When you start checking out the offerings to find the best beginner sewing machine, the versatility may surprise you. Whether you intend to make clothes or crafty little doo-dads, you should understand the features of a sewing machine.
To keep your research from turning into a mind-boggling mess of confusion and anxiety, we did the heavy lifting for you. Stitch count, lengths, types, and bobbin-loading doesn't have to be confusing.
What Makes the Best Beginner Sewing Machine the Best?
Size, ease-of-use, and versatility will play an essential role in selecting the best beginner sewing machine for you. Before you shop, take a few minutes to determine what you will be using your new machine for.
Think about all the nifty projects you can do with a sewing machine. And remember, as you become more comfortable with your machine, you will be adding different projects to your list. So, buy a machine that has more features and functions than you think you will need.
Stitch selections to bring out your crafty best
The number of stitches they offer classifies sewing machines. Stitch selections can be manual or computerized. They both have pros and cons, so it boils down to your comfort zone.
Manual selections are made by turning a selector knob on the front of the machine to dial in a particular type of stitch.
Computerized machines usually have push buttons or digital displays that are used to select the type of stitch. Reliability of either style is such a tight race that the deciding factor will always rest with the end-user.
The number of available stitch types on any machine can vary from 3 to 100-plus. That is where your intended use comes into play. For standard sewing projects, a lower stitch selection is probably OK. For crafts, having a more extensive range is probably preferred.
Ease of use -- how to find the best beginner sewing machine for your projects
Determining how easy a machine is to use is a hands-on evolution. Many sewing centers offer classes where you can learn basic sewing. Some have a variety of machines set up and will allow you to "test drive" them.
Things to look for when checking out machines:
- Thread path
- Bobbin winding
- Bobbin housing
- Needle threading
- Foot pedal operation
- Ability to handle thicker fabrics
You want a machine that has an easy to follow thread path from the spool to the needle. Many machines have a threading guide sticker right on the front of the machine. Some of the best beginner sewing machine designs have automatic needle threading mechanisms.
Bobbin threading should be an easy process with only a few steps that appear in the user's guide.
Some new machines have transparent bobbin housings which allow you to see how much thread remains on your bobbin. That is an extremely handy feature, but don't put it on your deal-killer list.
Where to buy them
Sewing machines can be purchased online or in local retail establishments. Some craft stores have sewing centers with a wide variety of machines on display. Others have them lined up in boxes on shelves.
Many sewing centers will allow you to try out the machines and test out several functions. Their sales personnel are familiar with the machines and can answer your questions.
Once you have a basic idea of how many stitches you want on your new machine and which features you must have, determine your budget.
While a basic, no-frills, small machine can be purchased for about the price of going out for supper at a nicer restaurant (think $40 to $70 dollars), a decent machine will set you back a bit more.
Machines that Will Put You in Stitches
This may be a first sewing machine for you. Or it may be a replacement for an older machine that you inherited from your great aunt. Either way, the best beginner sewing machine out there has your name on it.
- SINGER HEAVY DUTY SEWING MACHINE: The 23 built-in stitches including basic, stretch, decorative, and buttonhole stitches...
- AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER SEWING MACHINE: After following the threading path printed right on the machine, this built-in...
- HIGH-SPEED SEWING MACHINE:The Singer 4423 Sewing Machine has a maximum sewing speed of 1, 100 stitches-per-minute, so...
The Singer 4400 Series is a versatile line of machines with varying stitch counts starting with a basic 11 and moving up.
We have selected the Singer 4423 as a great representation of the best beginner sewing machine. It is simple but sophisticated and sturdy enough to grow with your abilities.
First, this is a heavy-duty machine made by Singer, which has been doing sewing machines since time began. It includes a stitch line-up with basic, decorative, stretch, and a buttonhole feature it is capable of handling any project.
Second, it has a sturdy metal frame, and this machine can stand up the heavy fabrics and even leather.
The motor is 60 percent stronger, allowing the needle to penetrate several layers of thick fabric. And it's quick with a maximum sewing speed of 1,100 stitches per minute. The automatic needle threading function allows you to set up for your projects effortlessly.
Couple all that with a 25 Year Limited Warranty and you have a great contender. The customer rating on Amazon has this machine at 4.2 out of 5 stars.
On the pricing scale, the primary 11- and 23- stitch models fall in the low range. The units with higher stitch counts have higher pricing but remain firmly in the mid-range.
Pros and cons
The pros of this machine are many. We narrowed the field to the best five features:
- Metal frame and stainless steel parts
- Heavy-duty capabilities
- Manual stitch selection
- Automatic needle threader
- Thread-path is clearly labeled
As with all things, you always have the negative things to report on:
- Touchy foot pedal due to speed (takes some getting used to)
- Improper tensioning may cause thread tangles
- Some users have reported mechanical issues
- For a small machine, this one is rather noisy
Overall, this is one of the most impressive inexpensive beginner sewing machines you can buy. The no-frills simplicity makes it an excellent investment.
- 60 Unique built-in stitches: The Brother CS6000i includes 60 built-in sewing stitches, including decorative stitches and...
- Automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin: This sewing and quilting machine includes an automatic needle threader...
- Included accessories: The CS6000i includes a hard protective case, wide table, 10 sewing feet, needle set including twin...
Before we discuss this phenomenal machine, we must honestly tell you that it is the most searched machine online. It has been around for roughly 12 years.
She rides the top of the charts as the most purchased of all machines classified in the best beginner sewing machine area.
Winner of the 2018 and 2019 Women's Choice Award, this is one of the most recommended machines in history. It is highly affordable, falling in the low range as the best beginner sewing machine.
Stitch selection is computerized, with a total of 60 built-in stitches to choose. Select the corresponding stitch number, and the machine sets the stitch. The controls are all easily accessible on the front of the machine and very user-friendly.
This machine is designed for sewing, quilting, and crafting. Whatever your plans for the future are, this machine will fit right into your home.
There are some great added features, too:
- Automatic needle threader
- Easy-to-read LCD
- Adjustable stitch length
- Adjustable sewing speed (maximum speed of 850 stitches per minute)
The built-in free arm on this machine allows you to sew cuffs, sleeves, and smaller projects with ease. A quick snap to add the extended table and you are ready for larger projects and quilting.
Among the pros for this machine are:
- Great affordability
- Many features and functions
- Lightweight design
- Extended sewing table (great for quilting)
- Unmatched versatility
Some of the complaints, while minor, should also be noted:
- Lacks strong ability with heavier fabrics
- Lightweight design causes it to be slightly wobbly
- Can ONLY use Brother accessories and needles
This is an excellent machine for crafting, sewing, and quilting. It will grow with your abilities. If the price is too high on this model, the Brother CS5055PRW has many of the same features, with fewer stitches and a much lower price tag.
Another machine in the Project Runway line, the Brother XR9500PRW, falls at the top of the pricing range.
Singer Stylist 7258
- PUSH BUTTON STITCH SELECTION: The SINGER Stylist 7258 sewing machine allows you to select the desired stitch with just a...
- WARRANTY: SINGER Stylist 7258 Sewing Machine has 25 Year Limited Warranty , 60 Hertz
- This sewing machine is warranted for use in the US and Canada at 110 volts only
All sewing machines have similarities, and that is true of the Singer models also. However, the SINGER Stylist 7258 100-stitch best beginner sewing machine stands out from the crowd for its ease-of-use.
From the easy set up to the completion of your first project, this machine is functional and versatile. Singer sends the unit with a handy DVD with a complete introduction to the machine and a comprehensive instruction manual.
Including a heavy-duty metal frame, this machine will last a long time. Stitch selection is computerized with an easy-to-read LCD, including stitch length and width. This machine is perfect for decorative sewing, crafting, heirloom sewing, home sewing, and quilting.
The ensemble includes a host of accessories to expand the functionality of this best beginner sewing machine.
The pricing sits at the low-end of the high scale, making it moderately affordable even for those on a budget.
Also included are a host of added features:
- Built-in reverse
- Horizontal threading
- Electronic start and stop
- Programmable needle raising and lowering function
- Automatic bobbin winding clutch
There is an extra-high lifter on the presser foot, automatic control of the presser foot, and a 6-segment feeding system. The sewing deck has 2 LED lights, making it easy to see your project.
While this unit will not operate on any power source except 110/115V, it is perfect for the US and Canada. Just don't expect to take it on that European vacation next summer. The Limited Power Supply Warranty covers this unit for 25 years.
In addition to all the great features mentioned above, we can add these:
- On-board storage
- So fun that it encourages people to create more
Things that customers mentioned as detractors are:
- Poor performance at higher speeds
- The sewing surface is small in size
If you can afford the slightly higher price for this machine, it will not disappoint you.
While it seems like we have concentrated on offerings from Singer and Brother, we have not neglected other manufacturers. Janome generally makes commercial-grade machines but has been spending some time and effort to support home seamsters and crafters lately.
The Janome 2212 is a fine example of excellent quality, design, and functionality in an affordable package. The raves about its basic features and easy use are endless.
With only 12 built-in stitch choices on the dial selector, this machine offers fewer decorative functions. It is an excellent beginner-level machine with all the basic stitches, including zig-zag.
The free-arm allows for sewing of cuffs and sleeves. It is lightweight and straightforward to use.
Among the compliments the Janome 2212 receives:
- Great for beginners
- Well built and reliable
Things that customers mentioned as detractors are:
- Frequent jams with the needle
- Sewing table is small
- Has trouble with thicker fabrics
Determining Your Needs and Making a Choice
After seeing a representative sampling of the features you can expect on a best beginner sewing machine, is your heart set on one? If we absolutely had to select one, we couldn't do it.
For the best budget and value for the dollar, the number one spot goes to the Brother CS6000i. The ease-of-use, low price tag, and versatility, coupled with the long-standing performance track record, just can't be beaten.
At the other end of the scale, for those with a few extra dollars in the budget, that money would be well invested in the Singer Stylist 7258. The combination of features, easy setup, use, and overall functionality makes this a machine that will grow with a seamster from novice to professional.
Whatever one of these best beginner sewing machine model you select, you will not be disappointed. Drop us a quick note in the comments and let us know about your projects and which machine you use at home.
Featured Image via Pixabay
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