Updated: November 2017

Sewing Machine Reviews:

Sewing machines have not changed much in the last decade or so, but there are still enough differences between models that you need to research and eventually use a sewing machine before buying one. There are many brand names like Singer, Brother, Bernina, Viking, Janome, Pfaff, Kenmore, Husqvarna, Elna, Necchi, and Juki. Professional seamstresses prefer electronic machines to mechanical sewing machines so that changing stitches or adjusting stitch length and width involves pressing a button and not turning a less precise lever. Mechanical sewing machines are ideal for someone who only needs the machine for minor repairs or occasional projects. Do you plan on hemming pants or fixing torn sleeves or are you going to be doing quilt making or producing full on garments? Sewing machines are currently broken down into categories like computerized sewing machines, quilting machines, and sewing machines for beginners. Down below we go into features you'll need to consider before buying and determining which style of sewing machine you want.
sewing machines

Sewing machine sales have increased lately with the popular TV show called Project Runway. Many people that sew turn in each season to watch the talented clothing makers design and make their clothes. The Brother sewing machines have been featured on the show and their sales have taken off. The Brother Project Runway PC420PRW is a sewing machine that gets high praise from owners. The Janome DC2014 is another top seller with great marks from seamstresses and beginner sewers. A more avid sewer or seamstress should stick with the electronic sewing machines. Computerized sewing machines use a series of small motors controlled by a microprocessor which makes them almost maintenance free and their memory chips hold lots of customized stitches. A more advanced computerized sewing machine is the Pfaff Performance 2056 ($2000) and now you are getting fairly pricey. Pfaff machines are popular amongst quilters for their built-in walking foot which feeds layers of fabric evenly through the machine. The Pfaff sewing machine has 200+ computerized stitches and 4 adjustable alphabets for monograms. We watched a video produced by Consumer Reports with Pat Slaven on the latest sewing machines on the market and also browsed the About.com sewing section done by Debbie Colgrove. Both ladies did a great job of breaking down features that you will and will not need depending on your experience levels. Sewing Machine Reviews - The best place to start is with well documented research - such as the reviews done by Good Housekeeping Research Institute. They evaluated sewing machines based on ease of use, performance, customer service of the manufacturer, time to thread, accuracy, comfort of foot pedals, etc. They give you results based on beginners, intermediate, and advanced sewers. We have put our top picks into 3 categories based on our findings and those of other accredited research agencies. You can browse the best selling sewing machines here. We have also provided links to two videos (see below) - one is for beginner users and the other is for quilting purposes. Watch them to get a general understanding of how a sewing machine operates and see all the incredibly creative things you can make with them.

Best Sewing Machine for Beginners:

RECOMMENDED - The Janome 2212 Sewing Machine is highly praised on several leading sewing websites. Consumer Reports does periodic testing and ratings for sewing machines and they too rate the Janome machines high. The Janome 2212 comes in at about $150 (perfect price range for beginners). You get enough features to get you started in sewing and as your skills increase you can always upgrade to a better sewing machine. The 2212 from Janome has an easy turn dial pattern selection, drop feed for free motion sewing and quilting, adjustments for both stitch width and length, and 12 built in stitches (4 step buttonhole included). Consumers call this an excellent 'entry level sewing machine' that is ligthweight and easy to use. Beginners like that it's easy to thread, gives you smooth stitches, and is simple to use. Many experts think that beginner sewers are better off with a mechanical machine versus a computerized sewing machine. We agree completely. Sure, the computerized machines we list below are superior in many ways, but those just getting started need to learn the basics with a hands on machine.

Computerized Sewing Machine:

RECOMMENDED - The Janome DC2014 Computerized Sewing Machine replaces the top rated Janome DC2013. Owner reviews and expert comments all point to a quality computerized sewing machine that won't disappoint. The Janome features 50 built in stitches - including 3 buttonholes. Stitch quality is first rate with the Superior Feed System (SFS) that Janome supplies. We found positive consumer feedback from those doing garment sewing, scrapbooking, quilting, or home decorations. Features like auto lock button, reverse, and speed control slider are just a few that will make your life easier while sewing on the machine. We found that the Janome sews with precision and the stability on the DC2014 is close to what you find on machines 3X the price. Need to sew seams for quilts, use the 1/4 inch foot. A reliable workhouse for those that want to up their game from a mechanical sewing machine. Perfect upgrade for beginners and those more advanced will appreciate what Janome offers. Our sewing club has 2 young members (both 14 year old girls) that started sewing with this machine and they love it. Keeps things simple for them and allows them to really build on their basic sewing skills.

Sewing Machine for Quilting:

RECOMMENDED - Brother PQ1500S High Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine - We like the Brother machine for quilting in this price range. Yes, the Janome MC-6300P at $1000 is a superior sewing machine and the Juki TL-2010Q is really nice. The PQ1500S sells for less than $600 and has excellent features for beginner as well as advanced quilters. Key features include retractable drop feed dog control, automatic needle threader, push-button auto thread trimmers, auto needle positioner, and knee lever for presser foot lift. The Brother quilting machine sews up to 1500 stitches per minute for those serious quilters. We like that even at high speeds you get solid stability and the pin feed mechanism allows you to move several layers of fabrics at the same time. Owners say the machine works wonderfully for free motion quilting and piecing. There is no thread or needle breakage even when operating at full speed. If you are just starting into the world of quilting and want a solid machine - then definitely check out the Brother PQ1500S. The high end machines can be worth the added $$$, but not everyone needs a $2000 sewing machine for quilting..