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The Best Sewing Machines for Beginners

woman sitting at a sewing table and operating a white sewing machine on a piece of pink fabric

If you’re a beginner crafter who wants to dedicate more time to sewing and crafting, it might be time to invest in your first sewing machine. It’s a big decision to make, but it will save you so much time in the long run and give you much better chances to hone your skills. If you’re not sure where to start look or are intimidated by the prospect of picking out and using your very first sewing machine, not to worry. While sewing machines are relatively complex devices, there are models designed with less experienced sewers in mind that will help ease you into using and owning your own. Here are some great options for beginner sewers.

What You Need to Know Before Making a Purchase

  • Quality: Sewing machines are complex devices with a lot of mechanical parts that can fail. It’s important that you do your research before purchasing one to make sure the build quality meets your standards. There’s no point in spending your money on a machine that’s just going to fall apart in a few months, after all. Look for sewing machines labeled as heavy-duty and made with premium materials to ensure you’re buying a good quality machine that will last.
  • Features: Another thing you’re going to want to consider is the features you want the most out of your sewing machine. Some are controlled by buttons and/or knobs, others are computerized. Computerized sewing machines can be especially handy for beginners, since they’ll often display how to thread the machine, fill a bobbin, etc. Most models will have at least a few built-in utility, specialty, or decorative stitches. Some can handle slightly more complicated tasks like buttonholes, zippers, and sleeves. Others will have expandable or larger platform trays to better hold bigger pieces of fabric, or other useful features like an automatic backstitch, several different speed options, a safety needle guard, and a built-in light.
  • Cost: Like many pieces of technology, sewing machine can run a bit on the pricey side. Even for a beginner-friendly model, be prepared to spend some money on your new tool. That doesn’t mean you have to empty your bank account to buy a sewing machine. If you want all the bells, whistles, and adjustable knobs, you’re likely going to have to spend a pretty penny. But if you’re okay with something more standard, we’ve rounded up some more budget-friendly options.

Top Choice: Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

off white sewing machine with a blue background and purple designs around the knob

Whether you’re just getting into sewing or you’re a veteran of the discipline, the Brother XM2701 is a great sewing machine with a lot of features. The XM2701 has 27 types of stitches built-in including standard, decorative, blind hem, stretch, and many more. It can also perform up to 800 stitches per minute.

One of the most useful features it has is the automatic needle threader that saves a lot of time and frustration trying to get that tiny piece of thread through the eye of the needle. The XM2701 comes pre-equipped with plenty of accessories including six sewing feet, a small needle set, four bobbins, and even an instructional DVD.

Top Choice

Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine, Lightweight, Full Featured, 27 Stitches, 6 Included Feet

The Brother XM2701 is a great beginner sewing machine jam packed with features, including 27 built-in stitch types and an automatic needle threader that will make your life easier.

Best For Budget: Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine with Extension Table

small pale blue sewing machine with a large tray beside its box, spools of various colored threads, sewing scissors, and a packet of other sewing accessoriesIf you’re just starting to get into the hobby, you may not want to drain your wallet on an especially fancy or elaborate sewing machine right off the bat. The Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine is a budget-friendly option that was designed with beginners in mind while still offering useful features. It has two speed options, fast and slow, which gives you a little more control over the stitching.

Step-by-step threading directions are found directly on the side of the machine, a simply but handy reference for brand new sewers who need a little more guidance. Despite this sewing machine’s small size, it’s strong enough to stitch through up to four layers of cloth yet gentle enough to sew delicate fabrics like silk. It can run either on four AA batteries (not included) or using the included AC/DC adapter, so you can take it on the go or use it plugged into an outlet. You can turn it on with the on/off button on the included, optional foot pedal, whichever you’re more comfortable with. Other useful features on this sewing machine include a built-in thread cutter and sewing light, safety needle guard to protect your fingers, and the anti-slip rubber pad on the base. Besides the machine, adapter, and foot pedal, you’ll also receive a sewing accessory kit and extension table with you purchase. The kit includes handy accessories like sewing scissors, three different types of needles, multiple colored threads, a seam ripper, and more, while the extension table provides you with extra room to rest your sewing project on if needed.

Best For Budget

Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine with Extension Table, Dual Speed Portable Sewing Machine for Beginner with Light, Sewing Kit for Kids, Household, Blue

The Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine is a budget-friendly option that will let you practice on a real sewing machine.

Most Portable: JUCVNB Lightweight Sewing Machine For Beginners

 

small white sewing machine with pale pink buttons beside a square black fabric carrying case and case of colored threads and other sewing accessories

If you ever find yourself in need of a quick and dirty to patch up some old clothes, this JUCVNB 01663 sewing machine might be a good fit for you. Most sewing machine are big and bulky, hard to bring with you on the go. Weighing in at a lightweight five pounds and with a complimentary storage case, this small but handy and beginner-friendly sewing machine in much more portable than the average model. It’s also much sturdier than many handheld, on-the-go models.

Even with its small, lightweight size, this sewing machine is still useful for a good number of DIY sewing tasks. It’ll work on most clothes, pillows, curtains, and even stuffed toys in need of a little TLC. (Keep in mind, though, that it’s likely not going to be effective on very heavy-duty fabrics like denim jeans.) There are 12 built-in stitches, a good number for a number of tasks but not so many as to overwhelm new sewers. The reverse button makes it easy to correct mistakes while the two speeds and on/off switch provide better control. There’s even a small switch on the side that allows you to choose the tightness level of your stitches. In addition to the carrying/storage case, this sewing machine comes with four bobbins, a foot pedal, a needle, and threader.

The Best Handheld Option

SINGER 01663 Stitch Sew Quick Portable Mending Machine

This is a portable sewing machine that is easier to bring on the go than most models.

Also Great: SINGER Start 1304 Sewing Machine for Beginners

white sewing machine with bright blue and red accents and equipped with teal blue thread

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly sewing machine that is both easy to use yet capable of offering a wide variety of stitches and applications, the Singer Start 1304 model is the perfect choice for you. It was designed with beginners in mind, with an impressive 57 different stitch applications built-in and has a durable, interior metal frame to provide a longer service life.

This sewing machine has six basic, essential types of stitches pre-programmed in, including a zigzag stitch and a decorative scallop stitch. To switch between the different stitches, simply turn the stitch dial to the one you want and start sewing. Besides the types of stitches, the stitch widths and lengths also come pre-set and are easily selected on the dial as well. A built-in reverse lever allows you to sew stitches in reverse if desired or needed, which can also be used to secure finished seams. If you ever need some guidance for properly winding a bobbin, follow the numbered diagram that’s printed on the side of the machine. The bobbin will stop turning once it’s completely filled, so you never need to worry about overloading the machine or have to wonder if you’ve fed it enough. The sewing machine itself is lightweight and portable, weighing in at only seven pounds, ideal for bringing to sewing classes or anywhere else on the go. A number of handy sewing accessories come included with this sewing machine: Three different presser feet (one all-purpose, one for zippers, and one for buttonholes), a darning plate, several needles and bobbins, a needle plate screwdriver, spool pin felts, a seam ripper and lint brush combo, power line cord, and foot control. A quick start guide and instruction manual are also provided for any beginners in need of some extra guidance.

Also Great

SINGER Start 1304 6 Built-in Stitches, Free Arm Best Sewing Machine for Beginners, 11.46 pounds

A beginner-friendly sewing machine with a wide array of handy, pre-set features for easier use.


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