In this guide we’ll look at the best sewing machines for beginners.
we’ve compared ease-of-use, features, size and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Sewing Machine For Beginners?
More Detailed Beginner Sewing Machine Reviews
The Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine is an award-winning machine that offers versatility and user-friendly features at a reasonable price-point. While it’s perfect for a complete beginner, it’s a wonderful option for sewists of all skill levels. As you learn and grow, this machine will grow with you.
With 60 unique stitches and a built-in free arm ideal for pant legs and sleeves, this machine is ideal for the up-and-coming garment maker or quilter. It’s surprisingly quiet, and winding bobbins is super-simple. The built-in needle threader allows sewists to skip the tedious step of threading a tiny needle. No matter what you dream of sewing, this Brother model will simplify the process.
With adjustable sewing speeds, this machine easily adapts, allowing you to sew at your own pace. As your confidence increases, your sewing speed can increase, too. In fact, the CS6000i has a top sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute.
This model comes with an extra-large table, making it ideal for quilts and other oversized projects. And while this machine is lightweight (13lbs) and portable, it’s also durable and comes with Brother’s limited 25-year warranty.
In addition to the machine itself, Brother includes lots of accessories, including eight versatile feet. I also appreciate that it comes with a hard protective case and a built-in light, although I do wish the light was brighter.
While the CS6000i is truly my top pick for beginner sewists, due to its user-friendly features, versatility, and affordable price-point, I feel compelled to urge anyone who purchases this machine to pay close attention to the initial set-up instructions. Setting up your machine correctly will ensure a pleasant sewing experience.
Singer’s 4423 Sewing Machine is an excellent value. Along with being affordable and versatile, this model has been dubbed a workhorse. It’s sure to last for years to come. Whether you plan to sew clothing, quilts and blankets, gifts, or household items, the 4423 will produce professional-grade products you’ll be proud to display or share.
With 23 built-in stitches, this machine includes less stitch options than the Brother model highlighted above, though there are still plenty of options for beginner and intermediate sewists. Noteworthy features include an automatic needle threader, a heavy-duty metal frame, and a top sewing speed of 1,100 stitches per minute. Singer has also included a powerful motor, which is advertised as being 60% stronger than its competitors. I was quite surprised that this heavy-duty machine is rather quiet.
I love the top drop-in bobbin and the myriad of accessories Singer includes with the 4423 model. There are four presser feet, including a buttonhole foot and a zipper foot. Also included are a seam ripper, extra needles and bobbins, a screwdriver, and a soft-sided dust cover. You’ll receive virtually everything you need to get started on your sewing journey.
Singer includes a generous 25-year limited warranty plan, so you can purchase this machine with confidence. The installation and user manuals are readily available online if you’d like to review these materials before purchasing.
There are very few budget-friendly, heavy-duty machines on the market. If you’re looking for an affordable machine, plan to use it regularly and/or you’ll be sewing heavier fabrics, the 4423 is an excellent option. I will say that because it’s lightweight (just 14.5lbs), it tends to move around on my work surface, which can be rather annoying. Despite this minor drawback, I’d highly recommend this model to any new sewist.
If you’re a beginner sewist searching for a machine without the bells and whistles, the Janome 2212 may be the perfect machine for you. This lightweight (15lb), portable model includes just 12 built-in stitches. However, its built-in free arm and drop feed make it one of my favorite entry-level machines.
While I’d recommend this machine for a sewing novice, you’ll likely want to hang onto it as you gain knowledge and skills.
I love that this model sews up to 860 stitches per minute. It is also heavy-duty enough to sew through heavier fabrics, making it suitable for just about any project.
As a beginner, it’s important to have plenty of extra materials on-hand, and Janome has you covered with this bundle. Along with the machine, you’ll receive a 10-pack of extra bobbins and a package of size 14 needles.
One drawback that I do feel compelled to mention is that Janome didn’t include any decorative stitches with this model, which is a bit of a bummer.
When you power this machine on, the built-in light comes on automatically, unlike many models that have a dedicated on/off switch for the light. The machine is also slightly noisier than the above-mentioned models.
If you plan to take this machine on the go, you’ll need to purchase a carrying case separately.
I had a difficult time finding warranty information for Janome sewing machines. If you have any questions regarding warranty info, you can contact Janome directly.
The Brother CS5055PRW Sewing Machine is ideal for beginners who are looking to expand their sewing skills and knowledge. This model includes 50 built-in stitches, 6 specialty feet, and at less than 15lbs, it’s lightweight and easy to tote.
This award-winning machine produces professional-grade products, and it sews up to 850 stitches per minute, giving you complete control over your sewing speed as you learn and grow. It easily sews through heavier fabric, making it very versatile. The machine is also rather quiet when in use.
The automatic needle threader works great, making threading needles a breeze. I also appreciate the quick-set top bobbin feature, and the LCD display screen is an awesome bonus, although the screen isn’t equipped with a light, so it can be a bit difficult to read.
All of the built-in stitches are displayed right on the front of the machine, making it super-easy to view each stitch at a glance. There are five size options for buttonholes, which I especially love when sewing garments.
Brother includes a bag of accessories, including extra bobbins and needles. There’s also a cleaning brush, as well as a screwdriver, an extra spool pin, and a seam ripper.
The machine comes with a one-year limited warranty covering the machine and accessories. There is also a limited 25-year warranty that covers the metal inner chassis.
Brother doesn’t include a case with this machine, so you’ll need to purchase one separately. This universal carrying case (also by Brother) fits the CS5055PRW well.
I should mention that the built-in LED light isn’t all that bright, which is the case with many entry level sewing machines. You may need an additional light on hand to illuminate your sewing area.
There’s no doubt about it… This Brother model is an excellent value. With 27 built-in stitches, 6 sewing feet, and a versatile free arm, I’d highly recommend the Brother XM2701 to any new sewist.
The included drop-in top bobbin is jam resistant and easy to manipulate. In addition to basic stitches, this Brother model includes decorative stitch options for a creative sewing experience. The stitch selector is incredibly easy to use, and the automatic needle threader allows you to spend your time sewing rather than threading needles. As with many sewing machine lights, the included light is rather dim, so you may need an additional crafting light to see your projects clearly.
The XM2701 weighs just under 16lbs, making it portable. I do wish it came with a case. However, the universal carrying case mentioned above works perfectly with this machine.
As there are three Brother models included in my top 5 sewing machines for beginners, I should mention that Brother provides ongoing online and technical support for all of their machines.
In addition to the 25-year warranty covering the inner chassis, Brother also includes a generous limited one-year warranty for parts, labor, and accessories. Also included is a 5-year limited warranty for the machine’s electronic components.
While I wouldn’t recommend sewing oversized projects on this machine, it’s a great starter machine that includes plenty of extras.
Beginner Sewing Machine Buying Guide
As you have probably noticed, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for a great sewing machine that’s suitable for a beginner. With that being said, I’d like to recommend some features to look for and tips to keep in mind while shopping for your first sewing machine. No machine is one-size-fits-all, so be sure to make note of your sewing plans and goals before deciding which machine is right for you.
Important Features for Beginners
There are several must-have features to look for, as well as a few nice-to-have features that will ease you into machine sewing. If you don’t have a dedicated sewing area and will be storing your machine when it’s not in use, I’d highly recommend opting for a lightweight machine. You’ll also need a carrying case. As mentioned in the above reviews, not all machines come with a case, so you may want to purchase one separately.
Look for a machine with an automatic needle threader. This will save you precious time and frustration. And if you don’t plan to upgrade your machine once you’ve mastered the basics, choose a machine that will grow with you. I personally prefer a machine with lots of built-in decorative stitches, such as my #1 pick for beginners—the Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine.
Peace of mind is incredibly important when making a sewing machine purchase. For this reason, I tend to opt for machines that include excellent warranties with clear instructions for registration and repairs. Brother’s warranty is particularly generous and easy to understand.
All of the machines I’ve highlighted above are budget-friendly machines. You may spend a few extra bucks on a heavy-duty model, like the Singer 4423, but there’s not a considerable price difference between any of the machines I’ve reviewed. For this reason, I’d recommend choosing a machine that’s within your budget that includes plenty of included features. You seriously can’t go wrong with the 5 I’ve reviewed.
Consider Your Plans and Goals
If your plan is to occasionally hem garments or sew curtains, a basic model will do the trick. If you’d like to flex your creative muscles and attempt a variety of projects, however, I’d recommend a machine with plenty of decorative stitches, a variety of presser feet, and adjustable sewing speed.
One of the most frustrating aspects of machine sewing is trying to create fun and unique projects on a machine with limited features. Many experienced sewists recommend purchasing a machine with the most features that fits within your budget, but it’s important to keep in mind that a wide variety of built-in features may overwhelm a new sewist who plans to sew only basic projects.
The bottom line? Identify your sewing goals and choose a user-friendly machine that will help you reach them.
There’s nothing I love more than helping new sewists get started. I hope this guide helps you choose a machine you’ll love and use for years to come.