse range of decorative, heirloom and quilts. The diverse stitches are printed at the front of your Brother Project Runway Electric Sewing Machine. Not to mention the personalization that comes with the buttonholing styles. It has a 5 one step buttonhole styles which are customarily sized in order to suit your buttons. Besides I have to include the 6 specialty sewing feet. Its manual is written in two different languages, which is in English and Spanish.
Brother Project Runway is made so light to port around. I could carry my sewing machine right from one station to another with a lot of ease. It has been built with little footprints, lightweight and convenient handle used to carry it around.
The LCD screen display is made so easy to view and has an intuitive selector that would help beginners in choosing stitches. All your selections are featured on the LCD screen which relays crisp information on actually what you are doing. It informs you the details of your selection that is the width and length of stiches. Suiting beginners most is the guiding feature that directs you on the foot to use on a particular stitch.
Worry not of the bobbin setup! Setting it is an easy, reliable and fast three step procedure. Simply drop in the bobbin, grab the thread and pull it passing it via the slot, then start sewing! I describe the process as a 1…2…3 process.
Well, in sewing you would not leave out threading. Otherwise no sewing! Threading has been made user friendly. You only need to touch the lever of the machine and the in-built automatic needle threader make the hard move. It pushes the thread into the eye of the needle and job done!
Its five one step personalized buttonholing advances your buttonholes to look professional. Arrange your buttonholes neatly in a professional way using the Brother Project Runway.
Your sewing workspace is well illuminated using the effectively designed illuminator. The LED light lights so bright that you would not miss an inch of your fabric. The LED light is ideal for sewing the dark fabrics that might not be visible in less light.
Its spool spin found mostly in the high end sewing machines is both horizontal and vertical and ensures your feeding is consistent. This works perfectly for the metal based and specialty threads. The machine has as stand out feed system that lets you to move your fabric with ease that is for clearly defined stitches. It weighs 14.7 pounds with a size of 19.5 by 10.8 by 16 inches.
- It is easy to use
- Low quality
- Jams and tangles
A Buyer’s Guide for Sewing Machines
Still having trouble deciding what is the best sewing machine for you? Let this buyer’s guide help you answer a few important questions before making your purchase.
1) What Are You Looking to Spend?
- Sewing machines can run the gamut of prices, anywhere from under $100 dollars to well into the thousands. There will always be a machine just out of your price range, offering just a little more pop for a price. Decide on what you are willing to spend and begin your search from there.
- If you are strapped for cash but still want a first-rate product, here’s the deal: check out second hand machines. It may be better to work off a second-hand machine that gets the job done, than skimping on both cost and quality.
2) Do You Want a Mechanical or Computerized Sewing Machine?
- Most high-end machines come with LCD screens and USB friendly portals for downloading and programming stitch patterns. These tend to be more expensive than mechanical machines, so if your budget is tight, you may opt for the latter.
- Do not let the old school sound of a mechanical machine scare you. Many choose this option because computerized machines come with computerized problems. There are also many pluses to owning a mechanical machine. They are often lighter, built with less parts, so they can be carried around to classes, sewing circles, or to any corner of your home with ease. Servicing and maintenance is often cheaper and easier of these products.
- Mechanical machines are great starter machines that will meet all your basic sewing needs. If you are going to go mechanical, remember that a second-hander from a reputable maker is a better purchase than a cheaper, plastic one.
Now: We are living in the age of tech, after all, and computerized sewing machines are fun! They have lots of poor and do not struggle with heavier fabrics. They offer superior stitch quality with even spacing and stronger stitching.
You can program your computerized machine so that it remembers a stitch sequence. I would therefore recommend a computerized sewing machine for beginners to aged people. It would be helpful in helping to memorize various stiches. They also offer tens to hundreds of decorative and embroidery options, auto thread cutting, and more.
3) Is The Sewing Machine Motor Big or Small?
- The heavier the sewing machine motor, the heavier and stronger the machine is. A strong, heavy motor will make it easier to cope with frequent use and heavier fabrics, such as upholstery-weight fabrics and denim.
- A machine that is predominantly plastic will not withstand the kind of use that a machine with metal parts can. Of course, if you know you are going to need to transport your machine frequently, even if it is just in and out of a cupboard, you need to decide if a heavy machine is impractical and whether you want to compromise with a machine that has a plastic body, but metal parts.
4) What Stitches Do You Plan to Use?
- Consider what products you plan on making and what type of stitch you will need to make it. In general, a straight or zig zag stitch will suit most users’ basic needs, giving you the freedom to create what you want to without much hassle.
- Many machines today do have the added benefit of preprogrammed stitches running into the hundreds. Most look fantastic, and it is great to have the option to have some fun with your fabric. Having limited options, though, should not be a deal breaker if one with a low stitch count catches your fancy.
5) Is Stitch Length and Width Adjustable?
- Width and length adjustment are valuable options to have in a machine. Stitch length is important because of the way certain fabrics react to certain stitches, or to sew certain areas of a project. Knits and spandex perform better with longer, looser stitches, while inflexible fabrics like canvas fair better with shorter, tighter stitches
- Most mid- to high range machines will have an adjustable stitch option. Some of the cheaper models may skip this feature.
6) What Comes with The Machine?
- Presser feet are a vital factor to sewing; a buttonhole foot, zipper foot, and hem foot will also be important if your plan is to make clothing, for example. Patchwork quilting will require a walking foot, and a freehand foot will be necessary for doing any embroidery. You will want to make sure an assortment is included with your machine, or that they can be purchased separately and at a decent price.
- If you plan to use an assortment of feet, also check if your machine includes Snap-On feet. These make switching back and forth between feet quick and easy.
7) What Is the Machine’s Make and Brand?
- The make and brand of a sewing machine is very important not only to the life of the product, but to your sewing experience as well. Successful brands, as you can see here is this post, include Brother, Singer, and Janome. Most department stores carry these brands, which are geared toward hobbyists. They are light, have small motors and internal parts, and tend to have a plastic build.
- Pfaff, Husqvarna, and Bernina sewing machines, on the other hand, are all high-end machines that come with a higher price tag. These are professional sewing machines, or those who stitch on the regular. Big department stores will probably not carry these. Therefore, you will need to contact a dealer if you plan to purchase any of these.
What’s the bottom line? For a more enjoyable sewing experience, buy the best budget sewing machine from a reputable company, rather than spending higher for a hobby machine.
8) How Noisy Is the Machine?
- Take a moment to consider when and where you will use your machine. After work, and after the kids have gone to bed, are common times people sew. If you live in a small to average size space, you are not going to get a machine that bellows throughout the hallways. You will want to purchase a quieter inexpensive sewing machine.
- Don’t be afraid to check out your machine’s noise level in the store of dealership before making your purchase.
9) How Frequently Will You Use Your Machine?
- If you are only going to use your machine for the occasional hem or repair, and do not think your machine will make it out of the closet more than once or twice a month, then a heavy duty sewing machine is not a smart investment.
- If, however, you think your new machine will be put to work weekly or even daily in your sewing studio, and your budget can accommodate, go for one in heavy duty sewing machine or a computerized model. It will make your sewing experience pleasurable.
- Computerized, high-end machines take some time to learn. A mechanical sewing machine may only require threading and plugging in. Consider how you handle technology, how much time you have to learn something new, and if the frustration that may come with learning your new machine will put you off the task of actually sewing.
10) What Do You Want to Sew or Make?
- If you are a quilter, buy a machine that offers more than your basic attachments. Look for larger work tables and machines powerful enough to toil through multiple layers of fabric.
- If you want to make your own clothes, look for a machine that has adjustable stitch lengths. In addition, one that can support a diversity of fabrics, and has a variety of buttonhole options.
- Upholsterers will want heavy duty sewing machines that can sew through tough fabric without a reputation for jamming.
Frequent Asked Questions
I have mentioned a few technical terms here and you may be wondering what some of these sewing machine parts are and what they do. Below you can find answers to frequently asked sewing machine questions.
What Are the Main Parts of a Sewing Machine?
The needle; Feed dogs; Rotary hook; Motor; Timing belts
What Is a Sewing Machine Needle?
Sewing machine needles are used in sewing machines. Do not let its simple looks fool you. They are actually made up of seven different parts! Most sewing machine needles are finished with hardened chrome-plated steel, though some rarer ones are coated with titanium instead of chrome. They come in different sizes and types depending on your sewing needs.
What Are Feed Dogs?
Sewing machine feed dogs are metal teeth-like edges that arise from an opening in the metal plate beneath your sewing machine’s needle. As you sew, your feed dogs move, lightly gripping the underside of your fabric to help move it through the sewing machine.
What Does a Presser Foot Do?
A presser foot is an attachment used with sewing machines to grip fabric flat as it moves through the machine and gets stitched.
What Is a Foot Pedal?
A foot pedal is not unlike the pedals in a car. It is a pedal that rests on the floor of your sewing space and essentially lets you control the function and speed of your machine by pressing it with your foot. This frees up your hands from needing to press the start/stop button on your machine so you can concentrate on guiding your fabric.
What Are the Belts in A Sewing Machine Used for?
Sewing machine timing belts coordinate the sewing machine parts to achieve even stitches on your fabric.
What Is the Difference Between a Long Stitch and a Short Stitch?
- Shorter stitches will fit more stitch into an inch of fabric, resulting in a tighter stitch. Longer stitches pack fewer stitch per inch, resulting in a looser stitch.
- The stitch width determines how wide each stitch is made. Essentially, this function determines how much fabric is fed under the presser foot.
Think about some of the above options when it comes to buying a sewing machine for beginners and professionals. There is something for everyone so double down on what you need then focus on this when it comes to your purchase.
These sewing machine reviews should give you a good start in your task of choosing the best machine for beginners and professionals. With all of that said, you’re probably wondering which model I would recommend?
If I were choosing a model that’s practical, affordable, and adaptable to a multitude of skill levels, I suggest purchasing the Brother CS6000i, great for both beginners and professionals and as well for those who want an introduction to a computerized sewing experience. Although I highly recommend Brother CS6000i for beginners.
If budgeting were not an option, I would personally choose The Janome HD1000 if in the market for a powerful, mechanical machine, and the Singer 9960 if in the market for a computerized machine with lots of features.
Now I realize that these are both pretty expensive, professional models
I hope this blog has helped you get to know a few things about this year’s newest sewing machine models. Remember, when purchasing a new machine, try to find a balance between affordability, quality, and necessity. Collect as much information as you can and select the best machine for you.