The immense popularity of jeans has its roots in the 1800s when the first pair of real denim jeans were made for gold prospectors. These workers endured long hours of hard labor, physical pain, different weather conditions, and other elements. While mining and prospecting gold, traditional pants would break easily, and they simply weren’t up to this strenuous task.
A German-born businessman, Levi Strauss, saw the opportunity and need to make a stronger and sturdier pair of pants, ultimately leading to fashioning the modern-day jeans. From the Gold Rush until today, denim jeans remained a well-loved piece of clothing, from the working-class men and women to everyday casual wear.
However, if you wish to sew your own pair, you might find denim hard to work with. It’s a very hard and thick material, and when you fold it and try to sew two pieces together, it only gets more complicated. For this reason, you’ll need a heavy-duty sewing machine able to tackle this fibrous and heavy fabric.
Top Choices for 2021
In this article, we’ve gathered the top-rated sewing machines for jeans and denim and created a comprehensive Buyer’s Guide to help you find and buy a machine that best fits your needs.
1. Brother XM1010 Sewing Machine
For all of you who want a durable and full-sized but lightweight sewing machine, the Brother XM1010 Sewing Machine would be an ideal choice.
This versatile and affordable machine is perfect for everyday sewing and mending as it features some of the most popular stitches. The ten unique built-in stitches include zig-zag and stretch stitches, a four-step buttonholer, and a blind hem. It also comes with a wide range of easy-to-use features, such as an automatic needle threader, an automatic bobbin winder, a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin, and many more.
The Brother XM1010 also has an easy stitch selector, allowing you to choose different utility stitches, decorative stitches, stretch stitches, and buttonhole. For precise and easy sewing of cuffs and sleeves, you can make use of its built-in free arms feature.
All in all, this machine is excellent for a wide range of everyday sewing projects as well as for sewing denim and is suitable for users of beginner and advanced levels. If you purchase this sewing machine, you’ll get a number of different accessories with it, such as a foot controller, three needles, four bobbins, a darning plate, a screwdriver, and a manual with an instructional DVD and quick start guide.
2. Brother ST150HDH Strong & Tough Sewing Machine
Another great model by the trusted Brother. The ST150HDH Strong & Tough Sewing Machine is perfect for various sewing projects, from denim and other heavyweight materials to lightweight silk.
This beast features fifty unique built-in stitches, including a variety of decorative and utility stitches as well as five auto-size buttonholes. It also has longer 7-point feed dogs for smooth and secure feeding and stitching of even the toughest of fabrics.
For better control of multiple fabric layers and difficult fabrics, you can make use of its walking foot, which moves and holds the fabric between the upper and lower feed dogs. The expanded needle-to-arm workspace allows for more room when working with quilts and other bulky sewing projects.
This heavy-duty machine comes with a number of useful accessories, such as two needles for sewing jeans, leather, and other tough materials, two needles for lighter and medium weight fabrics, and two ballpoint needles for stretch fabrics. It also features start/stop buttons, needle up and down buttons, and speed control for added control over your sewing and pivoting.
The quick-set bobbin system and automatic bobbin winding system makes it easy for you to insert a bobbin and produce an evenly wound bobbin. Thanks to its LCD screen, you can have a clear overview of your stitch selections, stitch size, and recommended sewing foot.
3. SINGER 4423 Sewing Machine
The Heavy Duty Sewing Machine by Singer can tackle thicker materials and longer seams without a glitch. From denim to canvas, the Singer is a metal frame workhorse designed with all of your heavy-duty projects in mind.
With its Stitch Selector Dial, you’ll have all the available stitches displayed, and with turning the dial, you can choose from a variety of stitches for decorative sewing, basic sewing, and many more. This high-speed sewing machine with a powerful motor features a maximum sewing speed of more than 1,000 stitches per minute, providing a greater piercing power at the same time.
The built-in needle threader and drop-in bobbin system with clear cover allow for effortless threading and loading of bobbins, with easy monitoring of thread supply. On top of the machine, there are threading guides so you can easily follow the whole process. Thanks to its interior metal frame and stainless steel bed frame, this sewing machine is extremely stable and robust, providing long-lasting durability.
It comes with a number of bonus accessories, such as an all-purpose foot, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, button sewing foot, quilting guide, needles, bobbins, seam ripper/lint brush, screwdriver, spool pin felt, auxiliary spool pin as well as a soft-sided dust cover.
4. Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 18 Built-in Stitches + Hard Case
The Janome HD3000 Sewing Machine is designed for both versatility and durability and is suitable for beginners as well as those who are looking for something to help them with big and heavy sewing projects.
On the machine’s upper tray door, there is a simple instructional guide, indicating different sewing and foot settings for a variety of sewing tasks. Thanks to its robust aluminum body and different built-in features, including eighteen stitches and a one-step buttonhole, you will be able to handle any sewing project with ease.
The Janome comes with many useful features. The auto needle threading and free arm enable easy threading and sewing on hard to reach areas. The adjustable foot presser and seven presser feet allow for setting the right amount of pressure and sewing seven different stitches. Other features include snap-on presser feet, overedge foot, zig-zag foot, blind hem foot, reverse stitch button, stitch selection dial, and push-pull bobbin winder.
The machine comes with an accessory compartment for storing cleaning and repair tools and other accessories, as well as with an easy to understand manual, making the set up quick and easy.
Whether you are an apprentice or a professional seamster, you’ll find this feature-rich workhorse very helpful, tackling all sorts of tailoring projects effortlessly and fast.
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5. SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine
This is the best selling sewing machine by Singer. The Singer Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine features 32 built-in stitches, including six basic, seven stretch, eighteen decorative, one fully auto one-step buttonhole, and others, making it suitable for creating garments, home decor, and other crafts.
It features an automatic needle threader and a powerful engine for eye strain-free threading and sewing at the maximum speed, which can be up to 1,100 stitches per minute. This beast machine comes with four heavy-duty optimized bonus accessories, including even feed/walking foot for tackling multiple layers of fabric, non-stick foot for vinyl and leather, five sets of needles, and a clearance plate for thicker seems.
Besides these heavy-duty accessories, it also comes with several additional tools, such as all-purpose foot, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, button sewing foot, quilting guide, seam ripper/lint brush, bobbins, needles, screwdriver, spool pin felt, and auxiliary spool pin, all stored in the accessory tray for added convenience.
The stainless steel bedplate and the heavy-duty interior metal frame enable smooth and skip-free fabric flow and sewing.
Buyer’s Guide to Help You Make the Right Choice
When choosing a sewing machine best suited for denim, you’ll want something that has a bit more power to tackle heavier and thicker fabrics with ease. Here are some of the features worth considering:
Feature #1. Motor power
When tailoring jeans and denim, you’ll need a sewing machine with a heavy-duty and powerful engine. If you try to sew your favorite jeans or denim jacket with a standard sewing machine, you might find the whole process tiresome and slow. That’s why you need a machine with more oomph for better tailoring speed and optimal performance with thicker materials.
Feature #2. Adjustable speed
To get better control over heavy and robust fabrics such as denim, your sewing machine should have a perfect speed. Some people might do better when sewing at a slower speed; others might prefer to do it faster. All in all, target machines that have an adjustable speed, so you can set it the way you like best for the better handling of the material and desired finished result.
Feature #3. Denim needle
For stitching denim, you’ll need a dedicated denim needle specifically designed to penetrate tougher and tightly woven fabrics. Denim needle is usually much sharper and longer than standard sewing machine needles but has a bigger eye. Look for machines that come with this type of needle; otherwise, you’ll have to purchase it separately if you plan to work with denim.
Feature #4. Leveling button
This feature is especially important when working with heavier materials, such as denim or quilts. This feature allows you to lift the foot, place the fabric the way you want it, and then press the button to lock the foot into one position. This will enable you to start stitching at the edge of the fabric and even hem denim.
Feature #5. Stitching adjustment
Since denim is a heavy and strong material, it will require longer and wider stitches, creating a firm stitch regardless of its length. For this reason, go for heavy-duty machines that have adjustable stitch width and length. Also, opt for those machines with the widest adjustability range to make sure it’s well suited for sewing different items.
Feature #6. Automatic needle threader and thread cutter
To avoid the hassle of threading the needle manually, go for sewing machines with an automatic needle threader, and that will do this for you. This is particularly important for those who want the job done fast without unnecessary and finicky details such as threading. For the same purpose, target sewing machines that have automatic thread cutter in addition. Instead of taking scissors every time you finish a stitch, the machine with this feature will do it for you each time you reach the edge of the fabric.
Feature #7. Accessories
When buying a new sewing machine, you shouldn’t overlook all the accessories it comes with as these can often make your work much easier. Many heavy-duty machines come with a number of useful accessories, such as extra needle sets, bobbins, different tools, presser foot, extra storage compartments, and many others. Some even offer extension tables, providing extra workspace, which can be very useful when working with heavy and large materials.
Feature #8. Durable frame
To withstand heavy vibration and beating generated by the powerful motor, your denim sewing machine should have a metal or stainless steel frame. This will make sure your equipment lasts for years to come.
Feature #9. Warranty
The majority of heavy-duty sewing machines with durable frames made of metal usually come with a 25-year warranty, so don’t accept less. Naturally, some machine parts will have a shorter warranty, as these are likely to wear out quicker.
To Wrap Up
To make your work productive and fulfilling, choose stronger sewing machines designed to perform smoothly even with the toughest fabrics. If you plan to work with denim and jeans, we’re certain that our top-rated list and the Buyer’s Guide will help you find the perfect sewing machine that best meets your needs and requirements.
You can also watch the following video and find how to choose a perfect sewing machine for your needs:
Q: Can I sew denim on a regular sewing machine?
A: If you’re working with denim that is lighter, a regular sewing machine will do the job. However, you’ll need proper needles and thread specially designed for this kind of fabric.
Q: Do I need a special needle to sew denim?
A: To handle jeans/denim projects, you’ll need a special needle that’s made for thicker and heavier fabrics. These needles are usually extremely long and sharp and have a bigger eye suitable for thicker threads used for sewing denim.
Q: How much denim do I need to make jeans?
A: On average, to make a medium size pair of jeans, you’ll need about one and a half yards of denim. However, it’s always recommended to get more, especially if you’re a beginner, to account for any potential mistakes.
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Here are some other interesting choices available on Amazon: