The 5 Best Mini Sewing Machines

Updated August 29, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

5 Best Mini Sewing Machines
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Just because these mini sewing machines come in tiny packages, it doesn't mean they are relegated to making only dolls' clothes. They have many of the features of full-size options and come in models suitable for beginners, children and accomplished seamstresses. Some even weigh less than 3 pounds, making them easy to move around as needed. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best mini sewing machine on Amazon.

5. Michley Lil' Sew & Sew

The Michley Lil' Sew & Sew is a simple machine that is ideal for small crafts and occasional use. It offers two-way sewing, automatic thread rewind, and eight stitch options. Plus there are diagrams printed on it to make operation easier.
  • foot- or hand-operated
  • cannot adjust stitch lengths
  • can't handle denim
Brand Michley
Model LSS-505
Weight 5.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

4. Janome Fast Lane

Weighing only 5 lbs and coming in 11 funky colors, the Janome Fast Lane makes an excellent choice for kids or anybody else who likes to sew in style. Its sewing foot has a finger guard to protect fingers from getting underneath the needle while working.
  • two needle positions
  • adjustable tension control
  • onboard accessory storage
Brand Janome
Model 001Fastlane
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Singer 1304

The Singer 1304 can create straight, zigzag, scallop stitches, and more. It has two spool pins for those times you need to create perfectly parallel lines, like when hemming, and the bobbin winder stops for you automatically, even if you keep your foot on the pedal.
  • makes it easy to create buttonholes
  • has a removable free arm
  • doesn't have a sewing speed adjuster
Brand Singer
Model 1304
Weight 12.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Imax LSS-202

The Imax LSS-202 is a great beginner's sewing machine since it is easy to use and doesn't cost a lot. It comes complete with 4 bobbins, 1 needle, 1 threader and a foot pedal to get you started on your first project, and can be used on nearly any type of fabric.
  • needle is easy to thread
  • hand and foot starting options
  • incredibly lightweight at just 2lbs
Brand Imax
Model pending
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Brother XM2701

The Brother XM2701 works like a charm and is loaded with features to tackle a variety of projects. It includes a rotary knob to easily select from 27 stitches, a top drop-in bobbin that rarely jams, and a built-in free arm for sewing cuffs, sleeves or children's pant legs.
  • needle threads automatically
  • illuminates your workspace
  • comes with lifetime tech support
Brand Brother Sewing
Model XM2701
Weight 7.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

The Many Benefits Of Sewing

If you think sewing is a dying art, then, first off, you are incorrect. Studies have found that an interest in working with textiles has been on the rise, with an increasing number of people performing sewing-related searches on Google, and knitting and sewing classes receiving high attendance. So, if you're overlooking this age-old craft, you could be missing out on its numerous benefits for your wallet and mind. Research has found sewing, knitting, and similar crafts can be highly therapeutic. Essentially, these activities provide a few moments in time, known as flow, when you're so absorbed by what you're working on, you stop thinking about anything else. In that way, sewing can have a meditative effect on your brain. If you don't have the patience to meditate, then at least sewing can provide many of the same perks, while letting you accomplish a task like fixing a hemline.

Sewing also improves your hand-eye coordination. So, whether you're a professional athlete, an avid darts player or trying to improve your reflexes for karate class, sewing can actually give you an edge over your competitors. We live in a society that is moving more into the cyber sphere and less out of a real, tangible environment. This can leave individuals feeling disconnected and depressed. Spending time doing something that results in a physical, useful object can offer a grounding sensation many of us desperately lack in today's social media-obsessed world. As some of the cited research points out, classes and centers focusing on sewing and knitting are popping up everywhere, meaning this activity can also provide a much-needed sense of community for some people. And while many other social activities, like sports and dancing, are only available to the able-bodied, knitting and sewing are hobbies nearly anyone can take up.

Finally, there is the very practical aspect of being able to control your own wardrobe. Considering how quickly trends in fashion turn over, sometimes it seems like you barely wear something twice before it's out of style. Being able to knit or sew gives you the freedom to alter your garb so that it meets current trends while reducing the time and money you spend on shopping for new clothes. You can also avoid handing over a hefty payment to a tailor any time you get a small tear in a piece of clothing.

Some Features To Look For In Your Mini Sewing Machine

If you're looking into a miniature sewing machine, then you're likely either low on space or plan on transporting your machine. In that case, look for a model with an onboard storage compartment so you can unpack some items from your sewing basket and bring them along. Some even have a removable free arm, making it even easier to pack them down into a compact shape for travel. If you're buying a mini model because you're new to the craft, make sure your version has a finger guard to prevent injuries. Another important safety feature to consider is a non-skid base so the machine doesn't budge during faster needle work.

More advanced sewers will appreciate a model with various stitch options and adjustable tension control. These will be very useful for precision jobs, like adding sequin or tailoring a jacket. If threading the needle is your least favorite part of sewing, you can choose a machine that will do that automatically. If you work late at night, or in places where it's not always easy to get natural light, like film sets or theaters, look for a machine that will illuminate your work space.

Being able to use both of your hands while you perfect an item is critical, which is why many miniature sewing machines feature foot pedals capable of controlling the machine, leaving your digits free to work with the fabric. Check the weight on your model if you plan on toting it around. Some weigh as little as two pounds. If you're going to work with tougher fabric, like denim, a heavier duty machine might be best for you.

The History Of Sewing

The art of sewing is nearly as old as humans themselves. In fact, archaeologists have found needles made of bone dating back to the last Ice Age that they believe our ancient ancestors used to sew their furs together to stay warm. Some historians credit the Germans with using the first iron needle in the third century B.C.E. Meanwhile, the Chinese may have created the first thimble. The British inventor Thomas Saint invented the first functioning sewing machine in the late 1700s. His model was designed to work with leather and canvas on boots.

By the beginning of the 19th century, it seemed everyone was trying to improve upon or replicate Saint's model. One Vietnamese inventor named Joseph Madersperger created several sewing machines starting in 1814, including some of the first models capable of circle stitches and embroidery. Unfortunately, Madersperger felt insecure about his machines and never made them commercially available.

The sewing machine industry has not been without drama. The next major player, French inventor Barthelemy Thimonnier, patented a sewing machine that earned him the job of making uniforms for his country's army. Sadly, a group of tailors burnt down Thimonnier's workspace, for fear of losing their jobs.

In 1832, Walter Hunt (who invented the safety pin) created the first sewing machine capable of a straight stitch. But, fearing he would be met with the same fate as Thimonnier, he did not file for a patent. In 1846, another inventor by the name of Elias Howe, patented a sewing machine that was based on Hunt's model, but with some minor alterations. By the time Howe started to manufacture and sell his patented machine, however, Hunt had already partnered with Isaac Singer, and the two were selling sewing machines very similar to what Howe was trying to market. This led to protracted legal battles between the Hunt-Singer partnership and Howe from 1849 to 1854.



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Last updated on August 29, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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