Sewing can be a crafty hobby to keep you busy, but it’s also a valuable life skill. With a sewing machine, you can take on all kinds of projects that would be difficult, time-consuming, or near impossible to do by hand. Searching for the right one can be intimidating, as there are tons of models from different brands on the market, and many of them are quite similar. If you’re newly looking for your first machine, you should seek one that offers smooth stitching, simple controls, and some features that ease your workflow, like, say, an automatic thread cutter. Our suggestions below are suitable for complete beginners and include both manual and computerized machines, at a range of price points.
1. Singer 7258 Sewing Machine
This computerized machine is suitable for sewers of all levels, but it feels like it was designed with first timers in mind. The electronic interface is very user-friendly, with intuitive buttons to select from 100 stitches and customize them according to preferred length and width. It also features automatic elements like a self-threading needle, an automatic bobbin winding clutch, and a button to auto-sew reverse stitches. The machine can also sew smoothly through a range of fabric weights, from silk to denim. It’s easy to learn on, while providing you with many advanced features to continue challenging your skills.
2. Brother Sewing and Embroidery Machine
This computerized machine boasts a lot of bells and whistles and might initially be a little intimidating to beginners. But if you take the time to read the well-written and illustrated manual and get to know its anatomy, you’ll be on your way to realizing complex designs. This Brother machine is capable of not only stitching (quietly, to boot) but also completing delicate embroidery, with a large LCD touch screen for fast and easy control. You can choose from 103 built-in stitches and 80 embroidery patterns and directly edit your designs using your finger. We like that you can also load your own visuals by inserting a USB flash drive into the built-in port.
3. Haitral Portable Sewing Machine
This tiny sewing machine, which weighs less than three pounds, looks like a toy. But it is a surprisingly decent, budget-friendly option for small jobs. It certainly has many limitations: Choose from just two speeds (low and high), forget about stitching heavy-duty fabrics, and don’t expect a quiet sewing session. But if you’re working with thin textiles and need to sew a simple hem, this little device will do the job with speed and neatness. Consider it a direct upgrade from your everyday kit of needles and thread.
4. Janome Computerized Sewing Machine
This computerized model from Janome is quiet, user-friendly, and capable of handling layers of a variety of fabrics. It comes ready with 120 sewing stitches, including letters of the alphabet and symbols. Look forward to a ton of specialized features, including an automatic thread cutter, an automatic needle threader, and an easy-reverse button. We especially love that it is also a relatively small and lightweight machine, weighing just over 14 pounds, which makes it an excellent travel buddy.
5. Singer Start Sewing Machine
If you are just curious about sewing or need a machine for occasional mending or simple projects like masks, we like this low-price model from Singer. It’s very easy to set up and offers six built-in stitches, from a zigzag to a decorative scallop. With stripped-down controls—there’s a simple stitch-selection dial and a lever for reversals—this machine presents little to no learning curve. Simply watch some of the tutorial videos that Singer offers online, and you’ll be ready to get started.