At first glance, sewing machines can seem intimidating, with so many hooks, threads and needles to manipulate. But they’re one of the most useful things to have around the house, allowing you to craft, repair, and tweak all sorts of things.
A tear in your favorite pants can be quickly repaired without having to pay for a replacement, and a dress that no longer fits you can be taken back without the expense of a tailor. Fancy some new throw pillows or a fun tote upcycled from a favorite childhood duvet cover? Assemble them in no time with a sewing machine.
From crafts to clothing and more, there’s little in textiles that a sewing machine can’t help you master.
They could even be the nucleus of a new business or side hustle, and help you live more sustainably, breathing new life into tired parts.
What is the best sewing machine?
The ideal machine for you depends on what you want to sew. If you’re a beginner or a crafter, you’ll probably want a sewing machine for light use on fabric, and one that can do a straight stitch and a zig-zag at the very least.
More advanced users may want additional features like a serger, embroidery capabilities, or a wider variety of stitches. Also consider if you need all the accessories that come with the machine – they can end up eating up storage space if you don’t plan on using them.
We’ll show you some of the best options in our roundup.
Silver 12-Stitch Mini Sewing Machine, White
It may seem small, but oh, does this machine powerful. Ideal for beginners, the Silver Mini Machine (H27 x W27 x D12cm) is perfect for use with lightweight fabrics. There are 12 stitch options to choose from (including embroidery – get ready to customize everything) and if you want to make buttonholes there’s an automatic feature for that too. Best of all, it’s so simple and straightforward to use, a child could operate it.
Singer Start 1306 Sewing Machine – White
Super quiet and easy to use, this entry-level sewing machine has everything you need for light duty use. There are six stitch types (and you can also adjust the length) and a buttonhole setting that can be used on a wide variety of fabrics. Keeping your stitches aligned is easy with the threading path, and you can control the speed with a foot lifter. Comes with a two year warranty.
Singer Mate Model 3337 Sewing Machine, White
The Singer’s Fashion Mate sewing machine is perfect for those who dream of creating their own runway-worthy creations. It’s ideal for beginners and built to last, making it quick to repair and create new clothes, accessories and upholstery. It has a Drop and Sew feature that automatically picks up thread from the wound spool, so there’s no need to spend hours trying to do it yourself.
Brother FS100 Computerized Sewing Machine with Table
If you’re ready to invest in a high-tech machine, there are few better sewing machines than Brother’s FS100. The computerized design offers an amazing 70 stitch options which you can view on the LCD control panel. It is lightweight and portable and operates using a sliding speed control instead of a foot control. With so many more features and capabilities (the automatic bobbin and needle threaders are pure genius), this is one for the seasoned sewers.
Necchi Jeans Pro Q411A Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
For a sewing machine with real firepower, we present Necchi. This sleek machine can run its needle through everything from denim, soft leather and canvas as easily as silk and satin. It runs on a 90 watt motor and gives you 11 stitch patterns with length and width settings, plus a host of other useful features. It also comes with a special roller foot specially designed for heavy-duty fabrics.
John Lewis & Partners JL111 Blue Wildflower Print Sewing Machine
Sewing machines aren’t known for their beauty, but John Lewis changes all that with his very own sewing machine, which is covered in a pretty wildflower print on a blue background. The JL111 is ideal for beginners and can handle both light and medium weight fabrics, such as denim. There are 14 stitch options, and among a host of other features there’s an LED light, so you can clearly see what you’re doing.
It comes with a dust jacket, darning plate with foot control, standard and buttonhole foot, seam ripper, spare spools and needles.
Singer Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine
Not your first sewing rodeo? Then you’re probably ready to upgrade to a more advanced machine, like Singer’s Heavy Duty 4432. What it lacks in imaginative name and aesthetics, it more than makes up for in function.
This bad boy can help you create things from a wide range of textiles, including stretch fabric and denim with 32 stitch options (including a one-step buttonhole). This is due to the motor being 60% more powerful than other models. Get professional-looking results when hemming pants and cuffed shirts faster with the ultra-fast sewing speed. With a host of accessories – utility foot, zipper foot, button sewing foot, seam ripper, edging/quilting guide, needle pack, spool pins, spools, a screwdriver, an auxiliary spool pin and an instruction manual – there is also a two year warranty included.
Brother LS14s Manual Sewing Machine – White
With a selection of 14 stitches and a four-step buttonhole, this is a great starter machine for anyone interested in sewing or upholstery design. It uses a push-in bobbin and has twin needle capacity, which will come in handy in your sewing endeavors. There are also plenty of accessories to get you started: zigzag foot, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, adjusting needles, bobbin, screwdriver disc and foot control. A three-year manufacturer’s warranty is included.
Hobbycraft Raspberry Midi Sewing Machine
Available in teal as well as that bright raspberry hue, Hobbycraft has this excellent starter sewing machine for just £40. It plugs into the mains and, although small – 28 x 28 x 12cm – it packs a real punch. It can do basic stitches as well as decorative stitches and buttonholes, with adjustable speeds and directions to help you create your masterpiece. Comes with a one year warranty.
£40 | Creative hobbies *On sale from £50
DONYER POWER electric sewing machine
Amazon customers love this mini sewing machine, which is as durable as it is economical – a great beginner’s machine under £50. There are 12 preset stitch buttons, all conveniently displayed on the side of the machine so you can change your stitches at a glance. Two-speed settings can be operated with a hand switch or foot pedal, making it equally good for simple projects and complex tasks. Perfect for small household projects, it comes with a one-year warranty.