It used to be that every house had a sewing machine, fully stocked and awaiting the mending needs of the family. However, now it’s becoming more of a lost art – and just as technology is making it easier than ever before. If you’re looking to learn how to sew, but don’t have much experience, buying a sewing machine can be a tedious process.
As a beginner, you may not know what to expect from your sewing machine, and you’ll need expert advice to ensure you’re getting a good deal. Our experts have concluded that the most important features for an entry-level sewing machine are:
- an easy to understand display – whether computerized or dial-based;
- drop-in bobbin support at the top of the machine;
- a multitude of stitch styles;
- an easy to use foot pedal;
- an instruction manual to help guide you;
- an included “accessory” kit including a seam ripper, thread scissors, and a small screwdriver;
- easy reverse function (whether automatic or manual);
- and, ideally, a fair warranty to cover damages and defects.
There are a number of bonus features available on some higher-end machines, but for the beginner these features are just that – a bonus. You won’t know right away how to use these features, but they will bring you infinitely greater options once you have mastered your machine.
Top Sewing Machines for Beginner
Once you have decided which features are most important to you, you can begin to understand the product selections we have outlined for you below.
SINGER 7258 Stylist Award-Winning 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
If you’re looking for a trusted name for your first sewing machine, the SINGER 7258 could be your dream come true.
As far as sewing machines go, it’s designed to guide the beginner to an expert in no time. An automatic needle threader, drop-in bobbin system, and electronic auto-pilot help to eliminate many of the most frustrating things to master with a sewing machine, and with 100 different stitch styles you can impress your friends and family with the homemade gifts they’ll receive.
Once you’ve grown more comfortable with your machine, you can use the programmable needle-up and needle-down for turning, moving, appliqueing, and quilting. Truly, Singer is one of the top-rated brands in the industry, and their state-of-the-art LED display screen is easy to read, ensuring you won’t accidentally choose the wrong stitch. It’s also the cheapest machine on our list, at under $170, including a 25-year limited warranty and online support available at any time.
Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine
If you don’t need a fancy screen or dozens of extra stitches that you’ll never use, the Janome Magnolia 7318 is a true beginner’s machine.
Rest assured that it still comes with plenty of stitch styles that will be more than sufficient for most of your projects. The 18 included stitches (and automatic reverse button) will help you to take the wheel and learn the basics, while the jam-proof bobbin system and 7-piece feed dog help guide you in the right direction. An extra high presser foot allows you to fit more or thicker fabric under your needle, which is great if you plan to work on quilts or bulky materials. At around $249 it’s a bit more expensive than the Singer, but you won’t be overwhelmed by features you’ll never use – this machine will start you off slow and allow you to perform all your family’s basic mending and sewing tasks.
Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and 4×4 Embroidery Machine
Here’s the thing, though – not every beginner wants to start at square one, and we don’t think you should have to. The Brother SE400 is one of the most high-end models you can find that still allows you to learn at your own pace.
If you can imagine it, you can learn to create it with this precision machine. Not only do you get 67 pre-loaded sewing stitches, you also get 70 built-in embroidery designs and 5 different fonts for embroidering letters – meaning that you can create the exact craft you want without paying an arm and a leg for a professional to do it. This machine comes standard with a back-lit touch-screen to make the process of selecting your stitches and designs simple and straight forward – just touch the design you want to use!
If you happen to grow bored of the built in designs (which we seriously doubt) you can even purchase new embroidery designs online and transfer them to your machine with the included cord. There are thousands of designs available through websites such as iBroidery.com, and this is just one of many reasons why the owners of a Brother sewing machine will rave about it to everyone they know. The price is a bit steeper at around $315, but this is a machine you will never have to replace. It comes with a 25-year limited product warranty, free phone support for the life of your machine, a bilingual user manual, and a loyal fan base available all over the internet to help the new users get accustomed with their sewing machines. It can be a bit overwhelming for someone who has never used a sewing machine before, but with minimal experience, you can comfortably expand your repertoire with limitless potential.
In the end, the machine that works for you is a matter of personal opinion – some want something easier to learn, while others want something that will hold up to the test of time and allow for updates in the future. No matter what your personal demands may be, these three machines cover the full spectrum from the first timer to the seasoned veteran. Your ideal machine will be determined by your budget and technological prowess. For myself, I think I’ll choose the Brother – there are literally no limits to what you can create.