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5 Best Sewing Machines Winter 2017/2018

5 Best Sewing Machines Winter 2017/2018

The sewing machine hunt always seems to be one of the most problematic ventures for us sewers. It’s a pretty huge investment — we all brim with anxiety at the thought of choosing the wrong one. But this decision doesn’t have to be so daunting. With the right amount of research, you can find the ideal machine for you. This year, we’ve had a lot of new additions to our range of sewing machines. Most of you will remember the launch of the formidable Butterick EB6100, while others may want to go for brands like Singer and Toyota. Here are our top 5 picks this winter; we’ve selected machines in different price ranges so you’re sure to come across one that suits your budget, too!

The main thing to think about when selecting a sewing machine is what features you’ll need. What’s your skill level? What do you need to use it for? Most importantly, you should select one that caters to your personal needs.

5. Toyota ECO34C Sewing Machine with Bonus Accessories

Our first machine, the Toyota ECO34C, is perfect for beginners. Although it’s a lot more compact and lightweight than most other sewing machines, the ECO34C doesn’t disappoint when it comes down to features. The key to this machine’s popularity is its simplicity; there no need to mess around with computerised programmes and LCD screens — you simply twist dials to get set up. Additionally, the sewing feet are a breeze to change, too. This machine is by no means basic — it’s easy to achieve professional results in your quilting, dressmaking, and home furnishings.

This is the most inexpensive sewing machine in the list — for those with a budget of under £200 — but that doesn’t mean we hold back when it comes to accessories. Not only will you receive the standard machine accessories — 6 sewing feet, bobbins, a dust cover, needles, a buttonhole cutter, an instructional CD manual, and more — but we’ve also thrown in some bonus items. First up, there’s a pack of 3 scissors measuring 3″, 4.5″ and 5.5″. Each is ergonomically designed with cushion handles and high-quality stainless steel blades to ensure comfortable cutting.

You can also store and transport your new machine in a padded sewing machine bag with thick handles. The last accessory in the bundle is The Very Easy Guide to Using Your Sewing Machine by Wendy Gardiner. This useful guide takes you through the basics of your sewing machine, featuring a skill-building complete machine sewing course leading into nine beautiful projects. Getting accustomed to the Toyota ECO34C couldn’t be easier!

Toyota ECO34C Specifications:

  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Stitch Programs: 34 — including straight stitch, zigzag, blind stitch, stretch blind hem stitch, mending stitch, reinforced straight stitch, reinforced zigzag, overcasting stitch, decorative stitches and quilting stitches
  • Buttonhole: 4-step buttonhole
  • Wide Sewing Area? Yes
  • Needle Drop: Easy to see needle drop point
  • Programming: Easy to use wide dials and levers
  • Threading: Easy upper thread set up
  • Drop Feed? Yes — ideal for free motion embroidery and stipple quilting
  • Help: Integrated quick adviser

In summary, the Toyota ECO34C is ideal for sewers with a lower price range. It’s the ideal fit for beginners to the craft but also caters for more experienced stitchers looking for a nifty little machine that they can take to classes, groups, or anywhere else they’d like to sew. It contains all the basic features a stitcher needs, plus a little more.

4. TOYOTA SUPERJ17W Sewing Machine

In the next price bracket, we have the Toyota SUPERJ17W sewing machine. This ergonomic stitching tool is definitely the most stylish of the bundle, featuring an almost retro vibe with jeans at the heart of the design. The machine’s main selling point is its ease of use; the needle drop point is easy to see, the large dials and levers are easy to use, and the bobbin is easy to load within its top-loading rotary system. Did we mention that it has a wide sewing area, too?

But the excitement doesn’t end there — as expected, the SUPER JEANS 17W is great for working with denim! The gliding foot is specially designed to easily sew through up to 12 layers of denim, thicker upholstery and quilting fabrics, without any special support needles. Its penetration power is mighty and its stitching is seamless.

Toyota SUPERJ17W Specifications:

  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Stitch Programs: 17 multi-purpose stitch pattern programs — 13 standard, 2 stretch and 2 deco
  • Buttonhole: 4-step buttonhole
  • Wide Sewing Area? Yes
  • Needle Drop: Easy to see needle drop point
  • Programming: Easy to use wide dials and levers
  • Threading: Top loading bobbin
  • Drop Feed? Yes
  • Bobbin Winder? Yes
  • Needle Threader? Yes – it’s so easy to use!
  • Reverse Sewing? Yes – just hit the button
  • Free Arm: Accessible by removing the accessory box
  • Stitch Length & Width: Max 4mm in length and 5mm in width
  • Needle Position: Centre, left
  • Lightbulb: 15W
  • Help: Quick adviser

The Toyota SUPERJ17W doesn’t arrive in the box by itself; you’ll also get a wealth of accessories! You’ll receive 6 sewing feet, a buttonhole cutter, 5 needles (two of which are jeans needles), bobbins, a foot controller, an instruction manual for the gliding foot, a sewing guide, and various other items to complement the machine. It’s pretty magnificent for beginners and more intermediate sewers alike. This really is an awesome way to get creative.

3. Singer Confidence 7640 Sewing Machine with 2 Years Warranty

Now we enter the more professional territory. Differing from the other two machines, the Singer Confidence 7640 not only has a screen for stitch selection, but it’s also built with far more features. Here, we step up from beginner sewing to intermediate and advanced stitching. (But don’t be thrown off — beginners would relish its simple computerised settings, too!) The easy touch stitch selection enables you to chose your stitches with the push of a button; the machine will then automatically pick the optimum width and length of your selected stitch option.

Singer is renowned for its StayBright™ LED Lights — and the Confidence 7640 isn’t exempt from this feature. No matter how poor the light conditions are in your room, you’ll be able to see your work and carry on stitching!

Singer Confidence 7640 Specifications:

  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Stitches: 200 — basic, stretch, decorative and alpha-numeric patterns
  • Buttonholes: 8 built-in 1-step buttonhole styles with consistent results
  • Stitch Memory? Yes
  • Bobbin: Top drop-in bobbin that’s easy to see and thread
  • Needle Threader? Yes — effortlessly thread the needle to get sewing faster
  • Programming: Select your stitch with the touch of a button; select automatic optimum width and length for great results
  • Lightbulb: STAYBRIGHT™ LED light
  • Programmable Needle Up/Down? Yes — choose the needle’s stopping position for applique and more
  • Drop Feed? Yes — for free-motion sewing in quilting, button sewing and more

Aside from its exciting specifications, the Singer Confidence 7640 is boxed with a variety of machine accessories to enhance your sewing experience. You’ll receive 7 Singer feet: an all-purpose foot for standard stitching, a zipper foot for sewing in zips and inserting piping, a buttonhole foot to create perfectly sized buttonholes, a blind hem foot for making practically invisible blind hems, a satin stitch foot for stitching surface embellishments, an even feed/walking foot, and a button sew on foot. Additionally, there’s an extension table, a seam ripper, needles, bobbins, and more.

2. Toyota OEKAKI RENAISSANCE Quilt Edition

Okay, so I think it’s fair to point out the most obvious thing that makes the Toyota OEKAKI RENAISSANCE Quilt Edition amazing: its incredible turquoise colour and glossy finish! This computerised sewing machine is dedicated to free-motion embroidery, designed for beginners and those with greater experience. It’s built to tackle a wide range of fabrics, including thick denim. The expertly designed OEKAKI function enables you to draw ideas directly onto the fabric using the art of free-motion embroidery, which has its place in textile arts, quilting, dressmaking, home furnishings, and more. I mean, look at those beautiful images below for examples of what it can do!

Designed for a new era of sewing, the OEKAKI RENAISSANCE is the ideal luxury accessory for your home.

Toyota OEKAKI RENAISSANCE Specifications:

  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Stitches: 50 — including embroidery options
  • OEKAKI Function: In this mode, the stitch width can be adjusted by controlling the pressure on the foot pedal which creates a patented paintbrush finish. Outside of this mode, the foot pedal controls speed
  • Super Jeans Function? Yes — can glide over 12 layers of fabric with the special gliding foot. It also has thick thread capability
  • Variable Width Control? Yes — this brand new technology will take you to a brand new world! In OEKAKI (free-motion embroidery) mode, the stitch width can be adjusted by how much the foot controller is pressed. Lightly stepping on the foot controller selects a narrow stitch width, while stepping further selects wider width. Slightly releasing the foot controller selects a narrow stitch width
  • Extension Table? Yes
  • Tacking Stitch Feature? Yes
  • Easy Operation? Yes — has computer regulated control of speed, width, length, stitch selection, etc.
  • Quilting Accessories Included? Yes

All-in-all, the Toyota OEKAKI RENAISSANCE is well suited for sewers and quilters with a passion for embroidery art. Toyota wanted to put the fun back into sewing, so designed this machine in a way that the user can be as creative as they want to be. Fun fact: “Oekaki” actually translates from Japanese as “to draw freely”.

This “Quilt Edition” of the machine gives you even more accessories to get creative with, including 13 sewing feet!! (Zig-zag, zipper, overcasting, blind stitch, gliding, embroidery, non-stick, buttonhole, walking, clear applique, zipper/piping, open toe applique, and piecing.) There’s also an extension table, a quilting guide, a buttonhole cutter, a range of needles, a starter kit, a quick adviser, a sheet tapestry kit, manuals, and other great accessories.

1. Butterick EB6100 Computerised Sewing Machine

The latest addition to our range of sewing machines is the highly-anticipated Butterick EB6100. This incredible machine is in the highest price bracket, but it’s certainly there for a good reason. Great for all levels of sewers and quilters, it’s easy to use and has a lot of features. Regardless of where you are in your sewing journey, the EB6100 has the ability to take you from a beginner to an advanced fabric crafter without the need to upgrade your machine.

The stitch selector includes unusual and fun character stitches that are ideal for decorating personalised items. Now you can add your own stylish, personalised details to home accessories and clothes by embroidering using decorative stitches. Thanks to the easy-to-read digital display, you’ll be able to choose your options with ease. If you’re a quilter, you’ll love the heirloom stitch that gives the look of hand stitching. Stitches also include long tacking/basting, decorative, blind hemming, stitch in the ditch, over-edge, stretch, and a free-motion feature.

Butterick EB6100 Specifications:

  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Stitches: 100 — including decorative, tacking/basting, blind hemming, stitch in the ditch, heirloom, overedge and stretch
  • Buttonholes: 8 one-step buttonhole stitches that are perfectly uniform
  • Twin Needle? Yes — push the button and decorative stitches are reduced in width to suit twin needle stitching
  • Automatic Needle Threader? Yes
  • Needle Position: Can be moved to 1/4″ position for exact 1/4″ seam allowances
  • Free-Motion Sewing? Yes — great for stippling
  • Bobbin: Easy drop-in bobbin with transparent bobbin cover
  • Programming: Easy-to-read digital display and stitch select buttons
  • Speed Control: Yes — speed control slider and start/stop button for use without a foot pedal
  • Extension Table? Yes — a good rest for your wrists whilst sewing large items. Acts as a support for larger pieces of fabric
  • Extra-High Presser Foot Lift? Yes — great for thicker fabrics and seams

Overall, the Butterick EB6100 is incredibly advanced and the perfect partner for serious stitchers. It includes a large extension table, needles, a buttonhole opener, a darning plate, 8 sewing feet, and some other great accessories. But don’t just take our word for it — here’s what Debbie Shore has to say.

Debbie Shore’s EB6100 Tips:

1. “Sew with an exact 1/4″ seam allowance by moving the needle to the 1/4″ position and using the edge of the presser foot as your guide. Perfect seams every time!”

2. “If you’re gifting or selling your projects, finishing off the seams with an over-edge stitch makes your garments look shop-bought, whilst preventing the raw edges from fraying.”

3. “I think little girls’ dresses look so pretty with borders sewn from decorative stitches. What a lovely finishing touch on lapels and pocket flaps!”

4. “If you’re sewing seams in jeans, you’ll benefit from the extra high presser foot lift to ease the foot over thicker seams.”

5. “Stitching in the ditch is a method for sewing over seams. A straight stitch adds depth but isn’t really seen, so how about using one (or some!) of the decorative stitch in the ditch stitches to add a little more interest to your quilt?”

6. “The machine creates a hand-stitched look by using a clear thread at the top and a coloured thread on the bottom. You then turn up the tension. The bottom thread is pulled through to the top to create the stitch. It’s quick and easy but gives the look of days of hand sewing!”

Write your thoughts, feelings and deepest desires in the comment box below!

7 thoughts on “5 Best Sewing Machines Winter 2017/2018”

    • Hi Gerry, this is still available on the website! Find it here:

      The only reason it wasn’t included on this list is because it isn’t a newly released machine. It’s still 10/10 for user satisfaction!

  • Hi
    I just bought the Simplicity Silk 403 Sewing and emboridery machine from Create and Craft and found this machine very good as l am new to sewing, but l never new that its so much fun l have another machine its a Singer Starlight which is also very good. I have found both machine very easy to sew because the machines sew themselves with little help from me, l just thought that l would let you know it great seeing on the show

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