Dressmaking and needlework became popular hobbies during the pandemic, and it looks like they’re here to stay.
A survey conducted by Brother Sewing discovered that one in five Britons took up stitching or embroidery in 2020, with sales of sewing machines going through the roof. Several retailers actually sold out of their most popular machines, and had to implement waiting lists for those looking to treat themselves to a new model.
The rush to buy the perfect sewing companion has now calmed down a little but for absolute beginners, picking the right one can still feel somewhat daunting. There’s a huge variety of different models to choose from, and finding one you love can make the difference between giving up on your new hobby at the first hurdle, or nurturing it into a lifelong passion.
Whether you’re looking for a machine to fix tears and shorten trousers, or are setting out to sew a whole new wardrobe, we’ve tried and tested a range of machines from across the board and picked our top ten favourites, all of which are suitable for beginners.
Some may feature more gadgets and gizmos than others, but all of them are easy to use, ergonomic, and offer something unique to the market.
How we tested
We put each of these machines through its paces, testing them out on a wide variety of different projects and fabrics to make sure that we can thoroughly recommend them to our readers. We’ve included machines at a range of different price points, from budget beginner’s models to high-end speciality machines.
Several of the sewing machines included in this list have additional accessories available (such as knee lifts, extension tables and extra presser feet), which can be added on to give the device extra functionality – if these were included as standard we’ve mentioned them in our review, but if they’re an optional extra we haven’t tried and tested them, so haven’t included them in our write-up.
The best beginner-friendly sewing machines for 2022 are:
- Best sewing machine overall – Brother innov-is F420 sewing machine: £699, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for absolute beginners – Singer M2105: £139, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for a computerised machine – Husqvarna opal 650: £799, Sewingmachines.co.uk
- Best for quilting – Elna eXcellence 780+: £2,789, Sewingstreet.com
- Best for an overlocker – Janome 6234XL: £519, Amazon.co.uk
- Best value – John Lewis JL111 wildflower print: £145, Johnlewis.com
- Best high-end machine – Brother innov-is NV1800Q: £1,499, Sewingmachines.co.uk
- Best for heavy-duty projects – Singer 4423: £264.90, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for embroidery – Bernette B79: £1,599, Sewingmachinesales.co.uk
- Best for kids – Cool Maker sew cool sewing machine: £25.58, Amazon.co.uk