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Sewing is a terrific stress reliever and a rewarding hobby that indulges your creative side and provides functional benefits–like accomplishing basic mending and saving money on alterations.
Brother sewing machines are reliable, feature-rich sewing machines from a manufacturer that’s been producing quality sewing machines for a long time. Many cater to novice users and have a track record of helping beginners love learning to sew.
If you’re lost when choosing your first sewing machine, I’ve put together a quick guide to help you determine what type of machine you’ll want.
After that, you’ll find brief reviews and comparisons of the best Brother sewing machines for beginners.
Considerations For Your First Sewing Machine
Consider these things before purchasing your first sewing machine.
1. Size, Weight, and Portability
I usually recommend purchasing a full-size sewing machine as a beginner, so you’ll have many sewing options available.
Miniature, more portable sewing machines are available (see above), but these have limited functionality. They are less expensive but will only perform the most basic of functions.
Depending on the build and features of the sewing machine, the weight also varies. If you want to transport your sewing machine with you, make sure to choose a portable sewing machine that you can carry around easily.
2. Computerized vs. Mechanical
Mechanical sewing machines are basic sewing machines without a computer component.
In general, with computerized sewing machines, you get added functionality. They are also more expensive.
I love my computerized sewing machine because the user interface and LCD screen are more beginner-friendly, as is troubleshooting. It also gives the option of pedal-free sewing.
However, mechanical machines offer fewer options, which can be less complicated for users who aren’t technologically inclined.
3. Automatic Features and Setup
If you want to increase ease of use, consider purchasing a beginner sewing machine that boasts additional automatic features to decrease the time and effort spent in setup and sewing.
For instance, the automatic needle threader is a great help for many sewists with poor eyesight and decreased dexterity. No need to find the needle hole yourself!
Furthermore, choosing a sewing machine with an automatic one-step buttonhole will save a lot of time for novice dressmakers as opposed to a manual 4-step buttonhole.
All Brother machines come with a drop-in bobbin, which is also very beginner-friendly.
4. Price and Features
A beginner sewing machine can cost anywhere from around $50 to $500+, depending on your desired features. Before purchasing the fanciest sewing machine (or the most basic, for that matter), consider your sewing goals.
If you don’t think you’ll be sewing, monogramming, or quilting extensively, purchasing a top-of-the-line sewing machine is unnecessary.
However, if you want to start a home sewing business, consider a more expensive beginner sewing machine with more automatic features to make your life easier!
The Best Brother Sewing Machines for Beginners
Now, let’s get into the entire list of machines I recommend!
|27 built-in stitches, including one automatic buttonhole
|Maximum Sewing Speed
|800 stitches per minute
While this isn’t the most feature-rich sewing machine, I think it is one of the best Brother beginner sewing machines.
It is packed with beginner-friendly features but isn’t so much of an investment that you’ll be too afraid to even touch your sewing machine!
As with all the machines reviewed here, the Brother XM2701 sewing machine features easy bobbin winding on the top of the machine and a quick-set, top drop-in bobbin.
What quick-set means is that you don’t have to pull the bobbin thread up yourself. This means one less step in the setup process for beginners.
It also has a small free arm and is very easy to use.
Threading this Brother sewing machine is easy as well. Instructions are available in the user manual, quick-start guide, and even on the machine’s body.
Whether you think you’ll be quilting, dressmaking, sewing Pinterest-worthy DIY projects, or doing just basic mending, the Brother XM2701 sewing machine will help you accomplish your sewing goals.
Reasons I especially love this sewing machine for beginners:
- Automatic needle threader – an incredible deal at this price point.
- One-step automatic buttonholes – no having to manually make the buttonhole in 4 steps!
- Dials for length and width adjustments, correlating to a large number of stitch functions.
It’s important to note, though, that this is not a heavy-duty sewing machine, meaning you’ll be unable to sew several layers of thick material repeatedly. Check out the Brother ST150HDH if you want your first sewing machine to be heavy-duty.
(The Brother GX37 is the newer model of the Brother XM2701 and is also worth a look!)
See Brother XM2701 sewing machine review for more specifics and features!
|70 built-in stitches
|Maximum Sewing Speed
|750 stitches per min (spm)
I was loyal to the Brother CS6000i computerized sewing machine for over five years. It was first replaced by the Brother CS7000i and then the Brother CS7000X sewing machine, which I’ve had for over a year.
The Brother CS6000i, CS7000i, and CS7000X are all so easy to learn to use.
They’re a lot of machine for a beginner who’s only looking to do the most basic of tasks, though.
Because the CS7000X is computerized, it has several nice features for ease of use that mechanical sewing machines do not:
1. You can sew with buttons and a speed slider rather than a temperamental foot pedal. (This was my #1 pro for picking a computerized sewing machine.)
2. When the sewing machine runs into a problem, it displays an error code on the LCD display. This helps a lot with troubleshooting!
3. The LCD display also displays a letter corresponding to the correct presser foot for your stitch selection. With ten presser feet to choose from, this is SO helpful.
4. Stitch length and width are adjusted easily with buttons, allowing for more precision and options than a mechanical sewing machine.
Furthermore, the Brother CS7000X sewing machine includes a detachable, wide table. This is especially helpful for holding quilts and larger projects like dresses and costumes.
It also has eight automatic buttonhole options and an automatic needle threader.
Even cooler, it can be used with a Brother side cutter presser foot to act a little bit like a serger.
|37 stitches (1 automatic one-step buttonhole)
|Maximum Sewing Speed
|800 stitches per min (spm)
If you don’t want a computerized sewing machine but still desire a larger variety of stitches for an affordable price, I recommend the Brother XR3774 sewing machine.
It’s geared towards quilters on a budget with its included extension table and extra quilting feet.
And, despite being mechanical, this sewing machine has many high-end features, like an automatic needle threader.
As with all the sewing machines for beginners here, the Brother XR3774 features automatic bobbin winding and a top-drop, quick-set bobbin. Threading is simple as well.
Overall, it’s an incredible deal for its price tag and is simple to learn to use.
Read more in my Brother XR3774 quilting machine review.
|4 feet included
|Maximum Sewing Speed
The Brother LX3817 sewing machine is an inexpensive sewing machine. It has all the basic features you need to start sewing, and it’s easy to set up as a beginner.
Because the Brother LX3817 is so inexpensive (less than $100), many users are willing to overlook some of its less beginner-friendly features:
- 4-step manual rather than automatic one-step buttonholes.
- More plastic parts.
- No automatic needle threading lever.
- The reverse lever is awkwardly placed; it’s easier to get to when placed over the sewing work area.
I own the LX3817G, which has a gray printed body rather than the original white paisley body that the LX3817 has.
Unlike the Brother XR3774, the Brother LX3817 does not include an extender table to work with larger projects, nor does it have a needle threader helper.
Furthermore, it does not contain nearly the variety of presser feet as many of these other machines.
However, the Brother LX3817 is a basic sewing machine that’s very friendly with your budget, so many beginner users love it!
If you’re not sure you’re going to like sewing or you’re looking for a simple sewing machine, the Brother LX3817 is one of the best sewing machines you can start with.
Read further: In-depth Brother LX3817 review.
Presser feet: 4
Maximum sewing speed: 750 stitches per minute
Weight: 10.8 lbs
If you are looking for the bare minimum features to get you started, this is the best choice for a simple Brother sewing machine.
Unless you really are opposed to additional features on your sewing machine, though, I usually don’t recommend the Brother XM1010 to beginner sewists.
Here are the reasons I prefer the Brother XM2701, which is usually a similar price:
- The reverse lever is awkwardly placed on the machine’s right rather than above the work area where you’ll be guiding your fabric.
- This machine comes with ten stitches only and no ability to adjust length or width beyond what is preset with those ten stitches.
- No automatic needle threading apparatus
- Buttonholes are 4-step manual buttonholes, which are more difficult for beginner users.
As you can see, these cons are similar to those of the Brother LX3817 sewing machine.
I’d recommend the Brother LX3817 over the XM1010 as well, simply because it has more options at a lesser price.
|110 built-in stitches; 8 auto buttonhole stitches
|Maximum sewing speed
|850 stitches per min (spm)
The Brother XR9550 is a “reach” sewing machine for beginners who have grand aspirations and want a ton of functions available.
It’s an updated version of the Project Runway branded Brother XR9550prw and is jam-packed with more features than you may ever use.
What sets it apart from these beginner sewing machines is the inclusion of a monogramming font.
There’s an impressive number of presser feet included along with the extension table for larger projects. It’s not too difficult to learn to use either.
It’s much more of an investment than I recommend for most beginners. Unless, of course, you know you will love sewing and plan to sew more complicated projects frequently!
I hope now you’ve been able to select the best Brother sewing machine to fit your sewing needs. And while you’re here, check out my list of best beginner sewing books and a list of must-have sewing accessories to help you get started!