Features of Portable Sewing Machines: Are They Right for You?

Portable Sewing Machines

Portable sewing machines come in a variety of models and brands. Some are better quality than others and sew better for longer. Others are feature-rich so that they are useful for a variety of types of sewing. There are a number of reasons that you might be considering a portable machine, such as easy transport or lack of space. Once you know what today’s portable sewing machines have to offer, you can determine if they are a good fit for your needs.

Portable Vs Handheld

Handheld machines are becoming a trend due to their high portability and supposed ease of use. In reality, many buyers are disappointed when they discover the limitations of using these small devices.

If you travel or are forever having to mend your kids’ sports uniforms on the go, a handheld sewing machine can come in handy. But these gadgets don’t come close to the quality of sewing or the flexibility of stitching that you will get from the simplest portable machine.

Portable Sewing Machines

Portable machines are made like regular sewing machines only lighter weight and smaller. They have minimal styling and features, sometimes with only a few stitch options. In most cases, they are what you would consider “basic” with few automated features.

Most portable machines cannot handle heavy fabrics or bulky projects. They tend to be made with more plastic parts and less metal to keep them lightweight. Certainly, machines vary in durability, price, quality, and features, as well as how easy they are to use. If you decide a portable machine is right for your needs, you will still need to make a careful choice to get the best value.

Portable Sewing Machines

Reasons for Choosing a Portable Sewing Machine

A Matter of Space

If you have a dedicated sewing room with lots of space, you are going to get a lot more benefit from a traditional sewing machine. If you need a machine that you can get out of the closet when you need it, a portable is the way to go. Many people think of portable machines as being for professionals who must take their machine with them from place to place. While a portable is…well…portable, that can also mean it’s easier to move around the house.

How Will You Sew?

Do you plan to use your machine a lot or only get it out occasionally to do alterations? Will you be sewing clothing, quilting, or working with specialty fabrics? The more demanding you will be on your sewing machine, the more likely it is that you will need a heavier model. Heavier model machines have more powerful motors that are more durable, sew faster, and have the capacity to handle heavy fabrics or layers.

What Is Your Skill Level?

If you have been sewing for a long time, you may need the diversity of a big machine with a lot of functions. If you are still learning, the simplicity of small, portable sewing machines will make it easier for you to learn. There is no need to invest in a big, expensive machine with all the bells and whistles if you aren’t going to use them.

Consider Your Budget

While cost is often a consideration for buyers on a budget, it shouldn’t be the sole reason for choosing a portable machine over one that offers more. The top brands offer a wide variety of models, some at a very reasonable price. You don’t have to get a digital machine with hundreds of stitches on it. You can still go for simplicity in a large quality machine without paying a lot of money.


The ability to take your sewing machine with you is probably one of the least common reasons people purchase a portable machine! If you plan to take a sewing class, you will need a machine that you can easily transport back and forth. Some people who offer specific sewing services or who are just on-hand to help their friends out may want a machine that they can take to other locations. Sometimes it’s easier or a necessity to make repairs or alterations on the fly!

Once you know what you need from a sewing machine, you will be able to decide if portable sewing machines fit your needs. You may even decide to invest in both types of machines to meet a variety of sewing needs. Always make your choices based on research and a machine’s ability to meet the criteria on your priority list. This will ensure that you end up with a sewing machine that will serve your needs for a long time to come.


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