Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning I earn a small commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. This comes at no additional cost to you and helps me keep SewingBeginner running.
Read this post and you’ll be a sewing-machine-pro in no time, ready to make the decision which sewing machine has the pleasure to be yours.
Are you a sewing beginner facing the challenge of finding the right sewing machine? You’ve come to the right place, here’s my ultimate guide for finding the best sewing machine in 2019 🔥 I know how confusing and overwhelming it can be, especially if you are a newbie in the sewing world. There are so many different brands, features, machine types etc. that it’s easy to get lost. But don’t despair, I’ve got you covered😊
Plus, as the cherry on the top, I will also share my best tips and tricks with you how to save money when buying the machine of your dreams, so make sure to read to the very end👛
Short on Time? No Problem, Here Are My Top Recommendations Upfront
Do you have little time and just want to get the best sewing machine right now? Let me give you my top recommendations of the best sewing machine for beginners right away👇
Want to know more before making your big sewing beginner decision? Just keep on reading. We’ll go through everything step-by-step👣
The Deep Dive: How to Find the Best Sewing Machine for Yourself
Below is everything you need to know to choose the best sewing machine for yourself! Click on a topic to be redirected to the corresponding section right away💁♀️
Sewing Machine Guide Content
- Initial Considerations You Should Make
- 4 Different Sewing Machine Types
- Top 8 Sewing Machine Brands
- 6 Tips and Tricks How to Save Money
- Final Thoughts
With no further delay, let’s get started!
Initial Considerations You Should Make
Getting a new sewing machine mainly depends on two things: your budget and your ambitions. While you probably don’t need the fanciest expert sewing machine in the world as a beginner, you want to buy a machine that allows you to grow your skills with it. Therefore, my first tip is the following👇
Think about the long-term when making your choice.
What projects do you want to tackle in the near future?
Let’s look at an example:
You buy a very basic sewing machine which doesn’t have a lot of features. You sew a cushion cover and some other beginner projects and you’re totally happy with it. After a few weeks, you start with dressmaking and you realize that you really struggle with the buttonholes. After a bit of research, you come across a sewing machine which has an automated buttonhole function and you regret your initial purchase.
This is the kind of situation we want to avoid, right? How can you do this? By thinking about the different features your sewing machine should have. Continue reading to find out more.
Features to Look Out For
There are a few features I recommend you look out for before buying a machine head-over-heels. This is especially important if you want to get started with dressmaking👗
Another tip💡: check out what else the box contains. For example, a zipper foot will be super helpful when trying to insert a zipper. If that’s already included in the box, then there is one less thing to worry about at a later stage.
Questions to Ask Yourself
However, not only the features are important. Spend some time thinking about the questions below to make sure that you take everything into consideration. This is a quick but important exercise, so don’t skip it😉
Who’s the machine for? If it’s yourself, great, you probably know what you’re looking for. However, if you want to buy a machine as a present for someone else, make sure to do a bit of detective work so that you’re very clear about that person’s requirements🎁
What’s the intended purpose? Do you want to use the machine for dressmaking, craft projects or basic repairs? The features that are important for you vary depending on this.
What’s your level of expertise? An easy-to-use machine is great for beginners. You can start sewing without spending hours trying to understand that complex thing in front of you☺️ However, a professional probably wants more features, no matter the complexity.
Pro tip💡: put together a list with all criteria. For example, if you want to be out and about with your sewing machine, it is likely gonna be important to you that the machine isn’t too heavy. For someone who just wants to sew at home, this might be irrelevant.
The Importance of Testing the Machine
Before making a final decision, make sure to try out some sewing machines to have a better comparison and to be 100% sure what you’re about to buy.
It’s important that you test the sewing machine you’re aiming for.
Don’t buy a pig in a poke.
Here’s what to look out for🔍
- How well can you read the LED display?
- Is it easy to change settings and features?
- Is the weight of the machine ok?
- How quiet or loud is the machine when you sew?
- How does the machine react to the foot pedal pressure?
- Does the machine sew well when you have multiple layers or a thicker fabric?
- Try different features and controls. Is everything working well?
- What else is included in the price, e.g. cover, zipper foot, needles?
- Does the machine feel like a good fit – not just now but also in the near future?
- How long is the warranty? What is included? (important for computerised machines)
- If the machine becomes damaged, can you drop it off for the repair near you?
Also, if you’re buying the machine in a shop, make sure to bombard the seller with all your questions. Once you’ve done all the tests and things are positive, you might have found the one for you💕
4 Different Sewing Machine Types
Did you know that there are different sewing machine types? 4 to be precise.
- Mechanical Machines
- Electronic Machines
- Computerised or Automated Machines
- Overlocker Machines
Why is this important for you? Because you want to get a machine that meets your expectations and fits your sewing needs and ambitions💡 And believe me, the differences between them are huge as you’ll see shortly. So let’s take a quick look at them.
1. Mechanical Machines Alias the Old-Fashioned Warrior
This is the most basic sewing machine you can get. It needs a bit of man- or rather women-power as you need to control basic settings manually💪. For instance, you need to use the hand wheel to move the needle and bobbin. Also, features are rather limited.
Such a machine might be an option if you’re an occasional sewer without any ambitions to do much more than simple crafts projects and basic repairs or if you’re on a strict budget (even though some models qualify as legendary or vintage in the meantime and are therefore expensive again🙈).
➡️ Best Mechanical Sewing Machines for beginners in the UK:
2. Electronic Machines Alias the Popular All-Rounder
Electronic machines have a motor which powers the needle and bobbin as well as other parts of the machine. You operate the machine and control the speed via a foot pedal on the floor. The more pressure you put on the foot pedal, the faster you sew. Those machines provide a variety of features and stitches😊
I’ve got an electronic machine myself – a Janome CXL301 – and I’m super happy with it (check out my review here). They are easy to use and great for beginners, intermediate and advanced sewers alike👍There are many others too, such as the singer sewing machine in the picture or the one’s I’ve listed below for you.
➡️ Best Electronic Sewing Machines for beginners in the UK:
3. Computerised Machines Alias the Extravagante Tech-Superstar
Want something fancier and tech-forward? Then go with a computerised machine🌟 It can be connected to the internet, memorise your past work and give you such a wide selection of stitches that you won’t be able to make a decision. You operate it via a touchpad (of course) and you can even download patterns.
Computerised machines are great for professional sewers and/or industrial purposes, for example for a smaller fashion label to make its own collections.
➡️ Best Computerised Sewing Machines in the UK:
4. Overlocker Machines Alias the Professional Finisher
Overlockers can be used in addition to your regular sewing machine to give your project a professional finish💁♀️ It neatens your seam, finishes your edges and even trims any excessive fabric while you sew. However, due to its limited functions, it can’t be used on its own.
You could also use your normal sewing machine to stop the edges from becoming frayed. However, you’ll be much faster with an overlocker⏰
➡️ Best Overlocker Machines in the UK:
Top 8 Sewing Machine Brands – Singer, Bernina, Janome and Many More
If you’ve done a bit of research already, you surely realised that there are many different sewing machine brands out there. And it can be especially tricky for beginners to navigate through this jungle of different brands🙈 Why is it important for you to know about the different brands?🤔
You should know what the brand stands for to
make sure the machine meets your expectations.
For example: one sewing machine provider might focus on quality while for another brand, affordability is key. Depending on what’s more important for you, you can make an informed decision.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most common brands in the UK. If you’re wondering about the order, it’s just alphabetical😉
- Husqvarna Viking
Bernina is a Swiss sewing machine manufacturer, backed by tradition. In fact, Bernina is a family business, celebrating its 125 years anniversary this year (Happy Birthday, Bernina🎂). They focus on the highest standards of quality and Swiss precision down to the last detail. As a high-end brand which ensures quality, it’s also on the more expensive side compared to other brands.
➡️ Popular models from Bernina:
- For sewing beginners: Bernina Bernette B38
- For intermediate sewers: Bernina 480 Uni
- For advanced sewers: Bernina B 770 QE
Brother offers a wide range of products such as printers, scanners and, of course, sewing machines. In fact, this is how it all began. The company started in 1908 with the repair of sewing machines and the rest is history. The Brother sewing machines are competitively-priced and stylish💁♀️ Brother got you covered no matter what kind of machine you’re looking for thanks to their comprehensive product portfolio.
➡️ Popular models from Brother:
- For sewing beginners: Brother HF27
- For intermediate sewers: Brothers Innovis 35
- For advanced sewers: Brother Innovis V3
Elna, a company founded in 1940 with the launch of Elna #1, wants to make sewing fun. To achieve this, they established the core principles that machines need to be easy to use, versatile and last but not least, modern. Those principles also led Elna to the forefront of innovation with the creation of features like lightweight machines or the automatic needle threader🧵
➡️ Popular models from Elna:
- For sewing beginners: Elna eXplore 320
- For intermediate sewers: Elna eXperience 540
- For advanced sewers: Elna eXcellence 680
You won’t believe this, but Husqvarna was originally a Swedish royal arms factory founded in 1689, so 330 years ago. They had to reinvent themselves when the demand for rifles started declining in 1872. Luckily, they decided to manufacture a more peaceful product going forward and entered the sewing machine industry😊 Nowadays, Husqvarna Viking designs high-quality sewing machines in Sweden and stands for durability and reliability.
➡️ Popular models from Husqvarna Viking:
- For sewing beginners: Husqvarna Viking H Class 100 Q
- For intermediate sewers: Husqvarna Jade 20
- For advanced sewers: Viking Husqvarna Topaz 50
I’ve got a Janome sewing machine myself and I absolutely love it. Janome is one of the biggest brands worldwide and offers a wide range of sewing machines, all of them designed so that they are easy to use which is especially great for beginners. My machine, for example, has a speed controller, so that I can sew as fast or slow as I want to💁♀️ The brand is known for its quality, reliability and affordable prices.
➡️ Popular models from Janome:
- For sewing beginners: Janome CXL301
- For intermediate sewers: Janome XL601
- For advanced sewers: Janome – mc9400qcp Professional
Also, Juki is one of the world leading sewing machine manufacture brands. Founded in 1947, the Japanese designed products nowadays stand for reliability and simplicity. Juki produces machines which allow each and every user to start sewing right away, no matter which experiences level they have and to realise their vision💫
➡️ Popular models from Juki:
- For sewing beginners: Juki hzl-60hr-b
- For intermediate sewers: Juki HZL-G220
- For advanced sewers: Juki TL-2200QVP
Once upon a time (in 1862 to be precise), Georg Michael Pfaff has built his first sewing machine ever and with that, founded the company. Their slogan “perfection starts here” reflects the company’s premium position in the market. Superior performance and constant modernisation are core values from Pfaff.
➡️ Popular models from Pfaff:
- For sewing beginners: Pfaff Smarter 155
- For intermediate sewers: Pfaff Ambition 1.0 IDT
- For advanced sewers: Pfaff Expression 3.5 IDT
The Singer story started in 1851 with a patent on the first practical sewing machine handed in by Isaac Singer. The company has kept this inventive spirit over the years and can be proud of many innovations, such as the world’s first zig-zag machine or the first sewing assistant app💡. The machines have a practical design and are developed for every level of sewing.
➡️ Popular models from Singer:
- For sewing beginners: Singer 2273 Tradition
- For intermediate sewers: Singer Confidence 7465
- For advanced sewers: Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist
6 Tips and Tricks How to Save Money💰
So you’ve fallen in love with the sewing machine of your dreams but it’s above your budget? Don’t panic, I’ve got some ideas about what to do in this situation – been there, done that🙈
Get it second-hand
Maybe someone tries to get rid of the machine you’re looking for, so check out some second-hand websites like Gumtree or eBay.
Put it on your wishlist
If your birthday or Christmas is not too far away, inform your loved ones about your sewing machine wish🎁 I’m sure they will appreciate as well if they don’t have to worry about what to get this year.
Ask the seller if you could buy the exhibition sample for a reduced price. The right time to bring in your negotiation skills!
Look for sales
Ask if a sale is coming up or wait for the ‘classic’ sales periods (e.g. after Christmas🎄and Mother’s Day). It could also be worth waiting until the brand releases a new model as they might lower the price for the other machines at this stage.
Search online for coupons
If all else fails, I usually give it one last shot and search online for a coupon. You never know, maybe you’ll be lucky!
Recover your costs
Once you bought your machine, put it on an online marketplace platform like Fat Llama so that other people can rent it. With that, you can recover a part of the costs or if you do it long enough, maybe even make a profit.
This is it, folks! I hereby formally confirm that you are sewing machine experts🏅
You know what features to look out for,
the importance of testing the machine,
the different sewing machine type,
the top brands plus my tips and tricks
on how to save money.
I hope this post was helpful and that I covered everything that you need to know to make the decision which sewing machine has the pleasure to be yours. If anything is missing which you’d like to see in this post, please do let me know in the comments below⬇️
Also, share with me which sewing machine you’ve chosen! I’d love to know💕