Sewing Machines for $100-150

This is Part 2 of the Official WhatTheCraft Sewing Machine Recommendation List!

How did I choose the machines on this list? Online consumer ratings, my favorite shopping buddy.

These machines were selected because they not only had good ratings…  they also had a lot of ratings and were at least decently rated at more than one of the review sites. A 5 star machine with 1 reviewer could be a fluke. Likewise, a 5 star machine on Amazon that has 2 stars on Ebay reviews is not a machine I’d gamble on.

*I should mention that unless otherwise noted, I have not personally tested these machines.*

The recommendations have been broken up into several groups by price.




Janome 11590 / Kenmore 16231

Janome 11590 / Kenmore 16231 – $145 refurbished on Overstock

PatternReview rating: 24 would recommend, 1 might recommend, 2 would not recommend


Overstock rating: 4.7 stars, 15 reviews




Specs: 90 stitch functions, presser foot adjustment, buttonholer, zipper foot, free arm capability, drop-in bobbin



Brother XR9000 – $135 refurbished on Overstock

Amazon rating: 4.5 stars, 3 reviews


Overstock rating: 4.7 stars, 28 reviews





Specs: 120 stitch functions, operates with or without foot control, buttonholer, zipper foot, free arm capability and larger quilting table attachment

Runners Up


Brother XR 7700 – $145 refurbished on Overstock

Amazon rating: 5 stars, 1 review

Overstock rating: 4.6 stars, 17 reviews





Specs: 110 stitch functions, operates with or without foot control, buttonholer, zipper foot, free arm capability


Janome 11706 / Kenmore Mini Ultra

Janome 11706 / Kenmore mini ultra – $109 on Overstock

(The Janome model is a Hello Kitty sewing machine… I know, how cute.)

Sears rating: 5 stars, 30 reviews

PatternReview rating: 5 would recommend, 0 might recommend, 0 would not recommend


Overstock rating: 4.8 stars, 36 reviews


Specs: 2 stitch functions, 3/4 size

Notes: Yes, it’s very small and very cute.  My instincts tell me that a lot of people buy this machine because it’s so damned adorable. And then when it turns out to be not a complete piece of crap, they give it a good review. I would estimate that you’re paying at least $50 for the Hello Kitty name and cuteness.  For a similar price, you can get a lot more machine in terms of stitches, durability and attachments/accessories. It would be very nice to give to a kid or for someone that only does very small sewing jobs here and there.

4 thoughts on “Sewing Machines for $100-150

  1. I tried to save money once and picked up some off the shelf cheapo sewing machine at Target. What a terrible idea! Everything kept getting stuck, it was a total piece of junk. SO I appluad you for researching the best sewing machines at different price points for your readers!

    1. I did the same thing with a sewing machine from Walmart. Thinking back, I wish I’d finished whatever project needed finishing with that crappy machine and then taken it back to the store!

  2. Hi, Thank you for the article. It was very helpful for me as I’m in the market for a new machine. I have one question though would you recommend the computerized models over the standard ones? I’m looking for a decent machine but I do not want a computerized one………….

    1. I don’t think computerization is a necessary feature. In fact I’d recommend a vintage machine over almost any new machine.

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