I was planning on waiting until after Thanksgiving to start our Gifts for Sewists posts, but I've had a lot of inquiries about machines in the past week, so we're bumping this one up! The links below are Amazon Affiliate Links, but every item I recommend is because I wholeheartedly believe it's worth your money. I won't ever recommend something that I haven't personally tried out or own. I'm not compensated in any way by the makers of these products, just a sewing nerd that wants everyone to have good stuff! So first up... THE MACHINE.
Machines are pretty personal and experienced sewists have major brand loyalty. I've always sewn on a Singer and think they are fantastic machines. At our classes and parties I exclusively use the Singer 4423 Heavy Duty and I recommend it for any beginner sewist. Why I love it:
It's durable. We schlep these ladies from class to party to my house and back to classes all the time. They stand up beautifully. You may not be moving yours around that much, but it's good to have a machine that won't get all finicky on you as you learn.
It's basic. There aren't a lot of bells and whistles to this machine. It's mechanical so there's no computer to break which means the repair costs, if and when you need them, will be significantly less.
It's has all the necessary stitches: straight stitch, stretch stitches (good for sewing garments), decorative stitches and a 4 step buttonholer.
It's heavy duty. This kind of goes along with durable, but it also means that when you're testing it's limits and shoving multiple layers of canvas through it-- it will hold up. I want new sewists to be adventurous and creative and not worry too much about what their machine can handle. This machine can handle it. (I tried sewing a couple of layers of leather... THAT it didn't like, but that's the extent of it).
It's great for all ages. We have kids and adults sew on these machines. It's tempting to by ones that are marketed to kids, but they aren't always a high quality and this is a machine they will have for years.