If you love dressmaking like we do, you can relate to the excitement that comes with every new project. In order to deliver impressive results with every project, you need to have the right materials and equipment.
You may have the required skills and materials for your new project, but do you have the right sewing machine? Most tailors stick to one sewing machine for a better part of their lives, hence fail to keep up with the changes in the industry.
When the time to replace or upgrade comes, such tailors are bound to have a problem choosing the right machine.
So, do you need a machine for detailed embroidery or a basic model for fixing clothes once in a while? Regardless of the case, this guide will help you choose the best sewing machine.
The Best Sewing Machines in 2018
|Brother CS 6000i|
|Singer 7258 Stylist|
|SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist|
|HAITRAL Sewing Machine Mini|
|Janome 8002D Serger|
1. Brother CS6000i – Best Machine for the MoneyThe Brother CS 6000i sewing machine is rated the best sewing machine today for a reason; it combines an array of good attributes into one portable, sleek and aesthetically appealing model.
To begin with, the machine is not only good looking, it has all the features and accessories any skilled or novice tailor would need today. One of the impressive capabilities of this machine is that it can sew in 60 different stitching patterns and up to seven different buttonhole styles.
Additionally, the machine comes is compatible with several presser feet. As a result, you will find the CS6000i machine perfect for almost any sewing project today. With this sewing machine, you can choose between 9 different presser feet.
With regards to usability, this machine is one of the best today. It features an LCD display that is backlit and easy to view. To further enhance its usability, the machine allow you to regulate the sewing speed and comes with a complete user’s manual, in addition to threading diagrams that are comparatively east to follow.
Depending on the size of the material you are working on, you can extend the work area for better results. Additionally, the work area of this machine is brightly lit. As a result, you can comfortably use your CS 6000i machine on the comparatively dark materials and still be able to see clearly.
Why the Brother CS6000i Is Our Top Pick
With this sewing machine, you will not need to buy additional sewing machines for various sewing styles. In addition to the 60 stitching patterns allowed for by this sewing machine, it is one of the best machines for creating quilts today. In this regards, the machine features a relatively larger table. This makes it easier to quilt larger fabrics using the CS 6000i. While the walking Foot allows you to smoothly feed multiple layers to the machine, the quilting foot enhances the accuracy with which the machine places quilting stitches to your fabric.
You will also love the fact that you can alter the speed of this mobile unit depending on how slow or fast you want to complete your project. Again, the built-in free arm on this machine makes it perfect for stitching sleeves and cuffs.
2. SINGER 7258 Stylist – Best Computerized Sewing MachineLooking for an affordable compact sewing machine model that is perfect for almost any sewing project? Do not waste your time and money trying out other machines that are not as good as the Singer 7258 Stylist.
To begin with, this machine allows you to choose the design you would like to use in your project, from the 100 stitch patterns it offers. For enhanced versatility, the machine allows you to choose between the 10 presser feet it comes with.
The 7258 Stylist features an intuitive and aesthetically appealing design, one that will impress any tailor today. If you think that this machine is above your sewing skills, you are wrong.
The machine allows beginners to learn how to sew and advance through the various stitching styles on their journey to becoming great tailors. In this regard, the machine will automatically adjust the stitch width and stitch length, depending on the project you are working on. For experienced tailors who should love to explore unique styles, the machine also allows for manual adjustment of stitching length and width.
You will also love the fact that you can regulate the speed of this sewing machine, up to 750 stitches per minute. To compensate for this comparatively lower stitching speed, the Stylist 7258 has twin-needle capabilities and offers six single-step buttonhole styles.
More on the SINGER 7258 Stylist
With regards to convenience and ease of use, this machine features an automatic tension control, bobbin, cutter and threader. In this regard, the machine will carry out these tasks with a simple push of a button.
Additionally, the machine is fitted with a bright LCD screen. This screen illustrates the different sewing patterns offered by the machine; you only need to select the one you want to use. This makes the sewing machine easy to use even for beginners.
What I found to be fascinating about the Stylist 7758 is the many accessories it is compatible with. The machine also comes with several of these accessories, such as a bright light and pedal foot. The machine can also be calibrated for free-arm. This comes in handy when you are working on relatively large sewing projects.
3. SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist – Best Sewing Machine for KidsThe Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist sewing machine is an embodiment of the build quality and sophistication associated with its manufacturer. The machine is packed with an array of sophisticated features and uses Smart technology. This sewing machine actually has features and capabilities that may be compared to those of the high-end sewing machines today. So, what is this machine good at?
Ever imagined a machine that allows you to choose among 600 different stitch styles? Well, you have one in the 9960 Quantum Stylist machine. The machine is also one of the top rated sewing machines today, with regards to usability.
In this regard, the machine features an automatic thread trimmer and comes with an array of presser feet. The machine also offers you a comparatively large sewing space, hence is ideal for large projects. The 9960 Quantum Stylist machine is the perfect definition of automation in the sewing industry. Why, you must be wondering.
This sewing machine features a considerable amount of automated functionalities. For instance, the threading system in this machine features an automatic threader. This makes the system very easy to use; within a few minutes, you can thread the entire machine, all the way from the spool to the eye needle.
Further Reviewing the SINGER 9960
Additionally, the machine comes with detailed threading instructions, making it even easier. The top drop-in bobbin in this machine is also easy to lead and is encased by a clear cover. As such, you can easily monitor the amount of thread left on the bobbin.
The machine is also easy to use, even for the novice sewers. This is made possible by an array of convenience features, such as the LCD screen that is crystal clear. The LCD screen allows you to choose among the built-in stitch styles, stitch length as well as stitch width.
Additionally, the LCD will show you the type of presser foot you should use, depending on the project you are working on. The machine is so easy to use that even a child can use it and deliver quality results.
4. Brother Project Runway PC420PRW – Most simple and Easiest to UseTalk of a machine that feature a user-friendly design, offers an array of features commonly found in advanced machines, and yet is comparatively affordable. This is just what the Brother sewing machine manufacturer achieved with the Project Runway PC420PRW machine.
With this machine, you will be having a vast range of pre-programmed stitches to choose from, with a simple click of the button, automatic threading and easy to use inputs.
The PC420PRW sewing machine has all the features and accessories you would need to tackle any sewing project to day. The incredible ease of use associated with this sewing machine may be attributed to the backlit LCD display, brightly lit working area and adjustable speed control.
The LCD on this machine displays a stitch selector that you can use to select the stitch pattern you would like to use on your project. Additionally, you can use this screen to adjust several other aspects of the machine, including the stitch length and width. The LCD screen will then display the type of presser foot you should use for your project.
As compared to the other machines reviewed above, the PC420PRW has a unique feature, the My Custom Stitch feature. In addition to the 294 built-in stitch patterns, the My Custom Stitch feature on the machine allows you to create your own, custom stitch patterns and then save them into its memory. This feature exploits your creativity and helps you to grow your artistic sewing skills.
5. Brother CE7070PRW – Best Sewing Machine for BeginnersEven if you do not know much about the sewing industry, you probably are aware that Brother and Project Runway is one of the leading manufacturers of sewing machines today.
Just like the other Brother products reviewed above, the CE7070PRW is a capable, high-quality sewing machine. This is probably why the manufacturer backs it with a 25-year warranty. Some of the aspects you will love about the machine include an automatic bobbin wider and needle threader.
You will definitely love the ease of use offered by this sewing machine. To begin with, it has a conveniently-positioned dial that may be used to adjust the tension of the threat at any given time.
The crystal clear LCD screen used on this screen displays the various in-built stitch patterns. As such, you can easily choose the stitch style you would like to use from the LCD screen additionally; the LCD screen will show you error messages, whenever something is wrong with your sewing machine.
The ease of use is further enhanced by the needle plate markings on the CE7070PRW. These markings make it easier for you to keep the fabric at the right distance from the needles. This being the case, you can easily sew straight lines using the machine. The machine is also equipped with a comparatively large table. This allows you to work on large sewing projects with ease.
6. HAITRAL Sewing Machine Mini – Best Small/Mini Sewing MachineAre you looking for a sewing machine you can easily carry to the class and back? Then you will need a compact, lightweight design that features an appealing design, such as the Haitral Sewing Machine Mini.
One of the most appealing aspects about this mini sewing machine is its double thread capability. This, coupled with its variable two-speed settings, makes the Haitral Mini a fast performer. However, the machine is only ideal for simpler and less completed sewing projects.
The Haitral mini may be used to sew a vast array of materials and fabrics, including denims and silks. It also features a top drop-in bobbin, which is comparatively easier to work with.
This machine is perfect for sewers looking for a very affordable sewing machine. Although it is fairly priced, the machine offers good results on small sewing projects.
7. Janome 2212 – Best Sewing Machine for Making ClothesIf you are an entry level sewer, you should consider buying the Janome 2212 sewing machine today. As one of the leading beginner sewing machines in the market, this sewing machine comes with several convenience features.
For instance, the machine features an automatic needle threader. Many of the experienced tailors today can attest to the fact that threading the needle manually is cumbersome and time consuming. With the Janome 2212, you will not have to go through this inconvenience; the machine will do it for you.
To make thing a bit easier for beginners, the machine has a 4-step buttonhole and 12 built in stitch patterns. This is fewer; as compared to those found in the sewing machines reviewed above, but this is just an entry-level machine.
Once you buy this product, you will also get a stitching chart. The chart is mostly printed on the sewing machine. The conveniently-positioned reversed lever on this machine may be used to lock it to the stitching pattern you want to use.
There is also a dial that you may use to adjust the stitch width and length. However, the maximum stitch width for the machine is just 5 mm, with the maximum length being 4 mm. just as is the case with the other machines reviewed above; the Janome 2212 comes with several accessories.
Some of the accessories you will find in the package include a free arm, a 5-piece feed dog, snap on presser feet, a vertical oscillating hook bobbin, a high presser foot lift, a push-pull bobbin winder, a zigzag foot, a specialized bobbin and a drop feed.
8. JUKI MO654DE – Best Affordable, Industrial/Heavy-Duty Sewing MachineAre you are looking for machine that features industrial sewing technology, but is small enough for use at home? You will find the Juki MO654DE a perfect fit. As a tailor, every project you will be working on will be different.
This is why this sewing machine offers 8 different stitch patterns. Additionally, the machine offers several thread options, depending on the type of fabric you are sewing.
In order to give you an industrial level of sewing, the machine is powerful and features a dedicated-drive cutting system. The machine also features a color coded threading functionality as well as a breakaway Looper.
These allow you to use the correct thread color on various sections of your garment. The sewing machine comes with several presser feet, making it easier to use the machine on various sewing projects.
9. Janome 8002D Serger – Best Serging Sewing MachineAs you may be aware, Janome is one of the reputable sewing machine manufacturers today; renowned for High-quality, easy-to-use and durable machines.
The Janome 8002D Serger is not exception; it has features and accessories to suit any beginner or experienced tailor today. To begin with, the 8002D Serger machine is renowned for delivering exceptional value as well as professional results on a myriad of sewing projects.
The machine three and four-thread convertible serger used on this machine is specifically designed to cut, serger and finish seams in a single motion and fast. The machine is also equipped with external tension dials, allowing you to thread the machine with ease.
You will also love the convenience offered by the rolled hem changeover device used on the Janome 8002D Serger machine. The differential feed adjustment is another feature I found to be very convenient on this machine. The differential feed adjustment dial on the machine prevents stretching and puckering, especially when you are working on delicate materials.
With the Janome 8002D Serger, you do not need to remove the needle plate in order to transit from conventional serging to rolled hem. This is made possible by the Easy Rolled Hem Conversion feature on the machine. As a beginner, you will definitely love the convenience of this feature.
10. SINGER 1507WC – Perfect Entry-level Sewing MachineThe SINGER 1507WC sewing machine is one of the most affordable, yet functional sewing machines today; since it is priced below $100. What I particularly loved about this machine is the fact that it has 8 inbuilt stitches.
Additionally, the machine features two needle positions as well as an automatic 4-step buttonhole. As an entry-level sewer, you probably do not know much about such sewing machines.
To help you become conversant with the machine, the manufacturer includes an instruction manual. The manual that comes with the 1507WC, entry-level sewing machine is in Spanish, English and French. This manual will help you get the most out of this sewing machine. Although it is a relatively affordable machine, the 1507WC comes with several accessories for various sewing projects.
For instance, the adjustable presser foot will come in handy whenever you are working on heavier fabrics. The free arm that comes with this machine is ideal for sewing sleeves and pant legs. The horizontal threading mechanism used in the 1507WC sewing machine allows it to offer a relatively smooth stitching experience, regardless of your level of experience.
Things You Must Know Before Buying a Sewing Machine
When shopping for the right sewing machine, most tailors today insist on affordability and functionality. However, I like approaching the subject differently. You may be trying to save as much as you can on your purchase, but cheap is not always the best.
Instead of searching for the most affordable option in the market, you should try to get one that offers the best value for money. Any of the experienced tailors today can attest to the fact that the various sewing machine models are built differently.
Basically, each of the models available today is equipped with a unique set of features and accessories, depending on what it is meant to do. This being the case, you need to know a few things about these machines to avoid buying the wrong one.
Whether you are a novice or an experienced dressmaker, here are some of the things you must consider while searching for the best sewing machine:
1. Types of Sewing Machines
While there are some sewing machine models that can accomplish several sewing tasks, these machines are specifically designed for a different style of sewing.
Therefore, you first need to ascertain why you need the machine; do you need it for quilting, decorative embroidery or artistic dressmaking? Depending on the intended application, you need to select a sewing machine that suits your purpose, as described below:
Computerized Sewing Machines
If you need a machine to out the more complicated sewing tasks, such as embroidery, you should opt for the computerized models. This is the kind of machine that will do almost everything for you, including automatic adjustment of thread tension and needle threading.
Additionally, a computerized sewing machine will also suggest the ideal setting that will give you the right stitch type, depending on the type of project you are working on.
As you can see, this is the machine for the busy tailors. With an automatic sewing machine, you will not only be able to complete your projects faster; you will also get the best results possible.
Such machines may be used for an array of sewing tasks, ranging from complex dressmaking tasks to embroidery, crafts and quilting. By lowering chances of making a mistake, the computerized sewing machine options available today ensure that you work efficiently.
Why We Love About Computerized Sewing Machines
What I particularly love about these machines is the fact that they offer a variety of presets, such as stitch types and stitch lengths. You will be delighted to learn that some of these sewing machines actually allow you to import the designs you are interested in from the Internet.
In this regard, the various computerized sewing machines are equipped with an array of functional as well as convenience feature. Some of the features you will find in these machines include labeled buttons, LED screens and touchpad (especially for the high-end products).
You will find such features easier and more convenient than the regular levers and knobs found in traditional sewing machines.
Electric Sewing Machines
This is the perfect option for beginners or the tailors that use their sewing machine less often. The various electric sewing machines are fitted with a powerful electric motor. This motor is used to drive the needle. Most of the available electric sewing machines are powered by pressing a foot pedal.
If you are interested in this type of sewing machines, you should attention to the speed. This is because the various electric sewing machine options available today offer various speeds.
Again, most of these machines also feature a dial, which allows you to select the stitching option you would like to use.
Basically, I find these machines more user-friendly—as compared to the manual sewing machines. They also have more features than the manual models. You will also realize that these machines are comparatively affordable and offer a great value for your money.
Manual Sewing Machines
To most tailors today, the manual sewing machines are outdated. As a result, most if the manual models today are only being purchased for their collectible value. As a result, the antique and vintage, manual sewing machines are comparatively valuable today.
However, they also are a good option, if you are working on a limited budget. These machines feature an appealing old-fashioned look, hence their comparatively high collector value.
To operate a manual sewing machine, you need to turn a hand wheel using one hand, while pedaling with your feet and guiding the material you are through its needle.
This is why most consumers consider these products cumbersome and outdated.
Overlocker Sewing Machines
Do you do a lot of dressmaking? If yes, this is the perfect sewing machine option for you. The desirable aspect of these machines is that they use a unique stitch and style, which neatens up the seams.
As a result, the various overlocker sewing machines are renowned for giving a professional finish to seams, regardless of the dressmaking project you are working on. In this regard, the overlocker machines will cut off the excess seams, while stitching the seam at the same time.
However, the various overlocker machines do not offer versatility. As a result, most of the professional tailors today have an overlocker sewing machine, in addition to a great electric or computerized sewing machine of their choice.
If you do not want to buy two sewing machines, you should opt for the computerized sewing machine that offers an overlocking feature. Currently, overlocking machines are available in varying quality and size.
The various models also offer varying features. Therefore, you need to select the one that offers the features you need.
2. Bobbin Loading Option
With regards to the bobbin loading option, sewing machines may be grouped into two broad categories; top loading machines and front loading machines.
The top loading machines feature a ‘drop-in’ bobbin. In this case, the bobbin goes into the machine from the top and underneath the pressure foot and needle of the machine.
This type of sewing machine mechanism is commonly referred to as the ‘Horizontal Full Rotary Hook’. This may be confusing for some users because the bobbin in such machines movers in complete circles. The ‘Horizontal’, in this case, referrers to the positioning of the bobbin, rather than it movement; it sits on a position that is horizontal to the machine, facing upwards.
The front loading machines, on the other hand, have the bobbin positioned differently. In most of these machines, the bobbin is concealed in a trap door, behind the storage box. In this type of sewing machines, the bobbin is not visible, until you open the trap door.
More on the Bobbin Loading Option
To insert a bobbin into these machines, you need to open the trap door and then remove the metal bobbin case. You should the place the filled bobbin inside the bobbin case before returning it to its position. This sewing machine mechanism is commonly referred to as the ‘Vertical Oscillating Hook’ because the bobbin is vertical to its case.
The top loading machines are some of the most preferred sewing machines today. This is because they are relatively easier to use. Again, the bobbin is visible in these machines, allowing you to see how much thread you still have on the bobbin.
Again, you also need to consider the type of thread you will be using in your machine. For instance, if you will be using a ‘special’ type of thread, such as elastic bobbin thread, you should get a front loading sewing machine. This is mainly because the machine will allow you to adjust the tension of the thread in the bobbin.
3. Stitch Width
The various sewing machine models available in the market offer different stitch widths. The ideal stitch width will mainly depend on the intended application of the machine.
Opting for the comparatively cheaper sewing machines, most of which have a maximum sewing width of 5 mm, makes it harder for you to find compatible feet and accessories for the machine.
Again, the sewing machines offering a maximum stitch width of more than 9 mm are usually high-end, hence expensive.
If you are a beginner, you should consider buying a mid-range sewing machine that offers a maximum stitch width of about 7 mm. With regards to the stitch width offered by a sewing machine, there are several things that you need to consider in order to buy the right machine.
Stitch Width Will Vary
To begin with, you need to check the type of feet that the machine comes with. Basically, pressure feet are known to offer a better value in these machines. You will also need to consider the intended application of the machine.
If you work on projects that require more button holes, you will need a sewing machine that offers 1-Step auto buttonholes. The 5 mm stitch width machines may not be the best fit for such an application. This is mainly because they only allow for basic 4-Step manual buttonhole stitching.
If you need a sewing machine for quilting or couture work, you will love the versatility offered by the 7 mm machines. A wider stitching width, say 7 mm and above, allows the machine to take up specialty feet, such as the Quarter-inch foot and the Walking foot.
4. Fabric Suitability
Most of the sewing machines in the market today can only cope with mid-weight and lightweight fabric materials, such as nylon, cotton and linen. What if you want to work on the heavy duty materials, such as curtain materials or denim? Then you are going to need a sewing machine model that can cope with such materials.
For curtain materials, you are going to need a sewing machine that offers a longer stitch option. The stretchy and delicate materials, on the other hand, require a machine with a shorter stitch option and uses Teflon coated feet.
5. Additional Features
As mentioned earlier in this review, modern sewing machines offer an array of convenience and functional features. Do not buy a sewing machine just because it is affordable and offers many features. Instead, you first need to know the features that you really need in your sewing machine.
In this regard, here are some of the features you should consider while shopping for a sewing machine:
- Pedal Foot – The pedal foot on your preferred machine should be highly-responsive to pressure. If the foot requires too much pressure before responding, do not buy the sewing machine.
- Buttonholer – Having this feature in your machine ensures that you can sew buttonholes in one step, rather than stopping to turn the fabric.
- Auto tie-off – To produce stitches and seams that are more durable, you will need to ‘tie’ them off. Getting a machine that offers the Auto tie-off feature not only makes this faster, but also gives your work a professional look.
- Needle Threader – Machines with this feature will move the thread through the needle eye for you. This will save you time and one of the biggest sewing frustrations today.
- Tension Options – If you are like me, chances are that you will not be working on one type of material. Therefore, you need to buy a sewing machine that allows you to alter the tension of the string, with up to five tension settings. The best option, in this regard, is a model that offers automatic thread tension control. This will help you avoid sloppy and botched stitching.
- Variable Speed – A sewing machine with variable speed control allows you to regulate the speed at which your material moves beneath the needle. This will give your work a more professional finish.
- Bobbin Winding – Rather than having to manually wing thread around the bobbin every once in a while, you should consider buying a model that automatically refills the thread. This will save you time and the frustration of having to stop and refill the bobbin amid a busy work schedule. If your preferred model does not offer automatic bobbin refill, you should get one with a clear bobbin case. This allows you to see the much thread you have left on the bobbin.
- USB and Internet Connection – Some of the modern sewing machines allow you to import designs from the internet or elsewhere. For a machine to be able to import design ideas, it should allow for connection to the internet or have a USB port. This consideration is key when choosing between the various computerized sewing machine models today.
Our Final Say on the Best Sewing Machines
To an inexperienced tailor’s eyes, the various sewing machines seem to offer the same features. Such a tailor is likely to buy a machine simply because it is more affordable.
However, if you took the time to explore and try out the various models, like I have, you will realize that they are not built equally. Each of the various sewing machines available today has its own strengths and weaknesses.
With this guide and review, you should be able to choose the right sewing machine for your projects.
What’s your favorite sewing machine? Share with us in the comments!