Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Have to get off the drapery yardage line

lindamaries | Posted in General Discussion on

We were just a goin’ on that drapery yardage subject…we were talking about everything under the sun except drapery yardage.
We started out okay, but then things went all over!!!!

This is a new subject.

What kind/brand of machines are the very best for a beginning sewer to start on?


  1. BYDEZINE | | #1

    personally I think beginner's shouldn't have a different machine than experienced  sewists. Too many beginners are totally discouraged when they work on a machine that has few features and isn't adjustable. Everyone should get the best machine they can get . I believe that if using it is enjoyable, they will grow into the features the machine has.

    SO given that disclaimer, beginners should look for a few important features:

    beautiful onestep buttonholes, ease of changing from one stitch to another, an understandable manual, needle down stopping, variable speeds, good maintenance record, easy to thread and wind bobbin, prompts on the machine to show you what do to next, such as threading diagrams and prompts that tell you what direction to wind and insert bobbin, um.... I think I am describing my own machine. The brother PC 6000. LOL I am biased.

    but if I were investing in a machine now I might buy the exquisite by elna, it has almost infinite bobbin winding off a spool. Failing that, the current copy of Threads has the most fantastic article on sewing machines, and they were test driven by pros.

  2. carolfresia | | #2


    That's a good question! We debated it ourselves quite a bit when we were putting together the recent Threads article on chosing a basic machine. I guess it depends on whom you ask, really. An experienced sewer can do pretty much anything on a machine with little more than a straight and zigzag stitch, and I suspect a lot of us started out with just about that when we were learning to sew.

    On the other hand, some of the bells and whistles are pretty nice--things like the needle up-down button, thread cutters, etc., make sewing a little more efficient. I'm not sure if I'm getting lazy, but I like having those options! When I began sewing it never occured to me that the needle could stop down unless I hand-cranked it down--and I didn't mind at all. I've also made multi-step, manually-sized buttonholes my whole sewing life until a couple of months ago, and now I wonder how I lived without a reliable one-step automatic buttonhole function. In many ways, I'm glad I've been used to a really stripped-down model, because over the years of using it, I've been able to figure out which additional features would really matter to me, and which would be somewhat superfluous.

    As you can see from the Threads comparison, many of the less expensive machines are actually pretty loaded--certainly compared to what I've used in the past--and sew quite well. For a beginner who's not sure how much sewing she/he will end up doing, I'd probably go for a machine that had a couple of fun, decorative stitches, and certainly a decent buttonhole if garment sewing is part of the plan. For a quilter, there are obviously other considerations (fancy stitches for crazy quilting? longer arm for machine quilting?)--but in most cases you don't have to spend a bundle to get what you need. And if you eventually decide you want more, trading in/up is often an option if you purchase from a good dealer.

    What do the rest of you think? I'm interested--I know there are purists who love the challenge of sewing with a bare-bones machine, and there are also those who enjoy exploring the many options that are available on today's machines.


This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More