If you are looking for The Best Sewing Machine for Beginners, it should be Brother CS6000i.
Before we dive into detailed reviews, we have compiled a list of the ten best-selling sewing machine for beginners. Click “See Details” to learn more about the specifications and current sale price.
The Best Starter Sewing Machines
1. Brother CS6000i
After spending 20 hours researching the top rated sewing machines that work great as your first sewing machine, Brother CS6000i is our clear winner. We also talk about a few other alternatives below, but for most people who are looking to get started with sewing, Brother CS6000i is our top pick.
When you are looking for a starter sewing machine, you want an easy to use sewing machine that is affordable, has straightforward instructions and lets you get started right away.
Brother CS6000i is beginner-friendly, portable, offers plenty of of sewing and quilting features and goes easy on your wallet. Brother designed this specifically for self-starters and balances versatility, quality, and price with tons of useful features.
Its simple to use LCD display stitch selector lets you select your stitch with the touch of a button and see your selection at the LCD display screen.
Adjustable sewing speed slide lets you easily control how fast or slow you want to sew. It has a stop/start button that allows the machine-use without included foot control.
Threading could not be easier. All you need to do is simply follow the numbered diagram printed on the machine.
The over sized table gives you the extra space needed for large sewing projects such as quilts.
I really like the automatic needle threader. Simply touch the lever on the side of the machine and Brother CS6000i automagically pushes the thread directly through the needle.
The sewing area is brightly lit. You will be very thankful when working on darker fabrics.
The built-in free arm is great for sewing cylindrical items such as cuffs, sleeves and children’s pants.
Brother CS6000i includes 27 stitches to help you re-fashion your wardrobe. For example, you have Blind Hem Stitch to create virtually invisible hems on skirts, pants and sleeves. The Basting stitch is great for getting the right fit by temporarily securing seams. The Overcast and Zigzag stitches help prevent fabric from fraying.
Having right set of tools & accessories is important once you being sewing. It comes with the following accessories which are more than sufficient for all of your sewing needs.
Brother CS6000i comes with a 25-year manufacturers warranty and phone support for the life of the product. Brother recommends you do not use this machine in countries that do not support 120V AC, even if you are using a voltage adapter.
It’s currently on sale. Click here to check it out and see the latest price.
Beginner Sewing Machine Reviews
2. Janome Magnolia 2212 Sewing Machine
If, for some reason you do not like Brother CS6000i, we have a great alternative for you -- Janome Magnolia 2212.
Janome’s Magnolia 7318 is a very easy-to-use starter sewing machine that has plenty of features and supreme functionality.
To help you with your at-home projects, it comes with 18 Built-In Stitches, a Top Loading Bobbin System and 4 Step Buttonholes.
The controls are easy to read and use. The dials turn very smoothly.
The stitch panel on the front shows you the list of stitches with their corresponding stitch letter. You will turn the dial to select your desired stitch. You can adjust the length and width of the stitches to suit your needs.
The large, easy to use reverse lever comes in very handy to reinforce your stitch.
Magnolia 2212 doesn’t have a dial for controlling the stitching speed, but it’s not a deal-breaker as you can control the speed easily with the foot pedal.
The measurement marking on the needle plate itself is very convenient. You can easily measure seam allowances using the seam guides on the needle plate.
The see-through bobbin cover lets you keep track of your thread.
Magnolia 7318 is designed to be jam proof when you are sewing the edge of the fabric.
It comes with the following standard accessories: zipper foot, buttonhole foot, sliding buttonhole foot, needles, bobbins, small screwdriver, lint brush, seam ripper (buttonhole opener), large spool holder, small spool holder, additional spool pin and felt cushion.
3. SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist Sewing Machine
If you are serious about sewing and want to get a machine that has advanced features and smart technology, you should get --SINGER’s 9960 Quantum Stylist Sewing Machine.
It is a 600-stitch computerized sewing machine that ships with everything you need -- an extension cable, accessories for your every need and a hard cover.
The easy threading system with automatic needle threader makes threading the machine effortless. I was able to get the entire machine threaded, from the spool to the needle’s eye, in just seven seconds. I find the automatic threader to be one of the most efficient time-savers.
It’s a computerized machine that comes equipped with advanced digital information advisor. The LCD screen displays all pertinent information including selected built-in stitch, stitch length and width settings, and recommended presser foot.
The easy-to-load and easy-to-insert bobbin conveniently loads from the top. You are always able to monitor the thread supply via the clear cover.
There are 13 styles of fully automatic one-step buttonholes. In order to prevent gaps in stitching or fabric distortion, the sides of the buttonholes are sewn in the same direction.
600 built-in stitches allow you to choose the perfect stitch for any project. You can easily edit the stitch to control the exact look of a stitch pattern with elongation and mirror imaging. There is a chart located on the upper lid of the machine for quick reference.
The extension table provides plenty of room for large projects such as quilting.
SINGER’s 9960 has electronic auto pilot and speed control features that provide complete control of sewing speed. This helps make sewing difficult areas easier and error-free.
As long as you read the instructions in the manual this is a very easy machine to use.
Read the reviews by recent customers here.
4. Janome 2212 Sewing Machine
Janome 2212 has all the basic stitches a serious beginner needs when learning to sew. You can easily adjust width and length of stitch to suit your needs. The stitch selection dial makes it easy to select the desired stitch.
The reverse lever lets you easily lock the stitches.
It threads easily, has easy turn dial for pattern selection and the drop feed is great for quilting and other free motion sewing. It comes with a plastic cover which is rugged enough for home storage.
It feels steady even when you get up to a faster speed.
It comes with easy to follow guide book that will get you going in no time.
Customers have given it a very high rating on reviews (read customer reviews & check price ).
When you purchase, you get the 25-year manufacturer’s warranty from Janome.
5. Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Sewing Machine
Brother’s Project Runway CS5055PRW is perfect for a beginner who wants a little growing room.
As a beginner, you will really appreciate the free-motion stitching. The built-in automatic needle threading is a huge time-saver, especially for beginners.
50 built-in stitches cover all the basics as well has give you some room for creativity. You can use the built-in quilting stitches to embellish or join quilt blocks.
The quick setup top drop bobbing lets you get started sewing quickly -- simply drop in your bobbin, pull the thread through the slot and off you go!
It’s lightweight and super portable -- making it easy to carry from one room to another.
Other features include Easy-view LCD display screen with intuitive stitch selector, Convenient stitch chart, LED-lit Super bright work area, 5 one-step, custom-sized buttonholes and vertical spool pin.
Brother’s Project Runway CS5055PRW ships with 25-year manufacturer’s warranty from Brother.
6. Brother SE-400 Sewing and Embroidery Machine -- The Best Embroidery Machine for Beginners
If you are looking to focus on embroidery, our pick for The Best Embroidery Machine for Beginners is Brother SE400.
SE-400 comes with spacious 4 x 4 inch embroidery area which will give you plenty of room to let your embroidery freedom run wild.
There are 7-point feed dogs that let you smoothly feed and advance fabric.
The workspace is brightly lit -- so you won’t need to look for any other lights to get the job done.
Advanced LCD display lets you access built-in designs, control design editing features and view tutorials.
The automatic needle threader threads the machine in one-touch -- which is a huge time-saver.
The jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin makes the sewing process quick, reliable and hassle-free. The bobbin winding system easily and quickly prepares bobbins for you -- for ease of threading.
One-touch automatic thread cutter conveniently cuts your top and bobbin thread.
You can keep your machine software up to date by connecting your machine to a computer and downloading updates. You are also able to download and import designs. Brother SE-400 uses the industry standard .pes files for digitizing design and .pen for embroidery files.
Due to its reliability and over-the-top performance, it has remained #1 bestselling embroidery machine in Online.
7. SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine -- The Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine for Beginners
Our pick for The Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine for Beginners is SINGER 4423.
This machine is capable of sewing through just about anything you throw at it.
The internal skeleton of the sewing machine consists of a Heavy Duty Metal Frame that ensures that the machine remains still for skip-free sewing.
The unique stainless steel bed plate makes sure that your fabric feeding is smooth for even sewing.
The powerful motor (which is 60% stronger than conventional sewing machines) can sew upto 1,100 stitches per minute -- which means you can finish your projects much faster.
Even though it is a heavy duty sewing machine, SINGER 4423 is very beginner friendly.
The automatic needle threader threads the eye of the needle without eye strain or frustration.
The top drop-in bobbin is very easy to insert and remove. The clear cover lets you easily monitor the thread supply.
You can easily sew buttons, free-motion embroidery or monograms by lowering the feed dog using the conveniently located lever.
Stainless Steel Bed Plate provides smooth fabric feed for even sewing.
8. Craftster’s Sewing Kit -- The Best Sewing Kit for Beginners
Our pick for the best sewing kit for beginnners is Craftster’s Sewing Kit.
This sewing kit comes in a nice little CD-sized 4.5″ by 5″ zipped pouch which is very convenient for storage and travel.
You will find pretty much everything that you would want to have inside a sewing kit, which include:
- 12 spools of thread in various colors
- A tape measure with one side in inches, another in centimeters
- A fairly large thimble
- A seam ripper
- A large safety pin
- Three white buttons
- Small stainless steel scissors
- 2 threading tools
- 2 pins
- Secure container with 10 needles
The elastic holders in the case keep everything organized -- neat & tidy and securely in place.
Over 725 customers have given it a rating of 4.4 out of 5. Read the reviews of this kit & check sale price here.
When you buy this sewing kit, you also get a bonus ebook titled “The Hand Sewing Survival Guide”- which has over 30 Pages of step-by-step illustrated instructions to help you master essential hand-sewing skills to repair all clothing, buttons, seams, rips and holes.
Things to Consider When Buying a Beginner Sewing Machine
Automatic Needle Threader
It’s rather time consuming and frustrating when you have to manually thread the needle. This becomes even harder for people with poor eyesight. You want to look for sewing machines that have automatic needle threader built on so that the machine can take care of this for you without straining your eyeballs.
You wan’t a workspace is brightly lit -- so you won’t need to look for any other lights to get the job done. Most modern sewing machines come with built-in light -- just make sure yours has one.
Since buttonholes are rather complicated to sew beautifully, technology can really come in handy. Generally speaking there are two varieties of buttonholes: 4-step buttonholes that are sewn in four steps; and 1-step buttonhole sewn in one step.
Having an adjustable needle allows you to move the needle to the left or right (off the center) while you are stitching straight. This feature is very helpful for edge-stitching.
This feature lets you choose whether the sewing needle will stay embedded or rise when you take the pressure off controls. This feature becomes really handy whenever you have to “pivot” as you continue sewing -- for example when you are sewing on a corner. Most machines have a button that automatically raises or lowers the needle.
Adjustable presser foot pressure
As you learn to sew, you will be coming across a variety of fabrics. Having an adjustable presser foot pressure lets you adjust the pressure of the presser foot to accomodate different types of fabrics.
Drop-in Top Bobbin
The top drop bobbing allows you to get started sewing quickly -- simply drop in your bobbin, pull the thread through the slot and off you go. The drop-in top bobbin makes the sewing process quick, reliable and hassle-free. Some machines also have the bobbin winding system that easily and quickly prepares bobbins for you -- for ease of threading.
Adjustable Feed Dog Height
Being able to adjust the height of feed dogs also comes in really handy as you sew different types of fabrics.
How to Use a Sewing Machine?
Here is a video that gives a good overview of how to use a sewing machine in a beginner-friendly manner:
The first thing you need to learn is how to thread your bobbin. Depending on the model of your machine, there might be slight variations, but here is a gist of what you neeed to do:
- Locate your thread spindle and slide the thread onto the thread spindle.
- Secure the spindle by sliding the little piece that helps keep the thread on spindle.
- Pass the end of the thread through the thread holder.
- Pass thread through the bobbin and wrap it around the little circle.
- Slide bobbin back on the spindle.
- Flip the switch that lets the foot pedal to put thread on the bobbin.
- Keep pressing the foot pedal until you get the desired amount of thread on the bobbin.
- Now cut the thread and your bobbin is good to go.
- Flip the switch switch back that lets the foot pedal to put thread on the bobbin.
- Slide the bobbin into its holder and close the cover.
- Drop the needle by slowly turning the handle.
- When the needle comes back up, it should have bobbin thread with it.
- Simply pull the thread out and through and you are good to go.
- You are now ready to sew.
Sewing Machine Care and Maintenance Guide
How to Clean a Sewing Machine
The first place you need to go for your sewing machine care and maintenance -- is your manual. Every machine is different. Carefully follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly care and maintain your machine.
That being said, here are the basic steps that applies to most machines to keep them clean and running smoothly.
First of all, before you do anything, be sure to unplug your machine.
Then you will want to remove as much lint as possible. A little brush comes in very handy to get this done. Open all the areas that you can and try to get rid of lint and dust including crevices and cracks. Check your manual to find out what parts can you remove during cleaning and make sure you clean all of those areas.
It’s a great idea to make a habit of cleaning the lint and dust off your machine every time you are done with a sewing project. You don’t have to take everything apart -- just clean wherever you can get to. You will do a more thorough cleaning during regular cleaning/oiling cycles.
How to Oil a Sewing Machine
Be extra careful not to use just any oil in your sewing machine. Generally, a sewing machine oil is a clear white oil. Check your manual for all the spots where the oil goes in. You probably need to apply no more than a drop at each of those spots. Keep a soft cloth handy to clean up any accidental drops and spills.
Oiling the machine helps prevent rush and lubricates the moving parts. After oiling your machine, run some stitches on a scrap of fabric to make sure everything is working smoothly and to allow excess oil to escape.
A Few Other Things to Keep in Mind
You will want to replace your sewing machine needle if it’s been a while since you replaced it. Depending on how much you sew, it’s probably a good idea to replace the needle every few weeks.
Your sewing machine has many screws. If you come across any regular screw that is loose, gently tighten them. Do not touch anything that you are not comfortable with. Set screws are probably best handled by a repair shop. If you see set screws loose or missing, definitely take the machine to a repair shop. Because set screws affect the timing of the machine, you are better off letting a repair shop handle it.
Also, make note of any wear and tear that seem out of the ordinary -- especially signs of wear and tear on the wires. The electrical prongs need to be tight and secure. If anything seems odd, do not attempt to repair the machine yourself -- take it to a repair shop.
Types of Sewing Machines
Manual Sewing Machine
Manual machines are the most basic type of sewing machines. They are powered either using your foot or via hand-crank on the side of the machine. Because of their labor-intensive process, they are hardly in use today.
Mechanical Sewing Machine
Mechanical sewing machines are simple machines that run on electricity. Although old-school, manual machines can be very reliable and easy to use. They have very simple dials, buttons, and levers. You need to manually adjust most functions of the machine. The speed is controlled by a mechanized foot pedal. The more pressure you apply on the pedal, the faster your stitching speed.
Electronic Sewing Machine
Electronic sewing machines are a little bit more advanced than their mechanical counterparts. As such, they have more features and can perform more functions. They can effortlessly get some “frustrating” jobs done -- such as automatically sewing buttonholes to a desired shape and size, automatically cutting the thread, automatically adjusting the thread tension and stitch length, etc.
Computerized Sewing Machine
Computerized sewing machines contain microprocessors that control various functions and operations of the sewing machine. These machines can be programmed to pretty much do all the work on their own. You are able control stitches (the type, length, and width), and some machines will even sense the type of fabric you’re using and adjust stitches or thread tension accordingly.
These machines can connect to computer and download embroidery and other patterns for your sewing projects. You can then use these downloaded patterns to automatically sew patterns or stitches on any of your projects. Because of their advanced features, computerized sewing machines are the most expensive of the ones we discussed.
Our pick for The Best Sewing Machine for Beginners is Brother CS6000i. It is beginner-friendly, portable, offers ample range of sewing and quilting features and goes easy on your wallet.
In this article we have reviewed several top rated sewing machines for beginners. The information and reviews presented in this guide should help you analyze different sewing machines and their features to make the right choice for your needs. Happy sewing!
- Singer Sewing Machines
- About.com -- Sewing Machine Maintenance
- Wikipedia -- Sewing Machine
- Janome Sewing Machine
- Pretty Prudent -- Beginner Sewing Kit
- Home Sewing Machines & Embroidery Machines
- NY Times -- The Story of The Sewing Machine
- Princeton -- Sewing Machine
- Cambridge -- Elias Howe’s Sewing Machine