Best Beginner Sewing Machine

8 Best Beginner Sewing Machine Options

Since the pandemic started, many people are looking to learn how to sew while practicing social distancing.  Whether you simply want to sew masks for yourself and/or others, or you want to sew multiple types of clothing items during the lockdown, it is important that you choose the best beginner sewing machine for you.  There are different types; it is important that you evaluate the pros and cons of each type so that you can choose the right one for you.

Unfortunately, according to CNN, there has been a shortage of sewing machines since the pandemic started.  All over the world, retailers are having a hard time keeping machines on the shelves.  Because of this, the searches for sewing machines have been up over 1150% since March.  

Fortunately, there are some models that are still in stock for beginners like you.  This article will explain the top best beginner sewing machines that are still in stock, and you can decide which one feels right for you.  This article will explain what to look for when you are choosing your first sewing machine as well as how to get started on learning this new talent.

One straightforward way to pick the best beginner sewing machine for you is to read reviews from people who have previously bought the types of machines that you are considering, and who have completed projects like the ones you want to take on.  Many stores that sell sewing machines also offer classes (of course, if the craft stores in your state are closed because of the coronavirus, you will have to watch online tutorials). 

Another option is to enlist the help of friends or family members who already have learned how to sew; you can have them show you the basics of sewing.  And don’t worry about finding a fancy machine; it’s not the best kind of machine for a beginner anyway.  Learning to sew is difficult enough without the overwhelming number of bells and whistles that more advanced machines have.  If you pick the right machine, you will have less frustration when you first learn how to sew.

Additionally, there is an ultimate sewing guide from Better Homes and Gardens to help you learn everything you need to know about sewing for beginners.  As a beginner, it is best to start small, despite any desire you might have to take on bigger projects.  Trying to take on a big project is one of the biggest mistakes that first-timers make.   Start by simply getting the feel of the machine, and then start some simple projects that don’t take long to finish.  

Top 8 Best Beginner Sewing Machine

Image ProductDetails 
Brother XM2701Brother XM2701

  • Customer Ratings: 4.7 out of 5
  • Brand: Brother

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Janome 2212Janome 2212

  • Customer Ratings: 4.6 out of 5
  • Brand: Janome

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The Singer Confidence 7363Singer Confidence 7363

  • Customer Ratings: 4.5 out of 5
  • Brand: Singer

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Singer M1500Singer M1500

  • Customer Ratings: 4.5 out of 5
  • Brand: Singer

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Singer 2277 Tradition EssentialSinger Tradition 2277

  • Customer Ratings: 4.4 out of 5
  • Brand: Singer

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Singer 1507WCSinger 1507WC

  • Customer Ratings: 4.3 out of 5
  • Brand: Singer

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Singer Brilliance 6180Singer Brilliance 6180

  • Customer Ratings: 3.8 out of 5
  • Brand: Singer

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Janome Derby Portable Sewing MachineJanome Derby Portable Sewing Machine

  • Customer Ratings: 3.8 out of 5
  • Brand: Janome

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1. Brother XM2701

Another one of the top 6 best beginner sewing machines is called “Brother.”  The crafts editors at Better Homes and Gardens use this machine for easy projects. This machine has over 4720 five-star reviews.  You can easily carry this machine, and it consists of these parts: 27 built-in stitches, an automatic needle threader, and a fool-proof drop-in top bobbin system for first-timers. 

Brother sewing machines are famous for being affordable, easy to use, and great quality to exceed the price.  That is why Brother is one of the most respectable brands that one could ever buy a sewing machine from. 

As one of the best beginner sewing machines on the planet, it comes with awesome functions and works very well, yet it is not very expensive.  If you are on a very tight budget, this machine might be the one that you should purchase.  

Pros
  • A very affordable price
  • Small and easy to carry
  • Easy to use
  • Lots of built-in stitches
  • Amazingly strong for a small machine
  • You can use it quietly
Cons
  • No notable accessories
  • Hard to use the automatic needle threader
  • Foot pedal might slide around

Sample Customer Review… I knew next to nothing about sewing machines until my wife bought this and I borrowed it from her. I spent all of about 20 minutes reading the manual, and after that minor introduction I was able to repair a huge hole in a pair of pants AND to custom-fabricate a sleeve to direct mail from the garage door mail slot into a box located a couple of feet away. If you’re a beginner looking to get a base knowledge of sewing and to have broad capabilities without spending a ton of money, this is DEFINITELY for you. I can’t recommend it enough, with 20+ stitch patterns (including buttonholes) and a SUPER easy-to-use threading mechanism, this thing is the way to go. Highly recommended.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

2. Janome 2212

This model is wonderful for first-timers and easy projects.  The price makes it particularly appealing.  It comes with 12 built-in stitch variations and an automated buttonhole feature.  It works well with layers and thick fabrics; you can do several kinds of projects with this machine.  It also comes with a free arm and a drop feed; the drop feed is for free-style sewing.  

Although threading this machine is easy, there is no automatic needle threader; you will have to move the thread through the needle eye manually.  Another disadvantage is the front-load bobbin system; it is a lot more complicated than the top-load drop-in system. 

Pros
  • 12 built-in stitches
  • Automated buttonhole feature
  • Works well with layers and thick fabrics
  • Free arm
  • Drop feed
Cons
  • No automatic needle threader
  • Complicated front-load bobbin system

Sample Customer Review… I’m not big on writing reviews but I had to take a moment to do so…As a novice sewer, this machine will have your comfort level at “Hello”. From loading the bobber to threading, to stitch selection and variable foot control speed, this machine is virtually plugin and play. I can’t believe how affordable it is because the build quality and superior performance scream expensive! I was fortunate to buy the last one before they sold out last week and SO glad I got it!

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

3. The Singer Confidence 7363

This machine has an excellent 4.5-star rating.  This is currently one of Joann’s highest-rated machines.  This machine consists of 30 built-in stitches, a drop-and-sew bobbin system (which is a great feature for beginners), and an automatic needle threader. You can order this machine online, and Joann offers same-day free curbside pickup.

You could simply use a needle and thread to sew your own clothes, and not even bother with buying a machine.  However, you would be spending a lot more time completing the task and might give upright in the middle of your project.  It is important to find the best beginner sewing machine for you; one that will meet the requirements that you have, and fulfills your dream of having your perfect sewing machine.

According to the Singer Confidence 7363, this machine is one of the best beginner sewing machines that the Singer brand has created. This machine comes with lots of awesome features: these features come in a surprisingly affordable range for the machine.  

As previously mentioned, the Singer Company is famous for creating high-quality sewing machines; for that reason, their machines are famous all over the world.  This top-rated sewing machine was created for first-timers so that they can more easily learn how to sew and more quickly overcome any struggles that they might initially have.  Like the Singer machines themselves, the reviews on these machines are well-known for being positive.

Pros
  • Thirty built-in stitches
  • Automatic tension enables high-quality stitching.
  • Extra-high presser foot lifter: can put multiple layers on thick fabric.
  • A free arm
  • Adjustable stitch length and width 

  • The LED light: battery life is 100,000 hours 
  • You can sew at 750 stitches per minute
  • 6-segment feeding system: supports presser foot
  • Heavy-duty: ensures perfect stitches
Cons
  • No drop feed dog functionality
  • No control over the needle

Sample Customer Review… This is my first ever sewing machine and I love it. I read many reviews and decided to purchase this machine from my local singer shop. It is great and so easy to use for a beginner like myself. I don’t have to worry about the bobbin or the tension as it’s automatic. I would definitely recommend this machine.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

4. Singer M1500

As yet another machine that comes at a fairly cheap price, this first-timer machine is an awesome price for those interested in learning how to sew. This machine has over 65 included accessories, 57 stitch applications, and a fool-proof feature for selecting stitches. Amazon has over 150 five-star reviews.  One reviewer said, “Easy to operate for beginners, but has also been designed for serious sewing! Does not have all the bells and whistles that you find on expensive machines, but definitely has features/stitch patterns that are probably all that will be used the majority of the time.”

Pros
  • A simple full-size sewing machine
  • Fairly cheap price
  • Small and easy to carry
  • Free-arm and twin needle capability
Cons
  • Front-load bobbin: you must draw up the thread manually before you begin sewing
  • Hard to learn the 4-step buttonhole

Sample Customer Review… This is the perfect beginner sewing machine. It doesn’t take up much space and it’s lightweight and portable enough to store or take with you. It was an easy setup and with the product videos on Youtube, you really can’t go wrong. I purchased mine with them because I thought for a beginner sewing machine it might not be the best quality; however, I honestly do think that this machine will last me five plus years if taken care of properly.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

5. Singer 2277 Tradition Essential

This model is one of the best beginner sewing machines; it is easy to learn on.  Of course, you can work your way up to large-scale projects once you have mastered smaller ones. There are also online videos that will help you learn how to sew while you are keeping your distance from other people.  The Joann website contains over 100 5-star reviews.  In fact, one reviewer mentioned being inspired to make masks and finding this machine in their research.  This person liked the price and how easy it was to figure out the machine and its functions.

In many countries, the name, “Singer” is a great name to be associated with sewing machines, and for good reason: The Singer company is famous for its high-quality products.  Even though these products are indeed expensive, if you purchase one, you will eventually realize that the purchase was worth it; you will look back someday and be glad that you bought your machine from this company.

You can get this machine at the store or buy it online. Joann is currently offering curbside pickup; that is, you can stay in your car, and they will bring the machine right out to you.  

Pros
  • Very sturdy
  • Free arm
  • In-built storage
  • The price is simply a bargain
  • Lots of great choices with this model
  • Awesome accessories
Cons
  • Poorly made reverse lever and pedal
  • Must stabilize it well; otherwise, it can move around

Sample Customer Review… Got this with 0 experience sewing and was able to use it. Single dad with girls who wanted custom dresses, blankets, and dress-up clothes. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but this sewing machine is so simple and easy to use I was quickly able to begin sewing dresses, shirts, skirts, blankets, etc with this thing. If I can learn on this machine anyone can. Simple to thread, fill and load bobbins with enough stitch options to get you through, and I didn’t even know some of those words existed or what they meant before I got this machine.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

6. Singer 1507WC

This machine is a very simple one that will help you get the job done easily.  Although there are only 8 different stitch types, it does the job wonderfully.  It is perfect for people who are just learning how to sew.  It has a free arm for hard-to-reach areas.  Best of all, it has a fully automated 4-step buttonhole.

Pros
  • Free arm
  • 4-step automated buttonhole
Cons
  • Only 8 stitch types

Sample Customer Review… I love this sewing machine for its portability, all the great features, great price too. I use it for everyday items, hemming, altering curtains, shortening pants, etc. But I am certain anyone who does large sewing projects will find this machine more than adequate to handle the job. This machine is easy to carry to wherever you’re going to sew it is sturdy and made very well, but yet it is not excessively heavy or bulky. Comes with a nice plastic cover for storage too.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

7. Singer Brilliance 6180

Michaels rates this machine as their best beginner sewing machine available. The Singer Brilliance 6180 comes with the following features: a built-in needle threader, a self-adjusting tension system, and 80 built-in stitches to assist you with anything from the beginner level to the advanced level. Like Joann’s, Micheals offers a curbside pickup option and you can pick it up the same day that you order it.  

Pros
  • Takes up hardly any space
  • Easy to carry
  • Excellent stitch quality
  • Very quiet machine
  • Sturdy and long-lasting
  • Lots of accessories
  • Great price for product’s value
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • Hard to use thicker fabrics with this machine
  • No “start/stop” button with reverse stitching

Sample Customer Review… I used my Singer 6180 to make two sailboat covers and two sail covers with heavy Sunbrella fabric and heavy thread. The edging was three layers thick. I had no problems whatsoever! The machine more than paid for itself already.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

8. Janome Derby Portable Sewing Machine

This model is the best beginner sewing machine for those who are not going to making sewing an everyday hobby; you can buy it for way less than most other brands.   It contains 10 stitch options, a simple stitch dial, and a finger guard; nobody wants to stitch their finger, after all. You can perform just about any kind of simple project, whether it is just basic mending, or making facemasks. 

If you have no hand-sewing skills, or you want to find something that you can use for quick hems, this may be the best beginner sewing machine for you.

This machine is also child-friendly; if you have young children, and you are looking to teach them how to sew, this might be the best beginner sewing machine for both you and them to learn on.  You can also carry this machine with you when traveling or going to a sewing class. 

If these are the qualities you are looking for in a sewing machine, the Janome Derby could be the best beginner sewing machine for you.  There are different colors of this model to choose from.  Plus, there is a finger guard, which obviously is there to keep your fingers safe.  

Pros
  • Storage Tray
  • 25-year limited warranty on workmanship or material issues
  • 2-year warranty on electrical parts
  • Any labor is free in the first year
  • Built-in adjustable stitches
  • Finger guard
  • Top-loading drop-in bobbin
  • 2 needle positions: helps with avoiding mistakes and jams
  • You can use all kinds of lightweight fabrics
  • Extra-high presser foot lift: using different fabrics between needle plate and presser foot
Cons
  • Frequent Jams
  • Can be noisy
  • Slow sewing speed
  • No built-in light

Sample Customer Review… My 8-year-old niece loved this machine. It’s so easy to use, she sewed a pillow during her first sewing session. The finger guard on the feed dog is great and made her less fearful about getting a needle in her finger. The slower speed also helped her to pace herself. After a couple of practice tries, she was able to load a bobbin and thread the machine just by following the arrows clearly imprinted on the body of the machine. She’s been sewing up a storm.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

Buying Guide – Features

Based on customer reviews, here are some features that are great particularly for those just learning how to sew:

Automatic Needle Threader

This feature is probably the most important one in a sewing machine for first-timers.  This way, the machine does the work for you and you don’t have to thread your needles by hand.  

Built-In Stitches

Find a machine that has at least 10-20 built-in stitches.  Most beginner projects don’t need more than that.  

Top Drop-In Bobbin

This drop-in system helps to load a new bobbin into the machine because you don’t have to remove any storage compartments or attachments.

Conclusion

Whichever machine you choose as the best beginner sewing machine for you, be sure to spend time getting a feel for how the machine works.  Be sure to start small and work your way up to bigger projects as you master the skill of sewing.  You know what they say: practice makes perfect.

Written by Carmen Boneck


Written by: Carmen Boneck; Contributor: Raj Vora

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