Can we do without sewing in life?”
As much as the question above sounds rhetorical, we can’t help but shake our heads in disappointment that the art of domestic sewing is almost becoming history in a majority of our present-day homes.
Yet, the immense benefits from engaging our hands to create using plain needle and thread or a sewing machine are too real to turn a blind eye to. If sewing isn’t a fun, self-fulfilling hobby, then it’s a money-making skill. If it isn’t a money-making skill, it’s a money-saving venture. And if it isn’t a money-saving venture, it is a work of charity to affect many other lives positively.
By all means, there’s always an important need which sewing meets, which is why we are glad to present this article to everyone – old and young – who has decided to learn how to sew, particularly with a sewing machine. Since you’ll be referred to as a beginner throughout this article, we will, amongst other valuable information, introduce you to six best sewing machines for beginners.
Beginner Sewing Machine Buying Guide
Before buying a sewing machine, have a clear direction considering the following:
What Type Of Sewing Projects Will I Be Doing?
Clearly, your decision to buy a sewing machine must have been influenced by a desire or more:
- To experiment with a sewing machine with limited functionality before deciding on the one to grow with;
- For the basic alteration and mending of already-made wears for you and your family members;
- For embroidery, which includes creating beautiful decorative designs on your pillowcases, bags, towels, or crafting your initials on your garments;
- For quilting, where three or more layers of fabrics are joined and stitched together;
- For start-to-finish sewing with fabrics or materials of your choice, thereby experiencing the satisfaction from creating stuff from the scratch.
Your desire(s) notwithstanding, it’s ideal to invest in a sewing machine capable of performing more than one task because as your knowledge and confidence increase, your needs/taste would evolve.
So, assuming your present desire is for a low-priced machine just to experiment, consider buying one of a sturdy build which has got a couple of inbuilt decorative stitches and a freehand sewing option for future embroidering needs. If it has no freehand sewing option, it should come with a darning plate to cover the feed dog for convenient embroidering.
If, on the other hand, you want a sewing machine for occasional mending or alteration, bear in mind that, with time, your observant children could develop the hunger to sew garments, tote bags or dog collars with your sewing machine. As such, it’s wiser to purchase a solid mechanical machine which comes with a good number of presser feet or is compatible with a wide range of presser feet.
Summarily, apart from being able to meet your immediate sewing needs, a sewing machine for a beginner should be easy to understand and operate, and also reliable to handle a few other sewing projects and materials.
How Many Stitches Do I Need?
Choosing a sewing machine exclusively for the number of stitches it offers isn’t the best way to snatch a good bargain. That is to say, a sewing machine with a higher number of stitches might not be better in value than the one with a limited number of stitches.
As a beginner, you don’t even need a sewing machine with fifty inbuilt stitches to start with. Such an overwhelming amount of stitches can derail and frustrate you early as you’d be given to trying all out at the same time.
However, we won’t recommend buying one with less than seven stitches, because you would outgrow it within weeks of starting to sew.
That said, the four most important stitches you need as a beginner are the straight, zigzag, buttonhole, and blind hem stitches. If your machine has all or three out of the four, you’re good to begin sewing. Eventually, other types of stitches will become essential as you gain mastery of your sewing machine.
Let’s begin by stating that presser feet help to keep your fabric or material in place as you stitch it. A brand new sewing machine will be delivered with a couple of presser feet as accessories.
Obviously, there are many different types of presser feet for various stitching purposes. For example, there’s the buttonhole foot which you’ll use to create buttonholes on your fabrics. There’s also the all-purpose foot and zipper foot commonly utilised for our everyday sewing and the insertion of zippers on sewn materials respectively.
Basically, you should be concerned with the all-purpose, zipper, buttonhole, button sewing, and darning feet as a beginner. As you advance, you’ll want to spend money on expensive presser feet like the walking foot, which is best used on bulky, as well as slippery materials such as leather, quilt, knits, mink, silk, and velvet.
Before buying a presser foot not delivered with your sewing machine, find out from the manufacturer or other genuine sources if it is compatible with your machine or not. That way, you won’t damage your machine unknowingly with the wrong foot.
Do I Need A Needle Threader?
Yes, you’ll need either the manual needle threader which is that accessory with the coin-like bottom; or the inbuilt needle threader on a sewing machine.
Honestly, the choice lies with you to make, but here’s a guide to help you decide:
- If you have steady hands and good eyesight, you don’t need an inbuilt needle threader. Unless you just want it for the luxury of owning one.
- There are fanciful inbuilt needle threaders that are short-lived. So, if you wouldn’t mind going back to a manual needle threader once the auto threader packs up, oblige yourself.
- Also, there are auto needle threaders that are fiddly to use. If you have some swear words and sweat to spare, then you won’t have any problem with such.
We can’t end the issue of needle threaders without assuring you that a lot of great sewing machines have needles that are very easy to thread manually. We hope you’ll make the best choice for you.
Earlier, we mentioned that you could be into sewing because you wish to experiment with an inexpensive sewing machine first, before shelling out cash for your forever after.
While that could be a viable option, we advise against that, especially if you want to buy a brand new machine. The reason is this: when you begin experimenting with a crappy machine because it’s the cheapest of all, you’ll soon find sewing hellish. From one technical issue to the other, you’ll commit useful time in yelling at the technician for recurring damage that was fixed only a while ago.
In our honest opinion, don’t be so obsessed with the price tag that you forget to read up on the quality of features the sewing machine has to offer. Considering that you’re in the business of sewing for the long haul, it’s best you get it right from the onset.
Depending on the kind of sewing machine you buy, there are the front-loading bobbin and the drop-in or top-loading bobbin.
Traditionally, front-loading bobbins are widely known to be vertically inserted in a hidden corner in the machine. On the other hand, drop-in or top-loading bobbin is a relatively new invention which is inserted on the surface of your machine close to the needle plate.
The front-loading bobbin can’t be easily monitored for rethreading but you won’t have to move your fabric or needle before reaching it. Conversely, the nature of the drop-in bobbin is such that you can quickly notice when you’re running out of bobbin thread. Ultimately, no one type of bobbin is better than the other; as usual, your choice is chief.
Mechanical or Computerised Sewing Machine?
Unless you’ve been sneakily learning how to use a sewing machine before coming out in the open, a computerised model isn’t for you as a beginner. You’d want a machine that you can effortlessly understand its workings without a tutor breathing down your neck every now and then. Therefore, choose a mechanical machine whose simple build features easy-to-manipulate controls.
Enough can’t be said of the merits of patronising renowned brands when it comes to sewing machines. Not only do you stand a good chance of buying a quality item for a modest price, but you also have a dedicated customer care service at your disposal. Also, you wouldn’t have to globe-trot in search of a replacement part when the need arises.
Top 5 Best Sewing Machines For Beginners
Featuring 9 inbuilt stitches, the Singer 1409 has the least number of stitches out of all the machines we have on our list. Apart from beginners who wish to try out a machine to gain confidence for more sophisticated sewing machines, we recommend the 1409 to sewers who desire a basic machine for hemming, garment resizing, or occasional sewing projects.
It displays two (2) decorative stitches for an introductory level embroidery. Also, the machine has a four-step buttonhole feature available for making neat buttonholes on your fabrics. Whether yours is a light or medium weight fabric, the presser foot pressure control on the 1409 ensures that the appropriate pressure is applied to avoid loose or overly tight stitching.
Sewing or hemming your sleeves, cuffs, or trouser legs won’t be a challenge with this machine because it has a free arm feature visible after you’ve pulled out the removable flatbed. The Singer 1409 has a front-loading bobbin hidden from the curious reach of children.
More so, threading the machine is easy to do by virtue of its clear threading guide. As a mechanical machine, the speed is controlled by a functional foot pedal.
You can secure the ends of your seams with reverse stitches via the reverse lever on the Singer 1409. Weighing a feather-light 4.9kg, moving this machine won’t require any physical exertion. The all-purpose, buttonhole, zipper, and button sewing presser feet are delivered with the Singer 1409.
Amazingly, this machine has room for other presser feet, including walking foot and straight stitch foot for quilting. Best of all, it’s strongly built with a metal interior to last for long, has a comprehensive instructional manual to sufficiently guide you, and is…budget-friendly!
- Automatic sewing machine with 15 operations of Needlework
- Free arm, piped seam
- infilatura test system error
- To support Protective Cover
If you need a panoramic sewing machine with all the features you would expect from a beginner machine, the Brother LS14S is for you.
Displaying 14 basic stitches including straight, buttonhole, zigzag and blind hem, the LS14S is designed to perform a lot of sewing tasks on different types of materials. It’s not news that this manually operated machine is straightforward to operate, with controls of flexible designs.
You’d expect a metal chassis like the LS14S to weigh enormously, but it surprises at a small weight of 6.4kg, which speaks of its convenient portability. The machine has the drop-in bobbin type with a transparent cover through which you can keep an eye on your bobbin thread. Also, you can speedily thread your bobbin with the bobbin winder on top of the machine.
Make professional buttonholes with the 4-step buttonhole on the LS14S. It’s a machine that you can sew tubular pieces on with its free arm feature. With the electric foot pedal, regulating its speed is a smooth sail. The bright LED light on the machine illuminates your work area, providing the needed light to thread the eye of your needle.
Lest we forget, the LS14S has a correct threading path which guarantees that threading it takes less than ten minutes to achieve. You can make reverse stitching on the Brother LS14S too, all thanks to its functional reverse lever.
- 14 Stitch metal chassis sewing machine
- Drop in bobbin
- LED bulb
- 4 step button hole
- 3 year manufacturer warranty
We recommend the Janome 2200XT as a sewing machine you can keep with you as you progress in sewing. Wowing with 22 (twenty-two) built-in stitches, there’s no doubt the 2200XT won’t cause your creative juice to overflow in your mind.
With its overlock stitch option, you can hem your fabrics for a professional finish. The machine has a drop feed mechanism which allows you to perform freehand sewing and embroidering of your materials. Furthermore, there’s a free arm space for circular and tubular pieces after you’ve detached the flatbed.
Even though it has no inbuilt needle threader, threading the Janome 2200XT is a breeze to do following the defined threading path. You can hold down the reverse lever feature to fasten your stitching so that it won’t unravel. Sewing several layers of fabrics under a presser foot is possible, facilitated by the extra high foot lifter.
The 2200XT possesses a front-loading bobbin and has the following presser feet: all-purpose, hemming, overcasting, satin stitch, zipper, and sliding buttonhole feet. Delivered with valuable accessories including two screwdrivers and machine oil, you have won the trophy by buying the Janome 2200XT.
Singer Simple 3232
Another great machine for the creatives, the Singer Simple 3232 fascinates with 32 (thirty-two) in-built stitches which honestly, you aren’t outgrowing anytime soon. With its 19 decorative stitches and one-step buttonhole feature, the 3232 is for the potential designer who would put the machine’s endless capability to good use.
Sewers who need an embroidery-maker machine with an inbuilt needle threader at a modest price should consider the Singer Simple 3232. It is a sturdy, metallic machine which showcases a front-loading bobbin that can be threaded fast via a bobbin winder seated on the arm of the machine. Weighing at 5kg, you won’t stress over transporting the Singer 3232 over long distances. Many layers of fabrics can fit under the presser foot with the aid of an extra presser foot lifter on the machine.
Equipped with 12 (twelve) inbuilt stretch stitches out of 25 stitches, the Brother AE2500 is best for the beginner who would work with a lot of stretch fabrics. When we thought that’s the much the AE2500 could offer, you can imagine our fascination that it comes with an overlock stitch and a blind hem stitch, both of which are of priceless importance to a professional sewer-to-be.
You can conveniently monitor your bobbin thread on this machine since it features a top-loading/drop-in bobbin. The AE2500 doesn’t have the drop feed option but is delivered with a darning plate for embroidering and quilting purposes. Of course, it’s a powerful machine that can sew through materials like a breeze and will create precise buttonholes with its four-step buttonhole feature.
- 25 Stitch Sewing Machine
- Drop in bobbin
- LED Lighting - never replace a bulb
- Includes Stretch Stitches & Stitch Length Adjustment
- 4 step button hole
Complete with an automatic needle threader and a numbered threaded path, it’s certain that the Janome J3-18 is an asset to beginners battling with poor eyesight. Not only that, but it features also a one-hand thread cutter for ease of trimming threads from fabrics.
Additionally, you’d discover that the J3-18 has a drop feed facility for creative freehand sewing, and two spool pins when you get to the level of double-needle stitching. So, it’s clear that the 18 inbuilt stitches on this machine won’t lie in waste, not made use of. It’s a lightweight machine at 6kg, which you can always move from one point to the other.
The Janome J3-18 is so cherished that it’s common for many users to have this one thing to say about it: it’s very easy to use.
- 18 built-in stitch choices
- Automatic 4-step buttonhole
- Drop feed for freehand embroidery
- Convertible freearm for circular sewing
- Convenient one-hand thread cutter
Working with a quality sewing machine as a beginner makes all the difference in your pursuit of sewing as a skill. A good machine will keep you hungry for more sewing challenges; a bad machine will turn you off, sometimes forever.
If you wish to read more on the individual basic sewing machines examined above, we request that you visit our articles here where we discussed them extensively.
Introduction – 200 words mention how wonderful and exciting sewing is as a beginner, etc and how we will be guiding them through buying the “best sewing machine for a beginner.
H2 – Beginner Sewing Machine Buying Guide – 1000 words
H3 – What Type Of Sewing Projects Will You Be Doing?
mention embroidery, quilting, and basic sewing as I will be linking to other articles
H3 – How Many Stitches Do I Need?
H3 – Presser Feet
H3 – Do I Need A Needle Threader
H3 – etc
H3 – etc
H3 – etc
H2 – Best Sewing Machines For Beginners
200 words on each of the following
H2 – Singer 1409
H2 – Brother LS14S
H2 – Janome 2200XT
H2 – Singer Simple 3232
H2 – Janome J318
H2 – Brother AE2500
H2 – Final Words 100 to 200 words