Are you looking for a sewing machine that is portable, but don’t want to sacrifice quality? Thankfully you don’t have to. There are plenty of mini sewing machines that are capable of doing everyday sewing tasks and also great for on-the-go sewing. They’re lightweight and compact, so you can easily take them with you when traveling or taking sewing classes.
There are quite a few portable sewing machines on the market, but there are six in particular that we really like. Each one is light, easy to carry and powerful enough to tackle most sewing jobs.
1. Singer Start 1234 Lightweight Machine
The Start 1234 model weighs just 7 pounds, so it’s great for use in small spaces or when traveling.
While small in size, this machine does not compromise on quality or function. This model has six built-in stitches and a 4-step buttonhole. There’s a free arm, too, so you can sew sleeves and cuffs with ease. On top of all of this, the machine has a storage compartment to house all of your sewing accessories.
The Start 1234 is great for beginners because the built-in stitches have pre-set widths and lengths. There’s no guesswork involved. Just choose your stitch and start sewing.
This machine also has an automatic bobbin winding system and comes with a slew of accessories to help you get started. It even has dual spool pins, so you can do twin needle sewing.
- Weighs just 7 pounds
- Portable design
- Just the right amount of stitches (6)
- Free arm for sewing sleeves and cuffs
- Automatic bobbin winding system
- Includes a lot of accessories and built-in storage
- Metal frame
- Stitch length and width is not adjustable
The only complaint with this machine is that you cannot adjust the stitch length or width. With that said, pre-set lengths and widths make it easier for beginners to get started without feeling overwhelmed.
2. GentleShower Portable Sewing Machine
I was surprised by how many features this machine offers. Along with offering 12 built-in stitches, you also have control over the sewing speed. It also has a free-arm for sewing small garments, sleeves and cuffs. Forward and reverse sewing also makes it easy to lock stitches.
The built-in light bulb illuminates the work space, and the thread cutter eliminates the need for scissors. There’s even a built-in measuring tape and tension adjuster.
Automatic bobbin winding and dual thread capability make this a very versatile sewing machine. You can even work with multiple layers of fabric.
- Compact and lightweight
- Can work with multiple layers of fabric
- Free arm for sewing sleeves and smaller garments
- 12 built-in stitches
- Adjustable sewing speed and tension
- No buttonholer
The GentleShower portable machine does not have a buttonholer. But the machine does come with instructions on how to sew buttonholes manually.
This model is great for beginners and anyone who doesn’t want to lug around a heavy sewing machine.
3. iBesi Mini Portable Sewing Machine
While the iBesi was made for kids, adults can use it, too.
This machine offers double thread, two-line design and double speed. It’s extremely lightweight at just 2.1 pounds.
The iBest Mini has two speeds: low and high. The speed can be adjusted according to the project and skill level.
- Compact design that’s great for kids and beginners
- Lightweight at just 2.1 pounds
- Fun design
- Easy to use
- Has two sewing speeds
- Not ideal for serious projects
The iBest Mini is great for most sewing projects, but for something more complicated – like jeans – you’ll want a regular, full-size sewing machine.
That being said, this machine is a great option for anyone who is just getting started with sewing and for kids.
4. NEX Portable Sewing Machine
This is another great lightweight machine for beginners. What’s nice about this model is that you have the option of using the power plug or batteries. If you’re traveling and not near an electrical outlet, you can simply use batteries (4 AA – not included) and continue on with your sewing projects.
It includes 12 built-in stitches, so you can work on a variety of projects.
This machine has forward and reverse sewing as well as double thread and double speed options.
- Compact size for easy portability
- Runs on batteries or power plug
- 12 built-in stitches
- Forward and reverse stitching as well as double thread
- Not ideal for thick fabric
The light weight of this machine makes it a poor fit for working with thicker fabrics. Otherwise, this machine is great for most projects, from home décor to garments.
5. Varmax 201 Sewing Machine
The Varmax 201 has a very similar design to the iBesi Mini machine. The main difference between the two is that the Varmax 201 actually comes with an extension table. The extension table is great for quilting and bigger sewing projects.
This lightweight sewing machine also has built-in lighting and a thread cutter for added convenience.
Like the NEX model, the Varmax 201 can also run on batteries (4 AA – not included).
The 201 is easy to use, and its smaller size makes it a great option for young sewing enthusiasts.
- Small and lightweight
- Includes an extension table
- Runs on batteries or power plug
- Built-in lighting
- Thread cutter
- Does not work with thick cloth or elastic knitted fabric
The Varmax 201 is not ideal for working with elastic knitted fabric or thick fabrics. Otherwise, it does an impressive job at tackling most other sewing projects.
6. RoyalSell Handheld Sewing Machine
The RoyalSell portable sewing machine has a unique design (it reminds me of a stapler) that takes some getting used to, but is ideal for on-the-go use. Battery-powered and handheld, this machine can be used just about anywhere.
You won’t be able to sew a pair of jeans, but you can easily do a quick hem or patch up clothing. It’s compact enough to fit in the palm of your hand and lightweight enough to be taken anywhere.
The APlus+ machine runs on four AA batteries, or you can plug it into the wall with the adapter cord (which is not included).
There are a few things you need to know about this sewing machine:
- The fabric should be about 1.8MM around. It won’t work with fabric that is too thick or thin.
- This is a single thread machine, so you’ll need to tie the knot yourself.
Despite its compact size, this portable sewing machine actually gives you a lot of control. The rotary wheel adjustment allows you to control stitching, while the tension control allows you to adjust the tightness of the stitches. An included fastening plate holds the fabric in place while stitching.
- Ideal for alterations and small repairs
- Compact enough to fit in the palm of your hand
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Can use batteries or an adapter plug
- Cannot be used with thin or thick fabrics
The APlus+ sewing machine isn’t like a regular sewing machine, so it does have limitations. It’s lightweight and compact in size, but you’ll have to be careful about the fabrics you use.
Thin or thick fabric will not work with this machine.
That being said, this model is great for traveling and those spot repairs or alterations that need to be made. With the APlus+, there’s no need to drag out your full-size sewing machine for these small jobs.