I get asked all the time what kind of sewing machine someone should buy. It’s usually someone who has never sewn before, or maybe they made a pillow case 15 years ago and don’t exactly remember how to use a sewing machine. Based on my experience, below are my personal recommendations for the best sewing machines for a beginning sewer.
My mom taught me to sew when I was 5. We’re talking hand sewing a silver leopard print Barbie purse (no really, that was the first thing I made), but she taught me how to use a sewing machine not long after that. At the time she had a Singer sewing machine from the 60’s that weighed about 300 pounds. It got the job done though. By the time I was a teenager, I was sewing pajama pants for friends, quilts, purses and high school dance dresses. So for my 16th birthday I got what no other child in the 90’s asked for…my very own sewing machine. It is still top 5 best gifts I’ve ever received. In fact I still have it. I’ve moved onto a more advanced option, but I just can’t bear to part with it.
It was great for a beginning sewer because it’s simple. You don’t need any fancy stitches. (I’m telling you, you don’t.) You will be much more likely to use something that is logical and easy, as opposed to something that requires a manual just to do a straight stitch. I used this machine pretty intensely for about 12 years and it’s still going strong. Apparently this model isn’t sold any more, although I did find a hobby 1042 version on Ebay, which I would definitely suggest if you can find one at a good price. Below are some inexpensive models that I have recommended to friends who are just starting out.
In a nutshell, you’ll want something basic that isn’t very expensive. You can always upgrade if your skills or needs get more advanced. But if you go with a well made brand (with good reviews) and make sure to get it professionally tuned and cleaned every other year, you really shouldn’t need to buy another one. Most sewing machines these days are portable, but I would definitely get something that’s easy to get in and out of the closet. The easier it is to access and move, the more likely you’ll be to use it.
- Singer 1304
Rating: 4.3/5 with 198 customer reviews
- Brother Jx2517
Rating: 4.7/5 with 43 customer reviews
- Singer 2259
Rating: 4.3/5 with 606 customer reviews
- Brother XM2701
Rating: 4.6/5 with 357 customer reviews
- Singer 1507WC
Rating: 4.3/5 with 202 customer reviews
- Check Craigslist or Ebay for other inexpensive options that are in great shape.
Mine was bought at the local sewing machine and vacuum store by our house, which meant I could go in to get a free lesson on how to use it. They also offered classes, which I never did take advantage of. But there are definite perks to buying from your local sewing machine or craft store. Regardless of where you buy it, I would read the manual from cover to cover before you do anything. YouTube wasn’t an option for me, but definitely take advantage of all the videos out there if you get stuck on something.