As a Sewing Studio owner, long time sewing instructor and sewing curriculum developer I am probably asked at least once a week which is the best sewing machine to buy. This can be a pretty big question as there are hundreds of sewing machine models out there and the variation on what they do and what they cost can span the globe.
Most people who ask my this important question are new to sewing. Most likely they’re looking to purchase a beginner sewing machine model that’s easy to learn on & won’t cost an arm and a leg. They’d like a machine that is high quality, easy to operate and doesn’t have more bells and whistles on it than they need.
The machine I suggest to people who ask this question has changed over the years. It usually depends on which machine we’re using in the studio at the time. These are all qualities we also look for in a sewing machine too.
Currently and for about the last year or so it’s the Simplicity Model SB700t by Brother. There are a lot of reasons this is the perfect sewing machine for people (young and old) to learn to sew on.
- Quality – This machine is not the same with other Brother Sewing machines (like for instance the Brother XL2600i or the Brother CS6000i). These machines may look alike and even seem like they sew the same when stitching a couple layers of cotton. BUT The difference is the steel components inside the SB700t sewing machine. The more durable frame and metal parts inside this sewing machine make it better able to tackle sewing things like multiple layers of denim and other heavier fabrics. We acknowledge that this puts this sewing machine in a price bracket above some of the sewing machines, but this machine retails for around $200 and we feel the extra $50-$100 is SEW worth it. This difference in quality is also the reason they do not sell this machine in places like Wal*Mart, Amazon & Target and this is a very good thing in our opinion.
- Mobility – Yes the machine has steel components, but it’s not a super heavy sewing machine. This cutie is only about 10 pounds which makes it really easy for us to take with us on the road. We’re always teaching classes in places around town. Schools, Libraries, Birthday parties in peoples homes. Because of this, we need a machine that doesn’t way a ton because we’re constantly schlepping it from place to place. This machine doesn’t break the bank and it doesn’t break your back! Woot!
- Ease of use – This baby is so easy for beginners to start out using. One major feature (that I don’t think I could live without) is that it doesn’t sew, and even makes a beeping noise, when you don’t lower the presser foot before you start to sew. For new sewing students, this is going to be, by far, the most common mistake people (of any age) will make. They’ll forget to lower the presser foot, then the machine will get all tangled inside as a result and lastly, the machine will jam and no longer work. No fun whatsoever! But after I started using this machine this just wasn’t an issue anymore! Hallelujah!The other thing that is amazing about this sewing machine when teaching newbies how to sew is the speed control dial. The speed control option is something you’ll see a lot on machine in the higher price points. But the SB700t retails for less than $200 and it’s got it! Love, love, love this! Why? Because in a sense you can set it and forget it. Yes, just like on the informercial, set the machine on the slow speed and walk away from your student and things are going to be OKAY!
And here’s a handy dandy little video for how to thread the Brother SB700t sewing machine.
We know that this is not the be all, end all on great sewing machines for teaching people how to sew.
We would LOVE to hear what machines you are using.
Leave us a note in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!