Buying Guide: Best Sewing Machines for Beginners (2017)

There are many things to consider if you’re thinking about buying a sewing machine. Depending on the things that you sew, you might be in need of a sewing machine that has certain features.

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There are all sorts of different sewing machines available in the marketplace and it is important to make sure that you get one that suits your needs. Below we share our recommendations on the top sewing machines for beginners (and kids!) who want to start learning how to sew on an easy to use machine.

Our Beginner Sewing Machine Ratings At-A-Glance

sewing machine rating chart

Editor Rated: Top 7 Best Sewing Machines for the Money

our rating is based on value and quality
MODELOUR RATING
Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine with 130 Built-in Stitches, 8 Presser Feet, Sewing Font, Wide Table, and Instructional DVD
Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine with 130 Built-in Stitches, 8 Presser Feet, Sewing Font, Wide Table, and Instructional DVD
9.3 Stars (9.3 / 10)
Brother cs6000i 60-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Wide Table
Brother cs6000i 60-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Wide Table
9.1 Stars (9.1 / 10)
Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, and Instructional DVD
Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, and Instructional DVD
9.1 Stars (9.1 / 10)
Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing Machine with 100 Built-in Stitches and Quilting Table
Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing Machine with 100 Built-in Stitches and Quilting Table
9.1 Stars (9.1 / 10)
SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with DVD, 10 Presser Feet and Metal Frame
SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with DVD, 10 Presser Feet and Metal Frame
9.1 Stars (9.1 / 10)
SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Model Sewing Machine
SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Model Sewing Machine
8.7 Stars (8.7 / 10)
Singer 3232 Simple Sewing Machine with Automatic Needle Threader
Singer 3232 Simple Sewing Machine with Automatic Needle Threader
8.7 Stars (8.7 / 10)

What To Consider When Shopping For Your First Sewing Machine

To help you figure out the things that you need, we have created a buyer’s guide going over the most important aspects of a sewing machine so that you can make sure you get a good quality machine that is capable of doing the things that you need.

Learning:

Especially if you are buying a brand-new advanced sewing machine these machines can be extremely difficult to learn on. With so many different features built into the designs of sewing machines, you’re going to have a hard time learning the ins and outs of a machine by just using it. Different manufacturers have different ways of showing their customers how to use their machines. The most advanced machines, with displays in their design, will often have tutorials built into them, which can show you how to create certain patterns, make certain stitches and use the sewing machine properly. Older designs often come with DVD’s or manuals that you can read in order to learn about the sewing machine and all of the features that it possesses. If you want to become a better sewer, learning new things is the best way to do so. Which is why you’re definitely going to want to take a look to see what sorts of techniques the manufacturer uses to teach their customers how to use their machines, so that you can get something that suits your learning style.

Size:

One major thing that you’re going to have to decide when you are buying a sewing machine is how large of a unit you want to purchase. Larger machines are generally capable of being able to do larger sewing operations and they can actually be easier to use depending on what you’re sewing. However, it is important to keep in mind that a large machine is going to be difficult to manoeuvre around, especially, if you get a high-end, heavy duty unit. One major thing that contributes to a sewing machine’s size is how the unit actually operates. In order to move the needle up and down some of them operate via a foot pedal, while others operate via a button. There are benefits to both of these methods of operation. If you have a foot pedal, it is relatively easy to be able to adjust the speed of the needle and it also leaves your hands free at all times to attend to your sewing. A button method makes it a little bit more difficult to be able to change how fast the needle is going, however, you don’t have to multitask using your hands and feet at the same time in order to sew.

Noise:

All sewing machines make noise, it is literally an essential part of the design as the needle does have to move up and down in order to create stitches. However, some designs are louder than others. Sewing machines generally aren’t loud enough to get rated on how loud they are, which means that it can be difficult to diagnose how loud a machine is going to be until you bring it home. It is a good idea to have a look at things like customer reviews and manufacturer’s specs to see if you can get an idea of how loud the machine is going to be, especially if you need to buy a quiet machine. It is a good idea to keep in mind that most manufacturers and sellers do provide return policies on their items, so if you find that the unit is too loud after purchasing and testing the unit, you could always return it as long as you keep the unit in pristine condition.

Controls:

If you’re looking to get a new sewing machine, you’re definitely going to want to check the controls on the unit in order to make sure they’re up to your standards. If you are an advanced sewer, you might want to try to find something that has a display on it in order to allow you to change between the various options built into the sewing machine. Advanced sewing machines will generally have displays on them that can be operated via touchscreen or button pushing. If you get something that has a touchscreen or some kind of a screen in its design, you can expect that there will be more unique stitches available and even things like embroidery and fonts that you can choose from if you are doing lettering. Generally, the more features and designs that are built into a machine, the more fancy the unit is going to be resulting in a higher price tag.

Thread Cutter:

One way that you can tell a quality sewing machine from something that is a bit on the lower end of the scale of things is by seeing if it has some kind of a thread Cutter in its design. A quality sewing machine will not only be able to cut thread on its own, it will also have some kind of a feature that allows you to be able to cut the thread at any time. It is extremely important to be able to cut thread whenever you please when you’re sewing, as taking stitches out is not the easiest thing to do and you’re going to want to make sure that the stitches are done properly the first time around.

Stitches:

When it comes to sewing, there are all sorts of different stitches that you can use in order to repair or create something. Different sewing machines are capable of performing different stitches and you’re definitely going to want to look at this before you purchase a new sewing machine. The more stitches that you can create, the more difficult stitching designs that you can accomplish, which means that you can repair more things if you desire. However, having these options can make it a little bit more confusing especially if you are just starting out and are pretty new to sewing. Different machines allow you to be able to switch between different stitches more easily than others. Some machines work via a dial method which allows you to be able to switch the stitch by turning a dial. Other machines work via touchscreen or a button push design forcing you to manually choose the stitch by looking at a display. Generally, displays make it a little bit more difficult to choose which stitch you want to use as there are generally more stitching options to choose from and a touch screen is definitely harder to navigate than a dial.

Computer tech:

If you really want to make sure that you are buying an advanced sewing machine, you’re going to want to make sure that the sewing machine that you purchase has some kind of computer connectivity built into its design. Allowing a sewing machine to be able to access an online connection will allow the sewing machine to be able to update in the future so that it can download files and allow you to use new embroidery designs, fonts and stitches to give you a more enhanced sewing machine. Depending on company that you purchase from, you might find that the sewing machine actually connects directly to the company’s website, which can have patterns and designs available for you to purchase directly. It is always a good idea to check these things out beforehand so that you know what you’re getting into before you make a purchase.

Lighting:

If you’re buying a sewing machine you are going to definitely want to make sure that there are lights built into the machine to help you be able to see the patterns that you are creating. Improper light can cause you to make a mistake and mistakes are difficult to fix depending on what you are doing. It is for this reason, we recommend that you try to find a sewing machine that has lights showing you the display on the machine and lights that light up your work space so that you have the least possible chance of making a mistake and the highest possible chance of success.

Storage:

One thing that you’re going to want to consider when buying a sewing machine is where you’re going to store the unit. Sewing machines are by no means small and so you are going to have to decide if you are going to leave your sewing machine out at all times or if you have a closet or some other area to store the unit when you aren’t using it. If you’re going to leave it out at all times, you might also want to consider the look of the unit when deciding which sewing machine you want to purchase.

Accessories:

If you are buying a sewing machine, you may want to look to see what sorts of accessories come with the unit. You can get all sorts of accessories with a sewing machine, which can save you a lot of money down the road. Expect to see things like needles, thread, scissors and other important sewing accessories. Generally, you’re going to find that sewing machines come with the majority of things that you need in order to be able to use the machine. However, some manufacturers cheap out more than others so it is definitely a good idea to compare some of the accessories that come with sewing machines so that you can make sure that you’re getting a good deal. It is always a good idea to take the price of these accessories into consideration when you are looking at the price of a sewing machine. You are likely going to need most of these accessories anyways so it is a good idea to budget for them and to look for them at the same time as you are looking for your new sewing machine.

Portability:

If you’re one of those people that like to take their sewing with them wherever they go, you might want to try to find a machine that allows you to do just that. Some machines are much more portable than others and size does play a huge role in terms of portability. However, you might also want to consider how heavy the sewing machine is, especially if you are going to have to carry it up things like stairs. Sewing machines can be pretty awkward to carry around, but some manufacturers do attempt to make the task easier for you by adding things like handles or by making the whole design a lightweight design.

Warranty:

One thing that you’re probably going to like about buying a sewing machine is that these machines often have very long warranties. Generally, sewing machines don’t have a whole lot of parts in them that can break down unless you get something that has a digital display on it. If you want a long warranty and peace of mind with your purchase it isn’t too hard to find. It is a good idea to keep in mind that there are often extended warranties that you can pay for if the manufacturer’s warranty that comes with the unit isn’t long enough for your liking.

We hope that this article has helped you to be able to realize the things that go into a quality sewing so that you be able to pick one out for yourself. It can definitely be hard to pick out a new sewing machine due to there being so many available on the market. It is extremely important to keep in mind what you are going to use the sewing machine for, so that you can make sure that you are going to get all of the accessories and features that will allow you to create the products that you want. We wish you all the best in finding an awesome sewing machine and we wish you luck with all of your future sewing projects.

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