5 easy-to-use sewing machines for beginners

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When shopping for a first sewing machine, consider beginner-friendly options such as top-loading bobbins, built-in stitches, and an automatic needle threader.

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Learning to sew isn’t easy, especially if you’ve never even learned to thread a needle by hand. However, the right sewing machine can help make the learning experience less stressful and much easier. While you may be tempted by the bells and whistles of high-end, technologically advanced sewing machine models, beginners are actually better off with a simple, high-quality machine.

If you’ve never bought one before, here’s what to look for in a first time sewing machine. A built-in needle threader and top-loading bobbin will make threading your needle easy. And, while sewing machines aimed at experts offer tons of pre-programmed stitches, as a beginner, opt for a machine with fewer stitch options. A lightweight machine is also worth considering, especially if you are taking sewing classes and plan to bring the sewing machine with you.

CBS Essentials has rounded up five sewing machines that are ideal for anyone just getting started with threading.

Singer 7258 Stylist Sewing Machine

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Singer/Amazon


The Singer Stylist 7258 sewing machine is a sewing machine with a metal frame and equipped with an LCD screen. It comes with an automatic needle threader and a top bobbin for easy threading. As your sewing skills progress, the machine has 100 built-in stitch options, as well as six built-in buttonhole options. At 14.6 pounds, this model isn’t the heaviest, but it’s also not the lightest. Weight is something to consider if you’re looking for something to carry for sewing class.

Singer 7258 Stylist Sewing Machine, $221


Brother XR9550PRW Project Runway Sewing Machine

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Brother/Amazon


A lighter alternative to the Singer Confidence, this 5-star rated Brother model weighs under 9 pounds and is a great option for a beginner looking for a somewhat portable machine. Like the Singer, it features a jam-resistant upper bobbin and an automatic needle threader. And, if you plan to continue beyond the beginner stage, it offers 165 built-in points, which will come in handy along the way. Another bonus? Its intuitive LCD screen makes it easy to select settings.

Brother XR9550PRW Project Runway Sewing Machine, $222


Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine, Gray

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Singer/Amazon


For beginners planning to work with heavier fabrics, such as denim and leather, the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 is definitely worth considering. Built to last with a heavy metal frame and powerful motor, it offers 32 built-in stitches and multiple buttonhole options. On the heavier side at 14.5 pounds, it’s a bit bulky to move around on a regular basis.

Singer 4423 Sewing Machine, gray, $180


Brother CS5055 Computerized Sewing Machine

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Brother/Amazon


This Brother computerized sewing machine model offers 60 built-in stitches, an easy-to-load, jam-resistant upper bobbin, and seven buttonhole sizes. However, at 14 pounds, he’s better suited at home rather than on the go.

Brother CS5055 computerized sewing machine, $150


Haitral Portable Adjustable Sewing Machine

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Haitral/Amazon


This minimalist sewing machine is small, light and inexpensive. Retailing for around $25, it’s an economical option. It threads a needle twice and offers two speeds, making it perfect for small jobs like mending and hemming. It can also be plugged into an outlet or battery powered, making it a great option for on-the-go sewing needs.

Haitral Adjustable Portable Sewing Machine, $25


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