The best sewing machines for interior design projects

Taking on an interior design project? Check out the top five sewing machines for beginners

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Fancy yourself a master embroiderer, or just need to quickly stitch that hole in your beloved throw cushion? Either way, a sewing machine can make the job all the quicker, and will give you better quality results. 

If you’re looking to invest in a sewing machine for your home, then there are several things you’ll want to consider before making a decision on which one to buy. If you are venturing into the world of extensive projects such as home furnishings and upholstery, you may want to consider a machine with an advanced range of stitches that are compatible with thicker, heavier fabrics. However, if you’re a beginner, starting out with a simpler machine with fewer sticking options is a good way to learn the basics before taking on bigger projects. 

We’ve picked out our top five choices for sewing machines that are great for beginners and those looking to take the next step in stitching. Of course, a more advanced machine will cost a little more than the basic ones, so you’ll want to make sure it has everything you need before making the investment. But if you think you’ll only use your machine occasionally, a cheaper machine should provide you with everything you need. 

You’ll want to decide whether you want an electronic or computerised sewing machine. Electronic works with a foot pedal and feels more traditional, but computerised machines are generally much easier to use (if you’re not a technophobe) and work extremely well for both beginners and more advanced crafters as the preset configurations and efficient stitch selection process save time in the long run - you’ll be able to create a number of stitches at the touch of a button. But, for those who want to learn from scratch, an electronic sewing machine could be more fun to use.

1. Brother AE1700

An affordable machine that is perfect for beginners

Specifications
Best for: First sewing machine
Type: Electronic
Stitches: 17
Reasons to buy
+Drop in bobbin +Instructional DVD
Reasons to avoid
-A little loud 

If you want to try your hand at stitching, then the Brother AE1700 is one of the best sewing machines for beginners. It is a traditional electronic machine with foot pedal, but is incredibly intuitive to use. It has a generous 17 stitches so you can experiment and learn new techniques and an automatic bobbin winder means all the fiddly stuff is eliminated from the stitching process. It makes our number one spot for being a great all-rounder for both novices and those that are more advanced, with an affordable price tag. It is low maintenance and reliable with a very informative DVD that will make learning to sew fun for everyone.

2. Singer 4411

A heavy duty machine for larger, more frequent sewing projects

Specifications
Best for: Quality
Type: Electronic
Stitches: 11
Reasons to buy
+High speed +Surprisingly quiet 
Reasons to avoid
-Only 11 stitches 

Those who are constantly fixing up items of clothing or want to try something a little more complex like cushions and curtains, this high-speed machine is great for intermediate crafters who want to try something new. For such a heavy duty machine it is surprisingly quiet which means you won’t annoy the whole house when you’re practising your sewing skills every weekend, the only annoying thing about this machine is it has no automatic needle threader and only 11 stitch settings. However, for frequent dressmaking or repairs, this machine will serve you well.  

3. Janome 525S

This Great British Sewing Bee machine is a step up for beginners

Specifications
Best for: Advancing your skills
Type: Electronic
Stitches: 24
Reasons to buy
+2 speed foot pedal+Quick to get going
Reasons to avoid
-No slow speed option 

This machine was featured in The Great British Sewing Bee and is a reliable machine that provides 24 different stitches and a 2-speed foot pedal. Keen embroiderers may not like the fact that this machine doesn’t have a lot of decorative stitches, but if you’re looking to build up your confidence and speed, this is the machine for you. It doesn’t have a slow speed option though, so if you are a complete beginner, we recommend trying out a machine like the Brother AE1700 before advancing to one like this. If you’ve been taking classes for some time or want to revisit skills you learnt in the past, this machine will quickly help you get to grips with your sewing skills.  

4. Singer 7470

A feature-packed computerised machine for lots of stitching options

Specifications
Best for: Features
Type: Computerised
Stitches: 225
Reasons to buy
+Lots of stitches+Push button selection
Reasons to avoid
- A little pricey 

This computerised sewing machine opens up a world of options for both beginners and more advanced sewers with 225 stitching programmes and 7 one-step buttonhole programmes. This is by far one of the easiest sewing machines to use as it has an automatic needle threader and drop in bobbin system. You can programme in letters so that the machine can create personalised embroidery on almost any fabric. Even beginners have found this machine a worthwhile investment that will give you the confidence to turn your hand to more complex projects. 

5. Brother Innovis NV15

A simple starter with an impressive stitch

Specifications
Best for: Quick and easy start up
Type: Electronic
Stitches: 16
Reasons to buy
+Great with all fabrics+Simple interface
Reasons to avoid
- Fewer stitching options

If tech isn’t really your thing, then this is an impressive sewing machine without any unnecessary faffing about. It switches on quickly and easily so you can get on with sewing whenever the mood strikes you. It’s a versatile machine that is quite capable of stitching a whole range of fabrics from delicates to denim and other heavier materials. We recommend this machine for beginners and those who don’t have the patience for the fiddly side of sewing, however someone more experienced may prefer a machine with more advanced stitching options.