Best Sewing Machine For Beginners And How To Pick The One For You

Do you want to learn how to sew? Perhaps there is someone you know who alters and repairs their own clothes. Or even make garments, accessories, or toys by herself? And you want to do that.

I promise,

you can learn how to sew. With so many great tutorials, patterns, and assistance available online, there is nothing to fear. All you need is a good sewing machine to practice on.

But how to pick the right sewing machine for YOU?

In this post, I’m going to share my opinion on which is the best sewing machine for beginners and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Buying a sewing machine

When buying a sewing machine, spend some time considering what you need the machine for, what kind of fabric you are going to use, and how often will you use it.

If you are looking for the best sewing machine for beginners, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Here are some suggestions to consider. Later in this article, I go through the pros and cons of each of these machines in greater detail.

My #1 rated Brother XM2701

Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches

  • Free arm, 6 sewing feet, and instructional DVD.
  • Brother XM2701 features a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin, a brightly lit LED work area, 27 stitches, and 63 stitch functions.
  • Beginner friendly.

My #2 rated Janome 2212

Versatile Sewing Machine with a Free Arm and a Drop Feed

  • Zig-zag stitch width adjustment and stitch length adjustment, dial pattern selection.
  • Free arm and drop feed for ease of use on versatile sewing projects.
  • Lightweight and easy to use.

My #3 rated Brother XR3774

Basic Machine for Verastile Sewing and Quilting

  • Easy to use with many built-in and decorative stitches.
  • Includes a wide table and a free arm that makes it versatile for most sewing projects.
  • Includes 8 sewing feet for quilting, zig-zag, zippers, narrow hemmer, blind stitch, etc.

My #4 rated Singer Heavy Duty 4452

Heavy Duty Machine for beginners

  • Heavy duty sewing machine with 32 built-in stitches.
  • Sturdy and durable, high speed sewing machine with automatic needle threader  and many accessories for heavy duty sewing.
  • Beginner friendly.

My #5 rated Singer START 1304

Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches

  • Basic, simple and easy to use with 6 built-in stitches.
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comes with many accessories like darning plate, zipper and buttonhole feet, seam ripper.

What you are going to use the sewing machine for?

Here are some things to consider when making a buying decision.

People tend to think that the machine with the most options and a variety of stitches, programs, feet, etc., is always the best choice. Bigger is not always better.

For instance,

Let’s say that the sewing machine you intend to buy has some quilting functions but you are only interested in sewing clothes. Do you need to pay more for the functionalities you are not going to use?

To choose the best sewing machine for a beginner, determine what features are must-haves and what are good to have.

That would include ease of use, settings, functions, durability, etc.

Generally speaking, the best sewing machine is the one that fits your budget, functions well, does all the work you need it for, and is easy to use and learn how to use.

In my experience, you are going to need only the straight or zig-zag stitch most of the time. All the other fancy stitches are rarely used, but again this depends on your preferences and what kind of projects you need a sewing machine for.

For me, the musts would include a strong motor (preferably a heavy-duty one) and a stable body.

Another thing I consider is that I sew mainly clothing. I don’t embroider and quilt, so I don’t look for these functions when I make a buying decision.

A strong motor and a stable body

At this stage, you are looking to buy a good sewing machine for beginners. But you are most probably going to stick to your first choice for years. That’s why a durable and strong machine would be a good choice.

A stable body will prevent the machine from moving around while you are working on it. A strong motor would not only sound nice but would also provide a feeling of professional work.

There is nothing more frustrating for a beginner than to have to deal with troubleshooting, jams, and other issues that a less durable and stable machine might come with.

The cheapest sewing machines out there also come with cheap parts that are made from plastic. As tempting as it might seem, don’t go for the cheapest option without reading some reviews and getting some additional info.

Good user manual

Indeed, most sewing machines operate pretty much the same. But if you are a beginner and don’t have a good manual to follow, you can get frustrated very quickly.

For example,

there are machines with a front-load bobbin and there are others with a drop-in bobbin. A good user manual will explain how to operate your exact sewing machine.

A tension adjustment and stitch length settings

This will allow you to switch to the best settings regarding the fabric, the thickness, stretch, and other qualities of the material and the result you want to achieve (including basting).

Almost any contemporary machine has those settings. On some machines, they are easier to set and use.

Computerized or not computerized sewing machine

Well, this is again up to your preferences and needs. Computerized sewing machines are pleasant to operate and they have many fancy features that are easy to get used to.

For example, you can set the sewing speed with just one button.

Some computerized machines have built-in tutorials, embroidery designs, and a hundred built-in stitches.

Keep in mind though that those machines are more delicate and therefore more prone to breaking. They are also much more expensive to repair. The repair usually has to be done by a certified brand dealer and not by a random technician.

Apart from that, I love the convenience and all the options they come with.

What fabric you are going to use

If you want to sew only woven fabrics, you are not going to need any special seams and finishes. But if you plan to sew stretchy knits (like the ones on T-shirts and leotards) you might want to look for stretch stitches available.

How far are you willing to go with your sewing skills?

Why do you want to learn how to sew? Are you going to sew for yourself and your family, or do you plan to work with clients?

You don’t need to start with everything a professional seamstress has. You can always add things up later.  If you aspire to sew and design for a living, buying industrial machines or at least a regular machine and an overlocker/serger would be nice.

Chances are, you will have to use all types of stitches and machines like a serger and a coverstitch machine. It’s not mandatory, but this will save time and effort and deliver the professional results you and your clients will be looking for.


 you can manage to sew professionally without industrial machines and even using ONLY your regular sewing machine. A straight stitch machine is not only good for beginners. It is also used for almost any sewing project.

Do you have an available service near you?

The truth is, no matter which brand you choose or what kind of a machine you decide to buy, it is going to need repair at some point or, at least, some fine-tuning.

Which is the best sewing machine for beginners?

The best sewing machine for beginners is the one that suits your needs best.

Believe it or not, you are quickly going to move from beginner to a more advanced level sewist.


most probably you are going to continue to use the same sewing machine. It is not an investment that is made every day, so keep in mind that you are not going to stay at the beginner level forever.

With that said, I’m going to list some sewing machines below which in my opinion and the reviews of others I find to be the best sewing machines for home use.

Best starter sewing machine – Brother XM2701

As I said above, the best starter sewing machine could have different functions depending on your preferences.In my opinion, a beginner needs the basics and nothing too complicated to operate.

The XM2701 is considered to be the best Brother sewing machine for beginners according to many buyer reviews. It is highly rated by beginners who purchased it. It comes with automatic needle threading and bobbin loading, which saves a lot of time.

Brother XM2701 has all the basic features that a beginner and even an advanced sewist might need: a free arm, 6 additional feet, and many built-in stitches, which are more than enough to finish different sewing tasks like installing a zipper, blind stitch, and buttonholes.

Pros: This sewing machine is easy to use and learn on. It comes with some extras like automatic threading and additional accessories.

Cons: if you compare it to a heavy-duty machine, this one is more lightweight and not very suitable for heavy-duty stuff like many layers of fabric or leather.

Janome beginner sewing machine Janome 2212

This is another great sewing machine for a beginner. It comes with many accessories like spare bobbins and needles.

Pros: The Janome 2212 sewing machine has 12 built-in stitches, a four-step buttonhole, zig-zag stitch width adjustment, and stitch length adjustment that ensures ease of use.

It also comes with a free arm and drop feed which makes it eligible for versatile sewing projects.

People who purchased this sewing machine say it’s lightweight and small but efficient. They also say it’s easy to thread and use.

This is a good basic machine. I’ve used a couple of Janome machines in the past and I like how they are built and how they operate. 

Another plus is that there are many YouTube videos on how to use this machine to help you along the way.

Cons: You won’t find a threader, a thread cutter, and other functionalities that other more advanced machines have.

Singer basic sewing machine SINGER Start 1304

This is another good starter sewing machine that was built for beginners in particular.

SINGER Start 1304 is lightweight and portable but solid at the same time.

Pros: It has a self-threader and comes with 6 built-in stitches with preset width and length of the stitch to make it easier for a beginner to use.

It comes with many feet and accessories like a darning plate, set of needles, spare bobbins, seam ripper, and many more.

It’s probably one of the cheapest sewing machines out there. If you have a really small budget, you might find that this one suits your needs.

Cons: Due to its lightweight and many plastic parts, this machine is not a good choice for heavier fabric and heavy-duty sewing.

Best heavy duty sewing machine SINGER Heavy Duty 4452

“Heavy-duty” and “a beginner” might not seem to go by hand. But if you plan to sew many layers of denim, leather, or canvas you need a heavy-duty machine.

SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 is appropriate for beginners for a couple of reasons.

Pros: First, it’s not a big investment. Usually, heavy-duty and/or industrial machines would cost much more.

Second, it’s fairly easy to learn how to use and comes with an automatic needle threader. It’s also fast and comes with some special accessories for heavy-duty sewing.

It also comes with specialized heavy-duty accessories.

People who bought this machine find it beginner-friendly, fast, and easy to use. They say it easily goes through many layers of fabric.

Cons: Some buyers say some of the parts are cheaply made and might need replacement sooner than expected.

Best sewing machine for quilting beginners Brother XR3774

This is a less expensive sewing machine with a wide table and a darning plate, appropriate for quilts. The wide table is easy to attach. It comes with an LED working light and an auto needle threader.

SINGER Start 1304 is lightweight and portable but solid at the same time.

Pros: People who purchased this machine find it easy to work with and set up. It does a great job with thick, as well as with delicate and thin fabrics.

This machine is good for many versatile sewing projects that include not only quilts but garments, toys, etc.

Cons: Most of the parts are plastic, which probably corresponds to the price. Plastic parts are often less durable in the long run.

Overall, this is a good quilting machine for beginners that comes with many built-in stitches and a big pack of additional accessories.

Best intermediate sewing machine

As you might’ve noticed, no computerized machines made it to this list. The reason for that is it can be kind of complicated to learn how to use, especially for beginners.

However, if you are willing to invest the time and effort to learn how to operate one, it can give you more bang for your buck.

If you sew and embroider, here is a good machine that does both Brother SE600, Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine.

If you quilt and sew, this machine can be a great choice and on a very good price Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine.

If you need a more advanced, heavy-duty machine, I would suggest an industrial sewing machine. Keep in mind that not all industrial machines can deal with heavy-duty sewing, so research this matter further with a local sewing machine dealer to make the best choice.

In conclusion, I think that the buying decision should be made with your personal needs and aspirations in mind. When I got my first sewing machine, I preferred it over others because it was prettier. Not a good argument indeed, but hey, this is my machine and I like it pretty.

Yes, sewing machines come in a variety of types and forms. But they operate similarly to each other. No matter if the machine comes from a different brand or if it has its functionalities organized a bit differently.

What is going to make you a professional is practice. Don’t give up, sewing is a skill that is learnable. If you have further questions, please ask them in the comments below.

More on sewing machines:

  1. What is a coverstitch machine and how to use it
  2. 13 things you need to know about a serger (overlocker)
  3. Learning How To Sew (and why you should)
  4. How to Sew With Knits
  5. What is interfacing in sewing?


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