Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: March 11, 2021
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In addition to crocheting and knitting, sewing clothes to look like some fictional characters is also becoming increasingly popular. In this case, you need the best sewing machine for cosplay that can handle all sizes and types of fabrics. After all, today, you could be costumed as Harley Quinn, while on Halloween, you could be dressed up like Mugatu. Now, with the new domestic sewing machines, the task is simplified to the maximum and takes less work to do.
So, little by little, machines for domestic use have carved out a big hole in our society. Its functions have increased and above all its price has been greatly reduced. Do you love cosplaying? Now is the time to buy a machine that can make the costumes. Here are a few recommended models which we have selected by looking at the type, maximum sewing speed, number of stitches, and other useful criteria.
The CS6000i lost its top spot to XR9500PRW in recent years because the latter was very price-aggressive. Meanwhile, the Brother CS6000i is now the best sewing machine for cosplay and the overall best entry-level sewing machine you can get in the US. It has been on the top for up to 13 years (yes, it was released in 2007 and it is still the best till today).
The machine has a moderate sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute and 60 stitches. It includes features such as an extended table and a free arm that you will find useful for cosplay. This machine can now be called a “legend.” Its properties, durability, and stitch quality have proven themselves over the years with thousands (if not millions) of users.
The computerized machine is also the best-selling sewing machine on the market. The CS6000i will tick all the checkboxes for beginners. Its user-friendly features and ease of use makes the machine popular among beginners.
What we liked: The machine has a moderate sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute and includes features such as an extended table and free arm that you will find useful for cosplays. We also like the fact the machine is also almost guaranteed for life – for 25 years.
What could be better: The machine is in a plastic chassis and could not be very long-lasting, especially under heavy use.
The Singer 9660 is one of the most complete sewing machines out there. Silent, it is easy to use despite its extremely high number of functions. The Singer 9660 is a sewing machine with hundreds of features; it has all the sewing aids you can imagine with premium materials.
This is the ideal sewing machine if you love sewing and want to let your imagination fly when making new garments.
The coil is located following a horizontal arrangement, with widths up to 7mm. It allows you to work with up to 13 types of buttonholes in just one step (automatic). The sewing machine also has a low buttonhole that allows us to customize projects to the maximum. The sewing machine is wired; that is, it will have to be connected for continuous operation.
It does not have a knee function but integrates a practical pedal that is not always necessary for sewing. However, it has a practical needle plate that has been designed to make threading as easy as possible.
The presser foot adjusts the pressure automatically based on the type of fabric. The machine includes features such as overcasting, hem, buttonhole, zipper, darning and embroidery, satin, button foot. The structure of the sewing bed is cylindrical to facilitate work.
What we liked: Threading the machine is very easy. You can automatically thread it from the spool to the needle eye.
What could be better: It does not have a knee control function, but it integrates a practical pedal.
This compact sewing machine has 27 built-in stitches so you can choose the one that best complements your work. It includes decorative stitches, blind hem, zigzag stitch, elastic, and more. Its LED lighting will allow you to have a clear vision, even in poorly lit spaces.
It has an automatic needle threading system and its handling is very simple, especially for sewing enthusiasts. It has an instructional DVD, user manual, and free technical support.
If you’re currently looking for a capable, yet affordable, sewing machine, then this deal might be for you. The Brother XM2701 sewing machine is a very versatile machine. With this product, you can do small seams as well as larger jobs.
The Brother sewing machine looks like the majority of sewing machines on the market but has certain originality.
Keep in mind that even if it is versatile in use, the product is only really effective with simple fabrics, for touch-ups. The durability of the construction is not impressive. However, Brother offers a 25-year limited warranty on the machine.
What we liked: The real strength of the XM2701 is that it is very easy to use. The device is equipped with an integrated needle threader, heavy-duty spool jam, and LED lighting on the working area.
What could be better: This machine was not designed to run full for too long. If you put too much strain on the engine, it won’t last long.
The Juki TL-2000Qi is a portable machine with one stitcher. However, it is powerful with a speed of 1500 spm. The Juki TL-2000Qi sewing machine is a must-have and reliable asset for your cosplay jobs, cloth-making, and other sewing needs.
Built for sewing and quilting, it is a high-performance stitcher sewing machine. It has an industrial foot, plate, claw, hook, and wire cutter. A double-drive foot, extension plate, and knee pad are provided.
In addition to being a powerful and robust machine and having a large workspace, the presser foot pressure setting can be adjusted to accommodate different fabric thicknesses by turning the regulator located on the top of the machine.
What we liked: We like the included knee lever. It lets you raise or lower the presser foot without putting your hands on the job. It also features an extension table for a wider work area.
What could be better: It’s not made with beginners in mind. Rather, it is a machine for taking a step up.
The JANOME 6650P is a high-speed computerized sewing machine. It is a very colorful and beautiful sewing machine that has industrial quality and precision. At its heart is the high performing professional design. It has a flatbed and the body is made of all-aluminum with a powder coated surface, just like industrial-grade machines. The machine has a very strong motor with a sewing speed that can get up to 1000 SPM. So, it is perfect for small-scale and heavy-duty jobs.
Its powerful motor, robust workmanship, and special bearings are features we like in the new development. At a top speed, it emits a low working noise. There’s a rubber feet which ensure the machine stands firm. There’s a start and stop button which positioned ergonomically, allowing sewing with no foot control.
The extra stroke of the foot offers space for extreme fabrics such as jeans, imitation fur, leather, or fan fabrics.
What we liked: We like the clear, bright, and information-rich 3.6-inch LCD screen. It offers a clear view of all functions – sewing program, stitch width, and stitch length.
What could be better: It doesn’t have any notable downside. For its price, it better not have.
Do you want something small but powerful to travel with? Are you planning to introduce a child into sewing but need a cheaper machine for it? Would you like to get involved in the next Halloween costumes? In all cases, the Singer 1304 could be the answer. The mechanical machine features six stitches and contains a 4-step buttonhole with three presser feet.
Stitch length and width are preset. However, this is a feature that advanced users may find too limiting. Meanwhile, it is ideal for any beginner that wants a simple machine without getting stuck with a wide range of settings.
There is an easy-to-use marker point selector, included threading diagram, free arm, and automatic bobbin winder. When you buy this, you can join an online class which will cover the setup and operation. This also covers how to sew essentials like hems, buttons, and zippers.
What we liked: The machine is extensively covered by warranties. There’s a 25-year warranty on the mechanical part, 5 years on the electrical part, and one year for labor.
What could be better: Some reviewers say that the bobbin can be difficult to adjust and that the thread is jamming too easily.
Things to Consider
You’ve been hearing about the possibility of making the costumes yourself. And you would like to give cosplay a try. The question is what really is cosplay and which are the best sewing machines to start with? In this small guide, we will give you tips and tell you briefly some things that you should take into account before buying your first sewing machine.
What is Cosplay?
Cosplays are made for the appreciation of the design works and the enjoyment derived from making them.
Nowadays, cosplay is seen as something that goes beyond the costume. It is a sub-culture that includes knowledge of design, character interpretation, and even reflection on the place of cosplay in conventions.
Most of the characters chosen are Japanese animations. However, there are also characters copied from animated productions or video games. It’s just a matter of turning costume into an art.
In anime conventions and other events, cosplayers usually meet with their like minds. They, thus, show their work, parading, presenting their interpretations, and in turn, find inspirations or work opportunities in meetings with other cosplayers. So, how do you choose the perfect machine to make your cosplays?
Features to consider when choosing a sewing machine for cosplay
If you are already determined to acquire a cosplay sewing machine, you must understand that you will need to know in detail some criteria before your purchase. Therefore, we will immediately introduce to you the most important aspects to consider so that you do not buy the wrong one.
Without a doubt, this is an aspect that you have to be very clear about before buying your best cosplay sewing machine. There are two types of this purpose: mechanized and computerized, as we have seen in the review.
The mechanical machines are simpler. This is simply because they have an electric motor that drives the mechanism of the machine. This replaces human energy that was used in the machines of the nineteenth century.
In fact, it is the only major difference that they present compared to the traditional Singer sewing machines with presser foot, created in 1851. Otherwise, the mechanism remains the same: the way of tensioning the thread, the position of the needle, threading, the use of double thread or bobbin, etc.
The manipulation of the mechanical machines is carried out by means of analog buttons and is completely manual. So it is very useful for making simple seams. However, to handle them correctly, it is essential to know perfectly all the parts of the machine and its operation. Therefore, it is essential that you have some knowledge of sewing.
On the other hand, the cost of this type of machine is much cheaper than that of computerized machines; but the quality of the seams is usually lower.
Electronic machines also have an electric motor that makes them work. However, they differ from mechanical machines by having an electronic panel, rather than analog buttons.
Each button on the electronic panel regulates a functionality of the machine. These can be the length and width of the stitch, the type of stitch, the threading, the buttonholes, and many other functions. This feature makes them really easy to use.
Being programmable and making all the adjustments automatically, they are perfect for beginning cosplayers. This is because they do not need to know how they are operated 100%. Also, they are really comfortable to sew and have the advantage of being quieter than mechanical machines.
Also, its repair is easier since you do not have to completely disassemble the body of the machine to find the problem. You only need to change a cable or update its software to make it like new.
Manually set (you have to know the “anatomy of the machine”)
Can make noise
They can be complicated
Simple, thanks to digital
Intermediate and advanced level
Great for beginners
There are several models of sewing machines that will allow you to successfully complete your cosplay projects. However, the operation and configuration of them tend to vary according to their technological versions.
Buttons: Most sewing machine models have buttons that make relevant adjustments possible. These are much easier and more intuitive for elderly people.
LCD screen: The most contemporary models will have a digital screen (sometimes in color) that will allow you to observe the settings you make in greater detail. This will decrease the number of buttons you have and you will have a more modern design. They are ideal for spaces with little lighting and for lovers of technological innovations.
For the longevity of the machine, you should look for a model with a metal frame. Sewing machines with plastic frames are becoming widespread, but they are not durable. They deteriorate faster and can be rather difficult to rebuild.
As with all sewing machines, be sure to read the attached manual carefully before sewing. Each machine has slightly different rules of use and precaution.
The speed of the sewing machine is oftentimes expressed in the term of the number of stitches you are able to make each minute, that is stitches per minute (SPM). Unlike industrial machines which tend to have high rotating motors which guarantee high speed, cosplaying doesn’t really require an over the ordinary sewing speed. For this type of vocation or hobby, a sewing speed of around 800 SPM minimum to 1,500 SPM maximum is sufficient.
If you want a fast machine, choose the JUKI TL-2000Qi (with 1500 maximum SPM). If you want a low-speed machine, the SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 is there for the taking with 850 SPM maximum speed. There are slower machines such as the SINGER Start 1304 with 450 SPM. That is below the ordinary, but can be an option for beginners.
Number and type of stitches
The stitch options will allow you to choose from a variety of designs in which your sewing will be reflected. You can find utility and decorative stitches to make your best combinations.
What is it for?
Stitch 100 or single chain
It does not need a bobbin and is made up of one or more needles. It is unstitched very easily and is a stretch stitch.
101 is normally used for button sewing, 103 is used for hemstitching, and 104 is a stitch to make nice trims.
It is done with a single thread and a single needle. Decorative stitches are included.
300 stitch or double stitch
Two interlaced threads are used and a needle and bobbin are used. The stitch is very resistant and does not unravel easily.
The 301 is the most used for double stitching, the 304 is zigzag and is used in many cases for lingerie, sportswear, buttonholes, and loops, among other functions.
400 or multi-chain stitch
One or more needles can be used combined with one or more interlaced threads.
Needle and anchor are required. They are resistant stitches and their appearance is different on the right and the reverse. There are 401, 404 (zigzag), 406, and 407.
500 or overlock stitch
It requires a needle and two anchors and is formed with one or more and one or more interlaced threads. It is very elastic, but it unravels easily.
There is the 504 stitch (overcast, the most common for Overlock), 512, 514, 515, and 516.
600 stitch or cover stitch
They need 2 or more needles and one or more anchors. It is formed by 3 interlocking points. They use a lot of yarn. They are elastic and very resistant stitches.
There are stitches 602 (2-needle liner) and 607 (4-needle liner).
Ease of use
The controls must be simple and also intuitive to use. You shouldn’t have to work too hard to change your stitch size. It would have to be easy to change for sewing (like winding the bobbin and threading the needles). Also, the machine should generate even seams and stitches that will not sag.
The correct presser feet can make learning new techniques considerably easier. Most feet on sewing machines have plastic foot, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, blind stitch foot which you can use for making invisible gems, and the one for edge sewing. However, note that there are some machines which only work with feet from the brand while others can accept generic feet on the market. In any case, it is always advisable to choose a machine that has generic feet, because complementary feet can be expensive.
Size and weight
The size and weight of the machine you choose are of great importance. It will allow you to know how much space you should reserve for it and how comfortable it will be to mobilize or transfer it. We will divide this section into compact, standard, and spacious products.
The compact: Models suitable for portability tend to be more practical and smaller, especially when their functions are more limited. There are versions of 39 or 38 cm width by 30 high, and others 35 cm high by 28 width. Use them if you are a sewing beginner and need to move your machine frequently.
Standard: Some sewing machines may have a standard size, which can range from 41 cm width by 30 height to 44 cm width by 37 height. These are usually perfectly suited to sewing tables.
Spacious: These are models with extended tables. They have embroidery functionalities or semi-industrial designs. You can find these machines in 54 or 53 cm width by 44 or 42 cm height. Choose them when you are going to need them for constant, commercial use, or when you need to sew large or complicated items, such as quilts, polyester fabrics, and the like.
Regardless of the type you buy, sewing machines of today tend to be really expensive. To insure your investment, you must ensure that it’s covered by an acceptable warranty. When considering an item’s warranty, you should look at its exclusions, coverage, and duration. Also, you need to understand what are the likely things that may end up voiding the product’s warranty. A 25-year warranty on the mechanical parts is a good condition to start with in these types of machines.
Sewing machines are on the market in an extensive range of costs. So you must first determine how much you can afford. If you’re on a budget, you’re not going to pay for machines with high-class quirks. You can find under 500 machines with basic features which will serve your purpose. But remember that even if you have a limited budget, you should not settle for a sewing machine made of cheap plastic. On the other hand, if you fancy a few additional features such as LED light, automatic threader, and many more, be ready to shed around $1,000 to 2000 for a good sewing machine for cosplay.
Cosplay costumes can be made by beginners who are just starting the art and craft of sewing. Cosplays are not like other everyday costumes. Since you need a touch of clownery on the costume, you don’t have to be a professional seamstress to make one. You just have to choose a character, work out everything you need, download your sewing patterns, pick your materials, get your tools, and get in with the fun.
When you’re not using the machine, be sure to keep it unplugged and covered! Not only does this keep the mechanisms free of insects, pet hair, and dust, it will also prevent moisture from building up and causing rust. Change your needles regularly. Some seamstresses recommend doing it as often as every other project. Also, give the interior a little care. This includes removing dust from the bobbin case, from between the tension discs, and from under the feed dogs. You can do this with compressed air, with a soft brush, or with a piece of muslin cloth. Regularly grease the bobbin case with sewing machine oil, then run the machine with a useless piece of fabric to remove excess oil. Follow all other cleaning instructions set out in your machine’s care manual.
Buying a cosplay machine can inject a lot of fun to your leisure period and can even be a way to hone your skills as a professional costumer or seamstress. Now that we’ve presented you with a list of products, their reviews, and a buying guide, here is our final verdict.
Choose our Budget Pick, Brother XM2701 if you have little budget for this equipment. Despite its low price, we like this compact mechanical sewing machine because it has 27 built-in stitches with up to 800 SPM.
Our best value for money product is the SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960. This is one of the most complete sewing machines out there. Silent, it is easy to use despite its extremely high number of functions. It has hundreds of features and all the sewing aids you can imagine with premium models.
Finally, our overall best sewing machine for cosplay is the Brother CS6000i. The machine has a moderate sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute and 60 stitches. It includes features such as an extended table and a free arm that you will find useful for cosplay.