Help! I need a new sewing machine, what do you recommend?

Help, my 10 year’old sewing machine is now gone beyond repair, and I was wondering what you amazing sewing ladies would recommend? Or what you use and are happy with… As a student I started with a mechanical Elna, in 2009 I bought an electronic sewing and embroidery machine by Brother for about 1000€, and I’ve been very happy with it. However, the past two years, I’ve struggled with the fit of my sewing projects , no matter the pattern company. Toiles help but I realised that RTW is actually much quicker, better fitting and often cheaper than sewing my own clothes. Obviously RTW is rather limited in choice, so I will definitely still sew, but with moderation… or rather with purpouse 🙂 Which brings me to choosing a new machine, I do not see the need to look at expensive semi professional machines, but would like quality and certain features. Next to sewing garments I also sew bags, which means sometimes thicker fabrics, or multiple layers.

I would like an electronic machine, I’ve gotten used to automatic features like thread cutting, needle threading, sewing speed adjustment and so forth. I also like a nice selection of sewing feet for various tasks. I do not need hundreds of stitches however… I’m used to Brother and still have accessories, so Brother F-400 Innovis is an option I’m looking at. I’ve also been looking at Swiss machines on a mad nationalistic impulse, like Bernette B37 or B38,  or the Elna Experience 560. I don’t have any other experience, or special wishes, which is why I’d love to hear from you!


  1. I cannot comment on particular makes because I don’t use modern machines except overlockers. However, one rule is always true: buy the best quality you can afford. And by quality I mean a sturdy construction, and as few plastic gears as possible. When you sew a heavy fabric or leather like when making bags, the forces and the vibrations inside the machine are far greater than when you sew cotton poplin. It is the heavy weight materials that are so detrimental to plastic gears. Speaking by reputation and based on my own enquiries with Janome, Singer, Brother, Husqvarna and Juki, I found that Juki had the most robustly built machines. They have only recently started making sewing machines for the domestic market, having always made industrial machines. May be this is something to look at? I don’t know what features they offer but I know they’ve got electronic machines. I use their overlockers myself. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your advice. Although I’m sewing light bags (no leather or such) I can understand the general importance of sturdy gears and components, I had not thought of that. I will have a look at Juki, thanks again!

  2. Sounds exciting! Afraid all my machines are mechanical and a few years old so I haven’t got any useful information for you, but I look forward to hearing about your new machine.

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