Sewing machines are different. Today,
you can find 200-, 500-, and even 2000-dollar models, but not everyone can
afford to get a device for a couple of thousands of dollars. But the question
is, will you even need to spend that much money? What would be better, a
400-dollar sewing machine with a nice set of features or a 1500-dollar monster
capable of working 24/7?
In today’s review/guide, we will try to give a comprehensive answer to that question. In this article, we review 10 of the best sewing machine for beginners. While we cannot tell precisely which model would be the most fitting for you, there are a couple of steps that you need to take to make your search much quicker. The goal of our buying guide is helping you with knowing what you need and can find out there.
Table of Contents
What Is The Best Sewing Machine to Buy For a Beginner?
Today we are going to examine 10 great models of sewing machines, which are perfectly suitable for both beginners and advanced tailors. To establish our point on “sewing machines are different”, we picked a wide range of devices from simple and mechanical 100-dollar models to over 400-dollar multifunctional computerized machines. Hopefully, it will give you an idea of what you can find today.
Enough with words! Let’s start our review without further ado!
Editor’s Choice Best Sewing Machines For Beginners 2020
The first sewing machine in our list is cs6000i by Brother Sewing. This versatile machine is ideal for a wide range of sewing projects. That’s possible thanks to built-in 60 sewing stitches. Another nice feature contributing to cs6000i’s flexibility is its detachable oversized table for larger projects.
1# Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine
Best Beginner Sewing Machine for Making Clothes
With a touch of the button, you can
choose your stitch. The backlit LCD display will allow you to easily customize
the project’s setting and clearly see them anytime.
Speaking of buttons, the power button will let you work without the included foot console. Then, the adjustable sewing speed is what will give you control over the process of sewing.
With cs6000i, threading will be
extremely easy through the machine’s automatic needle threader. Besides, the
numbered diagram printed on the machine will make it even more convenient!
The top jam-resistant quick-set
drop-in bobbin will make installing and accessing the bobbin a child’s play. You
will no longer worry about fishing for the bobbin thread!
The built-in free arm is perfect
for sewing smaller items like sleeves or pants legs on children’s clothing. What
makes it even more of a breeze is the brightly lit sewing area, which is
especially useful with darker fabrics.
CS6000i comes with a rich set of accessories including accessory feet, needle set, spool pin, bobbins, and more! This model comes backed up by 25-year limited warranty and lifetime free phone support.
Variety of 60 sewing stitches.
Start/stop function to allow work without the foot control.
Easy threading with an automatic needle threader and numbered diagram on the machine.
Simple to use and bright display.
Jam-resistant quick-set bobbin.
A large set of accessories.
Works with 120V only.
Shipped within the US and to APO/FPO addresses only.
The next machine, 7258 by Singer, is for those who want to get more stitches with their device. This model comes with 100 built-in stitches, including 9 essential, 8 stretch, 76 decorative, and 7 fully automatic buttonholes! The stitches are easy to select through the convenient buttons and display.
But sewing machines are not only
about stitches, so 7258 has some great features to offer! As you would expect
from a modern machine, this model comes with an automatic needle threading
feature. The programmable needle can be stopped at the highest position for easier
removal of fabric from the machine and the down position ideal for pivoting and
quilting. 7258 has twin needle capacity and supports 13 needle positions.
If you don’t want to bother with the foot control, you can unplug it and use the power button to operate the sewing machine. Use the speed control to achieve the desired performance! This feature is specially useful for beginner sewers and those who want precise stitching.
The top-loaded bobbin is
easy-to-load and has a clear cover for a convenient monitor of thread supply. The
area over the bobbin is LED-illuminated for better visibility.
What makes this model especially
easy to start working with is the instructional manual (English, Spanish,
French) and intro DVD.
Among all other models, 7258 is the best user-friendly good sewing machine for beginners. You can order 7258 with a carrying case to ease its transport and make its storage more secure.
100 built-in stitches will bring great versatility!
Programmable needle with down/up positions.
Twin-needle capacity and 13 needle positions.
Automatic needle threader to save your time.
Sewing speed adjustment for those who don’t want to deal with foot controls.
Top-loaded drop-in bobbin with clear cover.
Comes with instructional DVD.
Optional carrying case.
A good set of accessories (10 presser feet, set of needles and bobbins, etc.).
Again, only shipped within the US and to APO/FPO addresses.
The next sewing machine on our review is for those people who want to perform any projects on their unit. Meet Singer 9960! What makes it extremely diverse are the 600 built-in stitches for any type of sewing! And to not allow you get lost in that huge variety, this machine’s clear display will deliver data on the selected stitch with its length and width.
With stitching, this model truly has no issues! It has such
features as automatic electronic thread trimmer and mirror imaging and
elongation function with stitch editing capabilities, which greatly complete
the 600-stitch set!
9960 is all about automation! Besides the aforementioned
features, this machine has electronic autopilot to allow sewing without the use
of foot controls. Then, the only thing left for you to do will be controlling
the sewing speed and stop the machine when necessary.
Like the previous model by Singer, 9960 has programmable
up/down the needle. Besides, the machine supports 25 needle positions for more
What makes 9960 even more convenient is the included extra table! It will provide you with a bigger surface to support your larger pieces of fabric. To illuminate your working area well, the machine has two bright LED lights.
Another notable feature of this model is its huge accessory set, including 18 presser feet, bonus presser feet, needle set, bobbins, screwdrivers, and much more!
The widest range of built-in stitches on the list – 600 stitches for any sewing projects!
Convenient automatic features like electronic autopilot, programmable needle, and electronic thread trimmer.
Supports 25 needle positions.
Extension facility for more work area.
Drop-in bobbin with a clear cover.
Huge accessory kit.
Not shipped internationally.
Only works with 120V current.
Don’t expect this machine to deal with thicker fabric.
What truly makes SE400 distinctive is its computer
connectivity. With this machine, you can import thousands of embroidery designs
as well as update the device in the future. This makes SE400 highly expandable
and more personalized for your needs precisely.
Even if you don’t need computer connectivity, this model has
built-in 67 stitches and designs. Although that’s much less compared to the
previous model by Singer, customizability may make this model much better for
And what makes controlling this machine extremely convenient
is its backlit easy-to-use LCD touch-screen display. With it, you will be able
to easily edit the design features of your project.
SE400 has a large working area for easier sewing of larger
fabric pieces. Despite this device having a free arm, the table’s design may
make sewing sleeves and alike more difficult for you.
As for other specifications of SE400, you won’t see anything more mind-blowing than the computer connectivity. Like most of the sewing machines, this model has an automatic tension threading system to needle and features easy bobbin preparation. The drop-in bobbin of SE400 is jam-resistant to allow you to avoid fishing for the thread.
The large surface of the work table will be illuminated by
built-in lights. They will allow you to replace additional task lights, which
take up more space.
The set of accessories of this machine is quite good – it comes with everything necessary for computer connectivity, includes feet, embroidery arm, softcover, 4″x4″ embroidery hoop, needle set, bobbin, and alike. Besides, you can get SE400 with 50-piece embroidery thread set.
Computer connectivity will allow you to personalize the machine and greatly expand the standard 67 stitches and 70 designs.
Touch-screen display for full control over the machine’s features.
Large and illuminated working area.
Convenient thread cutter.
Jam-resistant top-loaded bobbin.
Nice accessory kit.
Shipped to APO/FPO addresses and within the US only.
It only supports 120V.
The working area is not big enough to move advanced embroidery lovers.
Let us present to you with a simple and affordable model, XM2701 by Brother Sewing. It has everything necessary for beginner sewing and nothing excessive. But don’t think that this little guy lacks comfort or efficiency!
First of all, XM2701 comes with 27 built-in stitches. Although this model doesn’t have a display, you can easily select the stitch you need via the convenient stitch selector.
With an automatic threading system, you won’t unnecessarily
spend too much time on threading the machine. This lets you proceed to sew in
Another essential feature of sewing machines is bobbin winding.
With XM2701, it will be highly convenient! The top drop-in bobbin will provide
you with reliable and even stitch quality. Another nice feature of the bobbin
is its quick and easy winding.
This machine features free-arm build to make sewing sleeves
and alike much more convenient. To help with that task more, XM2701 has
built-in light to brightly illuminate the work area.
This model comes with a set of accessories like 6
quick-change sewing feet, 3-piece needle set, twin needle, bobbins, etc. What
makes this machine great for beginners is the included instructional DVD to
help you with learning the basics of sewing.
Considering all the great features above we can say Brother XM2701 is the best inexpensive sewing machine for those who learn to sew.
Simple and affordable, ideal for beginners.
Nothing excessive – only 27 built-in stitches for those who need the most basic features and nothing more!
Auto threading needle to allow you to start sewing almost instantly!
Drop-in bobbins deliver even and quality stitches.
Wide-set of accessories.
Not shipped outside the United States.
Supports 120V current only.
Won’t satisfy you if you are not a beginner sewer.
Liked Brother Sewing XM2701, but it lacked some features
important for you? Maybe Janome 2212 will satisfy you! Although this model has fewer
stitches (only 12), it has some more variety to it.
The first and maybe the most important feature for you is the
reverse lever, which will help you to easily lock the stitches. Another nice
feature is the stitch length adjustment, which will add more versatility to
your projects and, maybe, will fit your needs more.
Other features of 2212 are quite basic. The free arm will allow you to control the fabric better and sew more small pieces. The machine comes with automatic bobbin thread winding to save your time and make winding more convenient. It has an illuminated work surface to help you with sewing darker fabrics.
You can get 2212 in three options – the machine itself, machine
+ Bonus Bundle, and machine + Bonus Package. The base kit includes a set of
feet, needles, bobbins, a screwdriver, seam ripper, vinyl dust cover, etc. The
bonus bundle and bonus package generally include the same accessories – an
additional pack of bobbins and set of needles. One might argue that it’s not
much, but right now, each of the options comes at the same price.
For some, the simple design of the machine may be a huge drawback. It doesn’t have a start/stop function, it has a minimal set of built-in stitches. Overall, it is the most modest and best lightweight user friendly sewing machine for beginners on the list. But that isn’t necessarily a downside. If the features of this model are enough for you, why not consider buying it?
Now, we are going to review another quality product by Brother Sewing. With CE7070PRW, you get a larger work surface compared to the most models on the list. This model is the best sewing machine for intermediate. While it makes sewing more convenient, the absence of free arm will negatively affect the precision with smaller pieces of fabric.
This model offers a fairly wide range of features. It comes
with 70 built-in stitches and an LCD display to choose whichever one you want.
Choosing a stitch is extremely convenient – the only thing you need to do is
press a button!
Another convenient feature is the easy auto threading. No more hassle with trying to stick the thread into that tiny eye of the needle!
As with other Brother Sewing models, CE7070PRW comes with a
top-load drop-in bobbin. It ensures the stable placement of the bobbin and the
stitch quality you will need for any of your sewing projects.
The needle plate markings plus the LED-light will help you
with precise sewing during even most complex projects! This will give you more
room for your imagination!
This model comes with a big set of accessories – feet, 4 bobbins, 3-piece needle set, twin needle, cleaning brush, screwdriver, and alike.
70 built-in stitches.
Large working surface.
A display and convenient buttons for easy management of the device’s settings.
Let’s review something more eye-catching that regular sewing
machines. MO644D by Juki is suitable for generally the same tasks as sewing
machines, but being a serger makes this machine more specific.
Who would MO644D be ideal for? If you need more tidy seams,
this model will provide you with them. You could even say that the serger adds
a finishing touch to your fabrics. But how does it work?
First, this model is 2/3/4-thread, which means it can work
with up to 4 threads at once. But don’t think that you will get lost in the
threads as the color-coded threading breakaway loopers will allow you to
differentiate between different threads. Besides this nice convenience, the loopers
let you adjust the stitch length to fit your current project. This is one of
the reasons for the cleaner result delivered by this serger compared to regular
Another nice feature is the serger’s powerful knife system
with its own drive mechanism. It ensures automatic removal of excess fabric
from your cloth. The serger with its knife is capable of sewing light to medium
Lastly, Juki MO644D is covered by 5-year limited warranty.
So who should consider buying MO644D? Obviously, those who
need a cleaner result! Besides, the auto-cutting makes this machine a little
bit more convenient. This device is designed for more specific purposes than
As for functionality, one may think that this machine lacks such things like built-in stitches and auto-threading. The absence of a display might be an inconvenience for some people. But keep in mind that you cannot draw a direct comparison between sergers and sewing machines. Each machine will find its own user, and if MO644D is not for you, just continue looking for the right model!
Cleaner and faster results with this serger.
A 2/3/4-thread machine with color-coded threading breakaway loopers for easy distinguishing between different threads.
The breakaway loopers will allow you to regulate the length of the stitches.
Knife system with its dedicated drive mechanism for quick removal of excess fabric.
Works with 110V.
Can’t deal with heavier fabric.
Not necessarily a drawback, but this machine doesn’t do what sewing machines are capable of.
Yet another professional-grade sewing machine for beginners, PC420PRW by Brother Sewing has all that’s necessary for the majority of sewing applications. First of all, it comes with 294 built-in stitches for a wider range of projects you can complete with this machine. Another stitch-related feature of this model is that it can deliver 850 stitches per minute! And after you are done, the built-in thread trimmer will save your time even more by cutting the upper and lower threads for you. PC420PRW is the best sewing machine for advanced sewers.
Having around 300 stitches doesn’t mean that you will mix them
up. The LED display will ensure the easy and convenient stitch selection!
But PC420PRW is not only about its variety of stitches as you can design your own stitches thanks to the machine’s My Custom Stitch feature. They all can be saved to the internal memory, so you can access them anytime!
What makes the machine more time-efficient is its automatic
needle threader. You can start working or move on to the next project in
The work area of this machine is fairly big but not as large
as some would want it to be. Besides, PC420PRW doesn’t have a free arm, which
makes this machine not as suitable for sewing small pieces of fabric.
Among other features of the machine is the easy winding system to bobbin, pressing function for work without the foot controls, adjustable speed, and a big set of accessories.
294 built-in stitches.
The computerized machine allows you to design your own custom stitches.
LED display for easy selection and creation of your stitches.
Such features as a speed of 850 stitches per minute, auto thread trimmer, auto threading, and fast bobbin loading will greatly save your time!
Big work surface.
You can unplug the foot controls and work without them thanks to the start/stop function and the adjustable speed of the device.
Big accessory kit.
Works with 120V only.
Only shipped within the US and to APO/FPO addresses.
It has no reverse.
The design is not free-arm.
You shouldn’t expect the heavy fabric to work well with this machine.
And the last model on our list is the mechanical HD3000 by Janome. This great machine doesn’t have a huge set of built-in stitches or such conveniences like a display. But it will be extremely efficient in most tasks you will be performing, hence its high price.
This model is ideal for those who need high performance but don’t need fancy features. It only has 18 basic built-in stitches plus 1 one-step buttonhole. It doesn’t have auto needle threading system. But this machine has something that may compensate for the lack of those convenient features.
Firstly, the device has reverse stitching to help you with completing your projects. It has foot console with adjustable pressure for more control over the process of sewing. Bobbin winding won’t take much of your time as it is automatic. The arm design will let you deal with small pieces of fabric much more easily. Overall, this model has the most basic features a sewing machine would need, but what makes HD3000 stand out is its efficiency. It delivers a max speed of 860 stitches per minute!
High-performance machine for those who don’t need too many features.
18 built-in stitches plus 1 one-step buttonhole.
Reverse stitching function.
Foot controls with adjustable pressure.
Supports 120V only.
Only 18 stitches.
No start/stop feature, auto threading, and thread trimming.
Now that we are done with the reviews, let’s move on to the
buying guide. Here, we will examine the main types of sewing machines, their
general features, and who they are suitable for.
What Type Of Sewing Machine Is Best For Beginners?
There are two general types of machines – mechanical and computerized sewing machines. Mechanical sewing machines are usually much more affordable compared to computerized devices. They have the most necessary basic features like manual needle threaders, reverse speed, auto-winding bobbins, foot controls with adjustable pressure, and other functions. Among mechanical sewing machines, you can find extremely efficient models. Their significant drawback is that they are typically not as versatile as computerized machines.
With computerized machines, you get much more flexibility. They come with a bigger set of built-in stitches, have displays, auto needle threaders, and alike. One may think that these are just convenient features exclusively, but a couple of hundreds of stitches, auto threading, and thread trimmers will come in handy for those who perform high-volume projects. Some models have computer connectivity allowing you to upload custom designs and stitches to the machine while others let you create them at a site without additional devices. Obviously, computerized sewing machines are usually much more expensive compared to mechanical machines.
Besides computerized and mechanical machines, you can find more specific types, like embroidery machines and sergers (also known as overlock sewing machines). While they may lack some features like built-in stitches, they are much more effective in their job compared to common sewing machines. Embroidery machines are used to decorate fabrics while sergers deliver more flexibility in stitching. If you have more concrete needs than general sewing, look for a specific device appropriate for your needs.
Sewing machine accessories and features you should know about
You should know that the type of machine may be not as important as the accessories coming with it. And that’s why we are going to more or less in-depth review them so you get a general idea of what you will need.
Sewing machines can come with a variety of accessories like feet, needles, screwdrivers, bobbins, seam reapers, etc. For you, they may be not just minor items as they can tremendously help with your sewing projects. Today, we will generally examine some of them so you know what to look for.
Let’s start with the feet. If your budget allows you to, you
should look for a sewing machine with the richest set of feet just in case.
Besides, you can always get additional feet if you need them. So what are the
types of accessory feet?
The standard presser feet, which come as the default option with the most sewing machines.
Universal or zigzag. As the name implies, this foot is for the simplest straight, zigzag, and some decorative stitches.
Zipper feet let you stitch close to the zipper coils, which results in a more tidy appearance and allows proper zipper functioning.
Buttonhole. Buttonhole feet come in different styles, but they all will help you with creating tidy buttonholes. Some feet come with built-in memory for repeating the same buttonhole size quicker.
Blind Hem. These feet are used to create almost invisible hems.
Overlock. Overlock feet are used to neaten seam edges on the fabric. This foot is a nice alternative to having a serger.
Some specialty feet are usually not included with sewing
machines and are purchased separately. Before getting one, you should check on
what feet your model supports. Specialized feet include:
Pintuck. These feet are used to add nice tucks to your fabric. They come in different sizes for the creation of differently sized holes.
Edgestitch. Edgestitch feet are similar to blindstitch hem feet and are used for the creation of perfectly straight topstitching.
Jeans. Jeans feet are useful in creating straight and tidy seams on denim and similar heavy fabrics.
Patchwork foot is the most suitable foot for quilters.
Non-stick feet are great if you want to prevent sticking to leather and materials alike.
This list isn’t comprehensive, but it should be enough for
you to understand what to expect from accessory feet of sewing machines.
Sewing machine needles may seem insignificant, but the final result heavily depends on them. Having additional needles is necessary as using worn needles will result in broken or shredded threads, skipped stitches, uneven seams, or even fabric damage. Besides, you can find different needles for specific purposes.
There are three main types of needles used the most often for
Universal needles. These general purpose needles with a slightly rounded tip are used with woven fabric and sturdy knits.
Jersey needles. The medium ballpoint tip of these needles is designed to slip between the knit fibers without damaging them. They are especially useful with knit fabrics.
Stretch needles. are medium-ballpoint as well but have a special eye and scarf designed for stretchy fabrics like swimwear.
Besides these general types, you can find special needles for
sewing denim and leather, embroidery, and quilting. Choosing a needle, remember
to first select a type based on the fabric type or usage. Then, pick a correct
size based on the weight of the fabric and the size of the thread.
On a sewing machine, bobbins hold the bottom thread. Having a couple of them is useful for preventing thread waste when changing colors. Based on the sewing machine, it will accept different types of bobbins. Keeping spare bobbins may be quite helpful if you switch between them frequently. Most models come with 3-4 bobbins, but you can always buy more of them.
These three types of accessories are the most basic and
necessary items you will probably need to have. As for others like seam rippers
and screwdrivers, they can be somewhat considered nice conveniences.
Now, let’s view the features you will find in the most modern
sewing machines. They are not necessarily must-haves but bring a lot of comfort
to your sewing activity. The most important and useful features are:
Drop Feed dogs. This is the most critical part of sewing machines. They pull the fabric through the machine in-between stitches. While this feature is extremely important, most of the recent sewing machines come with drop feed dogs, so you won’t have to worry about them as much.
Top-loaded bobbins. This is another feature common to modern machines. With top-loaded drop-in bobbins, installing the bobbin with the thread is extremely easy. Instead of having drop-in bobbins, some older machines required their front to be disassembled in order to load the bobbin. That’s why you should look for a model with easy to install bobbins.
Built-in stitches and buttonholes. As you could have seen from the review, some sewing machines come with several hundreds of stitches and dozens of buttonholes. That doesn’t mean that you will need to get such a machine, but having a wide set of stitches is better in the long run. But you shouldn’t go for a 600-stitch machine if you will need no more than 20. Some machines even allow you to create your own designs!
Free arm design. This is, simply put, more narrow work surface. That isn’t a bad thing as the arm allows the users to work on smaller pieces of fabric much easier. Free arm machines are almost always more compact compared to sewing machines with no free arm design and larger tables. If you will be sewing small items quite a lot, you should consider getting a machine with a free arm.
Start/stop feature. This function allows you to unplug the foot console and regulate the speed with adjustment controls. This may be more convenient for some people, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be so for you. Using or not using the foot controls is more like a personal preference. If you don’t like controlling the speed of the machine with foot controls, buy a model with this feature.
Auto threading, needle trimmers, and other automatic features. These are yet other functions which will make your work a little bit easier. With auto threading, you won’t have to spend as much time on preparation as with manual threading. Some models come with needle trimmers, which cut the thread at the end of your works. Such features are not that necessary but may be quite useful if you sew quite often. They can greatly save your time!
Built-in displays. While on models with not as rich functionality a couple of buttons will do their job perfectly, more advanced sewing machines are actually much more easy to use with displays. For example, they show the currently selected stitch, which is extremely useful if the model has dozens or hundreds of them. Besides, some models will allow you to create custom designs without computers or mobile devices, which would be impossible with no display. So they are a must-have if you are going for more complex and multifunctional models.
Extension tables. Larger tables will provide you with more support during sewing. Some machines come with removable tables while others feature built-in big work surfaces. A drawback of an extension table is that they are not appropriate for working with small items. That’s not a too big issue with detachable tables (you can just remove them), but you certainly won’t have a free arm with built-in extended tables.
Some of the aforementioned features are purely for comfort
while others can make your sewing significantly easier. But how do you know
which features and, most importantly, sewing machine you need to look for?
Tips On How To Choose Your First Sewing Machine
So how do you know which model is the best rated sewing machine for beginners? Would it be a 300-stitch or a 50-stitch machine? The answer is not so simple.
To find the most fitting machine, you will need to know a
couple of things. The first is your budget. You need to know what top price you
can afford. But knowing the budget is insufficient as, for example, “$400” won’t
tell you much. You could get a 400-dollar machine with functions with no use
for you. But buying a 400- or maybe even 300-dollar machine which will suit
your demands perfectly would be much better. So, purchasing a sewing machine is
about the combination of the price and features.
Now, how do you know what specifications you should look for?
Answer the following questions:
What do you need a sewing machine for generally?
How much will you use the sewing machine?
Do you know what fabric you will be working on?
What stitches/buttonholes you will need?
What accessories would be useful for you?
Answering these questions, you will know what to look for. If you won’t be sewing frequently, you shouldn’t get a professional-grade and expensive machine. If you need only a couple of stitches, there is no point in spending money on a model with 100 of them. You better buy a 200-dollar model with all you need than 500-dollar sewing machine features of which you will hardly ever use.
What Are the Best Sewing Machine Brands Available Today?
Right now a lot of companies are making good sewing machines. Singer, Brother, Janome, Juki, Bernina are the most well known and have been trusted brands for a long time.
Which is the best sewing machine for general use and quilting?
If you are a quilter then you probably need a professional quilting machine. General sewing and quilting machine has some difference. In some cases, you can use your sewing machine for quilting but normally a general sewing machine doesn’t have wide tables for making the best quilt.
Understanding your requirements is crucial. If you know what
you are looking for, you won’t unnecessarily spend extra hundreds of dollars on
what you don’t need. Besides, knowledge will allow you to not get confused with
the huge choice of sewing machines. Regardless of your needs, being aware of
them will help you with finding the best model you can get.
And that’s why you should conduct thorough research before going to a local store or buying a sewing machine online! Find and read guides, reviews on different models, compare them and make your final choice. There is no need to hurry as it could cost you your money. Be patient, and you will get the best sewing machine for beginners you out there!