The 8 Best Mini Sewing Machines

Updated May 20, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 45 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 creating only dolls' clothes. They have many of the features of full-size options and are available in models suitable for beginners, children and accomplished seamstresses. Some even weigh less than 3 pounds, making them super 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.

8. Janome Fast Lane

Weighing only five pounds 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 digits from getting underneath the needle while working.
  • two needle positions
  • onboard accessory storage
  • not suitable for heavy fabrics
Brand Janome
Model 001Fastlane
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

7. Stingsew Cordless

The Stingsew Cordless may not be the most powerful option around, but its compact size and easy portability make up for that. It works well enough for lightweight material, like cotton or silk, but shouldn't be used on denim, as it may break.
  • includes detailed usage instructions
  • needles are simple to change
  • not very durable
Brand stingsew
Model pending
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Nex LSS-505

The Nex LSS-505 is capable of twelve different patterns, so anybody can create attractive and functional stitches. It features a sturdy ABS housing that can stand up to a few bumps and bruises during transport, and it has a light above the presser foot.
  • helpful ruler printed on it
  • able to back-tack
  • sometimes gets jammed
Brand NEX
Model pending
Weight 5.9 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Varmax 201

The Varmax 201 may be mini, but it comes with an extension table, so you can still tackle larger jobs. It can be used for anything from quilts to baby apparel, and even has a slot on the bottom that makes it easier to work on sleeves and pants legs.
  • universal voltage acceptance
  • capable of handling thick fabrics
  • can only produce a simple stitch
Brand Varmax
Model 201
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Singer 1304

The Singer 1304 can create straight, zigzag, scallop stitches, and more. It has two spool pins for those times you need to make perfectly parallel lines, like when hemming, and the bobbin winder stops for you automatically, even if you keep your foot on the pedal.
  • works well for buttonholes
  • has a removable free arm
  • doesn't have a sewing speed adjuster
Brand Singer
Model 1304
Weight 14.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

3. Amado Double Speed

The Amado Double Speed comes complete with four bobbins, one needle, one threader and a foot pedal to get you started on your first project, and can be used on nearly any type of fabric. It is a great beginners model as you can quickly adjust the speed to suit your skill.
  • needle is easy to thread
  • incredibly lightweight at just 2 lbs
  • creates perfect stitch lines
Brand Amado
Model pending
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Haitral Handheld

If you often need to repair clothes while on vacation, or just don't have a lot of storage space in your home for an item not regularly used, the Haitral Handheld is a smart buy. Not only is it very affordable, but it's simple to operate, too.
  • runs on batteries or dc power
  • includes three bobbins and needles
  • adjustable tension control
Brand HAITRAL
Model pending
Weight 9 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Michley LSS-505+ Desktop

The Michley LSS-505+ Desktop is ideal for a variety of crafts, capable of 12 different stitch types and featuring little diagrams on each button to illustrate exactly how they will look. Its durable stainless steel rotary hook tip should last for years.
  • foot- or hand-operated
  • powers through thick fabric
  • integrated carrying handle
Brand Michley
Model LSS-505+
Weight 5.5 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 May 20, 2018 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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