Using a Mini Sewing Machine: 9 Things You Need to Know

If you’re interested in taking your sewing projects along with you wherever you go, consider getting a mini sewing machine.

These little machines deliver a lot of power and cost less than their regular-sized counterparts. On average, most mini sewing machines cost around $20.

They especially come in handy when you’re teaching your kids how to sew. Before purchasing one of these portable machines, it’s important to put several things into consideration.

We've featured our top picks for small sewing machines in a previous post.

Will you be working with heavy fabrics or are you more interested in sewing lightweight fabrics? Here are 9 surprising things that you should know about mini sewing machines.

Surprising Facts About Mini Sewing Machines (You Probably Didn't Know)

Fact #1: They’re simple to use

As you’d expect, mini sewing machines don’t have as many utilities and knobs as larger machines. There are those basic functions that every sewing machine should spot, then there are extra functions that are used for much advanced sewing.

Mini sewing machines only have the basic features. This makes them perfect for novices who want to learn the basics quickly.

Children can also benefit greatly from these small machines since they’re only just commencing the learning process.

Fact #2: They have different designs

Small sewing machines come in a wide variety of designs. Some are so small that you can hold them with your hand. Others have a flat base, meaning you’ll have to place them on a stable surface when you’re working.

Handheld sewing machines like this CAMTOA Handheld Sewing Machine from Amazon are used for extra small repairs such as mending your torn pockets, stitching coat buttons or shortening slacks.   Apart from giving your hand a good workout, these machines are very lightweight.

Flat-based machine, on the other hand, can handle larger sewing projects such as mending purses or fixing garment hems. You can throw then into your bag when you’re on the road. 

Fact #3:  They come in beautiful bright colors

Most mini sewing machines are sewing machines for kids who desire to pursue sewing as a hobby. Companies that make sewing machines have therefore resorted to creating attractive machines with eye-popping colors so as to charm more children into this noble art.

Janome Fast Lane Sewing Machine

Janome, a revered name in the sewing circles, has several mini sewing machines that look amazing.

 The Janome Fast Lane, for instance, comes in a chic pink color whereas the Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine is lustrous blue. Getting one for your kids would be a great idea if you want their creativity to grow.

Fact #4:   Most machines have two speeds

With the flick of a switch, you can choose between two speed options. There’s the slow speed setting which lets you sew at a comfortable rate.

It’s the best setting when you’re teaching your kids various sewing techniques, or if you want a neat stitch. However, it slows down your progress.

The fast speed setting, on the other hand, is meant for those individuals in the intermediate stage. If you have some experience in sewing and want to perform a quick job, this setting will suit you well. You’ll also enjoy producing quality stitches in a rapid manner.

Fact #5:  Generally speaking, they are fairly inexpensive

Most mini sewing machines cost under $100, including the high-end ones. This mini sewing machine from the Battife store on Amazon, for instance, retails at around $75.

It’s built using the same top standards as other larger sewing machines. It’s recommended for beginners as well as children because it’s extremely easy to operate.

In addition, it runs smoothly and has all the safety features in place to ensure you don’t hurt your delicate hands. The Michley LSS-202 Lil’ Sew & Sew is a cheaper mini sewing machine that offers you all the basic features plus more.

You can get it for around $19. For those interested in handheld machines, they cost under $20.

Fact #6:  They offer fewer stitch options

Since these machines are used for small sewing projects, we don’t expect them to have numerous complex stitch patterns. The stitches offered by each machine depends on its model.

However, they vary from 1 to 6 stitch patterns. These could include straight stitches, zigzag variations and scalloped stitches.   Although they are fun to work with, these stitches don’t offer you as much scope as other larger sewing machines. They handle basic sewing tasks quite well.

For instance, you could use the zigzag stitches to embellish your garments. The straight stiches derive numerous applications such as fixing hems and inserting zippers.

Fact #7:  They are not toys

Although mini sewing machines are designed to be compact and portable, they still pack a lot of power. You might decide to get a toy machine for your children (they’re actually available in the market) but it’ll leave them feeling very frustrated.

A mini sewing machine is capable of teaching your kids the basics of sewing, equipping them with valuable skills that they can use in future. In addition, these machines look cute and will definitely draw the attention of children.

Apart from offering some simple stitching options, these machines are easy to set up and can be carried from one room to another.

Fact #8: They can’t handle large projects

Don’t go feeding your mini sewing machines with layers of denim and expect it to perform as well as a larger commercial machine. There are certain limits that just shouldn’t be crossed.

These machines can sew lightweight fabrics such as cotton or suede. Heavier fabrics can wear down the components or even cause the needle to break.

In addition, you shouldn’t overwork your mini sewing machine. Anything more than 6 hours of stitching will leave your machine in a bad state.

Fact #9: You can pretty much carry them anywhere

It’s probably one of their best perks. Their compact and lightweight design makes it easy for individuals to carry them in their bags when they’re on the go.

No longer will you feel left out in your retreats.

It’s also the best way to spend time with your kids. You can carry the sewing machine into your yard and teach them a thing or two about sewing as you bask in the summer sun. It’s both healthy and fun to sew as a family.

Wrapping Things Up

With these few tips, you’ll be better equipped to handle your mini sewing machine. Make a wise, informed choice when buying one of these machines for yourself. Most importantly, enjoy your sewing sessions.

Oh and in case youre looking for reviews and some of the most popular mini sewing machines, you can read them right here.

Happy Sewing!


Shelly is the main editor and author of this website. She is passionate about helping fellow sewing enthusiasts find the right sewing machine for your sewing projects plus design beautiful sewing spaces that inspire your creativity. If you're ready to DIY a stunning sewing room (on a budget), be sure to check out the Sewing Room that Sizzles Workbook bundle (complete with a 50+ page workbook) and two Bonus Guides that will put you on the fast track to setting up, designing and organizing a sewing room that is TOTALLY you (on a shoestring budget).

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Steve Jones

It’s good to learn that a flat-based sewing machine can handle larger sewing projects. My wife is wanting to learn how to sew and she was wondering what kind of machine she can get that could handle a lot of big projects without breaking. I’ll be sure to tell her to look for a flat-based sewing machine for her projects.


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