For many, a sewing machine is an essential art-making tool. Ideal for efficiently joining fabrics, a sewing machine is also a great alternative to adhesives for plastics, papers, and new materials. Mini sewing machines get the job done without taking up space, executing basic straight stitches cleanly and easily. Portable machines are lightweight and perfect for exhibit installations and art workshops. Every artist needs one! Browse our picks of the best mini/portable sewing machines below.
1. PDJW Mini Electric Sewing Machine
Do you need a small, dependable sewing machine? Ouxfront’s machine is engineered with premium materials to last. It features one basic straight stitch in two speeds (it doesn’t reverse) and comes with a small light that illuminates the sewing area. It’s a great machine for those who travel or have limited space in their studios. It sews basic projects well, and it can handle thick layers of fabric thanks to its special cuff slot; on the downside, it is not ideal for complicated fiber art, and it can be loud. Still, for basic stitching, it’s a wonderful, versatile machine.
2. Janome Fastlane Portable Sewing Machine
This is an ideal sewing machine for artists who occasionally sew and want a small, premium machine. It’s also perfect for textile artists who need a second machine. Its stitch options make it invaluable: five straight stitch variations, three zig-zag stitches, one crescent/scallop stitch for embellishment and appliqué, and one multi-stitch zigzag stitch for stretchy knit fabrics. It also sews in reverse. At five pounds, this machine travels well, moving from studio to gallery to museum with ease. Bonus: It comes in a variety of fun colors, such as fuchsia and purple.
3. Suteck Mini Sewing Machine
Teachers require versatility and dependability in their sewing machines. This one is lightweight and tiny, so you can move it to the spot you need to stitch or pass it around among several sewers. Carry it anywhere by powering it with four AA batteries, or plug the adapter into a wall outlet if you’re using it at home. This machine sews a basic straight stitch at two different speeds (there is no reverse), and it runs via foot pedal or pushbutton hand switch. For convenience, it features a built-in light and thread cutter. It also comes with an extension table to support larger jobs, as well as four bobbins and ten spools of thread.
4. FIFADE Portable Sewing Machine
This handheld sewing machine is ideal for small projects and textile repairs. Just lift up this little gadget to the right location and sew. This monofilament machine features four thread set points; the tension is set with a turn of a dial. It sews beautifully with fabrics less than 1.8 millimeters thick, such as cotton, silk, and polyester. This machine is not ideal for complicated sewing projects or thick fabrics, but it’s great for repairing installed art or other on-site work. It comes with two sewing needles and nine spools and is powered by 4 AA batteries or a 6V adapter/power supply (both not included).
5. Brother Lightweight Sewing Machine
At 11 pounds, this sewing machine is easy to move around your studio or transport to an exhibition space, but it still delivers the performance of a standard-size machine. Brother is known for excellence, and this machine will exceed your sewing demands. It features 17 built-in stitches—including buttonhole, blind hem stitch, zigzag, and couching stitches—which you select with a simple turn of its dial. The bobbin is simple to fill and install. No setup is required: Just remove it from the box and sew. This machine is great for beginners, for more experienced users, and for those who sew a lot and need a dependable, portable machine.