Sewing machines can be broken down into three basic groups: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced or heavy duty. For the large majority of sewers, an intermediate sewing machine is usually the best choice. These machines offer more features than an introductory level machine and are usually more durable.
Within the category of intermediate sewing machines, there are many styles, brands, number of features and prices to choose from. The best intermediate sewing machine for someone that uses their sewing machine to do occasional alterations probably won’t be the same machine that is best for someone who sews a variety of crafts. For this review, I chose the Brother XR3774, Janome Jem Gold 660, and the Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist to make it easier for all types of sewers to select the best intermediate sewing machine for their particular needs and budget.
This is a full-featured sewing and quilting machine that is a great value. Here are its features:
- It has 37 stitches, 8 sewing feet and comes with an instructional DVD that makes it even easier to use.
- It is very affordable at less than $125 and it is versatile enough to use for all types of sewing projects.
- Simple enough for a beginner to use. Makes it a good choice for anyone who has not put their sewing skills to use for an extended period of time or who finds other models too intimidating.
- Has a 1-step auto-size buttonhole and 74 stitch functions for a wide range of creativity options.
- Brightly lit LED work area lets you see sewing projects clearly.
- Free arm to sew cuffs and sleeves or for easy access to small crafts.
- Comes with a variety of accessories including a blind stitch foot, button sewing foot, walking foot, quilting guide and much more.
- Quilting component of the machine includes a free motion quilting foot and built-in quilting stitches.
The Janome Jem Gold is a compact, lightweight sewing and quilting machine with just the right number of features for many intermediate sewers. Its light weight makes it easy to take along to sewing or quilting classes without the burden of a traditional machine.
- Has 8 stitches that include 2 stretch stitches and a built-in buttonhole.
- Standard accessories include a zig-zag foot, sliding buttonhole foot, overedge foot and specialized bobbin.
- Jam-proof drop-in bobbin, built-in needle threader, quick foot conversion, horizontal full rotary hook, and one-hand thread cutter.
- It offers the best of sewing convenience and Janome quality in a compact size that costs about $200.
The Janome Jem Gold 660 is the best intermediate sewing machine for sewers who want more than the basic straight and zig-zag stich but not the numerous features of a professional-level machine. It also makes a great companion for the classroom, especially for sewers who are unable to carry a heavier machine. Users give this model high ratings as the best intermediate sewing machine for reliability and ease-of-use.
As the number of stitches grows, so does the versatility.
- With 650 preset built-in stitches.
- Computerized model is a more expensive option at just over $350.
- Select a stitch at the push of a button and the start/stop operation takes away the need for a foot pedal.
- Offers tips on the LCD screen for which presser foot to use for the stitch that you choose.
- It has the capacity to sew straight, simple lines that beginners use to learn as well as the decorative stitches that more advanced sewers rely on for creativity.
- With 13 styles of buttonholes.
The Quantum stylist has a lot of convenient features that make it easy to use including an automatic needle threader, drop-in bobbin system, automatic tension, extra-high presser foot, and a free arm. More than anything else, the fact that makes this the best intermediate sewing machine for the money is that even if you will never use half of the stitches, you will get the features you do need at the same price or less than machines that have a lot less to offer.
Choosing the Best Intermediate Sewing Machine for Your Needs
The specific features of a machine are what will determine if it is the best intermediate sewing machine for you. A sewing machine can inspire your creativity or limit you from ever expanding your horizons. Think about the types of sewing that you want to do and the features that will make it easy for you to accomplish those projects.
Another consideration in choosing the best intermediate sewing machine is the brand name. Brother, Janome and Singer are some of the leading brands in sewing machines of all types. They also offer a variety of models that make it easy to find good quality at a price that is right for you. The models reviewed here are perfect examples of why you don’t have to sacrifice quality or performance to get a good value. Sewers repeatedly name these brands as their picks for the best intermediate sewing machines hands-down!