Thursday 16th September 2021
With the colder months approaching, there’s no doubt many of you are going to want to spend a lot of your spare time inside with a hot chocolate, getting on with your latest sewing project! But for those of you that may just be getting into the hobby of crafting, you may not already have a sewing machine around the house and might wonder what options are available.
In this article we have brought together a great list of machines that are both affordable and powerful workhorses, able to handle whatever sewing fabric you may throw at them (or more accurately, guide along the throat plate).
First on the list is the Brother HF27, a reliable and well-built but no frills machine. It comes with a multitude of different feet; a j-foot for general sewing, a zig-zag foot, a buttonhole foot, a non-stick foot (for materials such as leather and PVC), a blind hem foot and a zipper foot.
It also comes with 27 stitch patterns programmed into the machine, accessible via a jog dial on the back.
This machine features a metal needle-plate to increase the stability, with the included set of needles featuring a 90/14 and a 100/16 for heavier types of thread. An automatic threader and drop-in bobbin system make this machine ideal for beginners that want a machine to grow with them in the future as they improve their skills.
Up next is the latest machine from the industry heavyweight, Singer, the 4411 Heavy Duty. This sewing machine features adjustable foot pressure control, allowing it to deal with a multitude of fabric weights and a speed of 1,100 stitches per minute.
Although this machine is lighter in weight than others, don’t be fooled into thinking its performance is too! The 4411 can make light work of denim, leather and other tough textiles if you’re using the right needle.
This machine is also very low-maintenance and portable at only 6.6kg, making it easy to carry around and keep protected with the included soft dust cover.
Whilst not having an automatic threader or ability to create more sophisticated decorative stitches with just 11 built-in stitch patterns, this machine works quickly and quietly and is both convenient and affordable at just £229.
This classic sewing machine, first introduced in 1935 and manufactured until 1961 in various different derivations, exudes class and tradition! With amazing and sturdy craftsmanship, featuring a wooden base and solid metal construction, the build quality of this sewing machine is unlike anything else and it really shows, with these machines still being used and adored to this day.
With both manually-operated and electric versions of this “Rolls Royce of sewing machines”, you are sure to find one that suits your workflow. The Singer 201 uses a full rotary hook and very closely fitting high-carbon gears, making for an incredibly smooth experience and the large harp space allows for very thick fabrics to fit on this machine easily.
Whilst this machine only offers straight-stitch with reverse capabilities, there are many attachments that can be readily found such as buttonholers, zig-zag attachments and blind stitchers.
Whilst this is a very vintage machine, they were made in such a large quantity that many can still be found today in various states. They can be found cheaper but in need of a service that could cost around £100 or fully serviced and refurbished, ready to go for anywhere between £150 and £250 (going off eBay listings I have found!)
Whilst this machine is by far the cheapest on the list, it is the best machine for beginners and very simple to operate and includes an instructional DVD. With 17 stitch types built in, 2 needle positions and a 4-step buttonhole, this machine comes with all the accessories you would expect and a drop-in bobbin system.
Built into a metal chassis, this machine is very durable and lightweight, weighing just over 6 and a half kilograms. The AE1700 has twin-needle capability and is perfect for learning.
Whilst this machine doesn’t have the most features or power behind it, it is the most affordable machine we could find that doesn’t compromise on build quality and efficiency and is perfect for learning how to follow dressmaking patterns.
If you are able to try any of these machines out in person or at the very least get to feel how they are built, it’ll be much easier for you to determine which one serves your needs!
If you are just starting out in machine sewing and not 100% sure about it and worry about investing too much into it from the start, the Brother AE1700 is definitely our recommendation with enough features to be able to learn and hone your craft enough to know whether that way of working is right for you.
For those who are sold on machine sewing and want to make a more substantial investment, the Singer 201 is perfect with its nostalgic charm and performance backed by almost a century of happy customers!
If you want a more modern machine with fancier and more decorative stitches, but that has the power for a multitude of different projects, the Brother HF27 is our recommendation!
Thank you for taking the time to read our mid-September blog! We will be back in two weeks time with our October update and details on all of the new sewing fabrics for sale.