The sewing machine is the centerpiece of every sewist’s arsenal of tools and supplies. However, the sewing machine market can be ultra-confusing to the beginner sewist. There are duds and there are gems; there are expensive machines and there are affordable machines. We hope this handy guide will help the beginner sewists out there and those who are helping a friend or family member get started in sewing.
What do you want from a basic sewing machine?
After reading many machine reviews from beginner sewists, here are the top three things mentioned as “must-haves” in a sewing machine:
- Affordable. Many beginner sewists are most comfortable plunking down less cash (or none at all!) for their first sewing machine.
- Durable. Ideally, breakdowns would never happen at all. If they do happen, they should be scarce and cheap to fix.
- Easy to transport and/or lightweight. This is especially important for those of us who take sewing classes and need to transport our machines to and from.
Read Member Reviews for CS-6000i
Beginner sewists and all fans of Hello Kitty will love the Janome Hello Kitty 11706. Available at retail stores for around $120, “The Hello Kitty is a fully function 3/4 model that is perfect for the beginning sewist! It offers a free arm and a carry handle for easy portability. This 12-lb. machine offers 11 stitches, including 2 stretch stitches and a built-in buttonhole.” twinnie808 says: “I love this sewing machine! It winds bobbins perfect and sews smooth and quiet. Instructions to wind the bobbin and thread the machine are given in the illustrated manual. It's so lightweight and portable. Perfect for teaching children or beginners to sew. I got this for my daughters ages 6 and 10 and they love it! They tried sewing on my Viking but it was a little too fast for them to control. In my opinion, I think the speed on this machine is perfect.”
For the Travelling Sewist
Read Member Reviews for SewMini 124
The Janome SewMini 124 is marketed as a great starter machine for sewists who need to lug their sewing machine to and from sewing classes. It's also a great buy for a young lady who is college-bound and needs a lightweight sewing machine that fits into a tiny dorm room. If I had known about the Janome SewMini 124 I would have done a lot more sewing at college! You can easily buy a new one online for under $60 and it weighs only 5 lbs.!
In the sewing community Singer brand is known for producing excellent vintage machines. What is wonderful about vintage Singer machines is that they have stood the test of time. They are in a class of their own when it comes to durability. How to get one for cheap? Look for them at “schools getting rid of home ec machines. Garage sales. Church sales.” Estate Sales. Shake your family tree and see if an older relative has one. If you can get your hands on one of these models, you will have a trusty sewing machine for life.