What’s the Project: If you’re looking for the best sewing machine for beginners or if you are wanting an upgrade from what you have, these are some great recommendations for users of all abilities.
Maybe you’ve always loved the idea of sewing. You dream of threading your machine, picking out the perfect fabric, and sewing fabulous creations.
But you need a sewing machine in order to make these dreams come true and finding the right machine can be hard! There are so many brands and then within those brands, there are so many models. They can cost anywhere from $99 to several thousand, so how do you know which sewing machine to buy? Each machine offers many different things and it depends on what you’re looking for.
Some have decorative stitches, some keep it simple. Maybe portability is something you value because you’ll be getting it out and putting it away each time you sew or maybe you’re planning to really use this thing a lot and you want something pretty heavy duty. It really can be hard to choose. But let’s take a look at some options to help you make that choice.
Here’s a review of some of the best sewing machines for beginners (and beyond if you’re looking for an upgrade).
This will be a rundown of some basics and hopefully, give you a good idea of what sewing machine to buy that will be just right for you. Again, it’s going to vary by person. I have my own favorites (which I will talk about), but depending on your budget and your needs, you’re going to need to think about what is a good match for you.
All of these machines are going to include basics like bobbins, a foot pedal, stitch options like straight stitch and zig zag, a free arm so that you can more easily maneuver things, and other basics. They will all sew through things like layers of fabric or lightweight fabric. These are all good machines.
Some may include things like a zipper foot or a buttonhole foot, automatic thread cutters, an LCD screen, one-step buttonholes, and headurability that will allow for sewing on things like leather, denim, and multiple layers.
Best Sewing Machine for Beginners:
Now, the first thing you need to know is that I haven’t been in the market for a sewing machine for about 10+ years, so I haven’t looked into this for a while. But when I was in the market for one I did a lot of research before buying my machine. And after all my research I settled on a Janome. So let’s talk Janomes first.
**These are affiliate links below.
Janome Sewing Machines:
My first beginner sewing machine was a Kenmore—a very basic but very sturdy Kenmore. It was a $200 machine that earned me way more than it was worth when I started my own sewing business and made thousands of dollars sewing things with it. I loved that little machine…until I ran it right into the ground from overuse. (I used it a lot. Hours every single day.) It was a very durable machine. It had everything I needed too, from just the right, but not too many stitch options to ease of use (nothing too fancy on it) to the ability to handle some heavy-duty sewing.
So, as I started looking into getting a new machine I discovered something. Janome and Kenmore are created by the same company (or were at that time anyway). Janome was sort of the big sister to Kenmore. Knowing that, and after reading tons of reviews, I settled on Janome as the brand of my choice.
Since then I’ve bought a high-end Janome heavy-duty sewing machine that has gotten a ton of use as well. It’s got a ton of stitches and embroidery machine capabilities and can sew through just about anything—leather, towels, denim, you name it. I just love it. I can’t recommend Janome more highly!
So let’s take a look at some beginner Janome options that make great entry-level machines.
Here’s the most Basic Beginner Janome Sewing Machine. It’s the 2212 and it’s rated close to 5 stars on Amazon. It should be a very good starter machine and costs just under $200. Not a bad investment if you are just getting started. (This looks a lot like my beginning sewing machine.) I think this one would last you a long time. Here are some important features:
- A handful of basic stitches (12 to be exact) like straight stitch and zigzag as well as a few more stitch options. Enough but not too many that it’s overwhelming.
- The bobbin is put in from the front (some take it from just under the presser foot)
- Manual adjustment of things like speed and stitch length and stitch width
Here is a slightly fancier Janome for not a lot more money. This one has more stitches (30), an automatic needle threader, and is computerized. This is the Janome JW8100. It will run around $329. Here are some of the features it has beyond the one we just looked at:
- Lighter weight (more portability)
- 100 stitches built-in
- More accessories and storage space for accessories
- Computerized screen with things like stitch length and speed control adjustable
Or if you really want to go simple, or have a kid who wants to try sewing, look at this one! It’s only about $100 and it looks almost identical to my first one (which again, was so good!) and it’s PINK! (I love pink.) There are other colors as well. Anyway, this one is pretty basic, but it’s got everything you need for getting started and rates really well on Amazon! This could be a great beginner sewing machine for you or for a daughter or granddaughter.
Brother Beginner Sewing Machines:
Now let’s talk about Brother machines. I feel like these are sort of the most popular beginner machines right now. I recently borrowed a friend’s Brother while mine was broken and can now safely vouch for Brothers as well. Many of my Learn to Sew Online Sewing Classes readers have recommended various Brother machines and I am giving you their recommendations here.
The Brother CS 6000i is the most recommended machine by my beginner sewing readers. It’s another good starter machine that won’t be a huge investment but will get you going.
It’s got a lot of stitches (60!) and several one-step buttonholes (nice!) and comes with a case. It costs around $210 (but watch for deals) and is rated very highly on Amazon. In fact, it’s their #1 bestseller. And this is very similar to the machine I borrowed from my friend. This is a good machine.
A few important features:
- 60 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader and thread cutter
- Comes with several presser feet (different ones for things like zippers or different seams)
- Also a quilting machine. This is great machine to be able to use for quilting at this price!
Here’s another Brother sewing machine that’s a good one. It’s a little pricier, so this is more of an investment, but it’s a good machine with 5 star ratings on Amazon and that’s with 4,000 ratings!!
Here are some of the important features of this one:
- 165 built-in decorative stitches
- LCD screen
- Quilting machine with an extended table area for sewing if you want to make quilts
- Several presser feet (various options like a zipper foot and buttonhole foot)
Basically, after looking around at various Brother machines on Amazon while writing this post, I have to say, they have amazing prices for what they include—lots of stitches and other great features. And they are very highly rated. You can also buy Brother machines at Walmart and Costco! So if you want a basic starter machine that doesn’t cost much, try Brother.
Singer Beginner Sewing Machines:
A reader recommended this Singer Esteem II from Target. It costs about $200 or so and has 4.5 stars rating at Target.com and on Amazon. It has 23 stitches and sells itself as a good machine for beginners and you can’t really beat that price, can you? I suspect this could be a good beginning sewing machine for kids too! It won’t break the bank but is still a good machine. It would be quite portable and easy to work with. Manual adjustment of things like speed and stitch length.
There are a lot of other brands of machines. Bernina’s are the King of all machines and are specifically tailored to quilters. Vikings are amazing but are also very high-end. I didn’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so these are the best sewing machines I could find for beginners.
So consider this a roundup of some very good beginner machines and a few more advanced. Brother seems to be the best option for an inexpensive and very basic starter machine. If you have a little more money to spend, go for a Janome.
Please know that I have not tried most of these machines. I am going off of readers’ recommendations and online buyer ratings. I make no guarantees on these machines, I am just giving you somewhere to start looking. Please know that affiliate links are included in this post as well.
And, take some time to read through the comments section here. Many of my readers have chimed in with valuable information about machines as well!
Good luck with your search for the best beginner sewing machines! When you’ve got it, be sure to Meet Your Sewing Machine and Learn to Sew Online Sewing Classes all here with me at Crazy Little Projects. Now you’re all ready to get started on some sewing projects. Here are some great beginner ones to try.
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