When I was just starting to take my first steps in tailoring, my mother’s Soviet «Seagull» became my first sewing machine. If anyone caught this time, probably remembers such models. Their main difference from today’s household sewing machines is that they worked from a foot pedal. It was on the «Seagull» that I sewed my first dress, and from experience I can say that she sewed well, even now she is in working condition.

Later I had to sew not only on domestic, but also on industrial equipment. I also sat down for various models of sewing machines from different manufacturers. And I have developed my own opinion on working on different equipment.

Unlike those times, today for «dummies» in stores there is an abundance of choice of sewing equipment. How to choose a good sewing machine for beginners from everything will be my article today. In fact, this is the most popular question among my students, so get ready for an article that will be very detailed.

how to choose a sewing machine

Tip 2. A line that does not tighten

The sewing machine should not make a stitch that would tighten the fabric. This applies to delicate fabrics. When buying, be sure to make a few test stitches on pieces of fabric. Also see how the machine makes stitches on different fabrics:

  • on the lungs — chiffon, silk, organza
  • on medium and heavy — coat fabric, denim, linen, cotton, leather
  • on elastic — knitwear, stretch.

Top 2. Leader VS 775E

Rating (2021): 4.85

A universal model that is used in everyday life and for a small number of private orders. In her arsenal are overlock and hidden stitches, elastic and decorative stitches, 8 types of automatic buttonholes — in total, 99 operations are available to her. But the machine’s potential doesn’t end there. A table to increase the working area allows you to work with bulky materials. For high-quality lines and the convenience of craftswomen, there is a smooth speed control, an automatic needle threader and a convenient informative display. A small fly in the ointment is a soft cover.


24590 rub. / China / 99 operations

Tip 3. Straight stitch

If you have the opportunity to test it in action before buying a sewing machine, I advise you to conduct a small experiment. Let the machine sew itself without your help and participation. Place a piece of fabric under the presser foot and watch it sew a straight stitch at a presser foot width from the edge of the fabric. To see it better, take the threads not to match the fabric, but in contrast.

On the example of such an experiment, you will immediately see what the line turned out to be. Namely, whether it goes to one of the sides, whether it goes at the same distance from the edge of the flap. If the line “leads” a little, then there is a defect in the assembly of the sewing machine and if you continue to use it, you will have to contact the repairman to adjust the teeth on the needle plate. In some cases, this shortcoming cannot be corrected, and in the future with such a sewing machine you will have to make efforts to make the stitching even.

Tip 4. Repairs and accessories

Look for a machine so that if it breaks down, you can repair it without problems. Spare parts and replacement parts must be sold in your city. Keep in mind that for expensive models, all components (paws, etc.) will also be expensive. Pay attention to the fastening of the foot. If it is unusual, check in advance where you can buy accessories for such a model.

If the model is unpopular or exclusive, then it may be a problem for you to replace the broken part. Or even it will be completely removed from production, and the issue of repair for you will never be resolved. Or the cost of repairs will be worth buying a new sewing machine.

Check with sewing machine repairmen in your city to find out which sewing machine is easiest for them to repair. For which models of sewing machines they have experience, for example, Janome, New Home — they take it for repairs much easier.

Professional’s Choice

In this block, we will tell you which sewing machine to choose for those who want to sew to order or have the best functionality for sewing and needlework. A machine of this class must have:

  • electronic control;
  • a large selection of operations, including various loops;
  • reliability and comfort of work.

In this category, advanced features and reliability are directly related to the price of the machine. The low cost of an electronic machine means savings on the quality of components (plastic frame and parts instead of metal ones), a low-power motor, and minimal equipment.

Additional comfort is provided by electronic sewing speed control and a control panel with direct selection buttons, the ability to work without a pedal, precise needle positioning and auto-tacking. The top row models are equipped with a large bright LCD monitor with an advisory program. The machine can have multi-point illumination of the entire work area (with brightness control for expensive models) and auto thread trimming with a button or by pressing the pedal.

Installing a knee lifter foot lift will free your hands for full control of sewing, and a large set of presser feet will allow you to quickly perform special operations.

The stores have machines designed specifically for quilting or machine embroidery. They will open new horizons for you in your favorite needlework.

Recommended Brother NV F460

Top for home use


Shuttle Peculiarity loops
Horizontal Creating your own stitch Automatic, 10 types

Think twice before buying a typewriter, 1.5-2 times cheaper than similar ones! The quality of the line is a relative concept and depends on many factors, including the ability to sew.

Tip 6. Sleeve platform

In order to easily get to the most difficult places in clothes on a sewing machine, it must have a sleeve platform. How can I find out if it has such a device? To do this, remove the compartment from the sewing machine, which is usually located under the needle plate. Now you can easily do the processing of the bottom of the sleeves, trousers, as well as armholes, necklines.

Tip 7. Ruler on the needle plate

When buying, pay attention that there is a ruler on the needle plate of the sewing machine, which will allow you to make a line exactly for the amount of allowance that you laid down when cutting. An example in the photo — I sew a line retreating from the edge by 1 cm. The edge of the fabric on the right is located at division 1.0. This device greatly facilitates the sewing process and speeds it up at times!

Tip 8. What sewing operations are really needed for work

For yourself, you must decide which sewing features your machine should have — which you cannot do without. If you plan to sew simple things at home and do minor repairs to clothes, then a machine is quite suitable for you. with core functionality:

  • Straight line. You need to choose a sewing machine that makes a perfectly straight line.
  • Zigzag stitch. It is needed to process open sections of tissue in order to prevent it from shedding. Please note that the machine has the ability to adjust the width of the zigzag.

In addition to these two basic stitches, you may also find useful sewing stitches such as:

Elastic zigzag for sewing on elastic

Stretch stitching for knitwear

Reinforced straight stitch

Reinforced zigzag

Overlock line, if you do not plan to pay for the machine — overlock

Blind hem stitch

Elastic stitching for an invisible hem

  • Buttonhole processing function. With automatic mode, or semi-automatic — depends on your financial capabilities. You can perform a loop qualitatively in both modes.
  • Reverse function (reverse). It is necessary to make bartacks at the end of the line.

If you are on a tight budget, buy a sewing machine. That can be considered additional functions in the machine, which will also make your work easier:

  • Presser foot pressure regulator. It will come in handy when you will sew fabrics of different thickness: chiffon or drape. There is a manual regulator — this is a disk or screw and electronic on computer machines.
  • Dot fastening. Useful for not tying a knot every time you finish a stitch.
  • Decorative stitches. Needed when laying various types of finishing lines on clothes.

When buying, please note that the following items are included in the package of the sewing machine:

  • foot for sewing on a regular zipper (single-legged)
  • hidden zipper foot
  • teflon foot for working with leather
  • roller hemming foot
  • paws for assembly
  • Bias binding foot
  • Needles
  • Oil for lubrication

Don’t be discouraged if some parts are missing. You can always buy the missing paws and needles. In addition, you may not need some additional details in your work.

How to choose

The first step is to decide what the machine will need. If for simple operations: cut trousers, sew curtains, remake children’s clothes, make a costume for the New Year tree, then you can get by with a basic set of functions that every modern machine has.

If you plan to further bring your passion to a professional level or indulge yourself with embodied fantasies, then you should consider options with a large number of operations and additional features.

Once the purpose of the purchase is determined, it does not hurt to learn how to choose the right one.

Advice 9. Which machine is better to choose a computer or electromechanical

If there is a computer unit on the sewing machine, but at the same time it makes ugly straight lines, then of course this is a reason to think. In favor of electromechanical, but at the same time better in work. Therefore, before buying, be sure to check the product in operation: the line should not be wagging, all stitches should be the same length and not tighten the fabric when sewing.

If you still choose a computer sewing machine, then you will need to handle it very carefully. Do not use it continuously for a long time. For example, for industrial purposes, for the studio. The computer unit has an unpleasant property to overheat and subsequently fail.

Tip 10. How to choose a sewing machine with an overlock function

The overlock function in sewing machines has recently appeared. This is a two-in-one model: a classic sewing machine and an overcasting machine (overlock). But do not rush to rejoice if you decide to save money on buying an overlocker for your home. Because the two-in-one model only makes an imitation of an overlock stitch.

Outwardly, the stitch will look like an overlock stitch, but in terms of quality it clearly does not pull on the original. The strength is not the same. In fact, an overlock sewing machine is just a type of zigzag stitch.

overlock sewing machine

Of course, two-in-one models will cost double the price. Is it worth it to pay extra for a separate stitch? If you sew for yourself and do not work for clients who care about the inside of clothes, then a classic machine with a zigzag function will be enough for you.

Well, if you are a perfectionist and love a beautiful inside out, it’s better to save up for a separate overlock and don’t spend money on a sewing machine with an overlock function.

Tip>>> How to save money on buying an overlocker? Buy overcasting foot for a sewing machine. Or look at the tool compartment from the sewing machine, maybe you already have it in your kit. It will make the zigzag seam more neat than with a regular foot, especially when sewing delicate fabrics and knitwear. The edge will not twist and pull together, as is usually the case with overcasting. It also helps to produce high quality finishing stitches, such as double parallel stitches on jeans. It is especially useful for beginners in sewing, when you are just learning how to make even stitches on fabric. Where to buy such a paw? I saw her in the open spaces of Aliexpress, she is also in sewing equipment stores.

Top 3. Singer Starlet 6680

Rating (2021): 4.70

A computerized machine with 80 sewing operations, the functionality of which allows you to sew diverse products and decorate them with dignity. 6 automatic buttonholes, blind stitch, overcasting, elastic, decorative stitches. The puncture force stabilizer ensures high-quality sewing of both thin and coarse materials. To work with voluminous things, for patchwork, the set includes a table for expanding the working platform. The set comes with 6 feet, including zipper, buttonhole and button sewing feet. Buyers like the potential of the machine, its equipment, but some have complaints about the quality of its assembly.


17005 rub. / Vietnam / 80 operations

Tip 11. What type of bottom threading machine to choose

Which shuttle is better to choose, with horizontal filling or vertical? By making it possible to choose, sewing machine manufacturers have made it difficult for a beginner to buy. The seller can tell you that you can take any, yet there is a difference, and now I will share with you exactly what. Machines with a horizontal shuttle are more functional, they have more lines used in work. And the vertical shuttle is more reliable, it breaks and fails less often. In addition, you should proceed from your needs, if you plan to sew thick heavy coat fabrics, then a vertical hook is best suited for these purposes.

Tip 12. What is the difference between a household sewing machine and an industrial one

These are two large groups into which all sewing equipment can be divided. The answer in the main difference between a household machine and an industrial one lies in the name itself. A household machine will not pull the amount of work and complexity that an industrial model can handle.

But the industrial machine does only one operation. While household combines many functions: straight line, zigzag, loop processing mode. But at the same time, the industrial one will make hundreds of thousands of stitches in a day and will not overheat. Durability and reliability of industrial machine parts is designed for decades of use.

A sewing machine for beginners must be selected from the group of household machines. The reason for this is the high speed of industrial equipment. If you’re just learning to sew, you might not be able to handle a sewing machine that does 5,000 stitches per minute. The main danger in working with an industrial machine for beginners is injury. You can easily flash your fingers.

In addition, an industrial machine will be too noisy for a home. Based on prices, household sewing machines are more budgetary and it is better for beginners to start learning to sew from them.

Loop processing mode

Which loop processing to choose
One of the additional parameters when choosing is the processing mode; without it, the product will not be finished. Modern sewing machines are capable of overcasting buttonholes in semi-automatic and automatic modes. The latter is great for beginners practicing at home: just set the foot correctly and put a button in it. Then the craftswoman presses the lever, and the device does everything automatically. It remains to control the process.

The presser feet, capable of sewing buttonholes in automatic mode, work without marking on the fabric. They are guided by a button, which is fixed by a seamstress. On such machines there is a vertical lever that switches the movement of the device. It is located on the top and is used only for this operation.

Semi-automatic loops do not differ much from a more modern counterpart, but require special knowledge from the master. The main difference is that the whole process needs to be controlled. The seamstress must manually turn on each of the 4 consecutive operations and change modes in time. For this, a handle is installed on the machines.

The standard process for semi-automatic hinges consists of several steps. The master sets the machine to the desired operation and lowers the presser foot. The first cycle can be started with any operation. But then the seamstress switches the device in time with the needle raised, changes the mode. The machine performs the operation in the opposite direction, the master stops the movement.

As you can see from the example, in semi-automatic mode, you need to switch levers regularly. Beginning seamstresses may be uncomfortable, it will take longer to get used to. But for a professional, this function is useful — the whole process is under control, you can always stop the device, fix the fabric, increase the distance.

Tip 13. Which sewing machine company to choose for beginners

Sometimes it happens that different manufacturers produce machines of the same quality and set of functions. But these items can vary greatly in price. Therefore, in order not to overpay for a brand, choose sewing machines according to the “price-quality” ratio.

pfaff, Husqvarna

— rather expensive models. If the machine is exclusive, repairs will cost you a pretty penny


— according to reviews, it has an uncontrolled pedal, makes poor-quality lines


— the most optimal balance «price — quality». According to reviews from customers and my students, it has the highest ratings.


— according to reviews on this machine, it is impossible to achieve high-quality stitching on thin fabrics. It also does not have a very high speed in operation.

sewing needles

How to choose a needle according to the type of tip

The main characteristic of needles is the tip. First, the wizard is determined with this parameter, then considers the thickness. The standard point is pointed and rounded, but the manufacturer offers dozens of additional options to choose from. We reviewed the most popular:

  1. Pointy. Suitable for most synthetic fabrics. There are 7 popular sizes — 60/8, 70/10, 80/12, 90/14, 100/16, 110/18, 120/20 — which are enough for all common materials. The first number indicates the diameter, the second — the type of needle.
  2. rounded. Most often used for knitwear, suede, fleece and knitted fabrics. The tip pushes the fibers apart rather than sticking into them. This needle is included in the standard set and is in the house of every craftswoman.
  3. Stretch. It is called so because of the ability to sew materials containing lycra. It is used when working with underwear and swimwear. Such needles have a small notch near the eye so as not to skip stitches.
  4. For jeans. They are used not only for this material, but also for any dense fabrics. They are distinguished by penetrating power.
  5. For skin. The point of the needle is strongly sharpened to penetrate the products without damaging the material.
  6. For microfiber. Works best on thick, thin fabrics. Able to create a straight line and sew loops.
  7. For quilting. Features a long point and a small eye to easily pass through multiple layers of material.

There are double and triple needles mounted on a nylon block, with wide ribs and slots in the eye. They are used for decorative stitches and complex techniques (embroidering at low speed for a short amount of time). Beginners and even experienced professionals do not usually need such needles.

Tip 14. Where to buy a sewing machine

Nowadays, it is not a problem to buy a sewing machine. Now you can compare products at prices in different stores. There are several ways to get yourself a home assistant.

Method 1. Internet. Many large hardware stores have websites, you can go to the website of such a company and view the offers of online stores. Do not worry that you will not be able to test the machine in action. Such stores have a warranty period during which you can return the sewing machine.

Method 2. through specialized shops. In any major city there are shops selling sewing equipment. You can find them through the application Double GIS. In the column field of activity, type “sewing equipment” and organizations involved in the sale of household (industrial) sewing machines will come out.

In such stores, specialists and craftsmen work to help you make the right choice in accordance with your experience. They also give advice on the operation and maintenance of the machine.

Method 3. If you have a limited budget, then you can buy an inexpensive sewing machine on Avito. There, a used sewing machine can be bought for half the price than in stores. To reduce the risk of buying a pig in a poke, bring someone with you to the deal who has experience with sewing equipment.

Tip 15. Sewing machine price

A very common question among those who choose sewing machines is why some models are expensive, although with the same characteristics, machines from another brand are half the price? Will it be better to make stitches with a machine, the one that is more expensive? Here, first of all, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  • Internal content. Different manufacturers have different requirements regarding the quality of parts. Cheap appliances may be equipped with plastic parts, while a more expensive brand may have special quality control at the factory.
  • Even if at first glance you have machines that are identical in terms of their functions, they can do this in completely different ways. One manufacturer can seriously invest in the development of models, speeding up the process, using the latest developments in technology. And the other is to do everything the old fashioned way, which of course will affect the low cost.
  • Advertising. It is no secret that some manufacturers invest in the price of sewing machines their advertising and product packaging costs. After all, in order to talk about it, you need to talk about it, right)

And finally, I can say with a well-known proverb that a miser pays twice. This also applies to sewing equipment. If you plan to use your assistant daily for a long time, then it is better to take a quality one with a good filling. Otherwise, you risk spending twice as much on repairs and components. Also plan to purchase from an authorized dealer with support, this means that you will not be abandoned when it breaks down or with spare parts.

What sewing machine do I use now?

I have a Family typewriter on my desktop. This is the most common inexpensive sewing machine with a minimum set of functions. From experience I can say that I use only two lines on it — a straight line and a buttonhole mode. For work — no more. Of course, if you do not embroider patchwork quilts or do patchwork. I have been sewing on it for ten years now and with proper care, such an assistant will last you just as long.

I also have another sewing machine — a carpet lock. I use it for overcasting the edges of clothes and when sewing knitwear.

Therefore, my main advice to you is that the simpler the sewing machine model is, the more convenient it will be for you to deal with it. In everyday life, for sewing at home, one sewing machine is enough, which makes a beautiful straight stitch.

Principle of operation and device

the principle of operation and the device of the sewing machine 2 copy

Despite the greatly expanded capabilities of modern technology, the principle of operation of sewing machines has not changed over the past 170 years. Inside the case, the same system of shafts and levers that the flywheel starts is hidden. And it doesn’t matter if it spins thanks to electricity or the old-fashioned manual way. The main thing is to understand how this unit makes stitches.

Since the elements of the machine are connected to each other by rods and shafts, when the flywheel is turned, all the main working units come into motion:

  • The working needle is lowered, passing the main thread through the fabric;
  • The bobbin starts to rotate, feeding the bottom thread;
  • The shuttle is launched, intertwining the threads and forming a stitch;
  • The conveyor moves, stretching the fabric for the length of the stitch.

To get started, you need to stretch the main thread through the guides and insert it into the eye of the needle. Another spool of the same color is threaded into the bobbin and installed in a special slot under the needle behind the removable panel (sometimes directly above it — it all depends on the design of the machine). Next, the fabric is laid on the work table and the foot is lowered with a lever, pressing it against the conveyor. Everything — you can start the flywheel and start sewing.

Online sewing and sewing courses for beginners video — lessons

If you have purchased a sewing machine and do not know where to start, I have online sewing and sewing courses for beginners:

1) Design — this course is suitable for those who want to learn how to build patterns and take measurements from a figure. To successfully pass here, you do not need to be an ace in drawing or have any special skills, information is presented easily and simply

2) The basic course of cutting and sewing is the basis of the basics. I suggest going through it to all beginners who are in search of sewing knowledge and do not know where to start. This course was bit by bit collected from my offline (live) sewing courses, which I have been teaching in the city of Ufa since 2014. I know at what stage students may have difficulties, so I can help you

3) The course of sewing pajamas and underwear — this course was born in the process of working on master classes in home clothes, when I saw that interest in it deserves a separate study. In this course, we sew according to ready-made patterns, so it is perfect for beginners who are still afraid to delve into the processes of building patterns. Honestly, this course can be taken even with children, because it is interesting, and the result can be obtained very quickly!

How to learn to sew from scratch

As in any business, the main thing here is perseverance and consistency. It is necessary to study sewing lessons and watch training videos, go to master classes or lessons for beginners. Sometimes, before you start sewing on a typewriter, you should first master the work by hand.

You can learn how to work from scratch at home

Professional seamstresses also give the following tips:

  • You need to be patient: it is impossible to learn in a day;
  • When studying, do not neglect the basics, you need to start easy: work out the seams on cotton fabric, learn how to thread a needle;
  • It is important to first learn how to sew according to ready-made patterns;
  • Do not skimp, it is better to buy high-quality materials: for example, more expensive threads are stronger and more uniform than cheap ones.