Looking for a sewing machine for denim or jeans can be a very exciting thing. There are so many amazing machines to choose from.
I also love that we can pick more affordable sewing machines for denim, like those from Singer and Brother.
But we can certainly find some impressive and expensive machines like the ones from Janome or Juki.
I just love it when I can review sewing machines to match all budgets, which is not always the case. For example, when I gave my recommendation for sewing machines with automatic thread cutter, those picks were all quite expensive. No models that cost $200 or less in that case.
The same happened when I was looking for large throat sewing machines for quilting.
However, when we’re looking for the best sewing machine for denim, there are plenty of affordable models we can check out.
While denim is not a lightweight or medium weight fabric, it can still be handled by a wide variety of sewing machines.
It’s also not absolutely necessary to buy a heavy duty machine, like it is the case if we’re looking for the best sewing machine for leather.
Of course, a heavy duty machine can be considered a top choice as a sewing machine for denim. And I will review at least a couple because they’re extremely versatile, capable, durable, pretty easy to use even for beginners, and just overall amazing.
Singer also has a short guide on fabrics and the needles we must use for each type of fabric.
Choosing the right needle and thread goes a long way in ensuring that your machine can sew as it should.
Best Sewing Machine for Denim Reviews
I’ve already mentioned that I’m going to review a couple of heavy duty models because they’re some of the best sewing machines for denim. And for a bunch of other fabrics, whether they’re light, medium or heavy weight.
One of my favorites and what’s going to be my top recommendation is the Singer Heavy Duty 4423. It’s totally capable of sewing through several layers of denim and it has the speed to make every project successful as quickly as you want it.
Another affordable option as a heavy duty sewing machine for denim is the Brother ST371HD. If you don’t like the Singer Heavy Duty 4423, then this Brother is the perfect alternative.
Another fantastic option is the Brother ST150HDH Strong & Tough Computerized Sewing Machine, which is slightly more expensive than both the Singer 4423 and the Brother ST371HD.
If you have a budget around $500-$600, my favorite recommendation is the Janome New Home 49360. It’s not a highly popular model but it’s complex and it has a lot of interesting features. I can’t wait to talk about it.
On the other hand, if your budget is under $150, I still think that you can find a model that can work for your projects. My top pick for such a low budget would be the Brother XM2701. I think it can be a cheap sewing machine for denim that can handle a variety of projects.
My most expensive recommendation is the JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine, which is a total powerhouse but it only has 1 stitch, the straight stitch.
1. Singer Heavy Duty 4423: Overall the Best Sewing Machine for Denim
I’m not going to claim that the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 is absolutely perfect. There’s no such thing, even when we’re looking for the best sewing machine for denim.
However, even if it has received more than a few negative reviews, the Singer 4423 remains one of my favorite machines at the moment.
It’s also why I also recommended it as one of the best sewing machines for leather and it’s also my top recommendation for the best sewing machine for making wigs.
One thing is for sure. Heavy duty models are extremely versatile and they can be used in a wide array of projects.
If you are at the beginning of your journey, check out my reviews for the best sewing books.
And it’s always very nice to have a very good sewing chair so that you don’t start overtaxing the muscles in your neck and back.
The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 stands out immediately through a couple of things.
One is the affordable price around $200. In my books, that’s a cheap model, even though I am well aware that there are sewing machines under $50. But those have no room in our discussion.
The cheapest, with a price under $150, that I consider that can sew through 2 layers of denim without breaking down is the Brother XM2701.
The second thing about the Heavy Duty 4423 is the metal body. I love it. It’s solid and it won’t move around even when we’re sewing heavy fabrics at high speeds.
23 built-in stitches
There are 97 stitch applications.
There are a lot of different stitches for a whole array of sewing projects, whether they involve denim or other fabrics.
Among them we’ll find one-step buttonhole.
The user manual comes with a very helpful table for needle/fabric/thread.
The lightweight fabrics are: thin cottons, voile, silk, muslin, interlocks, cotton knits, tricots, jerseys, crepes, woven polyester shirt & blouse fabrics.
The medium weight fabrics are: cotton satin, kettlecloth, sailcloth, double knits, lightweight woolens, cotton duck, woolen, heavier knits, terrycloth, denims.
And what interests us, the heavyweight fabrics are: canvas, woolens, outdoor tent and quilted fabrics, denims, upholstery material (light to medium), heavy woolen, overcoat fabrics, upholstery fabrics, leathers and vinyls.
The adjustable presser foot pressure allows us to sew very lightweight sheers.
The stainless steel plate allows fabrics to glide over the machine with ease.
It comes with an automatic needle threader, which is pretty much the norm for machines that cost above $100.
The machine is very easy to use, including an easy stitch selection dial.
It’s basic with a bit of an industrial feel, which is characteristic of some heavy duty models. I would say that it can be awesome for both beginners and experienced sewers. You don’t have to treat it gently.
The extra high presser foot lifter will accommodate thick fabrics and we can sew through a large number of layers.
Surprisingly, this Singer is one of the few with drop-in bobbin. More often than not, Singer models will come with a front load bobbin. I like both types and the bobbin type doesn’t matter much to me, I think we can get used to either type fairly quickly, even if some of us are beginners.
The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 weighs 14.6 pounds so it’s overly heavy. It can be called portable.
We get the following sewing feet: general purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, edge/quilting guide.
The other accessories included are: pack of needles, bobbins, spool caps, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt, screwdriver, seam ripper/lint brush, soft dust cover.
2. Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine
It’s a real problem if I have to choose between the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 and the Brother ST371HD as two of my favorite models, not only as some of the best sewing machines for denim but as two of the best models in general, for such a wide range of projects and fabrics.
I really can’t say which I like best, maybe the Singer wins by a bit, that’s my preference. But you might prefer the Brother ST371HD. That’s great.
37 built-in stitches
We get plenty: straight, zigzag, blind hem, shell tuck, elastic, double action, fagoting, overedge, features, triple zigzag stretch, and decorative stitching.
And 1 step-buttonhole.
We get an automatic needle threader, as it’s expected.
There’s also a free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves.
The drop-in bobbin is easy to thread and we can easily see when we’re running out of thread, which is nice. The Brother ST371HD is definitely good for beginners and experienced sewers alike.
The drop feed feature allows you to do free-motion sewing, you can move the fabric however you want.
It has a built-in handle if we want to take it with us or if we want to easily transfer it from work area to storage.
We get the following sewing feet: zigzag foot, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, button sewing foot, blind stitch foot, non stick foot.
I love that the non stick foot is included. This is the one we want for leather and vinyls but it’s not necessary if we’re only sewing denim.
The other accessories included are: extra spool pin, spool caps, bobbin (4), twin needle, needle set (3), disc-shaped screwdrivers, foot controller, soft cover.
3. Janome New Home 49360: Best Value for Money
I love a lot of things about this Janome. I love the straightforward design and how versatile it is.
It can be quite a nice sewing machine for denim for both beginners and experienced users as long we have the budget for it. The Janome New Home 49360 is the second most expensive model among my recommendations.
There are a lot of built-in stitches that will make it possible to handle whatever project we want.
We also get 6 one-step buttonholes.
In order to understand the Janome New Home 49360 and get an idea about what it’s capable of, we can simply check out the user manual.
As it happens with most machines, the user manual will include a table with fabrics and with the respective needles we need for each category of fabrics.
The Janome New Home 49360 can handle the following fabrics:
Light fabrics: lawn, georgette, tricot, wool, polyester
Medium-weight: cotton, polyester, fine jersey, wool
Heavyweight: denim, jersey, coating, quilting
As you can see, it’s highly versatile and capable. There are no worries there.
We will find a lot of amazing features that pretty clearly exemplify why this Janome is pretty expensive.
We have a speed control button slider that is very easy to spot. Thus, besides the foot controller, the New Home 49360 allows us to control sewing speed from a slider. Slide to the left for lowering the speed and to the right for top speed.
It also has a superior plus feed system with a 7-piece feed dog. We can drop the feed dog for free motion sewing and quilting.
Of course, the automatic needle threader is expected.
What might be new for some of you is the automatic thread cutter that automatically cuts both needle and bobbin threads at the push of a button.
It also has a free arm for sewing sleeves and cuffs.
Another thing that I like is that it weighs only 12 pounds. The Janome New Home 49360 can be taken to quilting retreats, classes, guild meetings.
We get a high number of sewing feet: custom crafted zigzag foot, automatic buttonhole foot, zipper foot, overedge foot, satin stitch foot open toe, blind hem foot, ¼” seam foot.
The other accessories included are: bobbin (3), spool pin felt, needle set, additional spoon pin, seam ripper, screwdriver, lint brush, small spool holder, large spool holder, spool stand, foot control, hard cover for transportation.
4. Brother ST150HDH Strong & Tough Computerized Sewing Machine
Just the name strong & tough is a clear indication that this Brother ST150HDH can be the perfect choice as the best sewing machine for denim.
There are a lot of interesting features we have to talk about.
Before that, I must say that I am totally impressed with how nice this machine looks. I love the clean design. It actually resembles the Janome New Home 49360 just a bit.
The difference is that this Brother is also quite affordable. The price around $300 is not cheap but not very expensive either. It’s just right.
We have plenty of stitches for all projects.
And we also get 5 auto-size buttonholes.
The automatic needle threader is to be expected.
The thing that I like is that we get a speed control slider. It allows us to control sewing speed from a slider if you don’t want to use the foot controller for that. Move the slider to the left for lowering the speed and to the right for increasing it.
We can use a switch to lower feed dogs for free-motion sewing and quilting.
The Brother ST150HDH Strong & Tough Computerized Sewing Machine is also very nice for quilting and bulkier sewing projects.
I also love that we get plenty of sewing feet: walking foot, ¼” piecing foot, buttonhole foot, overcasting foot, monogramming foot, zipper foot, spring action zigzag foot, blind stitch foot, button sewing feet.
The non stick foot that is used to sew fabrics such as leather, plastic, vinyl and oilcloth is not included. You’ll have to buy it separately but I would have liked to see it included.
The other accessories are: bobbin, seam ripper, needle set, twin needle, cleaning brush, eyelet punch, screwdrivers, spool caps (large, medium, small), extra spool pin, spool net, foot controller, soft cover.
What I also like a lot is that we get a heavyweight needle pack with the ST150HDH.
We get #14 heavy duty needles for sewing heavier fabrics such as jeans and leather, two #11 needles for medium weight fabrics, and two #14 ballpoint needles for knits and other stretch fabrics.
This is a clear indication that this Brother is made for denim and any other heavyweight fabric we might want to use in our projects, leather included. I love it a lot.
5. Brother XM2701: Cheap Sewing Machine for Denim
To give you an idea of how affordable the XM2701 is, I want to mention that I reviewed it as one of the best sewing machines under 100. Well, its price is a bit above $100 but it’s still one of the cheapest machines that we could buy for many of our projects.
I’m not going to say that the Brother XM2701 can handle everything we might want it to. You must understand its limitations if you want it to last it for years to come.
However, I believe that the XM2701 is capable of sewing through 2 layers of denim.
The distinction I want to make is that I think that you should choose light and medium weight denim for your projects if you’re using this Brother.
It’s not exactly the best choice if you want to work with heavyweight denim. In that case, I recommend a heavy duty model, like the Singer 4423, the Brother ST371HD, the Brother ST150HDH, and JUKI TL-2000Qi.
One buyer uses it for everything from hemming denim to fixing buttons.
Another uses it to sew cotton, silk, denim, make quilts, and more.
For another sewer, their biggest project with the Brother XM2701 was a denim tote bag and they plan on tackling a denim quilt.
Users love just how easy it is to use the XM2701. It’s easy to see how much thread is left on the bobbin since it’s a drop-in bobbin. It’s easy to thread. We can also easily adjust the needle placement and there’s nothing much to adjust for thread tension.
27 built-in stitches
We get a nice array of stitches with 63 stitch functions.
Among these we’ll find: blind hem, decorative and quilting stitches.
And an automatic one-step button holder for virtually perfect buttonholes.
The 800 stitches per minute sewing speed is very nice.
It comes with an automatic needle threading system. As you can see, an automatic needle threader can be found even in very affordable models.
One con that we could mention is that the light doesn’t illuminate the work area much. If you need more light, I recommend using a sewing lamp.
The XM2701 only weighs 12.6 pounds. It can be categorized as portable.
There are 6 sewing feet: buttonhole, zipper, zigzag, narrow hemmer, blind stitch, and button sewing foot.
The other accessories included are: bobbins (3), needle set (90/14 needle), twin needle, screwdriver, extra spool pin, and foot controller.
We use the foot controller to control sewing speed and to start and stop sewing.
Of course, we can also buy optional accessories, like quilting food, blind stitch foot, quilting guide, etc.
6. JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine
This Juki is the most expensive machine among my recommendations. It’s really amazing but it absolutely won’t be for everyone.
The price is not the only thing that makes this JUKI TL-2000Qi not be for every sewer. I also don’t think that beginners will totally be comfortable with making this Juki their first machine to start their journey with. Singer and Brother have a lot of models that are fantastic for beginners, including the very affordable Brother XM2701.
The fact that this JUKI TL-2000Qi only sews one stitch, the straight stitch, is the primary reason for which I mention that this machine might not be for everyone.
Of course, the straight stitch is the most used of all.
We could say that 99% of time in our projects we only use the straight stitch, which is the most basic.
A machine like this Juki, with only the straight stitch is absolutely perfect for those looking for a workhorse to do most of their projects on.
But people who choose the JUKI TL-2000Qi might already have another machine with a lot of stitches and are choosing this Juki precisely because it’s a workhorse that can handle anything, various fabrics in multiple layers without problems. And so they use this Juki and protect the weaker model with all those stitches. A tandem like that can be a dream for some of us.
We can use the TL-2000Qi to sew through several thicknesses of denim and leather. Just remember to use the right needles.
A sewer mentions that it sews through 8 layers of denim easily plus multiple layers of denim and leather mixed. This sentence clearly describes the capabilities of this impressive model the best.
It will be well appreciated by experienced sewers.
Juki TL-2000Qi is modeled after an industrial machine. It is also possible to attach several types of industrial presser feet.
The arm and the bed are constructed of aluminum die-casting.
The role of this tough body is to lower vibration while sewing and ensure high quality stitching. This machine won’t move even when we’re sewing at top speed.
The top speed of 1,500 stitches per minute is impressive. The minimum is 55 stitches per minute, it has a wide range.
Even though it’s a workhorse, it has quite a lot of nice and helpful features.
We get an automatic thread cutter in the form of a button with a scissor icon on it. The automatic thread cutter is not as easily found as an automatic needle threader and it has that, too.
Besides the automatic thread cutter button that simultaneously trims the needle and bobbin threads at the sewing end by pushing the button, we also get a foot controller with thread trimming function.
We can automatically trim both needle and bobbin threads by pressing the heel side of the foot controller. The foot controller is big enough.
Furthermore, the speed control mechanism, operated by microcomputer, allows this Juki to sew materials at low speed. It provides for accurate feed and perfect stitching when sewing heavy weight fabrics, quilting, and multiple layers of materials. That’s exactly what we want.
There’s a drop-feed knob for free motion sewing and quilting.
The LED light brightens the needle area.
It weighs 25.4 pounds. It’s certainly not light, although the manufacturer calls it portable.
In the user manual we get a table with fabric and needles for each.
Lightweight: nylon, cupro, georgette, smooth tricot.
Mediumweight: broadcloth, gingham, light-weight jersey, synthetic cloth, flannel, wool.
Heavyweight: denim, canvas, tweed, artificial leather.
The sewing feet included are basic: presser foot and even feed foot.
The other accessories included are: foot controller, auxiliary table, screwdrivers, cleaning brush, bobbins (4), oiler, needles, spool cap, sewing machine cover, upper feed presser foot.
It also has a knee lifter lever.
And I like that we get an extension table for quilting and other bigger projects.
Sewing machine needles for jeans/denim
Of course, no matter which model we end up buying, you must always remember that you must use the right needles for any project.
There are jeans/denim sewing machine needles that we’ll need to get.
And you must use a good sewing machine thread, all purpose polyester thread.
When choosing needles, you must also keep in mind that there is light and medium weight denim, for which we use a 90/14 needle. And there is heavyweight denim for which we use a 100/16.
With the right type of needles and a good thread plus the best sewing machine for denim, you’re ready to tackle any projects you set your mind to.