What’s the Best Sewing Machine for a Beginner?


Sewing machines are available for every budget, with hundreds of stitches and many excellent features. But what stitches do you need? Which features and functions will you love? What is the best sewing machine for you?

You Probably Want a Drop-in Bobbin

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Let me relieve some stress by showing you seven sewing machines you can confidently buy, knowing your money is well-spent. All of the sewing machines I recommend in this post, except the Juki TL2010Q, have a top drop-in bobbin, which is very easy for a beginner to master. They all have easy threading and at least a few sewing tools to help someone learn to sew.

Best Budget Sewing Machine for Beginners

Photo credit: Brother-usa.com.

The best budget sewing machine for a beginner is the Brother XR3774. It’s solidly built, and for the price, it comes with an impressive number of feet, including classics like the presser foot, buttonhole foot, and zipper foot, as well as accessories (which can be shared with other Brother sewing machines at this level). There is one buttonhole stitch and several other basic utility stitches like zigzag that will come in handy.

If you only want to sew basic mending (such as hemming pants) or small sewing projects, this is the best value sewing machine on the market.

Best Overall Entry-Level Sewing Machine

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The Brother CS7000X computerized sewing machine is a better choice if you are willing to spend a little more. All the features and accessories that come with it (including a hard case) are impressive. It has 70 built-in stitches, including seven buttonhole styles, an appliqué blanket stitch I’m fond of, and many more decorative stitches.

Lots of Accessories

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The Brother CS7000X home sewing machine is easy to use and sews well. At this level, you have tools like a screwdriver, a dust brush to remove lint, and more. See my first impressions about the Brother CS7000X. I recommend it for a beginner’s first sewing machine.

Best Beginner Combination Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Photo credit: Brother-usa.com.

The Brother SE700 is an ideal sewing and embroidery machine for a hobbyist who wants to get started with machine embroidery. Many industry experts recommend entry-level embroidery machines from Brother. They are easy to learn and a great way to get your feet wet with embroidery.

The small color screen is enough to see embroidery designs, and this machine comes with a 4’’ embroidery hoop. It includes all the sewing functions the machines above have, including 103 built-in stitches, ten automatic buttonhole styles, and several accessories.

Best Beginner Sewing Machine for Making Quilts

Photo credit: Janome.com.

If you want to make quilts, the Janome 4120QDC-G will give you a taste of some of the features you can find on high-end machines. These include a thread cutter, alphabet stitches (small – not the same as embroidery), a memory function, and a lock stitch button to finish the current stitch pattern and secure your stitching. The needle has 15 positions. I love nudging my needle to the right or the left for applications like quilt piecing and sewing binding. It’s also an upgrade in power, making sewing through heavy fabrics like denim easier, but probably not leather.

The Janome 4120QDC-G comes with seven presser feet, a seam ripper, a lint brush, and some spool caps.

Best Workhorse Sewing Machine

Photo credit: Jukihome.com.

The Juki TL2010Q is a heavy-duty mechanical sewing machine. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this is only a straight-stitch sewing machine. It sews that one stitch beautifully and perfectly every time. There are intuitive dials for stitch length and thread tension. This sewing machine boasts high-end features like a knee lift lever, a telescoping thread stand (so you can use large cones), a thread cutter, and a sensitive foot pedal for fine speed control. These features make this semi-industrial sewing machine easier for a beginner to use.

9” of Space to the Right of the Needle

The work area on the Juki TL2010Q is generous. I have sewn entire quilts, bags, and pieces of clothing on this machine. I dragged this machine on airplanes to Denver twice to use it while filming classes for Craftsy. Taking it on an airplane was tricky because it is not lightweight. It pushes through many layers of fabric without a sweat. Topstitching on this machine is better than ANY topstitching I have done on much more expensive machines. I put it on a quilting frame for a while and used this machine for free-arm quilting! I use it on a wide table with an extension table to fit larger projects. Read my review of the Juki TL2010Q for more information.

Best High-End Sewing Machine for a Beginner

Photo credit: Janome.com.

If a beginner sewist or quilter has the budget for it, they will love the Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200. This sewing machine has a wide range of feet, needles, tools, and even a seam ripper. But the accessories aren’t all that you are paying for. When you step up to a high-end sewing machine like this, the sewing experience is greatly improved. The machine’s drive system is more advanced, so fabric feeds better and more smoothly. It’s unfortunate that not everyone can experience sewing on a high-end sewing machine.

The Janome AccuFeed System (walking foot) on this machine and other high-end Janome sewing machines is exceptional. I used my Janome AccuFeed Walking foot so much that I wore it out. The replacement cost was so low I was floored. All of the replacement parts I have purchased from time to time for my Janome Memory Craft 14000 (next) have been shockingly inexpensive, even when I purchased them from a dealer because I couldn’t find them online.

Regarding the Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200, there are more high-end features to be noted:

  • 11’’ of space left of needle for quilts and large projects.
  • Knee lift.
  • Excellent lighting
  • Automatic thread cutter.
  • Extra wide 9mm stitches.
  • Automatic thread cutter.
  • Hundreds of stitches and ten automatic one-step buttonhole designs.

The Best High-End Sewing Machine and Embroidery Machine for a Confident Beginner

Photo credit: Janome.com.

This is the machine for someone wanting to jump right into advanced sewing and machine embroidery projects. The Janome Memory Craft 14,000 includes all of the advanced features of the Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200, plus a huge embroidery field and very large hoops. Embroidering large projects and quilts is easy, the walking foot (AccuFeed System) is wonderful, the automatic needle threader is second to none (no one else makes one so fully automatic), and sewing any material is practically effortless. The large LCD display makes choosing stitches, planning embroidery designs, and watching built-in video tutorials a breeze.

It is, by far, the best deal for an (almost) top-of-the-line sewing machine that you can buy. The Janome Memory Craft 14,00 I own has never been in the shop for repair. This computerized machine is also the perfect choice for an advanced sewist with the budget for an upgrade.

More About The Janome Memory Craft 14000

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This is the way to go if a beginner sewist wants to save money on an advanced sewing machine. Compared to Janome’s newer machines, it lacks Wi-Fi capability, an electronic tablet (your dealer will throw it in as a gift), and extra stitches and embroidery designs.

Quilters I have spoken with who own the Janome Memory Craft 15,000 model stated that the wi-fi connection is unreliable, so they don’t use it. The 14,000 model has hundreds of stitches, so you won’t miss a few more. Regarding embroidery designs included on a machine, most embroiderers dislike the designs that came on their machine and purchase new designs online that are more to their taste.

Is It Safe to Buy a Sewing Machine Online?

Photo credit: Jukihome.com.

The answer is yes! Unless you are looking for a luxury model sewing machine that costs thousands of dollars, you can find the best deal by shopping online. For a top-of-the-line sewing machine, however, most purchasers appreciate the support and classes that their local quilt shop can provide.

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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂