Blog, Sewing Machines

What is a Handheld Sewing Machine?

By Jessica Strohlson

Handheld Sewing Machines, what are they and are they any good? To put it simply, yes.  However, with its many advantages there are also a few disadvantages, but I will get to those  later. Handheld Sewing machines are convenient, easy to use and easy to carry because, well,  they’re portable, meaning that in case of a stitch emergency you can stitch anytime and  anywhere! Before we get started, it is important to keep in mind that although handheld  sewing machines are great for easy fixes on the go, they are not meant to replace your  traditional sewing machine at home. We will get to this later when we discuss the difference  between handheld sewing machines and traditional sewing machines. 

What are the Pros and Cons to a Handheld Sewing Machine? 

The greatest advantage of handheld sewing machines is the convenient size allows you to take it  with you whenever and wherever you may need it. In addition to its small, portable size,  handheld sewing machines are also inexpensive and allow you to repair clothes without  needing to take them off. Again, that’s convenient! 

This is the greatest advantage to a handheld sewing machine, the extreme convenience.  However, it is important to keep in mind that handheld sewing machines are not meant to  replace regular use sewing machines. Handheld sewing machines should not be compared to  every-day use sewing machines as they are not as precise or efficient. 

Let’s review the pros and cons summarized above. 




easy to use in most cases 


allows you to repair clothing without taking it off 


cheaply made 

not very durable 

stitches don’t hold as well 

unable to stitch heavier materials such as leather or denim 

not a replacement to typical use sewing machines 

Another disadvantage to handheld sewing machines is that many people have found it difficult  to understand the instructions on how to use them. While they are typically easy to use, they  do require an extra, visual learning step such as YouTube tutorials or an extra pair of hands  demonstrating how to get started. Lastly, the trickiest part to handheld sewing machines is that  many models do not come with any specific tools to help support your fabric while your  traditional sewing machines come with everything including extension tables, bobbin rewinds,  thread-cutters and more. Although unlike the handhelds, your traditional sewing machine  probably stays at home.

With this being said, keep in mind that although handheld sewing machines offer a temporary,  inexpensive fix, they do allow you to take on projects such as hemming your drapes without the  hassle of taking them down, or maybe hemming a prom dress without needing to take it off.  Whatever it is, the idea of less hassle is a reward within itself. 

While there are many projects well-suited for handheld sewing machines, here are a few  projects that should remain on your typical, at home sewing machine: 

Garment Sewing. While this goes without saying, handheld sewing machines are made  for easy fixes, not sewing full pieces. While you can absolutely sew a garment by hand,  using a sewing machine will be faster, more efficient, and overall make your garment  better looking and more stable. 

Anything that has to do with heavy fabrics such as leather and denim. As we now  know, handheld sewing machines are not built to withstand these fabrics so it would be  best to keep these for your sewing machine at home. 

Quilting. Another heavy fabric project to avoid on the handheld sewing machine. • Zippers 

Who Are These Best Suited For? 

Anyone can own a handheld sewing machine. Whether you are a sewing beginner or sewing  master, you do not need to be an on-the-go fashion designer to own one of these convenient little  machines, though they may make you feel like one. Overall, the inexpensiveness and  convenience of these handheld sewing machines makes them worth the extra purchase for  anyone who is working on a sewing project or constantly snagging their garment – trust me,  we’ve all been there. 

What Projects Are These Best Suited For? 

In addition to the small projects such as hemming or mending garments, drapes or anything  else you may need a quick fix to, here are a few other crafty projects you can do with a  handheld sewing machine. 

1. Create Your Own Covers for Your Favorite Throw Pillows 

2. Fix any small hole in your blankets, t shirts and more 

3. Sew Tiny Doll Clothes 

Did you say tiny doll clothes? Yes, while this machine is traditionally used for quick easy fixes, it  can also be used for tiny projects such as throw pillows and doll clothes. This can be a great  bonding experience and activity to pick up with your daughter, niece, or really anyone who  wants to learn to sew their own little crafts. Plus, what a great way to break into the mindset of  a mini fashion designer – design mini clothes! 

What are the best, affordable handheld sewing machines? 

Before deciding to purchase a handheld sewing machine, first determine the type of project you would need this for and remember that these portable machines are not made for heavier  fabrics and work okay with some lightweight fabrics. With this in mind, here are the 3 best  handheld sewing machines to consider:

Singer Stitch Sew Quick

Stitch Sew Quick, Portable Sewing Repair Kit for Quick Repairs Only
  • Cordless, handheld portable mending machine Single thread feed for quick repairs or temporary basting
  • Works best on lightweight fabrics
  • Includes threads, bobbins, needles and thread spindle
  • Batteries not included
  • Not meant to replace a sewing machine, for quick mending and projects only

This machine is perfect for immediate repairs. Not to mention  the fact that Singer is one of the most reputable Sewing Brands out there, this usually  means that their models, whether it be handheld or normal sewing machines, are quite  reputable as well as easy to use. Though this machine claims that it is suitable for  heavier fabrics such as leather or denim, do not test the theory. It is also best to keep in  mind that handheld sewing machines are never made, or at least have not yet been  made, to withstand these heavier materials. As long as you know this, you are good to  go.

Singer Stitch Quick 2

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As we now know, Singer can be trusted to make some of the best  sewing machine models. This leads us to the Singer Stitch Quick 2, this model comes  with 3 threaded bobbins, 1 needle threader, 3 machine needles and 1 thread spindle.  Talk about convenience! 

MagicFly Mini Sewing Machine

Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine for Beginner, Dual Speed Portable Machine with Extension Table, Light, Sewing Kit for Household, Travel
  • 【Electric Sewing Machine】Supports AC/DC power supply or battery power supply (wireless), easy to turn on with a button or foot pedal (included). It's very convenient to start sewing jobs.
  • 【Dual-Speed Functionality】The double thread design makes the stitching stronger and ending sewing easier, without the need to tie the thread. There is a speed button on the product to adjust the speed to "high" or "slow" according to your needs.
  • 【Practical Sewing Kit】We provide a useful sewing accessory kit which includes bobbins (32pcs), needles (5pcs), scissors, threader, tape measure, seam ripper, thimble, and an extension table that makes the sewing machine more stable and improve its performance on larger projects. Additionally, a storage bag is included.
  • 【Suitable for Beginners】The machine has a threading direction marked on it, making it easier for you to thread. This item is designed with a mini size (8.3" in height, 7.7" in length) and offers one stitching type (fixed stitch width/length, no backstitch function). It is not complicated but meets the basic sewing needs of most households.
  • 【Attention】This product will arrive threaded, with a small piece of cloth. This is because the machine has been tested in the factory before being packed.

This easy-to-use machine is portable and very lightweight for convenience. The extension table makes sewing more stable and works better on larger projects. This also comes with 42 pieces for all your sewing needs.

These are just a few options to consider if you find that handheld machines are in fact  worth a try, if you ask me I would definitely say that convenience makes all the  difference in the world. While there are a few slight disadvantages, the many pros of  owning a handheld sewing machine surely outweigh the cons. Plus, they are extremely  affordable with prices ranging from as low as $18 to a more high-end model sitting at a  good $45 – still worth the try if you ask me! If you’re ready to overcome the small obstacles  of this small machine, such as overcoming some of the trickier instructions, then get ready  for small projects made easy! Is there still time for them to dress before the next coming wedding season?

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