Sewing Machine Recommendations + How to Shop for a Sewing Machine

Which sewing machine should I buy?

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Not all sewing machines are created equally, and I often get asked which machine I have and which I recommend.

So today I want to share which machines I recommend, AND a few tips to help you when you’re shopping for one.

 

Which sewing machine do you recommend?
Sewing machine recommendations
How to choose the right sewing machine

The first machine I ever sewed on was an old Kenmore machine. It was my moms, and after I got married she upgraded her machine and gave me the hand-me down. It was very basic machine with only a handful of stitching options…but really, I didn’t need anything more than that.

After the Kenmore, I upgraded to a new Janome, and I’ve been a partner with Janome for the last few years so they’ve sent me upgraded machines every few years. I currently have the Skyline S9, which has so many more capabilities than I’ll ever know how to use, but I’m a huge fan of the brand, their machines are really well made, and they have a huge variety of machines at all price points.

Here are a few tips when shopping for a sewing machine:

  1. Choose a good brand. Janome, Brother, and Singer are the best brands with good machines at lower price points. There are a lot of little random brands that make machines, and they’re just not going to be as well made or last as long. You get what you pay for, so go for a trusted brand, even if you buy the cheapest model in their line.
  2. Look at online ratings. Since it’s hard to know if a machine is good just by looking at it, it’s helpful to read reviews and see what other users are saying. This Brother sewing machine gets over 7,000 reviews and 4.5 stars, so you can bet this is a good option. This Janome one has over 400 reviews and also 4.5 stars. These are good indicators that these are good choices.
  3. Choose one that fits your needs. There are different features for each machine, with various stitches, accessories, and sizes. Don’t forget to look at the dimensions, weight, or included accessories before purchasing! Some machines, like this Brother machine, come with a wider table which is helpful for larger projects or quilting. Some machines, like this Singer machine, have an automatic needle threader that threads the machine’s needle for you. So do your research and choose one that’s best for your needs!

 

Let’s talk about sergers.

I bought myself a serger machine about five years ago when I started getting serious about sewing. I purchased THIS BROTHER because it was inexpensive and had good ratings, and it’s been a great starter serger machine and I definitely recommend it.

I’m hoping to upgrade to the coverstitch machine at some point because the cover stitch does a straight stitch on the top and a serged stitch on the bottom like you see on your store bought clothing.

 

Other Accessories:

I use my TWIN NEEDLES all the time for sewing on stretchy fabric. It makes two parallel seams on the top of the fabric and a zigzag stitch underneath, so it creates a stitch that allows for some stretch. This is a must have for sewing with knit fabric!

My INVISIBLE ZIPPER FOOT is a game changer for inserting invisible zippers. If you’re scared to insert them, get this foot!

My go to thread is GUTTERMAN’S ALL PURPOSE THREAD and COATS AND CLARKS ALL PURPOSE THREAD.

 

 

If you have any other questions about this subject, leave a comment — I’d love to help you find the right machine!

4 Comments

  1. I think this is great advise for buying a machine online. But I think an even better way is to go to your local sewing machine store if there is one near you. Feeling it and taking it for a “test drive” is great. you can explain what you want to sew and they can help you decide what machine might fit your needs. Also, supporting your local shops will ensure that they will still be there when you need them: http://www.thelostapron.com/2017/03/support-shops.html

  2. Jessica Poeppelmeyer says:

    Something to consider to is how easy a machine is to fix if it breaks. I have Husqvavarna Viking Rose, I love it, it is amazing! But I would never buy another one because Viking will not let non dealers get parts or info for repairs so is your machine breaks sending it to a dealer is your only option for repairs. and this can be very pricey!

  3. Mish says:

    I would also recommend the elna brand.
    my mother’s machine has been going strong since the early 1970’s and mine is over 15 years old,
    although i will not say no if she ever offers her machine to me!
    it’s a pretty basic machine but does have buttonhole capability,
    i am not confident on doing buttonholes and usually ask a local dressmaker to take care of the finishing bits, so my work looks professional!

  4. Rachel says:

    I bought that brother On amazon you linkeD to about six years agk. I Sent my first one back (tEnsion issues) and sent the second kne back for the same thing. I then went Into my local Sewing macHine store aNd brought A different brother there. I learned that machines that you buy places like Amazon, costco, macys, joanns, have plastic paRts inside which is Why they tend to be less expensive. They also break eAsier and The plastic is the reason for the tension issues. Ones you buy at an actuAl sewing retailer have metal inside and are a bit better put together. My sTore also offered 6 free Classes where they taught me to
    Use all the different functions of my machine and Gave me care/maintenence
    Tips that werent in the manual. Just someThing for people to think about!

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