top of page

100Eur vs 1000Eur machine: jeans test

Does a 1000 euro machine really sews better than 100eur machine? Let's find out with a ultimate test: sewing jeans!

The machines I used in this test are: beginner friendly machine Brother CS10s which retails below 200eur, and straight-stitch advanced sewing machine Brother PQ1600S, which costs a bit over 1000eur. 

1st tested machine: Brother PQ1600S straight stitch machine
2nd tested machine: Brother CS10S computerized beginner machine

I tested these machines by making a pair of jeans: one half is made using one machine and second half other machine, to see how both machines will perform in same conditions: same thick fabric, same thick thread, same jeans needle size 100 and of course same seams. I’ll review the test results in 5 points: stitch quality, ease of use and adjustability, versatility and specialized features, durability and reliability and value for money.

Jeans made during testing: one half is sewn with Brother PQ1600S, another half with Brother CS10S

Thanks to Brother for partnering on this post and providing machines for the review. 


Click image below to watch version, and scroll down to read the test results!

100Eur vs 1000Eur machine: jeans test


The most used stitch in any design is a straight stitch, this is why its quality is first and the most important point to look at when you’re considering getting a new sewing machine. 

From the test, we can see that both machines can handle sewing with a thick thread and multiple denim layers, forming strong seams. On inside seams, where there are few fabric layers and no switching between layer count in the seam, both machines have the same stitching results. 

Flat felled seam: top made with PQ1600S, bottom with CS10S

However, when we zoom in closer to topstitching and analyze stitch by stitch, we can see that a beginner level machine has a few stitch length inconsistencies, especially when moving between different counts of layers in the same seam; while advanced sewing machine maintain the same length stitch throughout the seam, even on difficult to sew parts. Realistically, probably no one will analyze the topstitching seam so upclose to see stitch length irregularities, but it is a good indication on how well the machine can handle tricky projects. 

Jeans back pocket made with CS10S
Notice stitch length changes when approaching bulkier seam connection
Jeans back pocket made using PQ1600S

By the way, this is a tip on how to test a machine before buying it: often I see sewing machines advertised on how many layers of fabric they can handle, often emphasizing on specifically denim layers. However, truthfully, even a simplistic beginner sewing machine will be able to handle multiple denim layers when they are simply stacked on top of each other. What you want to do instead is test how sewing machine can sew through seam connections, moving between different fabric layer counts (for example, how well it sews from 2 layers over 8 layer folded seam connections) - this will give far better indication of actual machine capabilities and whether it’s giving you sewing quality you want or not. 

Key takeaways: both beginner and advanced sewing machines were able to sew denim fabric through multiple layers, though advanced machine maintained better stitch length consistency when sewing through multiple layer seam connections. 


One big benefit of advanced sewing machines is that they offer a wider range of adjustability options, allowing to fine tune the stitch to perfection. 

Let’s go through features that come in PQ1600S sewing machine compared with CS10s: 

  • Threading system identical to the ones in industrial sewing machine - this point was in particularly helpful when sewing jeans, as it has thick thread threading option and more sensitive tension disc, which allowed to sew well-balanced stitch on tension 4 out of 5 (while CS10s used max 9 out of 9 tension to handle same thread and fabric, leaving no room for additional adjustments if needed). Beginner sewing machine threading is much more straight-forward and less complicated, but as a result, we don’t have as much control as in more advanced machine.

PQ1600S threading system and tension dial
  • Feeding dogs (metal teeth under presser foot that moves the fabric) on PQ1600S are adjustable height, which is an interesting feature to help with sewing a variety of different fabrics: for lightweight fabrics, you can set feed dogs in lower positions, for heavy weight fabrics you can set them in higher position for easier feeding of the fabric.  In CS10s you can lower feed dogs to do free motion embroidery, but their height is non-adjustable. 

PQ1600S has adjustable height feed dogs for different weight fabrics
  • Additionally, this machine has adjustable presser foot pressure, which is useful when working with different thickness fabrics (often, beginner sewing machines also have this function, so remember to try it out next time you’re working with extremely thick or extremely thin fabrics!)

PQ1600S has an easily adjustable pressure of presser foot
  • Lastly, PQ1600S has longer straight stitch (up to 7mm length), while most domestic sewing machines have stitch length up to 5mm. 

Key takeaways: advanced sewing machines will have more adjustment points compared to beginner level sewing machines, allowing to fine-tune perfect stitch no matter the fabric or thread. 


When sewing jeans, I noted a few interesting features that distinguish both of these machines. 

  • Knee lift (or presser foot auto-lift) - this was a very helpful feature when sewing jeans back pockets that had 10 pivot points in continuous seam. When we use a knee lift, we don’t have to use our hands to manually raise the presser foot lever, thus saving time and making the process more smooth. 

  • Large sewing area - when sewing flat felled seam on the jeans inseam, the benefit of a larger sewing machine comes in full effect, as we can comfortably rest fabric on both sides of the sewing machine; while in the beginner sewing machine we have to play a bit with fabric positioning. This does not effect the sewing quality, but larger machines do add more comfort when sewing larger projects or thicker fabrics. If you have a beginner sewing machine, adding an extension table will give more comfort!

PQ1600S has a larger sewing area and extension table
  • Weight - advanced sewing machines often are far heavier than beginner ones (PQ1600S weighs almost 11kg, while CS10s weigh almost half that - 6kg). Heavier machine adds stability when sewing, while a lighter machine is much more convenient if you’re looking for a portable option. 

  • Speed - though I’m not a fan of fast sewing, it’s worth mentioning that the speed of an advanced sewing machine is much higher than that on a beginner machine. For comparison, PQ1600s sews at 1.500 stitches per minute, while CS10s sews at 850 stitches per minute. If speed is important to you - this is something worth noting.   

  • Presser feet - one interesting feature of PQ1600S sewing machine is that it uses a presser foot similar to industrial ones, except that it is also flexible, allowing to sew past seam connections easier. This is absolutely a personal preference, but I do like a more narrow presser foot, especially for topstitching, as it allows me to sew more precisely (but that’s my personal preference). 

Slim metal presser foot of the PQ1600S
  • Additionally, note that PQ1600S is a straight-stitch machine, which means that for the jeans buttonhole, I had to use CS10s machine, which has 40 stitches, including several 1-step automatic buttonholes. 

Key takeaways: advanced sewing machines come with more additional features and are often larger, making sewing more comfortable and more efficient. 


In the process of making these jeans, I encountered no issues such as thread breakage or jamming with either of these machines. Only time I had an issue was with buttonhole stitch, but that issue was solved by replacing the thick thread in the bobbin with a standard thickness all-purpose thread. 

In this part, it’s worth noting that advanced machines often have metal frames, which of course adds onto the price, but also extends machine durability. In the case of PQ1600s, we also have a strong vertical rotary hook and metal bobbins - so very similar to the setups used in industrial machines. 

Key takeaways: both machines are able to handle even projects like jeans, but in the case of a beginner machine, if you want it to last a long time, you should remember not to push it to the limit with every project. With a more advanced machine, you will be able to tackle tricky projects more often. 


Final chapter - value for money. As a reminder, PQ1600s is a bit over 1.000 Eur, while CS10s is under 200 Eur. 

In their respective price points, both these machines are great options in their categories. CS10s is a great option for beginners with 40 stitches and automatic 1-step buttonholes. It can handle thick thread and tackle even more challenging projects, though you do have to adjust expectations and note that in especially tricky parts, the sewing machine might need additional help to handle the task. 

Brother CS10S is beginner computerized sewing machine with 40 stitch and automated 1-step buttonholes

If you’re planning on often working on projects like jeans, then a more robust advanced sewing machine like PQ1600s is a great option to consider. It’s a straight-stitch only machine, so it’s only focus is to produce perfect straight stitch, giving you lots of adjustment points and tons of comfort features. 

Brother PQ1600S straight stitch machine

Key takeaways: in case of both these machines, you get a lot of value and features for the price. Which one is better choice for you depends on both your budget and projects plan on working. Sewing is all about your skill and you can create beautiful garments even with a beginner level sewing machine. 

I hope you enjoyed reading these jeans test results! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with beginner and advanced sewing machines, so leave it in the comment section below!

Best wishes,


Let's connect!



bottom of page