It can be tricky to choose a new sewing machine, so I visited a local dealer, Steve at Bredons, Somerset, UK (https://www.bredons.co.uk/). I asked Steve to recommend his favourite sewing machines under £350. In this video we don’t state the price of the exact sewing machine, because this may differ online, in-store and in different countries. If your in the market for a new sewing machine hopefully you will find this video useful. Please remember that all of the opinions in the video are our own.
Here are the sewing machines Steve recommends under £350, the price increases as we go through the video.
Steve started by sharing the Janome J3 Series, the series has three models, the J3-18, J3-20 and J3-24 (the number 18,20 and 24 referring to the number of stitches). All of the J3 series have a metal, front loading bobbin system. Steve believes that front loading bobbin systems are better than top loading bobbin systems at this price point.
The J3 series have metal clip on presser feet, a needle threader, metal spool holders and the ability to drop the feed dogs for free motion embroidery. The J3-18 offers a 4-step buttonhole. The majority of stitches have a set width on the sewing machine, the zigzag stitch is the ONLY stitch where the width can be amended.
The Janome J3-24 offers the functions listed above on the J3-18, as well as an increased number of stitches, the ability to adjust the width and length of ALL stitches, a 1-step buttonhole (automatic buttonhole) and a hard case.
Moving up in price point, Steve then spoke about 3 mechanical sewing machines that he recommends. These sewing machines all have a drop in or top loading bobbin. Steve doesn’t recommend purchasing a sewing machine with a drop in bobbin below this price point. These mechanical sewing machines are better quality machines, the feed on the machines should be better than the previous Janome J3 series.
Janome Sewist 525S (725S)
The Janome Sewist 525S is the first mechanical sewing machine Steve recommended. Since filming this has been replaced by the Sewist 725S, which Steve confirms has the same functionality. This machine has a variety of stitches with the ability to amend the width and length of the stitches, there is also a 1-step buttonhole. The needle on this machine can move from the centre to the left and the machine offers the ability to amend the presser foot pressure. Comes with a hard cover.
Husqvarna Emerald 116
Steve recommended other mechanical machines; the Husqvarna Emerald Series. There are two machines in the series the 116 and 118, the number refers to the number of stitches, 16 or 18. The Husqvarna Emerald machines allow you to choose the stitch, amend the length and the width. The needle on these machines will move from the centre to the left and you have the ability to amend the presser foot pressure.
If you have watched my YouTube tutorials in the past, you will have seen both the Husqvarna Emerald 116 and 118 in my videos. I personally really rate these machines, I love the standard presser foot that comes with the machines. The standard presser foot has a number of edges, providing accurate sewing; edge stitching, top stitching and under stitching. I also like the zipper foot that comes with these machines, the zipper foot has the front and the back section in line, which makes it easy to sew close to a zipper or piping. Comes with a hard cover.
Husqvarna Emerald 118
The Husqvarna Emerald 118 has all of the functions discussed above on the 116 as well as an increased number of stitches, electronic foot pedal, speed control and a needle up and down button.
Moving on from mechanical sewing machines Steve shared two computerised models. Steve believes computerised models are the way forward, they are easy to use, the feeding is potentially better and the buttonholes and satin stitches are a little more even.
Steve firstly shared the Janome CXL301, this is an easy to use computerised sewing machine. The machine allows you to choose the stitch and amend the width and the length of the stitch. The needle can be moved from the centre to the left and the right on this sewing machine. Other features include speed control, a start stop button, lock stitch and a needle up and down button. You can NOT amend the presser foot pressure on this machine. It comes with a soft case, rather than a hard case.
As well as the features common to computerised sewing machines, seen on the Janome CXL301 (above); start stop button, lock stitch function, needle up and down button and speed control dial. The Janome 230DC has as a larger screen, allowing you to see the stitch, width and length as the same time, a needle threader that will stay down whilst you thread the needle and the ability to amend the presser foot pressure. The machine also comes with an extra large sewing table and a hard cover.
I really hope you find the video informative, hopefully it will help you when you are considering a new sewing machine. Thank you for watching.