The Best Sewing Machines For Beginners in 2020
If you are keen to make the bold step into taking up sewing as a hobby, then it is essential that you identify what sewing machine suits your personal requirements. Sewing is an extremely fun past time for me and many of my friends. We have managed to keep it enjoyable by using sewing machines that stimulate our interests and allow us to do what we like best without restrictions. Most people when they first head out searching for a sewing machine will gravitate towards picking one of the more expensive and therefore complicated models. This may sound logical, because these often turn out to be the highest rated items and so, why wouldn’t you want one too? This is unfortunately counterproductive thinking because the best sewing machines for beginners are almost certainly those that don’t over complicate things.
Your first sewing machine should be straight forward to use, with minimal additional functions that are potentially going to confuse you and slow your progression as a budding seamstress. I won’t go as far to say to avoid a computerized sewing machine, but I would definitely advise against picking one that has too many extra features on it. Ideally, you will want an entry level machine that is easy to use, made of high quality components, is unlikely to fail and ultimately isn’t too expensive. I advise keeping the cost down because you are likely to want to switch up and purchase a more expensive model with more features once your skill set has improved passed a beginner level. Below you will find my personal guide for what I believe are the best sewing machines for novices.
How I chose my favorite beginner models
Selecting the best models for beginner seamstresses might seem like a fairly easy task, but it is quite the contrary, in order for me to identify which models are ideal for you I had to consider a variety of different things;
- How many stitch pattern variations it has.
- The weight of the sewing machine.
- Whether it is portable.
- Its capacity to stitch on various types of fabric.
- Which buttonholing mechanism it uses; one step vs. four step.
- How precise its buttonholing mechanism is.
- If it has an automatic needle threader.
- How easy it is to change a needle.
- Whether it has the capacity to be used for embroidery.
- If it has an owner’s manual.
- If it is a cost-effective model.
- How complicated it is to use for beginners.
- The number of presser feet it has.
- If it has snap-on or screw-in presser feet.
- What additional features it offers.
These are only a few of the things that I have considered in order to produce my detailed review of the best sewing machines for beginners.
The Best Sewing Machines for Beginners Chart
Please use the below comparison chart to help identify what sewing machines are best suited to your individual requirements as a beginner seamstress. Click through to each of the articles to learn more about each of these excellent models.
Best Beginner Sewing Machines
It seems like Brother manage to exceed all expectations with every sewing machine that they release, however no model does more so than the Brother CS6000i. This truly versatile sewing machine was rated as the best sewing machine of the year in my article earlier this year, a wonderful achievement. But the fact that it has once again resurfaced as the best model to buy as a beginner speaks volumes. Brother have done a fantastic job of including so many useful tools into a sturdy frame that is not over complicated and therefore daunting for novices starting out their sewing journeys. The number of features that the CS6000i has crammed into it is quite striking, because it really doesn’t look overly technical compared to some of the other premium models in Brother’s range.
It is a value packed sewing machine that is capable of performing exceptionally well at a number of different tasks, whether it’s embroidery, quilting, basic stitching and right through to the highest level sewing jobs you can imagine. It is available on Amazon for a very affordable price and so it’s difficult to look past this model as a starter for anyone, whether you want the best sewing machine for kids or adult beginners alike. While Brother have clearly spent a lot of time working out a sleek design that is also beneficial to the user, the gorgeous aesthetics of this model are by no means the only great feature it offers.
Firstly, the CS6000i comes complete with an easy to read LCD display that illustrates the status of various settings, these can easily be edited by the pressing of buttons adjacent to it. Some of these settings include the current stitch pattern, the stitching speed, length, width, and a variety of others too. One thing that I love about this product is that the LCD and buttons on the front panel are not confusing like on many other models, they are easy to read and straightforward to use.
The CS6000i comes with a total of 60 built-in stitches as standard (all of which are listed on an easily accessible diagram), several of these are embroidery based and to top this off, they have also included a selection of 7 different one-step buttonholes. These are far more useful to beginners than the three or four-step alternatives that beginner seamstresses are usually left to deal with. The fact that buttonholes are crafted in one single sequence drastically reduces the chance of errors being made. This sewing machine comes with an automatic needle threader that will save you ample amounts of time while you practice the more important skills of sewing. There is a total of 9 different presser feet styles and so you will be able to push your creative capacities to the limit, despite only being a novice seamstress.
Brother have made it possible to use a foot pedal, typical of many sewing machines for beginners and advanced users, but also using a stop button too. This is a wonderful feature because it enables users to effortlessly sew without the use of a foot pedal. Another great feature for beginners is the ability to use an attachment table to increase the sewing surface area. This gives you additional room to lean on and keeps your hands well away from the rapidly moving needle. I’ve also found that this extra room is particularly useful for working on any large job, something like quilting for example would be far easier – this is also why the Brother CS6000i is also one of the best sewing machines for quilting too.
Singer 7258 Stylist
It’s hard to look past the Singer 7258 when it comes to any list of the top performing sewing machines, this stylish model has a small display with a selection of buttons that you can edit settings using. Whenever I have the chance to use this stunning machine I always end up spending countless hours sewing, it’s so simple and yet so effective at a huge range of different tasks. Perfect for beginners, the Singer 7258 is a high performance, computerized sewing machine that does the basics right and so much more. This was once the highest rated sewing machine on Amazon and there is good reason for that too, the 7258 comes with 100 built-in stitch designs, a whole host of separate embroidery options and various (10 in total) presser feet too. While this may indeed seem like a lot of variety for a beginner, I feel that Singer have made using the machine as easy as possible.
The small screen that it possesses enables users to quickly switch between the different stitch modes and the diagram situated just below it helps to identify what each one does. Many sewing machines have so many additional layers of complication on their LCD screens, including stitch length, width, speed and a number of other potential options too. I feel that beginners should stay away from sewing machines that are this complicated. Fortunately, Singer have done a great job of ensuring novices will be able to use the 7258 with ease. Replacing the presser feet could not be simpler, the ten different styles include zippers, buttonholes, long overcast, short overcast, rolled hems, zig-zags and much more. Beginners should be looking for a sewing machine that tests them and that has the capacity to let them develop their skills over time. The Singer 7258 does just that.
Some of the extra features of this sewing machine include having an automatic needle threader to help save time threading the needle repeatedly. This useful feature is present on most premium models, but less commonly on entry level machines and so it’s a welcome addition. One of the extra benefits of the automatic needle threader is that it will prevent the machine from malfunctioning and therefore becoming jammed while the device is running. As a beginner seamstress, there is little that is less frustrating than having to continually stop working on a project because your machine is breaking continually.
Other benefits of the Singer 7258 include the fact that it comes with an owner’s guide in the form of a DVD to instruct beginners how to use this particular model. Singer have also included a bright light that focuses on the sewing table to illuminate it and consequently improve the clarity of your sewing. You will also find a top loading, drop-in bobbin that is very easy to install. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the Singer 7258 and that is why it is so high on my list of the best beginner sewing machines.
I’m sure that all of you know that I’m a huge fan of Singer as a brand. Whenever I decide to purchase one of their sewing machines, I know that I’m going to be buying quality without even thinking twice about it. Their sewing machines are designed by industry experts and their entry to intermediate level products are more than ideal for beginner seamstresses. The Singer 2259 is no exception, this is clearly one of the best beginner sewing machines, and it has a huge reputation across the world too. Part of Singer’s tradition range of sewing machines, the 2259 has been designed to be easy to use at all times.
The machine itself weighs in at around 15lbs, which is fairly light and therefore transportable too. I was actually pleasantly surprised with how lightweight this sewing machine was, particularly given the fact that it has been crafted out of a steel frame. As with all of Singer’s models, the 2259 does an outstanding job of all the sewing fundamentals that you would expect from it. In all honesty, it does everything very well, despite lacking many of the advanced features of the more premium models out there. It is for this reason that this product ranks so highly in my list of the top beginner sewing machines. I think my favorite thing about this product though is that you can pick one up for such an affordable price, currently at around the $100 mark.
The Singer 2259 comes with 19 built-in stitch patterns, which is more than enough for any beginner. These can easily be selected by using the dial found on the front panel of the device. Singer have also made it possible to customize the stitch length and width so that you can further edit how your stitch design comes out. The machine comes with one automatic four-step buttonhole, which aren’t quite as good as one-step variants, but for the money the buttonholing performance of the 2259 is second to none. The presser feet that come with this beginner sewing machine all function through the use of a snap on mechanism, these are safer than their screw in alternatives.
Much alike the Brother CS6000i, the Brother XM2701 was also in both my top 10 sewing machines of all time and my list of the best sewing machines for kids too. Clearly there are an abundance of reasons for this, but before I delve into too many of these specific details, it’s important for me to explain just how popular this model is. The sewing community has rated the XM2701 as one of the highest rated products on Amazon, this appears to be a similar trend that we see with many of Brother’s products and I’m really not surprised. Brother spend a lot of time ensuring that each of their products are designed to be suitable for a wide range of people. This is why the XM2701 is well suited to kids, beginners and budding experts too.
The fact that the XM2701 is so affordable is a huge drawing point for many, particularly when you consider just how many features have been crammed into it. While you certainly won’t be using all of these features to begin with as a novice seamstress, it’s nice to have the capacity to progress onto more advanced skills without the need to replace your sewing machine. Brother have installed 27 different stitch modes onto the XM2701, this isn’t a huge amount but I think it’s an ideal number for beginners. It comes with a free arm mechanism that is really useful for when you plan on doing any clothing sewing projects and there’s also a fairly spacious storage compartment too.
Brother have kept things simple when it comes to using the XM2701, it’s totally viable to expect a beginner to be able to open the box and be sewing with it in under half an hour. Once it is plugged in, the bobbin is loaded and the thread is threaded with a presser foot on, you’re all good to go. From here you must simply identify a stitch that you would like to use from the diagram on the front panel of the sewing machine, twist the dial to the appropriate symbol and then start sewing. It really is that simple. The XM2701 performs as well as machines that cost up to twice as much as it and so the quality of the threading will never be in doubt. I feel that all of these features make it an excellent choice for beginners and children alike.
The Brother CS5055PRW is a sewing machine that falls into Brother’s “Project Runway” category of models. It can be purchased for a very affordable price, commonly around the $130 mark and it is the cheapest product within its line. Across the internet you will read swathes of positive reviews for this sewing machine from users across the world, many people are in agreement with me that this is a perfect beginner machine. The CS5055PRW is a relatively lightweight model that has quite a minimalistic design, nothing too flashy like some of the sewing machines from other brands like Janome and Singer. It has a small LCD screen on the front panel, a list of the 50 different built-in stitches with a small diagram of each of them and a guide for how to use them too.
The key characteristic that makes the CS5055PRW a brilliant beginner sewing machine is the fact that it is just so easy to use right out of the box. It requires virtually no customization to get going and so it is as close to a “plug and play” sewing machine that you are ever likely going to get. Despite being a mid-range device in terms of features, being so easy to use makes it ideal for those of us who are learning to sew. The CS5055PRW comes with a detachable over-sized table that makes working on the slightly larger projects like quilting considerably easier. I personally find that having a large project on a sewing machine with a small table to be extremely irritating. I’m constantly folding or adjusting the fabric so that I can sew properly. Fortunately, Brother seem to include this detachable table on all of their models these days and so it is no longer an issue that I frequently come across.
If embroidery is your thing, the Brother CS5055PRW has a mode specifically for it, furthermore you can also customize lots of the components on this device so that it suits a variety of different tasks. Another great little touch that Brother have added to this already fantastic sewing machine is the LED light it possesses. This makes sewing in a dark or dimly lit room so much easier and it makes focusing on the task at hand more viable. While there are, in my eyes at least, some marginally better machines available for beginners, the CS5055PRW is definitely one that you should be at least considering.
In a market that is completely flooded with computerized sewing machines, to see such a high-performance manual sewing machine is a real rarity. However, Singer have done a truly outstanding job with the Singer 4411 and it is a great sewing machine for beginners to start out with. It may not be the best looking machine by a long shot, its fairly muted grey casing doesn’t do the quality of this technology justice. Singer have put a rather large motor within the 4411 and as a result it is both heavy (which is not necessarily a bad feature, more on this later) and very powerful too. Capable of stitching at over 1000 stitches in a single minute, the Singer 4411 is a machine that can deliver for beginners and experts alike.
The machine has a solid steel bed plate that contributes to the weight of it, this is a great addition because it enables the fabric to move in an extremely smooth fashion across it whilst being sewn. This leads to high quality stitching that really is second to none. While the Singer 4411 is certainly a heavy sewing machine, its weight holds it in place extremely well, this is an important feature for a machine that stitches so quickly. The power of this sewing machine is also very useful for beginners who are keen to try out their sewing skills on a variety of different fabric types. Thicker materials are often a challenge to use on most entry level machines because they lack the needle force required to frequently puncture the material. Suede, leather and denim will be absolutely no match for the Singer 4411.
The Singer 4411 comes with a drop-in top loading bobbin, a variety of different presser feet to test your creativity with, a free arm feature that enables you to sew clothing with and it is also capable of reverse stitching too. It’s incredibly easy for new users to learn how to adjust the stitch length, width and speed. While adding or removing components such as the drop-in bobbin or presser feet is also an easy task too.
If portability is what you are searching for in a sewing machine, then you might be onto a winner with the Brother Designio Series DZ2400. This is a computerized sewing machine that has the capacity to perform exceptionally well as a quilter too. It’s very lightweight, despite being full of steel components and only weighs approximately 10lbs. In actual fact, for a full sized machine, this is one of the lightest models that I have ever come across. This makes it absolutely perfect to move around the house or indeed also for taking it out of your home too.
While the Brother DZ2400 doesn’t necessarily look like a beginner sewing machine at first sight, due to the 185 different stitch variations listed on the front panel. It is actually fairly easy to use and is well suited to a quick learner. I don’t expect any novice to pick up the DZ2400 and immediately be able to use all of these customized features perfectly, but I do believe that it can be a great tool to learn the trade with. The fact that it has so many features means there is a great amount to learn, but this model eases you into sewing gently and so it’s not too intimidating to use.
The LCD screen on its front panel is easy to read and it only has four different buttons to edit the settings. Using these buttons you can change the stitch spread, width and needle placement too. The DZ2400 comes with extra presser feet, a one-step buttonholer and a drop-in bobbin too.
Much alike the DZ2400 mentioned in position 7 above, the Brother XR9500PRW is also capable of sewing and quilting at a high level. This is the second model in my top 10 list that is part of the “Project Runway” line of sewing machines by Brother, however it is slightly more expensive than the Brother CS5055PRW and offers more advanced features. Again, while this does not necessarily translate into being better for beginner seamstresses, I feel that the XR9500PRW does a great job of easing novice users into learning the skill.
All in all, Brother have included 100 different stitch patterns with the XR9500PRW, this is more than enough to keep anybody busy, whether you see yourself as a beginner or advanced user. To add to this, there are 8 different one-step buttonhole variations that come out perfect every single time due to being an automatic mechanism. This particular model has an automatic needle threader and an automatic bobbin winder, both of these features will save you plenty of time over the years you spend using this machine. The LCD screen is clear and very concise, just as a beginner would like it to be. It enables efficient customization of all the different features and as a result it is very easy to get the machine functioning just as you would like it to.
Despite being priced at a more mid-range level, the Brother XR9500PRW obviously appeals to beginners around the world, it has everything that is needed to cover the basics and enough advanced components to learn how to use too. A wonderful piece of kit by Brother that I have recommended to my friends again and again over the years.
Singer One Easy To Use
This sewing machine is one of the more expensive models on my top 10 list, but as you can all probably tell from its name, there is good reason for its inclusion. Usually, beginner sewing machines cost considerably less than the more premium models that are designed for expert seamstresses. This isn’t the case for the Singer One Easy To Use however. This is one of the most simplified computerized sewing machines, specifically made for beginners just like you. Singer have put all of their effort into ensuring that this product is well geared to training users to becoming proficient seamstresses.
This model is equipped with a brilliant automatic needle threading mechanism that is really helpful for those of us who are just starting out. It’s very frustrating trying to learn how to sew with a machine that doesn’t have this functionality because you constantly have to keep stopping what you are doing to re-thread the machine. The Singer One Easy To Use looks very modern and its computerized interface is straightforward to use, simply select what stitch type you want to use, drop your bobbin in, don’t bother worrying about threading your needle and off you go. When I first used this sewing machine, I felt that it took away all of the stresses of sewing and left the bare essentials to focus on. As a result of this, it would be one of the better sewing machines for beginners for sure.
This model can thread up to 750 stitches per minute using a fairly powerful motor that is capable of being used on a wide range of fabrics, which again is exactly what you want as you are starting out. The sewing surface is fairly large and would definitely be suitable for quilting, however this is not a machine specifically designed for these types of projects. In the box you will get a wide range of bonus accessories that are really beneficial to have, some of these include replacement needles, bobbins, presser feet and a storage compartment inner too.
The Janome 2212 comes in at number 10 in this list, similar to how it performed in my list of the best kids sewing machines too. Janome have built a very easy to use sewing machine in the 2212, this is exactly what is required for beginners who are learning all of the various sewing fundamentals. When I first got my hands on the Janome 2212 sewing machine, I wasn’t really overly impressed with how it looked and my expectations weren’t that high either. However, all of that rapidly changed when I started to use it and realize what a complete model it really is. It costs such a small amount that it’s hard to bemoan where it doesn’t quite compete with the more premium models.
This impressive, lightweight sewing machine has the capacity to sew at over 800 stitches in a single minute and so it is extremely easy to make a big project seem small. Janome have included a variety of different presser feet with this sewing machine, 12 built-in stitch designs, a four-step buttonholer mechanism and 10 bobbins from Janome. The machine utilities size 14 needles, is very lightweight and portable, it is essentially one of the better sewing machines available on the market today.
Beginner Sewing Machine Fundamentals
If you have never yourself used a sewing machine and have only used, or even seen, somebody manually sew with needles – then a sewing machine is guaranteed to blow you away. These machines are incredibly efficient at doing what they do, they completely replaced the human element of sewing and replaced it with a far more reliable, motor driven machine. Some machines are far better than others, however as expected, the higher specification sewing machine that you require, the more money you should expect to spend. Basic, entry level sewing machines can cost as little as $50, however some of the industry leading models will cost more than $1000.
Sewing is a skill that is quite easy to develop if you have the right tools to begin with, have a good sewing machine is obviously crucial, however there are a range of other important requirements too. Beginner sewing machines are clearly the best option when you are starting out because they are the easiest to use, cost the least amount of money and usually function without too much configuration being required. As your skills develop you should practice using more and more stitch patterns, presser feet and eventually consider buying yourself an intermediate or advanced sewing machine.
Sewing machines can be easily placed on top of any table, they require an electrical input source (plug socket) and most of them have a standard wire to plug in. Many sewing machines are equipped with a foot pedal to increase or decrease the speed of the needle as it punctures the fabric to sew. Some machines have an automatic needle threader and bobbin winder, others do not and so before you use them you will need to learn how to thread a needle efficiently and wind a bobbin.
Learning how to use a sewing machine is a really valuable skill that you will not forget in years to come, for many people it becomes a really soothing activity to do and enables them to kit out their house with customized items. Some ideas for things that you can sew include dresses, t-shirts, denim jeans, blankets, bedspreads, throws, cushions, curtains and many other household items or soft furnishings too. While it certainly takes time to hone your ability with a sewing machine, you will definitely reap the reward for the time you invest.
Once you have invested in the machine itself, sewing is a relatively cheap hobby that costs very little to maintain and in many cases, it actually pays itself back. You will be able to fix old items of clothing that you would have otherwise thrown away and if you get skilled enough you could even start to mend other people’s items of clothing as a mender. The thing that I love most about sewing is just how creative it allows you to be, there are few things in the world that offer so much freedom to express what you feel like. Learning how to do embroidery is another skill that is definitely worth developing, however this is typically far more advanced and requires some months of practice before you can give it a serious go.
Best Cheap Sewing Machines
Thank you for reading my list of the best sewing machines for beginners, all of the information that went into these brief reviews was from my own personal experiences over years of sewing. I feel that I know what the beginners of today require because my young daughter has recently taken up the art of sewing and is learning all of the skills herself. I’ve also spent a lot of my free time researching all of the latest models as they are released and so I’m constantly in the loop in that sense too. I think that any of the above sewing machines would make great first models for you or your children, they are all capable of working towards larger sewing projects, but also perform equally well on small pieces too. I’ve tried my best to keep the average price for each of these models down so they are all affordable for everyone. If you would like more information, such as what is the best sewing machine for quilting, then please continue to read the other pages on my website.
I’m a true sewing enthusiast and have spent almost the entirety of my adult life practicing this age old art. Sewing genuinely has a special place in my heart and I’m glad to be able to share all of my experiences with each of you.