All You Need to Know and Everything in Between
Are you a novice sewist or a crafter?
Do you need assistance with searching for the right sewing machine for your skill level?
Let me lend you a hand, my friend.
Don't worry - we've all been there once.
Personally, I was a mess when I was starting.
Chasing around looking for the right sewing machine, appropriate scissors (yes you can make the wrong choice here too, and never ever use them on anything else then fabric, remember my words), seam ripper, sewing tape measures...
All those were on my list, and I was too proud to ask for help. I thought this couldn't be that hard.
Of course, I’ve also forgot that I needed some kind of fabric-marking pencil, so when I needed to mark my first buttonhole, I was forced to improvise. I used my old bar of soap.
Unfortunately, that is not the only thing I didn't buy, not because I forgot, it was because I didn't know and I never asked anyone to help me out.
Everything starts with a proper sewing machine.
When you are a total beginner, you need a machine that is durable and straightforward to use, with a selection of all the basic features, and to perform high-quality stitches.
So, I learned my lessons the hard way, but now I am here to prevent someone else from making the same mistakes as I did. Today I will present to you the perfect beginners' machine - Singer 44S.
Singer 44S Summed Up in Simple Grades
You can quickly scan my overall impressions in the scoring table beneath:
|Singer 44S Sewing Machine Review|
|Value for money||5/5|
If you have time and are interested in finding out why did this machine earned those grades, I recommend you continue reading my review and learn more about what this model can provide to its users.
Let’s Start With The In-Depth Review
I’ve spent some time with this machine and I’ll break down all the ins and outs of this machine for you in the article below. Let’s start with the basics.
Appearance & General Experience
The full name of this model is Singer Heavy-Duty 44S Sewing Machine, but I must admit I am a little confused with its dimensions. Typically heavy-duty models are quite big and bulky (well at least I did think like that), but this one is small and compact compared to others.
Here’s an official presentation from Singer:
The machine weighs 18.5 pounds (8.4 kg), and with 15.5 x 6.25 x 12 inches (39.4 x 15.9 x 30.4 cm) in the size you really would not expect this machine to be ranked like heavy-duty - but hey, it is!
And yes, this machine is both heavy-duty AND portable - you will find the built-in carrying handle on top of your machine. Also, in the package you will get a soft-cover to help you protect your machine from dust.
Let me tell you the few reasons why this machine is ranked heavy-duty:
- The interior frame in this model is entirely made of heavy-duty metal.
- The bedplate is made from stainless steel, that makes this machine more durable and also, provides a smooth surface so your fabric will glide smoothly across it while you sew.
- This model comes with a powerful motor that is 60% stronger than a regular sewing machine motor. Thanks to this the sewing speed is improved significantly. This machine can sew up 1100 stitches per minute to be more accurate. But all of this contributes to the higher noise this machine produces compared to computerized sewing machines.
- The machine is designed to be able to handle all kinds of fabrics - from soft cotton to denim, and canvas.
This model comes with a removable storage compartment that goes all the way around your free arm. When you remove it, you will be able to access the free arm easily which will make sewing cuffs and hemming jeans way easier.
Singer 44S has top drop-in bobbin case with a see through cover plate on top of it. That allows you to quickly check how much thread you still have winded on your bobbin. The only thing I personally don't like on this machine is plastic bobbins (class 15) that are not as durable as metal ones, so I recommend you always have some spare bobbins around just in case.
Next, there’s a Stitch selector dial that tells the machine which stitches you desire to sew at that moment. Above this stitch panel is stitch length dial.
On top of this machine you will find stitch width dial that controls how wide your stitch is going to be. Next to it is the needle position dial where you can adjust your needle position to center, right or left.
Like most of the modern machines, this one too has a built-in thread cutter located on the side of the machine.
Usage Advice & Tips From My Experience
This model is seriously simple to use, and you will master it in no time, but here I will share some hints and tips with you to help you out a bit.
When you open the box and unpack your machine, you will find a power cord with a cord for foot control too. Plug your machine, and after you press the on/off switch the LED light should come on, and that's how you know your machine is ready to go.
I'm positive that you all already know this, but it will not harm if I mention it; the harder you press the foot paddle the faster the sewing speed, and the same when opposite, so I advise you to start slow until you get into the routine.
Always ensure the needle is in the right position before you start sewing. You will manage this if you turn the handwheel towards yourself before every use.
Also, I always advise this - when changing the needle, be extra cautious. Always hold the needle tight with your free hand when you are unwinding the needle holder. And of course, always cover the needle plate with some paper or fabric to prevent any accidental drop-ins.
You can see the tutorial here:
Like many Singer machines, this model too has drawing guides on top of the machine to help you thread the needle and bobbin properly. Just follow these few simple steps, and you will thread your machine correctly every time.
Threading the needle is very simple thanks to built-in needle threader. Of course, when threading the bobbin, you can choose two different positions for the spool pin, main (vertical) or auxiliary (horizontal).
Check the official tutorial here:
Making buttonholes by hand can be very stressful because let's be honest it is very hard to make them all look the same. The fantastic thing about this model is that it has an option for making buttonholes! Some other Singer models have more options for making various types of buttonholes, but this model has just one (and believe me, it is more than enough).
First, you need to do is to mark the spot on the fabric where you want your button to be. Then select the buttonhole stitch and select the length. Always select a length between 0 and 1 (there is even little buttonhole icon to remind you).
Now change the regular presser foot with buttonhole presser foot, slowly lower the presser foot holder and wait until you hear it clicks, you might need to move your buttonhole presser foot around before you find the right position.
Remember always to pull down the buttonhole lever and push it so your machine can recognize you want her to start making buttonholes. You need to perform this every time before making a new buttonhole.
See the whole official tutorial here:
You don't need to sew on the button by hand anymore. This machine will do this instead of you.
Take off the current presser foot and lower the feed teeth. You need to do this so your fabric will stay in place and not move along with feeding teeth. You will find control switch for feeding teeth just behind the free arm (that means you must remove the storage compartment first).
Now it's time to attach the sewing button presser foot. Choose the zig-zag stitch (because the needle needs to go back and forth between the holes in the button), and set length to 0 and width between 3 and 6 (depends on the distance between the button holes), needle position should be in the center.
Always check the width setting with moving the needle with handwheel first to check if it goes straight through both holes without hitting the center of the button, after that you are safe to press the foot paddle.
To secure the button on the place change the stitch to straight stitch and needle position to the right or left so it will sew on the spot in just one hole and secure the thread.
Here you can see the button sewing in action, step-by-step:
What Sets 44S Apart, Feature-Vise?
In this section, I will dissect the most valuable features this machine has to offer.
Singer 44s machine is equipped with 23 built-in stitches patterns. This includes six regular stitches, six stretch stitches, ten decorative stitches, and one buttonhole stitch.
You can easily manage through them by turning the stitch selector dial left or right. You will see that on this stitch selector there are some blue and black stitch icons. The black stitches are regular ones for what you can adjust the length, while the blue stitches are the stretch ones.
Also, you can adjust both stitch length and width to fit your needs. The maximum width of decorative stitches is 6mm. You can fine-tune the position of the needle to left, center, or right.
Variety of the presser feet is good. You will find four different types of presser feet: regular, buttonhole, zipper, and button sewing presser feet. These feet will allow you to sew zipper, buttons, and insert piping when needed in no time.
Here you can watch the zipper-sewing tutorial:
Snap-On presser feet will allow you to quickly change between feet, just make sure you always wait to hear the presser foot snaps in place before you start sewing. The presser foot has an extra-high position that allows you to work with thicker fabrics too.
The reverse-sew lever will let you sew the stitches in reverse to secure the seam at the beginning and at the end to ensure your seams won't unravel.
You can adjust the speed of your machine with your foot control pressure. The built-in needle threader and the top drop-in bobbin case are my favorite ones.
Included Accessories & Enhancements For Your Convenience
Most of the Singer machines come with a small bag of additional accessories for your machine.
In this goodie bag, you will find a pack of needles and pack of extra bobbins, four different types of presser feet, seam ripper, main and auxiliary spool pin and spool pin cap, screwdriver, softcover, and edge/quilting guide.
There is a Singer Sewing Assistant App that will help you to recognize different parts of the machine, how to start the machine, how to select the stitches, how to thread bobbin and needle, and many more.
Let’s Do A Quick Singer 44S Good/Bad Recap:
- Straightforward to use
- Heavy-Duty metal frame and stainless steel bed plate
- Powerful motor that is 60% stronger than the regular ones
- Wide selection of stitches and one buttonhole stitch
- Speed of 1100 stitches per minute
- Automatic needle threader
- Affordable price
- Plastic bobbins that are not durable as the metal bobbins
- This machine makes more noise compared to computerized sewing machines
Conclusion - My Final Opinion
Singer 44S model is a small and compact machine, but without any doubt, I can guarantee you it will fit all your basic needs when sewing. Once you get into the routine with this machine, you will fell in love with the simplicity of this model.
Did I mention it comes with 25 years limited warranty, and for the price that is more than affordable? Overall Singer 44S machine does a great job of everyday sewing projects, and it will offer you a great number of features for the at-home seamstress.
So if you are searching for an affordable and efficient sewing machine that can be transported and does not need a lot of space, I highly recommend you to purchase the Singer Heavy-Duty 44S Sewing Machine.