There are lots of sewing machines out there, and if you’re a beginner – You’re likely feeling a bit overwhelmed. You obviously want to make sure that you get a good brand, but what features do you need? And what should you look for?
In this article, we’ll be talking about how to choose the best Brother sewing machine for beginners. Brother is a great brand – so you’re already off to a great start, but what else should you consider? Look for these features, which while not totally necessary, will make things a little easier.
What to know before shopping for a beginner sewing machine.
- Speed control – Being able to control the speed of your sewing machine makes it easier to learn.
- Ease of use – While bells and whistles are nice, as a beginner you may struggle to utilize all these features. Simple controls help learning curves.
- Accessories – Extra feet allow you to adjust your learning on the fly, with accessories which, as a beginner, you may not know you need right away.
- Throat space – If you plan to work on large projects like quilts, be aware of the throat space (distance from arm to needle) of your machine. Extra space makes working with bulky projects much easier to handle.
- Know what you want to sew – Low power machines are fine for most tasks but will likely struggle with heavy or layered fabrics, like denim or projects like costume making.
- Built-In Stitches – While you don’t need everything under the sun, having the most popular built-in stitches, and some automatic button holes helps.
- Free arm – Planning to do quilting or hemming? Getting a machine with a free arm allows you to stitch things in tight places and is useful.
- Does it allow growth? – When buying a machine, make sure to think about whether the machine will still be useful when your skill progresses, or if it will limit your ability to take on new projects.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, on to our list! These are our favorite Brother sewing machines chosen with beginners in mind! We’ve tried to pick some in different price ranges and highlight what we like about them to help you out.
Which Brother Sewing Machine Is Best For Beginners?
Best For: Multi-Purpose crafting, embroidery, and sewing.
Looking for a Brother sewing machine that embroiders as well?
The Brother LB5000M and LB5000S will allow you to do just that! This machine not only offers great and affordable sewing capabilities, but it also has a 4″x4″ embroidery area, which is perfect for customizing shirts, hand towels, bags, or for making your own patches.
Plus, if you choose the LB5000M model, you’ll get 10 Marvel super hero embroidery designs for your projects, or if you choose the LB5000S model, you’ll get 10 Star Wars embroidery designs to use. However, this machine also has a USB port which allows you to import custom embroidery designs too.
This machine also offers an automatic bobbin winding system, speed control, needle up/down, reverse stitches, free motion quilting capabilities, automatic needle threading, and it will sew at a decent 710 stitches per minute. You’ll also get lots of built-in stitches, 80 additional embroidery designs included, 10 one-step button holes, extra presser feet, and a 3.2″ touch screen which you can use to edit your embroidery designs, change thread colors, etc.
Plus, while this machine offers a lot of opportunities to try out different kinds of sewing and embroidery projects, it’s also very simple to operate. It has 7 Point feed dogs, which feed the fabric smoothly through the machine and helps avoid bunching. The on-screen instructions and simple button system on the machine are also easy enough that a beginner can quickly get started on their projects. Click here to check prices and availability for the Stars Wars model here and the Marvel model here.
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Best For: Sewing & Quilting On A Tight Budget
If you’re not looking to spend that much money as a beginner, we understand!
It’s hard to invest a lot in a hobby you’re not sure you will keep up with, or if you plan to only use the machine occasionally. That’s why our next pick is super budget friendly.
While the Brother FB1757T doesn’t embroider like our top pick, it does have a lot going for it for such an affordable sewing machine! It includes an easy, top-loading, jam-resistant bobbin, which makes refilling your thread an easy task. Plus, a free arm, which allows you to get easy access to tough to reach areas of your garments when you’re sewing things like sleeves.
However, it also offers free motion capabilities and an extension table for quilting! This gives you extra work space for your bulkier projects, and it offers speed control, which allows you to work at your own pace.
So, where is this machine lacking? Well, you won’t get as many built-in stitches, or button holes with this machine for starters. You’ll get 17 built-in stitches, and one style of four-step button hole. The button hole is a bit less convenient, but as for the stitches, most people will only use a few anyway. You also get a few less accessory feet, but you can easily buy others if you really need them.
As for using the machine, the controls are very simplistic. It has a simple dial for stitch selection, an upper thread tension control, and a foot control. Threading the machine and general operation is quite easy, and if you don’t need any fancy features, this machine won’t get in your way. Click here to check prices and availability on the Brother Brother FB1757T.
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Best For: Those Needing A Heavier Duty Combination Machine.
Need a machine that’s a little more serious? For those looking to invest a bit more in a high-quality machine, the Brother SE1900 is top of the line.
For starters, it offers a large 5″ by 7″ embroidery area, and it’s a good bit faster than the LB5000 at 850 stitches per minute. This machine will also handle thicker fabrics (like denim jeans) and more fabric layers better than a cheaper machine will, an important consideration if you plan to work on costumes, blue jeans, or quilts.
The SE1900 also has an unusual feature, sideways sewing! This can be useful for doing things like quilting around squares, working on pockets, etc. The Brother SE1900 also benefits from premium features like an advanced needle threading system, needle up/down, 7 feed dog points for smooth fabric feeding, an added knee lift, free motion sewing capabilities, a USB port for importing custom embroidery designs, a thread sensor, which tells you when your thread is about to run out, and a 3.2″ color touch screen you can use for editing your embroidery designs.
In addition to providing a large number of built-in stitches (240), this machine also has a neat feature which allows you to create and save your own stitches into the machine! With this you can make your own decorative stitches for your projects. You’ll also get 10 one-step button holes, 138 built-in embroidery designs, and 7 embroidery fonts.
In short, the Brother SE1900 is great for a wide variety of sewing and crafting activities. This includes quilting, monogramming, embroidery, patch making, hemming and adjustments, clothing customization, and more. Operation for this machine is pretty straight forward, and it offers a lot of premium features for a very reasonable price. Click here to check prices and availability on the Brother SE1900.
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Brother Innov-is NS80E
Best For: People Not Interested In Embroidery But Still Want a Quality Machine
If you’re not interested in a combination machine but you’re still looking for something a little more robust than the FB1757T, then the Innov-is NS80E may interest you!
This machine is light-weight, but it has a sturdy, aluminum chassis, which reduces vibration and noise.
It’s a great pick if you need a capable sewing machine to take a long with you to classes, events, church groups, crafting groups, etc. where you will be required to work on site with your machine.
While it is lacking some of the fancier features of the last machine on our list, it does still have everything that a beginner really needs. This includes variable speed control, free motion sewing capabilities, needle up/down, and start and stop functions which can be used via the buttons, or tied to the included foot pedal. This machine also has a needle plate detection sensor, which is used as a safety guard for when you’re cleaning the machine to protect your hands.
The NS80E also offers a smooth and enjoyable sewing experience thanks to the 7 feed dog points, and it will feed your fabric evenly and without frustration. It also offers a decent collection of feet and 80 stitches for you to use, likely more than a beginner will ever need. You’ll also get 8 one-step button holes, an improvement over the cheaper FB1757T, but you can’t create your own fancy stitches like with the SE1900.
However, you will also be giving up a lot of features if you go with this machine over the SE1900. For example, the thread detection sensor, knee lift, embroidery functions, adjustable presser foot pressure, sideways sewing, custom stitch making, and the color touch screen will be missing from the cheaper machine.
Whether or not you can live without those features is up to you. If you don’t think you’ll use any of the fancier features, then you can pick up the Brother NS80E for about half the price of the SE1900. Not a bad deal, and the machine will handle pretty much any task you throw at it, at a respectable 850 stitches per minute. Click here to check prices and availability for the Brother Innov-Is NS80E.
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Brother Pace Setter – PS500
Best For: Quilting Or Decorative Stitching On A Budget
Sewing machines with large throat space are very useful for quilting.
The Brother Pacesetter (PS500) can help you with that. This machine has a good bit to offer feature-wise, but it still comes in at a very reasonable price which beginners may be more willing to spend.
While you will still miss out on some of the more advanced features of the Brother SE1900, like the custom stitch creator and the thread sensor, you will still get some pretty nice stuff with the PaceSetter.
This includes a “back to beginning” button, which allows you to return to the beginning of a stitch if you stop the machine, and an automatic thread cutter. While the “custom stitches” can’t be saved like with the SE1900, you can do something similar with the PaceSetter by “combining” stitches to create something entirely new, which is a pretty neat feature, especially on a machine in this price range.
You’ll also enjoy some other convenient quality of life features like the advanced needle threading system, quick-set bobbin, start/stop buttons, reverse stitching, manual thread tension and presser foot adjustments, and speed control. They also give you a 100 built-in stitches, 7 different one-step button holes, 4 sewing lettering fonts which you can use to personalize your projects.
The machine sews like a dream, feeding fabric evenly and without difficulty. You’ll also get 8.3″ of throat space (distance from the needle to the machine arm) to accommodate larger projects like quilting. So, while the features aren’t all as shiny as the Brother SE1900, it does offer great sewing capabilities, and a few surprising premium features for the price as well. In any case, it’s certainly worth the money. Click here to check prices and availability for the Brother PS500.
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Tanya is a stay at home mom who blogs online to earn a bit of extra income from her hobbies. She also loves working on projects which she can involve her two kids in and teach them the valuable life-skill of sewing.