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Affordable Sewing Machines: 5 Reviews Of Good Beginner Options

Updated on November 24, 2014

Where Can I Get A Good, Inexpensive Sewing Machine?

When you’re looking for a beginner sewing machine, you likely aren’t keen to invest a ton of money into it. I mean, you’re probably not sure exactly what you’ll need, right? And what is the point of having 157 stitches you have no idea how to work? I’m with you. And luckily, there are plenty of great inexpensive sewing machines that will meet your needs - without breaking the bank. Let’s take a look at five good sewing machines - all at a cheap price, under $150.

Cheapest: Michley Lil’ Sew & Sew - Sewing Machine

If you’re looking for the ultimate cheap sewing machine for beginners, Michley Lil’ Sew & Sew is definitely the best.

It is an extremely affordable machine and offers the basic features you’ll need when learning to sew. The Lil’ Sew & Sew has eight stitch patterns to choose from, all based on straight or zig-zag pattern. You can’t adjust the width or length of these stitches, but they do come in different options - there are two pre-set lengths to choose from with your straight stitch, for example - so for a total beginner this likely won’t be an issue for learning. It does offer an LED sewing light, and you can control the sewing by either a foot pedal or a button on the front - though for learning, I would recommend sticking to the foot pedal as you have more control that way. This top sewing machine is cheaply priced, is simple to operate, easy to thread, and ultra-light - weighing in at only five pounds, it will be easy to take with you to sewing classes or a friend’s house if you want to.

The drawbacks to the Lil’ Sew & Sew? Mainly that you may outgrow it quickly if you become infatuated with sewing. Eight stitches can take you a long way, but serious sewers will want more options and settings such as buttonhole stitches. It’s a lightweight machine and not designed to handle heavy materials, so you are somewhat limited to sewing with lighter materials. However, I wouldn’t let those factors turn you off this machine; for an inexpensive investment, this sewing machine is more than adequate to learn on. Best of all, if your sewing needs are on the lighter side, it may be the only machine you’ll ever need; and if you do outgrow it, keep it as a portable, backup option.


For Fun, Affordable Learning: Janome Colorful - Great Sewing Machine For Young Beginners

If the beginning sewer on your list is a child or a teenager, this affordable sewing machine by Janome will definitely fit the bill.

Janome Fast Lane Fuchia


Part of the ‘Derby’ line, this machine comes in a stunning array of colors: purple, teal, hot pink, carnation pink, blue, and tangerine. These are the only serious machines disguised in fun colors on the market, and they are a perfect choice for a child or teen to learn on - unlike other, cheaper sewing machines that are designed for kids, but are too cheap to function and end up breaking quickly, this machine will stand the test of time and is even a reasonable backup for more serious sewers.

Like the Sew & Sew, this sewing machine is very inexpensive, but it offers a little more: ten built-in stitches (with a little more more variety), and the ability to reposition the needle from center to side. It also comes with a safety guard over the presser foot, making it absolutely safe for small fingers - which is a really smart feature, even for those of us adults who are somewhat clumsy, myself included! Again, it is lightweight and portable. This is another affordable sewing machine that will be solid enough to learn on, but may be outgrown eventually; however, it makes a great backup, and will be sturdy enough to pass on to another young sewer if need be.


Good Inexpensive Sewing Machine For The Novice Grownup: Brother XL 2600i:

If you’d prefer a more ‘grownup’ version of a beginner sewing machine yet one that is still affordable, consider the Brother XL2600i; a full-sized machine, this will accomplish the basics and more.

With 25 stitches, you’ll have plenty to work with; yet this sewing machine is still very cheaply priced and extremely simple to thread and operate, with a drop-in bobbin, automatic bobbin threader, and built-in needle threader.

This machine also features a one-step automatic buttonhole setting - which makes life a lot easier when learning how to install buttons!

This inexpensive sewing machine will arrive with five accessory feet and will definitely offer you more sewing longevity than the smaller two I’ve already reviewed.


Top Cheaply Priced Machine For Plenty Of Sewing: Singer Tradition 2259

If you anticipate you’ll be doing lots of sewing once you’ve mastered it, consider the Singer Tradition 2259.

This affordable sewing machine gives you similar options to the 2600i, with adjustable stitch length and 19 stitches to choose from. It does not have an automatic needle threader, but is easy to thread, and the bobbin is a vertical style - which can be a little trickier to load than a drop-in. The reverse button is in a less conventional spot - up above the needle, rather than over to the right side - which may take some getting used to, if you’ve sewn on another machine before.

This sewing machine offers a few perks over others in its class - mostly subtle things, but things you will come to love as your sewing capabilities grow. One of these is an extra-high presser foot setting, allowing you to fit more bulky layers underneath with ease. Another is the four-segment feed dog system - which basically means that bulky fabric will feed through more efficiently without getting bunched.

Singer Tradition 2259 Demo

Even this cheaper priced Singer sewing machine uses snap-on presser feet, which are quick and easy to deal with compared to the traditional screw-on type; and they offer sturdy metal frames, meaning the innards of your machine are as durable as they come.

This inexpensive sewing machine is portable, with a built-in carry handle on top; and it ships with a large collection of accessories from presser feet to tools to an instructional DVD. Overall, it’s one of the best, quality sewing machines, yet is still inexpensive and easy to operate and learn on; a great start for a beginner.


Best Inexpensive, Most Versatile, Electronic Sewing Machine: Brother CS6000i

Feel free to look, but I doubt very much that you’ll find a better value for the price than this sewing machine. Still relatively cheap compared to most serious sewing machines, this may be the only machine you’ll ever need.

With no less than 60 stitches to choose from using a digital interface, this affordable sewing machine has so many options, you may never get to the bottom of them; yet it also maintains user-friendly features like the drop-in bobbin and automatic needle threader. This machine also allows you to operate it via the foot pedal or a hand-operated, speed-adjustable button on the front, depending on your preference. And, with this unit you have the ability to create a buttonhole in one step - and choose from seven buttonhole styles. So you have plenty of options and lots of room to grow as a seamstress.

Ironically, the drawbacks to this machine are the same parts that are the pluses: the electronics. Parts like these, if they break or wear, must be replaced and may be expensive, in fact you may find yourself paying more for the service than you did for the machine. This isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, however, and for light sewing, you will likely get many years of solid use out of this machine.

The Brother CS6000i comes with a ‘table’ - a larger platform that can be attached, making it easier to work on projects like quilts, if you’d like to explore that type of sewing. It also comes complete with a hard shell carrying case, which protects your machine during travel and storage and is definitely a nice thing to own.

With all these features, it’s easy to see why the CS6000i is such a popular machine. Overall, if you’d like a machine to learn on that also lets you grow, you will be happy with this affordable yet versatile sewing machine.


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Sometimes The Most Affordable Can Also Be The Best Choice!

I hope this has been helpful in giving you an idea of the best, most inexpensive sewing machines for a beginner to try. All of these offer great value for your money, and will allow you to explore a new craft without breaking your budget; and in fact, the skills you’ll gain - being able to hem your own pants, for example - will probably pay for the machine in no time.

Of all these sewing machines, it’s hard to say which one I personally like best; but I do have the ‘Fast-Lane Fuschia’ Janome on my list for my daughter’s upcoming birthday. I can’t wait to try it out with her in person, and I know she’ll love it. What about you? Which of these machines would you choose? I’d love to hear from you and if you have any tips or opinions to add about choosing an affordable beginner sewing machine, please share!


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