The number of preinstalled sewing operations in this machine is nothing short of impressive: it can make up to 600 stitches, including stretch stitches, overcast stitches, blind hem stitches, and various decorative stitches.
The needle threader might be a little touchy at first.
This computerized sewing machine will please any user with its simplicity of controls as well as the number of automatic adjustments and convenient functions making sewing a treat. The working process is easy to control due to a handy LCD display, and the sewing area is easy to see thanks to the two LED lamps.
850 stitches per minute
Automatic needle threader, Variable needle positions, Self-adjusting tension system, Adjustable stitch length, Adjustable stitch width (7 mm), Stitch elongation, Mirror imaging, Reverse
13 built-in 1-step buttonholes, Large backlit LCD screen with brightness control, 2 x StayBright™ LED lights, Thread cutter, Tie-off button, Free arm, Drop feed
All-purpose foot, Zipper foot, Buttonhole foot with underplate, Button sewing foot, Blind hem foot, Satin stitch foot, Open toe foot, Overcasting foot, Darning and embroidery foot, Rolled hem foot, Cording foot, Straight stitch/Quilting foot, Feed/Walking foot
Limited 25-year warranty for sewing machine head, Limited 2-year warranty for motors, light assembly, wiring, stitches, speed control and electronic components, Limited 90-day warranty for adjustments, belts, rings, bulbs, attachments
The 7-point feed dogs go over any fabric type perfectly without pulling or loosening it. This allows you to get ideal stitches no matter whether you work with thick or delicate and light fabrics.
The storage compartment could be a bit bigger.
The Brother CS5055PRW is a sewing machine that can meet the needs and requirements of both beginners and seasoned tailors. On top of a variety of stitch patterns including decorative ones, this sewing machine offers the functionality of a quilting machine. A solid choice for a fair price.
850 stitches per minute
Automatic needle threader, Built-in free arm, 5 styles of 1-step auto-size buttonholes, 87 stitch functions
Stitch width - 7mm, Stitch length - 5mm, 7 feed dog points, Needle stop position up/down, Quick reference stitch guides, Built-in thread cutter
Buttonhole foot, Zipper foot, Button sewing foot, Overcasting foot, Blindstitch foot, Monogramming foot, Zigzag foot
25 years for the chassis casting, 2 years for electronic components and printed circuit boards, 1 year for parts, labor and accompanying accessory items
The dual vertical spool pins make twin needle sewing easy and quick. This allows for sewing two parallel rows of stitching at once, which is perfect for hemming or adding a decorative touch to your clothing.
The manual is not quite comprehensive.
The SINGER Start 1304 is a compact and easy-to-use machine for someone who is getting started with sewing. A heavy-duty metal frame, stylish design, and lots of different options make it a good choice for your home sewing projects.
350-400 stitches per minute
Free arm, Dual spool pins for twin needle sewing, Reverse lever
Front loading bobbin, 4-Step buttonhole, Darning plate, LED lighting, Easy stitch selection dial
General purpose foot, Zipper foot, Buttonhole foot
Limited 25-year warranty for sewing machine head, Limited 2-year warranty for motors, light assembly, wiring, stitches, speed control and electronic components, Limited 90-day warranty for adjustments, belts, rings, bulbs, attachments
Thanks to a narrow hemmer foot that comes in the box, making tiny hems on thin and lightweight fabrics can be done easily and quickly.
Adjusting to the foot controller might be difficult at first.
The XM2701 is a multifunctional device that will come in handy for both tailoring repairs and small designer projects. It has user-friendly controls and a range of functions necessary for tailoring clothes at home. Also, it has very compact dimensions so it won't take much of your working space.
800 stitches per minute
Automatic needle threading system, 1-step buttonhole styles, Built-in quilting stitches, Built-in free arm
Built-in needle threader, Jam-resistant top drop-in bobbin, Instructional DVD and English/Spanish user manual included
Buttonhole foot, Button sewing foot, Narrow hemmer foot, Zipper foot, Blind stitch foot, Zigzag foot
25 years for the chassis casting, 2 years for electronic components and printed circuit boards, 1 year for parts, labor, and accompanying accessory items
The extension table provides ample sewing area for you to manage large projects with ease and helps stabilize the machine during use. This model can run both on 4 x 1.5V AA batteries and from an AC adapter which makes it perfect for on-the-go sewing jobs.
The thread tensioner is a bit tricky.
The Varmax 201 is a lightweight and easy-to-use mini sewing machine which is great for adults who are learning basic sewing and for children who are getting started on their first sewing projects. It's perfect for home-sewing and can be used for anything, from quilts to baby clothes.
2-speed control (max around 280 stitches per minute)
Adjustable thread tension
Unique extension table, Thread cutter, Lighting lamp, Foot pedal
Power adapter or 4 x 1.5V AA batteries
~ 3 lbs
SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960
Efficient and User-Friendly
The SINGER Quantum Pro 9960 is a highly efficient sewing machine that will meet or even exceed your expectations. The number of preinstalled sewing operations in this machine is nothing short of impressive: it can make up to 600 stitches, including stretch, overcast, blind hem, and various decorative stitches. This is four times more than the next highest number of built-in stitch patterns on our list. Moreover, choosing your favorite pattern is absolutely a breeze thanks to the OneTouch™ Stitch Selection. The SINGER Quantum Pro 9960 can also boast of an extremely high sewing speed. It is able to make up to 850 stitches per minute. This makes the sewing process quick and effective.
The SINGER Quantum Pro 9960 sewing machine can please its owner with smart and intuitive design that will make a sewing process comfortable and effortless even for an inexperienced user. The machine comes in a set with numerous adjustments and additional feet and has a bright LCD screen that shows what stitch pattern (as well as its length and width) has been chosen. It also alerts the user of errors in case such occur during the process. In addition to the handy screen, the SINGER Quantum Pro 9960 sewing machine is equipped with two LED lamps that help light up the sewing area. This makes it possible to use it with ease and comfort even in poorly lit conditions.
The SINGER Quantum Pro 9960 sewing machine is ideal both for professional and beginner users. Depending on your experience and skills, you can adjust a sewing speed with a lever located on the front of the machine, with a foot control, or by pressing the "start/stop" button whereby switching it to a slow speed. You also have an option to remove part of the table, by that adjust your appliance for arm-free sewing. In doing so you will be able to reach all hard-to-get places and sew them perfectly without putting in much effort. Plus, you will also be able to easily sew in any directions thanks to the adjustable feed dog.
|Last updated price||$429.99|
What customers say about this product
If you are looking for an entry-level sewing machine that would be functional, affordable, and high-quality, the Brother CS5055PRW should be right up your alley. Equipped with everything needed out-of-the-box, all you'll be left to do is buy threads and a piece of fabric.
With users’ convenience in mind, the manufacturer has made this model effortless to set up and use. For instance, winding a bobbin will take you no more than a minute. You just need to insert it on the winder placed on top of the housing, fix thread with a holder, and press a foot controller; the bobbin will start winding immediately. The speed of winding will depend on how hard you press the pedal, so you might want to take it easy at first. When it’s done, just drop the bobbin into the compartment, and you are ready to go.
If needle threading seemed like a rocket-science to you before, with this machine, you will be able to do it with your eyes closed. All you need is to put a sewing spool on a spool pin, guide thread towards the built-in auto-needle threader, pull the lever, line up the hook, and get the thread into it. In case you need to cut your thread but you can’t find scissors quickly, there is a sharp thread cutter on the left side of the housing.
SEW, QUILT, DECORATE
It's important to say that this runaway sewing machine is created for small needs. It has 55 programmable stitch patterns and 6 buttonhole designs, and that amount should be sufficient for most tailoring jobs, including quilting. All stitches can be adjusted in length and width, which expands your options. Adjusting the settings is easy and can be done within seconds. You just need to choose the needed pattern on the chart drawn on the control panel and select its number on the LCD screen. The controls are straightforward and user-friendly and you're unlikely to have any trouble while making adjustments. What else adds to the usability of this model is its quiet operation. Even though we can't describe it as totally silent, the noise it produces isn't that loud to keep buzzing in your ears for hours as it is usually the case with other sewing machines.
|Last updated price||$189.93|
SINGER Start 1304
The Best Portable Sewing Machine for Beginners!
Would you like to learn the craft of sewing and become good at it? The SINGER Start 1304 is perfect for someone who is getting started with sewing. It's common knowledge that Singer is one of the most trusted global brands. Thus, you can be sure of its quality and performance.
The machine features a heavy-duty internal frame that holds its mechanisms in perfect alignment, ensures a rigid and stable sewing surface, provides overall durability and long-lasting stability for heavy-duty projects. Thus, this sewing machine will serve you for many years to come. Getting started sewing is easier for newbies with the pre-set stitch length and width. The stitch is selected by the simple turn of a dial. The threading diagrams are printed on the machine to guide you through the threading steps. A conveniently located reverse stitch button allows you to sew in reverse to reinforce the stitch. The spool pins make double needle sewing easy and quick. This allows you to sew two parallel rows of stitching at once that is perfect for hemming and adding a decorative touch to your clothing. The extension table exposes the free arm that provides easy access to difficult-to-reach areas like collars, cuffs, pant hems, sleeves and so on.
Overall, the SINGER Start 1304 is an easy-to-use mechanical machine that is a great option for beginners or hobbyists. It has a plethora of features for a hassle-free sewing experience, including easy threading and stitch selection, free arm, adjustable tension settings, automatic bobbin winding system, built-in reverse, and presser foot lifter. Thus, whatever your goal is, this machine will satisfy your needs and guarantee expert outcomes.
6 Stitches and 3 Presser Feet
The machine comes with 6 stitches to choose from: satin, zigzag, straight, scallop, blind hem, and 4-step buttonhole. They cover the majority of basic sewing tasks. A straight stitch is used to sew a basic seam, fix a hem or sew a sleeve cuff. To finish the edges of fabric or sew a simple applique, use a zigzag stitch. A blind hem looks nearly invisible from the outside and is used for creating an invisible hem for your garments. A scallop stitch can be used as an edging. And a satin stitch is used to fill any small design. The 4-step buttonhole function allows you to easily add buttonholes on children's clothing, pillows, and other things. Many newbies try to avoid sewing buttonholes, but it’s a good skill to have under your belt that opens up a whole world of dresses, skirts, blouses, shirts, and more. Simply mark your fabric where you need to sew the buttonhole and use the stitch selector dial to sew the 4 sides of the buttonhole.
Also, the SINGER Start 1304 has 3 presser feet: zipper, buttonhole, and all-purpose. The zipper foot is used for cording, piping, adding zippers, and more. You can use the buttonhole foot for creating buttonholes or slots for ribbon. And the all-purpose foot is used for general sewing on most fabric types.
|Last updated price||$143.12|
YOUR TRUSTWORTHY ASSISTANT
If you are only learning to sew and are not sure whether this hobby is going to develop into something bigger than just occasional tailoring repairs or dressmaking, this model might be the right choice for you.
Why? Because this sewing machine isn't as pricey as some other Brother models and it has all the functionality you need for comfortable sewing. With the XM2701, you get 27 types of stitches for all basic tailoring tasks and the opportunity to adjust the width, length, and tension of stitches, which doubles your sewing options.
The design of the XM2701 is simple and user-friendly. It doesn't contain many buttons which could confuse novice tailors and features a single pattern selection dial on the front panel. The advantage of it, though, is that because it doesn't have many buttons, there aren't many functions to cause confusion. Performance-wise, the XM2701 doesn't fall behind its more expensive rivals and can reach a sewing speed of up to 800 stitches per minute, which isn't much slower than in more pro-oriented devices.
Last but not least, for such a budget sewing machine, the XM2701 has a very extended package which includes accessory feet and a bunch of tools for maintenance including brushes, a screwdriver, and an extra spool pin.
All in all, the Brother XM2701 is a very good option for any beginner sewer who's looking to buy his/her first sewing machine and want it to be long-lasting, reliable, and easy to use.
In order to prolong the service life of your new Brother sewing machine, the manufacturer advises users to not oil it. All parts of sewing machines are oiled by the engineers in the process of production. What they recommend doing instead should any problem occur during use is turning to the service center first thing.
With that, it's imperative that you take care of the bobbin compartment to ensure that it doesn't collect dust or small pieces of threads. To clean it, first, switch the sewing machine off, then remove the presser foot with a needle, a needle plate, and a bobbin case, and then use either your vac or a cleaning brush that comes included in the box. Please note that if you use a brush it should be completely dry.
|Last updated price||$118.03|
MINI SEWING MACHINE WITH AN EXTENSION TABLE
A sewing machine is a useful tool around the house, as there's always something to fix. However, there are many cases where carrying a regular machine is not feasible. Thus, investing in a good mini sewing machine is an apt choice for fixing small sewing problems in a jiffy.
The Varmax Sewing Machine is an excellent choice for those who want to learn how to sew. Sure enough, you won't be a master at first, so you don't need expensive equipment.
There are two commendable features that make this machine stand out. The first one is an extension table which provides ample sewing area for you to manage large projects and helps stabilize the machine during use. And the second one is the ability to use it for quick fixes on the go due to the fact that it can run on batteries. That said, if you have heavy-duty sewing tasks to perform, the option to connect it via an AC adapter is also available, adding to the versatility of this model.
To make it easier to work on intricate parts of clothes, such as sleeves, collars, legs, the manufacturer designed this model with a special slot at the bottom and fitted it with a large spool for hassle-free replacement of the bottom bobbin. As for other characteristics, the Varmax Sewing Machine has adjustable speed settings and features an automatic thread cutter which further facilitates its use. One other thing included in this sewing machine for greater user's convenience is a lighting lamp which allows using it under various conditions.
Since the Varmax Sewing Machine is a portable model, it's compact in size and weighs only 3 pounds so you won't find it difficult to carry it along with you when necessary.
The Varmax 201 sewing machine can handle a variety of materials, like shirt, curtain, denim, and canvas, if they are not over-thin, over-thick, or over-soft. When sewing these materials, it's recommended to change needles.
Mini sewing machines are normally used with the following needle sizes: 75/11, 80/12, 90/14, and 100/16. Needles of bigger size are used for thicker fabrics, while smaller ones are used with thin and delicate fabrics.
The bottom line, the Varmax Mini Sewing Machine is a nice sewing machine to have around the house. It's easy to use and maintain and it's heavy duty enough to handle a variety of sewing projects. So if you're looking for a small sewing machine that will be reliable, durable, easy to use, and functional enough, you won't find a better choice than the Varmax 201 Sewing Machine.
|Last updated price||$42.99|
What Is a Portable Sewing Machine?
Sewing machines were invented in the late 19th century and since then, they rung up the efficiency and productivity of the clothing industry worldwide. Operation of those machines required considerable efforts while the end products still missed the desired quality. Today, a sewing machine has transformed from a complicated piece of equipment into an easy-to-use and straightforward device that anyone can buy and use at home. Moreover, many of these machines now come in portable sizes to serve as a backup sewing machine or one to take with you along to classes or somewhere else. For this review, we've picked five best mini models of sewing machines which despite their portable size and small weight don't lack in performance and have many of the features of conventional full-size sewing machines, making them perfect for beginning seamstresses.
If you're into sewing and handiwork, there are a few more devices to acquire for personal use. One of them is an overlock machine designed for edging, hemming, reinforcing stitches and decorating clothes. Another one is a scrapbooking cutting machine that will let you personalize your clothes by embossing various prints on them.
What Features to Compare
Before you decide which model of sewing machine to buy, you should first determine what you are going to use it for and only then make a decision. Thus, if you're a beginner or just want one for mending clothing, there's no need to go for one of the most expensive computerized models. It would be more than enough to acquire a basic machine providing several stitch options and functions. But if you're seriously into sewing and making your own garments, you will need to turn towards more heavy-duty and multifunctional machines such as those reviewed here. Unlike basic sewing machines, professional models offer up to 25 built-in stitches for stitching different types of fabrics and clothes, expanding seamstresses' options several times.
When choosing a sewing machine, you should also consider the sewing speed of the chosen model, which is measured in the number of stitches it can produce per minute, so you can see how quickly you'll be able to accomplish your projects. Depending on the model, the sewing speed can vary from 200 to 1100 stitches per minute. In some sewing machines, the sewing speed is adjustable and can be changed in the process. Along with the sewing speed, you should also look into the number of buttonhole sewing styles available in the model. There are automatic, semi-automatic and manual buttonhole sewing types to choose from.
Type of Shuttle
You should also pay attention to the type of shuttle used, since it is one of the key elements of a sewing machine. A shuttle is engaged in the process of stitch forming.
The most widespread type is a horizontal shuttle that features a top load drop-in bobbin system. Due to the peculiarities of the shuttle position, it's considered one of the most convenient in regards to the bobbin placement. Sewing machines with a horizontal shuttle come with translucent covers which allow for keeping an eye on the thread so you can see when it's running low and needs to be fed.
A vertical oscillating hook features a front load bobbin system and comes with a dismountable shuttle. Using such a sewing machine, you will first need to spool thread on a bobbin and drop it into the shuttle and then pull the thread through the slot and set the shuttle into a shuttle race.
In addition to the type of shuttle, sewing machines differ in the type of fabric and thread they accept. In contrast to models with a vertical oscillating hook that accept thread of any thickness perfectly well, sewing machines with a horizontal shuttle work with fine thread better. On the downside, the vertical oscillating hook is more demanding in terms of maintenance and needs regular lubricating to prolong the service life of the machine.
Something else you should pay attention to is the additional functions and features that make use of the machine more efficient and convenient. We recommend choosing a sewing machine with the option of a twin needle setting which will let you make hemlines on clothes without using an overlock machine additionally. The reverse option will allow you to reinforce stitches. Some sewing machines have automatic needle threaders and bobbin winders that simplify their use making them suitable for beginners. The option of free-arm sewing is another useful feature that many seamstresses prefer, allowing them to work with narrow parts and articles of clothes. Consider whether the model you choose includes any presser feet and supports stitch length and width adjustments so you could trim clothes and sew through different types of fabric.
Of course, this isn't the full list of options a sewing machine can offer, every model has its own specifications and sewing options. Hopefully, in our review you'll find what you need.
The History of Sewing Machines
The First Functional Sewing Machine
Barthelemy Thimonnier made the first functional sewing machine in 1830. It had a hooked needle and a thread that made a similar chain stitch used in hand embroidery.
Walter Hunt & Elias Howe
In 1834, Walter Hunt made the US first sewing machine which could sew straight stitches. Hunt decided not to patent his invention since he believed this would cause unemployment among tailors.
In 1846, Elias Howe got a patent for the first sewing machine which used two sources of sewing thread. It had an eye-pointed needle that pushed through the fabric for creating a loop on the other side, while the second thread slipped through the loop, creating the lockstitch. For the next 9 years, Elias Howe struggled to arouse interest in his machines and protect his patent against imitators.
Isaac Singer & Elias Howe: Patent Battle
The first machines, made by Isaac Singer, were mass produced in the 1850's. These machines were powered by a foot pedal and moved in an up and down direction (rather than side to side). But Singer used Howe's patented lockstitch, so he was sued for patent infringement. After Elias Howe defended his right to a share in the profit, his annual income considerably increased.
Other Historical Facts About Sewing Machines
The first mechanical machines were used in the production lines of garment factories. In 1889 sewing machines for home use were designed and entered the market. By 1905, the electric machines were widely used.
The Impact of the Sewing Machine Invention
As long as all sewing was done only by hand, clothing was quite expensive. The invention of sewing machines greatly contributed to the textile industry. Also, this had opened up many opportunities for women to work. The textile industry was revolutionized due to the invention of lock-stitch sewing machines with an eye-pointed needle as well as further improvement of some sewing mechanisms. Clothing became mass produced, thus reducing the cost of garments. Many women had the opportunity to work on an assembly line. This type of work was profitable and cost-effective for the employer, as it didn’t require skilled workers and sped up production. Therefore, industrial-sewn clothing was cheaper.
Isaac Merrit Singer came up with the idea of installment credits that were granted on condition of their repayment at regular intervals over a specified time period. These credits allowed many women to buy sewing machines for making their own clothing. The sewing machines were the first household machines which enabled women to perform their domestic tasks, saving hours of labour time.
Later on, sewing machines played an important role in producing other goods, like automobile seats and furniture. Besides, items like towels, pillows, curtains, and various toys could also be sewn by machines. All in all, it was one of the essential labour-saving inventions that improved the quality of life.
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