If you’re just getting started, what you really need is a simple machine that’s reliable and easy to use. A high-end Bernina may last you decades and offer more options that you’ll ever need, but until you gain some experience and know for sure that you love it, investing in a more expensive computerized machine isn’t a wise decision.
The question is: Which models are the best sewing machines for beginners? Continue below to find out…
While there are many different makes and models to choose from, we’ve selected the top four starter sewing machines based on price, performance and customer satisfaction. All of the models on this list are under $200 so they are affordable for most people who are just starting out. Let’s begin…
6 Beginner Sewing Machines We Recommend
|Model||# of Stitches||Computerized||Price||More Information|
1. Brother CS6000i Computerized Machine
Whether you enjoy making clothing, home décor items or quilting, the CS6000i can handle it all. If you are the creative type and are just starting out then you may want to seriously consider this model. Creative types might outgrow the simple and straight-forward models listed above. With the CS6000i, many more projects are available to you that you may be thankful for in the end.
This model comes with 60 built-in stitches, which includes:
- 20 garment stitches
- 20 decorative stitches
- 6 heirloom stitches
- 7 quilting stitches
- 6 buttonhole styles
That’s more stitches that you’ll ever need, and you can use this machine for virtually any project.
Many beginners are intimidated by computerized sewing machines because they can be difficult and overwhelming to use. The CS6000i is different. The LCD display is so easy to use. With the touch of a button, you can quickly and easily select your stitch. Your selection will be displayed on the screen, so you always know which stitch you’re working with.
In addition, this model also allows you to adjust the stitch speed, so you can control how fast or slow you sew. This is a feature you will love as you can slow down the speed until you get used to your machine. I especially love this feature for kids. You’ll be happy to know that with the convenient printed diagram on the machine, threading is a breeze. The needle threader is automatic, too, so you’ll be up and running in no time.
If you like to quilt or sew larger projects, you’ll appreciate the oversized table. The large table makes it easy to maneuver large pieces of fabric while you work. The built-in free arm allows for easy stitching of cuffs, pant legs and more.
The Brother CS6000i is the ideal choice for beginners who are looking to get the biggest bang for their buck. With a multitude of stitches, easy threading system, and oversized table, this computerized machine is the perfect choice for serious and advanced beginners. You can see our full review of this machine on this page.
2. Brother XM2701
Designed for ease of use and everyday projects, this is a machine that can tackle just about any project. It includes 27 built-in stitches, including zipper, decorative, blind hem, zigzag and stretch. A one-step buttonholer is also included for perfect buttonholes every time.
Brother includes six easy-to-change feet: narrow hemmer, zipper, zigzag, buttonhole, button sewing, and blind stitch.
The great thing about the XM2701 is that it’s so easy to use, and when you’re a beginner, ease of use is the most important thing. The automatic threader makes needle threading a breeze. The drop-in bobbin is jam-resistant, so it stays in place and ensures quality stitches every time.
Selecting your stitch is easy, too, thanks to the convenient dial on the front of the machine. All of the stitches are listed just above the dial, which makes stitch selection even easier. The floral design on the front panel adds some flair and personality to the machine. Teens will love it.
Did we mention that the price is unbelievable? It is one of the best inexpensive sewing machines you can buy. You can get your hands on this one for just under $100.
With a variety of stitches, user-friendly design and affordable price, the XM2701 is a machine that any beginner would be proud to own.
3. Janome 2212
Unlike the first two machines on our list, the 2212 does not offer a plethora of stitch options. In fact, this model only comes with 12 built-in stitches. Before you write this one off, keep in mind that you’ll only ever use four or five stitches on your machine for most projects. What you are paying for is quality. Janome machines tend to last longer and produce better results than other machines in its class.
A convenient dial on the front allows you to quickly select your stitches. Two other built-in dials allow you to adjust the length and width of the stitch to suit your project. A four-step buttonholer is also included.
The 2212 uses a drop feed for quilting and free motion sewing. The 5-piece feed dog ensures high quality stitches on a multitude of different fabrics. A convenient reverse lever also allows you to easily lock stitches.
Priced just under $150, this may not be a choice that some users would want to start with, but if you have a little experience and want to invest in a better machine that will last, the 2212 is an excellent choice. It’s simple, reliable and so easy to use. This would be my #1 recommendation for those who don’t mind spending a bit more money on their machine.
4. Brother Jx2517 Lightweight Machine
The nice thing about this machine is that it doesn’t have an overwhelming number of stitches. There are 17 built-in stitches total, which includes a four-step automatic buttonhole. But Brother does give you control over your stitches by providing 38 stitch functions.
Selecting stitches is easy thanks to the stitch selection dial. With a twist of the wrist, you can find and select the perfect stitch for your project.
And if you like to sew clothing, you’ll appreciate the free arm, which makes sewing sleeves and cuffs a breeze. There’s also a built-in LED light that allows you to see your work area clearly.
The automatic bobbin winding system and drop-in top bobbin make it easy to get your projects started, and the bobbin system is jam-resistant for frustration-free sewing.
The Jx2517 offers a maximum sewing speed of 900, and comes with an array of accessory feet, including: zigzag, zipper, button and buttonhole.
Brother throws in a bunch of accessories, too, like a needle set, darning plate and bobbin.
My only complaint with this machine is that threading is a manual process. But at such an affordable price, you really can’t complain too much about the lack of this feature. I also believe that it’s a good thing for beginners to learn how to thread a machine properly.
The Brother Jx2517 offers just the right number of stitches and accessories to make this a great machine for beginners. But it also has the stamina and versatility to grow with you as your skill progresses.
If you’re looking for a light, portable machine that doesn’t compromise on quality, I highly recommend the Jx2517.
5. Brother XL-3750 Convertible 35-Stitch Free-Arm Sewing Machine
Just like the Jx2517, this machine is lightweight and easily portable, so you can take it with you on the go.
There are 35 stitches total and an impressive 73 stitch functions. There are more stitches than you’ll ever need with this machine.
Unlike the previous Brother model, this machine actually has an automatic threader as well as the drop-in bobbin system. It also includes automatic bobbin winding and a single-step buttonholer. And with the touch of a button, you can adjust the length and width of the stitch.
The XL-3750 comes with a slew of accessories that any user – especially quilters – will appreciate. These accessories include:
- 7 presser feet
- Quilting table
- Sewing notions
- Cloth carrying case
And to help you see your work clearly, this machine has a built-in light bulb.
The XL-3750 is a great little machine for beginners. It’s lightweight, easy to use, easily portable and comes with more than enough functions to make sewing any project a breeze.
Perhaps my only complaint with this machine is that you can’t use it with heavy-duty fabrics. But that’s to be expected with lightweight machines. The only other minor quirk is the light bulb – it’s not an LED. It’s easy to replace the built-in light bulb with an LED, so that’s just a minor inconvenience.
With an automatic threader, an abundance of stitch functions and a durable design, the Brother XL-3750 is a great option for beginners and even more advanced users.
6. Brother XL2600
The XL2600 also features a free arm for easy stitching of sleeves, pant legs and children’s clothing. Convenient storage is built into the free arm, so you can keep your work area neat and tidy. Brother also includes five accessory feet with this model, which is more than you’ll ever need.
For beginners, this model is a dream. It boasts so many great features that will make it easy to get started. It’s easy to use, too, so you won’t spend an entire weekend learning how to use your machine. A few of the many convenient features that come with this mode include:
- Drop-in bobbin loading
- Automatic needle threader
- Thread cutter
- Automatic bobbin winding
- Single step buttonholer
- Easy stitch selector dial
The XL2600 also features a work light to illuminate your space.
Here’s a list of accessories that are included with your machine:
- Five presser feet: buttonhole, button sewing, zipper, blind stitch and narrow hemmer
- Needle pack
- Twin needle
- Spool pin
- Darning plate
All of these accessories can be stored neatly in the free arm. You won’t have to purchase any additional items to get started. Brother includes everything you need – minus thread and fabric.
Affordably priced, easy to use and built to last, the Brother XL2600 is one of the best beginner sewing machines you can buy.
Each of the machines shown above are great for beginners. They’re simple, easy to use and come at a price that anyone can afford. If you’re just getting started, you can’t go wrong with any one of these models.
I hope this article has helped you with you decision. Good luck in your journey!