A sewing machine that fits in the palm of your hand and transports anywhere, anytime, sounds too good to be true! Modern technology is astonishing, and now the handheld sewing machine is readily available from most haberdasheries and online. They have become just another small item you can add to your handbag!
A handheld sewing machine is so compact it really can fit into your luggage or handbag. Imagine having something like a large staple gun that sits in your bag ready for any simple sewing job.
The handy handheld sewing machine looks like a useful office gadget, but its aim is to provide your sewing needs for any simple repair job or basic sewing requirements. Obviously, it is not a full on sewing machine, but it is very useful for mending or small jobs around the house.
How does a handheld sewing machine work?
This compact handheld sewing machine comes with instructions to thread it and uses a single straight stitch to sew. It uses a bobbin thread attachment and has one needle inserted at the front. The fabric to be sewn is slotted into the front of the machine and the stitching runs along the side of the fabric.
You use batteries to operate the handheld machine and so it is fully portable. It can be powered electrically, but you will need a proper DC6V power adaptor and that is not usually supplied. If you are traveling, then batteries are easier anyway than looking for power converters in different countries.
Once you are threaded up and ready to sew, the handheld machine is very light and easy to handle. You push the ON button and away you go! Most of these machines advertise that they can sew all types of fabrics but I would stick to lightweight fabrics for best results. If you want to sew heavier fabrics such as denim, then you would be better off with a regular sewing machine.
Further Reading: Best Sewing Machine
Advantages of a handheld sewing machine
There are several advantages and most of the machines recommended will attest to the following:
- Portability – it is lightweight and compact
- Convenience – fits into a handbag or holiday case
- Easy to handle – even a beginner sewer can operate this machine
- Ideal for repairs and handy around the house for hems and small alterations
- Perfect to take on holiday for any quick repairs while you are away
- Economical – the prices for these machines are very reasonable at $15-$20 usd
- Cordless – no irritating cord to get in your way as you sew small areas of fabric
- Comes with attachments but not always with batteries and the power adaptor
- Many models to choose from (but always look for a reputable brand).
Disadvantages of a handheld sewing machine
- Only sews lighter fabrics. This is one of the biggest criticism of these machines regardless of the brand. A lot of people expect it will sew and mend jeans in particular but despite being advertised as sewing all kinds of fabrics, they really don’t do a great job on heavier fabrics. If you want to sew jeans then put the $20 towards a cheap regular sewing machine. You will thank me in the long run!
- Not designed for large sewing projects or using for prolonged periods
- You can only sew along an edge which can be limiting for many projects
Choosing a Machine
There are many handheld machines to choose from and they all seem very similar. Looking for a brand name is always a good idea as they will have reliability on their side of credits.
Look for detailed instructions, accessories, spares, on/off button position, ease of handling, portability and guarantee if necessary. Compare prices as well although they all seem very reasonable.
This handy machine has the brand backing of Singer and the parts are expected to measure up to a high quality from a renowned sewing machine brand. Despite some of the negative reviews on Amazon, I still think this is the best of the brands. Many people have unreasonable expectations of handheld machines and try and use them in instances where they should be using a regular sewing machine.
The Singer Stitch and Sew Quick is recommended for all kinds of small mending jobs and small sewing projects. It is great to take on holiday, and for repairs and little tasks around the house like curtain hems.
The machine comes with needles, bobbins and the thread spindle as well as a needle threader. This machine is reputed to be able to cope with various types of fabric and easy to operate. Like all these machines, I would stick to lighter fabrics to get the best results.
Typically, it uses four AA batteries which are not included in the package. You can buy a power cord for it separately.
2. Sting Sew
It advertises that it can sew leather and denim but this may be stretching it a little. Stick to light to medium weight fabrics and use it for mending and simple projects and you will be happy with the results.
Most of the people who give negative reviews of these machines, in general, are trying to sew heavy fabrics.
It also uses 4 AA batteries which are not included and has an optional power cord.
Other recommended brands like this Sunbeam handheld sewing machine has almost identical attributes and are equally portable.
With this red and white color combination, it looks nearly identical to the SInger brand one. It also comes in a black and white option.
The same advice applies as to the other 2 brands above – only sew light fabrics or just do mending and have realistic expectations as to what this machine can do.
The End Verdict
There is no doubt that a handheld sewing machine is a very convenient little gadget to add to the variety of goodies every woman carries in her handbag!
You will never fear that awful ripping sound as your favorite outfit gives way at the seams. No! You are ready, willing and able as you reach into your handbag and pull out a handy handheld sewing machine. What more could every woman want?…Well, lots…but at least you can fix that ripped seam and not face a wardrobe malfunction 🙂