For Beginners

Best Sewing Machines For Beginners in 2020 Reviewed

Sewing is one of those activities that feels like it went out of fashion a while ago, but when you see the popularity of some of the products on the market, it is clear that it is still an essential and fun task. This is only when you have the tools for the job as a sub-par sewing machine can make life pretty difficult.

The best sewing machines for beginners are easy to use, making sewing simple, are basic in their instructions and built to last. Just because they are tailored towards beginners, doesn’t mean they aren’t effective though. Some of the products we have picked out can be enjoyed by those with an ongoing affection for sewing, as well as those looking for a gentle introduction.

Summary of the Best Sewing Machines For Beginners
Reviews

Editor’s Choice: Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine

With a string of awards to its name, this beginner sewing machine from one of the world’s most famous brands, Brother, has so much to offer. It is one of the most user friendly machines and features an easy to following LED-backlit display to allow you to seamlessly move from function to function. The wide table is fine for larger quilts and other projects so you get plenty of options for using it and it features an automatic needle threader which makes the whole process so much easier.

The adjustable stitch speed gives the beginner full control and has a built-in free arm so when you are trying to repair or piece together sleeves, and other cylinder shapes you will find it easy. One of the more affordable products on our list, you get lots of different stitch options, the ability to sew forward and reverse making double stitching easy, and comes with a robust protective case, and a 25-year limited warranty.

PROS:

  • LED backlit display is easy to navigate
  • Wide table for large items
  • Lots of stitching and speed options
  • Built-in free arm
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 25-year limited warranty
CONS:

(none)

Best Beginner Singer: SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine with 23 Built-In Stitches

Even if you don’t know a lot about sewing, you will probably know who Singer is. This is one of their easiest sewing machines to use and features 23 built-in stitches and an automatic needle threader to make the fiddly part of sewing easy. Even though it is an ideal sewing machine for beginners, it is remarkably powerful, offering 1,100 stitches per minute.

The motor is powerful so expect a lot of piercing power and less time having to go over your stitches. Anyone getting their new hobby off the ground will appreciate the long list of accessories this product comes with. You get everything from bobbins, buttonhole foot, quilting guide, all-purpose foot, needles, and a lot more. There is also a 25-year limited warranty included but because of the quality materials and the heavy-duty metal frame, we wouldn’t be surprised if you never need it.

PROS:

  • Automatic needle threader
  • 23 built-in stitches
  • 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Lots of accessories included
  • Comes with a limited 25-year warranty
CONS:

  • Can be a little loud for some people

Best Computerized: Singer | 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

It won’t take long to get to grips with this sewing machine but when you do, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of having a programmable needle that makes life simple. As with any of Singer’s sewing machines for beginners, this is easy to use and has a list of features as long as a spool of thread.

There are 10 presser feet to choose from so you can build your confidence as you go and plenty of automatic settings. This means you can program the speed, stitching, thread tension, and a lot more. Choose from 100 different stitches and use it for heirloom stitching, quilting, crafting, and whatever else you can think of. With an easy to view backlit LED screen and 13 needle positions to top it all off, you’ll be in good hands.

PROS:

  • Programmable needle
  • Lots of automatic settings
  • 10 presser feet
  • 25-year limited warranty included
CONS:

  • Can be a bit expensive for some people

Easiest To Use: Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701

For a light sewing machine, this one is easy to handle and doesn’t overwhelm the user with too many options. There are still lots you can do with this neat sewing machine for beginners and there are still 27 built-in stitches to choose from which are more than enough for most starting. The drop-in top bobbin makes it easy to get started and automatic needle threader means you won’t be spending ages trying to ready it for a new task.

There is the standard 25-year limited warranty included which is always good to see and plenty of features tailored towards beginners. These include the free arm for cuffs, a dial to select stitches, and an instructional DVD to help those starting without any prior knowledge get a head start.

PROS:

  • 27 built-in stitches
  • Lots of features for beginners
  • Instructional DVD
  • Great value
CONS:

  • Controlling the speed can be a bit challenging

Best Basic: SINGER | Start 1304 6 Built-in Stitches

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your first sewing machine, but want to know the product has enough quality to make stitching easy, then Singer has this neat product to offer. Designed for beginners, it has 6 basic stitch options that are easily selected via the dial on the side of the machine.

It comes with 3 presser feet including an all-purpose foot that is used for most projects and a zipper foot, and button foot. You’ll find that it doesn’t take long to set this machine up thanks to the preset stitch length and width options and the metal frame feels sturdy, giving the machine a nice weight. It still has a free arm feature and a 25-year limited warranty but you don’t get the vast array of options that other models provide.

PROS:

  • Includes 3 basic presser feet
  • Easy to change between the 6 stitch options
  • Easy to set up
CONS:

  • Limited options but this will be preferable for some people

Best Heavy-Duty: Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

Not everyone wants 100 stitch options to choose from and which is why many people go for something more like this sewing machine for beginners from Janome. There are 14 built-in stitches to choose from and it has a sturdy body that is made to resemble the sewing machines of old that last for many decades.

You’ll have you need to get started when you buy this product as it comes with extra needles, bobbins, felt, hem guide, and a softcover. There is a free arm for sewing cuffs and other curved designs and to get a project off the ground you’ll find the automatic needle threader a Godsend.

PROS:

  • Sturdy build
  • 14 built-in stitches
  • Comes with a variety of accessories
CONS:

  • Can be a bit pricey for a beginners sewing machine

Best Compact: Janome Graceful Gray Basic – Compact Sewing Machine

This represents the ultimate basic sewing machine for beginners and although it has its limitations, it is ideal for anyone with simple needs. You can choose from a variety of color options and can go for anything as bright and vibrant as yellow or pink, as well as the more understated gray. There aren’t as many stitching options as other brands but with 11, there is a good amount to cover the basics.

It does make life easy with free arm capability, reverse stitching function, and it is easy to set up. The top drop-in bobbin and threading diagrams ensure it won’t take long for you to start a new project. With a finger guard to ensure smaller fingers get a good amount of protection, it is a product that can be enjoyed by older kids as well as adults. Because it weighs just 5 pounds, it can be taken from room to room with ease.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Set up is simple
  • Lots of color options
CONS:

  • Limited options and not as durable as other products
Sewing Machines For Beginners Guide

When you are investing in your first sewing machine, the options can feel a little daunting. When you don’t know your needle threader from your zipper foot, you might find it difficult to know which sewing machine for beginners is right for you. Depending on your level of experience and intended use, you will want to do some digging.

The good news is, the most reputable brands make plenty of products tailored towards those starting. Also, a lot of the better options aren’t so basic that you’ll need a more advanced machine once you know what you’re doing. Before you consider your options, our buyer’s guide will help you to know what a great sewing machine should offer.

What To Look For In A Sewing Machine For Beginners

Sturdy Cover

The problem with some brands is they don’t give you a robust protective cover. You never know what might knock into your machine and even the most reputable brands can break completely if you spill water in the wrong place.

This is why it is important to buy a sewing machine that comes with a hard protective cover rather than the soft ones. This way, it will be able to withstand whatever life throws at it.

Lengthy Warranty

Even sewing machines for beginners go through some serious punishment over the years. The constant vibrations and movements mean that anything can happen. If for any reason it stops working, you will be glad to have bought a product that comes with a lengthy warranty.

Both Singer and Brother are good brands for both durability and long warranties. This means you are less likely to need it but have it available just in case.

Free Arm

To make stitching sleeves easier, the best sewing machines for beginners will have a free arm option. This means any curved materials can be stitched with little skill and you can attach buttons or use the free motion to finish off in style. 

Smooth Sewing

This isn’t a given, even with the bigger brands so it can be a good idea to read customer reviews and be sure that the product you like doesn’t shake too hard. The vibrations are a given but you don’t want it throwing you around the table. If it makes a loud ticking sound as it sews, it might be best to reconsider your options.

Automatic Needle Threader

Even long-time sewers will try and make sure their new sewing machine comes with an automatic needle threader. This can save you valuable minutes that add up over time. Starting a new project by trying to thread the needle can be a frustrating task that is easily fixed with modern products.

Lots of Built-In Stitches

Although you might not think you need many as a beginner, consider how you might feel when you get to grips with the machine. Giving yourself more options doesn’t need to be treated as a bad thing. The best sewing machines for beginners should have plenty and you can do a lot with around 20.

Alternatively, you might be looking for a basic product that you can use for simple tasks. We understand where you’re coming from and can see the sense in looking for a machine that gives you the basics, and not a lot else.

Quiet Operation

Let’s face it, this is a sewing machine, if you want a whisper-quiet way of stitching then it might be best to stick to a needle and thread. This being said, some products are known for being louder than others. Although you’re not going to be sewing at midnight, it can be good to look for a product that isn’t going to annoy the rest of the family.

Changeable Presser Foot

Some sewing machines for beginners give you lots of options in this respect, and some you might never use. It is always prudent to look for a product that gives you all the basics. This includes the all-rounder, universal presser foot as well as zipper, buttonhole, and those for people who want more options.

Adjustable Speed

This will be particularly important for a beginner as you might want to take things slow before you gain confidence. Then, as you get to grips with the machine, you can increase the speed.

On top of this, the best sewing machines for beginners are still reliable at high speeds. This is important as some of the less reputable brands tend to miss stitches when used at greater speed.

Different Uses For a Sewing Machine For Beginners

Before you get started, it is important to consider what you are going to use your new sewing machine for. The type of stitches you will require can influence your decision, as will the materials you will be sewing. Here are some of the most common and basic uses for a sewing machine.

Making Clothes

If you want a sewing machine to make your own clothes then it will need to be capable of a few things. These include buttonhole making so ensure it comes with the right presser foot but also consider a machine that allows for twin needles and different stitch lengths. Your free arm ill also come in handy if stitching sleeves.

Repairs

This links on nicely from sewing clothes as basic sewing machines are ideal for quick repairs and re-stitching old clothes.

Quilting

For larger projects such as quilting, a basic machine might not be up to the task. Look for a product with a wide table to accommodate the fabric and the accessories to make it easy. You’ll need a reliable motor that is powerful enough to stitch different fabrics with ease but remember that not all beginners sewing machines are capable of quilting.

Upholstery

This is going to be difficult with a sewing machine for beginners as the needle will likely be too small to cope with the demands. Also, the thread will not be thick enough to keep everything in place.

Are Beginners Sewing Machines Easy To Use?

This is the intention of a basic sewing machine. Although some are easier to get to grips with than others, there are certain things a company can do to make life easier.

Always make sure the product that catches your eye comes with an instruction manual. This should be easy to navigate but some come with instructional DVDs. 

Our advice is to look to YouTube for instructional videos on your particular model as these walk-through guides can help to get you started.

Singer Vs Brother

Unsurprisingly, the two most famous sewing machine brands make up a lot of your options. To be honest, you can’t go wrong with either but there are some differences you might wish to consider. 

Both have quality products that cost under $100 and Singer is a USA brand whilst Brother is a Japanese brand. Both make affordable options and sewing machines that can give the more advanced sewer a wider range of functions.

What Do You Need To Start Sewing?

A lot of sewing machines for beginners will take into account the fact that the user is unlikely to have a range of accessories to choose from. Because of this, a lot of them give you the basics including needles and different presser feet.

To add to your tool kit, consider purchasing additional fasteners, buttons, measuring tape for cutting fabric, quality scissors, fabric marking pens, a seam ripper, plenty of thread and a box to keep all your bits and pieces in.

You don’t need all of these to get started and most people add to their accessories over time.

How Much Does A Budget Sewing Machine Cost?

Even though they are bulky, sturdily made products, a budget sewing machine doesn’t have to cost a lot. The two most famous brands, Singer and Brother both make quality products for beginners and you don’t have to spend $100 to land yourself a quality sewing machine.

Of course, you get more options as you add to your budget so consider something closer to $150 if you can.

What Is The Best Sewing Machine For Beginners?

The best machine is the one that ticks the important boxes for the individual but there is one that stands out above the rest. Brother’s CS6000i Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine gives the beginner plenty of options in its 60 built-in stitches and wide table.

Even though it has so many features, it is easy to navigate using the LED-backlit screen and comes with a hardcover that not a lot of budget options can offer. A built-in free arm, automatic needle threader, and easy bobbin winding sweeten the deal to make it the best sewing machine for beginners in our eyes.

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