Five Great Sewing Machines for Beginners

Learning to sew? The first step is to find the right beginner sewing machine. Here are five machines that have the features and ease-of-use for beginners.

If you are a beginner in the sewing then you probably want to buy a good machine without going overboard. If you are a beginner on the ultimate sewing machine budget and you want to buy a quality machine under $100, then this is the perfect guide for you.

While many may think it is not possible to get a good machine for under a hundred bucks, I’m here to prove you wrong. The market for sewing machines has changed a great deal since the days of  buying a machine at your local Sears store (this is where my mom bought hers 🙂 ).

With online resources like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and overstock.com there are so many awesome options for good machines at a reasonable price – and yes even sewing machines under $100.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Machine Under $100

If you are looking for a sewing machine in this price range then it is likely that you are a beginning sewer, which is great. Welcome to the wonderful world of sewing!

Modern sewing machines come in all sorts of price ranges, sizes, specialties, and configurations.

How many stitches? If you’ve done any shopping or comparison for sewing machines you may be blown away by machines that have 80 to 100 or over 200 built in stitches. Well, let me tell you to not get too excited about this. Most basic sewing projects require a straight stitch only. And every once in a while you may use a zig zag stitch. Most of the sewing machines in the under $100 range have just a handful of built-in-stitches but that does not mean it is not a good machine.

What kind of projects are you going to use your machine for? If you are a beginner seamstress who is looking for a decent machine to hem or repair or complete home projects with lightweight fabric, then the selection of sewing machines in the under $100 range will be fine for you.

If you are looking for a machine to sew jeans, upholstery, leather, and even heavy-duty curtains, then you have to budget for a higher end machine. The lightweight machines are not able to handle heavier jobs and will most likely break down if your try to use them for that.

Do you want a mechanical or computerized machine? Although there is no clear cut winner on which type of machine is best. It is really based on your preference. My first machine was computerized, so I used to rave about the ease of use in selecting stitches with the touch of the button and the LCD display. But I’ve since used mechanical machines, and I see that both types of machines are great. A mechanical machine will simply have a dial to select a stitch and not the fancy backlit LCD display.

Read more about mechanical vs. computerized sewing machines if you need help deciding what type of machine you want.

Under $100 Sewing Machine Comparison Guide

Let’s take a look at some of the popular, budget-friendly (aka under $10) sewing machines available today.

MODELBUILT-IN STITCHESAUTO NEEDLE THREADRATING
MODELBUILT-IN STITCHESAUTO NEEDLE THREADRATING
Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich Sewing Machine 60Yes4.5
SINGER 7258 Stylist Award-Winning 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine 100Yes4.5
SINGER One Easy-to-Use Computerized Sewing Machine 24Yes4.5
Janome 2212 Sewing Machine 12No4.5
Brother Project Runway CE7070PRW 70-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine 70Yes4.5

Keep in mind that there is only so much that you can get from a machine that costs less than $100. If you can afford to spend just a tad bit more, you’ll find a ton of options for sewing machines with advanced features and a more solid body. Check out the best sewing machines under $150 or sewing machines in the $200 to $300 range.

In Depth Review of 5 Sewing Machines Great for Beginners

Here is my in depth review of each of the sewing machines that are listed above.

Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich Sewing Machine

The Brother CS6000i is is the most popular selling sewing machine on Amazon.com. It currently has over 3,000 reviews, with an average review of 4.5 / 5.0. This particular machine is popular because of its affordable price, but also because it is packed with features.

It is lightweight, quiet, and provides smooth and accurate stitches. For those of you who like to quilt, the Brother CS6000i also comes with a quilting table for added workspace.

Some additional features of this machine:

  • There are 60 built-in sewing stitches, including decorative stitches and 7 styles of one-step buttonholes.
  • LCD stitch display. You can select your stitch with the touch of a button.
  • Adjustable sewing speed with a simple sliding button. This allows you sew without the foot pedal and you choose how fast or slow you want to sew(I have another Brother sewing machine and I use this feature every time I sew.

Overall, this machine is It is durable, easy to use, and fool-proof for beginners or more advanced sewers.

SINGER 7258 Stylist Award-Winning 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

The Singer Stylist 7258 is was awarded “best buy” in the electric sewing machine category by Consumers Digest

Other features of the Singer 7258:

  • 100 built-in stitches and 10 presser feet included
  • Automatic needle threading system that allows you to thread the machine, from the spool to the needle’s eye, in six seconds.
  • Easy-to-use drop-in bobbin system, which makes changing the bobbin a breeze.

Overall, this is a very straightforward machine perfect for beginners. It comes with a five minute fast-start guide to get you going quickly and then you can get to know your machine as you practice. It is a great all-around machine to use for alterations, making clothes, quilts, blankets, etc.

SINGER One Easy-to-Use Computerized Sewing Machine

Here is another popular, reasonably priced, and beginner friendly sewing machine from Singer. The Singer One Computerized Sewing Machine differs from the Singer 7258 above in look and overall features.

The Singer One has 24 built-in stitches, which is still more than enough to cover all of your sewing projects. It also has a larger work space, which is great for those bigger projects like quilts, blankets, curtains, etc.  It sews at 750 stitches per minute for fast and accurate sewing.

Other features of this machine:

  • You can override the automatic stitch length and width to personalize your projects. For example, you may want a wider stitch for decorative purposes.
  • Built-in thread cutter, which eliminates the extra step of grabbing your scissors (as you sew more and more you will come to love these little benefits because it does save you time and helps you finish your project that much quicker).
  • Two fully automatic one-step buttonholes.
  • Automatic tension and automatic reverse.

Overall, the Singer One is lightweight, sturdy, and a great choice for beginners. You can literally take it right out of the box and within a few minutes start working on a project.

Janome 2212 Sewing Machine

The Janome brand is a Japanese company that has been around for over 60 years. They make incredibly reliable and easy to use sewing machines. What’s great about this machine is its simplicity.

This is a mechanical machine, so you select your pattern and stitch width and length with the turn of a dial.

Other features of the Janome 2212:

  • Front loading bobbin system (as opposed to a drop in bobbin).
  • Built-in thread cutter so you don’t have to reach for your scissors every time.
  • Manual tension control
  • Lightweight and easily portable

The Janome 2212 is a popular machine from a well-respected brand. It is in an affordable price range and will be able to handle almost any project you throw it at it.

Brother Project Runway CE7070PRW 70-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Wide Table

This Brother is advertised to deliver couture-level, consistent stitch quality because it comes with features typically found only on more expensive machines. You can easily customize your sewing projects with a selection of 70 built-in stitches, including specialty stitches for blind hems, zippers, and sewing on elastic, plus fine decorative satin, feather, and scallop stitches.

Other features of the Brother CE7070PRW:

  • Drop feed for free motion quilting.
  • A wide table to give you extra work space for bigger projects.
  • Automatic needle threader and drop-in bobbin to save you time.

Overall, the Brother Project Runway CE7070PRW is a great value because it is priced under $150 and it has many, many features, accessories, and options. This is a perfect machine for beginners.

 

4 Responses to “Five Great Sewing Machines for Beginners”

  1. I find it interesting that the number of stitches it has doesn’t determine whether or not it’s a bad machine. I can see why people would go for the most stitch possible option just because it looks better. I’m glad I know that most projects are pretty basic.

    • Savvy Seamstress says:

      Yeah I think that many companies know that they can lure in buyers with the 100+ built in stitches, even though most people typically use under 5 stitches, if that.

  2. Bobby Brown says:

    Hello,

    I read several of your articles and they were great. While I found them very informative, there was a lot of information. I have never sewn before. I would like a machine to do the following:
    Taper the leg of jeans, hem and adjust the waist
    Remove and replace cuffs of cotton button down shirt to shorten sleeve.
    General reworking and or repair of mostly shirts and possibly wool pants.

    I am willing to pay for a machine that will be long lasting and of very high quality. I would like the variable speed option and basic stitching to mimic as close as possible to original for jeans, shirts and pants.

    Which machine should I buy to begin and grow so that later I will not wish I bought the better one in the beginning?

    Thanks,

    Bobby

    • Savvy Seamstress says:

      Hi Bobby – There are so many options. If you want a machine that will still satisfy you even after you have some experience and also handle thicker fabrics like denim, then look at the Brother XR9500PRW or the Janome 2212.