Stitch for Stitch: Best Sewing Machines for Beginners (2020)

Learning to sew can be a hassle if you don’t have the right machine, so we’ve complied a list of the best sewing machines for all projects, and cleared up some of the hard-to-grasp features of the sewing machine so that your head doesn’t spin, but your bobbin does.

We’ve compiled a list of the 20 best sewing machines for beginners, and some for intermediate sewing enthusiasts, so that the machine can grow with you as you master the art of sewing.

Best Sewing Machines for Beginners and The Intermediate Users

1. Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW– For the Designer

 
brother CS5055PRW review

The Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine is a limited edition machine that brings everything you need to the sewing table. Whether you’re an expert, or just starting out, the Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW is lightweight and portable, so you can tote it from class to class, making it an excellent choice for those beginning to learn how to sew.

Features of the Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW:

  • Automatic needle threader
  • LCD display screen with stitch selector
  • Quick-set top bobbin
  • Stitch chart
  • 50 built-in stitches
  • LED lit work area

The Brother CS5055PRW is the best machine for designing clothes, creating indoor décor, and even hemming a pair of jeans. Some cons of the Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW include the jamming of the machine when trying to sew multiple layers, a complicated threading path that takes practice to master, and hard to understand instructions.

2. Brother CS6000i –Best Model for Beginners

brother cs6000i review

The Brother CS6000i Electric Sewing Machine is a perfect model for beginners who plan to keep mastering their craft. The machine is light enough to transport to and from a sewing class, but durable enough to withstand time. The Brother CS6000i Electric Sewing Machine is designed for ease of use by beginners with the easy-to-read diagrams for threading, set-up, and adjustable sewing controls.

Features of the Brother CS6000i:

  • Automatic needle threader
  • 60 built-in stitches
  • Adjustable sewing speed controls
  • LCD display stitch selector
  • Detachable oversized table
  • Drop-in bobbin
  • LED lit work area
  • Free arm

The Brother CS6000i is one of the best buys for beginners to learn how to sew, quilt, and more. Some cons of the Brother CS6000i are the inability to sew through thick fabric or multiple layers, as the machine jams and skips stitches; the thread tension can become too loose to evenly stitch, and the drop-in bobbin can become wiggly, creating a tangled mess of the thread.

3. Janome Magnolia 7318 – Best Versatile Machine

The Janome Magnolia 7318 is an electrical sewing machine that is a basic model. This machine allows the beginner to move from quilting and crafting to working on clothing design and household projects and designs. Unlike the Brother Project Runway and the Brother CS6000i, the Janome Magnolia 7318 does not have an LCD screen, but rather dials and knobs to adjust stitches, stitch width, and thread variation.

Features of the Janome Magnolia 7318:

  • 18 built-in stitches
  • Drop-in bobbin
  • 4-step buttonhole
  • Adjustable stitch width
  • Top-loading horizontal rotary hook
  • Free arm
  • Stitch selection dial
  • Drop-feed
  • Extra high presser lift foot

The Janome Magnolia 7318 is a versatile machine that is lightweight, and can be easily carried from class to class while the beginner masters their craft. This machine is a favored machine by sewists who are looking for flexibility. Some cons that arise with the Janome Magnolia 7318 is that the belt can become loose in travel, causing users to open up the machine themselves to fix it, or have the machine serviced.

4. Brother SE400 – Best Machine for Embroidery

brother se400 review” width=“350

The Brother SE400 is a great machine for beginners, or those looking to learn the art of embroidery. As a dual computerized sewing machine and embroidery machine, the Brother SE400 is a multipurpose machine that is portable, and offers a customized, high-quality finish to each project the sewist creates.

Features of the Brother SE400:

  • LCD screen display
  • 67 built-in stitches
  • Large embroidery area
  • Automatic needle threader and thread cutter
  • Free arm
  • 7-point feed dogs
  • Bobbin winding system
  • Computer connectivity to keep your machine up to date
  • Quick-set drop-in bobbin
  • Bright LED work area

The Brother SE400 is the perfect machine for those who are always looking to be ahead of the game. With the computer connectivity port, this machine is always updating with embroidery patterns and allows for embroiders to purchase designs online and upload them to the machine. Some cons of the Brother SE400 sewing machine is that needles are able to break constantly, and because of the machine’s weight and built, it can break easily with constant improper use.

5. SINGER 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine – All Purpose Machine

Singer 7258 review

Like the Brother CS5055PRW, the Singer 7258 can be used as a designer’s machine, but the Singer is less portable than the Brother Project Runway Machine. Heavier than the Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW, the Singer 7258 can still be moved from place to place, but not with the ease of the Brother Project Runway Machine. Although the machine is not as portable as other machines, it will withstand constant use, making it perfect for beginners.

Features:

  • Automatic needle threader
  • LCD display screen with stitch selector
  • Quick-set top bobbin
  • Stitch chart
  • 100 built-in stitches
  • LED lit work area
  • Programmable needle

The Singer 7258 is a great machine for tackling tasks in the home, such as making curtains and hemming pants, but it doesn’t handle thick fabric with ease, causing the machine to jam. When sewing through thick fabrics, or projects with multiple layers, the machine is likely to skip stitches.

7. Singer One Easy-to-Use –For the Vintage-inspired Beginner

“Singer

The Singer One Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine is a perfect sewing machine to start out on, because of the oversized sewing space that allows for beginners to work in an open area, for ease of use. While the machine is a mid-sized sewing machine, the Singer One Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine is still light enough to be carried from class to class, while also being sturdy enough to withstand wear and tear.

Features of the Singer One Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine:

  • Extra large sewing space
  • Drop feed
  • LCD one touch stitch selection
  • Quick view stitch settings
  • Drop-in bobbin
  • Heavy duty metal frames
  • Automatic needle threader
  • LED lit work area

The Singer One Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine has the look of a vintage sewing machine with all the capabilities of a modern machine, and comes read-to-sew out of the box, making it an ideal choice for beginners. Some cons of the Singer One Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine include error codes being difficult to remove, tension becoming too loose, thus ruining the integrity of the stitches, and difficulty sewing through heavy layers of fabric, causing the machine to jam and miss stitches.

8. Brother XL2600i – Perfect for Everyday Sewing

“Brother

The Brother XL 2600i comes with features that are easy to learn and use, and is a portable, lightweight machine that can be moved from place to place with ease, whether it is to a sewing class, or even from the living room to the sewing room. The Brother XL 2600i grows with the sewist from beginner to master, helping them learn basic stitches to complex buttonholes and altering or creating a wardrobe.

Features of the Brother XL 2600i:

  • Stitch selector dial
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Jam-resistant drop-in bobbin
  • 25 built-in stitches
  • Auto-sized button hole feature
  • Free arm
  • Bobbin winder
  • Bright LED workspace

The Brother XL2600i is a seamless machine for those every-day tasks and mends. Some cons of the Brother XL 2600i is that it does not work well with heavy fabrics, or multiple layers in a project; the machine becomes sluggish and jammed. The light cannot be turned off during sewing, causing the light bulb to become hot; this machine is not advised for younger users who could possibly become burnt on the light.

9. Brother XL2610 – Best for Lightweight Sewing Projects

Brother XL2610 review

The Brother XL2610 is a textbook machine for simple repairs, beginners who do not want to tackle large projects, and those who are not looking to create commercial pieces. The machine itself is perfect to take from class to class, and is a great value.

Features of the Brother XL2610:

  • Automatic needle threader and thread cutter
  • Adjustable bed for both small and large items
  • 25 built-in stitches
  • 4-step buttonhole function
  • Stitch balance control
  • Drop-in bobbin system
  • Built-in stitch length and tension control

The Brother XL2610 sewing machine is perfect for light projects, but cannot withstand projects with many layers or heavy projects. There are a few cons of the Brother XL 2610 sewing machine, specifically the need to oil the machine after every 300-500 hours of use; the machine can only be oiled by a Brother technician, and can cost almost as much as the machine itself to oil the machine. Thus, if the sewist only intends to use the machine lightly, or in lieu of another machine as a backup, then this machine is an excellent buy and terrific value.

10. Janome 2212 Mechanical Sewing Machine – Best Basic Model

“Janome

The Janome 2212 is an easy to use machine that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a designer machine. With 12 built in stitches, this machine is perfect for everyday tasks, repairs, and craft projects. Unlike the Brother CS5055PRW, the Janome 2212 does not have any decorative stitches, and is thus built for simple, sturdy tasks.

Features of the Janome 2212 Mechanical Sewing Machine:

  • Free arm
  • Drop feed
  • Stitch chart
  • 12 built-in stitches
  • Zig-zag width adjustment

The Janome 2212 is a perfect machine for someone who isn’t looking for all the extras. If your goal is to make sturdy, quality projects that will stand the test of time, the Janome 2212 is the perfect machine for you. Remember, this machine is mechanical, and takes more patience to use than computerized machines, but is a durable machine that is easy to learn on. Some cons of the Janome 2212 include that there is a jamming problem in the feed dog area that can be hard to dislodge, the machine is noisy to use, and that needles can begin to break frequently if the machine becomes misaligned.

10. Janome HD1000 – Best Heavy Duty Machine

“Janome

The Janome HD1000 is a heavy-duty sewing machine that can withstand the test of time. Perfect for beginners to intermediate sewists, this machine is a basic model that is easy to use for basic, simple-stitch projects. From darning to stippling, the Janome HD1000 can do it all!

Features of the Janome HD1000:

  • 14 built-in stitches
  • 4-step buttonhole feature
  • Cast aluminum frame
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Removable free arm
  • Adjustable stitch length
  • Manual thread tension control
  • Stitch selector dial
  • Easy reverse lever

The Janome HD1000 is a long-lasting basic machine that can assist all sewists in making the projects of their dreams, be it a garment, home décor item, or accessories of all types and sizes. Some cons of the Janome HD1000 is that it is not portable because of the heavy-duty frame; a slightly cramped sewing area between the foot and the plate, and no easy drop-in bobbin.

11. Eversewn Charlotte Computerized Sewing Machine – High Performance; For the Teacher

Eversewn Charlotte review

The Eversewn Charlotte Computerized Sewing Machine is mid-level machine that is portable and high performance. With 70 built-in stitches, there are decorative stitches for the crafter, and simple stitches for the beginner. The Eversewn Charlotte has the ability to tackle up to 850 stitches per minute with ease.

Features:

  • Automatic needle threader
  • Computerized stitch panel
  • Drop-in bobbin function
  • Stitch library
  • 70 built-in stitches
  • Feed dog drop

The Eversewn Charlotte Computerized Sewing Machine is a great buy for high performance sewing. Unlike the Brother CS5055PRW and the Singer 7258, this machine does not have LED lighting, or an LCD screen to aid in use, however, the Eversewn Charlotte is a wonderful machine for light fabrics, fancy stitching, and quick projects, and for teaching students how to sew. A con of the machine is that it is a noisy machine to operate.

12. Brother ST371HD – For the Home Maker or Artist

Brother ST371HD review

The Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine is a heavy duty machine that can stand up to heavy fabrics and layers and layers for quilting. Unlike the Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW model, the Brother ST371HD model does not have an LCD screen, or the same amount of stitches. However, the Brother ST371HD does compare to the Brother Project Runway model with the automatic needle threader, quick-set bobbin, and the ability to handle heavier fabrics.

Features of the Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine:

  • Automatic needle threader
  • Easy dial stitch selector
  • Quick-set top bobbin
  • Stitch chart
  • 37 built-in stitches
  • LED lit work area

The Brother ST371HD is a versatile machine that can handle hemming jeans and creating thick seams on outdoor fabrics, but is perfect for everyday sewing and mending projects as well. The machine does take some skill to use with ease, and it is not recommended for beginners, or sewers who want to use the machine right out of the box. Some cons of the Brother ST371HD include the quick-set bobbin becoming jammed, and is not recommended for constant use, as the machine is not heavy duty, but works well for simple projects and light use.

13. Singer 4411-Long-lasting Heavy Duty Machine

Singer 4411 review

The Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine is exactly what the name says: a heavy duty machine that will go for years and years. Unlike the Singer 7258, this machine is not computerized, or feature many built in stitches, making this machine perfect for a beginner.

Features of the Singer 4411 Mechanical Sewing Machine:

  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • 60% stronger motor than other models
  • Stainless steel bedplate
  • Heavy duty metal frame
  • 11 built-in stitches

The Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine features 6 basic stitches, and 4 decorative stitches for the most basic of projects. This machine is perfect for beginners, or those returning to sewing after a long break, as it doesn’t have confusing settings, complicated instructions, or tons of accessories to manage. Some cons of the Singer 4411 are that the feed dogs are plastic, and can break over time, the bobbin can become jammed, thus creating a stitching issue and a tangle.

14. Singer 8763 – Best Analog Machine

Singer 8763 review

The Singer 8763 is a wonderful machine for beginning sewists that is built to last. The machine boasts easy directions printed right on the machine for ease of use, and is ready-to-sew right out of the box. Whether it’s creating a handbag or mending a hem, the Singer 8763 is an impeccable machine for the price, and will last longer than many plastic models.

Features of the Singer 8763:

  • Free arm
  • SWIFTSTART threading system
  • Drop-in bobbin
  • Automatic needle threading
  • Three LED lights over work area
  • Push-button stitch selection
  • 30 built-in stitches
  • Heavy Duty metal frame

The Singer 8763 Computerized Sewing Machine is a basic model that doesn’t include all the frills of an intermediate or master machine, textbook for creating simple, sturdy projects for years to come. Some cons of the Singer 8763 Computerized Sewing Machine include the stretch stitches not working, and the lower bobbin thread becoming tangled and not catching the stitches, causing the sewist to undo their work and sew the line over again.

15. Singer 2259 Tradition – For the Hobbyist

Singer 2259 review

The Singer 2259 Tradition is the best machine for hobbyists, and those looking to sew crafts and simple projects. Sewing is made easy with the Singer 2259 Tradition, perfect for beginners who are learning the craft of sewing has all the basic needs for a sewist, without the frills of a more complicated machine.

Features of the Singer 2259 Tradition:

  • Automatic 4-step buttonhole
  • Adjustable stitch length
  • Arm with onboard storage
  • Simple stitch selection
  • 19 built-in stitches
  • Heavy duty metal frame

The Singer 2259 Tradition is perfect for sewing and finishing quality projects. However, the cons of the Singer 2259 Tradition sewing machine include issues with the tension with the bobbin case, and the and the fact that the machine becomes unthreaded.

16. Juki TL-2010q – Best for Quilters

Juki TL-2010q review

The Juki TL-2010q is the perfect machine for all of your quilting needs. This heavy machine weighs almost 40 lbs. so it is not ideal for carrying from place to place, but does stand up to the heavy nature of quilting fabrics and layers. This machine can be used as a table-top machine or used with machine quilting frames.

Features of the Juki TL-2010q:

  • Large 8 ½ inch throat
  • Free motion feet
  • Side loading bobbin
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 1 built-in stitch

Unlike the Brother CS5055PRW and other machines, the Juki TL-2010q is used only for quilting and simple projects. With only one stitch, the Juki is not versatile and is too heavy to be portable. A con of the Juki TL-2010q is that it is very heavy, and unable to be moved with ease; however, the machine is good for those learning at home who do not need to tote the machine to and from a class.

17. Brother DZ2400  – Multipurpose Machine

Brother DZ2400 review

The Brother DZ2400 has the ability to tackle layers of batting and fabric when quilting and can handle the easiest sewing projects to multilayered quilts and blankets. Each machine comes with multiple sewing feet, and allows for a wide variety of creative flexibility with each and every stitch you sew. The Brother DZ2400 is a great machine for beginners to both sewing and quilting, but is durable, and versatile enough to grow with the sewist from beginner to master level sewing projects.

Features of the Brother DZ2400 Computerized Sewing Machine:

  • LCD display screen
  • Wide table for large projects
  • 8 built-in buttonholes
  • Variable speed
  • Easy stitch selection
  • Jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin
  • Easy needle threading system
  • 130 built-in stitches (185 stitches on newer models)

The Brother DZ2400 tackles all projects with ease, with no hassle for all sewists—no matter their mastery level. The Brother DZ2400 is designed for everyone from designers to beginners. Some cons that can arise with the Brother DZ2400 include the bobbin and threader malfunctioning, causing the sewist to rethread both, taking up time and jamming in projects. Other issues of this machine include that repairs on this machine can cost almost the price of the machine unless the sewist is able to repair the machine themselves.

18. Singer 4423 Extra Heavy Duty Sewing Machine – Tackles Canvas with Ease

Singer 4423 review

The Singer 4423 Extra Heavy Duty Sewing Machine is ideal for heavy fabrics—and can sew up to 12 layers of denim without a snag! Unlike the Singer 44111, this machine is made exclusively for heavy fabrics, and cannot handle light projects with ease.

Features of the Singer 4423:

  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • Clear view bobbin cover
  • Stainless steel bed plate
  • 23 built-in stitches
  • Heavy duty metal frame
  • Automatic needle threader

The Singer 4423 Extra Heavy Duty Sewing Machine is a specialty machine perfect for designers working exclusively in denim and heavy fabrics such as canvas and leather, but is not suitable for light fabrics. Some cons of the Singer 4423 are that it is made only for standard sewing, and is not equipped for quilting projects of any kind without the thread hiccupping and missing stitches; timing issues can arise, causing the needle to hit the shuttle, and the tension can become iffy if the machine is not properly serviced.

19. Singer 1304 Start Free Arm Sewing Machine – For the Young Beginner and Hobbyists

Singer 1304 review

The Singer 1304 Start Free Arm Sewing Machine is the perfect machine for a young beginner, who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of decorative stitches or a heavyweight machine. The light weight allows the Singer 1304 to be a portable machine, perfect for toting from class to class without strain.

Features of the Singer 1304 Free Arm Sewing Machine:

  • Threading diagrams
  • Dual spools for twin needle sewing
  • Quick-set top bobbin
  • Stitch chart
  • 6 built-in stitches
  • Preset stitch length and width

The Singer 1304 Start Free Arm Sewing Machine is for the beginner who has never touched a sewing machine in their life. The easy to use machine is lightweight, quiet machine, that is fast, and easy to use. This machine cannot handle thick fabrics, and will become jammed if heavy fabrics or projects with many layers are attempted on this machine.

20. Amado Portable Mini Sewing Machine – Perfect for Repairs

Amado Portable Mini review

The Amado Portable Mini Sewing Machine is a small, lightweight machine that works best for fixing rips and tears, and sewing up a dropped hem. This machine is not for large projects, or much more than fixing a rip in a pillow, shirt, or light blanket.

Features of the Amado Portable Mini Sewing Machine:

  • Automatic needle threader
  • Adjustable speeds
  • Large bending arm
  • 1 built-in stitch
  • LED lit work area

The Amado Portable Mini Sewing Machine is a great machine to have at a vacation home, or in the car for on the go rips and tears. This machine is not a toy, although it looks like one, and has a short power cord. This machine cannot handle more than 3 layers of fabric, and will jam, and miss stitches if large projects are attempted on this machine.

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Sewing Machine

Before buying a sewing machine, consider what your frequency of use, projects, and skill level are. Some machines are better for designers who are making clothes and custom made décor projects, such as the Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW. Others are more suitable for fixing repairs, such as the Amado Portable Mini Sewing Machine.

Consider these factors before purchasing your new sewing machine:

Skill levelProjectsFabric WeightSuitable Machines
BeginnerRips and tears; hemming pantsLight to heavy (2-3 layers)Amado Portable Mini Sewing Machine

 

Singer 1304

BeginnerSmall projects; curtains, purses, craft projectsLight to heavy (2-5 layers)Janome 2212 Mechanical Sewing Machine

 

Singer 4411

 

Eversewn Charlotte Computerized Sewing Machine

Beginner – IntermediateHemming, creating jeans, working with heavy outdoor fabric and multiple layers of denimLight to heavy (2-12 layers)Singer 4423 Extra Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
IntermediateQuilting, simple straight projects for around the homeLight to heavy (2-10 layers)Juki TL-2010q

 

Brother ST371HD

Beginner-Master

 

These machines are suitable for beginners, but can also be used in all levels of sewing

Design projects, such as creating clothing, home décor, for constant useLight to heavy (2-12 layers)Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine

 

SINGER 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine

 

Brother

 

What Does It Mean? Features of the Sewing Machine Explained

Built-in stitches: These are the preprogrammed stitches that come stock with a sewing machine.

Automatic needle threader: Perfect for beginners and for seamstresses who struggle with threading a needle, the automatic needle threader automatically feeds the thread through the eye of the needle.

Quick-set drop-in bobbin: A bobbin is a plastic or metal wheel that goes under the needle plate of a sewing machine. The thread on the bobbin is pulled up by the needle to form the bottom of a seam. A quick-set drop in bobbin allows seamstresses to quickly change the bobbin by dropping it in, pulling the thread through, and then you can get to sewing!

Drop feed: Feed dogs are little serrated teeth that hold material in place, and evenly feed your fabric through the machine while sewing. Drop feed levers allow for the feet to be dropped for free motion quilting, where the fabric can be pulled in all directions.

Free arm: An area under the machine that extends to allow a seamstress to work with curved areas, such as collars.

The Verdict: Our Winners

Picking a sewing machine is much like buying a car; you have to weigh the features and capabilities against your intended use.

For the designer who loves to create their own clothes or a seamstress who wants their machine to stand the test of time, or even a beginner just starting out in the sewing world who wants to create a wardrobe of their own design we recommend the Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW. The Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW can be used for simple projects, as well as complex projects, and can grow with the seamstress as they master the art of sewing.

For the sewist who is looking for a quality machine that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Brother CS5055PRW, but can handle heavy layers of fabric, the Janome Magnolia 7318 is the perfect machine for you! This machine allows the beginner to move from quilting and crafting to working on clothing design and household projects and designs.

For the seamstress looking to learn the art of embroidery, but can also be used for basic sewing projects. As a dual computerized sewing machine and embroidery machine, the Brother SE400 is a multipurpose machine that is portable, and offers a customized, high-quality finish to each project the sewist creates. This machine has the capability for computer connectivity, via a port, this machine is always updating with embroidery patterns and allows for embroiders to purchase designs online and upload them to the machine.

How We Rated Each Machine:

  • Ability to sew through many layers of fabric/heavy fabric
  • Portability (Can it be taken from class to class with ease?)
  • Pros versus cons
  • Capability to continue using a machine after the beginner stage (Can it grow with the seamstress?)
  • Ease of use
  • Overall commercial value (Can many projects be completed on this machine?)

While each machine was rated for beginners, it is important to remember that every machine will have some issues throughout the learning process. The cons on this list reflect the frequency of common issues for beginners. Most issues with a sewing machine can be fixed by a registered technician.

Happy sewing!

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1 thought on “Stitch for Stitch: Best Sewing Machines for Beginners (2020)”

  1. Very useful article for the beginners. liked to opt for singer 1 easy to use(Vintage inspired ) one as it has extra large space for sewing.Also it has LCD stitch view settings whih is easy to understand.IT also has automatic needle threader and drop in bobbin.Very useful for new starter and also comes with good budget.

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