We've all seen our mothers and grandmothers sew, but never knew why they did it. We are used to buying our clothes at the local mall, without giving them much thought. However, sewing is one of the best and most practical hobbies a person can have. It's calming, but also very fun to do.
And not just that — it allows us to create something that we could never buy at the nearest clothes shop. When sewing, we can express our creativity and maybe reveal a talent that's been hiding all along.
It's not as difficult as it seems, either. With the proper machine and a bit of practice, anyone can learn how to do it. And when they do — there's no stopping them!
Stay tuned, as we'll talk about sewing machines in general and tell you what the best sewing machine to learn on is.
In order to explain what makes a sewing machine fitting for beginners, we first have to learn how a sewing machine works. Let's go back to the basics!
So, as most people may already know, sewing is the act of attaching fabric together. Throughout history, way before sewing machines were invented, people sewed clothes by hand. Some thread and a needle were all they had, yet they still managed to create majestic and massive gowns.
The main principle of sewing is attaching the pieces of fabric to each other using thread. And although it can be done by hand, a sewing machine makes the whole process much easier. Besides that, it just looks better when the hems are uniform, which is quite difficult to achieve without the machine.
There are many different types of sewing machines, and they've changed a lot over time. After all, they were invented way back at the beginning of the 18th century. Back in the day, they were huge, bulky, and made of wood. Then the metal ones became popular, and they were beautiful — they featured intricate gold or silver filigree. Now they are electrical, typically small and plastic. Practicality is their main goal now, not the outside appearance. Long story short — sewing machines have evolved over time, and now they're more useful than ever.
As we said, the designs of sewing machines vary depending on the manufacturer, but the principle is always the same. Every sewing machine uses a spool of thread and a needle.
The spool is placed on a spool pin at the top of the machine. The thread gets winded on the thread guides and down to the pressers and the bobbin. The needle is located between the pressers, and under it is the bed — the part where you place the fabric on. This part features the feed dog, which helps move your fabric while it's going through the machine.
Pressing the foot pedal will get the machine going, and the needle will go in and out continuously until you stop pressing. But before you do any stitching, you should set the needle height using the balance wheel. Also, some machines have the option to choose the stitch, which automatically sets it up.
Of course, there are plenty of other smaller parts, too, but the ones that we listed should be sufficient for a beginner to know.
Before actually buying the machine, you need to know what to look for. Not every sewing machine is the same. In fact, some of them have a very specific purpose. For example, a beginner won't know the difference between an embroidery machine and a regular sewing machine. But they are very different, and getting the embroidery one when you just want to sew will only be a waste of money.
So, the first thing you need to do is learn what makes a good sewing machine for a beginner. There are a few things that you need to pay attention to:
So, like we said, not every machine is used for the same thing. That's why you need to think about what you'll be making with it. For instance, a regular sewing machine won't be able to stitch thick materials. So, if you plan on doing that, you need to get a heavy-duty sewing machine. But for those who are just learning, a standard machine will do just fine. Actually, it might even work better, since it's easier to use.
This seems obvious at this point, but let's cover it anyway. Don't get an advanced machine as your first one because it will be very hard to learn how it works. Advanced machines are complex and have many features. And as a beginner, you won't need all of them. Besides that, they're usually much more expensive, too.
There's no need to buy an insanely expensive sewing machine if you're a beginner.
All of these points are somewhat connected. A complicated and expensive machine will automatically be heavier, bigger, and have more stitching options. So, as a beginner, you should look for something smaller and simpler.
Now let's move on to the technicalities.
Today's sewing machines are either mechanical or computerized. The mechanical ones require manual adjustments and thus much more work, whereas computerized machines have automatic features. Both are good, so it boils down to the pricing. Computerized machines are usually much more expensive than the mechanical ones.
If you're a beginner, there's no need to get a huge and complicated sewing machine. Choose something lightweight first. The lighter and smaller ones are typically portable, which is also a nice feature to have. You can even take it with you to sewing lessons!
Sewing machines vary when it comes to the number or types of stitches. Of course, the better the machine is, the more stitching options it has. So, if you plan on advancing and learning the more complicated stitches, don't get the most basic one.
Speed is very important for sewing. Going too fast will ruin the fabric, and going too slow will be very tiring. That's why it's crucial to get it right.
As a beginner, you should get a machine that you can easily control so that you don't mess up. Some models have the option to preset the speed, which will definitely prevent you from messing up. But remember — it is the easy way out. Learning how to control the speed yourself is the real challenge.
Here's a little trick that may help you: jam something inside the foot pedal to block it from going all the way. It will prevent you from pressing it too hard, and therefore prevent overspeeding as well.
Don't forget to check the machine's specifications before buying it, since all of this information should be listed there.
Beginner-friendly sewing machines are usually quite affordable. The ones we advise beginners to get are usually around $100 to $200. There are more expensive models, though. They can go up to $500! But as we said, there's no need to splurge out that much. In fact, it might even be a waste of money.
Sewing is a fun hobby if you know how to do it. Beginners might find it frustrating at first, though. There are some problems that can occur, but luckily, most of them are easily fixed. Once you get the gist of it, sewing will go much smoother for you.
Most sewing machines have a manual, and you can find solutions there. In any case, here are some of the most common sewing machine problems and how to fix them:
This problem happens to even the most experienced sewers. The stitches start coming out completely jagged, even though the machine has been working fine for the past couple of hours.
The reason behind this is usually a blunt or a bent needle. You see, the needle needs to be really sharp in order to pierce the fabric precisely. After a few hours of going in and out of the fabric (especially if it's thick), it starts losing its sharpness. Moreover, if you force it too hard, it can bend, which is not only annoying but also dangerous.
To solve this problem, simply change the needle.
And to prevent it from happening again, make sure you change it every day, or every 16 hours, to be more precise. Also, make sure you don't push the fabric too hard. Let the feed dog (the part of the bed that moves the fabric) do its job.
Another common sewing issue is bunched-up thread under the fabric. You might not even notice it at first until you lift the fabric and discover that the thread's turned into a huge bunch.
This problem is usually due to improper threading in the upper part of the machine. Make sure you do this right before you move on. Re-thread it completely if you need to.
In addition, you should check the bobbin. It may be threaded wrong, or even chipped at the sides.
There's one more thing that you can do, in case the previous solutions don’t work — get high-quality thread. The problem may have occurred because you were using a shabby type of thread. It has a tendency to shed, create knots and break.
As we said in one of the previous paragraphs, you need to switch out the needle regularly to prevent it from bending and destroying the fabric.
But if you change the needle often, and it keeps breaking anyway, the issue may be with the size of the needle. You may have been using the wrong needle without realizing it.
The sizes go from 8 to 18, with 8 being the tiniest. A delicate and thin fabric such as silk requires a size 9 or 10 needle. Denim, which is quite a thick material, requires a thicker needle. Using a thin needle for thick fabric will not work because the needle won't be able to penetrate the fabric. Instead of that, it will bend or break.
There are a thousand reasons why the sewing machine might have stopped working. Each and every model has its own specifications, so it's impossible to name them all.
In any case, make sure that you follow the instruction manual precisely and do all the steps that it says.
Also, see if it's plugged in and turned on. Sometimes we overlook the simplest of things!
We've covered a lot of the sewing basics so far. You've probably acquired enough knowledge to pick a sewing machine for yourself.
So, without further ado, let's see what some of the best sewing machines for beginners are.
Janome Mod-19 is quite compact and small. It weighs only 12 pounds. The exterior is plastic, but the interior structure is made of metal, and it's actually quite sturdy.
When it comes to pricing, this machine goes for around $130, which is not that much for a solid beginner's sewing machine.
Even though it's small and inexpensive, it has plenty of features. With this machine, you will be able to do almost every project that you set your mind to. It also has the adjustable width and length of the stitch. However, it has only 19 stitching options, which is not that many. Still, that may be enough for a beginner.
Its five-piece feed dog helps move fabric along smoothly, without any hiccups. Plus, it's retractable. So if you want to sew a button on, for example, you can remove the feed dog entirely.
Another cool feature is a detachable compartment that allows you to use your other arm freely. This really comes in handy when we're working on a sleeve hem. Besides that, the Janome Mod-19 has a reverse stitch option and an LED light that allows us to work even in the dark.
The best thing about this machine is how easy it is to use. That's why it's probably the best sewing machine to learn on. Although it has many options that a beginner can learn to use, it's not complicated.
It's also very quiet, unlike many sewing machines on the market.
Now we have to mention some of its downsides. Yes, it is a very good and versatile machine, but it has its limitations. It doesn't work very well on thicker fabric. So, if that's important to you, consider getting a different one.
Overall, the Janome Mod-19 is not a machine that professionals can benefit much from. Still, it's a good basic sewing machine that can help anyone learn how to sew in no time.
has only 19 stitching options
Unlike the Janome Mod-19, this sewing machine is much heavier. But surprisingly, their pricing is quite similar. The Singer 4423 also goes for around $130. Considering this is a heavy duty machine, we expected the price to be much higher.
There's a reason why this machine is so weight-heavy, though. Its inner structure is completely metallic, and its exterior is made from stainless steel. So, it's incredibly durable, without a doubt. You might not be able to take it everywhere with you, but the payoff is there. And it can probably last a lifetime.
So, as we said, it's a heavy-duty machine. It has a very powerful motor, and it can sew through basically anything, even canvas or denim. Moreover, even though it's heavy-duty, it's suitable for beginners because it's fairly easy to use. But professionals use it, too, believe it or not.
Its powerful motor also makes this sewing machine very fast, at least as far as beginner's sewing machines go. The maximum speed is whopping 1,100 stitches per minute.
When it comes to features, the Singer 4423 has plenty of those. First off, it has 23 different stitching options. This number is not that great when compared to sewing machines that professionals use, but it will be enough for beginners. The basics are there.
This machine also has an automatic threading system that makes the process much easier. The users only need to follow the path that was drawn on the machine itself, and that is it. This saves a lot of time and frustration, in our opinion.
The downsides of this machine are minor, but some users found them frustrating. The machine has to be double-checked and lubed up every once in a while to avoid any unnecessary damage. Also, some users report that the bobbin is a bit unstable. However, we need to take into consideration that the machine works great overall. There's a chance that some of these users might have run into a bad batch.
All in all, the Singer 4423 Heavy Duty is a great starting point that can also last you a very long time.
This sewing machine is very similar to the Singer 4423 we just talked about. They're both heavy-duty, made from stainless steel and have a powerful motor. However, the Janome HD1000 is a story of its own.
It costs around $300, which is significantly more expensive than the previous ones we mentioned. But considering it's a great machine that's made to last, the price is totally justified.
It's larger and heavier, too. It weighs around 20 pounds, so it's definitely not portable. But it is very durable and sturdy. Its motor is highly powerful, too. That's why it can sew through almost every fabric imaginable.
When we say almost, we mean that it can sew through the majority of materials, even leather and denim. However, it cannot work on snakeskin and canvas, for instance. Being that these materials are very rare, we can't hold that against it. Besides, beginners should start with cotton or voile first. If you absolutely cannot live without this option, then just go for a different sewing machine — it's as easy as that.
Its features include an automatic needle threader, adjustable stitch length and width, as well as a three-piece feed dog. And just like the Janome Mod-19, it has a removable free arm. But it has only 14 built-in stitching options, which is not that great.
Another perk that the Janome HD1000 has is a high presser. With this option, you don't have to squeeze in the thick or layered fabric.
This sewing machine also has a drop feed, a reverse stitching lever, and a thread cutter. All of these are pretty standard. Even a beginner can master them quickly and effortlessly.
We went on and on about the perks, but what are the downsides? Well, they're quite similar to those that Singer 4423 has. This sewing machine also has to be oiled up and maintained often in order to prevent malfunction. Some users report bobbin issues with this one, too.
The takeaway from this seems to be that every good machine has to be maintained. This doesn't necessarily make it its downside, but it is our job to inform you, isn't it?
To sum up, the Janome HD1000 is an amazing machine that definitely deserves its spot on the list. It's indestructible, basically, and it has plenty of cool features.
The Brother CS6000i might just be the best out of all four products, but that's for you to judge. It has everything a beginner might need, and much more. It's simply a high-quality sewing machine that both rookies and professional sewers can benefit from.
Currently, its price is around $140, which is pretty standard for a beginner-friendly machine.
The most prominent feature of this sewing machine is its computerized setting panel and stitch selector. That may be tricky for old-fashion folks who are used to doing everything manually. But it's really not that hard to learn how to use it once you give it a go. In fact, it may be even more convenient than doing it manually. Plus, that's why it has more options than a standard mechanical sewing machine.
Where do we even begin with the features? It has so many! It's got 60 stitching options and 7 button options that you can choose from on the LCD screen. Then, of course, it has adjustable stitch length and width, an automatic needle threader, and a bunch of additional accessories.
Remember when we talked about sewing speed? Well, the Brother company obviously knows how important it is, which is why this machine of theirs has a speed control option. This feature truly makes it perfect for beginners. It's difficult to get the speed right at first, but this machine can help with that.
The only downside (if we can even call it that) of this machine is that it's not heavy-duty. You can't stitch thick fabric with it. But again, as a beginner, we're not even sure how much you need that feature in the first place.
Basically, the Brother CS6000i is one of the best sewing machines you can get on the market right now, whether you're a beginner or not.
Sewing is a wonderful hobby, and it's also useful!
If you know how to sew, you don't have to throw away clothes that are ripped. You can stitch them up in a couple of minutes and they will be as good as new.
And in case the rips are just beyond repair, you can simply repurpose the fabric and create something new. It's a win-win situation either way.
Clothing is very expensive nowadays. Therefore, sewing your own clothes will save you quite a few bucks. It's especially useful if you have kids. They quickly grow out of their clothes, so instead of buying them new ones every couple of months, you can sew them.
In addition, you can make your own home decor, Halloween costumes, etc.
When you know how to sew, you can create clothes and items that you probably won’t ever find at the store. Basically, every idea can become a reality, and the options are unlimited!
Some people like to draw, and some like to play the piano. And some like to sew!
It's a great way to unwind after work and relieve yourself from all the stress. It's a calming activity that also pays off.
What a long ride it was! We've learned how sewing machines work and how to choose one to start learning. We have also talked about some of the best sewing machines currently on the market. What else is there to add, really?
Hopefully, you found this article useful.
Here's one last tip for the road: Be patient and keep practicing. Rome wasn't built in a day, so your sewing skills can't be either!