Mini sewing machines: I bet most of us think of them because of so many good reasons:
- They are lightweight and small
- They are easy to use while stitching a small piece or curves
- Can be packed, stored and move very easily
I bet that all of us can think of the scenarios where these machines can be used. While for some of the people it is hard to use a small machine, there are those who appreciate.
Women into embroidery and similar errands especially love these small machines. They come in different shapes and sizes, and with functions tailored to different sewing and embroidery needs.
Best Mini Sewing Machines Review
Here is the buyer’s guide and review of two of the best mini sewing machines:
- Singer Pixie-Plus Craft Machine
- Michley LSS-505 Lil’ Sew & Sew Machine
Singer Pixie-Plus Craft Machine
Singer is a very reliable name in the business of sewing machines. They started making sewing machines back in 1851, so it can be claimed that it has served more than 4 generations of women who’re into sewing because of hobby or need.
Here are the pros and cons of this machine.
- Crafting Machine with 8 Stitches
- Both Power Options: AC Adapter & Batteries
- Built-in Storage
- Safe Bobbin Winding.
- Bit More Delicate for a Sewing Machine
- Problem with Complicated Stitches.
Let us dissect this sewing machine and see what it is made of
Here is everything you need to know about the cons.
Bit More Delicate for a Sewing Machine
This machine is a good one, but as it has been reported by some of the Amazon customers, it is a bit more delicate than usual sewing machines.
It is because of this very reason, that this machine occasionally keeps facing issues with needle, bobbin or the overall handling of it.
While all these little issues are easier to fix, as you go stitching and using the machine, it is definitely a headache to have your attention at mercy of this issues.
Since only one or two customers reported so, we can assume that the issue is probably with a few units.
Problem with Complicated Stitches
Since the machine allows the users to do sewing in 8 different stitches, customers assume that all 8 stitches will work seamlessly.
However, it is not the case with all these machines; a few have been reported to have problem with complicated stitches.
For example, a few units could easily do the straight stitch, but they could not do other stitches and always managed to bend the needles.
Yet, this issue was hardly with a few units.
Now that we have talked about the cons, let us discuss the pros of Singer Pixie-Plus:
Crafting Machine with 8 Stitches
While mistakenly the Amazon listing shows 4 stitches, this machine actually allows you to craft 8 different stitches.
Yes, there are 8 different types of stitches and by simply winding a knob you can choose one of those 8 modes or stitches.
Both Power Options
Really makes this sewing machine from Singer a portable sewing machine is its capacity to work with AC power as well as batteries.
If you cannot access a power socket or you are traveling somewhere and want to use your sewing machine then and there, you can do this with only 4 AA batteries.
AA batteries is a good choice because they pack more power than the AAA batteries. While output is same: 1.5 volts, the storage capacity makes AA a winner.
To help you keep the sewing area clean and tidy, and to help you organize your tools and things in a better way, this machine comes with a built-in storage.
Since the machine if fully portable, it is always good to have everything in one place and not having to have a separate box for accessories.
Safe Bobbin Winding
The bobbin that you use with this sewing machine is a drop-in bobbin and it comes with a good number of bobbins to start with.
Bobbin winding is safe when you use this machine, because the needle bar will get automatically detached while winding the bobbin.
These two qualities take care of two big issues with a sewing machine; at least you would know that you would not have any problem from bobbin side.
With this machine come a handful of accessories. I’ve already talked of bobbins, but apart from bobbins, you get foot controller, needle threader, extra needle, power adapter and thread spools.
2 Speed Slider
A litter slider on the sewing machine lets you choose between slow and fast stitching. It can be used with or without the foot pedal too.
This machine has a reverse stitching option as well. With using the knob near the low or high speed button, you can get into reverse sewing mode.
Use with Pedal or Button
This is one of the many similarities between both machines. While it is easy to use a pedal and sew at home, this is a machine made for portability.
While traveling, you do not need to keep the pedal. You can operate with or without pedal. There are buttons on the machine to help you do the stitching when you do not have the pedal or you do not want to use it.
Transparent Bobbin Cover
You can see through the Bobbin cover and it helps you see when the Bobbins runs short of thread and it helps you or your kids to learn how the Bobbin system works.
Michley LSS-505 Lil’ Sew & Sew Machine
As compared to Singer, Michley is not only a new brand, but not as successful as Singer.
They make machines so identical to Singer and other big companies, and the machine in question has sold over 1,600+ units on Amazon.
Here are the pros and cons of LSS-505.
- 8 Built-in Stitching Patterns
- Double Thread
- Sleeve Sewing
- LED Lit Workspace
- Not Easy to Thread Bobbin
- Adapter is not of a Good Quality
Let us talk about the cons first and then we will talk about the pros.
Not Easy to Thread Bobbin
These machines: both, the Singer one and the Michley one are made for beginners, initially for those who need a beginner level sewing machine for travel or for kids.
So, they do not have the option to automatically thread bobbin and when you go about doing it manually, it proves to be a pain.
The holder often does not turn, threading seems to be an issue and although only a few customers had this issue, it exists.
Adapter is not of a Good Quality
Again, this is not a problem that many customers faced, but hardly one or two reported that the adapter that comes with this machine is of a poor standard.
It stops working out of nowhere and at any time. The problem is that such accessories that are not a part and parcel of the main deal are often substandard.
The pros of Michley sewing machines outshine the cons of it. Take a look at the detail of these pros.
8 Built-in Stitching Patterns
As it has been mentioned, this sewing machine seems to be a copy of Singer’s machine reviewed in this review.
There are 8 sewing patterns that you can choose from. A big round knob next to the description of the patterns has got numbers for all of those patterns.
Wind the knob to a number (pattern) that you like and your machine will sew in that pattern.
Unlike Singer’s machine in review, this one has double thread system.
As matter of fact, it is not the thread that is double, neither the needle, but in a double thread knot sewing machine like this, the needle makes two thread path with single thread.
Double thread is considered good for durability of the stitching and better grip.
Sleeve sewing, what is that, some of you might ask.
Sleeve sewing machine is one with a sewing arm that has a small sleeve nook that is built-in and that lets you protect any garment with a narrow opening – such as a sleeve.
While stitching, it will secure the sleeve and rotate it to keep it from being stitched. A really useful feature!
LED Lit Workspace
Although this seems to be a copy of Singer machine, it has better tweaks to satisfy customers.
For example, there is a small LED light and lightens up the workspace and considering that this is a portable machine, this LED light is a good thing to have because you often have to work in poor light conditions.
Transparent Bobbin Case
Bobbin case is a drop-in case and the case is transparent. What’s the point of having a clear or transparent case? It is because you can see when the bobbin comes lose.
Since this sewing machine is intended to be used for kids learning how to sew, it is good that they can see all the bobbin functioning from the top and learn a lot.
2 Speed Settings
Just like Singer machine, this machine also has speed settings.
It does not offer many modes, but you can either do the stitching in a slow speed or with a fast speed.
So, it is intended to train the beginners. In the beginning they can get a hang of it with slow speed and once they have the guts to do stitching on a fast pace, they can go for fast option.
Reverse stitching is a good feature and it is included in both of these machines.
It is equally useful for beginners as well as experienced people. The button is used to sew backwards.
One application of reverse stitching is to sew back over an existing stitch to strengthen the stitch and make it impossible to come off.
Sew with Pedal or Button
With all these machines come a pedal that can be very useful in case you are not traveling.
However, if you are traveling, you do not need to make space for a pedal. The buttons on this machine are enough to help you stitch and sew easily without pedal.
With this sewing machine, just like the Pixie-Plus one, there come a handful of accessories. You get free of cost:
- Two thread spools
- Two metal bobbins
- One needle
- A needle threader
- A foot pedal, and
- An AC adapter
Comparison between Singer Pixie-Plus Craft Machine and Michley LSS-505 Lil’ Sew & Sew Machine
Which one to pick?
That is rather a difficult question, because while Singer is among the pioneers of sewing machine manufacturers and while Michley is hardly a well-known brand, the extra qualities of Michley that you will not find in Singer’s Pixie-Plus make it a strong contender.
Here is a table to let you better understand the competition and choose one that syncs better with your sewing needs and budget.
|Singer Pixie-Plus Craft Machine||Michley LSS-505 Lil’ Sew & Sew Machine|
|2 Speed Sewing||Yes||Yes|
|Safe Bobbin Winding||Yes||No|
|Transparent Bobbin Cover||Yes||Yes|
|AC Power and Adapter||Yes||Yes|
|Pedal or No Pedal||Yes||Yes|
|Double Thread Sewing||No||Yes|
What to look for while buying a mini or portable sewing machine?
Here are the points that you must check mark before you buy a good mini sewing machine on Amazon:
Size and Weight
If it is supposed to be a “mini sewing machine” or a portable one, it should weigh around 5.50 pounds and the dimensions should be more and less 10 x 10 inches.
If it is too heavy to carry or too big to pack, then it kills the purpose.
Number of Stitches
Let’s talk about the business of a sewing machine. It is not for embroidery, so all that matter is the kind of stitches that you can make with this machine.
The machines in this review have 8 stitches – both of them, so even if you skip both of them and go for a third machine, make sure that you have at least 8 stitches to choose from.
Position of Bobbin
Is it a drop-in bobbin or not? How to thread it? How to do bobbin winding – is it safe or tricky? Whether bobbin is underneath a clear plastic hood or it is fully covered so you cannot see this?
All these questions matter a lot. For example, Singer machine offers safe bobbin winding option and Michley one does not.
In bigger machine there are speed settings defined by speed units and there are more than 2 to choose from.
In small machines there should be at least two speed settings – fast and slow. Do not settle for a machine that has only one speed setting.
Reverse Sewing Option
Reverse sewing is used to reinforce the stitch and its application can be noticed in case of seams that you notice on sports related material e.g. hiking backpacks and other such materials. It is a good option and while it is not a must for a sewing machine, it is always good to have it.
Double stitch is made with a single needle and single thread, but it creates two stitches that go side by side. It is also used to strengthen the grip of seams. It is a good extra feature that you should seek for while buying a small sewing machine – although not a basic quality of a sewing machine.
You must know the kind of purpose you need a machine for. This kind of machines are not good for proper professional sewing or stitching.
It is a lightweight, small and portable machine that you can use for:
- Training your kids how to sew
- Taking to your dorm or hostel or apartment away from home where it can help with little stitching needs
- Traveling and sewing whenever it is needed
To be more clear on this issue, we need to know the kind of stitches that you can make with this machine. Here is the that detail:
- Natural fibers e.g. cotton or wool
- Fine and light fabrics e.g. silk or satin
- Fine synthetic material e.g. nylon or polyester
- Will not work with:
- Leather or faux leather
- Thick upholstery
- Plastic, rubber or any thick and tough material
Warranty and Support
Have a look at Amazon product details as well as reviews to see whether there is a warranty and support or not, and if there are these two determiners, whether they are actually provided or just promised.
There should be a minimum of 1-year warranty, although to some critics, 1 year is not enough. Michley offers 3 months to 1-year warranty which does not cover everything and Singer does not offer a warranty at all.
In this situation, all you are covered by, is an Amazon limited warranty or 30 days’ return policy.
As you can see, the Singer sewing machine has more nos than Michley sewing machine that has only one no.
This means Michley has everything that Singer sewing machine has with one exception and Singer has everything like Michley, but with three exceptions.
Then it comes down to rating. The buyer rating on Amazon is as followed:
Singer Pixie-Plus: 2.9/5 Stars
Michley Lil’ Sew & Sew: 3.2/5 Stars
Thus the verdict, unexpectedly, comes in favor of Michley LSS-505 Lil’ Sew & Sew Machine.
Not only it has more qualities than Singer sewing machine, but its rating is also better with the margin of a few points.
We definitely recommend Michley’s portable sewing machine.