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Sewing is such a great skill to have that can come in handy for the rest of your life. It is especially great for designers or people who love to craft and can make your hobby even more enjoyable.

Benefits of Buying a Sewing Machine for Beginners

One benefit of buying a sewing machine, in general, is that it saves you tons of time. Sewing by hand is extremely tedious, especially on large projects. It can also be a painful process because it is pretty much guaranteed you’ll prick yourself at least once.

A sewing machine streamlines the process and makes it easy to complete large projects quickly. A sewing machine can do all sorts of stitches that are really hard to do by hand, and some of the high-end ones can do over 200 stitches.

Also, a benefit of buying a sewing machine made for beginners is that it won’t be too advanced or complicated. Sewing machines geared towards beginners are meant to be learning tools, something to practice on and learn with.

Usually, sewing machines for beginners will just have a few basic stitches and maybe some fancier ones. They won’t have so many options as to overwhelm you or confuse you.

Another benefit of buying a sewing machine is that you can actually expand your imagination while saving money. If you know how to sew you can customize just about anything you want to. You can create bags, skirts, pillows, and more, with just a few basic stitches.

The more you make, the more you learn and the more advanced projects you can do. By making your own products, you will also save money because you will only be paying for the bare materials, no markups.

Best of all, sewing is just plain fun. It is a great creative outlet for both kids and adults and can build a sense of accomplishment and pride in people.

Whether you are following someone else’s design or designing your own from scratch, when you finish it and get to see the final product, it’s a great moment.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Sewing Machine for Beginners

What is your budget?

Determining your budget will help guide you in your search. If you are on a very tight budget, there is no need to look at sewing machines you can’t afford, no matter how cool they look.

Setting a budget and sticking to machines in your range will also keep you from splurging on the coolest one you see, which you are likely to do if you go in blind without a budget.

How often do you plan on sewing?

It is also a good idea to consider how often you plan on using the machine before you buy it. This may help you come up with your budget too. If you plan on using your machine only occasionally, for maybe a few small projects a year, there is no need to invest hundreds of dollars into a machine.

However, if you are serious about learning to sew and you plan on sewing a lot, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a good machine.

Mechanical or computerized?

All sewing machines are either mechanical or computerized, both of which have pros and cons. On one hand, mechanical machines are lighter and easier to carry around, especially back and forth from class, they are easy to maintain, and cheaper to service.

However, mechanical machines may struggle when dealing with heavyweight fabrics and often do not have as many stitches as computerized models.

On the other hand, computerized machines have heavy motors, which are very powerful and can handle heavy fabrics. Computerized machines also have more stitching options than mechanical machines, although this isn’t always necessary for a beginner.

However, that nice, powerful, programmable machine comes at a price, they tend to be more expensive than mechanical machines, so if you are on a budget, you may want to consider the best way to spend your money.

What comes with the machine?

Lastly, it is a good idea to consider what else comes with the machine. You want to know how big the motor is, the bigger and heavier the motor, the more powerful it is.

You will also want to know what, if any, attachments come with the machine, and you will definitely want to know about the warranty on the machine. Although small details like this shouldn’t be the only deciding factor in your decision, they can certainly play a role.

Tips for Choosing the Best Sewing Machine for Your Needs

Sewing machines can have a lot of small features and it may be hard to take it all in, but it’s important that you look at the features of the machines and see which ones sound like what you need. It sounds pretty straightforward, but that’s all there is to it.

If you know you want to sew a certain thing, like pants, look for a machine that can do the stitches needed to make pants. Of course, this requires a bit of research on your end, but it is all worth it in the end.

Another useful feature to look out for is a top loading drop-in bobbin. It is not absolutely necessary, but it can make things a lot easier.

For one, it is easier to load the thread in a top loading bobbin, all you have to do is drop it in, whereas, with a front loading bobbin, you’d have to take the front of the machine apart.

Top loading bobbins also allow you to see when your thread is running low, unlike front loading bobbins, which can be a huge help and can spare you from running out of thread in the middle of a project.

One of the things I highly recommend is choosing a sewing machine with free arm capability; this ensures that the sewing machine will almost certainly suit your needs.

Free arm capability allows you to sew cuffs, collars, hems, and other difficult areas. Buying a machine without a free arm will significantly limit what you can do with it. Luckily, all of the machines on the list below have free arm capability!

1 – Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

Top Features/ Specs

Number of Built-in Stitches: 27
Max Sewing Speed: 800 Stitches/min
Automatic Reverse Stitching:
Bobbin Type: Top Loading Drop-in
Weight: 12.6 lbs

What’s Included: 6 accessory sewing feet, 3-piece needle set, twin needle, screwdriver, extra spool pin, 4 bobbins, darning plate, Power cord, Instructional DVD, and English/Spanish operation manual.

Warranty: 25-year limited warranty and free online and over the phone tech support for life.

Easy Stitch Selector

This machine from Brother features an easy stitch selector, which is an easy to use dial with the 27 different built-in stitches to choose from. With a simple turn of the dial, you can select any stitch you’d like.

Automatic Needle Threader

The automatic needle threader is one my favorite features because it keeps me sane. Threading a needle by hand is difficult, even for seasoned sewers. I’d even go as far as to say it’s one of the most difficult parts, it’s certainly the least fun part, so the fact that this machine threads the needle for you, by just pushing a lever, is great.

Easy Buttonholes

At some point, you will almost certainly have to create buttonholes. Creating buttonholes can be tricky on some machines, but not this one. With a preset buttonhole setting, you can create perfect buttonholes in just one step. The buttonholes are also customizable to any size you need.

Pros:

A big benefit of this machine is that it comes with a very informational DVD. This DVD will teach you everything you need to know to get started, which is especially great for beginners.

However, another cool feature I didn’t get to mention is the built-in LED light in the work area. This allows you to get a good look at what you are working on, which is always helpful.

Cons:

The only possible downside of this machine is its beautiful floral paisley pattern. I know this doesn’t sound like a downside, and for most people, it isn’t, but if you are buying this machine for your son, or some other male in your life, they may not like the pattern. That being said, the pattern can easily be overlooked for such a good machine.

2 – Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

Top Features/ Specs

Number of Built-in Stitches: 23
Max Sewing Speed: 1,100 Stitches/min
Automatic Reverse Stitching: Yes
Bobbin Type: Top Loading Drop-in
Weight: 14.5 lbs

What’s Included: 4 accessory sewing feet, Seam Ripper, Lint Brush, Quilting Guide, Needles, Bobbins, Screwdriver, Auxiliary Spool Pin, Spool Pin Felt, Soft-Sided Dust Cover, Power Cord, and an instruction manual
Warranty: 25-year limited warranty.

Presser Foot Pressure Control

You can easily control the amount of power you use with the amount of pressure you apply to the foot pedal. This may take some practice at first, as beginners are likely to have a lead foot, but once you get good at controlling the pressure, you can sew just about any fabric. Pro tip: use less pressure on thin, sheer fabrics, and more pressure on heavy-duty fabrics.

Stainless Steel Bedplate

The stainless steel bedplate on the Singer 4423 allows you to sew virtually any fabric without it getting caught or stuck. The bedplate does exactly what it is supposed to do, it support the fabric and needle, while still allowing the fabric to easily glide over the surface.

Powerful Motor

Lastly, Singer boasts of the powerful motor on this machine, which is 60% stronger than standard machines. As we know, mechanical machines tend to have a harder time with heavyweight fabrics, but the Heavy Duty 4423 can handle any fabric, from chiffon to denim.

Pros:

As I mentioned earlier, I really like machines with automatic threaders. These days, most machines actually come with an automatic threader, this one included.

The automatic threader makes the whole setup process quick and allows you to get to the fun stuff, the actual sewing, a lot faster.

Cons:

The only problem I have with this machine is that it doesn’t come with any kind of tutorial like the previous Brother machine. However, this does not take away from the actual performance of the machine, so I consider it negligible. Plus, if you really want some tutorials, there are tons of helpful ones available on the Singer website.

3 – Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine

Top Features/ Specs

Number of Built-in Stitches: 60
Max Sewing Speed: 850 Stitches/min
Automatic Reverse Stitching: Yes

Bobbin Type: Top Loading Drop-in

Weight: 13 lbs

What’s Included: 9 accessory sewing feet, accessory pouch with needle set, twin needle, spool pin, 3 bobbins, cleaning brush, seam ripper, screwdriver, eyelet punch, power cord, Operation Manual, hard protective case, oversized table, and quick start guide.

Warranty: 25-year limited warranty

LCD Stitch Selector

Unlike the previous machines, the Brother CS6000i features an easy to use LCD display stitch selector. You can choose which stitch you want from any of the 60 built-in stitches, and you can also easily adjust the stitch length and width using the LCD screen, making it one of the most user-friendly machines on the list.

Stop/Start Button

With the start/stop button, you have the option of using this machine without any kind of foot control. This can be good for beginners who have not mastered the foot control yet and just want to get some practice in.

You may be wondering how you adjust the speed without a foot control, and the answer lies with the stitch speed slide, which gives you full control over how fast or slows you want your machine to sew.

LED Lit Work Area

The work area of this machine is well lit with LED lighting. This ensures that you can see exactly what you are doing, what your stitches look like, and where your stitches are going. This can be especially useful in dimly lit rooms or while working with dark fabrics and dark threading.

Pros:

One feature that I kind of glossed over, but I think is a huge benefit, is the oversized table that is included with this machine. This makes it easier to handle large projects, like quilts and gives you plenty of space to work.

Cons:

The only downside of this machine is that it has no option to adjust the screen brightness. This isn’t really a huge deal since you can read the screen in pretty much any lighting, it would just be a nice little extra feature to have.

4 – Singer Stylist 7258 Sewing Machine

Top Features/ Specs

Number of Built-in Stitches: 100
Max Sewing Speed: 750 Stitches/min
Automatic Reverse Stitching: Yes
Bobbin Type: Top Loading Drop-in
Weight: 14.6 lbs

What’s Included: 10 accessory sewing feet, Pack of Needles, Bobbins, Thread Spool Caps, Auxiliary Spool Pin, Spool Pin Felt, Darning Plate, Needle Plate Screwdriver, Seam Ripper, Lint Brush, Soft-Sided Dust Cover, Power Cord, Multi-Lingual Instruction Manual (English, Spanish, and French), and Machine Intro DVD.

Warranty: 25-year limited warranty

Push Button Stitch Selection

It is super easy to choose what stitch you want to use with just the push of a button. The optimum settings are already in place for the stitches, but you can still adjust the length and width of the stitches, giving you even more control.

13 Needle Positions

Most machines only have 3 or so needle positions, which is why I haven’t mentioned them. But the Singer Stylist has 13 different needle positions that you can choose from.

With 13 different positions, you can put the needle anywhere you want to, allowing you to place stitches exactly where you want to.

If you are brand new to sewing, don’t worry too much about this, to begin with. But later down the road, you will want to experiment with different needle positions on certain projects.

Six-Segment Feeding System

The six segment feeding system of this machine allows it to seamlessly and smoothly pick up the fabric in the front and support it all the way until it reaches the back. This makes for smoother sewing and helps avoid jamming.

Pros:

The LED workspace is obviously a huge plus, but what I really like about this machine is its design. The color, a peaceful blue, is very versatile and widely appealing.

On top of that, the machine also features visual representations of each stitch and the number that corresponds to it. This lets you know exactly what the stitch is going to look like, so you know exactly what you are getting.

Cons:

For a beginner sewer, 100 stitches can be overwhelming. A majority of the stitches, 76, are decorative stitches and aren’t likely to be used by a beginner in the first place.

However, if you know you are going to be serious about sewing, and see yourself doing it for a while, there is nothing wrong with going ahead and purchasing this one.

That way you will already have all the fancy stitches when you feel competent enough to use them and you won’t have to buy a new machine.

5 – Janome 2212 Sewing Machine

Top Features/ Specs

Number of Built-in Stitches: 12
Max Sewing Speed: 1,000 Stitches/min
Automatic Reverse Stitching: Yes
Bobbin Type: Front Loading
Weight: 13 lbs

What’s Included: Power cord, 4 accessory sewing feet, bobbin, needle set, screwdriver, seam ripper, vinyl dust cover, and an instruction book

Warranty: 25-year limited warranty

Stitch Selection Dial

You can’t go wrong with the classic stitch selection dial. This makes it easy to choose from the 12 built-in stitches, and you can also easily adjust the length and width of the stitches. With only 12 stitches, the dial is not overcrowded and is easy to use.

Free Arm Capability

Like I said earlier, it is very important that your sewing machine has free arm capability. On this machine, in particular, the free arm allows you to perfect difficult designs, especially curved ones, like collars. The free arm allows you maximum movement so you can easily stitch in hard to reach or awkward areas, especially when dealing with small projects.

Included Light

As with any machine, a well-lit work area is important. The included light ensures that you have a clear view of your work area and what is happening. The light doesn’t have to always be used, but I recommend using it when you are working with dark fabrics at the very least.

Sometimes it can be hard to see where your stitches are going on dark fabric, especially while using dark thread, and the light lets you make sure the stitches are in the right place.

Pros:

Another advantage of this machine not listed in the top features is its drop feed. The feed dogs on a sewing machine are the small teeth that grab the fabric from below and feed it through the machine. By lowering, or dropping these feeds, you can make free motion sewing possible, which may come in handy on large projects.

Cons:

This is the only machine on the list with a front loading bobbin. As I discussed earlier, this doesn’t take away from the performance of the machine; it just makes loading the bobbin a bit more tedious. However, besides the front loading bobbin, I have no complaints about this great machine.

Who’s the Winner?

Although all of these machines are great options for beginners, in the end, the Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine reigns supreme. It has tons of great features that make it perfect for a beginner, including the automatic threader and easy stitch selector.

However, what made this machine number one in my book is its stellar performance and all the great bonus items. The instructional DVD, in particular, is extremely helpful in learning how to sew and it is tailor-made for the machine, so it is easy to follow.

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