1

What is the Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine?

A commercial sewing machine is one that is built to handle heavier, thicker materials like leather and is more durable to handle more intense use. Jobs that cannot be performed on a regular sewing machine due to jamming or failure to pierce through fabrics can be handled with ease on the best heavy duty sewing machine. It is important to note that while a machine may be considered “commercial grade” it doesn’t mean it is designed for use in factories or other industrial settings.

Quick Recommendation

Janome is the big winner here. The robust Janome HD3000 model is our top pick for a heavy duty sewing machine and the Janome MB-4S is so well-liked that it's our one and only pick for a commercial embroidery machine.

Many home-based sewing businesses and sewers with special interests purchase the best industrial strength sewing machine they can find for home use. For this review, I chose the Singer CG590 and Janome HD3000 heavy duty sewing machines and the Janome MB-4S industry embroidery machine as the best machines of their kind in the industrial standard and embroidery categories.

Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machines

Singer CG590

The Singer CG590 Commercial Grade Sewing Machine is a surprisingly affordable sewing machine that is packed with convenient features.

  • It sews 1,100 stitches per minute so you can get professional results quickly without sacrificing quality.
  • A stainless steel bed plate will stand up to the punishment professional use demands.
  • It has 18 stitches built-in with four-step buttonhole, free arm capability and drop feed capability.

Singer has been a leading name in sewing machine manufacturers since 1851, a brand known for producing high quality machines that perform and last. Like standard sewing machines with the Singer name, this heavy duty sewing machine is certain to produce the professional quality projects that you want to undertake. The machine is 60% stronger than a standard machine and it easily sews through multiple layers or thick materials.

Janome is another leading name in sewing machine manufacturers including a number of models of standard, commercial and specialty area machines for use in a wide range of settings. Some of the features of this machine include:

  • 18 built-in stitches including a 1-step buttonhole.
  • Its metal interior parts make it one of the best heavy duty sewing machines.
  • Built-in one-hand needle threader
  • Selection dials for stitch type and stitch length
  • Reverse stitch lever
  • Snap-on presser feet with foot pressure adjustment

One of the most important features to look for in a heavy duty sewing machine is its weight. The purpose of the machine is not portability but sturdiness that will keep it secure while tackling large-scale projects. Machines should weigh a minimum of 10 pounds with heavier ones being the best choice.

At more than 24 pounds, the Janome HD3000 is easily the best heavy duty sewing machine based on weight alone! Combined with the Janome quality and the versatile features it offers, it is easily one of the best choices you could make for a heavy duty sewing machine.

Best Industrial Embroidery Machines

Janome MB-4S Commercial 4-Needle

It should come as no surprise that the best industrial embroidery machine comes from Janome. This machine is the ideal equipment for anyone who is looking to add quality to their creations or to start an embroidery business. It has many desirable features starting with the Remote Computer Screen. The RCS makes it easy to set-up your embroidery designs and make any changes you need without the need for additional controllers.

You never have to worry about inadequate lighting with this embroidery machine. The LED light provides precise lighting where you need it all the time. You have better control over your projects and always know exactly what your machine is doing.

The Janome MB-4S is also considered the best commercial embroidery machine for sewers who focus primarily on monogramming. The automatic thread cutter automatically cuts jump threads between letters so you have a clean, finished project as soon as the embroidery is complete.

One feature found on the Janome MB-4S that isn’t found on professional machines is the dedicated bobbin winding motor. This allows you to wind a new bobbin while you are stitching a design.

The machine has 10 fonts for monogramming and a choice of 2 or 3 letter monogramming. While those with minimal home projects in mind may not want to pay commercial monogram machine prices, the capabilities of this machine far exceed those you will get on any standard home embroidery machine.

Embroidery area tracing, USB memory key compatibility, and multi-language selection are just a few of the features that set this machine apart. It also offers 50 built-in designs, horizontal and vertical flip, and rotates in 1 and 90 degree increments.

The Janome MB-4S truly sets the standard for industrial embroidery machines by combining commercial grade construction and design with the computerized features that make it so easy to use. An embroidery speed of up to 800 spm 3MB of storage allows you to do up to 1,500,000 stitches or 100 designs all in record time! It is also compatible with Janome software for an even broader range of potential designs.

How to Choose the Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine for Your Needs

Performance, value, and features are often taken into consideration when determining the best heavy duty sewing machine overall. The ways that the machine will be used will also need to be considered before you can really determine which is the best commercial embroidery machine, heavy duty sewing machine, or monogramming machine for the individual.

Purchasing a good quality heavy duty sewing machine for regular sewing on a heavier scale is simple and affordable. The two machines listed here are the perfect example of why you don’t always have to pay more to get the best industrial strength sewing machine to use at home.

Your options are much broader when looking at commercial embroidery machines. There are a number of good quality home machines that include embroidery functions and the high-end industrial embroidery machines like the Janome MB-4S that has many more capabilities and power.

There is a large gap between the functionalities of these two types of machines and a big difference in the commercial monogram machine prices. The choice you make should be determined by a combination of personal preference and professional need.

What’s the Best Child’s Sewing Machine?

How to Choose a Child’s Sewing Machine

Once a child shows an interest in sewing, parents want to find a child’s sewing machine that will introduce them to the craft without investing a lot of money just in case their interest doesn’t blossom. There is no set age that kids typically start to look at sewing seriously and children of the same age differ greatly in their ability to follow directions as well as in dexterity.

Quick Recommendation

Safety first! With its finger guard to prevent stitching little fingers, the Fast Lane is our top pick for children's sewing machines. (It comes in colors other than Fuchsia, too.)

Choosing the best kid's sewing machine will depend on the child as well as the sewing machine’s features. For this review, I chose the line of Janome Hello Kitty machines including the models 15822 and 11706 and the LCD Screen Saving model as well as the Fast Lane which is also from Janome. Janome is considered by many sewers to make the best quality sewing machines for home use and they have the best variety of sewing machines targeted at children.

Sewing MachineJanome Hello Kitty 11706Janome Hello Kitty 15822Janome Hello Kitty 18750 LCD ComputerizedJanome Fuchsia Fast Lane
Size3/4FullFull1/2
Number of Stitches11245010
Finger GuardNoNoNoYes
Weight (lbs.)121411.65
Size (Inches)9 x 5 x 10.514.5 x 10.8 x 7.514.8 x 11 x 6.610.5 x 5.8 x 9
Stitch LengthUp to 4mmUp to 4mmUp to 7mm5mm
Easy Reverse Button?NoYesYesNo
Button holes?Yes, One-StepYes, One-StepYes, 3 One-StepYes, Four-Step
Free Arm?YesYesYesYes
Available Color(s)AquaWhite/RedWhiteFuchsia, Lavender, Yellow, Blue, More
Standard AccessoriesZig-Zag Foot, Sliding Buttonhole FootScrewdriver, Darning Plate, Plastic Bobbins, Needle Set, Buttonhole OpenerZig-Zag Foot, Sliding Buttonhole Foot, Specialized Bobbin, Satin Stitch Foot F2 Bobbins, Needle, Threader, Foot Control, Power Supply Cord, Instruction Manual
Price$$$$$$$$$
How to Choose the Best Machine for Your Child

Not surprisingly, many parents’ first concern in choosing a sewing machine is the safety of their child. The addition or absence of a finger guard is a point of controversy among sewers and parents alike. Of this list of the best sewing machines for kids, only the Fast Lane has a finger guard on the sewing foot to ensure little fingers don’t slip under the foot and get stitched! This is why smaller children will fare better with this model or with the Janome Hello Kitty 11706. While the latter does not have a finger guard, it is made so that the up position in the presser foot is not as high as in a normal machine so there simply isn’t enough room to stick fingers underneath.


Fuchsia Fast Lane

It is important to note that there are significant differences between these sewing machines which are made for kids and those that are full-size sewing machines made for adult use. Although adult supervision is always advised, a child’s sewing machine should be easy enough to use on their own from threading it, to selecting stitches, to guiding the fabric through the feeder. Often, people will purchase a full-size standard machine that has only basic stitches as an entry-level machine instead of purchasing one that is made especially for children thinking they will get a better quality machine that will last longer. In reality, the best kids’ sewing machine will often be more durable than a standard machine at a bargain price.


Janome Hello Kitty 11706

In addition, the fact that these are made on a full-scale is likely to mean that the features will be harder for kids to use effectively and safely. Full-size machines also operate with a faster stitch speed that can be difficult for kids to control.

The prices are not included in this review because they vary greatly from one retailer to another. In all instances, you can expect to pay significantly more for the Janome Computerized 18750 because of its sophisticated design. This is probably not going to be an optimal choice as a first-time sewing machine for kids of any age but it is a great choice for teens and older who have had some experience using a mechanical machine and are ready to advance to the next level. Although it includes a much larger range of options to choose from with 50 stitch types, the LCD screen instant selection and other features are geared towards ease-of-use.


Janome Hello Kitty 18750

Parents often find themselves turning to their child’s sewing machine for fast sewing jobs due to the ease and quality of sewing that makes it easier than using their standard sewing machine. Sometimes children’s sewing machines that are smaller and lightweight are also a better choice for taking classes. The Fuchsia Fast Lane is a great classroom tool since its 5-pound weight makes it highly portable. One thing to keep in mind with this model and the Hello Kitty 11706 is that neither model has an easy reverse button for finishing off seams.


Janome Hello Kitty 15822

The Janome Fast Lane is referred to as the “Fuchsia” Fast Lane at many locations but this is not the only color choice available. Kids can also choose from lilac, yellow, blue, teal and more colors to suit their personal taste. The different models of the Hello Kitty sewing machines offer a cute and colorful Hello Kitty print that kids love. The cartoon graphics and fun colors shouldn’t mislead you into thinking any of these children’s sewing machines are toys. All are made with the same quality workmanship and technology that the Janome name is known for.

Summary

Simplicity like that found in the Hello Kitty 11706 and the Fuchsia Fast Lane is what you should look for in a sewing machine for the smallest children who are just starting out. For older kids and those who are more advanced at sewing, the Hello Kitty 15822 and the Hello Kitty Computerized 18750 LCD are great choices that will work for all of their sewing projects as well.

2

What Is the Easiest Sewing Machine to Use?

Today’s sewing machines have evolved to include a selection of computerized monogramming, embroidering and quilting machines that allow sewers to expand their creative side. In fact, the market has grown to include all types, shapes and sizes of machines that include a diversity of functions.

Although the capabilities of these machines are impressive to almost any sewer, many people share the goal of finding the easiest sewing machine to use that will accomplish their needs. For this review, I chose the Brother PE770 embroidery machine, the Brother Designio monogramming machine, and the Singer Confidence Quilter as the easiest sewing machine to use for each specific sewing purpose.

Easiest Embroidery Machine to Use

Whether you will be using your machine to create clothing or crafts for you home and family or as an at-home embroidery business, you still want to find an easy to use embroidery machine that saves time. You don’t want to spend all of your time trying to figure out how to get the design you have on paper onto the fabric! The Brother PE770 5 x 7 inch Embroidery-Only machine fits the bill with a number of convenient features including a built-in memory.

PE-770

The PE770 has an expansive 5” x 7” field that makes it easy to work on large designs and lettering with less re-hooping. The fact that this is an easy to use embroidery machine doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a lot of features to offer.

  • It has 136 built-in embroidery designs
  • 6 lettering fonts
  • 10 frame shapes
  • 12 border styles to create

Additionally, you can use a flash drive to import more designs to the machine or insert your memory card into the built-in card slot. When you purchase or designs, just save them to memory until you want to use them again. There are also multiple editing features that allow you to alter designs to fit their destination.

The easiest sewing machine to use is always one that is easy to thread. The PE770 is easy to thread and it features an auto thread cutter that for stitching and trimming precision. Brother sewing machines are known for their quality, ease of use, and versatility.

Easiest Monogramming Machine to Use

Now that so many sewing machines are computerized, the line between embroidery and monogramming is much more blurred. If you want a machine that will primarily monogram, and you want to find the easiest monogramming machine to use, then simplicity is going to be key. One good choice is the Brother Designio Series DZ820E.

Designio Series DZ820E

The Designio is a designated embroidery with the following unique features:

  • Only machine that comes with two extra embroidery hoops
  • Starter kit
  • CD with 200 additional embroidery designs
  • It has 136 built-in embroidery designs
  • 6 lettering fonts
  • 120 frame pattern combinations
  • Built-in tutorials making it the easiest monogramming machine to use
  • Backlit LED touch screen

There are also numerous machines that incorporate embroidery and monogramming into regular sewing. In most cases, the easiest sewing machine to use is a dedicated sewing machine that doesn’t require you to change adjustments, thread, or CDs.

Easiest Quilting Machine to Use

Like embroidery, computerized machines are often used for quilting. Although the Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter is a combination sewing and quilting machine, it is still the easiest quilting machine to use for sewers at all levels.

The Confidence Quilter

The Confidence Quilter has 98 stitches built in and includes fully automatic one-step buttonholes. A programmable needle makes it simple to switch to quilting mode. The machine comes with four bonus quilting feet in addition to the general purpose pressure foot and an extension table to manage your quilting projects.

A quick set-up makes this the easiest quilting machine to use for a variety of sewing projects. The electronic twin needle control and adjustable stitch width/length give you more option for customizing your sewing and quilting projects.

How Computerized Sewing Machines Work

Many sewers who have never tried them find computerized sewing machines intimidating. When their goal is to find the easiest sewing machine to use, the idea of manipulating a computer doesn’t sound like the easiest option. In reality, the computer moves the various components of the machine to produce more accurate stitches for professional results. Many computerized machines made for home use produce results that are just as professional looking as those made by commercial sewing machines.

Some machines come with built-in designs that are accessed on the LCD screen. You simple select the stitch you want and the machine makes it. Depending on the specific machine, you may also have the option to edit the stitch to create custom designs.

You will also be able to access other stitch or embroidery and decal designs online. These are found on many online sites where they may be obtained for free or sold. Those machines that have a USB port or memory card slot are the easiest sewing machine to use to transfer new designs from the computer to the sewing machine. There are also some computers that can hook up directly to the internet to download the patterns directly into the memory.

These machines come in a wide range of prices and complexity that should also go into your decision about which one is right for your needs. If you want the easiest to use embroidery machine for occasional personal use, you won’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good quality machine. Always consider the brand name in your decision and stick with those that have a good reputation for providing consistent results and being durable.

Ready to step up to the next level? Check out the best intermediate sewing machines here.

Nothing is more enjoyable to a seamstress that having the tools to create unique designs. All of the machines listed in this review are considered the easiest sewing machine to use of their kind and should add to the creativity of your craft!

What is the Best Sewing Machine for Leather?

Selecting a leather sewing machine presents unique challenges. Most tabletop machines intended for home use lack the power and special features necessary to truly function as leather sewing machines, while industrial machines tend to be expensive and less user-friendly. This article compares three machines poised to bridge the gap, promising heavy duty results from tabletop machines.

Quick Recommendation

Possibly not as durable as the Janome machine, the Singer CG590 packs in so many features that it is our top pick if sewing leather is your prime concern.

Janome HD1000


With a cast aluminum body and simple lines, the Janome HD1000 radiates the sturdiness of sewing machines from an earlier era. Marketed as “Heavy Duty,” the HD1000 costs claims to be an affordable sewing machine for denim and leather.

Singer CG590


In the same price range as the Janome HD1000 is the Singer CG590. With a rigid metal frame, the CG590 promises to bring “Commercial Grade” results, including the ability to tackle difficult materials.


Toyota FSG325


While Toyota has been producing sewing machines since 1946, they’ve only been selling in the United States for the past few years. Like the other machines in this article, the Toyota FSG325 is positioned as a “Heavy Duty” machine intended for everything from crafting fine apparel to working multiple layers of leather and denim.

Sewing MachineJanome HD1000Singer CG590Toyota FSG325
Motor Power1.0 amp1.6 amp0.6 amp
Stitch Length4 mm6 mm5 mm
High Presser Foot?YesYesYes
Stitch Speed (in stitches per minute)8401,100800
Metal internal parts?YesNoNo

Motor Power


Motor strength is a critical consideration when sewing leather. While the Janome HD1000 is powered by a respectable 1.0 amp motor, the Singer CG590 boasts a 1.6 amp motor, one of the strongest available in a home sewing machine. The Toyota FSG325 comes in at the bottom with a 0.6 amp motor.

Stitch Length


Because sewing leaves permanent holes in leather, choosing a longer stitch length ultimately results in stronger seams. All three machines offer stitch lengths well above the standard 2.5 mm, with the Janome HD1000 topping out at 4 mm and the Singer CG590 extending to 6 mm. The Toyota FSG325 is a middle-of-the-road option with a maximum stitch length of 5 mm.

Tackling Thickness


Another important characteristic that helps qualify these models as leather sewing machines is their ability to handle thick material. The Janome HD1000, Singer CG590, and Toyota FSG325 all feature an extra-high presser foot lift that provides an additional ¼-inch of clearance when needed. To further accommodate thick fabrics, the Janome and Toyota machines allow the user to manually adjust the presser foot pressure. The Singer model takes this one step further and offers an automatic pressure system that adjusts to handle fabrics of varying thickness.

Stitch Speed


Like other leather sewing machines for sale, the Janome HD1000, Singer CG590, and Toyota FSG325 feature high stitch speeds, with the HD1000 reaching 840 stitches-per-minute and the Toyota FSG325 close behind at 800 stitches-per-minute. The Singer peaks at an impressive 1100 stitches-per-minute. To help handle these speeds, the Singer CG590 has a regulating dial that can be used to limit the speed when needed and both the Singer and Janome models include a finger guard to keep hands safely away from the needle.

Reliability


Reliability is one area where the Janome HD1000 shines. All three machines have a metal interior frame, but the Janome has also incorporated metal parts throughout. By comparison, the body and many other parts of the Toyota and Singer are plastic. Complaints related to needle alignment, tension issues, bobbin performance, jamming, and broken parts are common with the Singer CG590. Although not as widely maligned as the Singer, there is concern that Toyota’s choice to use plastic for important components such as the drive gear is problematic.

Looking for the best coverstitch sewing machine? Click here.


Recommendation - Singer CG590


The Janome HD1000, Singer CG590, and Toyota FSG325 each position themselves as the best home sewing machine for garment-weight leather in their price range. The Singer CG590 brings better specifications to the table nearly all the way around, although all three machines contain enough features to accomplish most home leather jobs. If you want a machine you can hand down to your grandchildren, Janome’s performance history, solid motor power, and reliability make it the best choice. However, the Singer has the best all-around set of features and it tends to be the cheapest of the three, making it a serious value if long-term reliability isn't your number one concern. 


What Is the Best Embroidery Machine?

Embroidery sewing machine feature

The best embroidery machine for you will depend on your skill level and what you plan to use the machine for. A beginner who is looking for a budget friendly home machine will vary greatly from someone who has an embroidery business.

Take a look at the guides below for a specialised look at each different use and the top machine for it:

Beginners

Just getting started with embroidery? Check out this article on the sorts of machines we recommend for those just starting out and what to look for.

Home business

If you own or are starting a home embroidery business, take a look at this article on the best machine for your unique needs with options for both commercial and home equipment.

In the hoop embroidery

Looking for the best "in the hoop" embroidery machines? We have a rundown of the best machines and their key features.

Home use

There are a lot of embroidery machines on the market for the home sewer, check out our table of the top machines available now. You can sort them by price, the embroidery area, rating and other important features you need to consider when making your choice.

Commercial/industrial/professional machines

If you're in business, you need a machine that can handle volume efficiently and precisely. Take a look at our table of currently available commercial machines that are all available online which means they can be shipped anywhere in the US.

Monogramming machines

If you want a machine specially for monogramming, whether for business or a hobby, essentially you need an embroidery machine but may like to look for more features specifically related to creating monograms. Take a look at our picks of the best one to suit your needs.

All of the sewing machines we recommend on Stitcher's Source are available to purchase online at Amazon.com. This is the top place we recommend to purchase a sewing machine online as they are a trusted e-commerce name which offers sewing machines at the best prices on both home/domestic and commercial equipment and ship all over the US.

Q&A with Alison

What Size Embroidery Machine Do I Need?

When it comes to the size of the embroidery machine, it’ll depend on what exactly you plan on embroidering with it. The main consideration will be the hoop size as that will determine how large your design will be able to be as you won’t be able to create a larger size. Hoop sizes start at about 4 by 4 inches and move up. If you’re planning on making very large designs, you’ll want to invest in a machine that offers a bigger hoop. The biggest hoops will be available on the more professional-grade machines.

What Machine Embroidery Thread is Best?

The key to finding the best machine embroidery thread is to focus on quality. Embroidery thread comes in metallic, cotton, polyester, rayon, and more. You can buy it in a variety of thicknesses and weights. The key is to find thread that is made well, and will not be as affected by age as lower quality materials. Good quality threads will not shred or break very much like lesser quality thread. Be sure to follow the directions on your machine and the design itself. Many designs will call for 40 weight thread. In the long run, bargain thread might not be as great a bargain if your design looks poorly quickly after being put into use.

Which Embroidery Machine has the Largest Hoop?

A professional-grade embroidery machine will offer the largest hoops available on the market. If you’re looking for a home machine that is more affordable than one of the professional-grade machines, Singer offers the XL400. This machine allows you to sew and create embroidery projects. The hoop on this machine will allow you to create designs that are 12 by 20 inches. Some machines, like the Berninas, allow for you to put in a larger hoop on the machine to customize it for larger designs.

What Embroidery Machine is Best for Hats?

If you’re looking to embroider hats, the best machines to consider for this type of project are single head, multi-needle machines. These offer a more open area to allow you to put your cap inside. Some even allow you to use a special accessory called a cap frame that will allow to embroider on baseball caps with minimum issue. If you’re looking to only embroider baseball hats and no other projects, it may be worthwhile to find a machine that offers the special cap frame.

What Embroidery Machine is Mac Compatible?

People love their Mac computers, but sometimes they find that they aren’t compatible with every program that they like to use. The same is true with a lot of the embroidery machines available on the market today. One place to look if you want to use your Mac for your designs is with Brother. Brother offers MacBroidery Software that will allow you to create your designs using your Mac computer. There are some other software types available that will allow you to use your Mac in addition to Brother’s software. Keep in mind, these often need to be purchased separately from your machine. There are some machines that doesn’t require to be hooked up to a computer as they can run independent of a computer, which could be useful for a Mac user.

What Brand of Embroidery Machine is the Best?

The majority of brand name embroidery machines are all top quality. Singer, Brother, Janome, and Bernina are all names that are well-known for producing great sewing and embroidery machines. Often, it comes down to personal preference for what machine is best. Consider the fact that these brands often have a wide variety of models to choose from in addition to competing with each other for who is best. Check out the user reviews for the particular models that offer the features you’re looking for to determine the best brand and model for you.

What Machine Embroidery Needle to Use?

When it comes to machine embroidery needles, the smaller the size, the more accurate the stitch. The best size is 70 to 80. The key to finding the right needle will also depend on the fabric that you’re using for the project. The perfect needle will go through the fabric without damaging it or the thread along with the needle not flexing too much. Also, be sure to change out your needles when they start to show any signs of wear and not just when they break. This will improve how well the needle will stitch your design.

How Much are Embroidery Machines?

The cost of embroidery machines are dependent on the type of machine that you’re looking to buy when it comes to the size and amount of embroidery that you’re planning on doing with it. You can find smaller embroidery machines for small home projects and crafts at just a couple hundred dollars. These machines aren’t going to offer the same quality designs as the more expensive machines, but are good enough if you’re looking to decorate a bib for a new arrival to your family or other smaller projects. The more quality and speed that you’re looking to get from your embroidery machine will up the cost of it. There are professional-grade embroidery machines available on the market for over 20,000 dollars that are more suitable if you’re looking to create an embroidery empire.

7

What is the Best Coverstitch Sewing Machine?

Coverstitch sewing machines are used to create a professional-looking hem to garments and evenly apply trims to flat seams. They are especially handy for people who like to make clothes from knit fabrics and need to make seams that retain some stretch. The coverstitch sewing machine works with either one, two or three needles on top and a thread looper below that weaves thread through the stitches to form a double-locking chain.

Quick Recommendation

Great for hobbyists, home professionals and everything in between, the Juki MO-735 is our top pick for a coverstitch sewing machine. 

Sewing is done from the top of the material with the fabric edge underneath and it creates a single straight stitch for every needle that is used on the top and a chain stitch over the raw edge below. I chose Coverstitch machines from Brother and Janome and a hybrid coverstitch/serger machine from Juki for this review to provide a variety of options in feature and cost.

Coverstitch MachineBrother 2340CVJanome CoverPro 1000CPXJuki MO-735
Max Stitch Width6mm6mm5mm
Presser FootAdjustableAdjustableAdjustable
Max Speed (stitches/minute)1,1001,0001,500
Special FeaturesJanome’s Seam Tightening System™Multiple Stitch Options Including 5-Thread Safety Stitch, Sews Heavy and Difficult-to-Feed Materials
Number of Needles1, 2 or 31, 2 or 32, 3, 4 or 5
Price$$$$$$$$
Level of ExpertiseHobbyist/EnthusiastEnthusiast/ProfessionalEnthusiast/Professional
WarrantyLimited 1-Year parts and labor, 5 years for electric5 Years mechanical, 2 Year Electric, 90 days on material or workmanshipLimited 2-Years on motors, light assembly, wiring, switches and speed control, Limited 5-years on all other parts
Country of ManufactureTaiwanJapan, Taiwan, ThailandJapan
How to Choose the Coverstitch Machine That Is Right for You

The first thing to consider when comparing these three models is the features that they all have in common. Each machine has differential feed which allows you to change the setting for how much material is fed through the machine. Adjusting the knob for this setting will help you prevent “tunneling” that can occur between stitches or put light gathering into garments where it is wanted. Both the Brother and Janome machines can be used with one, two or three needles while the Juki takes stitching to a whole new level! The combination of serger and coverstitch features make it the most versatile machine available.


Juki MO-735

Many people disagree about the advantage of combining the functions of a serger with those of a coverstitch sewing machine. Many find them more difficult to thread and to switch from one function to the other. The Juki MO-735 is no exception but once the technique is mastered, the process becomes much faster and easier.

Another complaint many buyers share about the Juki MO-735 is that the instruction manual is difficult to impossible to understand. Fortunately, the instructions on YouTube make it much easier to thread the machine and use the different stitches.

The Problem with Overlock/Serger Machines

When overlock machines, or sergers, were first introduced on the market, one of the biggest problems many people had with them was threading. A single mistake in threading any of the three or four spools of thread could result in poor stitch quality. Not only was it difficult to find the problem in the threading guide, there was always the potential for the poor stitching to be from inaccurate tension settings. I know this firsthand because I took my first serger out to the trash dumpster and happily threw it in after two repairs and numerous attempts to thread it without any success.


Janome CoverPro 1000CPX

Although a coverstitch sewing machine is threaded in much the same way as a serger, there have been many improvements since the original models. They also differ in that the coverstitch machine creates a coverstitch on the bottom of the fabric and it doesn’t cut the material off as the seam is sewn. The Juki MO-735 is the only machine in this review that allows you to choose between the overlock and coverstitch functions.

Both the Brother and Janome machines use three needles and three spools of thread. All three machines are color-coded to simplify the threading process and, like the Juki, videos are available on YouTube to help you thread and use the Brother and Janome machines.


Brother 2340CV

All three of these coverstitch sewing machines are from leading brands of regular sewing machines so that you may already have a favorite. Going by brand alone may be all you need to make the right choice as long as you will be using the coverstitch machine for the same level of work that you use your regular sewing machine.

Recommendations

If you want a machine that will make it easier to hem the knit garments you make for yourself, the Brother 2340CV will probably meet your needs. If you are going to take on the job of making leggings for your daughter’s gymnastics team, you may want to move up to the Janome CoverPro. For use in a home business of making custom leggings, the Juki MO-735 is the closest thing to a commercial Coverstitch sewing machine that you can buy for the home.

Most sewers find that a coverstitch machine makes a valuable addition to their sewing room. For those who make knit garments or who need a tool that will help them create a smoother curved hem, no other type of sewing machine will meet the demand better. It is the frequency of use and the need for the most professional results that should guide you in making your choice. Once you have determined your need for durability and quality performance, look at the differences in features that will impact your sewing needs. Sometimes the smallest detail can make a big difference in the quality of your results.

Looking for the best child's sewing machine? Click here.

Summary

Every coverstitch sewing machine is designed to give a professional finish to the garments you make. The difference between the three models reviewed here is in their ability to consistently accomplish that goal. The right machine for your use should fit your personal or professional sewing needs as well as your budget. The information provided here should help you decide the level of performance and extent of durability that you will need from the machine you purchase.

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Finding the Best Monogramming Machine

If you’re looking for a machine to sew monograms, you need an embroidery machine as this piece of equipment will do not only monograms, but other embroidery designs as well. So once you get a sewing machine for monogramming, you’ll also have the option to do other sorts of embroidered designs with it.

Quick Recommendations

The huge easy-on embroidery area of the Singer Futura XL-400 makes it a great machine for monogramming.

If you want to go top-of-the-line though, the Brother PE770 is an absolutely exceptional monogramming and embroidery machine.

We’ve taken a look at the best reviewed embroidery machines to use for monogramming both for home use and commercial/professional use. If you're looking specifically for a monogram decal machine, we have reviewed those as well.

Home/Domestic Use

If you’re just looking to do monograms on personal items, gifts, home decor or other craft projects, a home embroidery machine with the right features is all you need to create great monograms. Each embroidery machine comes with different levels of features specifically for monogramming. If you would like to get more creative with the monograms you create beyond the features on your machine, you can use a monogramming software program to get different fonts and designs.

Take a look at our table of the best home embroidery machines to help you choose one or we've already selected the easiest monogramming machine to use.

Commercial/Professional Use

If you’re looking for a machine for commercial/professional use, you can get started with a higher end home embroidery machine, however if you will be doing large volumes, a commercial machine offers the durability and efficiency you need.

As monogramming is usually only done in a single or small amount of colours, a commercial single head, 6 needle machine will be sufficient. The more expensive commercial machines with up to 15 needles are really only needed if you will be doing other embroidered designs that may have a number of colours in them. You can still use a 6 needle machine for embroidery that has larger amounts of colours in them, it just means the thread needs to be changed more often.

Take a look at our table of commercial embroidery machines where you can sort them by price, number of needles, number of heads and other features.

Q&A with Alison

How Much Are Monogramming Machines?

Monogramming machines can vary greatly when it comes to cost as there are a variety of features that they may have included with them, and if you’re looking for top of the line, you’ll be paying a premium. You can choose to purchase a machine that is intended for home use or one that is commercial grade. The price range can vary anywhere from 300 to 5,000 dollars. The lower end of the price point is going to those monogramming machines intended for home use as they tend to be slower and not have as many features as the commercial grade machines will offer.

Are Monogramming Machines Hard to Use?

If you already know how to use a sewing machine, the learning curve to start using your monogramming machine shouldn’t be too steep depending on the model that you purchase. Also, some allow for you to use computer programs to create your monogram designs, so your level of expertise will also determine how hard or easy it is for you to get started with a computer. The good news is that many of these models come with instructional guides and videos that you can use to get up to speed on your particular model. If you find that the instructions are lacking, you may want to check out YouTube or other online sources for helpful tutorials. Your dealer can be another potential source of information as some may offer classes.

When Monogramming Which Letter Goes in the Middle?

Traditionally, when monogramming a woman’s initials or a couple’s initials, the middle letter that is usually larger than the other two letters will be their last name. So, for Jane Ann Johnson, the initials would read JJA. A couple’s monogram for her and John Edward Doe would be JDJ. After her marriage, her initials would be her middle name and maiden name rather than her middle name, so it would be JDJ. Traditionally for men’s monograms, it can either be his initials in order or his last name in the middle. If the initials are in order, the middle letter is typically not larger than the other letters.

What Does a Monogramming Foot Do?

A monogramming foot can turn a sewing machine into a monogramming machine. It will attach to the sewing machine, and allow the user to see the stitches that are being made because it’s larger than the traditional foot on the sewing machine. It can also be used for other decorative stitches, creating eyelets, hemming, scallops, and heirloom stitches.

What is Cypher Monogramming?

Ciphers are letters in groups of two or more that have been combined in an artistic fashion, but the viewer can still identify the letters that create the cipher. These letter patterns are usually shown to be overlapping or they may be intertwined with each other. While they do connect, they do not share any parts with the other letters they are combined with in the cipher. This makes the letters distinct, but they may be formed in a particular shape to make the cipher work, such as two Os connected together like the Olympic rings with artistic flourishes.

What is Blind Monogramming?

Blind monogramming is when a monogram is embossed on leather without any foil or other other coloring to leave a contrast to the leather and the monogram. The monogram is just the indent that was made with the leather, and can be felt along with being seen as an indent hence the terminology of it being blind. There may be some burnishing in the area where the monogram was made, but that will be about it when it comes to color changes. This is considered a more classic style that is a subtle way of adding initials to items.

How Hard is Monogramming?

Learning how to monogram is taking up a new skill, and if you’re not familiar with sewing and sewing machines it may be a little more difficult for you to pick up, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily hard. The key to becoming a good monogrammer is that you need to practice with your machine when it comes to getting the design to fit into the hoop just right and the placement on the items you’re monogramming. Jumping right into using a new machine without practicing is sure to net you some mistakes, so take the time to learn your monogramming machine.

How do Monogramming Machines Work?

A monogramming machine works by taking the preprogrammed or software fonts, and then stitching your design. Each machine may work a little differently when it comes to the number of needles that it uses to create the design. For your part, you’ll start by creating your design. Then, you’ll use a hoop to center where you want your monogrammed design to sit on the item that you’re monogramming, and then, put the machine to work. Unlike a sewing machine, you shouldn’t have to guide the fabric or change the stitches. Most machines will handle this for you.

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The Best Embroidery Machines for Beginners

If you're looking to get into machine embroidery, whether you're an experienced sewer wanting to expand your skill set or are a complete beginner who has never sewn a stitch on any type of machine before, you've come to the right place to find the best embroidery machines for a beginner to get started with.

When recommending a machine, I always tell people to remember that you won't be a beginner/novice forever, so you'll need a machine that will accomodate you while you learn about embroidery as well as have everything to satisfy your creativeness as your skills improve.

The great thing about machine embroidery is that it doesn't require a lot of personal skill/patience like sewing does. The learning you will need to do is about how to operate and set up the machine. Luckily with so many good embroidery machines on the market these days, you can get your machine and embroider your first design with very little effort. My top pick machine to do just that is the....

Brother SE400 combination sewing and embroidery machine

Currently on sale for around $300 on Amazon, this is a great, budget friendly, all round machine that does both sewing and embroidery. Excellent if you are brand new to sewing, as you get a quality, easy to use sewing and embroidery machine in one. Some of it's features include a 4 x 4-inch embroidery area, backlit LCD display screen, 67 different sewing stitches, 70 in-built embroidery patterns, 5 fonts and the most important feature in an embroidery machine - the ability to connect to a computer so you can import designs from your computer.

With an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 from over 550 reviews, you can't go wrong with this machine.

Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon.com

To find more of the best machines and compare them based on their features, ratings and price points, take a look at this table which should also make your hunt for the perfect machine a little easier.

What Is the Best Home Embroidery Machine?

There are a lot of embroidery sewing machines on the market these days for the home sewer, each with different features, accessories and price points to suit different budgets. This page is for the all-around best choices in home embroidery machines. We also have reviews for the best embroidery machine for beginners and the easiest embroidery machines to use.

Quick Recommendation

A consistent performer across many categories of embroidery, the Brother PE-770 is our top pick in embroidery machines overall.

To help you choose the best one for your needs, we've compared the top rated machines currently available based on reviews from real users. Using the arrows at the top of each column you can sort the machines based on price and other important features. For an explanation of each column, take a look at the key at the bottom of the table.

To find out more about a machine or to purchase it online, simply click on the picture of the machine you are interested in.

Best Embroidery Machines for Home Use Comparison

Embroidery machineEmbroidery & Sewing?Max Embroidery AreaConnectivityPriceRatingDesign Editing?Built-in Memory# Built-in Designs

Brother SE400 Embroidery Machine
Yes4" x 4"USB cable$4.6 NoNo70

Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine
Embroidery only5" x 7"USB port and memory card slot$$4.5YesYes136

Singer Futura XL-550 Embroidery Machine
Yes12" x 20"Memory card$$$$4.8YesYes125

Janome 350E Embroidery Machine
Embroidery only5.5" x 7.9"USB port$$$$4.2YesYes100

Brother PE525 Embroidery Machine
Embroidery only4" x 4"USB cable$4.4NoNo70

Key

Price - As prices can change to retailer sales and promotions, the exact price hasn't been included.
$ = $0-$500
$$ = $501-$1000
$$$ = $1001-$1500
$$$$ = $1501-$2000
$$$$$ = $2001 +

Embroidery only or sewing and embroidery
Embroidery only - the machine is specialised for embroidery only
Embroidery and sewing - the machine is both a sewing and embroidery machine

Max embroidery area - The maximum area the machine can embroider on

Connectivity - This is how the machine can be connected to other devices, usually for the purpose of importing embroidery designs, fonts etc.

Rating - the average user rating by people who own the machine on Amazon.com

Design editing - Denotes if the machine is capable of completing simple tasks like reducing or increasing the size of a design, mirroring or rotating the image etc. without the need to connect to another device. The onboard design editing features may include only one of these capabalities or a lot more not mentioned, so check out the actual specifications of a machine by clicking on it's image to see more detail about what exactly it is capable of.

Built in memory - Built in memory on an embroidery machine allows you to save custom edited or imported designs directly on the machine.

# Built in designs - This is the number of designs that are already loaded onto the machine.

Go to our main embroidery page>>

What to Look for When Shopping for Embroidery Machines

Picking the perfect embroidery machine isn't only important from a technical perspective, because can also be considered as a form of investment. If you're one of those who doesn't know what embroidery machine they're going to pick from the store, allow us to help you with that as we present some of the useful tips when it comes to buying an embroidery machine.

1. Look for the Best Brands

The most important aspect when it comes to choosing the best embroidery machine is being familiar with the best brands available in the market. Make it a habit to check the manufacturer's forums and blogs to get a feel of customer satisfaction. If possible, try to look for a dealer that specializes with customer support, because this would give you the confidence that you'll be happy with your purchase.

2. Check the Throat Width

Some latest models have throat widths that rival traditional embroidery machines because the former offers more room for the user to move around, and it also allows the use of bigger hoops. Not just that, it's also perfect for quilting of any kind of fabric.

3. What Kind of Support Is Available?

When it comes to picking an embroidery machine, it's very important to check if there's a machine dealer that supports the brand of your machine within the area. These people can help you use the machine with ease, service it, and get the supplies you need.

4. Is the Embroidery Unit Separate From the Sewing Machine?

A lot of embroiders prefer this, because an embroidery unit that can be separated from the sewing machine means that you are allowed to quilt and embroider. It's also a practical way for those who are thinking of getting a sewing machine, because this model would allow them to add embroidery capabilities whenever they're ready.

5. Ways to Get the Embroidery Designs

Would there be a need for additional software or hardware just to use the designs from the Internet and into your machine? Likewise, how are you going to transfer the designs from your laptop to your embroidery machine?

6. The Embroidery Format the Machine Uses

Embroidery designs come in various formats for the different brands of sewing machine. As a buyer, it's very important to make it a point that the format your brand uses is widely available in your place. If it's not, then you would have to check what software can be used as an alternative.

7. The Services and Warranty of the Embroidery Machine

Generally, most embroidery dealers have trained technicians on site, and these professionals would be available right when you need your machine to be serviced or cleaned. As much as possible, see to it that the embroidery machine you're going to purchase belongs to the brand that dealers would be willing service.

Final Words

No doubt, embroidery machines are really capable of producing remarkable results, but in order to get a good one, you should be willing to invest in it. The tips discussed above can help you find the right embroidery machine for you.

Sources:

1) https://www.secretsof.com/content/615

2) quiltbug.com/articles/sewing-machine.htm

3) www.swfeast.com/choosing-the-right-embroidery-machine

What’s the Best Sewing Machine for Beginners?

Sewing machines for beginnersIf you want to start sewing at home whether as a hobby or professionally, you’ve come to the right place. The machine you pick to begin with can really make a difference to the progress you make as a novice sewer.

When you’re choosing a machine as a beginner, also remember that you won’t be a beginner forever! You need a machine that will make your entry into the world of sewing as easy as possible, but that will also serve you well as you become more advanced. Some people think that starting with the cheapest machine possible is the way to go, and they may even start with a handheld sewing machine just to dip their toe in the water. I think that’s a bad idea though because those very inexpensive machines are often harder to use and may frustrate beginners.

So here goes, the top three sewing machines for beginners:

#1. Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

This is the #1 pick for so many reasons, you get A LOT for the price of this machine:

Easy to use – With an automatic needle threader, drop-in bobbin system and one-touch automatic thread cutter, you’ll spend less time fiddling with the machine and more time sewing.

600 built-in stitches! – While you might not use them all to begin with, as you sew more and more projects, your creativity is unlimited with this many stitches.

Control the sewing speed – This machine is capable of 850 stitches per minute (this is higher than average) so you can go fast, or while you’re still beginning use the slow sewing speed option to help you control your work.

There are so many more features that make this a great machine both while you’re a beginner but will serve you extremely well once you gain more experience. Click here to read the reviews from 300+ sewers and get the best price.

#2. Brother Project Runway CE7070PRW 70-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Wide Table 

This is a great quality machine for the price you pay and you won’t feel the need to upgrade any time soon. A few of the features:

70 built in stitches and 7 one step buttonholes – There are a nice selection of stitches for clothing, decorative, heirloom and quilting. 7 different one step button holes that are automatically set to fit the size of your button makes button holes easy.

Wide table for extra work space – The wide table is a great addition and makes sewing large items like clothing and quilts alot easier, particularly when you’re a beginner as it means the fabric stays in place with less handling.

Great stitch quality Now if you’ve never bought or used a sewing machine before, you may think they all stitch the same. Not the case at all. I’ve used cheaper machines over the years and they are nothing but frustrating. If a sewing machine doesn’t form a stitch correctly and consistently, your seams can come apart, not sit flat or pucker among other problems. This Brother has a great consistent stitch quality.

Click here to read 85+ reviews from both beginner and experienced sewers who have this machine and get the best price

#3. Janome 7330 Magnolia Computerized Sewing Machine

Janome has long been one of the most reliable names in the sewing industry, and the Magnolia 7330 is no exception to the quality you would expect from Janome.

While each machine in our top 3 is sturdy and durable, the Janome has the best durability of the 3. In a lot of reviews you’ll see words like ‘great workhorse’ mentioned and we totally agree. It has a good amount of features, while not being too overwhelming for a beginner. If you don’t need a heap of fancy stitches, this is the machine we would suggest. Some of its features include:

Double lift presser foot – perfect when you need the extra room under the foot for thick and or multiple layers of fabric

Computerized stitch selection – 30 decorative stitches and 6 one step automatic button holes

Time saving features – one press button for locking stitch, reverse, needle up/down and start and stop.

Next…the best quilting machines reviewed>>