5 affordable sewing machines for beginners
There is an amazing range of sewing machines out there and sometimes it is hard to make a decision, especially if you are just starting your sewing adventure.
Depends on your goals (sewing, quilting, crafts, embroidery) you should look for a machine with distinctive features, but you also don’t want to spend an excessive amount of money on features that you’re never going to use.
There are a lot of simple, basic and affordable machines, but when you start playing with your new machine you are going to want more. Cutting off features like automatic needle threader or double needle function saves you couple of dollars, but down the road you’ll wish you would have splurged a little. Also you can buy extra accessories, like buttonhole foot or side cutter, but you can’t change the number or type of stitches on your machine. So, if you are planning to dazzle people one day with your beautifully crafted projects, think and choose carefully.
The good news is there are a lot of sewing machines under $200 with plenty of features you can play with.
Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Free-Arm Sewing Machine by Brother
This machine offers a lot of user-friendly and time-saving features:
- 25 utility, decorative and heirloom stitches, as well as basic stitches for quilting and embellishments
- adjustable width and length of the stitches
- a simple needle threader
- built-in thread cutter
- drop-in bobbin loading
- automatic bobbin winding-
- a one-step auto button hole.
It is lightweight (16 pounds) and also has a built-in handle, so you can take it to the sewing classes or wherever you go. You can choose between flatbed and free arm to sew. The free arm makes hemming pants or attaching sleeves a breeze; it also contains machine accessories: screwdriver, three-piece needle pack, extra spool pin, twin needle, darning plate.
The presser feet can be change easily to better suit your sewing needs. There is, however, only one setting for the presser foot, so it cannot be adjusted for variable feed.This is a great machine for the price (under 100$). It works great with light fabrics, but a few customers report having problems with sewing heavy weight fabrics or multiple layers. The manual for the machine is very detailed and comes in English and Spanish.
Brother CS6000i Sew Advance Sew Affordable 60-Stitch Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine by Brother
This machine is the bargain. For under $200 you get computerized sewing machine loaded with features and accessories. If you are a beginner, you probably don’t have to buy anything else but fabric. Brother CS6000i comes with plenty of accessories like extra bobbins, needle set, extra spool pin, twin needle, seam ripper, cleaning brush, eyelet punch, screw driver, and assorted types of snap-on presser feet. The feet included are monogramming foot, buttonhole foot, blind stitch foot, overcasting foot, zipper foot, and button fitting foot as well as quilting bonus feet package. It is also portable and comes with hard protective cover, free-arm and wide quilting table.
The features include:
- 60 built in stitches including, utility, decorative, heirloom and quilting stitches
- drop-in bobbin
- thread cutter
- reverse stitching
- LCD display
- 7 styles of auto buttonholes
- automatic needle threader
- automatic bobbin winder
- LED light for sewing area.
You choose your stitches by using LCD display. You can also adjust length and width of the stitch by using the key pad on the front of the machine. Your choices will be reflected on LCD display.
The machine is very easy to use and is very reliable. Some sewers have issues with tension adjustments and sewing very heavy fabrics.
Brother CP-7500 Computerized Sewing Machine by BrotherT
The Brother CP-7500 is a little bit more expensive than the Brother CS6000i, but it has some nice additional features. The machine has a start/stop/reverse button that you can use instead of the foot pedal; it allows you to execute intricate work more carefully. You can also control the speed of your sewing, which also helps with complex projects.
Features also include:
- 70 built-in utility, decorative and heirloom stitches, each with multiple stitch functions (110 total stitch functions)
- 7 styles of one-step auto size buttonholes
- LCD screen with computerized stitch selection
- automatic needle threading
- automatic bobbin winding
- one-step bobbin replacement with quick set drop-in bobbin
- drop feed for free motion quilting
As with the previous machine, Brother CP-7500 comes with oversized quilting table, free arm and hard protective cover; and a full assortment of accessories including: buttonhole foot, zipper foot, button sewing foot, overcasting foot, blind stitch foot, monogramming foot, quilting foot, walking foot, quilt guide, eyelet punch, 3 bobbins, 3 needles, twin needle, screwdriver, seam ripper, cleaning brush, ball point needle. Some people find that it jams easily if you are not using the right thread or if you are working with heavy weight fabrics.
Anybody, who is slightly interested in sewing, knows the Singer brand. They have been producing quality sewing machines for 160 years, and a lot of people swear by them.
Singer 5500 Fashion Mate by Singer
The Singer 5500 is easy-to-use, reliable machine from Singer. It comes with a manual and instructional DVD where Martha Stuart, herself, tells you how to operate the machine. It doesn’t have as many features and accessories as the next machine, but it still covers all basics.
- 100 Built-In Stitches including basic, decorative and stretch
- stitch guide included in manual
- automatic needle threader
- automatic stitch length & width ensures
- 6 fully automatic 1-Step Buttonholes
- automatic tension
- extension table for large sewing projects
- hard-sided cover to protect your machine
- LED light
Accessories include:3 presser feet including all-purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot; pack of needles; bobbins; thread spool cap; auxiliary spool pin; spool pin felt; darning plate; needle plate screwdriver; seam ripper / lint brush.
Sewers find that the LED light is week, so you need an additional source of light and, like many inexpensive machines; it can have problems working with heavy weight fabrics.
SINGER 7258 Stylist by Singer
The Singer 7258 is about to become the best rated Singer online. It has 100 different stitches, plenty additional accessories, and almost every feature you can dream of. It can definitely be a good alternative to the Brother’s machines if you have a preference for Singer brand.
- 100 built in stitches including utility, decorative, quilting, and heirloom
- 6 styles of 1-step buttonholes
- Adjustable length and width for selected stitches
- Jam-proof, top drop in bobbin with see through cover
- Automatic needle threader
- Programmable Needle Up/Down
- Start/Stop button
- Speed control slider
- Reverse button sews
- Auto-tie off feature for straight stitch
- Automatic presser foot pressure
- Automatic bobbin winding
- Twin needle capable
- 13 needle positions
- Singer’s Optimum Power Control feature (redirects power to the needle arm for thick seams when needed)
- 6 point feed dog system
- Automatic tension
- Drop feed dog lever
- Horizontal thread delivery
- Free arm sewing
- Staybright™ LED Lifetime White Lamp
- Two built-in needle cutters
- LCD screen error codes for troubleshooting
- Heavy duty metal frame
Not bad for under $200!
Accessories include: 8 snap-on style presser feet including general purpose foot, zipper foot, satin stitch, buttonhole foot, overcastting foot, darning&embroidery foot, cathering foot, rolled hem foot; pack of 5 needles; 4 bobbins (3 in the accessory pack and one in the machine already); auxiliary spool pin; spool pin felt discs (2); 3 spool caps (mini, small, and large); buttonhole opener/seam ripper and brush; screwdriver for needle plate; darning plate.
Also this machine is very easy to set and start sewing right away. It comes with a manual and instructional DVD. It is very quiet compare to Brother’s machines. Singer 7258 is lightweight (about 15 pounds) and has a built-in handle. It doesn’t come with a hard protective cover, which is available for sale separately for about$23. Some customers complain that the presser foot is not adjustable, so working with multi layers of fabric can be a problem.