It would be impossible to say that there is one single model that is the best sewing machine for making clothes. It would be like saying that everyone should have the same smartphone or the same laptop.
Furthermore, it’s especially hard to pick just a few machines to review because making clothes, mending, and making quilts are the three main objectives for which these machines are bought.
Just like with everything else, sewing machines are different from model to model and from brand to brand. There are plenty of differences between them and there are many wonderful models on the market.
That means that, when we’re picking the best sewing machine for making clothes, the choice won’t be quite so simple. Take your time before making your final choice. Let’s see which are my top recommendations and what makes each of them stand out.
If you’re looking for machines that both sew and do embroidery, check out my reviews for the best cheap embroidery machines.
Best Sewing Machine for Making Clothes Reviews
The purpose of my reviews for the best sewing machines for dressmaking is to point you in the right direction and you can make the final choice. I will try to narrow down the options to just a few models that are really worth it.
However, there are a few things you must keep in mind while making your choice.
First thing first, you should have a budget in mind. Knowing the ballpark price that you’re willing to spend to buy the best sewing machine for clothes will help you a lot with narrowing down your options.
I’ll start with introducing a machine under $100, then we’ll move on to prices around $150-$200 and then we’ll transition to more expensive models that are in the $500-$1,000 range. There’s a wide variety, that’s why I said that establishing an approximate budget from the beginning will help a lot.
Another feature that sets sewing machines apart is that some can handle only light- and medium-weight fabrics.
Others, which are also known as heavy-duty, will be capable of handling multiple layers of denim, leather, and other heavy-weight fabrics.
The type of projects that you want to do should be a top priority when choosing the best sewing machine for making clothes.
Obviously, there are so many features that are important. But those become more apparent as we review some individual models. For now, keep in mind the type of projects you want to sew and your ballpark budget.
1. Janome Pink Lightning Basic: Cheapest Sewing Machine for Making Clothes
For a price well under $100, more closely to $50, Janome Pink Lightning is the cheapest model that I would recommend as an option for the best sewing machine for clothes.
This is a mini-sewing machine, it’s not a full-sized model. It’s portable and it weighs around 5 pounds so you can take it with you if you’re going to quilting retreats or sewing retreats.
Actually, a user wrote a review for this Janome and mentioned that they sewed steadily for 4 days at a quilting guild retreat and the machine did everything perfectly. That’s a major reason for recommending this affordable Janome for dressmaking and more.
It’s a great machine for beginners on a tight budget or as the first sewing machine for children or as a portable, lightweight model for more experienced sewists.
For the price, I would say that we certainly get what we pay for and more than that, in a very good sense.
The Janome Basic line is full of colorful models that are named after their colors: pink lightning, graceful gray, purple thunder, lady lilac, mystical mint, etc. The entire machine body is a plastic of that respective color. It’s a very lively design, which we don’t always see when it comes to more expensive models.
It’s not a full sized machine. And it’s certainly, absolutely not one for thick-weight fabrics. But it works for mending, for hemming, for making a variety of clothes, and even for quilting.
It’s capable of sewing plenty of projects as long as they’re focused around light- and medium-weight fabrics. I even saw people on YouTube using this tiny Janome Pink Lightning to sew through a few layers of light denim.
If you get the right needles and use a good thread, I think it’s possible to expend your projects to include a wider array of fabrics than you might have expected initially.
10 stitch applications
We get the basics and that’s great: straight (letters A to E), zigzag (F, G, H), crescent/scallop (I), and multi-stitch zigzag (J).
So, we get 6 stitch types and 4 width and length variations. There’s a dial from which you can select them and the user manual will provide more information on how to use the various features for Janome Basic.
There’s no hem stitch but that won’t be an impediment to hemming. Many users buy this machine especially for hemming.
Moreover, a user review mentioned that, once they changed the needle to a 110/18, the machine was able to glide through 3 layers of denim uninterrupted. That’s absolutely something to keep in mind and to experiment with. This tiny cheap model is full of surprises.
The accessories are nothing impressive but I wouldn’t expect anything else in this price range: bobbin (2), needle, threader, foot switch.
The foot switch doesn’t change the speed because we only get one speed. You might find it slow or you might find it fast, it depends. This component just turns the machine on and off.
It doesn’t have a LED light. That can be easily fixed if you buy a bendable, small LED light. Those are cheap and they’re easy to find. Or get a sewing lamp.
There’s also no automatic needle threader, which is totally expected for sewing machines under $100. Only machines above $100 will come with automatic needle threader. On the other hand, you get the instructions for how to do it manually in the user manual.
2. Brother CS6000i: Best Value for Money
I should mention that the Brother CS6000i is one of the most popular sewing machines for dressmaking on the market. It’s a very interesting machine.
The great news is that it costs around $200 so it’s also a pretty affordable, best sewing machine for making clothes. It sounds great until now so let’s see exactly which are the features that make it so wanted by so many people.
A slightly cheaper alternative to the CS6000i is Brother XM2701. Check it out if you’re looking for a slightly less expensive Brother machine.
Brother CS6000i is a computerized sewing and quilting machine that also works as a heavy duty model.
Users managed to sew all types of fabrics, whether they’re light, medium or heavyweight.
It’s one of the most complete machines in this price range, with an impressive set of accessories, and completely portable and lightweight.
Impressively, even if it’s a sewing machine that has a price around $200 or a bit under, the CS6000i comes with a speed control button. It’s a slider that we move to the left for decreasing sewing speed and to the right for maximum sewing feet.
That means that we don’t have to use the foot controller if we don’t want to, which can be amazing for many sewers, both beginners and experienced.
Of course, we get the usual automatic needle threader, LED illuminated work area, etc.
We get 60 unique built-in stitches.
Obviously, decorative stitches are also included.
And the expected straight, zigzag, overcasting, blind hem, applique, shell tuck, elastic-attaching, for quilting, etc.
Among these we will also find 7 styles of one-step buttonholes.
If you want to check out the full list that Brother offers, you can check out this document. It’s very helpful because it also includes info about what each stitch is used for sewing and which presser foot is needed.
The user manual also has plenty of info on the main stitches and how they should be used, including zipper insertion, buttonhole sewing, blind hem stitching, sewing stretch fabrics and elastic tape, stitches related to patchwork and quilts, reinforcement stitching, and decorative stitching.
There’s also an LCD-screen for selecting your stitches with the touch of a button and viewing your selections on the LCD display.
What I really like is that among accessories we also get a detachable, oversized table for larger projects. That will be great for some sewists.
Other accessories for the Brother CS6000i are: seam ripper, bobbin (4), needle set, twin needles, ball point needle, cleaning brush, disc-shaped screwdrivers, extra spool pin, foot controller.
The needles included are: 75/11 (quilting, lightweight quilts), 90/14 (light/medium fabrics), and 100/16 (denim, heavyweight and layered fabrics).
The sewing feet for this Brother CS6000i are: zigzag foot, buttonhole foot, overcasting foot, monogramming foot, zipper foot, blind stitch foot, button fitting foot.
Check out this guide if you’re completely new to the types of sewing machine needles you need based on what clothes you sew and which fabrics you want to stitch.
We also get an automatic needle threader, a drop-in top bobbin, and a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin.
A hard protective case is also included because this machine is portable.
It’s pretty lightweight because it weighs only 13 pounds. If you want a lightweight, very good machine for making clothes, this Brother CS6000i can be a wonderful option.
3. Singer Heavy Duty 4423: One of the Best Sewing Machines for Making Clothes
At a price of around $200, the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 can only be described as affordable. If you want a machine that handles all types of fabrics, light, medium and heavy-weight fabrics, then you should consider this model.
If a $200 budget is a bit too much for you, I recommend checking out the Singer MX231. It’s another excellent, highly capable Singer sewing machine but it’s also more affordable, costing around $150.
The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 is also one of the best sewing machines with drop-in bobbin. It’s a bit unusual because most Singers come with front load bobbin.
There are 97 stitch applications.
These can be grouped in the following categories: straight, ric rac, zigzag, multi-step zigzag, blind hem, one-step buttonhole, picot hem, decorative, straight stretch, reinforced zigzag, honeycomb, double overlook, slant overedge, and bartack buttonhole.
Just from this list, you can see that making garments is totally possible, no matter what projects you have in mind.
Moreover, we get a pretty large sewing space: 6.25 inches sewing space and 4.25 inches height. That’s great for quilting, too.
In order to understand what else we can do, let’s check out the included accessories: general purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, edge/quilting guide, pack of needles, bobbins, spool caps, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt, screwdriver, seam ripper/lint brush, soft dust cover.
A foot speed control is also included.
Making leather goods
If you want to sew leather or vinyl, you should get the Singer Roller Presser Foot because a general purpose foot will stick to the leather. You should also get appropriate needles.
We also get automatic needle threader.
And a three needle position dial for changing the needle position. More expensive models will come with something like 20 needle positions but these are good, too.
The user manual is very helpful. Whatever best sewing machine for making clothes you end up choosing, you should first read the manual with attention and then practice on the machine. If you need further help, I also recommend watching YouTube videos for your model.
4. Brother ST150HDH Strong & Tough Computerized Sewing Machine
The price around $300 is definitely more expensive than the Brother CS6000i but it would be nice to see what it offers.
Of course, the name strong & tough computerized sewing machine is a clue that the Brother ST150HDH is a heavy-duty sewing machine, which the Brother CS6000i isn’t.
We don’t necessarily need a heavy-duty model if we’re looking for the best sewing machines for making clothes.
But they’re certainly my favorite because I know that these specific models, like the ST150HDH, can handle any fabrics without any problems. And, besides making clothes, I can make bags, sew leather, etc.
I should mention that the ST150HDH received its fair share of negative reviews and you should check out a few of those. However, I also want to mention that I’m totally impressed by how highly rated this Brother is. It’s another reason for absolutely loving it.
Plus, it is described as a strong & tough computerized sewing machine and that’s what I like to see the most.
We get a nice variety of stitches so there will be no problems here.
It also include 5 auto-size buttonhole.
I would say that the Brother ST150HDH can basically be used to sew through everything.
It will handle multiple layers of heavyweight fabrics and denims. But it will work just as smoothly when we sew lightweight silks.
There are also many users who use it for leather sewing, for making faux leather & leather bags, bonded leather bench cushions, etc.
Overall, it’s incredibly versatile and we get our money’s worth and the some.
Brother describes the ST150HDH as packing a punch in a portable design.
It features a metal interior frame. That ensure durability and improved stability when sewing at higher speeds.
There’s an automatic needle threader. It’s called an advanced needle threading system.
We also get an expanded 6.4 x 4.1 inches needle-to-arm workspace. It’s supposed to provide more room for quilts and bulkier sewing projects. It’s certainly not a large throat sewing machine for quilting but it still manages to offer enough workspace.
What is really nice is that we get a speed control slider, just like it was the case with the CS6000i that I reviewed above. The speed control slider allows us to set the sewing speed from a button and avoid using the foot controller. It can be nice.
The super bright built-in LED illuminates the workspace around the needle area.
Sewing feet: walking, ¼” piecing, buttonhole, overcasting, monogramming, zipper, spring action zigzag, bling stitch, button sewing feet.
A heavyweight needle pack (6) is included:
- #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
It will also work nicely for quilting and bulkier sewing projects. Just as it will work for creating clothes from whatever patter we choose to follow. And for making wigs and leatherwork. The possibilities are endless.
Check out my recommendations for the best sewing books if you need inspiration and guidance.
5. Janome HD-3000BE
When I wrote my article on the best sewing machines for leather, I knew I had 4 main brands in mind: Brother, Singer, Juki, and Janome. I also knew that the Janome HD3000BE is quite a favorite of mine when it comes to heavy duty models.
I only love the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 slightly more because it’s two times cheaper than the HD3000BE. There’s quite a considerable price difference between these two heavy duty models so there’s no point in comparing the two.
Simply put, if you’re looking for the best sewing machines for dressmaking but you also want to experiment with heavier fabrics like leather, vinyl, several layers of denim, etc. and you have a more generous budget, then read on.
I love the HD3000BE because it’s all black and the name of the brand is a pop of red color. It’s rare to see a completely back sewing machine, we’re mostly used to variations of white and the like.
There are 18 stitches to choose from that cover all the basics that we need for making clothes: straight, zigzag, overcasting, overedge, tricot, triple strength, outline stretch.
There’s also a one-stop buttonhole.
Plus, we have width and length adjustment.
Some of the most interesting features also include an extra high presser foot lift, drop feed, needle threader, free arm, buttonhole lever.
Just as the name suggests, drop feed allows users to lower the feed dog so that we can engage in free motion sewing. It’s usually used for monogramming, quilting, and embroidery. Experienced users will love it. However, you will also notice that drop feed makes it difficult to sew a straight line of stitches.
The accessories for the Janome HD-3000BE are: automatic buttonhole foot, rolled hem foot, blind hem foot, zigzag foot, bobbin (5), needle case, quilter, screwdriver (2), lint brush, seam ripper, spool holder (2), extra spool pin, felt.
Most people are buying the HD3000 for heavyweight fabrics but it will work beautifully for light and medium-weight fabrics, too.
In my opinion, this is a more expensive machine that will appeal to more experienced sewists. However, beginners with a generous budget will also come to appreciate just how highly performing this model is.
6. Janome Sewist 725s
After reviewing an impressive heavy-duty machine from Janome, the HD3000, it’s time to review the Janome Sewist 725s.
What’s impressive is that both these models, alongside others, have received the 2021 Women’s Choice Award. Women’s Choice Award has recognized Janome America as top in its category for exceptional customer recommendation ratings, with over 85% of women saying that they would recommend the brand to friends and family.
That’s great and all but what I’m interested in seeing is if the Janome Sewist 725s is worth being $50 more expensive than the HD3000. The price difference is not much, I’m just excited to compare two excellent Janome sewing machines.
We get 23 built-in stitches. These might not seem much when we compare them with other models that offer 60, 90 or even 200 stitch applications.
However, the 23 stitches offer enough variety for everyday projects. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend the Janome Sewist 725s as the best sewing machine for making clothes.
These stitches include straight, zigzag, overcasting, knit, tricot, stretch, button sewing, automatic buttonhole, blind hemming, and decorative stitches.
It also features a one-step buttonhole.
The other features are: adjustable foot pressure, automatic needle threader, extra high foot lifter for thicker fabrics, drop feed.
We get the following accessories for the 725s: needle set (5), bobbin (4), screwdriver, lint brush, seam ripper, quilting guide, spool holder (small and large), extra spool pin, felt cushion, foot control.
The sewing feet are: zigzag foot, overedge foot, zipper foot, blind hemming foot, automatic buttonhole foot.
The machine also comes with a hard machine cover.
I highly advise you to read the manual because it contains plenty of useful information, especially helpful for beginners.
It talks about foot pressure dial for different fabrics and stitches, there’s a needle and thread chart for which needles you should use based on fabric weight, and it teaches us how to use each stitch pattern.
This is not exactly a heavy duty machine but it works for some heavyweight fabrics, too.
In the needle and thread chart, we get the following fabrics:
- fine (lawn, georgette, tricot, organza, crepe)
- medium (sheeting, jersey, broadcloth, fleece)
- and heavy weight (denim, tweed, coating, quilting)
7. Janome New Home 49360: Amazing Sewing Machine for Making Clothes
Janome has many wonderful sewing machine. A clear evidence of that is that I somewhat managed to include 4 models as my top recommendations as some of the best sewing machines for making clothes.
Even if Janome models are not as popular as Brother and Singer machines, I personally love them a lot.
The Janome New Home 49360 achieves a good balance between price and quality. And that’s why I love it so much.
However, it’s not a cheap machine. It costs around $500-$600 so I can totally understand why it would not be for everyone.
If you’re looking for machines that cost under $300, check out my first 4 recommendations from Janome, Brother, and Singer. They’re all fantastic.
Janome recommends the New Home 49360 as a full-featured machine made with a quilter’s needs in mind.
However, I really like it as a general sewing machine for people who appreciate this brand or have the budget for it.
Of course, we don’t have to worry, the number of stitches included are more than enough for whatever pattern we want to follow.
We also get 6 one-step buttonholes.
The user manual will include a table featuring the types of fabrics we can stitch and which needles to use.
Light fabrics: lawn, georgette, tricot, wool, polyester.
Medium: cotton, polyester, fine jersey, wool.
Heavy: denim, jersey, coating, quilting.
Janome’s Exclusive Superior Plus Feed System with a 7-piece feed dog ensures even, stable feeding with any fabric. It’s another reason for seeing it as a versatile sewing machine for making clothes, quilting, mending, etc.
We can drop the feed dog for free-motion sewing and quilting.
It comes with an automatic needle threader that some users might have problem getting used to. I recommend looking for an YouTube tutorial if you can’t figure it out.
Besides the automatic needle threader we get two other useful buttons.
We get a button with a scissor icon on it, which is an automatic thread cutter. It cuts both the upper and bobbin thread automatically when we’re done sewing and we press it.
The other button is the speed control slider. It allows us to control sewing speed from a slider and forget all about using the foot controller for adjusting the sewing speed. It can be easier and less stressful.
Other the time saving features include: needle up/down, one hand needle threader, and lock stitch button make sewing easy.
It also has a free arm for sewing sleeves and cuffs.
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 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.
It’s a full-sized machine that only weight 12 pounds. You can carry it everywhere you go without any inconveniences.
Overall, the Janome New Home 49360 is not a cheap model but it’s undoubtedly a fantastic one and I love it.
8. Singer Quantum Stylist 9985
How cool is the name Quantum Stylist? It sounds just perfect for someone who has the highest expectations from the best sewing machine for making clothes.
Is this machine absolutely impressive? Yes, it totally is.
Is the Quantum Stylist 9985 quite expensive? It has a price just above $500 so it’s certainly not cheap.
The first impressive thing is that there are 1000+ stitch applications. It sounds a bit crazy and it’s highly likely that you’ll end up using just a small number.
It includes a one-step buttonhole.
Among these many stitches, you’ll find everything you need for fashion sewing, quilting, heirloom stitches for quilts and table linens, and a very wide variety of decorative stitches.
We get 6.6 inches sewing space and 4.25 inches height.
There’s a large color touch LCD Screen for selecting the stitches. There you’ll also be able to access tutorials for bobbin winding and insertion, machine threading and more.
Among the many features, we should mention: automatic needle threader, monitor lamp, needle up-down/slow button, speed control lever, thread cutter button, drop feed, pressure regulator, etc.
Computerized sewing machine
This Quantum Stylist 9985 is a computerized sewing machine that’s great for beginners, experienced amateurs, and professionals.
It is excellent for clothes and it’s also pretty good for heavier fabrics.
We get a table that covers the types of fabrics that this machine handles best. The other columns are dedicated to thread size, needle type, and needle size for each fabric.
Types of fabrics
The fabrics covered are:
- light weight (thin georgette, organdy, voile, taffeta, silk, rayon etc.)
- medium weight (gingham, pique, linen, cotton, satin, thin corduroy, velvet)
- heavy weight (gabardine, tweed, denim, corduroy), stretch (double knit, tricot, spandex, jersey)
- double knit
- sweater knit
- and leather
It certainly covers pretty much any type of fabric you might want to stitch.
If you plan to include leatherwork on your list, the Singer 2032 Leather needle is recommended.
Thus, the machine does not only include an impressive array of decorative stitches but it’s also a workhorse, a heavy-duty best sewing machine for making clothes that meets so many expectations and needs.
I’m not exactly sure, but Singer 9985 probably deserves a prize when it comes to the number of accessories that it includes.
Let’s cover the whole long list because they give an excellent indication into what this Singer is capable of: needle pack, class 15 bobbins, seam ripper, brush, auxiliary spool pin with felt washer, screw driver, screwdriver for needle plate, thread cap, small thread cap, seam guide and screw.
The sewing feet are: overcasting foot, blind hem foot, zipper foot, rolled hem foot, button sewing foot, satin foot, quilting bar, open toe foot, cording foot, straight stitch/patchwork foot, darning embroidery foot, even-feed foot, buttonhole foot and under plate.
A dust cover is also included.
What more can we say? As the best sewing machine for dressmaking, the Singer Quantum Stylist 9985 is very complex, expensive, and pretty wonderful.
9. Juki TL-2010Q
We can’t end an article dedicated to the best sewing machine for clothes without reviewing a Juki. I chose one of the most expensive ones so you’ll have to decide if you could see yourself spending so much money on one.
The first thing you should be aware of when it comes to this very expensive model is that the TL-2010Q only has only one stitch.
Straight stitch only
It’s capable of a straight stitch only. That’s all there is to it. We can certainly do many clothes with just the straight stitch as it is the most frequently used one.
However, even with this limitation, the only way to describe this Juki is that it’s a workhorse.
It will make all types of clothes, quilts, leatherwork, and anything else you might think of. There certainly are no impediments to stitching all kinds of fabrics, multiple layers included.
If you go on YouTube, you’ll be easily convinced of how capable this TL-2010Q is.
After all, it’s supposed to deliver industrial-quality sewing. And it certainly does.
It can handle large quilt, handbag making or home décor projects with ease. Whatever dressmaking you want to engage in, this machine can deliver as long as you don’t require anything beyond a straight stitch for your patterns.
Some users have a second machine for other stitch types and light and medium-weight fabrics. They use the Juki TL-2010Q as their main one when they don’t want to throw heavyweight fabrics on their more delicate models.
It’s quite freeing to work with a sewing machine that can handle anything. That’s the main attractive feature for the TL-2010Q.
We get maximum sewing speed control with a range from 200 to 1,500 SPM. Thus, it can sew up to 1,500 stitches per minute, which is very impressive.
The foot controller comes with thread trimming function. The threads attached to stitched pieces of fabric are automatically cut by a press of the foot controller.
Moreover, we also get an automatic thread cutter button that has a scissors icon on it. When you press this button, both threads are cut automatically. This Juki is one of the best sewing machines with automatic thread cutter.
We also get an automatic needle threader, which is totally expected since it’s a feature that pretty much all models above $100-$150 have.
Drop feed is another totally expected feature.
The knee lifter lever allows us to lift/lower the presser foot without using our hands, it can be lifted up to 12mm (approx. 0.47 inches).
While the stitch types are limited to 1, the same thing can’t be said about the included accessories.
We get a nice array: screwdriver, cleaning brush, bobbins (4), needles, spool cap, sewing machine cover, knee lifter lever, zipper attaching foot, upper feed presser foot, 1/4 quilting foot.
You won’t be able to make buttonholes with this Juki nor sew buttons by the simple changing of the foot.
We do get a zipper attaching foot, which is very nice.
Another bonus is the addition of their Juki New Defrix Oil No. 1 as lubricating oil, which is one of the best sewing machines oils.
I’m not saying that the Juki TL-2010Q is for everyone and not necessarily because it has a price tag that makes some of us want to cry but it would have been a pity not to be aware of this option as the best sewing machine for making clothes, it’s overall pretty amazing.