Making clothes at home or setting up a small boutique to sell uniquely crafted clothes is popular again. It’s not only the brands that are famous for designer clothes. Home professionals and fashion designers are also becoming noted among the crowd. Many sewing enthusiasts are taking it up seriously to earn a few extra bucks on the side.
Are you one of them? Are you planning to take up sewing full time and accept more projects? What is that one thing you will need to ensure success apart from skill?
A sewing machine, of course! To create clothes that are of good quality and have a professional level appearance, you need a reliable, durable, and trustworthy sewing machine.
The top brands in the market offer a wide range of models to choose from. Some exclusively cater to specific jobs (embroidery, quilting, heavy-duty, etc.). A few other models are versatile and are a good choice to make clothes.
Be it apparel, curtains, cloth purses/ bags, etc.; you should be able to sew them with ease and create attractive designs. The sewing machine should offer a range of features for you to explore your talent and take up new projects that challenge your creativity.
And that’s where we ask the big question. Which sewing machine is the best for making clothes? How can you choose a model for your requirements? Which factors will affect your decision and how?
As always, we are here to provide answers to the above questions. We did all the work on your behalf and have compiled a list of the top 5 best sewing machines for making clothes. We also have a buying guide to assist you in understanding the sewing machines and comparing them.
Our list has models from the topmost brands that have been ruling the market for a long time. Without much delay, let’s take a look at the table and proceed further to see in detail the features and benefits of each sewing machine.
Table of Contents
The Best Sewing Machines for Making Clothes For The Money
#1 Juki HZL-F600 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine - EDITOR'S CHOICE
The first best sewing machine for making clothes belongs to the famous brand, Juki. HZL-F600 is a computerized sewing and quilting machine with loads of features and accessories. It has been designed for advanced users or professionals who work on the sewing machine every single day. It is the heaviest model on our list. However, it is considered a lightweight in its category of industrial sewing and quilting machines. The company offers a limited 5-year warranty on the unit. Let us have a look at the features of the sewing machine in detail.
Features & Benefits
When you look at this machine, your first thought would probably be, whoa! You’d be right too. This sewing machine is intimidating. It has so many features that you will have a hard time understanding them, especially if you are a beginner. But if you are a pro, you will totally fall in love with it.
The LCD display is big enough for you to confirm that you have selected the right design. That’s needed since the machine has 225 built-in stitches and 4 fonts. It also has 16 industrial-style buttonholes and a free arm. Yep. You can make use of this model to do a lot.
There have hardly been any complaints about this model. It works like a charm and has been declared as a lifetime investment by more than one user. It already has a large work area but also comes with an extension table in case you want to quilt. Being a heavy-duty model, you can use it for a long time without worry.
There is a knee lift lever you can use when quilting. So, you don’t need to take your hands off the fabric that way. Whether you are stitching a thin and delicate fabric or a thick one, this machine will deliver the best. The cloth doesn’t pucker, stretch, or catch while stitching. That’s because it uses the box feed technology.
Ease of Use
As we’ve already mentioned, this model is not for beginners. That doesn’t mean you should not use this machine. Get a professional to teach you, and soon you will master the operations. The stitching speed is 900 SPM, which can be adjusted. You can also change the stitch length and width.
The best thing we like about this model is that it barely makes any noise. If you love to work in silence, or listen to music, or chat with a friend, the machine won’t come in the way. Another advantage is the facility to customize stitches and create new ones. But, you can’t save them to a USB. There is no port to connect one. That’s the only drawback we find with this model.
#2 Brother CS7000i Sewing and Quilting Machine - Best Versatile Model
Brother is another familiar brand in the sewing machine market, isn’t it? The company has various models that cater to all kinds of users. CS7000i is a sewing and quilting machine that can be used by beginners but has the features and accessories useful for professionals. You get a 25-year limited warranty on the unit. It also comes with a hard case that makes it easy to carry from one place to another and also to keep it safe when not in use. Be it the built-in stitches or the ease of use, this model has a lot to offer.
Features & Benefits
Brother designs good-looking models and this one is no exception. Despite the 70 built-in stitch designs displayed on the side panel, the sewing machine looks cute and efficient. It weighs around 17 pounds. This is also a computerized model but is simple and uncomplicated.
Among the 70 built-in stitches, we can find 7 one-step automatic buttonholes. However, when you are stitching buttonholes, make sure to put your hand under the thread (on the top of the machine) so that the thread will not catch and jerk. Also, run the machine at a slower speed. That’s easy as you can adjust the stitching speed.
This model is great for sewing and quilting. It comes with an extension table to quilt large projects. The LED light is bright and useful, just as with the previous model on our list. The bobbin is easy to load and jam-resistant. It an automatic needle threader, but that feature isn’t as good as it should be. However, you can follow the instruction on the unit and thread the needle on your own.
The company provides 10 different presser feet with this model. The free arm is another plus point. The LCD display screen isn’t too big, but it does the job. Various buttons are present below the screen and provide different features.
Ease of Use
Yes, this model is for beginners and professionals. It is also affordable so that beginners can buy, learn, and master the machine. The lengthy warranty period assures us of the durability and stability of this model.
The thread tension is a bit tricky. You will need to try a few adjustments before you get it right. That’s fine, though. Every model has a minor issue or two. Overall, we can safely declare that CS7000i is one of the best sewing machines for making clothes and also for quilting.
#3 Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine - Best for Beginners
Janome is another famous brand in the market that sells various sewing machines. We have Magnolia 7318 on our list as one of the best sewing machines for making clothes. With basic features and accessories, this model is a great choice for beginners. Professionals will want more, though. The company has marketed it strictly as a beginner/ newbie model and offers a 15-year limited warranty on the machine. Still, it has enough features that got our attention and proved it worthy of being in the top 5.
Features & Benefits
This is an electromechanical sewing machine that is sturdy, portable, versatile, and uncomplicated. This model also weighs 17 pounds. It looks compact and neat with 2 knobs, one reverse stitch lever, and the 18 built-in stitches listed in a line from top to bottom on the side panel.
The machine comes with 4 presser feet- a zipper foot, a blind hem foot, a buttonhole foot, and a zigzag foot. You can also buy more presser feet and use the machine for other purposes as well. It has a 4-step buttonhole and a 7 piece feed dog system. The feed dog system gives a better grip over the fabric when stitching.
The machine has an amazing top speed of 830 stitches per minute. You can adjust this speed through the foot pedal. That’s easy because the foot pedal is responsive.
It has a built-in free arm to sew cuffs, pant legs, and cylindrical objects. The bobbin system is quite good. It comes with a transparent cover and is jam-resistant. Winding the bobbin is so simple that anybody can do it.
Ease of Use
You can adjust the stitch length to up to 4mm and the width up to 5mm. With the reverse stitch lever right beside, all you need to do is use it to reinforce the stitches without turning the fabric around.
We already established that there is nothing overly complicated about this model. Even if the buttonholes require manual intervention, they are easy to make. The work area has a ruler on it in case you want to measure while stitching. But space is a bit cramped and doesn’t allow free motion quilting. There are no problems with sewing, though.
#4 Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine - Best Budget-Friendly Model
We have another model from Brother on our list, and this one also an affordable sewing machine that can be used by beginners and home professionals. While it is not perfect by any means, it has enough features to assist advanced users in taking up small to medium sewing projects. However, this machine is not heavy-duty. It cannot sew through thicker fabrics. Since you will be using it for making clothes, it wouldn’t be much of a disadvantage. You get a 25-year limited warranty on the unit.
Features & Benefits
It is a lightweight model weighing less than 13 pounds. You can carry it to your sewing classes without any effort. The body frame is compact and gives the machine a decent and stylish appearance.
It comes with 27 built-in stitches and 63 stitch functions. It also has one-step buttonholes and a free arm. You can select the stitches by turning the knob on the side panel. There is a reverse stitch lever right above the needle system. Despite being an electromechanical model, XM2701 has an automatic needle threader.
The machine comes with 6 presser feet (zipper foot, zigzag foot, narrow hemmer, blind hem foot, buttonhole foot, button foot) to offer variety to advanced stylists. Changing the foot is so easy that you can do it in just a few seconds.
The machine also has an LED light. But this one is not bright enough to illuminate the entire work area. You would be better off using an external light source to brighten up the place.
Ease of Use
Since this model is for beginners as well as professionals, the company provides a detailed user manual and an instruction DVD. It’s not a complex job to understand the operations. The stitching speed is 800 SPM and can be adjusted through the pressure on the foot pedal.
The drop-in bobbin system is super simple and jam-resistant. The transparent bobbin cover is another advantage. Just make sure that you buy a set of stronger needles even if you are sewing through the normal fabric. Many stylists keep this model as a secondary (spare) sewing machine at work.
#5 SINGER Tradition 2259 Sewing Machine - Best Basic Sewing Machine
If you wish to look for a sewing machine to learn how to make clothes, you’ve got the right model to buy. Tradition 2259 by Singer is a perfect example of a basic sewing machine that delivers good performance within the limitations. And it is an inexpensive model for beginners to invest in without burning a hole in the pocket. The brand has made sure that this model is portable, sturdy, and versatile. That made this model quite famous among newbies. Let’s look at the features in detail, shall we?
Features & Benefits
Even for a basic model, Tradition 2259 doesn’t compromise on its appearance. It is stylish and neat with a white and soft blue body frame. Though it weighs less than 14 pounds, the machine is sturdy and can sew through thicker fabrics.
It has a stitching speed of 750 SPM, which you can adjust through the foot pedal. But be careful and alert. The foot pedal is extra sensitive. Get used to using it before you increasing your stitching speed.
The model has 19 built-in stitches that include an automatic buttonhole. It also has a 4-step buttonhole, twin needles, adjustable thread tension, adjustable stitch length and width, and a reverse stitch lever. It comes with additional presser feet that can be snapped into place in no time.
The free arm is used to sew cuffs, pant legs, sleeves, etc. The stitch dial is convenient. You can identify the stitch designs on the dial and choose one by turning the knob. And yes, the company offers a 25-year limited warranty on the machine.
Ease of Use
Since it is a basic budget model, beginners, youngsters, and newbies can learn on this machine. But the user manual is disappointing. It is incomplete and doesn’t help much. You are better off learning from the internet or by attending sewing classes.
The sewing machine does make less noise, so that’s one advantage. Basic models tend to be loud, but not this one. Guess what? It also has an automatic needle threader. Yep. The work area is not great but decent enough for making clothes.
Best Sewing Machine For Making Clothes Buying Guide
That was quite a list of sewing machines for making clothes, isn’t it? Some of you would have already heard of at least one model from the list. Now, it’s for us to take a look at the buying guide and see which factors will make a sewing machine better than the others and why.
The stitching speed is denoted by SPM (Stitches Per Minute). For a sewing machine used to make clothes, the average stitching speed should be around 700 SPM. This is convenient for beginners and professionals as most models allow you to reduce the speed to a comfortable rate. A sewing machine with 900 SPM or more would be even better, especially for a professional.
Some models are designed to cater only to beginners. Some are exclusively for professionals and have advanced features. A few models are suitable for everyone. They are easy to use while also providing an array of features used by advanced level tailors. Most sewing machines for making clothes fall into the last category. And if you can find such a model within your budget, what more do you need?
Portability and Weight
Unless you have a fixed spot to set up the sewing machine, you will need to consider this factor seriously. We cannot deny that some heavier models are fantastic. If you can set them up in one place, you don’t have to look anywhere else. But if it is not possible? It is better to opt for a lightweight model that can be shifted as per your convenience. You can even carry some sewing machines to classes.
Type of Sewing Machine
Which type of sewing machine do you prefer- computerized or electromechanical? Both have their advantages and disadvantages. A computerized model offers features such as an automatic needle threader, automatic thread cutter, adjustable speed limit, adjustable thread tension, adjustable stitch length, and width, etc.
An electromechanical model may or may not offer all of these features. But you can adjust the stitching speed through the pressure on the foot pedal. An electromechanical sewing machine will be easier to use, as it has a straightforward operating mechanism.
Built-in Stitches and Buttonholes
The number of built-in stitches varies for each model. These stitches are of unique designs that allow you to be creative and experiment with the stitches when making clothes. Any sewing machine with a minimum of a dozen built-in stitches should do the job. But make sure that it has the buttonholes features. One-step buttonholes are preferred though 4-step buttonholes are also easy to make.
Durability and Construction
When we invest in a sewing machine, we want it to work for at least a few years. The body frame has to be sturdy so that it can take the workload and assist you in completing the projects on time. It’s no surprise that quality construction will result in a durable sewing machine. The models on our list are all durable and made to last for a long time.
Size and Dimensions
Just as with weight, the size and dimensions of the sewing machine do not matter if you have enough space to set it up. But if you need to move it regularly, you will need a smaller unit. It also has to be compact so that you can store it in a cupboard when not in use. However, the workspace has to be decent if you want to work on larger projects. A sewing machine with an extension table would be a suitable choice.
Adjustable Speed, Stitch Length, Width
A sewing machine with adjustable stitching speed and adjustable stitch length and width will always be a preferred choice. When making clothes, you will need to change the length and width of the stitches based on the material, the designs, and the thickness of the fabrics.
Needle Positions and Free Arm
A sewing machine with multiple needle positions will help you in sewing zippers, hemming, or topstitching. It is the free arm that makes it possible to sew cuffs, pant legs, quilting, etc. Both of these are essential when you buy a sewing machine for making clothes.
The top brands offer at least a 5-year limited warranty on the sewing machines. This can extend up to 25-year limited warranty based on the brand. But most of them provide a full warranty only for a few months. Just make sure to read the warranty conditions and register the sewing machine with the company to be eligible to claim a warranty if required.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
So which model have you decided to buy? Oh, are you still not sure? Well, let’s recommend Juki HZL-F600 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine.
With 225 built-in stitches and a vast range of features and benefits (we already saw them in detail), this model offers a great value for the price.
Stylists, fashion designers, seamstresses, etc., who want a sewing machine for making clothes will Juki HZL-F600 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine for the versatility it offers.