Sewing Machine Buying Guide| Argos

sewing machine
Buying Guide

Get stitching in no time with our guide to sewing machines.

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What sewing machines are best for beginners?

Our entry level machines will get you going with plenty of projects.

  • Generally they can perform up to 20 different stitch types, including straight and zigzag stitches.
  • Will work well with light to medium weight materials.
  • General features: 4-step buttonholer, automatic bobbin winding and twin needle capability.

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Different type of sewing machines

Already a regular stitcher? These machines will enable you to work with higher sewing speeds and impress with more complex stitches.

What is an electric sewing machine? Shop all electric sewing machine

The needle of an electric sewing machine is controlled by a single motor. By applying pressure to a foot peddle you control the stitching speed.

  • Most can perform over 20 different stitch types.
  • Work well with light to medium weight materials.
  • Some are designed to work with thicker fabrics, such as layers of denim.
  • General features: 1-step buttonholer, automatic bobbin winding, up to 7 possible needle positions and twin needle capability.

What is a computerised sewing machine? Shop all computerised sewing machine

Computerised sewing machines provide greater functionality as many of the operations are automatic. A host of stitches and clever features are all controlled by a simple-to-use keypad or touch-controlled screen.

  • Most can perform 50-225 stitches, with the option to download more stitches from online.
  • Works well with light to medium weight materials.
  • Needle can be changed to work with thicker materials.
  • General features: automatic needle threader, sophisticated embroidery feature, slide speed control, 1-step buttonholer.

What is an overlocker? Shop all overlocker

An overlocker is a separate machine that is used to neatly stitch seams. If you are a more experienced stitcher, the addition of an overlocker alongside your sewing machine will neaten and speed up finishing off seams.

  • Generally can perform up to 10 different overlocking stitches.
  • Able to cope with almost all fabric types.
  • Can sew, cut and finish seams when making clothing, soft upholstery and furnishings.
  • Can be more complicated to set-up, but many come pre-threaded.

Sewing Machine helpful features


Machines differ on the number of steps needed to create a buttonhole. Basic models will have a 4-step buttonholer function, while more advanced machines can create a buttonhole in just one step.

Adjustable thread tension

Adjust how loose or tight the stitches are made through the fabric. This is important if you are planning to work with a variety of fabrics.

Automatic Needle Threader

This will let you avoid the fiddly task of threading the needle for a quick and hassle-free set-up.


Some machine models have an inbuilt light directed at the needle so you can clearly see each stitch.


Sewing Machine Carry Bag

A carry bag helps to protect and transport your sewing machine and keeps all your accessories together.

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Craft Lamp

A craft lamp will light up your work space and many come with a magnifying glass to help with fiddly tasks.

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Sewing Chest

A sewing chest or basket lets you keep all of your threads, pins and scissors organised.

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Helpful tips for sewing

Use the right needle

Make sure you are using the right needle for the type of material you are working with to avoid damaging your machine. Many machines come with a starter set of various needles .

Get a magnet

Sew with a small magnet close at hand. Simply wave around your floor, chair and workspace once you have finished sewing to pick up any dropped pins or needles.

Sit comfortably

Position your sewing machine on a table where, sitting comfortably, your elbows are at table height. You should be able to work the machine with straight wrists.

Avoid sewing across pins

Pins can be used to hold material together or a hem in place while you sew - but take care not to sew over the pins as they can damage your machine

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