5 Best Sewing Machines For Beginners

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A question that we get a lot is: which are the best sewing machines for beginners?

And it’s no wonder really.

Sewing is a fantastic craft that combines the creative, the fun and the practical. With a sewing machine it’s possible to create everything from clothing to toys and embroidery – and much more in between.

But how to get started?

The first step is to invest in a sewing machine.

Sewing machines can be intimidating at first thanks to plenty of jargon, tools and features – and there are literally thousands of models on offer – so how does a newbie go about finding the right beginner sewing machine to suit their needs at an affordable price?

Luckily there are more than a handful of entry-level machines specifically designed for beginners that serve as a good introduction to sewing.

Here’s a sneak peak at 3 of our favourites:

Sewing Machine
Brother CS6000i
SINGER Stylist 7258
Janome Magnolia 7318
Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60 Built-in Stitches, 2.0" LCD Display, Wide Table, 9 Included Sewing Feet
SINGER Computerized Sewing Machine With Included Accessory Kit 7258, 203 Stitch Applications, Simple & Perfect for Beginners
Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine with Exclusive Bundle
Auto Needle Threader?
Automatic Tension?
Stop-Start Button?
Jam Proof Bobbin?
Computerized or Mechanic?
Computerized
Computerized
Mechanic
SFH Rating
Sewing Machine
Brother CS6000i
Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60 Built-in Stitches, 2.0" LCD Display, Wide Table, 9 Included Sewing Feet
Buy On Amazon
Auto Needle Threader?
Automatic Tension?
Stop-Start Button?
Jam Proof Bobbin?
Computerized or Mechanic?
Computerized
SFH Rating
Sewing Machine
SINGER Stylist 7258
SINGER Computerized Sewing Machine With Included Accessory Kit 7258, 203 Stitch Applications, Simple & Perfect for Beginners
Buy On Amazon
Auto Needle Threader?
Automatic Tension?
Stop-Start Button?
Jam Proof Bobbin?
Computerized or Mechanic?
Computerized
SFH Rating
Sewing Machine
Janome Magnolia 7318
Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine with Exclusive Bundle
Buy On Amazon
Auto Needle Threader?
Automatic Tension?
Stop-Start Button?
Jam Proof Bobbin?
Computerized or Mechanic?
Mechanic
SFH Rating

We’ll get in to the details of why we love these machines below in our complete guide below.

Let’s get started!

The 5 Best Sewing Machines for Beginners

which sewing machine is best for beginner

Now that you’ve decided that you want to take up sewing, it’s time for the shopping part — buying a sewing machine!

We’ve selected some of the best sewing machines for beginners to help you choose the most appropriate model for your sewing needs and your bank balance.

Here are our top picks for what we judged as the best sewing machines for beginners.

Brother CS6000i

brother cs6000i computerized sewing machine

Beginner-Friendly Features

  • Clear and intuitive LCD screen
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Super easy bobbin winding system
  • Electronic variable speed control
  • Extra large sewing table
  • 7 styles of 1-step automatic buttonholes
  • Brightly lit LED work area

The name of this feature-packed sewing machine speaks volumes!

The range of 60 available stitches and settings may seem a little overwhelming to a beginner, but this is a machine that will grow with you as your skills improve, and there are plenty of features that make this machine easy to operate for the inexperienced user.

The jam proof bobbin system stops thread from turning into a tangled mess and blocking the inner workings of the Brother CS6000i, and the stop start button provides adjustability and speed control for perfect stitching.

It also offers easy bobbin winding, auto-size buttonholer and automatic needle threader to get your sewing off to a quick and stress-free start.

It’s a bestseller for a reason.

We think this is one of the best sewing machines for beginners.

Pros

  • 60 stitches including 7 1-step automatic buttonholes
  • Built-in free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves
  • Affordable
  • Computerized and easy to operate
  • Versatile — it’s also great for quilting!
  • 25 year limited warranty
  • Incredible value for money

Cons

  • Not so good on thicker fabrics
  • No automatic tension control

>> Read our full Brother CS6000i Review

We gave the machine a 4.1/5 rating in our official review:

We love the Brother CS6000i — it’s one of the best sewing machines for beginners on a budget. It’s reasonably priced, easy to use and will grow with you as you grow in experience.

It’s not great on multiple layers and the jury’s still out on how well it can handle denim, but it’s perfectly good for most sewing and quilting projects.
Official SFH Review
Brother CS6000i
  • 60 Unique built-in stitches: The Brother CS6000i includes 60 built-in sewing stitches, including decorative stitches and 7 styles of auto-size buttonholes
  • Automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin: This sewing and quilting machine includes an automatic needle threader that perfectly pushes the thread through the needle and a convenient, jam resistant drop-in top bobbin
  • Included accessories: The CS6000i includes a hard protective case, wide table, 10 sewing feet, needle set including twin needle, 3 bobbins and more
  • LCD Screen: Easily select your stitches with the touch of a button and view your selections on the LCD display
  • 25 Year limited warranty: The CS6000i is backed by a 25 year limited warranty with free technical support for the life of the product

SINGER 1234

Singer 1234

Beginner Friendly Features

  • Cheap price
  • Automatic tension control
  • Easy stitch selection dial
  • Easy threading system
  • Automatic bobbin winding system
  • Preset stitch length and width
  • Comes with access to an online machine owner’s class

Sewing with the Singer 1234 is as easy as, well, 123. 4…

Beginners will love the simplicity of this basic but reliable sewing machine that comes with all the fundamental features necessary for great results for all sorts of projects.

The automatic tension system combined with pre-programmed stitch width and length ensures straight quality stitches whatever type of fabric you are using.

An easy automatic bobbin winder automatically stops turning when the bobbin is completely filled, and there’s an automatic 4-Step buttonhole feature to easily sew perfect buttonholes. What’s more there’s even a fun free owner’s class online so help beginners get the most out of their new machine as effortlessly as possible.

There’s no thrills with the Singer 1234. It comes with only 6 built-in stitches and there are no options for stitch size customization or speed. But, it’s perfectly simple enough for absolute sewing beginners and even crafty kids.

Pros

  • Durable frame
  • Insanely easy to use
  • Good, steady sewing speed
  • Small and light — very portable
  • LED lit work space
  • Convertible free arm for easy access to difficult to reach areas
  • Extra high presser foot available for bulky fabrics
  • Comes with a bonus tote bag project sheet and decals to customize machine
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • It’s super basic and you’ll probably outgrow it quickly
  • Only 6 preprogrammed stitches
  • Some users have experienced bobbin jamming issues
Singer 1234
  • SINGER FREE-ARM SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Start 1234 Free Arm Portable Sewing Machine has 6 Built-In Stitches including a built-in 4 step Buttonhole. The removable storage compartment houses its sewing accessories which are easy-to-use and versatile.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE: This lightweight and portable machine weighs only 7 pounds, making it great for sewing in smaller spaces or taking to sewing class.
  • AUTOMATIC BOBBIN WINDING SEWING MACHINE: To wind a bobbin, simply follow the numbered diagram printed on top of the sewing machine. The bobbin will automatically stop turning when it's completely filled.
  • BEST SEWING MACHINE FOR BEGINNERS: The SINGER Start 1234 sewing machine is basic, simple, and easy-to-use thanks to 6 Built-in Stitches, all with pre-set stitch width and stitch length. Just select your stitch and start sewing.
  • SINGER Start 1234 ACCESSORIES: Includes All-Purpose Foot, Zipper Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Darning Plate, Pack of Needles, Bobbins, Needle Plate Screwdriver, Spool Pin Felts, Seam Ripper / Lint Brush, Power Line Cord, Foot Control, Quick Start Guide, Instruction Manual.

Brother XM2701

Beginner Friendly Features

  • Automatic needle threader
  • Jam-resistant top drop-in bobbin
  • Automatic bobbin winding system
  • Brightly lit LED work area
  • Comes with instructional DVD
  • Comes with 6 quick-change sewing feet
  • Easy stitch selection dial
  • Free technical phone and online support for life

This cute, lilac-patterned sewing machine is one of the best sewing machines for beginners on the market right now.

It’s cheap, has a wide range of features and is really easy to use. The Brother XM2701 is one of those machines that will grow with your sewing experience — it’s got 27 built-in stitches, opportunities for quilting and a number of included presser feet for you to experiment with as you grow in confidence.

We love low cost, high quality sewing machines and this Brother product certainly fits the bill.

Pros

  • 27 built-in stitches (and 1 1-step automatic buttonhole)
  • Comes with 6 presser feet
  • Lightweight and small — very portable
  • Versatile — good for sewing and quilting
  • Excellent value for money
  • 25 year limited warranty
  • Easy enough for absolute beginners to use

Cons

  • LED work light is a little dim
  • No stop start button so finding the right speed and pressure can take some getting used to

>> Read our full Brother XM2701 Review

We have the machine a 4.3/5 rating in our official review:

We think the Brother XM2701 Lightweight is one the best sewing machines for beginners. It’s easy to use with lots of potential to improve and extend your sewing skills.

It’s also very portable and lightweight, so a great second machine for experienced sewers who like to sew on the road.
Official SFH Review
Brother XM2701
  • VERSATILE FREE ARM SEWING MACHINE: The Brother XM2701 27-stitch free arm sewing machine is perfect for a wide range of everyday sewing projects, and users from beginners to advanced
  • 27 UNIQUE BUILT-IN STITCHES: This machine includes decorative, blind hem, zigzag, and stretch stitches as well as other built-in stitches
  • 6 QUICK-CHANGE SEWING FEET: The XM2701 includes 6 quick-change sewing feet, with buttonhole, zipper, narrow hemmer, blind stitch, zigzag and button sewing
  • JAM-RESISTANT: The Brother XM2701 features a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin, a brightly lit LED work area, 27 stitches, and 63 stitch functions

SINGER Stylist 7258

clothes making sewing machine

Beginner Friendly Features

  • Automatic needle threader
  • Stop start function for adjustable sewing speed
  • LCD screen allows you to adjust and preview stitch width and length
  • Easy to use top-loading bobbin system with transparent cover
  • Brightly lit LED workspace

Threading this machine is a breeze — thanks to the automatic needle threader it only takes about six seconds!

Beginners will also appreciate the Singer 7258’s user friendly jam proof bobbin system with transparent cover, and the choice of 7 automatic 1-step buttonhole settings to get your button holes right every time.

The autopilot stop start system enables novices to keep their stitching controlled and even, and the machine comes with the Ready, Set, Sew! DVD full of guides, hints and tips to give beginners a head start too.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction thanks to heavy duty metal frame
  • 100 preprogrammed stitches
  • Comes with 10 different presser feet
  • Programmable needle
  • Great for beginners who want to start at slow speeds
  • A reliable performer
  • Has plenty of potential to grow with your sewing experience

Cons

  • No automatic tension control
  • Stitch selection isn’t as straightforward as it could be

>> Read our full Singer 7258 Review

We gave the machine a 4.4/5 rating in our official review:

It’s not great with multiple layers or thick fabrics, but it’s terrific for small projects, crafting and quilting. It’s also incredibly easy to use, and a great purchase for both an ambitious beginner and a more experienced sewer.
Official SFH Review
SINGER Stylist 7258
  • PUSH BUTTON STITCH SELECTION: The SINGER Stylist 7258 sewing machine allows you to select the desired stitch with just a simple push of a button. Optimum settings for length, width and tension are set automatically and are customizable with adjustable stitch length and stitch width. Volts : 120V. Amps : 0.62. Watts-74
  • WARRANTY: SINGER Stylist 7258 Sewing Machine has 25 Year Limited Warranty , 60 Hertz
  • This sewing machine is warranted for use in the US and Canada at 110 volts only

Janome Magnolia 7318

janome magnolia 7318 review

Beginner-Friendly Features

  • Top-loading, jam-proof bobbin system
  • Easy to read stitch panel on the front of the machine
  • Stitch selection dial
  • Drop feed switch to drop the feed dogs for easy free motion sewing
  • Snap-on presser feet
  • Easy to thread even though there’s no automatic threading
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • Seam guides on needle plate

The Janome Magnolia is an incredibly popular sewing machine that’s great for beginners, and at a fantastically low price from such a quality company.

This Japanese manufacturer has earned a reputation for quality sewing machines, and the Janome Magnolia 7318 is no exception.

This entry level machine is suitable for sewing, quilting and home crafts.

The easy-access bobbin can be checked at any time without having to open the case and the simple push and pull bobbin winder is quick and efficient.

This machine also features a measurement guide to keep your seams neat, and an automatic thread cutter which means you don’t have to keep reaching for the scissors.

Pros

  • Stitch quality is consistently high
  • Extra high presser foot lift — great for thick fabrics
  • Easy to thread needle
  • 7 piece feed dog for precision fabric control
  • Free arm for free motion sewing
  • Adjustable stitch length and width, and reverse lever
  • Comes with bonus bundle!
  • Sturdy construction
  • Versatile – can also be used for quilting
  • Value for money
  • Lightweight and compact design

Cons

  • No automatic needle threader
  • You will need to manually set the thread tension
  • Automatic buttonhole is a 4-step process

>> Read our full Janome Magnolia 7318 Review

We gave the machine a 4.5/5 rating in our official review:

The Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine is a super easy to use, portable, and sturdy machine that any beginner or novice hobbyist will be glad to have on their crafting table.
Official SFH Review
Janome Magnolia 7318
  • Top loading jam proof bobbin system for tangle free sewing
  • 7-piece feed dog which ensures precision fabric control
  • 18 stitches including a built-in buttonhole
  • Handy carrying handle | 110-volt machine, for use in US only
  • Bonus Package Includes: Janome Muffling Mat, Schmetz 90/14 Universal Needles (5pk), 10 Bobbins. *Items may be substituted and are subject to stock on hand. Packaging might vary

How Do I Choose A Beginner Sewing Machine?

Sewing machines can be a little daunting to most beginners, so simplicity is key.

The best sewing machine for beginners is one that is straightforward to operate and understand.

These specially designed entry level sewing machines often come with special features to make things extra easy for the user without compromising on the final results.

Here are a few of the beginner-friendly features you should be looking out for:

Automatic Tension

Too much thread tension can cause your thread to break, and too little can mess up your stitches and jam — and sometimes break — the machine.

Avoid the stress by choosing a sewing machine with an automatic tension feature. One less thing for you to worry about!

Automatic Needle Threading

Regardless of how experienced a sewer you are — the pain of trying to pass a slender thread through the tiny eye of a needle never stops being frustrating.

We’re sure we’re not the only people who swear that it’s straining our eyesight!

Thankfully, some of the best beginner sewing machines are now equipped with automatic needle threaders which promise to save time and simplify the sewing process.

Seriously, a self-threading machine is a game changer in the world of sewing!

Stop Start

Most sewing machines are powered by a foot pedal — the harder you press down on the pedal with your foot, the faster you sew.

This can however be a recipe for disaster if you let the machine get out of control. Cue hundreds of stitches all running in the wrong direction…

A good solution to this problem is a ‘stop start’ autopilot feature that disconnects the machine from the foot pedal and lets you set a constant stitching speed at the touch of a button.

Jam Proof Bobbin

It’s a common complaint in sewing circles that sewing off the edge of your fabric can easily jam the thread, causing headaches that you can easily do without.

A jam proof bobbin system eliminates this problem and prevents the workings of the sewing machine getting clogged up with errant threads.

We love bobbin systems that have a transparent cover on them, which allows us to easily see if we’re running out of thread or not.

>>> Read our ultimate guide to sewing for beginners

Types of Sewing Machines For Beginners

One of the things you’ll notice if you’ve been exploring the available models on the market is that there are numerous types of sewing machine – manual, computerized and mechanical.

Wondering how they differ?

Manual Sewing Machines

This type of sewing machine is the oldest model. It works by turning a hand crank which pushes a needle up and down through fabric, making a lockstitch. They are simple to operate, but slow as they have fewer parts that can break or jam if oiled regularly.

It also doesn’t have any electronics so you’ll need to manually adjust the settings as it sews to get better stitches – just turn an attached screw for zigzag stitch width and length.

Are Manual Sewing Machines Suitable For Beginners?

They are a good choice for beginners as they don’t have as many features as the computerized sewing machine and you can improve your technique with practice. You also won’t need to spend money on replacing broken parts or buying new ones, which is great news if you’re low on cash.

As you can’t rely on technology, they require more attention and care than the other types of machines available. If oiled regularly, it will work well and produce quality stitches and seams. If not looked after properly, it may jam easily so proper upkeep is key to getting good results from your manual machine.

Mechanical Sewing Machines

To work, this type of sewing machine uses a foot pedal that applies oil to the fast-spinning gears. This then turns a wheel that pulls the needle up and down creating stitches.

They are suitable for beginners as they’re easier to use than manual machines as you don’t need to adjust settings manually to get different types of stitches. However, it can be harder for a beginner to master speed control with a mechanical sewing machine as there aren’t any settings for controlling the speed of your stitching – it’s either on or off.

Are Mechanical Sewing Machines Suitable For Beginners?

A mechanical machine is good if you want something quick and easy that will help improve your skills as you’ll have more limited options but increased speeds.

Computerized Sewing Machines

If you’re ready to spend more money on your machine, then a computerized sewing machine may be the one for you. This type of sewing machine uses electronics like digital counters and touch screens to control settings. They are great if you want versatility as they can produce dozens of different styles of stitches, straight stitching and zigzag with the touch of a button.

Are Computerized Sewing Machines Suitable For Beginners?

As they have such an array of features, beginners will find that computerized models are quite confusing at first – until they get used to how it works. These machines are recommended for experienced sewists who don’t mind spending more time on their machines learning all the functions.

The upside to a computerized machine is that once you’ve mastered the learning curve, the possibilities are endless.

There are some incredibly sophisticated machines that can take you from absolute newbie to experienced sewer if you put in the hours to learn your craft.

The choice is yours!


So now you’ve seen which sewing machines are best for a beginner, which is your favorite? 

If you are new to sewing, be sure to check our recommended sewing gear for some useful ideas for your craft room!

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