Here is a list of 6 must have features for a beginners sewing machine. Do not buy a sewing machine that doesn’t have these features.
It is pretty normal for a beginner to be confused over what all features you need to look for in a sewing machine. Since you are beginner, in most cases you will be looking for a sewing machine in and around $200 or something. The biggest mistake that most people make is that, they will go for a sewing machine that costs less and has a higher rating. It is a huge mistake. The higher rating may be because of the low price and you must also keep in mind that the people who rate beginners machines are also beginners. Most of them won’t be having any previous experience with a sewing machine. So their rating will be based on how that particular machine works for them. They won’t be cross comparing the features with other machines. What you need to do is, cross compare each and every sewing machine that comes under your budget.
Here are some of the basic features you need to look for in a beginners sewing machine.
1. Computerized or Mechanical Sewing Machines
I prefer computerized sewing machines for beginners as less effort is required for operating. You can save a lot of time with computerized sewing machines. They are very easy to use as well. With mechanical sewing machines, the accuracy and performance also depends on the person who uses it. So mechanical sewing machines suit experienced sewers more.
2. Good Number Of Built-in Stitches
Look for a sewing machine that has all the utility stitches and a good number of decorative stitches. The decorative stitches may not be necessary unless you plan to go creative. Another important thing is to have a 1-step buttonhole. Make sure that it is a 1-step buttonhole not a 4-step one. 4-step buttonholes are primitive now. If you are using a 4-step buttonhole, you will have to construct the buttonhole in 4 steps from side 1, end bar, side 2 and end bar. A 4-step buttonhole will be a huge handicap for a beginner. 1-step buttonhole on the other hand is very easy to use. You just tell the machine the shape and size of the buttonhole and you are done. Most of the sewing machines below $100 have 4-step buttonholes, so be careful while choosing them. Brother XM2701 is a machine that comes with 1-step buttonhole.
3. Automatic Needle Threader
A common feature among computerized sewing machines. Most sewing machines have this feature, but only a few of them works as expected. There are many sewing machines that have automatic needle threader for just the sake of having it. On such machines, manual threading will be much easier. So you must choose a sewing machine that has an automatic needle threader that actually works. Brother CS6000i is a beginners machine that has a very good automatic needle threader. It is also one of the best beginners machine I have ever come across.
4. Top Drop-in Bobbin
Always look for sewing machines with top drop-in bobbin system. There are some machines with side loading bobbins, which is a huge inconvenience while changing the bobbin. You need to remove the side cover and load the bobbin, which will be difficult to figure out especially for beginners. With top drop-in bobbin, you just need to drop the bobbin in. If the bobbin cover is transparent (most of them are), you can even view the thread supply. Most of the sewing machines nowadays come with drop-in bobbin, so it won’t be difficult to find one.
5. Sewing Machine Weight
As a beginner, you might have to take your machine to sewing classes. In that case, a lightweight machine will be a better option. But it won’t be a great idea to buy machines that weigh less than 10 pounds as most parts will be made of cheap plastic. Heavier machines will be sturdy and more durable. Brother CS6000i will be a good choice as it is not too heavy or light.
6. Programmable Needle Position
This is an absolutely must have feature for quilters. You can program the needle to stop in up/down position according to your requirements. It is really handy while pivoting or removing the fabric. This feature is considered a slightly advanced one. So it is up to you to decide whether you really need this feature or not. However, if you plan to quilt a lot, this is an absolute must, no question about it. Brother XR9500PRW and Singer 7258 are two excellent beginners sewing machines with this feature.
The above 6 are the main features you need to look for. Before buying a sewing machine, always consider quality as a top priority rather than the price. There is no point in buying a cheap machine and throwing it away after a couple of months. You can have a look at our list of 10 Best Sewing Machine For The Money – Under $200 to have a better understanding of the best sewing machines in the U.S market.