The Best Small & Mini Sewing Machines of 2020

Most people looking to get into the craft prefer getting a small sewing machine first. And that makes sense! They are smaller in size and come at a more affordable price than their larger counterparts.

Mini machines can accomplish many of the same tasks that average-sized machines can. They can house dozens of stitching styles and offer you a simple to use sewing option.

We know that there are many options on the market, so we have gathered some of our favorites to help you determine which one is the best fit for you.

Our Top List

Last update on 2020-09-19 at 06:43 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Singer Start 1304

SINGER, 57 Applications-Perfect Made Easy | Start 1304 6 Built-in Stitches, Free Arm Best Sewing Machine for Beginners

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This is a great option for those who are just beginning their sewing career. It has the six most commonly used stitch styles to give you a variety of options without overloading yourself.

This machine features a four-step buttonhole process that makes it simple to attach buttons to your sewing projects. You’ll have to thread by-hand, but each machine comes with an easy to follow threading diagram.

It can sew with twin needles and is capable of reverse stitching to ensure your projects sew together tightly. The machine’s platform can swing open to reveal a hidden extension table that will enable you to have a larger workspace.

An easy selection knob is located on the machine’s metal frame, making it easy to locate and change the stitch style. It also includes an LED light that can help you illuminate dark materials or difficult to reach areas.

The Singer brand is known for making high-quality and durable sewing machines, and they back their product with a 25-year warranty. You won’t have to worry about this mini sewing machine breaking down after only a few uses.

Pros

  • 350-400 SPM
  • 25-year warranty
  • Free arm extension table
  • Stitches are preset to prevent guesswork

Cons

  • No automatic needle threader

2. Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine, 80 Designs, 103 Built-In Stitches, Computerized, 4" x 4" Hoop Area, 3.2" LCD Touchscreen Display, 7 Included Feet

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This model doubles as a mini embroidery machine. Its body is outfitted with a colorized LCD touchscreen to allow you to choose and preview embroidery designs before you begin your next project.

The machine has 80 pre-programmed designs and six fonts that can help you customize your embroideries. The embroidery option has a 4 x 4 inch field and includes a hoop, allowing you to get to work on your next project immediately.

The sewing portion of this machine features 103 different stitching styles, enabling you to use this machine on nearly any job. There are also 10 automatic buttonhole options that will help you quickly attach an array of buttons to your projects.

It is equipped with seven different sewing feet to help you execute difficult sewing jobs with ease. The frame includes an automatic needle threader and a convenient drop-in bobbin to help you begin your project without frustration.

This mini sewing machine is expensive, but its embroidery capacities and high SPM might be useful to those looking for a portable machine that is capable of handling heavy-duty sewing projects.

Further Reading: You can find commercial embroidery machines here.

Pros

  • Embroidery capabilities
  • LCD colorized touch screen
  • 103 stitch style options

Cons

  • Automatic threading mechanisms can be fidgety

3. Michley LSS-505+ Lil’ Sew & Sew

MICHLEY LSS-505+ Desktop 12-Stitch Sewing Machine

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This machine is a great place for beginners to start. Its compact and lightweight frame makes it easy to store, and its simplicity makes it a good sewing machine to teach kids on or learn the ropes for yourself.

It is one of the least expensive options available, making it accessible to those who are just learning the ins and outs of sewing. It contains eight stitching styles, enabling you to fix or create projects with ease.

This machine can double sew seams to strengthen them thanks to its twin needle capabilities. You can also switch between forward and reverse sewing to further tighten and strengthen your stitching to prevent breakage or ripping.

Thread rewinds around the bobbin automatically to save you time and frustration while working on your projects. The LED sewing light can also cut down on your aggravation as it can illuminate dark materials and corners of your fabric.

This machine doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles; instead, it focuses on delivering a simple to use option that gets any job done well.

Pros

  • Manual tension adjustment
  • Twin needle capabilities
  • Extremely easy to use

Cons

  • No automatic buttonhole function

4. KPCB Small Sewing Machine

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This one is ideal for simple sewing jobs and is safe for kids to use. It has an extremely lightweight frame, making it easy to transport and easy for kids to set up and use.

It plugs into an outlet or it runs solely on battery power. Its battery function enables you to take this product virtually anywhere, making it a truly portable sewing machine.

The machine only offers a simple straight stitching option, but the straight stitch is versatile enough to fix or create a large variety of projects.

Its one stitch option also makes this product ideal for beginners and kids, helping you learn the basics of sewing without worrying about mastering different stitch types at once.

Your workspace can be extended by a pull-out table to give you more room to work on your project. Your workspace also features a cuff slot to line up and sew your clothing’s cuffs efficiently.

Threading is made simple and the bobbin is capable of rewinding itself to save you time and energy. The needle and power are gentle enough to work on soft cottons while still remaining strong enough for hard wool or denim projects.

Pros

  • Simple design is great for beginners and kids
  • Suitable for use on various materials
  • Powered by battery or an outlet

Cons

  • Very basic design with only one stitch style

5. Sew Mighty Multi

Sew Mighty, Mighty Multi Sewing Machine – Multifunction Machine with 12 Preprogrammed Stitches, Dual Speed, Forward & Reverse, Battery & AC Power with Foot Pedal

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This product is lightweight and can be battery powered to allow you to bring it nearly anywhere. You’ll be able to handle most sewing jobs with its 12 stitching styles and dual-speed stitching.

It has a four-step buttonhole pattern that makes attaching buttons a breeze. Tightening your stitches can be done easily, thanks to its forward and reverse stitching capabilities.

You can also customize your stitching due to its adjustable stitch length and zigzag patterning.

This machine comes with a foot pedal, but it can still operates even if you choose not to use it or travel with it. A dial on the machine’s frame allows you to control the speed at which your needle moves as you work on your projects.

It features an automatic bobbin winder along with a tension controller. You can easily adjust your thread and tension while sewing, enabling you to switch between stitch styles and tightness quickly.

A free arm extends to give you a larger workspace, and a cuff notch makes sewing straight cuffs a cinch.

Pros

  • Lightweight and can be battery powered to transport easily
  • Pedal is not necessary
  • Customizable stitching length

Cons

  • Bobbin mechanism is delicate

6. Brother XM2701

Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine, Lightweight, Full Featured, 27 Stitches, 6 Included Feet

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This small sewing machine includes many of the same features a full-sized sewing machine has. This product has lots of accessories and can perform most functions of its larger counterpart.

It has 27 stitch options that allow you to tackle most sewing needs. An automatic needle threader helps you thread your needles quickly, and a built-in thread cutter makes it easy to make fray-free cuts.

A top load bobbin makes threading simple and stress-free. Six presser feet work to help you perform different sewing styles without hassle.

Your work area can be extended by a free arm that is tucked away under the machine’s base. An LED light is also attached to the machine’s frame to brighten your work area when needed.

This product is ideal for those looking for a mini machine that can compete with larger and bulkier machines. It features many of the same qualities and capabilities at only a fraction of the size and weight.

Pros

  • Lots of accessories included
  • 27 stitch options
  • Many of the same features and capabilities of full-sized sewing machines

Cons

  • Larger and more bulky than other mini models

Verdict & Review

Singer Start 1304 - Our Rating
4.6 / 5 SewPoints
Pros
  • 350-400 SPM
  • 25-year warranty
  • Free arm extension table
  • Stitches are preset to prevent guesswork
Cons
  • No automatic needle threader
Summary
We chose this mini sewing machine because it is great for both beginners and veterans. It has a simple design that is easy to learn yet remains attractive to advanced sewers.

Its metal frame ensures its longevity and it is backed by a 25-year warranty from a trustworthy company.

This machine has a 350-400 SPM, enabling you to power through most fabric types without harming your machine. It is also capable of reverse sewing, which helps you strengthen and tighten your stitches in places that expect to see wear and tear.

It is a simple yet robust machine that is great to begin your sewing journey or sustain your sewing lifestyle while on the go.
Ease of Use
Capabilities
Design
Price/Value

Buying Guide

Why You Should Buy A Small Sewing Machine

Minis are a good option for those who live on the go. They allow you to work on sewing projects while you travel or go on retreats. You can easily store and set them up, which saves you time and energy.

They also work well as back-up sewing machines. If something were to break on your full-size sewing machine while you’re in the middle of a project, you’d have something to fall back on to finish the job.

Small machines are also a cost-effective learning mechanism. Whether you are new to sewing or you’re hoping to teach kids how to sew, a smaller and less complex sewing machine is your ideal fix.

These machines often have less stitching options and have fewer knobs and pedals so that you can focus on learning the basics before you upgrade to a larger and more complex machine.

Things to Consider Before Buying

Here are a few features that you’ll want to make sure come with your mini.

Automatic Needle Threader

When you begin sewing, threading a needle can be time consuming and frustrating.

Although it is an important skill to have, you might want to consider finding a machine that will do this task for you. You’ll be able to save time and focus on sewing rather than threading your needles.

Top Loading Bobbins

Top loading bobbins can also be known as drop-in bobbins. They are more user friendly than their front-loading counterparts. They are easier to load and position than front-loading bobbins, which saves you time and energy while sewing.

You should be able to re-thread and drop-in your bobbin in under a minute once you get the hang of it.

Number of Stitching Style

Most models have at least a few different stitching styles. In a mini machine, you don’t need a lot of styles because they are best utilized on smaller projects and for less detailed work.

If you plan on using your machine for a large variety of sewing needs, you’ll want to look for one that has at least a few dozen stitching styles.

Warranty Length

They are often affordable, but you’ll want to purchase one with a long warranty to save yourself money in the long run.

Some machines can be expensive or require specialized equipment or parts; you should look into the length and coverage of a machine’s warranty before buying it to save yourself a headache down the road.

Portability

One of the most appealing features of a mini sewing machine is their portability.

Some machines are notably smaller and lighter, while others are still transportable but have a sturdier build. You should determine how big you want your machine and how much weight you are willing to carry with you.

Some machines come with handles or carrying bags that make traveling with them easier. You might want to look into carrying bags if the machine of your choice does not already come with one.

How To Use a Mini Sewing Machine

Remember That They Are Not Toys

Although they may be small and brightly colored, they are still fully capable sewing machines.

You should take care when operating them and take proper safety precautions. If you are teaching a child to sew, make sure to keep watch over them until they have mastered use of this machine.

Easy and Portable Sewing

Mini are also notoriously simple to use. They have fewer features than the average-sized sewing machine, making it easy to set up and understand how it operates.

They  are ideal for on the go use or to help you interact with others. You can bring your sewing machine with you to dance recitals to fix any costume malfunctions before stage time, or you can take them along to sewing classes to learn new techniques.

Their inherent lightweight and transportable frame enables you to enjoy the company of others or sew outdoors instead of staying cooped up at home.

Remember That They Are Designed for Light Sewing

A small machine cannot replace full-sized machines for large or heavy-duty sewing jobs.

They are smaller and thus have less power and strength, meaning that they cannot handle thick materials or long work hours like full-sized machines can.

Most machines can handle light to medium weight fabrics and can be used for a few hours on end before you begin to run into issues. They are ideal for short projects or light sewing, not for thick materials or long hours of intense sewing.

Learn How to Thread Your Mini Sewing Machine

To be able to sew on your machine, you’ll first need to learn how to thread it.

  1. You’ll need to attach your thread by placing your spool on the machine’s spindle. Make sure your thread falls perfectly down from your spool, forming the letter “P.”
  2. Pass your thread through the first small metal coil from right to left.
  3. Continue pulling your thread and sandwich it between the two small metal plates of your tension controller. These plates hide behind a knob that allows you to loosen or tighten the tension on your thread.
  4. Pull your thread through the next small metal coil, again moving from the right to the left.
  5. Slide your thread through the hole in the lever that controls the needle’s vertical action.
  6. Bring your thread downward and push it through the last small metal coil, moving from top to bottom.
  7. Slide the thread through the hole next to the needle, again moving from top to bottom.
  8. You’ll need to pass your thread through the eye of the needle. Many machines come with an automatic threader, but you can also do this by hand.

Make sure to follow the directions that come with your machine to ensure you do not damage it during the threading process.

FAQ

Yes, they are extremely useful for small jobs and on-the-go sewing.

They work best with lightweight materials or short and detailed stitching. Their compact frames make them a great tool to bring along with you to a friend’s house or bring with you to sewing classes.

Their size and simplicity also make them useful for beginners and those trying to teach kids how to sew. You can teach kids on a machine their own size without worrying about injuries that might occur on a more powerful machine.

Mini mcahines are incredibly useful and efficient, making them an ideal starting place for those wanting to learn how to sew.

Yes, they are perfectly capable of sewing together clothing.

You can use them to create skirts, pants, shirts, hats and more. There is no limit to the type or style of clothing that you prefer.

Most models have a variety of stitch types, allowing you to have nearly limitless options to stitching, sewing, and hemming your clothing.

Some machines also include an easy four-step button attachment process that makes it easy to attach buttons to pants or jackets. Zippers can be tricky to attach, but certain specified stitch options can make it easier and less frustrating to do.

You can create ruffles to liven up skirts and sleeves or add detailed designs thanks to their ability to take sharp angles well.

Lightweight fabrics work best, but some models are capable of tackling thicker materials like wool.

For the most part, small machines do not work well with thick materials like denim jeans.

Some can handle it for a short while, but extended use will harm your machine’s quality. The strength of the stitch work also cannot be guaranteed. If you attempt to sew heavier materials, you might end up damaging your needles and your machine.

If you plan on working with denim jeans, you should search for machines with extra strength and power.

However, in most cases, it is best to work with denim on a full-sized sewing machine. You’ll have stronger and more appealing stitching if you utilize an average-sized sewing machine for heavier materials like thick wool and denim jeans.

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