Best Mini Sewing Machine in 2020 – Small Repairs Made Easy
Looking to take a sewing project on the road? Interested in learning to sew but don’t want to make a huge initial investment? Using a portable sewing machine is an excellent way to start sewing, make your long-time sewing practice a mobile endeavor, teach a child to sew, or to simply have a back-up machine for smaller projects.
Mini sewing machines may be small in size, but they’re big on features and performance. The compact size makes them easily portable and a great option for beginners who want a no-frills machine.
However, just like any other type of sewing machine, there are several things that you need to consider before buying a mini sewing machine.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Mini Sewing Machine
When purchasing a mini sewing machine, there are four main things that you want to consider:
Automatic Needle Threader
Manual needle threading can be a hassle, especially for beginners. Fortunately, many newer sewing machines have an automatic needle threader to take care of this task for you.
If you’re new to sewing, it’s still a good idea to learn how to thread a needle (it’s an important fundamental skill). But to save you time and frustration, look for mini sewing machines that have automatic threaders.
Top Loading Bobbin
Top loading, or drop-in, bobbin systems are more beginner-friendly compared to their front-loading counterparts. They also save time.
Typically, a top-loading bobbin allows you to re-thread and drop in the bobbin in less than a minute. Front-loading bobbin systems are more cumbersome and difficult to get to, which just adds more time to projects.
Most newer sewing machine models have a top loading bobbin system, but it’s important to double-check to make sure the model you want has one.
Number of Stitches
Most mini sewing machines only have a few stitches, and that’s okay. In reality, most sewists only use a handful on stitches for the majority of their projects.
Your mini sewing machine doesn’t have to have dozens of stitches; it just has to have the most important ones. These include (but are not limited to):
- Straight stitch
- Top stitch
When comparing machines, make sure you look at models that have the stitches you want or need.
Check to make sure that the sewing machine has a warranty before buying it. Warranties ensure that you can get your machine repaired or replaced – free of charge – if something goes wrong with it.
If the machine stops working after just a few months of normal use, you should be able to use the warranty to get your machine fixed or replaced without having to pay a dime.
A warranty will give you peace of mind and confidence in your purchase.
Mini sewing machines are small in size, so most are naturally portable. However, some machines are easier to transport than others.
If you want a machine that you can take to sewing class, to a friend’s house or on the road while you travel, you may want to make sure that the machine is:
- Small enough to take with you on-the-go
- Equipped with a handle or has a carrying case
Many compact sewing machines have handles or are small enough that they’re easy to carry around without one.
The 3 Best Mini Sewing Machines
Looking for the best mini sewing machine? We’ve compiled a list of three models that are affordable, easy to use and have most or all of the features listed above.
1. Singer START 1304 Mini Sewing Machine
The START 1304 was designed for beginners, and it’s made by one of the most reputable brands in the industry: SINGER.
SINGER is known for producing durable, reliable, lasting sewing machines, and the START 1304 is no different. It’s compact in size, but SINGER doesn’t skimp on quality.
- Metal frame
- 6 stitches, including a 4-step buttonhole
- 3 presser feet
- Stainless steel bedplate
- Supports twin needle sewing
- Easy threading diagram
- 25-year warranty
- 9.8 pounds
The START 1304 mini sewing machine has a heavy-duty metal frame for maximum durability and skip-free sewing.
One thing you’ll notice about this machine is that it only has six stitches, but that’s really all you need to tackle most sewing projects.
These stitches include:
- Blind hem
- 4-step buttonhole
SINGER also includes three presser feet to expand your project options: all-purpose, zipper and buttonhole.
While the START 1304 doesn’t have an automatic needle threader, it does have a threading diagram that’s quick and easy to follow.
Dual spool pins also allow for twin needle sewing if you wish. The knob makes it easy to select your stitches, and this machine has a built-in reverse stitch to reinforce your stitch. SINGER includes a variety of accessories to help you get started sewing right away.
Some users have issues with the bobbin, but you can replace the stock bobbins with your own. Keep in mind that this machine is also backed by a warranty, so if the bobbin system isn’t working properly, SINGER should fix it.
All in all, the START 1304 is a great mini sewing machine for beginners or anyone who wants a compact machine.
2. KPCB Mini Sewing Machine
The KPCB mini sewing machine is a bit different from the usual sewing machine. It can run on battery power, or you can plug it in to an outlet.
The battery option makes this machine truly portable. The price point is budget-friendly, too.
- Battery and adapter power options
- 1 stitch
- Automatic bobbin rewinding
- Extension table included
- Weighs less than 5 pounds
The KPCB machine only has one stitch: the straight stitch. It’s designed for basic sewing, but you can still use this machine to create a variety of projects, including:
- Doll and baby clothes
- Tote bags
This mini sewing machine has a foot pedal, but you can also turn it off and on using the buttons on the machine. The included extension table allows you to work on a variety of projects, including garments.
Threading is easy, and KPCB includes everything you need to get started.
The only caveat with this machine is that it’s very basic. But for the price and size, it’s a great little machine for beginners, kids or anyone who wants to take their sewing machine on-the-go.
3. Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine
The Brother XM2701 is more feature-rich than other machines on our list, but it still offers a compact size and the durability you expect from Brother sewing machines.
- 27 stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- Top loading bobbin
- Free arm
- 25-year limited warranty
- 6 presser feet included
- LED-lit work area
The XM2701 hits all of the marks we talked about earlier: warranty, stitches, automatic needle threader, top loading bobbin and portability. It has more stitches than the SINGER machine, but this will give you more options for decorative stitching. The top-loading bobbin and automatic needle threader make it easy to get started with your projects.
Brother includes six presser feet with this model: blind stitch, narrow hem, button, zipper, buttonhole and zigzag.
While this machine has a wealth of features, it isn’t big or bulky. The machine weighs just 12.6 pounds and is 12.1” x 5.9” x 15.3.”
Some machines have issues with tension, but this is a common problem with mass-produced sewing machines. The XM2701 is backed by a warranty, so if something is truly defective with the machine, Brother should fix it or replace your machine.
The XM2701 is a great option if you want a more advanced mini sewing machine with more options. It offers a great stitch selection as well as other features that you’d normally only find on more expensive, full-size sewing machines.
Janome Sew Mini 2 Stitch
This sewing machine, manufactured by Janome (one of the leaders in the sewing industry today) is extremely compact, durable, and easy to use. This is the smallest Janome machine available on the market, coming in at under five pounds and compact enough to fit into an RV cupboard, which makes it perfect for travelling. It offers two stitch options: straight and zigzag, and it has long been considered a favorite machine for children learning how to sew. However, long-time sewists and sewing professionals also use this machine for small sewing projects, mending needs, and crafts, including paper crafting.
It comes at an affordable price which makes it a perfect birthday or Christmas present, and it comes in the colors beach (a bluish white), merlot (a dark purple), and honeycomb (a buttery yellow). If you are looking for a high quality, extremely light, portable machine with basic features, this is the machine for you.
Janome Fast Lane Portable Sewing Machine
This portable machine, also manufactured by Janome, is also an excellent choice for both young learners and seasoned sewists. At five pounds, this machine is slightly larger than the Janome Sew Mini Sewing Machine, but its larger size allows for more features as well.
This basic machine is excellent for smaller projects such as simple sewing tasks, mending, scrapbooking, and paper crafting. It offers four stitches with six stitch width and length variations: there are five straight-stitch variations, three zigzag variations, a crescent or scalloped stitch, and a multi-stitch zigzag stitch. These additional stitches allow for the insertion of zippers, basic garment construction, embellishment and appliqué, and the ability to work with stretch fabrics in addition to basic sewing and mending tasks.
This machine is convenient, lightweight and features a clear plastic finger guard so that learners and younger children have a bit more safety when using the machine. Of the many portable machines listed here, this machine comes with the most color choices, ranging from the solid options (teal, pink, and blue), to solid-colored machines with different-colored accents (fuchsia with yellow accents, gray with pink, lilac with pink, mint with lilac, purple with blue, and yellow with blue).
If you are looking for a learner-friendly, portable machine with a little more capacity for larger projects, then this machine is for you.
Singer Pixie-Plus Craft Machine
The Pixie-Plus, made by Singer (the leading sewing manufacturer today) also weighs five pounds and is an excellent choice for both seasoned sewists and beginners.
It is recommended that children begin learning on this machine when they are at least eight years old. It is great for making crafts and for quick mending, and is built with smaller projects in mind. This machine boasts four stitch options (with no adjust of stitch width or length—this machine is very basic) and is extremely easy to pack and carry around, as it can be powered with both AC power and batteries.
It is very affordable and stitches at a slower speed which makes learning to sew easy. This machine is very cute in addition to its strength: it is white with purple details and has an adorable, girly font on the side. If you are looking for a small, quality, hard working machine with basic features, this machine is perfect for you.
Michley LSS-202 Lil’ Sew & Sew Mini 2-Speed
This two-speed portable machine, produced by Michley, is the most affordable of the machines listed here. It also offers the most basic features, which makes it an extremely easy machine on which to learn, offering one basic stitch at a slower speed and is very easy to thread. It is also ideal for experienced sewists as a machine for mending and small projects such as bags, hats, and small quilts.
This machine offers double thread and includes four bobbins, a foot pedal, a needle, and a threader.
If you are looking for a basic, affordable machine that is good for beginners and small projects, this machine is for you.
Conclusion – Which Mini Sewing Machine is the Best?
For me, the Singer START 1234 is the best small sewing machine available in 2020. Don’t let their small size fool you as they are easily capable of completing day-to-day sewing tasks. They are inexpensive, reliable and produce very good results. They are the perfect size to bring along to a sewing class or to a friend’s house. Anyone looking for a portable sewing machine will be very pleased with any of these models.
Shannon has been and avid quilter for over 20 years. Her love of quilts came at an early age from her grandmother. She is a mother of 2 and lives in the US with her loving husband.