Sewing Machine For Beginners – A Complete Guide

How do you find the best sewing machine for a beginner? When you decide to invest in this kind of tool for the first time, you are bound to be confused by the numerous brands, price ranges, and features available on the market – from simple mechanical sewing machines to complex computerized models. It is hard to know where to start much less make an informed decision.

How to buy a sewing machine for beginners

When starting out in your search for a option, you may need to go through several sewing machine reviews online to familiarize yourself with the most important features and prices of these machines. Go ahead and do a little homework to find one that fits your needs and preferences, not forgetting your budget. To help you out, here are the main elements you need to consider in your search for the best choice.

Price

As in every purchase decision you make in life, go for a sewing machine that you can afford. Price should be the primary consideration as these machines come in different price levels ranging from the downright affordable to high-end models with all the bells and whistles. If you are on a limited budget, don’t go for a high-end machine that you can hardly afford. Stick to your budget but be prepared to be a bit flexible keeping in mind that you may run into a good machine with everything you need for a little extra cost over your budget.

Remember a cheap plastic thing will not serve you for long and may probably lack all the features you need. The more you spend the better results you get. A mid range product may cost between $300 and $600 but it will not only provide you with everything you need in your design career but last long too. If you opt for a $100 item, then make sure to have realistic expectations about its performance in comparison with other more expensive models.

The Brand

In your search for a new machine you are bound to come across a good number of brands including the good old Singer, Kenmore, Viking, Brother, Husqvarna, Juki, Babylock, Janome, White, and many more. The key thing to look for in a good brand is the overall construction of the product. Many brands have done away with metal parts in preference for plastic which is cheaper but hardly durable. If you are interested in an American model, check for a “Made in America” label on the box. It is highly recommended that you go a brand with a reputation and high quality standards in the industry although such brands don’t come cheap. Remember reliability should be a primary concern in your choice of brand.

Key Features

Sewing machines are cars. They all serve the same function but are never the same. Like cars, it comes with its unique features and specifications for different sewing and design needs. Think of the projects you intend to do and choose a machine that will handle the projects efficiently. The features you want in a machine depend on what exactly you want to use it for.

Some models will come with stretch stitches options while other feature one-step buttonhole, specialty feet, or quilting options. If you are not well conversant on what functions different features serve, ask for help from a friend who knows a little bit more about this kind of machine. Here are some important features you may want depending on how you intend to use it.

Bobbins : A drop-in or top-loading bobbin comes with a transparent cover to show you how much thread you still have left without necessarily having to open up the machine. The two types of bobbins are easier to replace as they accessible from the front of the machine.

The foot pedal: Check if the product has a stable and decently-sized foot pedal preferably with an anti-slip pad.

Needle threader: Many call these automatic threader but they are not actually automatic although they are quite useful especially to people with dexterity problems.

Adjustable tension: To achieve the best results, different thread types and fabrics have different tension requirements. A good model should have adjustable tension to cater for different fabric materials or threads.

A large fabric feed cavity: Find a machine with a larger fabric feed cavity to make you sew easier and smoother.

The flywheel: Find a model with an easy to grip flywheel.

Noise level: Most models have noise levels that range from 66dB to 80 dB. A 70dB machine is loud and an 80dB is simply intolerable in a long duration.

Stitches number: The number of stitches a machine provides largely depends on what you want to use it for. When starting out you just need the straight and zigzag stitches. However, as you progress you may require more than the standard stitches for more advanced designs. Remember the more the number of stitches you want, the higher you’ll pay for the item.

Mechanical or Computerized

It is also important to be clear about the type of the machine you are interested in. Many high-end machines today are fully computerized and come with programmable stitch sequences and nice display touchscreens. However, these innovative designs come at a higher cost than your usual mechanical machine so if budget is an issue, then simply settle for a mechanical one.

Repair and Maintenance

There will come a time when you’ll need to either repair or service your machine. Find out how easy or difficult it is to service it or repair a damaged part. Fortunately, all the good brands provide a warranty for their products.

A Comparison Table of The Best Beginner Sewing Machine

Models Built-In Stitches Stitches Per Minute LCD/LED Display Auto Needle Threading Free Arm Included Presser Feet Latest Price
Brother XL2600I 25 800 No Yes Yes 5 Check
Brother CS6000i 60 850 Yes Yes Yes 9 Check
Brother LS2125i 10 900 Yes No Yes 4 Check
Singer 4423 23 1,100 Yes Yes Yes Shank Type Check
Singer 2277 23 750 No Yes Yes Standard Presser Foot Check
Brother XM2701 27 800 Yes Yes Yes No Presser Foot Pressure Adjustment Check
Singer 7258 100 750 Yes Yes Yes 10 Check

Beginner Sewing Machine Reviews

Brother XL2600I

Brother XL2600I Review

Features:

  • It is a free-arm sewing machine.
  • Comes with 25 built-in stitches with multiple functions.
  • Good for everyday tasks and for beginners.
  • Has an accessory storage located in the free arm.
  • Has five accessory presser feet.
  • Comes with a two language manual.
  • Additional features such as the needle threader and cutter, auto-bobbin winding, drop-in bobbin loading, and a 1 step auto-size buttonholer.
  • Its foot pedal is operated by a 110 volt machine.
  • Light bulb to keep the workplace well illuminated.

This product is lightweight at just 13 pounds and comes with all the perfect features you need to make amazing designs and other sewing projects. Its automatic needle threader helps you save time and efforts trying to manually connect uncooperative threads to the needle. Unlike other models, this one doesn’t jam and even features a stitch selector. It has great bobbin winding too. At its price, this is definitely a good bargain from Brother.

Pros:

  • It comes at an affordable price compared to its great features.
  • Provides good and firm stitches.
  • It is lighter than other models.
  • It is easy to use and control.
  • Ideal for beginners.
  • Creating buttonholes using this one is quite easy. It even gives you an option of seven buttonhole styles.

Cons:

  • Some customers claim it looks too fragile.
  • The manual has an inconsistent use of Spanish and English language but it is understandable nevertheless.
  • It uses a dialer for choosing stitch styles.
  • Doesn’t have a display screen although this is a feature associated with high-end models.
  • Cannot be used in countries that don’t support 120V AC mains.
Conclusion: This is one of the cheapest sewing machines from a leading brand, Brother. It is easy to use and a good choice for those who are starting out in sewing.

Interested? Click here to find its price now!

Brother CS6000i

Brother CS6000i Review

Features:

  • Has 60 built in stitches and 7 one-step buttonholes styles.
  • Has an accessories storage compartment on the machine’s arm.
  • Allows you to select stitches and even adjust stitch length and width from a nice LCD display.
  • Can be used without the foot control via the Start/Stop button.
  • Has a speed control to help you adjust speed.
  • It is jam resistant.
  • Access your bobbin thread with ease using a quick-set drop-in bobbin.
  • Comes with a bilingual user manual.
  • A limited warranty of 25 years.
  • Free lifetime telephone support in case you run into problems with the machine.

This is an affordable sewing machine that you can rely on to create, quilt, and sew a wide range of projects. It is a computerized model that comes with a wide table. It is portable, easy to use, and quite a bargain at less than $150. It provides a wide selection of 60 built-in stitches, nine presser feet, 7 buttonhole styles, and a large detachable table for large projects. Its automatic needle threader and backlit LCD display make your sewing and quilting a breeze. The machine’s ease of use is further enhanced by a Quick Start Guide with helpful instructions in both English and Spanish.

Pros:

  • A versatile model for different types of sewing and quilting tasks.
  • Makes consistent stitches.
  • Has a wide table among other great features such as one-step buttonholes in 7 styles, 60 stitches, and many more.
  • Gives very even stitches.

Cons:

  • It lacks automatic embroidery functions.
  • Cannot be used in countries without 120V AC even when you have an adapter.
Conclusion: This is no doubt one of the best and most affordable machines for all your sewing, crafting, and quilting needs. It has more than 6,200 customer reviews on Amazon with a very good rating.

Click to find out what these customers say.

Brother LS2125i

Brother LS2125i Review

Features:

  • Full size.
  • Portable and lightweight.
  • Comes with 10 built-in stitches including zigzag, stretch, and blind hem stitches.
  • Has an automatic 4-step buttonhole feature with up to four custom sized buttonhole options to suit your needs and style.
  • A flat bed or free arm use.
  • Built-in storage.
  • Has a handy carrying handle.
  • Three presser feet.
  • Comes with a bilingual instruction manual in English and Spanish.
  • A limited warranty of 25 years and free telephone support for the entire life of the product.

This is a simple but versatile model for any beginner. It is easy to use and can accomplish most of the basic tasks including cloth designing, alterations, creating fun crafts, home decor, and much more. It comes with a nice easy-to-understand manual to get you up and running in no time. The manual even teaches you how to wind the bobbin quite easily using the free arm. It is basically a top-the-range machine that beginners can greatly benefit from. Professionals will also find its wide range of features quite useful too.

Pros:

  • It has excellent performance for all sewing projects such as simple very day sewing, cloth alterations, creating home décor, table linen, curtains and much more.
  • It’s great for learning more advanced sewing techniques.
  • Quite easy for even a beginner to operate.
  • Has a convenient threading feature.
  • It is quite portable and lightweight.
  • Affordable and gives value for money.

Cons:

  • A few users claimed the thread sometimes locks on the fabric while working but this could be a quality issue that can be addressed by the manufacturer easily.
  • The bobbin sometimes fails to wind correctly.
  • Cannot be used in countries where 120V AC is not supported.
Conclusion: It is a great machine for all your basic projects. It also receives over 1,300 customer reviews with a good rating. If your budget is under $100, then this one can be your top choice.

Get the exact price and buy it from Amazon now!

Singer 4423

Singer 4423 Review

Features:

  • Comes with 23 built-in stitches which include six basic, four stretch, 12 decorative, and 1 buttonhole stitches.
  • Has a top drop-in bobbin.
  • Comes with an automatic needle threader.
  • A very strong motor, 60% stronger.
  • Gives you a high speed of 1,100 stitches per minute.
  • Made of a heavy duty metal frame and a bed plate made of stainless steel for a smoother fabric feed.
  • A completely automatic 1 step buttonhole that helps you to make beautiful buttonholes easily.

This particular model is a true workhorse that handles all types of your sewing projects. Its interior frame is made of heavy duty metal that makes sure it stays still while you work to avoid skipping stitches. It features a smooth stainless steel bedplate for a smoother workplace and fabric feed, and is quite fast at 1,100 stitches per minute. You can rely on its powerful motor to give you high performance sewing for many years. Other notable benefits you get from this machine include a top drop-in bobbin, an adjustable presser and automatic 4 step buttonhole system.

Pros:

  • It provides a high speed for faster results.
  • Smooth fabric feed offered by its stainless steel bedplate.
  • With 23 built-in stitches, you’ll be spoilt for choice of design or sewing project.
  • Its automatic needle threader is a great time and effort saver.
  • Easy to use machine for both beginner and advanced users.

Cons:

  • Some customers have claimed its automatic threader has stability problems though this could be a quality control issue that can be sorted by the manufacturer.
  • The machine’s 110 volt works only with the electricity supply in US and Canada.
Conclusion: This is a heavy duty sewing machine that works like a charm. It comes packed with all the features a beginner or advanced user to take advantage of to create beautiful projects.

Click here to learn more or simply get yours here.

Singer 2277

Singer 2277 Review

Features:

  • The product has an automatic needle threader that saves you time and effort in connecting a piece of thread to the needle.
  • Has an adjustable stitch length and width. This is useful in stopping the fabric from bunching and in ensuring you get strong seams.
  • Has an automatic 1-step buttonhole.
  • Comes with 23 built-in stitches which include six basic, seven stretch stitches, nine decorative stitches, and 1 buttonhole stitch.
  • It is made of a heavy-duty metal frame for better stability and to ensure you get skip-free sewing.

This is an entry level machine from the renowned manufacturer Singer. It has the features you need in a beginner sewing machine including a good number of stitches for all your sewing needs. With 23 built in stitches, it can handle just about any sewing project you may have as a beginner or advanced user.

It packs a good number of useful features including an adjustable presser foot pressure, and extra high presser foot that is ideal for sewing thicker fabrics or multiple layers of fabric, and automatic needle threader among many other features. It also comes with a host of accessories including an all purpose foot, thread spool cap, a seam ripper and many more.

Pros:

  • Comes at an affordable price for many beginners.
  • Easy to use.
  • Has a simple uncomplicated design.
  • Has many features to make your sewing a breeze.
  • Comes with a clear and easy-to-understand instruction manual.

Cons:

  • Lacks a drop-in bobbin.
  • Its 110 Volt AC is designed t be used in US and Canada only.
Conclusion: This is a compact sewing machine designed for beginners although advanced users will find its features quite useful too. It is available at a very affordable price.

Click here o learn more or get one for yourself with a discount now!

Brother XM2701

Brother XM2701 Review

Features:

  • This is a versatile, easy-to-use model for all your every day tasks.
  • Comes with 27 built-in stitches of various types including decorative, zigzag, stretch, and blind hem.
  • Its automatic 1-step buttonholer makes perfect buttonholes.
  • Has 6 quick-change sewing feet including buttonhole, zigzag, zipper, blind stitch, narrow hemmer, and button sewing.
  • Other useful features such as a built-in threader and a well lit LED work area.
  • It comes with a bilingual manual and an instructional DVD.
  • Has a limited warranty of 25 years and free lifetime technical support.

The item is a value-packed robust sewing machine designed for all your sewing needs. It can handle everything from lightweight designs to complex projects. Its 27 stitches ensure that you can sew any garment with ease. It is easy-to-use and even comes with an instructional DVD to get you going as soon as you purchase it. It is an ideal choice for both advanced and beginners alike.

Pros:

  • Its needle threader really does help to set up your sewing easy and hassle-free.
  • It provides numerous stitching options especially with its 27 stitches.
  • Works perfectly on all materials.

Cons:

  • A few users claim its LED display is not bright enough.
  • The presser foot lever has been placed under the ar.
  • Can only be used in countries that have 120V AC electricity supply.
Conclusion: This is a great sewing machine with a very low price tag. It is designed for both novices and experts. It has an average customer rating above 4.5, so it is very reliable.

Find out why customers give such a high rating to this model here.

Singer 7258

Singer 7258 Review

Features:

  • It offers 100 stitch options.
  • It has ten Presser Feet ideal for sewing, quilting, and crafting.
  • Comes with an automatic needle threader.
  • It has an LED display screen.
  • Top drop-in bobbin system that is easy to load.
  • Features Electronic Auto Pilot technology that allows you to sew easily without using the foot pedal.
  • High speed.

This is a machine with all the bells and whistles you would expect in a Singer machine. It has all the features you need to make elegant garments and other projects. With 100 stitch patterns, you’ll be spoilt for choice of design. It is a sturdy versatile machine that has all the smart features a computerized sewing machine should have. It is a machine that gives you unrivalled technological innovation and performance.

Pros:

  • It is fully computerized.
  • Has a wide range of stitch selection.
  • Comes with twin needles.
  • Easy to use and even comes with an instruction guide.

Cons:

  • The automatic presser foot pressure is not adjustable.
  • Has a plastic pedal.
  • Limits stitch width to 5mm.
Conclusion: This is a smart and reliable machine designed to make your sewing experience easy and enjoyable.

Click to see the feedbacks of more than 2,100 customers of this machine.

Final Words

Your choice for a beginner sewing machine largely depends on how you plan to use it and what you can afford. However, it is recommended to invest in a machine with the latest features in sewing technology whether you are buying it as a beginner or experienced designer.

If you ask us to recommend a best one, then we vote for Brother CS6000I, simply because it has over 6,200 reviews on Amazon with a good rating, a low price and great features. Click here to see details of this specific machine.