When I was in the market for an affordable sewing machine, I realized I needed to watch my budget. I couldn’t afford an industrial or professional level machine.
What I could afford was a quality economical sewing machine with the all the bells and whistles I needed and still not break the bank.
I recognized, by reading reviews, that there were machines within my budget, but not all of them got great reviews nor were they highly rated when I dug into things. So I am going to share with you which machine I chose as the best affordable sewing machine for the features, and then some great runners-up for you to consider.
Everyone’s skill level is different, so I suggest you buy one level UP from your expertise so you can grow into your machine as you become more confident and skilled at sewing or quilting.
Table of Contents
- 1 MY RECOMMENDATION
- 2 ONLINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
- 3 Best Affordable Sewing Machines
- 4 MACHINE DURABILITY AND MAINTENANCE
- Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine: This machine is affordable, user-friendly, and comes with 60 built-in stitches. It also includes an automatic needle threader and a wide table for larger projects.
- Singer 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine: This Singer model has 100 built-in stitches for fashion sewing, quilting, heirloom, crafts, home and decorative sewing. It also includes an automatic needle threader and has a programmable up/down feature which is useful when quilting or sewing appliques.
- Janome MC6650 Sewing and Quilting Machine: The Janome MC6650 is ideal for advanced sewers. It offers precision stitching with its 170 built-in stitches. The machine operates at high speeds while maintaining accuracy. It’s great for larger projects thanks to its spacious work area.
1. Sewing Machines: Full-Size vs. Miniature
A compact sewing machine will be substantially less expensive and handle basic stitching jobs perfectly if you plan to travel exclusively and only require extremely basic functionality.
However, if you want to sew more frequently and have greater functionality, a full-size sewing machine is the way to go. Even if it costs more, the extra money will be well worth it.
2. Mechanical vs. Computerized
Sewing machines with computers have a lot more features, but they’re also a lot more expensive!
You sew with a foot pedal and change stitches, length, and width with dials on mechanical sewing machines. You can typically sew with buttons on a computerized machine and pick your stitch parameters using an LCD screen. You may even customize and store stitch designs on some computerized machines.
3. Presser Feet Included
When you stitch, presser feet keep the fabric in place.
A universal zigzag foot is included with all sewing machines, allowing you to create a straight or zigzag stitch. For most tasks, this will suffice.
Having extra sewing feet, on the other hand, can make some tasks easier. Buttonhole and button-sewing feet are useful for sewing buttons into clothes, while zipper feet make sewing zippers easier. More presser feet, such as a quilting foot, walking foot, overcasting foot, blind hem foot, or narrow hem foot, can also increase your stitching options for your sewing projects.
While it’s ideal to buy a sewing machine that comes with the feet you want, most machines can be upgraded with additional presser feet.
4. Buttonholes and Stitches
Consider how many built-in stitches you want and what types of stitches you desire.
Is a straight stitch all you need? Then there’s no need to spend a lot of money on a machine with a lot of stitches.
There’s no point to buy a sewing machine with an automatic one-step buttonhole stitch if you never plan to sew on buttons.
4. Needle Threader (Automatic)
The most basic sewing machines lack this feature, but a machine with an automatic needle threader can be had for as little as $10 extra.
This needle threader has a little lever and hook around which you loop the thread. The thread passes through the eye of the needle with a flick of the lever. If you have poor near eyesight or have trouble with unsteady hands, this function will come in handy! (If you have weak vision, look for an LED light!)
Sure, here’s a summary table of the key points discussed:
|Types of Sewing Machines||– Full-Size vs. Miniature
– Mechanical vs. Computerized
|Features to Consider||– Presser Feet Included
– Number & Types of Stitches
– Automatic Needle Threader
|Recommendations||– Beginner: Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine
– Intermediate: Singer 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine
– Advanced: Janome MC6650 Sewing and Quilting Machine
|Online Customer Reviews||– Mixed reviews for each recommended machine, with varied positives and negatives|
|Affordable Options||– Singer Heavy Duty 4411
– Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine
– Singer Start 1304 Sewing Machine
|Machine Durability & Maintenance||– Material, Brand Reputation, Type of Machine (Mechanical/Computerized)
– Routine Maintenance: Cleaning, Oiling, Needle Replacement, Quality Thread, Professional Servicing
Remember, the information provided is based on general recommendations and reviews. Always tailor your choice to your specific needs and experiences.
Please remember that the suitability of a machine can vary depending on specific needs and the type of sewing you plan to do regularly. Always check customer reviews before making your final decision.
ONLINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Here’s what customers have to say about the machines mentioned earlier:
Beginner – Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine
- Positive: Users praise this machine for its user-friendly features, making it great for beginners. Many have mentioned its easy threading system and variety of stitch options.
- Negative: Some users have pointed out issues with tension adjustment and noted that heavy-duty materials can be challenging to work with on this machine.
Intermediate – Singer 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine
- Positive: Reviewers appreciate the wide array of stitches available and the automatic features like needle threading. Its ease of use makes it suitable for intermediate users wanting to explore more complex projects.
- Negative: A few users found the machine lacked the strength for thicker fabrics or multiple layers.
Advanced – Janome MC6650 Sewing and Quilting Machine
- Positive: Advanced sewers love this machine for its high-speed stitching capability and precision. The ample workspace is also frequently praised, especially by quilters.
- Negative: Some reviewers have mentioned that mastering all the functions may take some time due to its advanced nature.
While most reviews are positive, each sewing machine has been flagged by some users for specific issues. Understanding these potential concerns can help you make an informed decision based on your sewing needs.
Best Affordable Sewing Machines
Here are the best cheap sewing machines you can buy.
The Brother CS7000i model is my top pick and a great affordable computerized tailoring machine packed with features at an affordable price. It comes programmed with 70 stitch patterns, including utility, quilting, decorative, and heirloom stitches for use in a wide variety of tailoring projects. It has the capability to switch to a free arm and also has a drop feed, which makes it suitable for work on hard-to-access areas such as cuffs, and quilting projects as well.Check Today's Price on Amazon
The Singer Heavy Duty 4411 model provides powerful stitching at a great price. The adjustable needle position and presser foot make the placement of zippers and decorative touches like cording simple. Stitch length is adjustable for projects such as basting and applique. This is my second choice and one of the best sewing machines available for the price.
- Adjustable needle position
- Presser foot is adjustable to accommodate a variety of materials
- Includes basic and decorative stitches
The Brother XM2701 model is a lightweight, yet powerful affordable sewing machine at a great price. It comes programmed with 27 stitch patterns, including a one-step, auto-sized buttonhole function. It has a free arm, which makes it suitable for a variety of projects, from beginner to advanced.
- Automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin
- Versatile free arm
- 25 year limited warranty
- Ease of use
The Singer Start 1304 is a great affordable budget machine for beginners to experienced sewers that will work for many basic projects. It comes programmed with six stitch patterns, including zig-zag, blind hem, or scallop stitch. The extension table can be removed to expose the free arm, which is perfect for use in free sewing and on quilting projects.
- Heavy-duty metal frame
- Stainless steel bedplate for improved fabric feed
- 4-step buttonhole
The Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW model includes a wide variety of features at a great price. It is easy to select one of the many 50 built-in stitches using the convenient LCD screen. The feed system allows for work on a wide range of materials, from silks to denim, with precision and professional results.
- Automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin
- LCD screen
- 25 year limited warranty
MACHINE DURABILITY AND MAINTENANCE
Durability is a significant factor when considering a sewing machine, particularly if you plan to use it heavily or for commercial purposes. Durability largely depends on the build quality of the machine:
- Material: Machines with a heavy-duty metal frame tend to be more durable than those made mostly from plastic.
- Brand Reputation: Well-established brands often have a reputation for producing durable machines. Brands like Singer, Brother, and Janome are known for their reliable and long-lasting machines.
- Mechanical vs Computerized: Mechanical machines are typically more robust as they have fewer components that can malfunction. However, quality computerized machines can also offer good durability.
Regular maintenance is crucial in extending the life of your sewing machine:
- Clean Regularly: Regularly clean lint and dust from all parts of your machine, including the bobbin case and under the needle plate. Most machines come with a lint brush for this purpose.
- Oil Your Machine: Oil your machine as recommended in your user’s manual. This helps keep everything running smoothly.
- Change Needles Frequently: A dull or damaged needle can harm your machine over time. Change needles after every project or when switching fabric types.
- Use Quality Thread: Low-quality thread can shed fibers and cause buildup within the machine, potentially leading to damage.
- Professional Service: Have your sewing machine serviced by a professional every few years to ensure it remains in top working condition.
Remember: Always refer to your specific model’s user manual for detailed instructions on cleaning, oiling, and general maintenance procedures..