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Which Affordable Sewing Machines are best?

Are you trying to figure out which sewing machine is best for you?

Well, we’ve got good news for you because you’ve landed in exactly the right place. I’ve taken a look at many different sewing machines and in this post, I’m going to outline the best.

Plus, I’ll also be sharing useful tips that will enable you to get started straight away with your machine.

How to know which sewing machine is right for you?

So, you’re considering buying a new sewing machine. Firstly, not all machines are created equal!

Ranging from small handheld portable machines to large sewing and embroidery machines.

Handheld machines can start range between £10 to £20. A very cheap option but limiting with what you can sew. Good for hemming curtains whilst still hanging or fixing a hem on a skirt whilst still being worn, but if you are looking to make full garments, toys or quilts then I would choose a tabletop sewing machine.

Follow this link to check out my favourite handheld sewing machine

Small portable tabletop sewing machines are also available and these are perfect for taking with you on holiday or to your local sewing club. They are also good for complete beginners and children who wish to learn. For a good small machine, you need to be looking around the £50 mark.

I love this one

Medium-sized sewing machines are the most popular machines, as they will do most sewing jobs you will need to do. From a quick fix or alteration to creating large quilts and flowing dresses. These machines come with different attachments depending on your machine. Different sewing feet for buttonhole sewing and zippers. Some come with seam rippers (because we all make mistakes). Lint brushes are usually included to keep your machine nice and clean. They also have different stitch patterns from straight stitch to decorative stitches again depending on your machine. These machines can range from £80 to £250

I love the design on this one

Then we have the large sewing machines and embroidery machines. These are for when you really mean business. Not so portable but if you’re sewing every day or making large items like king size quilts and need more room under the arm then these are great. With multiply stitch choices and tons of accessories, there’s nothing you can’t create on these machines. If you have the added extra of an embroidery function then there is no stopping you from creating the most beautiful cushions, quilts and so many other crafts. From adding pretty motifs to clothing, or beautiful lace for a special dress. Most machines come with a bank of patterns but you can also buy patterns online to download straight to your machine. These machines can range from £400 up to the thousands. So depending on what you need and what you want to spend, there is a huge range out there.

Which brands of sewing machines are best?

There are many brands of sewing machine on the market so I have only included some of the best selling ones in this post.

Bernina; Swiss company Bernina was founded in 1893. It focuses on the premium segment of the market and claims that Swiss precision is at the core of every Bernina sewing machine. Bernina has a range of around 13 sewing machines plus other machines for quilting and embroidery. According to the company, the entry-level Bernina 325 is your new go-to machine, while the Bernina 880 Plus – the company’s most sophisticated machine – should provide sewing pros with almost limitless possibilities.

Brother; Japanese brand Brother have the most competitive prices. Starting from £100 they are suitable for beginners. Ranging up to large embroidery machines to run a small business with. Brother has a range of 18 sewing machines, six embroidery machines and six models that combine both features. It also has sewing machines for other craft projects, such as quilting.

Elna; Back in 1940, the first Elna was introduced. There are 21 sewing machines in its range, including compact beginner models, such as the Sew Fun, computerised sewing machines for more advanced sewers and specialised machines for embroidery and quilting.

Frister & Rossman; Frister & Rossman sewing machines date back to 1864, when they were founded in Berlin. And it has ties with rival sewing machine company Singer, as F&R sewing machines were imported by Singer. The brand is now owned by Sewing Machines Direct.

Husqvarna; Swedish brand Husqvarna began in 1689. Husqvarna has a range of 16 sewing machines, including models that cater for beginners, pros and those in between. There are also specialised machines for embroidery and quilting.

Janome; Janome UK was established in 1969 as the New Home Sewing Machine Co Ltd – it changed its name to Janome in the mid-1990s. Janome offers more than 30 sewing machines, ranging from standard models for beginners to fully computerised machines that you can use for embroidery.

Pfaff; This company has come a long way since Mr Pfaff made his first sewing machine in 1862. The first factory was founded in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and since then Pfaff has gone on to create industrial and domestic sewing machines that are exported all over the world. Pfaff has a range of 24 sewing machines, including compact models, that cater for beginners, pros and those in between. There are also specialised machines for embroidery and quilting.

Singer; The American brand Singer has been synonymous with sewing since 1851. It introduced the world’s first zig-zag machine and the first electronic machines. It provides a wide range of domestic and commercial sewing machines. Singer offers more than 20 sewing machines.

John Lewis; John Lewis began trading in 1864 and is now one of the biggest retailers in the UK, offering customers everything from flower to sewing machines. There are three models in the John Lewis range; the JL110 and the JL111, both available in different colours and designs. Both machines are suitable for beginners and machinists that intend to use them for light repairs or alterations. And the JL220.

Is sewing machine servicing necessary?

A sewing machine should be an investment item lasting for years, this is why you should absolutely get your sewing machine serviced. You may not notice before, but once your machine returns from a service you will find it runs like new and you and your machine will be happier sewers. Running things like thread, fabric, felt and batting through your machine leaves lots of lint behind and although your machine may come with a lint brush for the parts you can reach, there are many other parts you can’t reach or see.

A sewing machine really needs to be serviced annually to continue working at the level it was when new. Without servicing and care it is just a matter of time before it can break down.

If you bought your machine from a specialist dealer they will probably offer servicing and aftercare. If not, ask a sewing friend if they would recommend anyone. Not forgetting the internet, a quick google search will always come up with local repair and service shops.

The bottom line – my conclusion.

Knowing which sewing machine is right for you really depends on a few different factors.

How much do I want to spend?

What am I using it for?

Does it need to be portable?

Is it right for my level of sewing whether it be beginner, intermediate or professional?

Once you’ve answered these questions you can then decide the brand you like and the model that most suits your needs. For example, why would you need to spend a thousand pounds on a machine if you will only be doing alterations for family and friends, or if you were planning on making quilts as a business you would need a machine that would make sewing quicker and easier.

There is a huge choice out there, so go have fun trying them out and sew happily!