Specialized embroidery machines are a work of art. They allow for the sewist to create elaborated appliques much more easily and are great for embroidery and quilts. Combination machines allow you to switch between regular sewing and doing appliques – they are versatile and great for sewers with little space.
Applique machines exclusively work for embroidery or quilts and are much better for doing embellishments and detailed work, but they are more expensive and cannot be used to sew.
When considering how to purchase the best sewing machine for applique, consider your budget, actual needs, skill level, and space availability. A good sewing machine should last you for years and it is an investment, so proper research and consideration are in order.
Best Sewing Machines for Applique and Embroidery
1. Brother PE800
Brother is a reliable brand of sewing machines and a top pick among professional seamstresses.
This specific model is purely an embroidery machine, and it has smart features such as the automatic needle threader, a USB port that lets you transfer patterns easily to the device, and a quick-set bobbin system.
Additionally, a touch screen LCD display with smart color technology makes sure you can visualize your patterns with real colors and make sure you are following them correctly.
Apart from being able to transfer patterns with the USB, you can also choose to use one of the one hundred and thirty-eight that already come with the Brother PE800.
2. Janome Memory Craft
If what you need is a large, reliable embroidery machine for professional use, you can’t go wrong with the Janome Memory Craft.
The touch screen not only lets you see the patterns you upload by USB but also create and edit embroidery patterns of your own. It has a 7.9 x 7.9 inches field, meaning it can be used for larger projects that take up space.
It is not so simple to use, but once you learn it you can take your skills to the next level. It simplifies a lot of tasks, by having an automatic thread cutter in addition to the needle threader and stitching as fast as eight hundred and sixty stitches per minute.
3. Brother PE550D
This Brother model is a more affordable one than the previous one. It is more compact, and the design size is 4 x 4 inches – a standard size for most appliques.
It comes with one hundred and twenty-five Disney embroidery patterns and six different letter fonts, and a USB port to receive extra patterns. It also features an embroidery foot – a great tool that lets you sew easier by transferring some movements to your foot, leaving your hands free to stitch.
All Brother products come with online and phone support, but it should be noticed some customers did have problems with it.
4. EverSewn Sparrow X
Hobbyists looking for the best sewing machine for applique and regular stitching will love this model.
The Sparrow is a high-end model that does both jobs really well, so if you are short on space you can have the best of both worlds. It is designed to be used in conjunction with a modern and intuitive app – a fantastic idea that lets you control the drawing from your phone or Ipad!
Because the machine has wifi, it will constantly update you on the status of the project, even if you are not in the same room. It has a learning curve on how to use it, but after you master it you can complete intricate motifs and advanced sewing tasks.
5. Brother SE400 Combination Machine
Another great adaptable machine, the SE400 is budget-friendly, compact, and versatile. Aside from the inbuilt embroidery and lettering patterns, it also comes with sixty sewing stitches for all your tailoring needs.
It is still a great applique machine, with a USB cable, touch screen, embroidery arm, and a range of other accessories needed for the activity.
If you are new to it, you can browse the clear instructions and follow the step by step guide of the included patterns. It is easy to switch between sewing and embroidering, so that is great for mixed projects.
6. EverSewn Charlotte
Charlotte is a simple but effective computerized sewing machine. You can use it as an applique device or a regular sewing machine. It automatically threads the needle and has speed and stitch width control.
The computerized LED stitch panel showcases the stitch you are using and the mode you selected, making the creative process a breeze. An ergonomic design makes this device very comfortable to use, and the built is extremely strong.
This is, however, a free-motion embroidery machine, meaning you have to use your hands to complete the applique patterns. It will not follow patterns on its own.
7. Singer Portable Sewing Machine
Singer is another brand that keeps coming up in research about the best sewing machines.
This is a combination machine, and users are particularly happy when using this device for sewing projects that have embroidery details.
It is lighter than others, fast, and has an astonishing number of stitches built-in. The manual is impressive, and if you are a newbie you can follow several step-by-step guides to get the hang of it.
It comes with an embroidery foot and it has the automatic needle-threader much needed for beginners, with the same quality as machines that are double the price.
8. Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine
For sewists looking for an affordable applique sewing machine only, this Brother model could be the one. It comes with eighty designs to choose from, nine lettering fonts, and a large color touchscreen.
The LCD display measures 3.2 inches and the color recreation is faithful to the real image. The PE535 has an ingrained memory, so you can use a USB stick to transfer patterns to the sewing machine and keep them there.
It is possible to align the lettering in different ways and to create angles and curves to follow your design. It is not difficult to use, with a very intuitive and smart design.
9. SINGER | Legacy SE300
On the high end of the spectrum, this Singer has everything you can dream of on an applique machine. It is strong and can be used with several types of fabric, and it is fast, with a speed of eight hundred stitches per minute.
You can adjust your embroidery patterns on the LCD touch screen, and save patterns inside the sewing machine’s memory. The working area is bigger than the average and allows you to work on projects that are up to eight inches big.
There are more than two hundred patterns included and six alphabet options, so you can start using this device as soon as you get it.
Applique Sewing Machine Buying Guide
Specialized or Combination
Embroidery machines work by following pre-programming designs selected by the user. The fabric is held in place by the embroidery hoops and the machine goes to work, this is how appliques are made.
Some machines are embroidery only, and some are capable of producing patterns as well as performing normal sewing tasks. A specialized embroidery machine will be better in terms of speed, intricacy, and size of the applique, but they are also bulkier and not versatile.
Choose it based on your day to day needs.
Beginner or advanced
There is a range of sewing machines offered, and many will come with preloaded patterns and step-by-step guides.
This is fantastic for beginners, that can finish projects at the same time they learn how to use the machine. If you are an advanced sewer, there is no need for that.
Embroidery design size
Most machines have a sewing table for a 4 x 4 inches pattern – that is fine for the average project. If you want something bigger, look for models that specify a bigger working area. This will also require a bigger hoop size.
This refers to the number of stitches the machine does per minute. They can be as high as eight hundred stitches per minute, very helpful as some appliques have thousands of stitches in total.
Computerized sewing machines have LCD screens where you can follow the design and pattern and choose different stitches. The better they are in color recreation, the closer you can follow the original drawing.
Some models come up with different features that can be a real help when doing patterns.
For example, a thread break warning on the display that lets you know you have to stop right away and replace the strand. An automatic thread cutter. A presser foot to release the fabric.
The list goes on! If there is a feature you love on your regular sewing machine, chances are you can find it on the embroidery machine.
Sewing Machine for Applique Frequently Asked Questions
What size needle is best for machine applique?
The size of the needle needs to match the thread size in order to work well. This information should be specified in the pattern details.
What is the difference between a regular and an embroidery sewing machine?
A regular sewing machine has to be guided by your hands and can be used to sew clothing, attach buttons, do hemming, and all kinds of sewing projects.
The best sewing machines for appliques, on the other hand, have an internal computer that lets them follow an intricate pattern on the chosen fabric.
Can you do appliques with an embroidery machine?
Yes. Applique refers to a technique that involves stitching an elaborated design to a contrasting fabric. It can also mean the process of stitching two different pieces of fabric together, to create a pattern.
The embroidery is the best sewing machine for applique, and the skills required are just a notch above regular sewing. Many of the machines we listed today are beginner-friendly though, so this is a good place to start.
Can you freehand embroidery with a regular sewing machine?
Not all sewing machines are capable of embroidering, but some have a setting where you can set the stitch specifications and guide the fabric through the machine to make appliques.
This is more time consuming and completely relying on your abilities.
What does “computerized machine” mean?
A computerized sewing machine is an embroidery machine or an applique machine.
It works by following a pattern upload to its internal memory by USB, displaying the design on its LCD display and stitching it on a fabric attached to the embroidery hoop.