Best Mini Sewing Machines in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 2, 2018
Are you going to start sewing? Then the first thing you need is a sewing machine. Whether you want one for DIY projects, crafts, detailed embroidery, or simple at-home repairs, our in-depth review will help you figure out which one is the best for your upcoming projects. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Built-in Stitch Patterns
Speed
Adjustments
Additional Features
Included Preset Feet
Power Source
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

You get a myriad of settings that will let you adjust the type and the length of a stitch as much as you want.

CONS

A bit heavy for a portable model.

OUR VERDICT

If you're looking for an appliance that can work on any material and do it well, this is definitely the best choice, even if it is a bit pricey. You get lots of features and functions that can help along an amateur seamstress while also proving to be of great use to more experienced owners. While the weight is a bit too high, every gram is packed with functionality and we find the machine to be absolutely worth it.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

12

Speed

2 speeds (High & Low)

Adjustments

Adjustable stitch length and zigzag width; Control the tightness of stich; Reverse sewing function; Speed control

Additional Features

Cutting knife, LED night light, anti-skid leg, hand switch or foot pedal

Included Preset Feet

1 x Foot Pedal, 2 x Thread, 2 x Bobbin, 1 x Needle Threader, 1 x Needle, 1 x Thread Guide, 1 x AC Adapter, 1 x Manual

Power Source

AC adapter or 4 x AA batteries (not included)

Weight

2.8 kg

Warranty

30 days

PROS

Equipped with an overlock function for working on the edges of the material.

CONS

Doesn't work well with delicate materials and tends to crumple them.

OUR VERDICT

A compact model with a built-in storage drawer for thread, needles, and any other accessories that may come in handy. You also get a ruler to help measure the material and a carrying handle to simplify transportation. Overall, this is pretty much a mini portable workstation for a seamstress that you can take along anywhere.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

12

Speed

2 speeds (High & Low)

Adjustments

Adjustable stitch length and zigzag width; Reverse sewing function; Speed control

Additional Features

Buttonhole and overlock function, built-in light, built-in carry handle, anti-slip bottom pads, invisible storage drawer with pull type, printed 18cm long ruler, hand switch or foot pedal

Included Preset Feet

1 x Power Adapter, 1 x SUB Cable, 1 x Foot Pedal, 1 x Spare Needle, 1 x Needle Threader, 4 x Thread Spool, 1 x User Manual (English)

Power Source

AC adapter or 4 x AA batteries (not included)

Weight

2 kg

Warranty

30 days

PROS

Comes with a handy expansion table that you can place the machine onto.

CONS

Lacks a stitch adjustment option.

OUR VERDICT

An easy-to-use machine that will be a great first choice if you want to teach your kids how to sew. However, it's also perfectly serviceable as a mini model for personal use, especially thanks to the extension table, which lets you place it practically anywhere and get down to work immediately.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

1

Speed

2 speeds (High & Low)

Adjustments

Speed control

Additional Features

Lamp, extension table, thread cutter, hand switch or foot pedal

Included Preset Feet

1 x Extension table (size 9.84*7.87*0.6 inches), 1 x Foot Pedal, 1 x External Power Supply, 4 x Bobbins, 1 x Needles, 1 x Needle threader, 1 x Manual

Power Source

Power adapter or 4 x AA batteries (not included)

Weight

1.27 kg

Warranty

30 days

PROS

This model has helpful pictures on its casing that show step-by-step how to work on it and what to do with different settings.

CONS

Might leave gaps in stitching when working on thick materials.

OUR VERDICT

While we wouldn't have minded some more features from this model, it offers respectable quality and very strong stitches, which is what matters most when you're mending or making clothes. If you're not opposed to getting fewer functions in favor of the ones you do get being more refined, the Decdeal machine is a great choice.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

1

Speed

2 speeds (High & Low)

Adjustments

Adjustable stitch length and zigzag width; Reverse sewing function; Speed control; Thread tension

Additional Features

LED light, anti-slip bottom pads, thread cutter, hand switch or foot pedal, lifting handle

Included Preset Feet

1 x Power Adapter, 1 x Foot Pedal, 1 x Bag of Accessories, 1 x User Manual (English)

Power Source

AC adapter or 4 x AA batteries (not included)

Weight

1.44 kg

Warranty

30 days

PROS

A very lightweight, truly portable model that anybody can pick up and carry around.

CONS

Loading in the thread might be tough for inexperienced users.

OUR VERDICT

A pretty basic model that's one of the lightest in the market and thus easy to move around when you need to. Its small size shouldn't scare you off as it deals just fine with small repairs and mending, working with any material that isn't overly thick. Of course, it's not as functional as some of the more expensive models but it's a good budget choice.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

2

Speed

2 speeds (High & Low)

Adjustments

Thread tension; Speed control

Additional Features

Lighting lamp, thread cutter, foot pedal

Included Preset Feet

1 x Foot Pedal, 1 x External Power, 1 x Bobbin Set, 1 x User Manual

Power Source

External power

Weight

1.08 kg

Warranty

30 days

Homdox SH-1803

Worthy of an Expert Seamstress

While the quality of your handiwork depends largely on your skill, a well-made and modern sewing machine can still improve the results quite a bit. So if you want to show off what you can do and achieve new heights, reaching a truly professional level, you’re going to need the help of the Homdox SH-1803.

You’ll master new techniques thanks to the 12 built-in patterns, which can be applied to any type of material as the Homdox machine easily pierces up to three layers, regardless of the thickness. Choose between the two speed settings and see if you need to take things slow or kick your work into high gear but don’t spend too much time sewing as the machine can run out of juice when you need it most. If you have a socket available, you can power it with the AC adapter or if you’re out “in the field”, a set of 4 x AA batteries will do the trick.

Speaking of being out of the house, while this is a small sewing machine, we wouldn’t exactly call it very lightweight. Sure, 2.8 kg isn’t incredibly high but carrying it around all day will definitely be quite a chore, even though you have a convenient handle to hold on to.

Aside from that small gripe, the Homdox SH-1803 is still one of the most impressive models in terms of capabilities. The rounded edges make it a great choice for work on sleeves while the fully adjustable stitching and patterns allow you to customize the process to your liking.

While it’s a bit pricey, the Homdox SH-1803 is worth it as long as you’re serious about sewing and want to master the craft. And even amateurs will find lots to appreciate in this high-tech model as long as you’re not worried about feeling overwhelmed by the features.

Review of Homdox SH-1803 Mini Sewing Machine

 

Anself TCJ7548333574836DP

Mini-Model with Precision Stitching

If you often find yourself needing to do precise work, like, for example, making stitches on the edge of the fabric, you could surely use a mini sewing machine with an overlock function. And that’s precisely what you’ll get with the Anself TCJ7548333574836DP, well, that and more.

In addition to the overlock feature, this model offers high-precision buttonhole stitching so you can practically make a shirt from scratch using only the Anself machine. Thanks to the 12 built-in patterns and adjustable stitches, you can do any type of project as long as you’ve got the skills for it.

And that’s not all as the Anself TCJ offers more than just features, the machine also provides the convenience of use as a mini sewing appliance should. You’ll get a hidden pull drawer that’s perfect for storing materials, as well as an 18-cm ruler that will come in handy when working on a project and needing to make precise measurements. Of course, you also get the usual switches and pedals to make work comfortable no matter where you are. Since this model is intended to be a 2-kg mini-version of the appliance, it can be powered both by AC and batteries, depending on what’s available in your current situation.

Our one complaint would be the fact that thinner and more delicate materials tend to get a bit crumpled in the process of stitching, leaving them looking less than great. Sure, you can iron them out later but you won’t always have the time to do so when working on a big project.

So, as you can see, the Anself TCJ7548333574836DP is one of the more reliable portable sewing machines with several quality-of-life features that are sure to come in handy during work. It’s a great option for working on the less delicate fabrics, especially if you need precision.

Review of Anself TCJ7548333574836DP Overlock Electric Sewing Machine

 

Varmax 201

Get the Whole Family Sewing!

Looking through reviews of mini sewing machines and feeling lost as you just need a simple model that will be a good fit both for teaching your daughter how to stitch and for you to mend clothes? Well, cast your worries aside as the Varmax 201 has got your back!

This easy-to-use sewing machine will not only be the best way to teach your kids how to sew but also become an everyday helper around the house. The Varmax 201 comes with an extension table, meaning that this mini appliance is practically its own workstation, which you can place anywhere thanks to its compact size and low weight making only 1.27 kg. As we’ve said, even a little child can handle an appliance this small. Your only restrictions on placement are the availability of a power source and even that can be bypassed if you have 4 AA batteries to keep the machine running on its own.

We definitely feel that there is room for improvement as a single built-in pattern won’t be enough for more experienced users looking for a broader scope of work. Plus, the machine doesn’t deal all that well with elastic fabrics. However, you still get full speed control, the hand switch and foot pedal, and the sewing lamp, all of which are an absolute must for any respectable machine.

While the Varmax 201 is definitely a more basic model with no stitch adjustment, its low price makes it an absolute bargain. You still get all the core features of a regular model but they are packed into a little appliance that won’t take up much space while doing the same tasks.

Review of Varmax 201 Mini Sewing Machine with Extension Table

 

Decdeal YUT0211331151416TZ

Stronger Stitches, Better Quality

Feeling like your sewing skills have gotten a bit rusty and wouldn’t mind a machine that helps you along? Well, you might just find what you need in the Decdeal YUT021133115416TZ, a mini appliance that’s as easy to use as it is well-designed.

The body of the device is covered in pictures that provide hints about how to operate the machine and what settings to choose for the optimal result. But that’s not all the help you’ll be getting, as the double-thread feature coupled with high speed will practically guide you along and keep the stitches even and clean. And don’t worry about losing control of the machine as the anti-slip pads keep it planted firmly on any surface.

Of course, the Decdeal YUT021133115416TZ is a model for those working on a budget and thus can’t offer as much as an expensive one. For example, while you do get a single built-in pattern to work with, we wouldn’t have minded a few more just to diversify the kind of projects this machine can handle. You can, however, take advantage of the reverse sewing function, which will come in handy if you want to reinforce your stitches and to ensure that they will hold longer. That way you only have to mend clothes once instead of constantly repairing them after your son slips at football practice or tears a hole in his shorts climbing the neighbour’s fence.

In the end, what the Decdeal YUT021133115416TZ lacks in versatility, it makes up in quality. Stronger and easier stitches, convenience of use, and low weight are worth a lot when it comes to mini sewing machines. Luckily, the device itself is quite affordable and thus great for any user.

Review of Decdeal YUT0211331151416TZ Portable Sewing Machine

 

GoodPro Sewing Machine

Light in Weight, Heavy in Features

While many mini sewing machines offer their small size and relatively modest weight as signs of portability, it’s tough to imagine a seamstress lugging around a 3-kilogram device all day long. Thankfully, there are always more practical alternatives such as the GoodPro lightweight sewing machine, which embodies everything one would look for in a truly portable mini appliance.

This small machine weighs just 1.08 kg and takes up very little space despite packing quite a lot of features. It’s intended for mending clothes and stitching materials of medium thickness. While we wouldn’t have minded a model that could deal with more delicate fabrics, the GoodPro does what it sets out to do and it offers very precise stitching, though the machine is definitely not intended for amateurs and thus may take some time to get the hang of.

You get 2 built-in patterns and a choice between high and low speeds, simplifying the process somewhat. Note that you only get a foot pedal and no hand switch, which may take some getting used to if you’ve worked on a different model for a while.

Overall, the GoodPro easy stitch sewing machine is definitely one of the few models that we’d call not just a mini-version of a regular appliance but a truly portable device. It may lack the bells and whistles of high-end models but it’s also reasonably priced and doesn’t weigh too much. A good lightweight pick for simple day-to-day mending and stitching.

Review of GoodPro Sewing Machine Mini Portable for Home

 

What Is a Mini Sewing Machine?

Sewing machines were invented in the late 19th century and since then rung up the efficiency and productivity of the clothing industry worldwide. Operation of those machines required considerable efforts while the end products still missed the desired quality. Today, this appliance has transformed from a complicated piece of equipment into an easy-to-use and straightforward device that anyone can buy and use at home. Moreover, many of these machines now come in portable sizes to serve as a backup sewing machine or one to take with you along to classes or somewhere else. For this review, we've picked five best mini models of sewing machines which despite their mini size and small weight don't lack in performance and have many of the features of conventional full-size sewing machines, making them perfect for beginning seamstresses.

If you're into sewing and handiwork, there are a few more devices to acquire for personal use. One of them is an overlock machine designed for edging, hemming, reinforcing stitches and decorating clothes. Another one is a scrapbooking cutting machine that will let you personalize your clothes by embossing various prints on them.

What Features to Compare

Sewing Options

Before you decide which model to buy, you should first determine what you are going to use it for and only then make a decision. Thus, if you're a beginner or just about mending clothing, there's no need to go for one of the most expensive computerized models. It would be more than enough to acquire a basic machine providing several stitch options and functions. But if you're seriously into sewing and making your own garments, you will need to turn towards more heavy-duty and multifunctional machines such as those reviewed here. Unlike basic sewing machines, professional models offer up to 25 built-in stitches for stitching different types of fabrics and clothes, expanding seamstresses' options several times.

When choosing, you should also consider the speed of the model, which is measured in a number of stitches it can produce per minute, so you can see how quickly you'll be able to accomplish your projects. Depending on the model, the sewing speed can vary from 200 to 1100 stitches per minute. In some machines, the speed is adjustable and can be changed in the process. Along with this, you should also look into the number of buttonhole styles available in the model. There are automatic, semi-automatic and manual buttonhole types to choose from.

Type of Shuttle

You should also pay attention to the type of shuttle used, since it is one of the key elements of a machine. A shuttle is engaged in the process of stitch forming.

The most widespread type is a horizontal shuttle that features a top load drop-in bobbin system. Due to the peculiarities of the shuttle position, it's considered one of the most convenient in regards to the bobbin placement. Sewing machines with horizontal shuttle come with translucent covers which allow keeping an eye on the thread so you can see when it's running low and needs to be fed.

A vertical oscillating hook features a front load bobbin system and comes with a dismountable shuttle. Using such a machine, you will first need to spool thread on a bobbin and drop it into the shuttle and then pull the thread through the slot and set the shuttle into a shuttle race.

In addition to the type of shuttle, sewing machines differ in the type of fabric and thread they accept. In contrast to models with a vertical oscillating hook that accept thread of any thickness perfectly well, sewing machines with a horizontal shuttle work with fine thread better. On the downside, the vertical oscillating hook is more demanding in terms of maintenance and needs regular lubricating to prolong the service life of the machine.

Additional Features

What else you should pay attention is the additional functions and features making the use of the machine more efficient and convenient. We recommend choosing a sewing machine with the option of a twin needle setting which will let you make hemlines on clothes without using an overlock machine additionally. The reverse option will allow you to reinforce stitches. Some sewing machines have automatic needle threaders and bobbin winders that simplify their use making them suitable for beginners. The option of free-arm sewing is another useful feature that many seamstresses prefer, allowing them to work with narrow parts and articles of clothes. Consider whether the model you choose includes any presser feet and supports stitch length and width adjustments so you could trim clothes and sew through different types of fabric.

Of course, this isn't the full list of options a sewing machine can offer, every model has its own specifications and sewing options. Hopefully, in our review you'll find what you need.

The History of Stitching Machines

The First Functional Sewing Machine

Barthelemy Thimonnier made the first functional model in 1830. It had a hooked needle and a thread that made a similar chain stitch used in hand embroidery.

Walter Hunt & Elias Howe

In 1834, Walter Hunt made the first US machine which could sew straight stitches. Hunt decided not to patent his invention since he believed this would cause unemployment among tailors.

In 1846, Elias Howe got a patent for the first machine which used two sources of thread. It had an eye-pointed needle that pushed through the fabric for creating a loop on the other side, while the second thread slipped through the loop, creating the lockstitch. For the next 9 years, Elias Howe struggled to arouse interest in his machines and protect his patent against imitators.

Isaac Singer & Elias Howe: Patent Battle

The first machines, made by Isaac Singer, were mass produced in the 1850's. These machines were powered by a foot pedal and moved in up and down direction (rather than side to side). But Singer used Howe's patented lockstitch, so he was sued for a patent infringement. After Elias Howe defended his right to a share in the profit, his annual income considerably increased.

Other Historical Facts About Sewing Machines

The first mechanical machines were used in production lines of garment factories. In 1889 sewing machines for home use were designed and entered the market. By 1905, the electric machines were widely used.

The Impact of the Invention

As long as all stitching was done only by hand clothing was quite expensive. The invention of these machines greatly contributed to the textile industry. Also, this has opened up many opportunities for women to work. The textile industry was revolutionized due to the invention of lock-stitch sewing machines with an eye-pointed needle as well as further improvement of some sewing mechanisms. The clothing became mass produced, thus reducing the cost of garments. Many women had the opportunity to work on an assembly line. This type of work was profitable and cost-effective for the employer, as it didn’t require skilled workers and speeded up production. Therefore, the industrial-sewn clothing was cheaper.

Isaac Merrit Singer came up with the idea of instalment credits that were granted on condition of their repayment at regular intervals over a specified time period. These credits allowed many women to buy sewing machines for making their own clothing. The sewing machines were the first household machines which enabled women to perform their domestic tasks, saving hours of labour time.

Later on, the machines played an important role in producing other goods, like automobile seats and furniture. Besides, items like towels, pillows, curtains, and various toys could also be sewn by machines. All in all, it was one of the essential labour-saving inventions that improved the quality of life.

Sources:

1. 10 Tips for Buying a Sewing Machine, Instructables. April 19, 2015.

2. How to Choose a Sewing Machine, wikiHow.

3. Matthew Steen Sewing Machine Buying Guide, Choice. October 12, 2017.

4. Manda McGrory A Buyer's Guide to Your First Sewing Machine, Envato Tuts +. August 26, 2013.

5. Which Is the Best Sewing Machine? Good Housekeeping.

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Publish Date: 2018-05-10 09:26:07