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With an ever-evolving sewing world, things are getting interesting by the day. And it’s now possible for you to enjoy sewing your projects anywhere, anytime.
All you need is a good portable sewing machine.
Thankfully, most of the reputable sewing machine manufacturers have come up with highly portable machines that provide you with all the features and functions of a regular model—in a compact and lightweight design.
The purpose of crafting this post is to walk you through our best portable sewing machine review list featuring up to 8 highly portable, full-featured, and versatile machines.
Let’s get into the details…
Do You Need a Portable Sewing Machine?
YES, you’ll need a portable sewing machine if you find yourself in any of the scenarios outlined below:
As you can see, portable sewing machines are pretty convenient and will meet your sewing needs in different situations. Now let’s turn our eyes to the most popular portable models currently available on the market.
8 Best Portable Sewing Machine Reviews:
1. Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine
Our list of the best portable sewing machines starts with Brother XM2701. This machine comes packed with a wide range of user-friendly features plus a lightweight design. And it’s ideal for beginners who are still learning how to sew as well as the advanced sewists looking for a versatile machine.
The Brother provides you with a total of 27 built-in stitches which include the decorative, blind hem, and quilting stitches. It also comes with an automatic, one-step buttonhole which delivers virtually perfect buttonholes
Included in the box are 6 quick change sewing feet, including the zigzag, buttonhole, zipper, blind stitch, narrow hemmer, and button sewing foot. Thanks to the built-in sewing arm, this machine will let you easily sew cuffs, pant legs, or sleeves.
Designed with all types of sewists in mind, this machine is effortless to use. This is made possible by features like built-in needle threader, jam-resistant bobbin, and the automatic bobbin winding system. Plus, it comes with a comprehensive user manual (in the form of DVD) for even easier use.
2. SINGER | Simple 3232 Portable Sewing Machine
If you’re looking for a portable machine you can take with you everywhere, this The SINGER Simple 3232 will not disappoint. Also designed with the beginners in mind, the machine comes with a string of user-friendly features that make it easy to operate.
This particular machine offers you a total of 32 built-in stitches, built-in needle threader, and a built-in 1-step buttonhole.
With the automatic threader, it becomes super-easy to thread your entire machine from the spool all the way to the needle's eye. The built-in needle threader makes the machine even easier to use by helping you effortlessly thread the needle eye. Other features that make the machine easy to use include adjustable stitch width and length and quick-and-easy threading system.
With a fantastic speed of 750 stitches per minute, this machine will allow you to handle larger and smaller projects in an incredibly short period. Besides, it features a high presser foot lifer that enables you to sew several layers of fabric.
This machine has a heavy duty metal frame to ensure it remains stable when you’re handling tougher projects. The full package comes with a bunch of accessories that’ll help you get the most out of this machine. An instruction manual is also included for easy use.
3. Royalsell Portable Sewing Machine, Mini Cordless Handheld Electric Sewing Machine
For those who want an incredibly small portable sewing machine, Royalsell Portable Sewing Machine should appear on your list of top options. This is a handheld machine—compact and lightweight enough to fit in your hands and travel around with.
The fact that it’s handheld not only ensures ease of transport but also promotes total machine control and smooth operation. It comes handy when you want a machine for fixing spot jobs, like repairs and alterations. Compared to sewing by hand, this single stitch machine will make it easier and quicker for you to work on your small sewing projects, saving you time as well as money.
The travel sewing machine comes with a rotary wheel adjustment which enables it to precisely control your stitching. Besides, it comes with tension control to help you adjust the tightness of your stitches. Don’t forget that the fastening plate will hold your fabric during sewing, enhancing the efficiency of your work.
The compact & lightweight machine is a great traveling companion. It can be operated using 4 x AA batteries for the ultimate portability. Or you can opt to use a power adaptor when using it at home or office.
4. Varmax 201 Mini Sewing Machine with Extension Table
Varmax 201 is also an incredibly small sewing machine, ideal for sewers looking for something they can take from place to place and sew with, anywhere, anytime. Like all the other machines listed here, this model will also enable you to work on your sewing projects the right way.
One of the key features that define this model is a unique extension table which provides you with an extra area. This makes your workflow better, enables you to work on larger projects comfortably, and also helps stabilize the machine.
The integrated light lamp helps illuminate your work area, making it even easier to work on your projects. It also comes with a built-in thread cutter to make it easy to operate.
The portable machine is also extremely easy to operate. A detailed manual comes included in the package. Plus, you can access video tutorials online on how to operate it.
5. HAITRAL Portable Sewing Machine
If your kid is interested in sewing, you can introduce them to the creative world with this HAITRAL Portable Sewing Machine. Like the previous model, this is also a compact, lightweight sewing machine that your young one can use anywhere, anytime.
Despite its size, this machine comes with a list of impressive, user-friendly features to help your kids easily learn the sewing game. These include a top drop-in bobbin that winds automatically and is extremely easy to replace. It also gives you the freedom of picking between push button or foot pedal switches, making it even more convenient to use.
With dual speed design, new users can switch between the Hi and Lo speeds for easy learning. The built-in thread cutter and brightly lit work area also make the machine convenient to run.
Amazingly, the small sewing machine also offers you two power options- 4 AA batteries or power adapter- making it a great travel companion.
6. Stingsew Portable Sewing Machine
At our 6th place, we have yet another handheld sewing machine that will enable you to work on less demanding sewing tasks at any place and any time. It comes with dual power option, meaning you can operate it using batteries (uses 4 AA batteries) when traveling.
The traveling sewing machine enables you to sew with an extensive list of materials such as wool, denim, and crafts. The fact that it is handheld means it gives you total control over your stitches, enabling you to come up with truly amazing items. This gives it an edge over manual sewing.
It’s also worth noting that this mini sewing machine has a straightforward design, which makes it easy to operate. It comes with all the basic accessories you need to start using it plus a user manual with all the user instructions for an easy start.
7. HAITRAL Quick Stitch Tool Handheld Electric Portable Sewing Machine
For all your repair and alteration projects, HAITRAL Handheld Electric Portable Sewing Machine is your go-to machine. Also featuring a handheld design, this simple machine is convenient to use and is cordless, so you can use it anywhere.
Jumping into its top features, this machine can be operated using 4 AA batteries, which makes it even more suitable for traveling and using it to make on-the-spot repairs on various items. The quick stitch tool is extremely versatile and can handle a wide range of fabrics like silks, wool, denim, hem pants, and so on.
The extremely easy to use machine is shipped with all the necessary items and add-ons you need to start using it. The items you’ll get in the box include long-stick threader, 3 bobbins, 3 sewing needles, and a set of user instructions.
8. Singer Start 1234 Portable Sewing Machine
The last spot in our small portable sewing machine reviews goes to the Singer Start 1234 Portable Sewing Machine. This is a basic, simple, and incredibly easy to use machine. It’s the perfect choice for both beginners and skilled sewists who want to sew professional items.
It comes with up to 6 built-in stitch options, all of which come with pre-set stitch length and width. This eliminates guesswork and eases your sewing job as you just need to select your preferred stitch and begin the sewing process. It also provides you with a Four-Step Buttonhole feature that makes it possible and easy for you to add buttonholes to your projects in 4 simple steps.
On sliding off the removable extension table, you’ll expose the free arm which will allow you to hem sleeves and trousers easily or to work on smaller sewing projects.
Additional features worth a mention in this machine include dual spool pins for easy twin needle sewing, built-in reverse stitch, hassle-free threading, and automatic bobbin winding system.
The complete package comes with a wide array of accessories that will help you get the most out of your sewing machine. The lightweight and portable nature of the machine makes it easy to carry around. And like all the other Singer machines, this model is backed by 25-year warranty.
How To Use a Portable Sewing Machine?
We can further categorize the portable sewing machine into two—mini sewing machine and handheld sewing machine.
The mini sewing machine is basically a more compact version of the standard machine. It works much like the regular model; only that can you take carry it with you and use it anywhere.
Here is a quick guide on how to use a mini sewing machine:
1. Put your machine on a flat, stable surface. Power it by plugging into a standard electrical outlet or by inserting batteries into it.
2. Next, connect the foot pedal to your lightweight sewing machine. You do this by directly inserting the pedal end to the required jack on your machine.
3. Place a thread spool onto the thread holder (or spindle)—usually located on the side or top of your machine, depending on the machine manufacturer.
4. Grab the end of the thread you’re using and insert it into one of the bobbin spool’s top holes such that the thread comes out of the top of your bobbin.
5. Put the bobbin into your machine’s bobbin winder. Using one hand, hold the end of the thread that comes out of the top part of the bobbin.
6. Hit the power button to turn your machine on. With the end of thread still held in your hand, press the foot pedal of your machine. This will make the bobbin thread itself with the thread from your spindle.
7. You should allow the bobbin to continue running until you’re satisfied with the amount of yarn gathered. After that, you can use a pair of scissors to cut the thread connecting the spool of yarn to the bobbin.
8. The next step should involve placing your threaded bobbin into its holder (on your machine).
9. With the bobbin in place, it’s now time to thread your mini sewing machine. The threading method usually differs from machine to machine, depending on the manufacturer.
But in general, you pull the end of thread on the spindle through all provided slots and the eye of the needle. Press the foot pedal to make the thread on spindle get intertwined with the bobbin’s thread.
10. Finally, place your fabric underneath the needle to begin the sewing process. To stop stitching, you just release the foot pedal. And when you’re done sewing, cut the excess thread from your project, remove the sewn item, and put off the machine.
The procedure for using a mini sewing machine differs from that of using a handheld model. One of the top manufacturers of handheld sewing machines, HAITRAL, has prepared a video tutorial below on how to operate the handheld sewing machine:
FAQ About Portable Sewing Machine
1. How do I get the best small sewing machine?
The ideal portable machine will depend on your specific sewing needs. In general, the best sewing machine should come with a compact and lightweight design for easy carry or transportation to any place you wish
2. How much does a portable machine cost?
A portable machine is not expensive. It comes with an incredibly low cost than the standard model.
A low-end model should cost you around $20 to $30. The higher-end models can go as high as $130 or more, depending on brand features, and the list of accessories it comes with.
3. What’s the difference between a standard sewing machine and a portable model?
The primary difference between the two types of sewing machines is size, where the portable model features a reduced size and feels lighter.
Other than that, you’ll also find that a portable machine works at a slower rate compared to the full-size model.
The portable machine might not serve you with as many automated features as the full-size sewing machines.
You might also note that most portable sewing machines don’t come with a built-in light to enhance easy viewing of the project you’re working on.
Overall, the reduced size of a portable machine doesen't come without sacrifice of some features. Nevertheless, the machine has all the essential features you’ll need to work on your project from start to finish.
4. What can I use a portable machine for?
As we explained earlier in this post, a professional dressmaker who’s always on the go will find the small sewing machine a great traveling companion for sewing when you’re far away from home/office.
People who are still learning to sew will also be better off with a portable model as it doesn’t cost much and has all the features you need to learn the basics of sewing. Its portability means you can easily take to the classes.
If you’ve got limited space at home, the portable sewing machine might also be a good choice for you.
A portable sewing machine is the best companion for all sewing students, teachers, and professional sewers who find themselves traveling a lot.
The best portable model offers you all the features and functions you need to work on different models at any place and any time.
From our top 8 lightweight sewing machine review list, it’s easy to see that the portable machine doesn’t cost you an arm and leg. In fact, most of the models fall below the $20 price range.
Surprisingly, these models offer you all the features you’ll get in a full-size models and can handle multiple types of materials, making them even more reliable.
Whether you’re still learning to sew or you’re always on the go, we strongly recommend you to consider getting yourself one of these top 8 models and for the ultimate reliability and convenience.