If you’re looking to take your sewing projects on the road or don’t want to make a huge investment in sewing machines, then a small sewing machine might just be what you are looking for. A small or portable machine is an excellent way to start sewing. It can be used for big or small projects and you can even use it to teach young kids how to sew.
Why Buy a Small Sewing Machine?
There are three main reasons why you might choose to buy a small sewing machine over a larger one.
The first reason is portability. If you have to move around often or if you can only work on your projects away from home, you would want a small, portable sewing machine. Small, portable machines are easy to pack and can fit in your car’s trunk as they don’t take up too much space. They are designed to be lightweight making them easy to lift and move around.
The second reason why you may want to buy a compact sewing machine is if you are planning to teach kids how to sew. Small machines usually have limited functionality and they are ideal for beginners. There are exceptions to this as some small machines come with a large array of functions but usually. In most cases, they are simple to use and good for learning how to sew.
The third reason why you may want a small machine is that they are usually cheaper than bigger models. If you are planning to sew casually as a hobby or if you only need limited sewing functions to work on small projects such as mending and paper crafts, then a small sewing machine will do the job.
A mini sewing machine usually offers a limited variety of stitching functions and it is easier to set up. They are not too complicated and usually have a slow stitching speed. This makes them ideal for delicate projects or for people who are trying to get used to stitching.
The major downside of small sewing machines is that they don’t offer a lot of features. You can’t make professional quality projects with these machines as they are only suited for mending and light sewing. You also cannot work on thicker material like wool or leather on these machines.
Benefits of a Small Sewing Machine
A small, portable sewing machine is one of the best household machines that you can buy. A small machine gives you most of the capabilities that you would get from a larger, professional grade machine. It takes less space and is usually more affordable.
You can carry out most functions such as sewing, mending, trimming, decorating, and button attachment that you perform on a bigger machine. Some of the main benefits that you can get from a small sewing machine include the following.
A Host of Functions
Most small sewing machines these days can perform industry level functions. They can be used to mend torn clothes, attach buttons, stitch dresses, pillow cases, and cushion covers. You can also use them to create designs and embroidery work.
Low Power Consumption
Small sewing machines are compact in size and they consume very little power as the mechanical components are quite small. They will not be a drain on your energy needs like the larger machines.
Easy to Move and Carry
Small sewing machines are usually lightweight and they can be put in carrying cases for easy portability. The dimensions for most small sewing machines are less than 12 inches wide and roughly a foot high. When put inside a carrying case, you can easily carry them in a single hand without trouble.
Easy to Operate
Small sewing machines usually don’t have a lot of overly complicated functions. They are mostly designed for beginner to intermediate level users. A mini sewing machine is easier to operate than a bigger machine while still offering a good variety of stitching options.
Minimum Storage Space
One of the main benefits of small sewing machines is that they don’t take a lot of space. You can put them in a cupboard for storage and place them on a corner table to work from there.
Stylish and Well Designed
The Best Small Sewing Machines
Small sewing machines are some of the most manufactured and most used sewing machines out there. These machines are popular in homes as they offer a lot of functions including the ability to mend clothes, fix sleeves and buttons, allow decorative crafting, and can even be used for completing big projects.
Small machines do not take up a lot of space and they are portable from one place to another. Even commercial dressmakers and clothiers prefer small sewing machines as they can be easily stored and allow more crafters to work in stores. Despite their small size, some of these machines can be used to stitch thicker fabric like denim, wool, and leather.
Some of the more popular small sewing machines are reviewed below.
Janome Sew Mini 2 Stitch
Janome is one of the leading brands in the sewing industry and they have aggressively pushed to capture the portable sewing machines market. A majority of their machines are lightweight, portable, and easy to use and the Sew Mini 2 Stitch is designed for comfort and portability.
It is the smallest Janome sewing machine being marketed by the company. Its width is just 10.5-inches and height is less than 10-inches. It is small enough to fit in an RV cupboard and weighs about 5 lbs. This machine is ideal for traveling and on-the-go sewing. It offers two stitching options—zigzag, and straight.
The Janome Sew Mini is easy to set up, offers easy bobbin winding, and needle threading. It offers stitch width and length adjustment options and has a reverse lever.
Janome Fastlane Fuschia Portable Machine
This compact, portable model from Janome is another excellent choice for young learners and beginners. The portable machine weighs about 5 lbs and similar in size to the Sew Mini 2 Stitch.
This model offers 10 stitching options including straight, zigzag, and crescent. There are 5 straight variations, 3 zigzag, 1 crescent, and 1 multi-stitch option.
It has a 4-piece feed dog, an easy to pull-push bobbin winder, stitch selection dial, width and length adjustment, and comes in a variety of colors. A very economical option for portable sewing needs.
Singer Pixie-Plus Craft Machine
You can tell from the design that the Pixie-Plus model from Singer is aimed at young learners and kids. The instruction manual says that kids over the age of 8 can start learning on this machine. Its dimensions are 11 x 5 x 10.5 inches and it weighs about 5 lbs.
The machine can be operated through the cable provided with the machine or with batteries. It offers 4 stitch style – straight, zigzag, appliqué, and rampart. The Singer Pixie-Plus lacks stitch length and width adjustment options. It offers a slow speed that will make it easy to control and use for kids.
The XL2600i is considered by many to be the best small sewing machine. It is great for intermediate level users and experts who want a portable sewing machine. The small sewing machine offers a load of functions including 25 built-in stitches, one-step buttonholer, accessory storage, automatic needle threader, thread cutting, drop-in bobbin loading, and automatic bobbin winding.
Even beginning users will find it easy to use with its easy stitch selector dial, jam-resistant top drop-in bobbin, and a free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves. It also includes a reverse stitch function.
Despite its size, the machine is capable of sewing tough garments like denim, crafts, and even quilts. The machine is about 11 lbs and it comes with an optional carrying case. Its dimensions are roughly 11.5 x 6.8 x 9.
This model from Brother is more basic and offers limited functions. It is more suited to beginners and intermediate users.
It comes with 10 built-in stitches, including blind-hem, zigzag, and stretch stitches. The Brother XM1010 has an automatic 4-step buttonhole, upper thread tension control dial, an easy stitch-selector dial, an automatic needle threader, easy bobbin winding, and a built-in free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves. Maximum sewing speed is 750 SPM.
It weighs about 10.8 lbs, and dimensions are roughly 15.4 x 5.8 and 12.1. You can use it on denim with the denim pin. However, it may not handle other thicker fabric. You can buy it with a carrier case. Its real advantage lies in its portability and ease of use.
If you are looking for a small sewing machine that is relatively easy to use and offers enough functions for a pro, then you should give the Brother XM2701 a try. This model has 27 built-in stitches that include blind hem, decorative, and quilting stitches. The stitch styles are selected through a single dial.
It has an easy threading system with an automatic needle threader, a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin, a one-step auto buttonholer, and a bright LED for the working area. It offers 6 quick-change sewing feet for buttonhole, blind stitch, button sewing, narrow hemmer, zigzag, and zipper.
The machine is slightly heavier at 12.6 lbs and dimensions are 17.8 x 7.6 x 15.1. While it may not be the smallest or lightest sewing machine out there, its added functions, stitching styles, and LED lighting make it ideal for sewing on the move.
The 1304 model is a simple and easy-to-use small sewing machine that is convenient to move around and store. It weighs 11.5 lbs and dimensions are 13 x 7 x 11.5. The machine offers 6 stitch styles including straight, zigzag, scallop, and blind hem stitching. It has a four-step automatic buttonholer and automatic needle threading.
Stitch styles can be selected from a single dial and there is a reverse stitching lever to reinforce the stitching. The machine lacks the stitch length and width selector. It also doesn’t have an LED light, limiting how much work you can get out of this machine. The extension table can be removed to expose the free arm for hemming sleeves and trousers. 3 presser feet are included; an all-purpose foot, a buttonhole foot, and a zipper foot.
Overall this machine would attract beginners who are trying to get into sewing. However, it may be a little big for kids.
Michley LSS-505 Desktop
The Michley LSS-55 is a compact and lightweight sewing machine that is ideal for kids as a learning tool. The small sewing machine offers little features but it is quite easy to use. It has 8 built-in stitch styles including decorative stitching. This machine has reverse sewing, 2-speed settings, and double threading functions. It also offers an automatic thread rewind, LED sewing light, and easy bobbin setup.
The machine is quite lightweight at 5 lbs and its dimensions are 10.8 x 4.8 x 10.2 making it one of the smallest sewing machines out there. Very easy to carry and use, it is a perfect gift for the young ones who are trying to learn. However, due to its very limited stitching functionality, this machine is not the best for adults or moderate-level users.
Varmax Mini Sewing Machine
The lineup for the smallest sewing machines would not be complete without the Varmac 201 Mini. The 201 Mini weighs about 2.5 lbs and dimensions are roughly 8 x 3.5 x 6.5, making it one of the smallest sewing machines in the market.
The portable machine can run on batteries or power supply. It has a single basic stitch and an adjustable stitch speed that goes up to 280 SPM. The sewing machine is aimed at kids.