Sewing Machines for Beginners – FAQ:

Which sewing machine should I buy?

It would be easy for us to just tell you to buy a certain sewing machine knowing that it had a good rating and you’d be content with its performance but you might find that it doesn’t do everything you need it to do based on how you intend to sew. That is the key to finding the best sewing machine for you, as a beginner. First figure out what type of sewing you want to be able to do right away and in the not too distant future – just mending, making clothes, quilting, craft sewing or embroidery? The answer to that question is the first step in narrowing down your selection. Once answered, don’t look at machines that can’t help you do that type of sewing no matter how good they are because eventually you’ll be dissatisfied and looking for a replacement.

Which brand of sewing machine is best for beginners?

There is no one brand that is better for a beginner than another. While some brands have more starter sewing machine models on the market than others, choosing by brand alone won’t always get you the best machine. If you have a preference for a particular brand based on a machine you used elsewhere or because of recommendations from friends or family, still focus on machines that perform the type of sewing you want to do first and then filter it down to the brands you prefer. The consumer opinions we summarize in our reviews will help you determine those that perform best.

Should I buy a sewing machine online?

Once you find the sewing machine you want, you have two choices – buy online or at a retail outlet. If you want the best price, you’re likely to find it online vs a retail outlet. If getting the machine right away is more important than buying at a retail outlet is best. There are exceptions to these rules. Comparison shop price online and don’t hesitate to take a print-out of the best online price to retail outlet to negotiate for that price. Also, online stores often offer free shipping (sometimes overnight) or such a better price that adding in the cost of overnight shipping still beats a retail outlet. Regardless, make sure the online seller is an authorized distributor so that the warranty of any new machine purchased is intact.

Are there cheap sewing machines for beginners?

You bet! In fact, there are cheap sewing machines for beginners that last really well and have lots of neat features and functionality. Our opinion is that you do not have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get started sewing. You can always buy a used or refurbished machine for less than the original retail price, too. Take a look at the deals on our Compare page to get started: Side by Side Chart.

Computerized sewing machines seem intimidating. Should I start with just a basic sewing machine?

Not necessarily. Computerized sewing machines do two things that other machines can’t do. First, they let you speed up decorative sewing and embroidery designs. Second, they often let you program your own stitches and get updated stitches from manufacturer downloads. You can even turn your family photos and clip art into embroidery work or monogram with the push of a button. As with basic sewing machines, computerized machines can be very simple with fewer features or very complex with loads of features and USB connections you attach to a laptop or computer. If you plan on doing lots of embroidery type work or decorative stitching and speed is a consideration as you plan on making products you can sell, then don’t be afraid to look at some computerized sewing machine options.

I don’t understand all the new sewing machine features. How do I choose?

This is a personal decision and significantly depends on what kind of sewing you want to do but there are a couple of ways to familiarize yourself with the meaning of the various features. First, our reviews try to cover all the machine’s capabilities so you’ll know what that machine can do when you set it up. Second, we link to the manual for each machine so that you can review it yourself. This give you a very thorough guide to understanding all the functionality. Third, most of us learn best by “doing”. Go to your local retail store, play around with the different machines, and ask questions. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to help you sort through all your options!