Advances in technology have made sewing machines quite affordable for many sewing applications. For beginners looking to buy a quality and usable machine, there are many models and brands to choose from that can leave the shopper confused in the process.
There are a number of well known companies (Singer, Brother, Janome, Pfafft) that have produced sewing machines to cater to beginners as well as advanced users. As with any buying decision, the history of reliability and features of the machine are key issues to consider when buying a sewing machine.
In this blog post, I will review what I consider to be the best beginner sewing machines available in the market. I have narrowed them down to these 4:-
1. Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine
2. SINGER Start 1304 Machine
3. Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine
4. SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
1. Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine
The Janome Magnolia 7318 sewing machine is a great machine that many beginners will find easy to work with. Its been designed to handle different type of projects including quilting, normal sewing, crafting, home decor and much more.
Janome is known to produce machines which inspire creativity and innovation and yet are simple to use.
The machine has a number of impressive features which I will mention below
* This machine has 18 built-in decorative and a 4 step buttonhole stitches. The maximum stitch length is 4mm while the maximum width is 5mm
* The convenient stitch panel shows a summary of the stitches available for use. A dial allows you to effortlessly choose a stitch. You also have the option of choosing the stitch length or width. The seam guides on the needle plate help you to measure seam allowances.
* To strengthen your stitch, there is a reverse lever that you can apply to reinforce your stitch.
* There is a see through cover over the bobbin to let you see if you are running out of thread!
* The drop feed system, which is activated by a switch, allows you to do free motion quilting to old fashion darning. The free arm allows you to work on sleeves, pant legs and other cylindrical projects.
* The Janome 7318 has a storage compartment conveniently located the free arm. Great for holding your included accessories. With the Janome 7318 you can fit multiple layers fabric or bulky fabrics under the presser foot with ease.
Other items that come with the purchase of this machine: Blind stitch foot, a bobbin, a small spool holder, a buttonhole foot, felt, foot control, an instruction booklet, an extra spool pin (2). a lint brush, needle set, seam ripper, screwdriver, zipper foot
* Works well works with light, medium and semi heavy fabric.
* Well designed machine that beginners will find easy to work with.
* An easy to thread machine..the bobbin is easy to fill and thread.
* Someone said the motor won’t run below a certain speed making delicate work kinda iffy.
2. SINGER Start 1304 Beginner Sewing Machine
The SINGER Start 1304 Machine is another solid sewing machine designed for beginners in mind. This machine gives beginners a nice little launching pad without overwhelming them with extra features.
The Singer company is well known in the sewing industry and its said to be one of the world’s leading sellers of consumer sewing machines. What I also like about Singer is its long history of innovation.
Its the first company to produce the first portable sewing machine as well the first to produce the first computer-controlled sewing machine.
Anyway, the SINGER Start 1304 has some features that I wanted to highlight first. These are
* A quick and easy threading system – You will notice the threading instructions printed on the machine to help you thread the machine fast
* Has 6 built-in stitches that include the straight stitch, satin stitch, zigzag stitch, blend hem, scallop stitch and a 4-step buttonhole to help you make beautiful buttonholes.
* The machine has dual spool pins for twin needle sewing. You will notice the 2 vertical spool pins on the machine. Create parallel rows of stitching for hemming projects.
* The stitch dial enables you to change the stitches easily.
* Built with a heavy duty frame. Ensures that your machine remains stable as you sew. The heavy duty frame ensures the machine will last for years.
* Sold with 3 presser feet for your sewing projects. These include the all purpose foot, the buttonhole foot for extra buttonholes and the zipper foot for adding zippers, piping, cording etc.
* Reinforce your stitches using the reverse stitch. The reverse stitch is activated using the automatic reverse button.
* Its easy to set up thanks to the step by step directions and diagrams.
* Heavy duty frame to ensure stability and longevity
* The bobbin winds fast. Interesting to note is that the winder stops winding once its full, even if you keep on pressing on the pedal.
* It can sew through heavy fabric, but you will have to change the needles
* Dependable little machine that is perfect for beginners or people who don’t really need all the bells and whistles that come with complicated machines
* Doesn’t have the option to start or stop the needle in the up or down position after sewing. Anyway its a basic machine.
* Not cheap
3. Brother XM2701 Beginner Sewing Machine
With a nice range of beginner friendly features coupled with a lightweight design, the Brother XM2701 is another great machine for beginners who are learning the ropes on sewing even for more advanced sewers looking for versatility. Get to expand your creative abilities with this this easy to use, versatile machine!
If you are the type of person that is looking to get a foundational knowledge of sewing (and have broad capabilities) without spending too much money then consider buying this machine.
The machine is designed by the Brother International Corporation, a leading supplier of innovative products for home sewing and embroidery enthusiasts. This brother machine is perfect for multiple everyday sewing projects. Let me list some of its features:-
* Stitches – The Brother XM2701 machine gives you 27 built-in stitches. These include the decorative stitches, blind hem stitches as well as quilting stitches with an automatic one-step buttonholer for creating buttonhole
* Has 6 sewing feet: buttonhole foot, zigzag foot, zipper foot, narrow hemmer foot, blind stitch foot and button sewing feet. The free arm allows you to sew sewing cuffs, sleeves or pant legs.
* Other features include a jam resistant bobbin, a needle threader and a bobbin winding system. Enjoy 25 yrs limited warranty on this machine.
* LED light to brighten the work area on the machine. Best for dimly lit rooms and dark fabrics.
* Instructional DVD ish).
* Easily select stitches by using the dial. Choose from a list of 27 built-in stitches!
* Designed with simplicity in mind
* Great instructional DVD that is easy to understand.
* The tensioning and threading is super easy.
* Great price under $100.
* Not super great for thick fabrics
* For some, the foot lift being on the side & not back takes some getting used to
* This is not a heavy duty machine so avoid the temptation of pushing it too hard.
4. SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
I decided to include a computerized sewing machine in my list. Some say mechanical sewing machines are simpler to work with (especially for beginners) but I decided to include the SINGER Stylist 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine as part of my review of best sewing machines for beginners.
This machine is loaded with a number of free accessories that you will find useful. Below are the highlights of this machine:-
* Comes with 100 built in stitches! One of the advantage of computerized sewing machines are their huge range of sewing stitches. With this large selection of stitches, you have “unlimited” options to choose from for your fashion sewing, home/decorative sewing, quilting, crafting and heirloom sewing easier.
The machine also has 6 different one-step buttonhole styles too enabling you to create buttonholes with ease.
* Has a large LCD screen with clear options enabling you to choose different types of stitches including stitch length and width (stitch length or width is adjusted on the screen).
* Other features include a 6-segment feeding system, reverse stitching, automatic boobin winding, horizontal threading, automatic presser foot control, programmable needle up/down, electronic start and stop, extra-high presser foot lifter and speed control
* The sewing surface is lit by 2 LED lights to help you when working with dark fabrics or in dimly lit rooms.
* Easily thread your machine from the spool to the eye needle. To make things easier, the manufacturer has printed the threading instructions on the machine surface.
* This machine comes with 10 presser feet which include an all-purpose foot, buttonhole foot, satin stitch foot , narrow rolled hem foot, darning / freehand embroidery foot, gathering foot, blind hem foot, overcasting foot, quarter inch foot and a zipper foot.
Other accessories include: Needle plate screwdriver, bobbins, pack of needles, a darning plate, dust cover, auxiliary spool pin, thread spool caps, foot pedal, spool pin felt, instructional video, seam ripper / lint brush and a power cord
* Huge selection of stitches. As your skills develop as a beginner, there is a wide range of stitches to work with.
* 10 presser feet to choose from. No need to buy extra feet
* Its a computerized machine so some beginners will find intimidating but I’m sure with practice one will get used to it.
All of the above are great machines to work with as a beginner. However different people look for different things when purchasing sewing machines.
My recommendation is that if you are a person who is price sensitive, I would recommend you buy the SINGER 1304 sewing machine. Its priced under $100 (as of this writing). The downside is that it has few number of stitches. Best for basic sewing.
My “perfect” recommendation to you is the Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine. I feel its an all rounder machine with enough features that will not overwhelm you plus you can use it on heavy fabrics too. Its also priced under $100 as of this writing.
For those who are techie inclined, go for the SINGER 7258 computerized machine. You get a whooping 100 stitches to work with, 10 presser feet and a host of other features that come with computerized sewing machines.