Just Starting Out: How To Choose the Best Sewing Machine for Beginners

Sewing Machine

Buying a new sewing machine can be highly confusing.

The good news? We’re here to make the whole process much easier for you!

Today, sewing is increasing in popularity. Many people are deciding to get started with their own machine at home…

An extremely common question is just how to choose the best sewing machine for beginners. We will point you firmly in the right direction!

Whether it’s mending worn clothes or creating exciting new projects from scratch, the right machine is a sound investment if you get it correct. Choose the wrong type and it could be an expensive mistake!

Sewing Machine
Sewing Machine

Types of Sewing Machine

First thing’s first, familiarize yourself with the various types of sewing machine at your disposal.

The initial division is between industrial sewing machines and personal sewing machines. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the latter.

BONUS: You can download the infographic here.

Personal sewing machines can be categorized broadly as follows:

Electronic Sewing Machines

With these, the needle is powered by a single motor. You can easily control the speed using an electronic foot pedal. This method is great for freeing up both hands. This simplifies guiding your fabric through the machine.

Stitch length and type can be tweaked with a dial found on the side of the machine.

Some electronic machines have an automatic tension setting, set buttonhole stitching and an automatic thread cutter. Singer One, Singer 7258, Janome’s DC3050, 1600P, 6600P, 6500P and Brother NX400.

Whatever your needs, this type of machine is highly versatile. They boast excellent functionality and a wide range of stitch patterns.

Computerized Sewing Machines

In place of dials and buttons, computerized sewing machines use an LED screen and computer software. This enables you to customize your machine to your precise requirements.

The more basic computerized models memorize your favorite stitches for complete ease of use. Advanced versions allow for full programming of intricate embroidery patterns.

Look for USB connectivity so you can hook it up to your computer and work on personalized patterns.

Although not cheap, you will gain in terms of flexibility and speed with computerized machines.

Mechanical Sewing Machines

The most basic kind of mechanical sewing machines can be a smart choice if you are just getting started.

These manual machines are extremely durable and demand a little physical work from the user.

For basic projects with lightweight or medium-weight materials, a mechanical machine is worth checking out if you are not so tech-savvy.

Overlock Sewing Machines

Check out our guide to the more specialized overlock machines here.

The Best Sewing Machines For Beginners Reviews

Buying a machine when you are a novice means that there are different things you should focus on.

We will outline the specific and general points to look out for when researching a new machine below.

We are currently testing 10 of the best sewing machines for beginners. We will reveal our findings in a forthcoming review article.

Buying Guide and General Tips: Sewing Machines For Beginners

Preparation is key when buying any appliance. A sewing machine is no exception.

Do plenty of research. Read honest user reviews to assess the pros and cons of any machine on your shortlist.

Be honest about precisely what you want from the product and make your decision accordingly.

We’ll now walk you through the major areas you need to focus on when buying the best sewing machine for beginners…

Ease Of Use

When you’re just starting, an excess of unnecessary features only complicates things.

Look to strike the right balance here. You want all the features you will need and no more. Think ahead to what projects you will work on.

Don’t be afraid to keep it simple.

Mechanical or Computerized?

Do you want a no-nonsense mechanical machine or a computerized machine?

Mechanical machines are generally pretty light even though they are durable. Maintenance and servicing is a breeze. There is also far less likely to go wrong with them. Throw in their basic, user-friendly nature and mechanical machines often work very well for beginners.

If you are comfy with technology and have more advanced requirements, the more upscale computerized machines are far more customizable.


Price is always a factor.

You should not only think about the bottom line, though. Value for money is equally important so look at how the price relates to what you get for your money.

Linked to this idea is reliability…

It’s senseless picking up the cheapest and most fragile option if it lets you down. You are likely to get frustrated. You might even lose interest in sewing completely.

Think about how much you can afford. Study all the options in this price band. Price is important but you need a well-built and reliable machine.


To generalize, the heavier the machine, the more powerful the motor.

A stronger machine is much more likely to last the test of time. You will also notice improved speed and performance.

Even though you are a beginner, you might still want to work with heavier fabrics. If so, pay close attention to the power. It’s essential to get the right equipment for the job at hand.

How About The Noise?

A degree of noise from a sewing machine is inevitable.

Again, every situation is different. If you are likely to use the machine when children are sleeping, look for those that are quieter in operation. The same applies if you have easily disturbed neighbors.

If you choose an extremely noisy machine and have these limitations, it’s liable to affect the amount you use it. The last thing you want is to be inhibited from enjoying your new hobby.

What Stitches Are Available?

As with every aspect of your decision, think closely about what you need in terms of stitches.

If it’s only the most basic projects you’ll tackle, a straight stitch and zigzag stitch should suffice. Whether you are making clothes or trying out some simple quilting, you’ll be covered with these basics.

At the upper range, you could have several hundred stitching choices. Do you really need that variety? If so and you think you will rapidly advance, by all means select a more advanced machine.

Get the right machine for you.

Look For Adjustable Stitches

Regardless of the number of stitching options, you’ll want to be able to adjust the sizing of these.

This is fairly universal but, if you are exploring the cheaper machines, ensure that you can adjust the length and width of your stitches. Some do not allow this.

When it comes to finishing off seams, it pays to make certain that automatic reverse stitching is included on the model you are considering.


Different machines include various attachments as standard. Others you will need to pay for.

What will you be doing with your machine?

  • Quilting: Look for a walking foot and 1/4 inch foot
  • Freehand Quilting: You’ll need a freehand embroidery foot for these projects
  • Making Clothes: Buttonhole, zipper and blind hem feet will come into their own
  • Using Different Fabrics: Look for as wide a variety of presser feet as possible


The rewards from sewing are huge.

Whether you want to occupy yourself with some quilting projects, fix up damaged clothing or create your own garments from scratch, a sewing machine is a very worthwhile investment.

Think carefully about the above pointers. Don’t rush into a decision. Try out any models you can before you buy…

You will then be well placed to pick up the best sewing machine for beginners rather than making an unsuitable purchase and wasting your money.

Happy sewing!

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