BEST sewing machine for beginners!

In this week’s video I’m answering the #1 question I am asked by you!

“What is a great & affordable sewing machine for beginners?”
Here it is! The Kenmore 19106 (or Janome 11542).  This is my personal recommendation based on years of experience with a lot of different machines. I currently have 11 sewing machines in my studio and this one is one of my go-to machines, for sure!
Kenmore 19106 sewing machine
This machine is lightweight but one of my more heavy duty workhorses. You need to watch my video review to understand what I mean. You will shocked and amazed to see what this little 11 -pound machine can do! But the best part is the price!
Tuesday Morning sells this machine for only $59.99! 
Yes, that is correct. No typo.  $59.99.  Tuesday Morning is the only place I’ve been able to find this machine at such a low price.  You may come across it elsewhere but the price will be 2-3 times what Tuesday Morning sells it for. If $59.99 is not an affordable price point for a quality machine I don’t know what is! Trust me people… it’s worth looking into.  I have 3 of these machines and love them!
To buy this machine from Tuesday Morning you can visit a local store in your area.  To find the local store click HERE.  Or, you can also purchase directly from their website by clicking HERE.
Just so you know this is the exact same model as the Janome 11542 which I have been using in my video tutorials for a few years now.  I recently found out that Janome manufacturers the newer Kenmore machines. So, you are getting Janome quality with the Kenmore name on it.
Same machine just different brand names on it.
Ok, enough rambling. Watch the video and learn why I love it so much!

34 replies on “BEST sewing machine for beginners!

  • Debbie

    Oh my goodness, what a buy! I want to buy for my daughter and granddaughter as they have been wanting to learn to sew. I can say from experience that Kenmore machines are wonderful. I bought a little fancier version of a Kenmore several years ago when I was learning and can’t brag enough about it. It truly is a workhouse and I have used it to sew through very heavy duty interfacing to make purses and it has handled that very well.
    Thank you for sharing this information about this great buy!

  • Regina

    basic janomes are very inexpensive as well if you can find a janome dealer where you live…i will NOT sew on anything other than my janomes…i have 3 of them!!

  • Hope Grace

    Thank you, Vanessa! I just ordered one. I’m very happy that you reviewed this one. I’m buying it for my daughter, but I will probably use this in the classes that I’m teaching beginner sewers, too. (P.S. Love the Slice machine! I’m currently making a mug rug. Hope to post a pic soon!) ~ Sheila S

  • Lisa S.

    I just wanted to give a shout out to Tuesday Morning. I ordered a machine online on Wednesday. Two hours later they had that sucker shipped out via FedEx and it arrived to me today! Fastest shipping I have ever seen.
    Can’t wait to test this baby out tomorrow.
    ..still trying to explain to my hubby why I “needed” this machine! LOL

  • Tracy/Aiya

    Perfect recommendations, I own both a Kenmore and Janome, they are both great machines! I am so glad to see your review here. You are the best! And how cute is the Janome DC3050, I think it is beautiful as well as functional (IMHO). Its the one I have, my Kenmore is older but still pumping. I don’t remember the model off hand but it was bought from Sears in the 90s. My serger is Janome’s Juno 3434D and for the price I am not sure you can get a better beginners serger, and it is cute too!

  • Mirta-Boricua

    Hey Vanessa,Loved your recommendation and show of this machine,finally broke down and ordered one last nite,Oh My I have like 10 old machines never had a Janome so I will sew on it and see.
    Thanks for your Tutorial and great info you give out.

  • Anonymous

    How do people pack their sewing machine for the airplane so that it is protected from damage?

    Thanks for the tutorial. I am going to get the machine.


  • Mirta

    Hello Vanessa I got this machine Saturday n love it,there is a thread cutter in back corner by presser foot.My 1st Janome made machine. where can I get a 1/4 inch foot for my Kenmore? I forwarded your site to my 4 girls for sewing tips and lessons and cooking receipes,We are a family of Puerto Rican living in S Georgia country enjoying planting pond fresh air on 10 acres n no neighbors around so diffrent from growing up in Miami. My Mami thinks we lost our minds.It is so peaceful.maybe my girls can learn to make sofrito from you cause they dont listen to me.LOL

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  • Sonya

    Hi Vanessa. I just saw your video and it is great! Thank you. I am a beginner and I checked Tuesday Morning’s site and sure enough, they’re out of the Kenmore machines. Do you recommend any other affordable, good quality machine?


  • Anne Bishop

    The only Kenmore machine that my local Tuesday Morning had was the Kenmore 11206 three-quarter size machine, for the same price. You probably haven’t used one, but given the size and the vertical bobbin, do you think this is a suitable starting machine? I don’t want to buy it only to have to upgrade it in a few months. Also, you mention that you recently found out that Janome manufactures the newer Kenmore machines…can you please tell me where/how you found that out? I couldn’t find any documentation, just the occasional internet comment about it. Thanks for your help!

    • Penelope

      Kenmore machines have been made by many companies. They are what is known as “badged” machines meaning the department store puts their name on it, but doesn’t make it. Janome likely makes for many department stores and has made many Kenmores over the years, also. There’s a pdf of manufacturers of vintage Kenmore sewing machines which lists Janome, so long time, but they have also been made by a lot of Japanese makers & the worst was Chrysler. They should’ve stuck with cars. 😛

  • Aron Sagr

    Hello Vanessa, your blog shows that you really put in a lot of efforts to give information to people. Appreciate your work and value the time spent in creating all these resources for people to learn from.

  • Top Rated Sewing Machines

    Mechanical sewing machines are less expensive and are the simplest type of sewing machine in terms of build. But there are more features in an electronic sewing machine than in a mechanical sewing machine. Instead of turning knobs or dials, electronic sewing machines use button to adjust length or width of the stitch.

  • Anonymous

    Can this machine handle jean material? I need it to hem my and son’s denim and nylon sweat pant material. I am a beg-novice but have sewn on a early 2000 Singer that has finally died on me.

  • Anonymous

    I found your site yesterday because I was looking for a good beginner machine. The crazy thing is I can use power tools but have never been able to tackle the sewing machine. I saw your recommendation for the machine at Tuesday Morning and dropped everything to drive over to the store near my house. I couldn’t believe it but they had one of the Kenmore 19106 machines. I thought I was getting a steal at $59.99 but when the clerk rang it up it was on sale for 20% off, so I only paid $48 for it. You rock!!! Now, hopefully, I can learn to use it in time to make my Halloween costume.

    • Anonymous

      If you still have the box I need a sku number, Tuesday morning said they can help me find a store that might have it if I had the sku number

  • Zuk

    Hi Vanessa, Like Jennifer, I too cannot find either of these machines, could you recommend another? My daughters 9 & 10 are getting into sewing and I want to get them a machine for Christmas. Thank you for any help.

  • Anonymous

    This item can still be found online. Not at $60 though. : ( I bought mine at TM and have just recently begun to use it to make crib items for my soon to be born grandson. It’s very user friendly and I just love it. I haven’t sewed in a while so I’m grateful not to have anything too complicated. Here is a link for the online site to purchase.

  • Marla G. Ferguson, CHHC ~

    I guess I missed out as well. But one thing that is driving me crazy – I can’t find where to purchase things on the Tuesday Morning website! Am I missing something? 🙂 Also, has anyone found any good deals? I’m looking for my 11 year old daughter. Thank you!

    • Richard Beman

      Hello, Janome is a “best value” for either a beginner or and advanced sewer.. The # 8077
      is in my opinion a great machine for the money. It has 5 buttonhole styles,computerized, and a quiet powerful motor.. has them for $299.00+ free shipping.. ( plus plenty of 5 star reviews)… All the best !!! Happy Sewing….

  • Roger

    Today I found someone on Craigslist who was selling one of these Kenmore 19106 sewing machines. It was still brand new in the unopened box! I snagged it from the seller for $40.00!! My mother is using it this very minute as I write this. It seems to be working flawlessly. Can’t beat it for that kind of money!


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