Choosing a beginners sewing machine can often feel like minefield for novice sewers. Do you need just the basics or should you go for a bigger and better machine that runs the risk of being too overwhelming? In this article I’ll be looking at the best sewing machine for beginners that are on the market right now and hopefully helping you to narrow down what will hopefully be the machine to help you move on from beginner status and provide many hours of happy sewing!
Choosing the best sewing machine for beginners – what to consider
You have two options when looking for your first sewing machine – you can get something extremely simple and aim to get a bigger and better machine when you’ve become happy and confident in how to use them. Or you could choose to get a more feature rich but easy to use sewing machine that will be fine even when you’re at an intermediate or advanced level.
My personal thoughts, and the way I went when I was a starter was to go for the latter. I chose the best easy to use sewing machine around back then and it lasted me quite a few years. I’m glad that I went this way as I would have outgrown a more basic model really fast. However if all you want to do is simple stitches and you’re not sure whether you will need more features then the most basic should suffice.
This guide shows a few machines from each group. Things to bear in mind no matter what you choose are:
- ease of use
- price – good machines can be had under $150 but perhaps raise it to $200 if you want it to progress with you
- reputable manufacturer – I’d advise staying away from names you’ve not heard of. You may need repairs or spares in future and good brands means you’ll be fine with finding them.
- how often will you use it? A more expensive machine might not be worth it for your intended use.
- What kind of projects will you want to do? If clothing, make sure you have buttonhole capability – makes life a lot easier!
- weight – if you intend to take it to classes make sure it’s easy to carry
Our beginner sewing machine reviews
The following are some of the top rated beginner machines around at the moment.
Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine
If you’re looking for an all round great value machine then this entry level one from Brother is a really good choice. I like it because it’s simple, but not too simple! It has a variety of stitches, including buttonholes and hemming stitches so a great choice for dressmaking and all of the stitches are selected by turning the dial at the front.
I think this one is perfect for budding dressmakers who don’t want to be overwhelmed but similarly don’t want really basic machines
- 27 unique built in stitches
- instructional dvd
- 6 accessory sewing feet
- automatic needle threader
Singer 3232 Simple Sewing Machine
This sewing machine from Singer is similar in specification to the one above except this one has slightly more stitches. It includes 32 – 6 essential stitches, 6 stretch stitches, 19 decorative and 1 buttonhole. Definitely enough here to learn and experiment with some new ones and again would suit student dressmakers, those wishing to do soft furnishings or decorative items too.
If you’re looking to save money but like this one, there’s a version with just 21 stitches that is a little bit cheaper.
- 32 stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- 4 snap on feet included – all-purpose, buttonhole, button and zipper
Singer 1234 Sewing Machine
This machine, again from Singer, is probably about as basic as you want to go. If you want to do just basic sewing, alterations or want the easiest kind to learn on without spending a lot of dollars this one would be great. It’s a really competitive price being almost half what some of the other machines cost – if you decide you don’t like sewing you certainly won’t have lost a lot of money.
It’s a really fun machine too with decals to decorate it and a free tote bag project sheet that you can make and customize to store your machine. I think it’s an excellent choice for a child or teenager too.
- no bells and whistles – just basic sewing
- 6 built in stitches including a 4 step buttonhole
- fun and customizable design
Janome 2212 Sewing Machine
Janome is an excellent make of sewing machine and their 2212 model is a great entry model. This one comes with a bonus bundle of extra sewing machine needles and bobbins – always handy! It’s a high quality machine that is basic yet works well even when dealing with lots of layers.
- 12 built in stitches
- 4 step buttonhole
- basic but high quality
Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine
Definitely not basic but I feel this one deserves a spot as a the best computerized sewing machine for beginners. Some people don’t want anything too basic, possibly because they have some experience with machines or because they can see it becoming something they want to move way beyond the basics of. Either way, a computerized sewing machine can be a good choice for a newbie if you’re not daunted easily and this one is excellent and not too expensive.
It has 60 in built sewing stitches which are all selected by the lcd monitor. Many are decorative but there’s also 7 different buttonholes as well as the basic stitches. You get a host of accessories with this sewing machine too including lots of different presser feet and a hard carry case.
- computerized – controlled by lcd screen
- 60 stitches
- oversized table – great for quilting
- comes with hard carry case
- easy to use