Getting Started: What are the Best Sewing Machines for Beginners?

//Getting Started: What are the Best Sewing Machines for Beginners?

Congratulations on your new sewing hobby! At this stage, you probably have more questions than answers. Let’s take a look at first things first…your first sewing machine for beginners. What do you need to get started sewing? Just a few key features and a medium duty machine and you will be off and running.



What features do you really need to get started? The ability to sew a straight seam and a zigzag stitch. That probably sounds really basic, but until you are ready for more complicated sewing projects, that is really all you need. In our computerized world, most sewing machines are also computerized, but there are mechanical ones available.


One of the sewing tasks that can take up a lot of your time is threading the machine. Many machines, even for beginners, come with an automatic threading and bobbin winding feature.


How about other repetitive tasks, such as changing the pressure foot and the tension of the thread? Most of these are much easier with today’s sewing machines.


The third feature that you will want to take into consideration for your first sewing machine is portability. If you are just starting out, you may want to check into sewing classes. Having a machine that’s easy to carry will make it easier to attend.




Two easily recognizable names in the sewing world are Singer and Brother. Both of these major brands have sewing machines for all skill levels, including some high quality beginner machines. A third name, less well-known but has been in the sewing machine business since 1921, is Janome.


If you are looking to purchasing a pre-owned or vintage sewing machine, some other names that you will want to consider are Kenmore, New Home and Pfaff, in addition to Singer, Brother and Janome. Pre-1980’s machines are the best for vintage machines, as they were still made with metal parts versus the plastic found in many of today’s beginner machines.


Specific Models for Beginners


Singer 1512 Promise


With 13 stitch functions, this mechanical machine truly is a basic starter model. Lightweight and inexpensive with a sale price of $89.99 at Target and other retail locations. This model will accommodate most any age group.


Janome 2212


This mechanical machine has 12 built-in stitches and a four-step button hole function, along with an easy to use dial and a free arm. Lightweight and portable with a list price of $249, but on sale with many dealers at $189 or less.


Brother CS5055PRW – Project Runway Edition

Project Runway, the hit reality television series, has awakened the interest of a whole new generation into the possibilities of fashion as wearable art. As the sewing and embroidery sponsor for the show, Brother also has a great sewing machine for beginners, the CS5055PRW – Project Runway Edition, with a list price of $399.99, but some dealers are offering it at $189.99. 50 built-in stitches, computerized with bright LED lights, this one covers everything a beginner might need.


A short list to start, but as you can see, there are many models to choose from on the beginner level, with some new mechanical machines available at a price point affordable for most anyone. Happy sewing!


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