Best Beginner Sewing Machines for the Novice Sewist

Like many years before and probably many years to come, I am running another sewing school.  I love to teach sewing, especially to new sewists and young people.  Typically I start at age 8 and go up from there.  Although my 5 year old is determined that I teach her this year, so we shall see.  

Great list of the Best Beginner Sewing Machines for the Novice Sewist with recommendations for kids, teens and adults.

One question I get often from my students and the parents of my students is what is the best sewing machine for beginners.  That is a pretty loaded question but I am going to attempt to answer it today.  Why is it a difficult question?  Because the type of sewing you enjoy and plan to do can really effect the best starter sewing machine that you should buy.

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Great list of the Best Beginner Sewing Machines for the Novice Sewist with recommendations for kids, teens and adults.

This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend.  I do make a portion off any you may purchase.  See full disclosure here.

The best sewing machine for beginners varies from person to person.  For instance, what I might purchase my 5 year old is not going to be the same machine I might buy my teenager or even a Mom in her 30's sewing for her kids.  Maybe you want to learn to quilt, well that means you might want a machine built more specifically for quilting.  Perhaps you plan to sew more apparel, well there are other machines best suited for this.  This isn't to deter you from sewing, but to help you recognize that purchasing the best starter sewing machine does take a little research and thought.  Especially if you are purchasing an expensive machine.  You probably won't be replacing it anytime soon.  So do your research first.

Best Sewing Machine for Beginners ages 10 and Under


This little Janome Fast Lane sewing machine is a great fit for young kids.  Will it still work for adults, of course.  But the simplicity of the knobs and ease with which to use the stitches makes it really great for the beginner sewist, especially one that is very young.  Plus, it is pink!  Who doesn't love pink?

Best Sewing Machine for Beginners: Tweens and Teens


For a tween or teen, I would recommend this Singer Start 1234 sewing machine.  This is actually very similar to the machine I learned on as a young adult.  It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it is a nice singer sewing machine for beginners and will get the job done and is perfect for a novice sewist.  Plus, you can get it for under $100.  That is why it is great for a young sewist.  Inexpensive and great for learning and growing.  And you won't have spent a ton of money if they decide not to continue sewing.


If you are looking for a brother sewing machine for beginners, this is a good one to try out.  If your tween or teen is really excited about sewing and you know they will be sewing for a long time, you might consider a Brother CS600i sewing machine.  It is a computerized sewing machine that has a lot more bells and whistle like speed control, a start and stop button so you don't have to use the foot petal, and loads of stitches.  It is a machine that a child can grow into, as well as a beginner adult.  I've seen this one in action with a student of mine and it is a nice machine and has loads of stitches.

Best Sewing Machine for Beginners: Adults

I've got 2 recommendations for sewing machines for an adult.  Both are good machines, but one is computerized and the other is not.  Some people really don't like to use computerized machines and want just a traditional sewing machine to learn on.  That is okay!  My current sewing machine is not computerized and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.

The first beginner sewing machine recommendation I have is for the Brother XM2701 lightweight sewing machine.  It has 27 stitches, one step auto buttonhole (which is great) and comes with 6 different sewing feet.  That means you'll be able to learn several new stitches and sewing techniques, but you won't have to spend a fortune either.  You can get this machine for less than $100 which is a good deal for the amount of stitches you are getting.


My other beginner sewing machine recommendation is the Singer Sew Mate 5400 sewing machine.  It is a computerized machine with 60 stitches, 1 step buttonhole and an automatic needle threader which is always a perk.  It will take a little more to learn, but if you are good at following directions and reading instruction manuals, this is a good beginner sewing machine for you.  I love that it has a one step buttonhole.  This is something a lot of new sewists struggle with and a machine that can help you out with 1-step might be worth it.



What to look for in a used sewing machine?


Let's say you aren't buying a new best starter sewing machine.  Perhaps you've found one at a garage sale or on ebay.  That's just fine.  (My husband bought my machine on ebay.)  First, check to make sure that the cord is in good condition, plugs into the machine and the wall and the machine actually gets electricity to it.

Second, make sure the machine has all the important sewing parts like a presser foot, a bobbin and bobbin case, and a foot pedal.  Sometimes you can find these parts online but it can be tricky if it is an older machine.

Third, take some time to do a simple straight stitch.  Get a piece of fabric and some thread and sew a straight line.  Just see how it does.  If it going crazy, won't move or seems to jam, it might not be a great purchase.

Finally, get your machine serviced.  Ideally, if you are purchasing you'd want to take it to a sewing machine dealer so that they can let you know what condition the machine is in.  But if you can't do it before, make sure to take it in after.  For less than $50, they can usually service, clean and let you know how your machine is doing.

Tip:  If you don't have the users manual for a machine, say you bought it at a garage sale or it has been passed down from someone, just google your sewing machine model and you should be able to download it right to your computer, smart phone or other device.  You'll thank me later!!


And one more thing, people always want to know what I sew on.   You can check out the Sewing Machine that I use here.  It is from the 70's and all metal.  I love it.

There you have my suggestions for the best sewing machine for beginners.  It's important as you search to find a machine that will fit your personal needs.  Only you know what is best for you.
Great list of the Best Sewing Machine for Beginners or the Novice Sewist with recommendations for kids, teens and adults.