How to Use a Small Sewing Machine for Projects

Sewing is one of the best hobbies you can develop. Unlike in the past when sewing machines were huge and reserved for the elite, they have become smaller and more affordable in recent years.

You can buy a small sewing machine for yourself or for your industrious kids. Often times, newbies find it difficult to operate large sewing machines because of their complex functionalities.

Beginners therefore prefer practicing with smaller machines that are easy to operate. Other benefits of a small sewing machine that make it more appealing include its affordability and portability.

Small Sewing Machine Tips: How to Use Them for Sewing Projects

Hairal Sewing Machine Mini

A small sewing machine can be used for all small sewing projects that you may have. It can also be used for emergency nip and tuck operations.

How to Use It

The first thing you do when you want to commence using your machine is to place it on a flat working surface. If you intend to use battery power, insert the batteries in their appropriate compartment. Otherwise, insert the machine’s power cord and connect it to the nearest power outlet.

Next, you need to connect the foot pedal to your small sewing machine. This is done by plugging the tail end of the pedal into the appropriate jack located on the machine.

You’ll then have to place your spool on the allocated thread spindle. This spindle can either be at the top or at the side, depending on the make of your machine.

After confirming that everything is in place, insert your thread through any hole located at the top of your bobbin spool. This will ensure that the thread’s tail end is coming out from the topmost point of the bobbin.

Threading the Bobbin

Your small sewing machine will have a bobbin winder where you place the bobbin. It’s located close to the thread holder. Using one hand, you’ll need to hold the thread emanating from atop the bobbin.

Turn on your machine by pressing the power switch, then press the machine’s foot pedal with the bobbin thread still in your hand. You’ll notice the bobbin starting to thread itself with the thread that comes from the spindle.


Threading Your Machine

Let this threading process to continue until you’re contented with the length of thread being carried by the bobbin. You can then cut the thread linking the bobbin with the thread spool and remove your bobbin from the winder.

Since you now have a threaded bobbin, insert it into your machine’s bobbin holder. It can either be located in the side compartment close to the needle or adjacent to the metal plate that’s under the needle.

The next process involves threading your small sewing machine. Do this by grabbing the end of the spindle thread, driving it through various designated slots and finally slotting the thread through a needle’s eye.

Next, press your machine’s foot pedal so as to intertwine the spindle thread with the thread emanating from the bobbin. You can now place the fabric under the needle carefully, after which you press the pedal to start sewing.

When you’re through with stitching, release the foot pedal and cut the extra thread that remains on your fabric. Make sure the machine is powered off before clearing the workstation.

Here’s a video tutorial and walkthrough that shows you how to operate a small sewing machine that we found very helpful:

Our Top 3 Small Sewing Machine Choices

We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite small sewing machines that are tiny in stature but pack a punch:

Favorite #1:  Janome Sew Mini

This small sewing machine has been hailed as the best portable machine in the market. Janome is a highly established brand around the world, renowned for producing impressive high-quality products for a wide variety of people.

With this machine, you wont have to worry about purchasing a mediocre machine that will break down after a couple of years. Some of the features of the Janome Sew Mini include 5 stitch length selections and 2 stitch positions.

The included stitch patterns are straight, reverse and zigzag. This machine also comes with a top loading bobbin system and can stitch through 6 layers of lightweight materials.

The Janome Sew Mini is also very light as it weighs around 5 pounds. Therefore, you can easily carry it to that retreat you’ve been dying to go. You’ll also be delighted by how cute it is. It has received tremendous reviews because of how impressively it performs. It definitely handles the basics with ease.

Favorite #2:  The Singer Pixie Plus

This small sewing machine combines affordability with performance to produce the perfect beginner sewing machine. It has a pretty design as well, and comes with all the accessories you can expect.

This product has received pretty good reviews, mainly because it handles all the basics without a fuss. A child who’s just learning how to sew will love the Singer Pixie Plus because it’s easy to use and it can be carried from place to place.

However, this machine will only fit kids and beginners. It can’t handle large projects very well, owing to its compact design.

Favorite #3:   The Michley LSS-505 Lil’ Sew & Sew

Overall, this is a pretty decent machine that does exactly what it was built for. Some of its features include an automatic thread rewind and 8 inbuilt stitch patterns.

The LSS-505 also supports forward and reverse sewing. There’s an integrated LED sewing light that enables users to view stitches through any dark fabric. It’s a tad heavier than the Janome, weighing at around 7 pounds.

Once you buy this product, you get 2 bobbins, 2 thread spools, a theader, a needle, a power adaptor and a foot pedal as accompaniments.

The Michley LSS-505 Lil’ Sew & Sew is quite expensive for a small sewing machine. This is probably why most customers prefer the Janome Mini over it. However, it does a good job with small sewing projects.

Types of Projects You Can Make with Your Small Sewing Machine

  • Small Throw Pillows
  • IPad Carrying Case
  • Scarf
  • Table Mats
  • Small Pillow Cases

There you go, some of the most revered small sewing machines in the market. The experience you get when sewing is unlike any other – you push yourself out of your creative comfort zone to create an amazing piece of fashion. Now get out there, get some fabric and get to work!

It’s also lots of fun to sew, especially when you’re doing it as a family. Get one for yourself or surprise your kids during their birthday!


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).

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: