The best beginner sewing machine for you depends completely on your purpose and your budget.
If you are trying to sell homemade clothes on Etsy you will need a high-end sewing machine, whereas if you are just seeking to patch up some old clothing most sewing machines will do.
Regardless, here are a few important features you should keep in mind when deciding on the best beginner sewing machine for you.
What To Look For In A Sewing Machine For Beginners
First of all, the speed or stitches per minute of the sewing is very important. If you have a good amount of experience under your belt, you might be looking for as much speed as possible.
Everybody else, however, might do better with a low-speed sewing machine to keep track of everything that is going on. If you are a little clumsy, then the best beginner sewing machines for you would be one that has a handy speed control; such that no matter how hard you push the pedal, you won’t go too fast and sew your finger to your clothing.
Secondly, depending on what you will be sewing you might want a bigger working space. The working space is all the area right from the needle. If you are planning on sewing bigger pieces of fabric, a wider working space will make it easier to orient your work.
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The preferred weight of the machine depends on the user. You want the machine to be heavy enough to guarantee it is stable and doesn’t miss stitches due to wobbling. At the same time, if you are planning to store the machine after use, a very heavy machine will of course limit the portability.
Every sewing machine comes with at least a straight stitch, and most machines will come with numerous amount of possible stitches such as a zig-zag stitch etc. Although having a few different stitch patterns is useful, since we are looking for the best beginner sewing machine you will probably find that 3 to 4 pattern are enough to start with.
However, if you do plan on buying a sewing machine that offers many different stitches, remember to pay attention to the maximum stitch width. A wider maximum stitch will allow for more flexibility and leniency.
Finally, some other convenient but not crucial features include an automatic thread cutter, built-in needle threader and automatic adjustment of the thread tension. These options are nice to have if your budget allows it though and might reduce a lot of frustration and stress, especially for beginners.
Best Sewing Machine Reviews
Finding the best sewing machine for beginners is no easy task. Really depends what you want to do with it; make rhinestone T-shirts, sew dresses, or simply repair some old clothing.
Therefore we have prepared a small list of popular beginner sewing machines you can choose from.
The Brother CS6000i is a versatile and computerized machine capable of a wide variety of sewing and quilting projects.
You can easily choose one of the 60 different stitches, stitch length and width through the LCD display. Instead of a foot pat, the machine is controlled with a start/stop button that allows you to control the speed easily.
Weighing only 13 pounds, optional carrying case and the ability to store accessories in a compartment in the arm of the sewing machine, the Brother CS6000i sewing machine is highly portable and can easily be taken along to a sewing class or friends.
- Stitches per minute: adjustable with a maximum of 850
- Working space: oversized table
- Weight: 13 pounds
- Possible stitches: 60 different stitches including decorative stitches, quilting stitches, and heirloom stitches
- Extras: automatic needle threader, easy bobbin winding, brightly lid working area.
- Warranty: 25 years
Brother Project Runway
The Brother Project Runway is perfect for people aiming to achieve designer-level quality and need a professional grade sewing machine. The computerized sewing model provides high-quality stitches on a consistent basis.
It comes with an easy one-handed threading system, F.A.S.T. bobbin system, foot pedal to adjust pressure and variable speed. If the 294 different built-in stitches are not enough, you can even use custom designed stitches.
- Stitches per minute: maximum of 850
- Working space: extension table optional
- Weight: 26 pounds
- Possible stitches: 294 with the option of designing custom sewing patterns
- Extras: automatic needle threader, built-in thread cutter, easy bobbing winding system, twin needle option
- Warranty: 25 years
Best Sewing Machine For Beginners
As a beginner, you are probably looking for an easy to use sewing machine. As mentioned before a faster sewing speed is not easy to control, so faster is not necessarily better.
You might want to look for a sewing machine that allows you to adjust sewing speed with a simple sliding button and has an easy bobbin system.
Furthermore, computerized sewing machines are ideal for beginners since they often include a built-in needle threader and automatically adjust the thread tension.
The Singer 7258 computerized sewing machine is in our opinion the best beginner sewing machine. With its easy threading system, simple bobbin system and automatic needle threader, your crafting, sewing and quilting projects will be a lot easier.
The LED display shows the automatic stitch length and width and the autopilot function will adjust the speed even without a foot pedal. The 100 different stitch patterns include stretch stitches, decorative stitches, and several automatic buttonhole stitches.
- Stitches per minute: maximum of 750
- Weight: 15 pounds
- Possible stitches: 100 including stretch stitches, decorative stitches, and several automatic buttonhole stitches
- Extras: automatic needle threader, easy bobbin system, automatic built-in buttonholes, automatic tension, automatic reverse
- Warranty: 25 years
Best Handheld Sewing Machine
Sometimes if you only need to do a few small repairs, a hand sewing machine is all you need. A handheld sewing machine is basically a portable sewing machine that you can easily take with you and store.
Although relatively cheap, you can’t expect very high levels of quality from a hand sewing machine, thus they don’t really qualify as best beginner sewing machine. Especially when it comes to working with thick materials a handheld machine is very lacking.
Even the best handheld sewing machine will show a lower performance in return for high portability, low price, and convenience. Before buying, make sure you are ok with this tradeoff.
Singer Stitch Sew Quick
We recommend the Singer Stitch Sew Quick to people looking for the best handheld sewing machine. Portable and compact, it allows for on the go repairs and is best put to use fixing seams or small tears in silks, denim and wool, although light leather might also work.
It runs on four AA batteries and includes bobbins, needles, thread spindle and needle threader.
Best Leather Sewing Machine
If you are planning to work with leather a lot, you should keep this in the back of your mind when buying a sewing machine. Since not every sewing machine can handle thick or heavy leather, you will need a special sewing machine for leather.
While working with delicate fabric, adjustable foot pressure to reduce snagging and a fine needle are recommended. However, for thick fabric you want long stitches and thus adjustable stitch length is required.
Moreover, leather quickly dullens your needle, so before starting a new project always check if your needle is sharp enough. Since leather is very unforgiving material to work with, every mistake will be visible in the final product.
So keep the material you are planning to work with in the back of your mind when deciding on the best beginner sewing machine for you!
The Janome HD3000 is definitely one of the best heavy duty sewing machine. It even comes close to an industrial sewing machine, and we would recommend it to anyone that is planning to sew leather a lot.
You can easily adjust stitch width and length at the front of the machine. It even comes with 2 packs of leather needles and 1 pack of universal needles for all your other projects. It only offers 18 different kind of stitches, which is relatively low compared to the other machines we have looked at, but it does have a maximum speed of 860 stitches per minute, maximum stitch width of 6.5mm and a maximum stitch length of 4mm.
Best Beginner Sewing Machine for Kids
If your child shows interest in sewing, you might want to buy a real sewing machine instead of a plastic toy to learn the basics. Besides being a useful life skill, it might just spark the beginning of a lifelong hobby or even a job for your child.
Regardless if you are looking for a children’s sewing machine or a sewing machine for teenagers, you probably want to focus on safety first without limiting their ability to develop their sewing skill. When buying a kids sewing machine you want to pay special attention the footprint is not too big to prevent your child sewing his/her own fingers!
Moreover, sewing machines with a start/stop button instead of a pedal will allow your child to have more control.
We already mentioned the Singer 7258 model in the “best beginner sewing machine” section.
However, since it’s easy to operate we would recommend it not only for adults but also for children as well.
Best Embroidery Machine
Just like for sewing machines, the best-known embroidery machine brands are Brother, Singer, and Janome. And embroidery machine will allow you to add style and creativity to your sewing with beautiful patterns such as florals and fonts which you won’t find on most sewing machines.
Beside the built-in designs, most modern embroidery machines even allow you to download additions patterns straight from the internet.
We consider the Brother PE770 to be the best embroidery machine out there. It has a large 5 by 7-inch embroidery area, comes with 136 built-in designs, 6 fonts and you can easily change the size of designs as well.
Of course, additional patterns can be downloaded and used as well. The Brother PE525 model is also popular and considerably cheaper. But the 4 by 4 inch working area might limit your options when it comes to designs and size
How to Use a Sewing Machine
Since this is an article on best beginner sewing machine, we thought it would be helpful to mention some resources to learn how to sew or for people who are trying to improve their sewing skills.
If you prefer to read hardcover books we recommend First Time Sewing and The Sewing Book. They both do a great job of explaining everything you need to know such as terminology, how to thread a sewing machine and how to sew buttons, with basic step-by-step instructions. For people who are looking to turn their passion into a business or just make some money on the side, check out Sewing to Sell.
For people that learn better through video, Youtube is the place to be. Channels such as “AllFreeSewing” and “Made To Sew” specialize in teaching sewing. You can choose from thread tracing and the buttonhole stitch all the way up to DIY Christmas decorations and making a one-shoulder dress. You can start for example with their “Sewing 101: How to Sew with a sewing machine” video or “Beginners Sewing Course – Day 1 – The Basics” embedded below.
Lastly, a good old Google search will reveal several sites that can teach you some basics. Consider for example WikiHow’s article on sewing or our own article on finding the best dress form for sewing.