Brother is a leader in making sewing machines for all sewing levels from beginner to expert. There are dozens and dozens of Brother sewing machines on the market that cover all categories of sewing. Here I am going to focus on some top Brother sewing machines that are great for beginners.
The biggest question I get here on this site is “which sewing machine should I buy?” That’s a tough one because there are so many great machines out there with different specs. My first sewing machine was a Brother so I highly recommend this brand if you are new to sewing and want a high quality, reliable, and beginner friendly sewing machine.
What to Look for In a Beginner Sewing Machine
Your level of sewing experience will dictate the features and price you look for when shopping for a new machine. An advanced quilter will need a much different machine than a beginning sewer. With that said, here are some qualities to pay attention to when you shop for the best Brother sewing machine for a beginner.
1. Simplicity and Ease of Use
Of all the features that a sewing machine that can offer you I think the most important thing to look out for is ease of use and simplicity. There are machines on the market that have every bell and whistle you could possibly think of and dozens and dozens of built-in-stitches, embroidery, monogramming, etc. Do you need all of this if you are starting out? Nope!
The funny thing with sewing is this – many machines have all of these built-in stitches and sometimes beginners get caught up in this number when shopping. They think that a machine with 100 built-in stitches is so much better than a machine with 27 built-in stitches, but that’s not the case because most sewers use just a few stitches and 90% of the time you are going to use a simple straight stitch.
You want a sewing machine that has a clean interface that you can easily understand. If you can take the machine out of the box and start sewing in under 5 minutes then that is true simplicity and a great beginner machine.
At a basic level, there are 2 types of sewing machines – mechanical or electronic / computerized. A computerized machine has an LCD screen and you choose your stitch and other features with the touch of a button. With a mechanical machine there will be a turn dial, with the stitches labeled on the dial and you stop at the one you want to use.
Neither one of these is better or worse – it just depends on your preference. Read more about mechanical vs. computerized machines here if you are interested.
2. Automatic and Convenience Features
Automatic features are not 100% necessary to sew but in my opinion they make sewing so much easier, especially for beginners. With my first sewing machine I really didn’t know what to look for and fortunately the machine I chose (a Brother) had many automatic features that I really appreciated.
Here are some automatic and convenience features that you may find helpful.
- Automatic needle threader – With this you can thread your needle in just a few seconds
- Variable speed control / speed slider – This one was huge for me when I started sewing and it is still a must have feature for me. This allows you to slow your sewing speed down and you can go very slow if needed.
- Snap-on presser feet – This makes changing your presser foot quick and easy
- Easy bobbin winder
- Built-in thread cutter
3. Affordably Priced
Just like sewing machines come with many different features and specifications, they also have varying price ranges. You can buy a mini sewing machine that costs under $30 (yup!) and you can spend over $15,000 on a sewing machine (check out this Bernina 880-SE – amazing!).
If you are a beginner I think that a budget under $200 is plenty to get the features you need to get started with enough room to grow into. Sewing is a skill that grows over time – you don’t start out as an advanced quilter but maybe over time you will grow into that and you will need a machine with advanced quilting options.
4. Size and Portability
I think size and weight are an important feature to consider. Many beginning sewers don’t have a dedicated sewing area / table so a lightweight machine is good if you need to store your machine in a cabinet and pull it out when you want to use it.
Also, if you are going to sewing classes you want a machine that is light and portable. A carrying case is also important because it protects your Brother sewing machine and makes it simple to carry with a handle. Brother makes an excellent hard cover carrying case that fits the majority of their machines. Two machines below come with a hard carrying case, which is awesome because that saves you $20+!
Comparison of 4 Brother Sewing Machines Great for Beginners
Here is an overview of four Brother machines that are easy to use, affordably priced, and lightweight and portable.
Below is a more in-depth review of the features and specs of each machine
This is the best selling sewing machine on Amazon and understandably so. This is a value packed machine – it is affordably priced and it has tons of features.
The cs6000i is a computerized sewing machine. All of the stitches are clearly labeled on the front and you choose your stitch with a touch of the button using the lcd display.
- 60 built-in stitches and 7 styles of 1-step auto-size buttonholes
- Automatic needle threader
- Easy bobbin winding system
- Variable speed control
- Brightly Lit LED Work Area
- Built-in free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves
- Quick set drop-in bobbin
- Built-in accessory storage
This sewing machine also has many quilting features, which makes it a perfect machine to buy as a beginner and have for years while you increase your sewing skills.
Quilting Features Include:
- An oversized table for r larger quilting projects
- Walking foot allows for smoother feeding of multiple layers of fabric
- Included quilting foot for accurate placement of your quilting stitches
- Quilting guide to helps sew evenly spaced rows of quilting stitches
The cs6000i comes with 9 presser feet and a hard protective case, which is a nice bonus that will save you money right away.
With all of these features, quilting features, additional accessories, and the price you can easily see why this is a top selling machine and to top it off it is very affordably priced. I think this is a great machine for beginners.
Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway™ Limited Edition Computerized Sewing Machine
This sewing machine has 100 built-in stitches, which includes 55 alphanumeric stitches for lettering or basic monogramming
This is a computerized machine so you choose your stitch using the lcd display and touch button controls.
- 100 Unique Built-in Stitches, Including 8 Styles of 1-Step Auto-size Buttonholes
- 140 Stitch Functions
- Super Easy Bobbin Winding System
- Free Arm for Sewing Cuffs and Sleeves
- Brightly Lit LED Work Area
- Full Assortment of Accessories
- Needle Position Button
- Easy-to-use Needle Threading System
- Jam Resistant Drop-in Top Bobbin
- Oversized wide table to accommodate your larger quilt projects
- Built-in quilting stitches
- There are no quilting feet included but you can buy them separately
Like the cs6000i above, this machine also comes with a hard carrying case, which will save you $20+ right away.
Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine
This is a mechanical sewing machine so it doesn’t have any electronic controls. Instead there is a turn dial stitch selector.
- 27 unique built-in stitches, including one 1-step auto-size buttonhole
- 63 stitch functions
- Brightly lit LED work area
- Automatic needle threading system
- Quick set top drop-in bobbin
It weighs just 12.6 lbs. so it is very lightweight and portable.
The XM2701 comes with 6 included presser feet – Buttonhole foot, Button sewing foot, Narrow Hemmer foot, Zipper foot, Blind Stitch foot, and Zigzag foot. It does not come with a hard cover so that is something you will want to purchase separately.
This is the simplest and the least expensive sewing machine in this bunch. The Brother XM1010 is a mechanical sewing machine with 10 unique built-in stitches and one 4-step auto-size buttonhole.
This is definitely a simple beginner sewing machine with user-friendly features and simplicity. At 10.8 lbs. it is lightweight and easily portable.
- 10 unique built-in stitches, including one 4-step auto-size buttonhole
- 4 sewing feet: zigzag foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot
- Brightly lit LED work area
- Free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves
- Quick set drop-in top bobbin system
- 6 presser feet included – Zipper foot, Blind stitch foot, Buttonhole foot, Button fitting foot, Narrow hemmer foot, Zigzag foot
This machine also has a DVD included that makes getting started easy. You can view demonstrations on everything from threading the needle to sewing buttonholes.
This machine has 6 presser feet included but no hard carrying case.
The Bottom Line on Brother Beginner Sewing Machines
Brother is a trusted brand in the sewing industry and these 4 machines are all perfect options for a beginner. Think about the features that you really want – Computerized vs. mechanical? Variable speed control? Quilting options? A hard case included? Then you can narrow down which machine is better for you.
Also, these machines are all under $200. If you have room for a bigger budget then you may want to consider additional machines. Check out my review of some fantastic sewing machines under $500, machines under $200, as well as a comparison of great lightweight portable machines that are affordably priced.
If you have any questions then leave a question in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help.