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.


My name is Alexis. I have a craft addiction. This is my story. also check out: (my clothes) (my tutorials)

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4 comments 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!

    • Lex says:

      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. calla says:

    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………….

    • Lex says:

      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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