Sewing machines have come a long day since your grandmother used to mend your clothes. While a sewing machine is a wonderful tool for any amateur sewer and will make a wonderful addition to any home, it isn’t always clear which machine will work best for a beginner. There are a few things you’ll need to know before you purchase your first sewing machine if you don’t have any experience, so this guide has been assembled to make you acquainted with the technology and information necessary to make the decision. Let’s break things down and get stitching.
Sewing Machine for Clothes Buying Guide
A sewer has quite a few things to keep in mind when looking to buy a sewing machine.
It’s important that you are thorough in your research and understanding of your needs versus the market as there are a plethora of choices when it comes to sewing machines and the prices of different tools can range from around 100 dollars to well over six thousand! Misunderstanding what you need from your machine can cause to you spend tremendous amounts of money on a tool you may never need or spend too little and end up with a tool that breaks easily or one that isn’t capable of performing the tasks you need completed.
One of the first things to consider is how much you’ll use the machine; The more money you save using the machine instead of paying for sewing services will justify a higher price tag to facilitate your use or to broaden the scope of the sewing machine’s application. Another important thing to consider is the ease of use of the machine. If you are new to sewing in general, you don’t want to waste time and money on a machine with complex features and operation and you’ll lose time teaching yourself on a machine that isn’t designed with the beginner or learning to sew in mind.
Familiarize yourself with how needles are changed and how machines are oiled, and compare the processes for these simple maintenance techniques on each machine to find which one works best for you and which mechanisms you are comfortable operating. Investigate the applications of each machine to find one that is capable of handling the variety and amount of fabric you need to sew. We have compiled a list of the best sewing machines for beginners with information on each machine’s features to help you find the perfect tool for whatever job you have in mind.
The Top 10 Best Sewing Machines For Beginners
1. Brother CS6000i Sewing Machines
This Brother sewing machine is one of the best on the market. The machine offers many features and an incredibly easy-to-operate computerized LCD interface. The display lets you view and select different stitch styles and lengths with the sturdy buttons set in the side of the display with a large and easy to read panel.
All of the tools on this sewing machine are geared toward ease of use, with the threader being easily accessible and visible as well as having a simple instructional diagram to remind you how it is meant to be threaded when you’re in the middle of sewing and don’t have time to check your reference. The automatic needle threader and effortless bobbin winding make sewing simple and accessible.
With many other features like a walking foot for easier sewing of multiple layers of fabrics and thicker fabrics in general, an oversized table to facilitate the freedom of mobility needed when stitching quilts and other large projects and bright lights on the sewing area to illuminate your work while sewing darker fabrics, the Brother CS6000i is the perfect tool for new sewers and amateurs alike. A knob to control your stitching speed while working helps give plenty of control over the stitches you make without having to pause your project.
All in all, the Brother CS6000i is a wonderful tool at a tremendous price and is sure to be a great sewing machine for anyone looking to sew simple things around their home like clothes, textiles and quilts.
- Wonderful machine all around with everything you need to get started.
- Sometimes has trouble with thinner fabric
- Not as sturdy as more heavy duty models.
2. Singer 4423 Sewing Machines
The Singer 4423 is a heavy duty sewing machine with plenty of built-in stitches and a strong and dependable motor. A durable metal frame of stainless steel and powerful motor allow this sewing machine to tackle heavy duty tasks easily without breaking the bank.
This machine has a terribly fast motor, letting you get more done in less time and letting your machine handle more intricate work even when working with sturdier fabrics. The assembly comes with multiple feet to facilitate different stitching applications on different materials like zippers and buttonholes as well as a quilting guide, screwdriver, dust cover and other sewing utensils.
The apparatus has many time-saving and handy extras to help the sewer get the most out of their machine. These include 23 built-in stitches to select from, an automatic needle threader to help you thread the eye of the needle without any difficulty, an easy to use drop-in bobbin which is easily visible to make keeping an eye on your thread effortless and a pressure control for the presser foot, making the transition between lightweight and bulkier fabric simple and easy.
The Singer company even provides buyer’s with a collection of tutorial videos and access to a support team on their social media so that newer sewers can learn from one another and share their uses and applications with one another. Lastly, the assembly contains a compartment beneath the removable sewing bed to store all of your accessories and tools.
With all of these additions, the Singer 4423 Heavy Duty is suited to anyone interested in a hard working and feature rich solution.
- Portable machine
- Easy cabinet mounting
- 25 year warranty
- Plastic bobbin casing isn’t very sturdy
- Sewing speed isn’t easy to control
3. Brother CS7000i Sewing Machines
The Brother CS7000i is a step up from the CS6000i featured above in more ways than just price. Rich with additions to ease use and improve quality and design, this machine can handle heavy duty work without a sweat. With over 70 pre-programmed stitches the CS7000i comes capable of handling quilts, decorative stitching, utility stitching and much more.
Many mechanical tools aid this machine’s user like a reverse sewing button, a needle up/down button and more. The machine has a tool that will thread your needles for you, alleviating an age-old chore, and the backlit LCD screen keeps your stitch selection easy to read and select using the simple and intuitive interface.
The machine has an extra wide table and is shipped with a hard protective case to keep your covered machine safe when you aren’t actively stitching or quilting. While some of the features included in this model are a bit more advanced than the earlier mentioned Brother CS6000i, the machine isn’t too much for a beginner or intermediate sewer and the learning curve isn’t too high.
There is a free arm function that lends itself to the stitching of cuffs and sleeves. With 10 presser feet to change the functionality of the machine for monogramming, zippers, buttonholes and button sewing, you will never have to worry about being able to get use out of this sewing machine.
Anyone interested in the CS7000i should know that when compared to the sewing machine’s smaller cousin, the CS6000i, buyers can expect to spend a little more money on this machine, but they will get a substantial return of a stronger, more versatile machine and plenty of added benefits to keep you sewing.
- Super easy to setup
- Sturdy hardcover case
- Inconsistent needle threader
- Bulky and heavy machine
4. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machines
This is the first lightweight and portable sewing machine we have on this list, but don’t let that fool you; The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is a powerhouse. This impressive take on the sewing machine touts an incredible 600 programmed stitches with many fonts to get a huge array of possibilities.
Like most machines shown in this list, the 9960 has an automatic needle threader to make threading needles a breeze, and the threading mechanism itself is wonderfully simple. The assembly comes with many accessories, including several presser feet suited to plenty of different stitches and materials. The machine has quite a fast motor, but with the speed control you can roll the pace back to get more control when you are sewing more intricate designs and areas.
The bobbin is again visible while sewing, alleviating the possibility of running out with thread while stitching, and there’s even a button specifically for cutting off your thread when finished with a stitch to conserve time and effort. This system has 13 different styles of buttonhole designs to have the machine automatically sew the right sized. buttonhole every time and boasts alphanumeric fonts to give pieces a personal and intricate touch.
There is an extension table for large works and quilts that can be added or removed included in the kit. One of the nicest additions to this machine is the electronic console, with several common stitches assigned to hotkeys and plenty of power to change the stitch you want as well as an auto pilot mode to guide the work by itself
- Machine is programmable
- Many useful stitches
- Automatic thread cutter.
- No storage for materials
- Doesn’t always make great buttonholes
5. Singer Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machines
The Singer Heavy Duty 4432 (not to be confused with the above-mentioned 4423) is a multi-application workhorse with durability and stability only available from Singer. The stainless steel bedplate can take a beating without becoming damaged and allows smooth action to help the fabric slide effortlessly.
The stronger-than-usual motor and extra-high sewing speed allow sewers to work with quite heavy weight fabrics without any difficulty, making it perfect for larger and more difficult projects such as quilting and sewing strong denim.
Although it is covered, the bobbin is still a top down design and is still very visible when sewing, and this machine offers the industry standard automatic needle threader. This machine has a simple 1-step buttonhole option to automatically craft your buttonholes for you and 32 built-in stitch options.
The included Singer Sewing Assistant is a mobile app designed for use with with your Singer machine to learn new techniques and watch tutorials as well as consulting their information centers for answers to frequently asked questions. The app is compatible with Google Play and Itunes devices.
This product comes with many accessories included such as 4 different sewing feet, a dust cover, a screwdriver, a seam ripper/lint brush, auxiliary spool pin and spool pin felt. In the end, this is a simple and powerful machine that can take just about any combination of fabrics you can throw at it with no difficulty and provide you with wonderful quality stitches for plenty of years to come.
- Stitch selection is very easy and customizable
- Machine is quite unattractive
- The light isn’t very powerful.
6. Singer Simple 3232 Portable Sewing Machines
Although the Singer Simple 3232 isn’t quite as feature dense, this portable sewing machine comes at a much more affordable price point than the previous one on our list. At only 12.2 pounds, the machine is one of the lightest machines on the market and is perfectly applied to the seamstress or tailor with simple needs who wants to bring their sewing outside of their home.
An incredibly easy to use and intuitive interface help buyer’s build comfort with the machine quickly and learn the ins and outs of sewing with a machine. The set up and learning curve both go by quickly so beginners will find themselves sewing all sorts of ideas in no time.
The assembly is rather basic, including 32 built-in stitching styles, a buttonhole option, automatic needle threading and a dial to control the machine’s adjustable stitch length and width.
This machine does have a few advanced features to help sweeten an already great deal, however, such as a free arm to allow the sewing of collars, hems and cuffs and a nice assortment of included accessories like a soft dust cover, seam ripper/lint brush, screwdriver and darning plate. The 4 included presser feet snap on to allow you several creative options like zipper and button sewing.
The included accessory storage insures that you’ll be able to bring all of your tools and materials with you wherever you decide to bring your sewing machine. This machine would be a wonderful choice for a beginner or any sewer interested in bringing their work on the go with them.
- Simple design and decent sewing speed
- Good value for price
- Doesn’t have many extras or motor power
7. Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machines
Coming in at 12.6 pounds, the Brother XM2701 Lightweight is Brother’s answer to the lightweight and portable sewing machine. Versatility and ease of use are standard when it comes to Brother machines, and the XM2701 is no exception.
The top drop-in top bobbin is jam-resistant and helps the bobbin to stay in place to allow for an even stitch of high quality. This machine has a dial on the side to choose between any of its 27 built-in stitches quickly and simply.
An LED light to illuminate the working area will help you to monitor your work and keep everything in the space clear and bright. The machine comes with a DVD for beginners to learn step-by-step how to tackle their first sewing projects. As is standard, the machine comes with an automatic needle threader and a 1 step buttonhole setting.
The 6 included presser feet allow for plenty of applications, including zipper and button sewing and narrow hemming. Brother’s XM2701 comes with a 25 year warranty and offers technical support on phone and online to keep you in touch with helpful advisors throughout the length of the product’s life.
The package provides many accessories like changeable feet and needles, bobbins and manuals as well as the mentioned DVD. With many extras, maximum portability and a modest price tag, this sewing machine is certain to be a great choice for any beginner or seasoned sewer looking for a machine with enhanced portability without sacrificing quality or versatility.
- Very lightweight and affordable
- Pressure of presser foot cannot be adjusted
- Light is a bit dim
8. Brother ST371HD Sewing Machines
The Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough sewing machine stands just as the name suggests. This is a heavy duty sewing machine capable of handling impressive amounts of heavyweight fabric in layers with a metal reinforced needle plate, spring action zigzag foot and heavyweight needles to assist in even the most demanding sewing projects.
The 37 unique and versatile built-in stitches such as zigzag, reinforcement and stretch stitches, blind hem and decorative stitches allow for many applications, and free motion sewing is possible with the drop feed feature. An easy stitch selector dial lets you choose the stitch style you want at the twist of your wrist.
The same simple threading system and needle threader we’ve come to expect from Brother are both present in this design and the bobbin is also their popular jam resistant Quick-set drop-in top bobbin.
This machine has all the feet you need to stitch zippers, buttonholes, buttons and blind stitches as well as the spring action zigzag foot specifically for smooth transitions over varying thicknesses and thick seams and the nonstick foot for common difficult fabrics like leather, suede and vinyl.
Of course, this machine comes with a wonderful array of accessories like various needle sets, 4 bobbins, dust cover, screwdriver and an instructional DVD and quick start guide.
- Great quality machine at very affordable price
- Easy maintenance
- No up/down needle button
- Light isn’t very bright
9. Singer Start 1304 Sewing Machines
The Singer Start 1304 is an incredibly easy-to-use and lightweight machine perfect for any beginner sewer. Its 6 stitch arrangement takes all of the guesswork and learning curve out of starting to sew, and the simple threading system has diagrams printed onto the machine to help you get your machine ready to go with ease.
This machine’s 4-step buttonhole feature allows for the creation of buttonholes on a smaller, simpler machine. Select between stitching styles with an intuitive and easy to understand dial selector and the product comes with everything you need to get started.
Included are several feet, bobbins and needles, a screwdriver and seam ripper/lint brush and a quick start guide and instruction manual. The machine deals wonderfully with simple sewing and is even easily portable. You won’t find any advanced extras on this machine, but for the absolute beginner it’s a great introduction to sewing at a very affordable price.
The sewing machine comes with a 25 year warranty and the promise of quality that Singer has delivered on for over a hundred years.
- Very light and compact
- Reverse lever
- Only 6 built-in stitches
- Foot pedal unimpressive
10. Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machines
The first entry on our list from Janome, the Magnolia 7318 is a wonderful machine for those looking for something a little different. With 18 built-in stitches including a buttonhole option, the Magnolia is a powerful and easy to use machine to facilitate quilting, clothing and crafts.
Stitch selection and adjustment dials on the side of the machine let you choose the length, width and stitch on the fly while the reverse lever makes locking in stitches a snap. The threading system is similar to that of the traditional Singer machines and is as simple and intuitive as it gets, also boasting automatic needle threading.
A free arm allows for stitching of pants legs and shirt sleeves and the assembly is deep enough to accommodate even bulky fabrics like denim. Several standard feet are included as well as a lint brush, needle sew, screwdriver, seam ripper and instruction book.
The machine has a storage compartment for all of the accessories and a handle on the top to make it easy to take this machine with you wherever you can imagine. The sturdy build and traditional design offer a wonderful experience for users of all levels; The machine is simple enough for beginners but has enough to keep an intermediate sewer busy.
The manufacturer offers a 2 year warranty and a 15 year limited warranty on the Magnolia 7318, and the reliable build quality of the machine are sure to keep your stitches looking great for years to come.
- Strong, solid build capable of sewing even the toughest fabrics.
- Less stitch selections than other machines in price range and no cover.
What Is The Best Sewing Machine For for the money?
In my opinion, the best sewing machine for beginners is the Brother CS6000i. This sewing machine comes bundled with everything you need to get started, with included interchangeable feet, a hard protective case, plenty of space for projects large and small and the ability to accommodate more tasks as you grow as a sewer.
The reasonable price tag keeps the machine accessible for beginners and hobbyists, but the machine is a professional quality assembly that will last you far beyond your beginner years. Set up is just as easy on this machine as almost any other, with the simple bobbin winding mechanism and illustrative diagrams on the surface to help you thread the machine as well as the all-important needle threader.
The modern and intuitive LCD display and stitch adjustments make certain you won’t get lost trying to learn how to sew on this machine. The limited 25 year warranty paired with the trustworthy construction from brother make this a purchase you can trust.
The machine comes with a user manual and installation manual to get you started, and the Brother facilities online are will be enough to get just about anyone hemming and sewing in no time.
Tips On How To Choose Your First Sewing Machine?
When choosing your first sewing machine there are a few basic steps to take. Consider how much you’re going to use your sewing machine and how much you can afford to spend on it. Remember that using a sewing machine saves money on repairs, clothes and utility use in the long term.
Also consider what you’ll be sewing, and how quickly you’ll need to get it out. Will you be sewing many projects, such as costumes for a play or other activity? Will you be sewing drapery or quilts?
There are plenty of situations where the smallest and cheapest machines might suffice, but they will limit what you can do and the results you can expect. Consider a heavier duty solution if you might be sewing tougher and thicker materials like leather or denim.
Next consider the portability of the machine. Is this sewing machine something you would like to be able to bring with you wherever you go or are you planning to have the machine be a fixture in your house? Also consider sustainability.
Check into the warranty that’s offered and compare it with other machines in your price range; Having a strong manufacturer’s warranty helps save money on repairs in the long run.
How To Use Brother Sewing Machine For Beginners?
To use your Brother sewing machine for the first time locate the power cord and foot pedal. Plug in the power cord and place the foot pedal near your feet, then turn the machine on. Before you sew anything, you’ll have to thread your machine.
Use your instruction manual or the diagrams on your machine to thread from the bobbin to the needle, then use the automatic needle threader to thread the eye of the needle. Next you’ll need to select your settings.
Use references to decide the parameters of the stitch that are most appropriate for the project you’re going to be working on, then adjust your stitch selection as well as the stitch length and width to an appropriate setting.
Once your machine is all ready to go, get your fabric prepared. Position whatever material configuration you wish to stitch beneath the foot and flush against the guide for the stitch and depress the foot pedal to have the machine start stitching while you guide the fabric through.
What is the Most Reliable Sewing Machine?
In my opinion, the Singer Quantum Series 9960 is the most reliable sewing machine in its class. It has a terrific heavy duty chassis and steel reinforced needle plate to stand up to years of use, as well as a protective case.
The 600 included stitches will give you something to use no matter how big or small the project in question might be, and the tremendous quality of the machine will be sure to handle heavy fabrics without sustaining as much wear as other, smaller machines.
The powerful motor and needles stand up to harsh materials like leather and denim and can accommodate layers like no other. The wonderful Singer community will be able to help with any sewing jobs you can’t seem to figure out and their customer support department is always just a phone call away.
Truth be told, you can always rely on Singer’s wonderful build quality and their manufacturer’s product warranty means this machine is one you know you can count on.
What Does a Beginner Sewer Need?
A beginner sewer needs a few things to get started with their stitching. They need a sewing machine, of course, but they also need to be sure that the sewing machine they have is capable of completing the task they have set out to complete.
They should research the correct parameters for the fabrics and style of stitch they are hoping to work with and make sure to set their machine to those settings. They will need the correct thread and bobbin in combination with an appropriate needle.
All machines listed in this article are suitable only for US 120 watt electrical systems, so it’s important to make sure you’re aware of your machine’s electrical requirements and be sure that you are meeting them. The beginner needs a resource such as the instruction manual, tutorials, community information or some other reference to insure safe and proper operation of their equipment.
Luckily for the modern buyer, it is common for sewing machine providers to include just about everything necessary for the beginner to get started with their sewing machines. Refer to our product reviews or the product information on listings to discern what is included in each package and whether or not it will be everything a beginner needs to get started sewing.
What Is the Difference Between a Long Stitch and a Short Stitch?
One might be wondering why you would want to change your stitch length in the first place. When you have a shorter stitch, you will be placing more stitches in the same amount of area. These plentiful stitches will create a stronger, tighter seem.
As you make the stitch length longer and longer, this will lead to a stitch with less stitches in the same area and you will be left with a stitch with a looser feel. A shorter stitch with more stitches in the same place will be a much more sturdy and permanent where a longer stitch is more appropriate for something more temporary.
This is compounded when cutting the seams. Using a thread knife, removing the sparser stitches resulting from a long stitch will be much easier than if you had to remove every one of the hundreds of stitches a short stitch might have placed in the same area.
How to Change A Sewing Machine Needle
Heavily used needles get worn out and dulled, abraded and bent with use over time. Sooner or later this wear and tear will start to get the better of the needle and you will start seeing this reflected in the ease of use of your machine and the quality of your stitches.
When this happens to your sewing machine needle, it’s time to change it you. When changing a needle the first thing you’ll want to do is loosen the needle set screw on the machine. Once loose, pull the needle down to release it from the contraption.
You should now be able to completely remove the needle out from the needle bar. Once the needle has been completely removed, replace it with the fresh, new needle by pressing it up into the mechanism until it hits the top of the needle seat, then tightening the needle screw.
This should result in a machine with a new needle that is completely untarnished and unblemished. Your sewing machine should be working just as it was the day you bought it and should start producing world class stitches once again. Make sure you routinely check your stitches for quality and check the actual condition of the needle on your machine every so often.
How To Oil A Sewing Machine
If your machine isn’t running as quietly as it once was or if it starts to run sluggishly it might be under-oiled. You should oil your machine regularly to keep it running smoothly. It should go without saying that you should only ever use sewing machine oil to oil the machine.
Clean the entire working portion of the sewing machine with a stiff lint brush to remove any fuzz or lint that has accumulated. It may be necessary to use tweezers to get into the smallest areas. Go over the entire area with a can of compressed are to blow away stray lint and dust that you couldn’t quite reach with the other tools.
Once completely clean, use the drop tip of your bottle of sewing machine oil to apply oil to all of the sewing machine parts. The owner’s manual should have a good explanation of where the machine is to be oiled, and certain machines will even have color coding on them designating which areas should be oiled.
Once you’ve applied the oil the machine should work smoothly and quietly. Make sure to regularly oil the machine to keep it running well as long as you have it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Sewing Machine Needle?
Answer: Sewing machine needles are special needles only for use in sewing machines. They have more different parts than a standard needle, for use in a sewing machine. They have a shank, which is clamped into the sewing machine, the shoulder, which tapers down into the shaft. The shaft tapers down through the scarf into the eye and point, which emulate standard sewing needles.
Q: What Does A Presser Foot Do?
Answer: The presser feet is an attachment that fits onto a sewing machine and is used to hold the fabric down flat while the needle is pushed through and while the fabric feeds through the machine. They have two little extensions that fit around either side of the needle so that the fabric is held on both sides while you are working with it.
Q: What Are The Belts In A Sewing Machine Used For?
Answer: Sewing machines have several belts running the length of their machinery that transition the torque produced by the motor to turn different wheels or to wind the bobbin.
Q: What Are The Main Parts Of A Sewing Machine?
Answer: Every sewing machine has many different parts and they all need to be working properly for you to make a high quality stitch. These main parts are the spool pin, the bobbin spindle, the bobbin winder stopper, dials for stitch selection, hand wheels, needle clamp, needle, presser feet, bobbin cover, feed dog and needle plate.
With all of this information and these reviews you should be ready to go out and find your first sewing machine. Use what you’ve learned here and what you personally know about your situation and you’ll find searching for your new sewing machine and learning how to use it to be a breeze. While we think we’ve done a wonderful job putting together everything you’ll need to get started, make sure you get in touch with us if you have any questions about the sewing machine market or choosing a sewing machine don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.