Best Portable Sewing Machines

Review & Comparison, Last Update May 8, 2018
Are you going to start sewing? Then the first thing you need is a sewing machine. Whether you want a sewing machine for DIY projects, crafts, detailed embroidery, or simple at-home repairs, our in-depth review will help you figure out which one is the best for your upcoming projects. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Built-in Stitch Patterns
Sewing Speed
Adjustments
Additional Features
Included Preset Feet
Power Source
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The presser foot with finger guard protects your fingers, making the Janome sewing machine one of the best options for beginners. The extra high presser foot lift allows accommodating multiple layers and heavy fabrics. The free arm is included for sewing small parts of clothes, like collars and cuffs.

CONS

The sewing space light is not sufficient enough for workspace illumination.

OUR VERDICT

The Janome Mystical Mint Basic is the best portable sewing machine for both advanced sewists and absolute beginners. This compact portable sewing machine will inspire you to realize your full creative potential. It has a variety of features to tackle plenty of sewing projects, from simple mending and hemming to paper crafting and scrapbooking.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

10

Sewing Speed

1 speed

Adjustments

Left and center needle position, Tension control dial

Additional Features

Free arm, Top load bobbin, Built-in accessory tray, Easy stitch selection, Reverse lever, Foot pedal

Included Preset Feet

Adjustable presser foot with finger guard

Power Source

From mains

Weight

5 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The Singer portable sewing machine is packed with many features and accessories that any sewer is going to love. It comes with 3 presser feet and a choice of colorful decorative decals.

CONS

It's rather bulky.

OUR VERDICT

This portable electric sewing machine from Singer is great for those who are starting out with home sewing. It will ease you into the joys of sewing and help accomplish your most bold sewing projects. Convenient and easy to use, the Singer 1234 will serve you well for years to come.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

6

Sewing Speed

1 speed (750 stitches per minute)

Adjustments

Automatic tension, Dual spool pins for twin needle sewing

Additional Features

Easy stitch selection, LED sewing space light, Automatic bobbin winding system, Foot control, Sewing accessories and Vinyl stickers included

Included Preset Feet

All-purpose foot, Zipper foot, Buttonhole foot

Power Source

From mains

Weight

12.7 lbs

Warranty

25-year limited warranty

PROS

This compact sewing machine is capable of sewing up to 2.5mm that is equivalent to six layers of denim. The flat-bed provides maximum adjustability when sewing and the stitch length can be adjusted to fit various projects.

CONS

It can take some time getting used to all the functions.

OUR VERDICT

The NEX sewing machine will be a perfect gift for young sewing enthusiasts. It will allow your little one to sew a trendy outfit for their dolls. The machine comes with 12 stitch patterns that give the freedom to create and experiment with a variety of projects.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

12

Sewing Speed

2 speeds

Adjustments

Tension adjuster, Adjustable needle distance

Additional Features

Sewing space light, Reverse lever, Automatic bobbin winding system, Anti-skid leg, Measuring tape, Foot pedal, Sewing accessories included, Built-in accessory tray, Carry handle

Included Preset Feet

All-purpose foot

Power Source

DC 6V 1200 mA power or 4 x AA batteries (not included)

Weight

5.85 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The Amado portable sewing machine has a built-in thread cutter, which trims the thread at a touch of a button, making sewing more precise and convenient. It also has a bobbin winder that allows reloading bobbins efficiently without unthreading the machine.

CONS

You may have some difficulties with a pedal switch.

OUR VERDICT

This portable mini sewing machine with foot pedal is great for anyone new to sewing. It's AC-adaptable or battery-powered, so you can use it in a multitude of locations. You can operate it with a hand switch or foot pedal to direct the fabric in the desired direction.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

1

Sewing Speed

2 speeds

Adjustments

Tension adjuster

Additional Features

Bobbin winder, Lamp, Thread cutter, Foot pedal, Sewing accessories included

Included Preset Feet

All-purpose foot

Power Source

4 x 1.5V AA batteries (not included), Wall charger option available

Weight

2.1 lbs

Warranty

6 months

PROS

This portable cordless handheld sewing machine is small and portable, so you can carry it around with you while traveling. It uses micro technology which fits in the palm of your hand, providing easy operation and great control.

CONS

It's only for thin fabric.

OUR VERDICT

This mini stapler style sewing machine from Stingsew contains everything you may need for quick mending jobs and small DIY projects. The simple setup and ease of use make it a good starter sewing machine for people who use the machine for the first time.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

1

Sewing Speed

1 speed

Adjustments

Tension adjuster

Additional Features

Bobbin winder, Sewing accessories included

Included Preset Feet

All-purpose foot

Power Source

4 x AA batteries or DC 6V power adaptor

Weight

0.66 lb

Warranty

30 days

Janome 001

Perfect for Diverse Sewing Needs

If you’re looking for a portable sewing machine and don’t know where to start, the Janome Mystical Mint Basic might be just the place. It’s an excellent choice for both absolute beginners and advanced seamstresses. This compact portable sewing machine offers the highest level of precision and advanced stitch features to inspire users to realize their full creative potential. It has a variety of features to tackle plenty of sewing projects, from mending, hemming, seaming, and zipper insertion to applique, paper crafting, and scrapbooking.

The Janome Mystical Mint Basic mini sewing machine offers 10 stitch options including straight, crescent, and zigzag with left and center position of the needle, and features a 4-point feed dog system for feeding light and medium-weight types of fabric such as leather, upholstery, canvas, vinyl, synthetics, and etc. Furthermore, it features an extra high presser foot lift for accommodating multiple layers and heavy fabrics. One of the better features of this portable model is that it also has the option of a free arm making it possible to sew small and narrow parts of clothes like collars and cuffs.

The top loading bobbin with a clear cover allows you to keep track of the amount of thread left on the bobbin. You can set your needle in the left and center position. The tension control dial controls the pressure applied to the thread and regulates the looseness or tightness of the upper thread for evenly formed stitches. The reverse lever allows you to sew in reverse to secure the thread at the start or end. The push-pull bobbin winding system makes it easier for sewers of various skill levels to use the machine. The integrated accessory tray allows storing needles, thread, and other supplies to keep your sewing space well organized. Weighing only 5 pounds, it’s easily portable and can be taken wherever you need.

Some people love to create their own clothing and some are just passionate about the craft. Whatever your reason is, investing in a sewing machine is just the right thing to do. With the Janome Mystical Mint Basic Sewing Machine, you can enjoy the essential variety of stitch patterns that will meet your diverse sewing needs.

Review of Janome 001 Mystical Mint Basic

A Great Introduction to Sewing for Kids

Do you want to teach your kids an important practical life skill? Then you can teach them to sew.

The Janome portable sewing machine is kids-friendly, easy to use, and affordable for parents. It has enough power to tackle simple sewing tasks with precision, providing your young seamstresses with everything they need to get started with sewing. The machine is lightweight, so your child can easily move it from one room to another. With a free-arm design, easy threading and 10 stitch patterns, the Janome Mystical Mint Basic will allow your kids to express their creativity to the fullest and enjoy countless hours of sewing crafting their own garments.

Janome 001 Mystical Mint Basic in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

SINGER 1234

Singer is One of the Most Trusted Brands

Singer is among one of the most trusted brands manufacturing sewing machines due to their quality and price policy. The Singer 1234 mini sewing machine is one of them, a perfect model for anyone that's starting out with home sewing and looks to buy a quality yet affordable machine. Despite its compact size, the Singer 1234 comes in a frame made out of heavy-duty metal which makes it sturdy and high-performance. It offers 6 basic stitches and a simple dial control. You can use a straight stitch for basic sewing, sew a decorative scallop stitch, fix a hem with a blind hem stitch, or sew a simple applique using a zigzag stitch. There's no guesswork due to the preset stitch width and length. And when the garment is ready, the Singer 1234 offers a 4-step buttonhole to add a finishing touch to your clothes. By removing the extension table, you get access to a free arm to sew such small projects as sleeves and collars. And when you finish, the Singer 1234 has a special tray in which you can store away all sewing accessories. In addition to the mentioned features, the Singer 1234 boasts such extra conveniences as a built-in reverse stitching, extra-high presser foot lifter, automatic bobbin winding system, adjustable tension settings, easy stitch selection and threading. It comes in a tiny size, making it easy to carry around and put away when not in use. Anyone who's new to sewing or wants a backup unit to take along to classes or sew together with friends should take a closer look at the Singer 1234. Easy setup, simplicity of use, and excellent sewing performance make it perfectly suitable for any type of user, including kids.

Review of SINGER 1234 Portable Sewing Machine with 6 Built-In Stitches - Fully Automatic 4-step Buttonhole

The Best Sewing Machine for Beginners

Many beginners with no previous experience give up sewing when they face first challenges. Don't be one of them and get the SINGER 1234. This mini sewing machine will ease you into the joys of sewing while making the whole process entertaining and easy to accomplish.

The SINGER 1234 is designed for thin, lightweight materials, has an automatic 4-step buttonhole feature, and comes with an easy and quick threading system, making it a real find for those who are only starting out and have a lot to learn. Other things that add to the ease of use are the built-in stitches with preset width and length settings eliminating the need for manual adjustments and making a stitch selection a breeze. The machine itself is very compact and has a very small footprint. Not only will you have no problem storing it in your home but also will be able to take it with you when traveling. All of this makes it one of the better mini sewing machines for beginners.

With the purchase, along with the sewing machine, you get a comprehensive manual containing a quick guide on how to make your own tote bag. Also, you get free access to the machine owner’s online class that will take you through every aspect of the unit setup and functions. With both instructions and online lessons, you will soon start to sew like a pro!

SINGER 1234 Portable Sewing Machine with 6 Built-In Stitches - Fully Automatic 4-step Buttonhole in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

NEX EAT0022

Bring up a Sewing Guru

If your child is trying to make fashion clothes for dolls or pets, this can be the first sign that you are bringing up a sewing guru. If your children have a genuine interest in sewing, you need to find a good starter sewing machine for teaching them the basics of sewing.

Take your child's sewing hobby to the next level with the NEX EAT0022 sewing machine to make their creative dream a reality. It's intuitive and easy to use, but sturdy and powerful enough to help your little one develop sewing skills in the long term. The machine has a kid-friendly design and its lightweight construction makes it ideal in terms of portability.

This multi-purpose portable sewing machine is also well suited for beginners and seamstresses who need to make quick adjustments to clothing. It comes with 12 stitch patterns that are perfect for a variety of home sewing projects, like creating clothing, auto winding, hemming, seaming, buttonholing, quilting, crafting, home decor and more. This versatile sewing machine is capable of sewing up to 2.5mm that is equivalent to six layers of denim. The stitch length can be adjusted to fit your project and there is a flat-bed which provides maximum adjustability when sewing. The machine comes with reverse and forward stitching and can be controlled by either a hand switch or a foot pedal.

The NEX sewing machine has everything to meet your sewing needs, including the needle thread, thread spools, tension adjuster, thread cutter, foot controller, extra needles, bobbins, measuring tape, sewing light, and two speeds (low and high). Thus, it's a great option for teaching kids how to sew. Sewing is a lifelong skill, so the NEX EAT0022 sewing machine is a good investment in your child’s development.

Review of NEX EAT0022 Portable Sewing Crafting Mending Machine with 12 Built-In Stitched

Tips on Teaching Your Child to Sew on a Sewing Machine

Sewing is a useful life skill and a good hobby for your little one to enjoy. If you want your children to be excited about learning, make it something they "want" to do instead of "have" to do. Give them the opportunity to explore, play, and try out things without a fear of failing. Let them decorate their sewing machine with colorful decals and use fabric scraps for any of their sewing projects. Start with a safety talk so that your little one understands how a machine functions and keeps her/his fingers away from a fast moving needle. First, allow your child to work the pedal while controlling the fabric. This will help them feel a part of the process, without being afraid of keeping fingers close to the sharp needle. When your little one feels more confident, they can keep control over the fabric. Support your child's participation in decision-making. That’s okay to let them make odd combinations of colors and fabric. The project should be about the child and making the process of sewing fun and exciting.

NEX EAT0022 Portable Sewing Crafting Mending Machine with 12 Built-In Stitched in the use

 

Amado Portable Sewing

A Great Choice for Various Project Types

Some clothing repairs and mending are best left to pros. But if you have the right sewing tool at hands, you can do a variety of simple at-home repairs by yourself. Given a steep price for many standard type sewing machines out there, the Amado mini sewing machine might be just the best one for personal use in terms of both price and quality.

It’s a mini version of a standard sewing machine that is less elaborate and easier to use. Although this small machine is not designed for heavy-duty sewing and is not suitable for stitching thick fabrics like denim, for example, it's able to handle quite a wide variety of basic sewing tasks and occasional light repairs. The model has a bobbin rewind system that is not often present on smaller sewing machines and features a two-line design (surface line and bottom line) allowing for a high-quality sewing of different types of fabric. Speaking of which, this mini machine can handle quite a number, making it a top choice for almost all projects you can think of, starting from making bed sheets and to crafting your own costumes for your children. With the machine, you get all accessories you need, including a threader, needle, foot pedal, 4 metal bobbins, and an AC adapter.

Summarizing the said above, this portable sewing machine from Amado will be a good option for those who often deal with small sewing projects and repairs. Though it doesn't have all those fancy features found on elaborate sewing machines from world brands, it will definitely meet all basic sewing needs. So if you aren't interested in buying the most expensive deal the market can offer you, this portable sewing machine may be right up your alley. 

Review of Amado Portable Sewing Double Speed Mini Sewing Machine

Designed With Convenience and Comfort in Mind

Most customers who've used this mini sewing machine love the fact that it's suitable both for beginners and sewing masters. It's very easy to set up and feed, and it suits a wide range of projects. It has an adjustable sewing speed allowing novice seamstress to choose the optimal one, and simple controls performed with a push button switch or a pedal switch. You can choose what suits you best.

Unline conventional full-size sewing machines which are usually rather heavy and bulky, the Amado mini portable machine comes in a small size weighing in only 2.1 lbs, making it possible to move it easily around the house and take along with you. It doesn't take up a lot of space and it's easy to store it away in a drawer or your wardrobe.

Amado Portable Sewing Double Speed Mini Sewing Machine in the use

 

JINTOP Sewing Machine Mini Portable

A Portable Sewing Solution That Will Make Your Life Easier

A sewing machine is an incredibly useful tool around the house. You will always have something to fix, whether it’s a pair of pants or a shirt. Thus, investing in a mini sewing machine is an excellent decision.

The JINTOP is a small sewing machine designed to handle a variety of basic sewing tasks at home. It combines the power of a full-size sewing machine, allowing it to sew through thick fabrics, and the precision of a mini machine, making it suitable for stitching delicate fabrics. With the seam thicknesses of up to 1.8 mm, the machine is able to sew virtually through everything: leather, silk, wool, denim, and etc. It’s great for quick clothing repairs as well as small DIY projects, like sewing gloves, wall hangings, aprons, and handkerchiefs.

Whether you’re a sewing enthusiast or a skilled tailor, the JINTOP sewing machine will suit all your needs. It does quick mending jobs with maximum convenience. You can repair a pocket without taking your trousers off, mend blankets and sheets right on the bed, or make curtain repairs without taking them down.

The machine is easy to operate, even for those who've never used one before, as it doesn’t have too many buttons and accessories that can make its use complicated. It's AC adaptable and can be used in a multitude of locations. Furthermore, it fits perfectly in the palm of your hand providing you with the ease of control and operation. However, in spite of such a small size, this sewing machine can meet a great variety of sewing needs and become the best travel sewing machine for those who often need to sew on the go.

Review of JINTOP Sewing Machine Mini Portable Cordless Handheld Tool

How to Use the JINTOP Sewing Machine

  • Operate the push button with your thumb while supporting the bottom with other fingers;
  • Pull the thread through the needle from back to front prior to sewing;
  • Put the cloth under the fastening plate;
  • Hold the cloth with your left hand and then move it to the left until the sewing ends;
  • Pull the thread using a seam ripper, then cut it and tie a knot.
JINTOP Sewing Machine Mini Portable Cordless Handheld Tool in the use

 

What Is a Portable Sewing Machine?

Sewing machines were invented in the late 19th century and since then 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

Sewing Options

Before you decide which model of a 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 about 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 a 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 horizontal shuttle come with translucent covers which allow 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.

Additional Features

What else you should pay attention is the additional functions and features making the 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 up and down direction (rather than side to side). But Singer used Howe's patented lockstitch, so he was sued for a 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 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 has 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. The 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 speeded up production. Therefore, the industrial-sewn clothing was cheaper.

Isaac Merrit Singer came up with the idea of instalment 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.

Sources:

1. 10 Tips for Buying a Sewing Machine, Instructables. April 19, 2015.

2. How to Choose a Sewing Machine, wikiHow.

3. Matthew Steen Sewing Machine Buying Guide, Choice. October 12, 2017.

4. Manda McGrory A Buyer's Guide to Your First Sewing Machine, Envato Tuts +. August 26, 2013.

5. Which Is the Best Sewing Machine? Good Housekeeping.

6. Kelly Burgess Sewing Machine Buying Guide, ConsumerSearch. June 26, 2017.

7. Ashley Jones Choosing a Sewing Machine: Plastic vs Metal Sewing Machines, Allfreesewing.

8. Sewing Machine Buying Guide, Consumer Reports. May 2016.

9. Sewing Machine, Wikipedia. March 13, 2018.

10. How to Use a Sewing Machine, wikiHow.

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Publish Date: 2018-03-19 13:42:27