Buying a new sewing machine is exciting and sometimes a little bit difficult. There are sewing machines available for every budget with hundreds of stitches and a myriad of amazing features. But what stitches do you actually need? Which features and functions will you love? Let me take some of that stress away by answering your questions and showing you the 7 sewing machines that are for sale on Amazon right now that I recommend. Most of these I have purchased and I continue to use.
First question… is it safe to buy a sewing machine on Amazon?
My answer is confidently YES – unless you are in the market for a luxury model sewing machine (speaking thousands of dollars), in which case you might really love the support and classes that your local quilt shop can provide. On the other hand, I shopped at 3 different quilt shops for my first top of the line sewing machine, and ended up buying it online anyway. I have had an amazing experience with it. It’s the last one in this post.
What is the lowest priced entry level sewing machine you would buy?
That would be the Brother XR3774. It’s solidly built and for the price it comes with an impressive number of feet and accessories (which can be shared with other Brother sewing machines at this level). There is one button hole stitch and a number of other basic utility stitches that will come in handy. If all you want to sew is basic mending (such as hemming pants by machine) or small projects, this will do this fine. It’s also a great machine for someone getting started with sewing.
Is there a better entry level sewing machine?
If you are willing to spend a little more (still under $200), I would recommend the Brother CS7000X. I bought this machine so I could have an extra one for teaching beginners and for taking to classes. I was very impressed with all the features and accessories that came with it (including a hard case). It has 70 built in stitches including 7 different buttonhole styles and an appliqué blanket stitch that I’m fond of. Plus the Brother CS7000X is easy to use and sews well. See my first impressions about this sewing machine here.
What about a beginner embroidery machine (that can sew too)?
Funny you should ask! For Christmas a couple years ago I gave my sister the Brother SE600. It was for completely selfish reasons – I wanted a machine embroidery buddy. Brother entry-level embroidery machines were recommended to me by an expert at quilt market for people who aren’t sure if they will love embroidery. They are easy to learn on and a great way to get your feet wet with embroidery.
My sister loves this machine and got hooked on embroidery! The small color screen is enough to learn on, and I have been astounded by how much she can achieve with just a 4’’ embroidery hoop. This machine also includes all the sewing functions that the sewing machines above have such as 103 built in stitches, 10 automatic buttonhole styles, and a number of accessories.
Bargain time: right now you can buy a special edition Star Wars version of this sewing machine for almost $200 less. I guess they didn’t sell as many of those as they expected so if you don’t mind the Star Wars logos, you can get a great deal on it!
I’m ready for a Sewing Machine with more.
Okay, let’s level up! The Janome 4120 QDC will give you a taste of some of the features you can find on high end machines. I’m talking about a thread cutter, alphabet stitches (small – not the same as embroidery), a memory function, and a lock stitch button which will finish the current stitch pattern and then secure your stitching. The needle has 15 positions, and you know I love being able to nudge my needle to the right or the left for certain applications (like quilt piecing and sewing binding).
What’s your Favorite Workhorse of a Sewing Machine?
Everyone who knows me knows it is my Juki TL2010Q. She is a treasure. Sure, this is only a straight stitch sewing machine but that one stitch is so beautiful and perfect every time that I will never complain. There are high end features like a knee lift, telescoping thread stand (so you can use large cones), a thread cutter, and a very sensitive speed control.
I have sewn entire quilts, bags, and pieces of clothing on this machine (not stretchy knit fabric, though). I dragged this machine on airplanes to Denver twice so I could use it while filming my Craftsy classes (I was nervous enough and didn’t want to be nervous about my sewing machine). When kids bring me something that needs mending fast and I don’t want to mess with anything fancy, I switch on the Juki and she is ready to go. Topstitching on this machine is better than ANY topstitching I have done on much more expensive machines. And for a while I put it on a Grace frame and did free motion quilting!
I could on and on, but I’ll just link you to my review instead.
I’m ready to try a High End Sewing Machine.
Woo hoo… You are all in, baby! Check out everything that comes with the Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200. But the accessories aren’t really what you are paying for here. When you step up to a high end sewing machine, the entire feel of sewing is different. The drive system is more advanced so everything works better and more smoothly. I’m sorry that everyone can’t experience it.
I must say something about the Janome AccuFeed System (walking foot) that comes on this machine and other high end Janome sewing machines (like the one I own below): It is exceptional. I absolutely love it. I used my Janome AccuFeed Walking foot SO MUCH that I wore it out. Guess how much the replacement cost? About $50. I was shocked. Don’t ask how much sewing machine feet from the other high end brand cost. All of the replacement parts that I have purchased from time to time for my Janome Memory Craft 14000 (below) have been shockingly inexpensive, even when I purchased them from a dealer because I couldn’t find them on Amazon.
But back to the Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200, here are more high end features I should tell you about:
You can’t tell from the picture above, but there is a HUGE 11’’ space left of needle for quilts and large projects.
Automatic thread cutter.
Extra wide 9mm stitches.
Automatic thread cutter.
Tons of stitches and 10 automatic buttonhole designs.
Is the price jump to a high end sewing machine worth it? If you can afford it… YES.
What’s the best High End Sewing Machine you can buy on Amazon?
That’s easy. It’s the Janome Memory Craft 14,000. I bought it and absolutely love it. I thought I would put this sewing machine up for sale after I bought my Bernina 770, but I changed my mind. In my opinion, the embroidery is better, the walking foot (AccuFeed System) is better, the automatic needle threader is second to none (really no one else makes one so fully automatic) and it’s easier to sew with. No matter how wonderful the Bernina is (and it can be wonderful), I simply cannot give up this Janome. It is by far, the best deal for an (almost) top of the line sewing machine that you can buy. And mine has never been in the shop!
Why is this machine not Janome’s top of the line? Because it lacks a few features compared to the Memory Craft 15,000 that to me were not worth paying extra for. Those features include wi-fi capability, an electronic tablet (your dealer will throw it in as a free gift), some extra stitches and embroidery designs, and a new special setting for ruler quilting.
Guess what, you can still do ruler quilting on the free motion setting with this ruler foot, and I have no need for a sewing machine with wi-fi or another electronic tablet. I’d rather save $5k. I was told by a quilt market insider that Janome designed their 14,000 model for countries where wi-fi is not yet standard everywhere. U.S. Janome dealers don’t carry it, but they can special order it for you.
What else is so great about the Janome Memory Craft 14,000?
I already told you about the AccuFeed Walking Foot system that comes on this machine. It’s the same system that’s on the 8200 above, except when you buy this model it comes with a narrow and a wide walking foot (you can buy the narrow one separately for the 8200 if you wish).
All of the other amazing features on the Janome 8200, including 11’’ to the left of the needle.
The embroidery capabilities are astounding! It comes with 4 or more embroidery hoops (maybe more if you get a bonus package) and the largest embroidery hoop is 9.1’’ x 11.8’’. It really does embroider quietly and beautifully.
There are more automatic stitches than you will ever use (400) and 13 fully automatic buttonhole designs.
Independent bobbin winding.
This is my favorite sewing machine. Here’s the latest review I did for it.
So those are my recommendations for buying a sewing machine on Amazon. I hope you find one that fits you and your budget perfectly so you can sew to your heart’s content. If all you can afford is the least expensive entry level sewing machine above – get it! Perhaps you’ll start a business like I did and grow into a top of the line machine!
P.S. You might also like to know my favorite sewing scissors to recommend.
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. 🙂