Cover Image: The Best Sewing Machines for Making Clothes & Dressmaking

Sharing is caring!

Are you interested in making your own clothes at home? Are you searching for the perfect sewing machine for the job? If you’re ready to make your creative visions come to life and personalize your wardrobe, your first task will be getting a great machine.

There are many benefits that come from creating your own clothes. Maybe you already have an idea of which type of machine you want. Maybe you’re buying a machine for your relative or are completely new to sewing. Whatever the case, the traits of a quality machine are non-negotiable.

Your machine needs to have quality ergonomics, be sturdy yet lightweight for easy transportation, and it must provide adequate light to work with. In addition, it has to fit into your sewing space, have a pressure foot that easily responds without stalling, and controls that are user-friendly. The displays must be readable and ideally, multiple layers of material can fit under and around the machine’s pressure foot.

The Best Sewing Machines for Making Clothes

  1. SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist
  2. Janome 8077 Computerized Machine
  3. Brother cs6000i Sewing Machine
  4. SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Machine

SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist

SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist

This machine offers 600 built-in stitching options, 13 one-step, automatic buttonholes, and five fonts to choose from, offering endless possibilities. The SINGER 9960 has a sturdy metal frame that holds the machine in place, meaning skip-free sewing for you.

“I was thoroughly impressed that it took just a few minutes to get everything up and running for my project,” said Shannon at Quilter’s Review. “I should stop right here and mention that thread is self-cutting, so you don’t have to worry about grabbing your scissors and cutting the thread each and every time you’re finished.”

The SINGER 9960 has a stainless steel bed plate which provides even sewing with its smooth feed of fabric. The machine is made in China, comes with an automated needle threader, and has a drop-in, top bobbin system for easy and quick setup. Activate the automated thread cutter with just a single touch. This will trim the lower and upper threads when necessary for easier and faster sewing.

Odds are, you won’t use a lot of the stitches included, but if you have advanced projects or do quilting, all of the options will be great. You will find a stitch editing function on the machine for mirror imaging and elongation, which lets you control how the stitch pattern will look. Use the LCD screen for choosing stitch type, width, and length.

This allows you to see the stitch you choose and the advisor even tells you the presser foot best suited for the stitch you desire. The machine comes with 18 free presser feet. It has automatically controlled tension and speed control. Use the speed level to choose which speed you want, whether it’s slow or maximum speed.

This is great for beginners who are still learning the importance of controlling sewing speed. It’s also important for projects that require a slower speed for tightness and tension in the fabric. In heavy fabrics, such as upholstery, going too fast can break the needle.

You can make buttonholes effortlessly on this device and make use of the programmable patterns that may be added or edited. The product offers easy hemming and a sewing area that is extra large. Use the provided extension table for quilting items and enjoy the extra room.


Janome 8077 Computerized Machine

Janome 8077 Computerized Sewing Machine

The Janome 8077 comes with an automated needle threader so you don’t have to strain your eyes anymore. Use the bright LED screen for selecting stitches and enjoy the easy selection of the 30 built-in options. It also has free arm capability and easy adjustments to the width and length of stitches.

“Most users like the reliability you get with the Janome name and this machine truly does excellent stitch work,” said Erin at Erin Says Sew. “It sews straight with little guidance, provides consistent power, and is easy to use.”

The machine offers a drop feed and has an excellent feeding system, with a start/stop button for sewing free from foot control. You’ll also find price tension for threading and an easy button for reversing stitches. The manual that comes with the device has a user-friendly layout full of quality information.

Setting the machine up is simple and hassle-free if you follow the instructions well. You can have the machine up and be sewing within an hour or less. Even those who are used to manual machines will find this device intuitive and easy to use and can get their sewing projects done much quicker than usual.

If you’re completely new to sewing and want to learn, this is a great starter machine, as well. It’s a workhorse and usable with generic, universal sewing feet. If you want to use the device for making quilts, you might have to purchase a walking foot to get the 1/4-inch seam that is needed for quilting.

For those who love to sew, the most difficult or tiresome part is often just preparing the machine by checking thread tension, pulling the bobbin thread up, or winding the bobbin. Thankfully, the Janome 8077 makes all of this super easy. Although it doesn’t have as many stitches as other machines, it makes up for this in sturdiness and reliability.

When you’re new to sewing, you’ll quickly learn that when you sew off the fabric’s edge, the thread on sewing a machine can jam up quite fast. That’s not an issue with this product, however, which has a jam-free bobbin system. The top thread deliver is horizontal, reducing the risk of thread breakage and delivering thread a lot more smoothly than older machines.


Brother cs6000i Sewing Machine

Brother cs6000i

If you are looking for something suitable for a large range of quilting or sewing projects, the Brother cs6000i is a great choice. It’s value-packed, versatile, and highly customizable.

“For the price, you are getting a lot of features and attachments that you would normally find on machines that are quite a bit more expensive,” said Grandma likes to Sew. “In fact, you’ll probably find that you likely won’t ever need to purchase another attachment for this machine; as it comes with pretty much every accessory and foot you will ever need.”

Use the LCD display screen to adjust the width and length of stitches and to select stitch type and the stop/start button to sew without foot controls. You can adjust the speed of your sewing with the variable speed adjustment capability. The arm of the machine has a compartment for storing your accessories.

Accessing and setting your bobbin thread has never been easier with the quick-set, jam-resistant drop-in bobbin. You won’t have to fish for the thread anymore. Included with your purchase are a bilingual instruction manual, a limited, 25-year warranty, and free, indefinite customer phone support. Please note that this machine should not be used in countries without 120V, even if you have an adapter.

This computerized machine is so user-friendly that even complete beginners can start sewing very quickly. The manual is detailed, easy to follow, and offers all the information necessary to do whatever you want with your projects.

You will find some extras included with the Brother cs6000i, such as a twin needle, accessory pouch with a set of needles, a spoon pin, three bobbins, a cleaning brush, screwdriver, seam ripper, and more. You’ll also get a variety of accessory feet, including a quilting foot, walking foot, blind stitch foot, zipper foot, overcasting foot, and more.

If you enjoy quilt-making, you’ll love the extra-wide sewing table included on the device. It’s also suitable for a wide variety of other sewing projects. Not only does this sewing machine offer precise stitching, but it’s surprisingly quiet for how powerful it is. Even though it’s inexpensive, it doesn’t sound inexpensive.

The performance and speed of the Brother cs6000i are impressive and the product also allows you to adjust the needle speed. Beginners can start out slowly and go faster as they gain confidence.


SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Machine

SINGER 7258

If you’re looking for a wide variety of stitching patterns, adjustable speeds for sewing projects, and simple, push button selection for stitches, the SINGER 7258 has it all. It’s 12 by 7.5 by 15 inches, meaning it will fit well in most work spaces.

“Anyone with a limited budget will find this machine very satisfying,” said Sewing Made Simple. “At under 20 pounds, it is easy to move around and use in different locations. While Singer doesn’t classify it as a basic machine, it’s easy enough for beginners to figure it out and use.”

Enjoy the automated needle threader and bright LED lamp for illuminating your projects. The SINGER 7258 has twin needle capacity, a durable plastic body, and a frame made of sturdy aluminum. Please note that this machine should only be used in Canada or the United States.

This machine is electronic, with electronic stop and start options, allowing you to sew without a foot pedal. The bobbin system is jam-proof and loads from the top, offering a clear cover so you can see what’s going on. The device’s electronics are at the front, with six operating buttons and a display panel. Select your stitches with a simple button.

For those of you who are used to using older machines, you’ll be happy to know that this product has all of the features you’ve grown familiar with over the years, plus some new ones. Older machines typically don’t come with self-threading needles or automatic thread cutters, so these are welcome additions for most users.

Make your own clothes with this useful product or even your own handbags. The SINGER 7258 easily stitches through four layers of heavy fabrics, such as denim. For those who enjoy making clothing out of knit fabric, the machine offers stretch stitches that are perfect for the job. The storage compartment for accessories is very useful, though some users may wish it were slightly bigger.

This product is solid and offers you everything for just starting out with sewing. Keep in mind that it was built to be lightweight so the lever and pedal are not metal, but plastic. This may take some getting used to for those who are accustomed to all-metal machines. You may also need to take a little time to get used to threading the bobbin, but it’s not very hard.


Making Your Own Clothes: Mistakes to Avoid

So, you’re understandably excited to get started on making your own clothes, but how are you to know that you’re doing it right? To start with, you can avoid these rookie mistakes:

  • Top Stitching and Folding Under Necklines: This is a common mistake and involves top stitching or folding under an armhole or neckline, rather than using a bias binding or facing. This is the quickest way to give away the fact that your clothes are homemade. It’s impossible to get quality results from top stitching on an armhole or neckline and turning under your seam allowance. This will lead to ripples and waviness in your final garments, even if the rest was stitched perfectly. Adding a bias binding or facing does take longer, but it will look so much better.
  • Not Finishing your Seams: It’s important for your garment to look neat inside as well as outside. It may seem as though unfinished seams don’t matter much since the outside is the part that is visible. However, if you leave them unraveling, that’s a huge problem. You’ll likely have to cut extra threads each time you want to wear what you made, but you might even get a hole after a while. Make sure you learn about seam finishes to avoid this issue.
  • Using the Incorrect Seam Finish: Doing this is another dead giveaway that you are wearing homemade clothes. Say you’re making chiffon clothing, which is see-through. For this, you should use a French seam, which will enclose the allowances and offer a neat, uniform appearance free from unraveling issues. Chiffon unravels easily, so you must enclose the seams.

Please keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with adding a bit of hand stitching to your finished product. Usually, the hem is the last part you’ll do. Most people will be tempted to use the machine for this part since it’s much faster. However, if you take some extra time and hand stitch this area, you’ll be glad you did.