A Complete Buying Guide for Sewing Machines

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Who doesn’t love being creative in fashion and style? If you are into producing your own amazing cloth creations then you definitely need the needle power, but you won’t be able to do it with just your hands, right? For that purpose, there are many latest sewing machines out there that can make your work easy regardless of your experience, and if you are on a search to get the best sewing machine, then this guide is definitely for you. You will not only be guided but also be given some best options to choose from.

Let’s start the article with the buying guide, as it is really important to know that if it is the right sewing machine that you are getting according to your needs.

Types of sewing machines

• Mechanical sewing machines
Mechanical sewing machines are getting extinct as they are been replaced by electronic and other latest technological sewing machines. A mechanical sewing machine only provides basic functions and you have to operate it by hand, which might be difficult for you, and it is also only suitable for light to medium weight fabrics.

• Electronic sewing machines
They replaced the mechanical sewing machines by making the process much easier using electric power. Their built-in motor controls the needle, so you will be able to get great sewing speed, high precision, jerk-free working and much better stitch control. The motor is operated by the foot pedal, which means both of your hands will pretty much be free so you can easily guide the fabric by hands, through the feeding mechanism. Dials, buttons or LCD is given to select the controls.

• Computerized sewing machines
These are the latest and most powerful sewing machines available in the market. Computerized sewing machines are a pure work of technology that produceshigh-qualitystitching and have numerous features such as buttonhole formation, buttonhole style, tension control, sewing speed and the list goes on and on. You even get a touchscreen LCD to make the operations and controls much easier. These machines can be quite costly and mostly used by the professionals. If you are looking to start from the basics to expert level in high quality and professional stitching, then you can opt for this one.

• Serger Machines
Sergers are also known as overlocking sewing machines that are simply used to seam or overlock the fabric. It is done by joining/sewing the edges of the fabric together that can be difficult to stitch. These machines are mostly used by professionals and tailors to give a finalized and finishing touch to the cloth being sewed. There are multiple stitch patterns that a serger can make ranging from a single threaded overlock stitch to 5 threaded overlock stitch.

Features you can find in a sewing machine

• Lightweight design
Most sewing machines are heavy and might be difficult to carry here and there. If you are learning sewing, you definitely need a machine that has a lightweight design so you can also effortlessly put it in your car and take with you for lessons.

• Various Built-in stitches
If you are learning, then you might not need hundreds of stitches, but your machine should be capable of atleast some basic stitches such as straight stitch, a zig-zag stitch, backstitch and a button stitch, as these various styles can extend your capability to get more out of your sewing machine.

• Affordable price
That’s the most important thing if you are just learning to sew. What’s the benefit of getting a machine that you have to replace after some time because it doesn’t have all the options you find out you need? Get a machine that you can use for a long time, keeping the value for price in mind. Also, if you’re going to just use it for occasional use, then looking for basic features and keeping cost down will make sense.

These were some points you must consider before shopping for a sewing machine. Mentioned below are some of the best picks for sewing machines, all you have to do is choose any of them according to your needs and desire.

• Automatic buttonholer
A buttonhole is a slit to place the button for fastening and to make your work easier for making a buttonhole you can look for an automaticbuttonholer so you won’t need to stop for adjusting the fabric and turning it again and again for accurate placement.

• Foot pedal
A foot pedal is great for running the machine in hands-free mode, so you can easily use both of your hands in adjusting the fabric to the right place. Always look for a stable and decent sized foot pedal with an anti-slip base that makes sure you have a strong grip while sewing.

• Needle threader
Most of the modern machines come with an automatic needle threader that is helpful for almost everyone, but it is of great assistance to especially those people who have a weak eyesight or dexterity challenges, because this feature automatically puts in the thread in the needle without your effort to find the hole.

• Portability
Portability is the first thing you should look into before buying a sewing machine if you carry it with you when you are commuting or traveling, especially if you are a clothing designer or an avid sewist. You will find several compact-sized sewing machines that are as powerful as standard machines.

• Machine fabric feed space
It can or cannot be of great importance for some people, but if you are looking to work on large fabrics in an efficient way then this is a considerable option. Some machines have an extended feed space, so you can handle large pieces of fabrics such as curtains or bed sheets easily and without changing and adjusting their position again and again.

• Top-Load Bobbin
That era of sewing machines is long gone in which you have to open the whole recessed compartment to check if the bobbin is running low on the thread or not. With modern sewingmachines, you don’t have to go through this problem as you can simply slide open the panel and drop the bobbin in and a transparent cover is given to see if your thread is running low or not.

• Noise level
An average sewing machine’s noise levels range from 65db to 80dB depending on its build quality and working mechanism. A machine that produces more than 70dB is considered as a loud machine, but it is not uncommon for heavy-duty machines, and if you are looking for one that comparatively makes lesser noise then look for one with low noise levels (65 dB or below).

• Warranty
Most of the machines come with sufficient warranties and you don’t have to worry about it expiring before your done using it or upgraded. But a good warranty helps to ensure in case you face any issues, you can always contact the manufacturer and ask for repairs. It is recommended that if you use a sewing machine more often, you should regularly service your machine.

• Multiple speeds
This feature assists you in controlling the speed at which the fabric moves under the needle, for instance, if you are working on a large piece of fabric and you want to sew its edges in a straight line then you may get the advantage of this option as it can maintain a constant speed throughout.

Features you must look for if you are a beginner

  • If you are just starting to learn sewing then you will at least need three stitch options: reverse, zigzag, and straight. These options can help you learn to stitch in a versatile manner and not only this, but you can also make customized designs using them.
  • To accommodate a variety of projects, it is recommended that you also look for at least three stitch lengths; the ability of the machine to vary the stitch length from 0 to 5 mm.
  • For efficient and faster working it is great to have a reliable foot pedal that will eliminate all those issues like jamming and bunching, that you may face when operating the machine manually.
  • An automatic needle threader is an amazing option to have that can save you some extra time and help you refrain from getting an eye strain that you may get while putting the thread into the needle-hole with hand.

Major Sewing Machine Brands

1. Brother
Brother is a Japanese multinational electronics and electrical equipment company that was founded in 1908 and it is known for manufacturing printers, fax machines, commercial and domestic sewing machines etc. You will also find the best sewing machines from this brand in this article.

2. Singer
Singer is a brand that needs no introduction because of its large market share of the sewing machine industry. It was established in 1851 by Isaac Merritt Singer who also invented the first practical sewing machine for domestic use. Because of this brand’s long successful history and name, you can certainly rely on their machines and we have mentioned two of the bests in this article so you can take alook at them and select the right one according to your needs and requirements.

3. Bernina
Bernina is considered as one of the four top sewing machine brands in the world that was founded back in the 19th century in Switzerland. The company got its name from the Piz Bernina, a mountain in the Alps. Bernina is also one of the most respected brands in terms of performance and high quality. They produce both top-range and mid-level machines, but the only downside of Bernina is that their machines are usually more expensive than other brands, but you know, as they say, you get what you pay for!

Now that you are armed with knowledge about the types and brands of sewing machines we have compiled a list of different sewing machine options for you to consider.

Product

Visual

Where to Buy

1. Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine

Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine
shop SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
shop SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

Hippih Portable Electric Sewing Machine

Hippih Portable Electric Sewing Machine
shop SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine
shop SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Computerized Sewing & Embroidery Machine

Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Computerized Sewing & Embroidery Machine
shop SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine with Automatic Thread Trimmer for Quilting, Tailoring, Apparel and Home Decor

Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine with Automatic Thread Trimmer for Quilting, Tailoring, Apparel and Home Decor
shop SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

Bernette 38 Swiss Design Computerized Sewing Machine

Bernette 38 Swiss Design Computerized Sewing Machine
shop SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

 

1. Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine

It is the perfect sewing machine for people who are getting started with sewing for the very first time. The user-friendly features and lightweight design enable beginners to learn basics conveniently, while an expert can get more versatility out of it. It comes with a stitch selector dial that makes it quite easy to choose the type of stitch and the needle threader automatically pushes the thread right through the needle without any extensive effort. The list doesn’t end there; you also get an instructionalDVD with the machine that makes getting started much easier.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design
  • One step button holder for creating custom-sized buttonholes
  • Automatic needle threader

Cons:

  • Included led light is too dim
  • Lower qualityplastic body

Best for:
For beginners who are getting started to learn basics and want to move to expert level quickly.

2. SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

Singer 7258 is the best overall computerized sewing machine that you can get within this price range. You get a lot of options and features from this beauty of technology, not to mention the 100 built-in stitches, automatic needle threader, 750 stitches-per-minute, push-button easy controlling, etcetera, what else would you need to get yourself going?

The Singer 7258 is a complete package if you are either going to get started as a beginner or learn something advanced.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty metal body frame
  • Programmable designs (can be downloaded)
  • 100 built-in stitches
  • Easy controlling

Cons:

  • Pedal and bobbin cover made of plastic
  • You might experience thread jamming issues

Best for:
Singer 7258 is great for creating new designs professionally or just as a hobby with the help of computerized functionality and built-in options.

3. Hippih Portable Electric Sewing Machine

If you are looking for a budget-friendly sewing machine, then check out the Hippih Portable Sewing Machine, as with its unbeatable price and functions you can get much out of your little projects.

You can operate it using a pedal with 2 speed options; high and low. You don’t always need an electric power supply to run it as it can also be operated using 4 AA batteries, quite handy if you need to be very mobile with your machine.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Dual-power source feature
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • 2-speed variation

Cons:

  • Doubtful longevity
  • Jamming issues
  • Limited functionality

Best for:
It is great to use for beginners who are learning from an institute, they can put it in their shoulder bags and carry it away easily.

4. SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

The Singer 4423 is a heavy-duty metal frame sewing machine that is also a best seller because of its number of distinguished features and multiple accessories that come with the package. You can use any of the 23 built-in stitches according to your project. Regardless of what fabric it is, singer 4423 is made for all of them. It has a speed of 1,100 stitches per minute, so you can quickly yet efficiently complete your work.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty metal frame
  • Fast stitching- 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Built-in needle threader
  • Includes several accessories

Cons:

  • Limited built-in stitches- only 23
  • Manual operation

Best for:
It is an appropriate sewing machine for the beginners or experiencedsewists and is capable of handling all sorts of fabric.

5. Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Computerized Sewing & Embroidery Machine

Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 is a computerized sewing and embroidery machine equipped with latest technological features with 80 stitches per minute sewing speed and an LCD screen. You can use the machine to either make amazing customized designs on your dresses (it also has 100 built-in and ready-to-use designs) or simply for efficient stitching.

The LCD that comes installed on the machine is comparatively large with a visible set of icons that make it more user-friendly. Not only the LCD but the led also helps you keep on the right track with your fabric and it would be of great help if you decide to use your machine at midnight. However, if you still find it difficult to use the machine or its controls then you can refer to the manual in order to get guidance. Other features include a start/stop button to run the machine in an automated mode without the use of a foot pedal and needle thread and bobbin monitoring that stops the machine atomically if you run out of thread in the spool or the needle breaks.

Pros:

  • USB port to add new designs to your machine
  • Excellent finishing
  • Perfect for beginners because of its automatic features
  • You can also make amazing embroidery design while you are stitching
  • Light-weight and portable

Cons:

  • Slower than most of the sewing machines
  • May skip a stitch every now and then, but if the tension control is managed in a right way then it won’t have this problem

Best for:
This machine is best for the beginners who want a tool with great features to practice on and also easy to carry around. If you are also interested in creating your own designs, then this machine is a perfect combo of a sewing and embroidery.

6. Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine with Automatic Thread Trimmer for Quilting, Tailoring, Apparel and Home Decor

Juki TL-2010Q is a high-performance professional portable sewing machine that can even sew thick material with ease and high speed, without getting jammed. If you are an expert and want to have a machine that works just as great as you do then you can opt for this one without having any second thoughts. It’s a well-built powerful workhouse of a sewing machine that is made to deliver quality output in terms of sewing, mending, tailoring, quilting, apparel and home décor.

However, this machine is only able to provide straight stitches, which some may consider as a restriction but still, it does best what it’s made to do. It also comes with a variable speed controller, so you can easily select the desired sewing speed as per your requirement. People who have used TL-2010Q praise about its sewing quality that it never skips any stitches, doesn’t break threads and does not tangle. It also comes with a carry handle that makes the machine portable and easy to move. It can stitch with the speed of 1500 stitches-per-minute and with the machine you will also get a 12 by 23 inches auxiliary table.

Pros:

  • Amazing stitch quality
  • Sewing through thick and heavy materials isn’t a problem for it
  • Portable with the carry handle
  • Has variable sewing speed control
  • Well-built design
  • Easy to setup and operate
  • Excellent choice for quilting

Cons:

  • Only produces straight stitches
  • Complaints about automatic needle threader

Best for:
The machine because of its high-quality working and speed is great for anything that requires needlework such as tailoring garments, sewing stuff, quilting etc.

7. Bernette 38 Swiss Design Computerized Sewing Machine

The Bernette 38 is a versatile powerhouse which is capable enough to handle every sort of fabric material, speeds, and stitches. If you have some knowledge of sewing and want to extend it by getting a computerized sewingmachine, then it should be on your consideration list. It may be a little pricey but it would give you amazing return on investment if you are looking to get it for your business.

This powerhouse offers 394 different stitches. including the stretch stitch for elastic fabrics and it is a superb feature if you are looking for versatility in your sewing experience. It also offers 8 different buttonholes and 3 alphabets that you can utilize in designing your customized garment. The display screen along with the buttons makes the machine easy to use and control and you will also have an option to adjust the speed right from the display. 8 presser feet are also included in the package, so you can choose the right one according to the work.

Pros:

  • Creates minimal and ignorable noise
  • Versatile in nature
  • Easy to use for even beginners
  • 10-year machine’s casting warranty and 2-year warranty on electrical issues
  • Can do 394 types of stitches

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not portable due to heavyweight

Best for:
It works great for the people who are looking to have a helping hand in form of a computerized sewing machine that can work just perfect without demanding too much experience.

Final verdict

So, now you pretty much know everything regarding a sewing machine and you have also overviewed the top picks, if you are still confused then it is recommended to buy SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine if you are looking for an all-round solid option that can assist you in either professional work or day to day smaller tasks. If you have a lowerbudget and want a sewing machine that is perfect very simple tasks and portable, then opt for Hippih Portable Electric Sewing Machine.