- by Vickie
Learning to sew can be one of the most rewarding skills that you can acquire.
It is a great way to bond with your daughter, mother or even grandmother. Most of the skills that I have learned have come down from my mother and grandmother, it has been an awesome way to bond with the ladies of my family and learn some quality skills straight from the source.
There truly is no better feeling than being able to mend old clothes back into their former prime, creating your own new clothes or being able to make different kinds of gifts & household nick-nacks for loved ones.
But most importantly of all SEWING IS FUN and is a fantastic way to relax and unwind after a busy day or week.
When you are starting out sewing deciding which sewing machine you should get is a daunting task, it has even been known to scare off potential seamstress.
Never fear, I am here to help guide you through buying your very first sewing machine. I have been in your position before and know how hard it can be.
In this article, I will be breaking down the most common question when buying a beginners sewing machine, then breaking down 5 of the best sewing machine for beginners to make your first buying experience easy peasy.
The Best Sewing Machines For Beginners 2018 – Comparison Table
What Are The Basics of a Sewing Machine?
As a beginner sewer just starting out on the quest to become one of the greats, it is important to remember you don’t need to buy a machine that has tonnes of different features and un-necessary stitches and modes.
The best sewing machine for beginners is a machine that has the below 4 key elements:
Who Are These Sewing Machines For?
I have chosen these 5 sewing machines for those of you out there with little to no sewing experience out there. It doesn’t matter if you have never seen a sewing machine before or if you have only played around on your mother’s machine on a rainy day.
These machines are user-friendly, relatively inexpensive and reliable. They are a great machine to learn the basics on and will be a great machine to keep around as a back up once you progress and advance onto a new machine. Anyone from a complete novice to an intermediate sewer will appreciate these machines.
How I Decided On My Top Sewing Machine For Beginners
There are hundreds of different brands of sewing machines out there, and even more different sewing machine models. So how did I narrow all these sewing machines down to just 5 of the best starter sewing machines?
For each machine, I took into account the below key points which are essential to a good sewing machine for beginners.
After taking these key points into consideration I have come up with my list of the best sewing machine for beginners.
The Best Computerized Sewing Machines of 2018 – Individual Reviews
My Favourite Features of The Brother SE400
From the Manufacturer
Pros & Cons Of the Janome 8077
Overall Thoughts of The Brother SE400 Sewing Machine
The Brother SE400 computerized sewing and embroidery machine is a great machine for those of you out there who are tech savvy and have an ambition of becoming a professional seamstress. It is a very versatile machine that will allow you to do almost any kind of sewing you can dream of.
The machine is in the leading pack of the new generation of sewing machines and is packed full of pre-loaded features. Featuring 5 lettering fonts, 98 stitch pattern, 67 different stitching patterns, 70 built-in embroidery designs, and 8 different presser feet.
If you are up to date with your electronics and are tech savvy it is an easy machine to use, however, if you are more of a traditionalist who doesn’t use a whole lot of tech you may want to stay away from this machine. It can be frustrating to figure out how to use all the technical features and buttons. The option to upgrade and download patterns is truly fantastic. Being fairly tech savvy I found the whole process very easy, but again might be a bit of an issue for those who are not so tech savvy.
Overall it is a fantastic machine and one that will give the user a lot of versatility and options. It is lightweight, easy to store and transport. A perfect choice for the beginner who loves their tech features and computer synchronization.
My Favourite Features of The Singer 4423
- 1General purpose presser foot
- 2Zipper foot
- 3Buttonhole foot
- 4Button sewing foot
- 5Quilting/edge guide
- 6Additional needle pack
- 8Spool caps
- 9Auxiliary spool pin
- 10Spool pin felt
- 11Seam ripper
- 12Lint brush
- 13Soft dust cover
From the Manufacturer
Pros and Cons of the Singer 4423
Overall Thoughts of The Singer 4423 Sewing Machine
The Singer 4423 is a heavy-duty sewing machine suited to those beginners who want to invest in a machine that is going to stay with them for years to come.
Thanks to its beginner friendly features such as the automatic needle threader and 1 step buttonhole it will help you go from total beginner to professional seamstress in no time.
it is a fairly heavy machine so it is not an ideal machine for those of you out there who do not have a dedicated swing area at home, or for those who plan to take the machine with them.
Considering the machine power, beginner friendly features, price and durability of this machine this is a fantastic machine and one of the best value for money machines out there at the moment.
When it comes to functionality the 4423 is a great machine, it has no problems sewing on thicker materials like canvas, corduroy, denim, leather or vinyl. When it comes to delicate fabrics you won’t have any issues either, lycra, silk, and satin are all safe.
Overall I would have no hesitation recommending the Singer 4423 to anyone if you are looking for a cheaper machine that will last and see you through your beginner stages (or you just want a reliable, cheap machine) the Singer 4423 is the one for you!
My Favourite Features of The Singer 7258
Pros and Cons of the Singer 7258
Pros and Cons of the Singer 7258
Overall Thoughts of The Singer 7258
The Singer 7258 is an automatic sewing machine that beginners will love. It has lots of automatic features great for beginners. The automatic needle thread, thread tension, and magnetic bobbin system make the set up a breeze.
The machine has a maximum speed of 750 stitches per minute which can be adjusted within seconds using the adjustment lever.
Other helpful features include the free arm feature which makes creating collars, cuffs, sleeves and hems a piece of cake. Great for quick fixes or for learning new techniques.
Thanks to the automatic systems set up out of the box are fast and simple, a very welcoming machine for beginners. The work surface is well-lit thanks to the LED bulb installed.
Overall the Singer 7258 is an easy to use machine that has lots of pre-loaded features and stitches. I would not hesitate to recommend this machine to anyone who needs a quality first machine that is able to be taken anywhere.
My Favourite Features of The Singer 4411
From the Manufacturer
Pros and Cons of the Singer 4411
Overall Thoughts of The Singer 4411
The Singer 4411 is not much to look at, but its what is on the inside that counts right? The Singer 4411 is a manual machine that has a very solid construction and has all the essential features to get you sewing.
This machine is best suited for those beginner sewers who are on a budget but still want a reliable, heavy duty machine. The 4411 does not feature an automatic threader, however, does include a very powerful motor capable of making 1100 stitches per minute. It also has no issue sewing through tough denim or leather.
It is a fairly heavy machine because of the metal frame, and it is best when set up on a sturdy table.
Because it is not jam packed full of features the 4411 is one of the cheapest units on this list, however, it is still one that I would recommend for the beginner who wants to learn how to sew while learning everything from threading a needle to tensioning your thread.
My Favourite Features of The Janome HD1000
From the Manurfacturer
Pros and Cons of the Janome HD1000
Overall Thoughts of The Janome HD1000
If you are looking for a cheap, very solid machine you need the Janome HD1000. This machine is a very basic sewing machine equipped with only the very basic features. This is reflected in the affordable price.
It is a great machine for a beginner who is looking to mend clothing and learn the basics of sewing without getting distracted by unnecessary features or add-ons.
Learn all the basics without breaking the bank!
Can You Get Different Types of Computerized Sewing Machines?
Today just about every sewing machine is in some way computerized.
The computerized aspect is generally found within automatic threading, thread tension, or speed control. They are also some of the things that many sewers seem to struggle with, especially as beginners.
Having automatic computerized features helps to make sewing less stressful and complicated while adding more fun into the mix.
Now if you’re already able to handle sewing and machines and want to step up your game, then you may be ready for some of the other automatic features that computerized sewing machines can provide.
Some of these functions include programmable monogramming, stitch patterns, and embroidery patterns. If it’s something that interests you can also set up some makes and models to create automatically rolled hems, seams, and some other various sewing chores that you need to get done.
If you’re looking to get a model that is top-of-the-line, then chances are, you will get everything automatic. That leaves you to simply select your preferred stitching and pattern, then install your spool or bobbin, control your speed as desired and create!
What Are the Common Problems of a Computerized Sewing Machine?
Now, with a computerized sewing machine, you need to be aware that one of the biggest issues that occurs with them is that they are indeed vulnerable to issues involving software.
Your computerized sewing machine can easily turn into one big paperweight if there is even a single bad file in your firmware update.
There is also a vulnerability which can occur when using a USB flash stick to download or directly copy pattern files to the machine. This is not necessarily a fault of the computerized sewing machine but something to keep in mind.
What Is the Price of a Computerized Sewing Machine?
When it comes to picking out a sewing machine, most people have a budget that they’d like to stick to, so it is important to know what you’re getting for your money.
If you’re just looking for the basics when it comes to computerized sewing machines and only needs a couple of features then you can more than likely find the right one for under $200.
However, if you are looking to get the top-of-the-line with all of the automatic features then you’ll more than likely end up paying thousands for it.
Most sewers that want to get more than one or two features but aren’t looking to spend a tone on them should expect to pay around $500.
You can even go a little higher than that and get more customization for your machine, or if you don’t want to go that high then you should keep in mind that you can still get customization, but you’ll be doing it all by hand rather than by the computerized sewing machine.
How I Tested The Sewing Machines
When testing the machines, it was important that I came up with a list of tests that I would do on each machine so I could compare, rate and rank the machines against each other.
What Are The Most Important Features of a Sewing Machine For Beginners?
- 1Automatic Buttonholer: Even for the most skilled professional seamstress, buttonholes can be very difficult. Having a machine that has an automatic buttonhole feature can be a lifesaver. You can get a variety of different styles of automatic buttonholer from 1 step to 5 step.
- 2A Decent Light: Nowadays most machines come with decent LED lights. The older models usually come fitted with halogen lights, to me, it doesn’t really matter which kind of light it is as long as it has enough power to light up your sewing surface that is all you need!
- 3Adjustable Needle Feature: Having an adjustable needle allows you to adjust the needle off center to the left or right. This feature comes in handy for when your edge stitching or straight stitching.
- 4Adjustable Presser-Foot Pressure: Having the ability to adjust the amount of pressure needed to work the presser foot is handy to have when you are using a wide range of fabrics.
- 5Adjustable Feed Dog Height: When you are sewing a variety of different materials it is good to be able to adjust the feed dog height. For those who are unsure, the feed dog is the little metal piece at the bottom of the needle that helps feed the material through the needle.
- 6Built-in Needle Threader: A built-in needle threader will make your life a whole lot easier. Especially if you are sewing with different colors and always changing your thread. This feature is not essential as such, however, if you don’t have the best eyesight you may want to seriously consider this feature as a must-have.
- 7Easy To Use: Your sewing machine must be easy to use. You should not need to go through dozens of settings, turn or flick a lot of stitches and knobs to get started. You want the machine to be as easy to navigate as possible.
- 8Smooth Stitching: Your machine should produce a nice even seam and stitching. The last thing that you want when you are learning to sew is your machine to wander. It is very important that your machine guides your material through at an even, smooth paste. This goes for all material types from thin to thick.
- 9Variety of Presser Feet: As you progress in your sewing career you will want to pick up new skills and techniques. As you learn new skills and techniques you will need a new specialty foot to make the most of your new learned skill. Additional presser feet include edge stitching foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, invisible zipper foot, a blind stitch foot, and a clear plastic foot. Having a machine that is capable of being compatible with generic brands is important as using brand only presser feet and other add-ons can be expensive.
- 10Up/Down Needle Feature: This feature lets you decide what happens to the needle when you take pressure off the foot control. You can either have the needle stay embedded in the fabric or have it automatically raise out of the fabric. This feature of more common on the more advanced and more expensive machines so may not be applicable in this listing of machines.
Common Sewing machine Issues
Like all technology sewing machines have their issues, some are easy to fix and some can be a little more complicated. One of the biggest issues (and one that I do not recommend you try and fix yourself without consulting a professional) is the thread tension.
Having the right thread tension is essential to a smooth sew. Having a poor thread tension will usually result in puckering, an unstable loose seam or just a plain old ugly seam. If the tension is too tight you can find yourself with broken thread that has found its way into every little nook and cranny of your machine internals, and I must warn you getting it out is not an enjoyable exercise by any stretch of the imagination.
However, if you are having issues with your machine and think that it may be the thread tension, I would very strongly suggest that you check the below first before you jump on in and start playing with your tension dial.