Best Mini Sewing Machines in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 9, 2019
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 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Built-in Stitch Patterns
Speed
Adjustments
Additional Features
Included Preset Feet
Power Source
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The surprisingly powerful motor will let you sew up to 6 layers of fabric at the same time. The free arm incorporates ample accessory space. That removable arm will let you get to cuffs, hems, and other hard-to-reach places. 

CONS

You can't run the model on batteries. 

OUR VERDICT

Uten ST-508B is excellent for various sewing projects, including but not limited to altering and creating clothing, quilting, crafting, home decor, etc. You'll be able to put your creative sense into practice and produce outstanding sewing designs.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

16

Speed

2-level speed control

Adjustments

Double thread, cut and sew overlock stitches, reverse sewing, adjustable needle spacing

Additional Features

Four-step buttonhole, LED lights, Anti-slip bottom pads, Free arm

Included Preset Feet

All-purpose presser foot, bobbins, needle, needle threader, power adapter, user manual

Power Source

Mains

Weight

3.57 kg

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The relatively large (25 x 20 cm) extension table that comes supplied with the machine makes sewing smooth enough, especially as far as larger projects are concerned. The machine comes equipped with a built-in thread cutter, meaning that you'll never require scissors.

CONS

It might take some time to get used to threading the needle. 

OUR VERDICT

LMYJ SE22 is probably the least demanding portable sewing machine on this list. Measuring 26 x 22.2 x 16.2 centimetres in overall dimensions, the model weighs just 1.2 kilograms, meaning it is as compact and lightweight as these machines come.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

1

Speed

2-level speed control

Adjustments

Adjustable tension

Additional Features

LED lights, Built-in thread cutter, Automatic bobbin winding

Included Preset Feet

All-purpose presser foot, extension table, power adapter, foot pedal, 4 bobbins, needle, needle threader, user manual

Power Source

Mains or 4 x AA batteries

Weight

1.24 kg

Warranty

Return and exchange guarantee from seller

PROS

The model's double-thread and double-speed functionality help you create a neat, straight, and firm stitch. The free arm allows for circular sewing on cuffs or trouser bottoms. The mini hidden drawer is perfect for storing different accessories and making them always accessible at the same time.

CONS

The spare needles are inconvenient to replace. 

OUR VERDICT

Barbieya BY-UK-FRJ001 is as versatile as portable sewing machines come. You'll have no issues realising various sewing projects. The model incorporates every sewing feature in the book, including reverse sewing, overlocking, zipper sewing, and more.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

12

Speed

2-level speed control

Adjustments

Double thread, reverse sewing, adjustable needle spacing

Additional Features

Buttonhole, Overlock function, LED light, Winding function, Built-in thread cutter, Mini hidden drawer

Included Preset Feet

All-purpose presser foot, power adapter, foot pedal, spare needle, needle threader, 4 thread spools, user manual

Power Source

Mains or 4 x AA batteries

Weight

1.9 kg

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The sewing machine measures 24.4 x 23.4 x 17.1 centimetres in overall dimensions and weighs precisely 1.32 kilograms, so you'll have no issues moving the machine around. You can use the foot pedal or the push-button switch to control the sewing process. The model can be powered through the mains or 4 x AA batteries. 

CONS

There are no spare needles. 

OUR VERDICT

Despite its not necessarily professional design, the model's build is surprisingly sturdy and rugged. The ABS+metal combination is durable and resistant to wear and tear. The safety cover will help with maintenance and let you keep the machine in an excellent condition for as long as possible.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

1

Speed

2-level speed control

Adjustments

Adjustable tension

Additional Features

LED light, Automatic bobbin winding

Included Preset Feet

All-purpose presser foot, extension table, foot pedal, power adapter, safety cover, user manual

Power Source

Mains or 4 x AA batteries

Weight

1.32 kg

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The machine's reverse sewing feature will prove particularly useful for reinforcing seams' ends to make sure there are no loose ends. The anti-slip pads on the bottom will have no issues keeping the sewing machine safe and stable through different sewing projects. 

CONS

The machine doesn't work that well with stretchable fabrics. 

OUR VERDICT

Like-very BJ-FRJ-002-UK will not limit your sewing potential. Far from professional, the machine will prove useful for sewing enthusiasts and perfect for beginners. The spare accessories are pretty great too.

detailed parameters
Built-in Stitch Patterns

12

Speed

2-level speed control

Adjustments

Double thread, reverse sewing, adjustable needle spacing

Additional Features

Buttonhole, Overlock function, LED light, Winding function, Built-in thread cutter, Mini hidden drawer

Included Preset Feet

All-purpose presser foot, power adapter, foot pedal, spare needle, needle threader, 4 thread spools, user manual

Power Source

Mains or 4 x AA batteries

Weight

1.9 kg

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

Uten ST-508B

Put Your Creative Sense Into Practice

Uten ST-508B is equally suitable for children, beginners, and sewing enthusiasts. The model's packing 16 built-in stitch patterns. Featuring a versatile basic pattern, the machine makes it especially easy for beginners.

You'll be able to use these stitches for sewing, hemming, mending, and/or decorative embellishment. The surprisingly powerful motor will let you sew up to 6 layers of fabric at the same time.

Another detail pertaining to the versatility cause is an all-purpose snap-on presser foot that works wonders holding different fabrics flat as the fabrics are fed through the machine and stitched.

We really like the free arm that incorporates ample accessory space. That removable arm will let you get to cuffs, hems, and other hard-to-reach places. The usual reserve stitch feature is present as well, so you'll be able to make seams as strong and durable as possible.

Last but not least, the four-step buttonhole allows you to easily add buttonholes, meaning you'll be able to work with shirts, blouses, dresses, skirts, and more.

As far as we're concerned, the only issue with this model is that it is unable to run on batteries and has to be connected to the mains.

Apart from that, Uten ST-508B is excellent for various sewing projects, including but not limited to altering and creating clothing, quilting, crafting, home decor, etc. You'll be able to put your creative sense into practice and produce outstanding sewing designs.

Review of Uten ST-508B Beginner Sewing Machine Mini Thread Basic Portable

 

LMYJ SE22

The Least Demanding Machine

LMYJ SE22 isn't the most versatile product on the list but the machine is excellent at what it does. You can choose between an AC/DC adapter or 4 x AA batteries to power the sewing machine.

The relatively large extension table that comes supplied with the model makes sewing smooth enough, especially as far as larger projects are concerned. The machine comes equipped with a built-in thread cutter, meaning that you'll never require scissors.

It might take some time to get used to threading the needle, that little part could use some improvement. Other than that, the product doesn't have any major flaws.

The built-in LED lights are bright enough without being too distracting. There's a clear difference between two speed settings, so you'll be able to tackle various DIY projects. The foot pedal makes the machine's settings easily accessible for beginners. The bobbins on the winding pole are easy to rewind.

The model doesn't feature multiple stitch patterns. At the same time, the classic straight-line stitch pattern will prove enough for most projects.

Bottom line, LMYJ SE22 is probably the least demanding portable sewing machine on this list. Measuring 26 x 22.2 x 16.2 centimetres in overall dimensions, the model weighs just 1.2 kilograms, meaning it is as compact and lightweight as these machines come. It is an excellent travel model, especially considering how easy to use it is.

Review of LMYJ SE22 Mini Sewing Machine

 

Barbieya BY-UK-FRJ001

Every Sewing Feature in the Book

Barbieya BY-UK-FRJ001 can more or less do it all. Its double-thread and double-speed functionality help you create a neat, straight, and firm stitch. The free arm allows for circular sewing on cuffs or trouser bottoms.

Considering the model's rich functionality and its 12 built-in stitch patterns, you'll have no issues with seaming, hemming, buttonholing, auto winding, etc.

The mini hidden drawer to the machine's left side is an excellent little detail, perfect for storing different accessories and making them always accessible at the same time. It will be able to fit multiple bobbins, threads, needles, etc.

The model's adjustable needle spacing lets you customize stitches. The built-in thread cutter streamlines the overall experience since you don't have to bother with scissors.

You will, however, have to bother replacing the needle. Due to the machine's compact size and somewhat impractical build in that area, the needle can be difficult to replace.

On the bright side, the built-in LED light will let you see all the little details in your work for easy threading.

In other words, Barbieya BY-UK-FRJ001 is as versatile as portable sewing machines come. You'll have no issues realising various sewing projects. The user manual is accessible and comprehensive. The model incorporates every sewing feature in the book, including reverse sewing, overlocking, zipper sewing, and more.

Review of Barbieya BY-UK-FRJ001 Portable Sewing machine-12

 

NEX D-1

Kids Can Sew Too

NEX D-1 is all about that "mini" part in the "mini sewing machine" first and foremost. The model measures 24.4 x 23.4 x 17.1 centimetres in overall dimensions and weighs precisely 1.32 kilograms, so you'll have no issues moving the machine around. The product is not very versatile. It most certainly isn't packing enough to satisfy experienced sewing enthusiasts.

As far as we're concerned, the machine is perfect for kids and beginners but that's about it. That's not an issue, just that the model was designed with a specific target audience in mind.

The only issue we have with the product is that there are no spare needles supplied with the package. Setting that aside, the machine does not disappoint.

You can use the foot pedal or the push-button switch to control the sewing process. The extension table will let you realise larger projects. The model can be powered through the mains or 4 x AA batteries. The built-in LED light provides excellent additional visibility in low-light conditions.

Despite its not necessarily professional design, this small sewing machine is surprisingly sturdy and rugged. The ABS+metal combination is durable and resistant to wear and tear. Plus, the safety cover will help with maintenance and let you keep the machine in an excellent condition for as long as possible.

Review of NEX D-1 Mini Sewing Machine

 

Like-very BJ-FRJ-002-UK

Affordable Quality Sewing

Like-very BJ-FRJ-002-UK is incredibly capable considering how affordable the machine is. Incorporating 12 stitch patterns, there's very little the model is unable to do. Its reverse sewing feature will prove particularly useful for reinforcing seams' ends to make sure there are no loose ends.

There's a nice little hidden drawer to the side that will work wonders storing different accessories like threads, bobbins, needles, etc.

Equipped with 2 different speed settings and double-thread functionality, the model allows for neat, straight, and firm stitching.

Despite incorporating adjustable needle spacing, the machine doesn't work that well with stretchable fabrics. The anti-slip pads on the bottom will have no issues keeping the sewing machine safe and stable enough with other fabrics though.

As per usual, the free arm will make circular sewing on cuffs or trouser bottoms easy and accessible. The LED lights will let you sew in low-light conditions, while the built-in thread cutter will let you start and finish your projects without scissors.

All things considered, Like-very BJ-FRJ-002-UK will not limit your sewing potential. Far from professional, the machine will prove useful for sewing enthusiasts and perfect for beginners. The spare accessories are pretty great too.

Review of Like-very BJ-FRJ-002-UK Portable Sewing Machine

 

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, greatly expanding seamstresses' options.

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 regard 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