Looking for a sewing machine recommendation? Here are the best sewing machines brands, the machines I own, and what to look for when shopping for a sewing machine.
My best sewing machine recommendations
Not all sewing machines are created equally, and I often get asked for sewing machine recommendations, which machine I have and which brands 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.
My first 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 since I’ve been an ambassador for 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:
- Choose a good brand. Janome, Brother, Bernina and Singer are some of the best brands with good machines at lower price points. These brands also have machines that are very expensive. 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.
- Don’t buy the very cheapest model. A lot of brands, even trusted brands, make low quality machines in addition to their high quality machines. So don’t buy the cheapest model.
- 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 4000 reviews and 4.5 stars, so you can bet this is a good option. This Janome one has over 100 reviews and also 4.5 stars. These are good indicators that these are good choices.
- 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 Janome 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 serger sewing machines.
I bought myself a serger machine about five years ago when I started getting serious about sewing. I purchased THIS BROTHER because it was not too expensive 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. One day!
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 of doing zippers, get yourself 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!
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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
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!
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!
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!
Do you use your twin needles with your sewing machine or with your serger (i just bought that serger and im still learning how to use it:)?
I have pretty much never sewn anything ever, but i really want to learn the basics, and be able to do things such as hem pants/jeans because i am on the shorter end and always have issues finding the right length on pants and jeans, so i think this could be a very useful skill to learn. is there a good beginner machine i should start on? Thank you!
DO you have a go to theead brand for your serger thread?
this is really an important part when to buy a sewing machine by yourself. you provided some great and important tips for the starters. The buyers should focus on their needs and then the price of it. thank you
Very good guide! it was really helpful to me, thanks.
I have a heavy duty sewing machine navigate to this web-site. i think your tips will work for it too.
I want to make sure that I get the right sewing machine for me. It makes sense that I would want to find one that comes from a trustworthy brand! That way, I can ensure that it works properly.
I would love to hear some of your other sewing tips and tricks. I would say I’m an intermediate sewer. I also try to stay away from sewing clothing. Pillow covers are my go to right now.
I am Looking for an online Cooking Class for my daughter who is 8. She took 2 classes at joann Fabrics before the pandemic, but she is still very much a noviCe and i have no knowledge whatsoever. I’d even lOve an adult and child class. She has a small sewinG machine and a great book, but a class that could teach her the basics of using her machine and crEating something sImple Would be ideal. any help you could offer would be greatly apprEciaTed. Thank YOU
Correction in first sentence to say *sewing 🙂
I am always looking out for vintage sewing treasures, thimbles, scissors, needle cases, sewing kits all sorts. I have a fairly large collection of Pin Cushion half dolls as well. Oh, have a fair few Singer Sewing machines as well.
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