Small, light and easy to carry around, portable sewing machines have changed the very fabric of sewing. These nifty little gadgets have given sewers the freedom to pick up their sewing machines and literally sew-on-the-go.

Many versions are the primary machine for home seamstresses and tailors, taken out of a closet and placed on a table in any room when there’s sewing to be done or even carried around on trips to use during their spare time.

This is quite a change from the days when you were stuck in the designated sewing room every time you wanted to use the machine simply because moving that huge contraption around required the muscular power of at least two beefy men.

Portable Sewing Machines Pack a Mighty Punch

Don’t let the word ‘portable’ fool you. Portable may imply light but that does not mean these machines are any less capable than their mightier ancestors. Though light, easy to use and come chockfull of features from automatic needle threader and one hand thread cutter to dual needle functions.

These machines can have a surprising range of stitches, as many as 70 or 80 with versions that are also computerized. Most have automatic bobbin winders and can sport other helpful features that make them useful for sewing most light- to medium-weight fabrics.

All of these features make these machines a great choice for a range of projects from sewing clothes to creating amazing home décor products.

Some of these deceptively small models are capable of sewing the thickest fabric and even leather very easily. All models feature a storage area for accessories.

The popularity of the hit TV show “Project Runway” also has sparked a revival of interest in portable sewing machines. In addition to a special edition from Brother used on the show, other popular makers such as Singer, Janome and Bernina have seen their sales increase as beginning and intermediate seamstresses try their hands at original creations or outfits made from patterns.

A quick look at reveals that prices for these devices can range from as little as $50 for a very low-end and reportedly not very reliable, model to as much as $400 for a well-built machine loaded with amenities. For someone who intends to take up sewing as a long-term hobby or even an at-home business, investing in a good quality portable sewing machine is probably the wisest alternative.

Singer 1507 S-Stitch Sewing Machine

The Singer 1507 8-Stitch Sewing Machine is one of the more basic models. It comes with include snap on presser feet; adjustable stitch and pressure; 3 needles position and 4-step buttonholer. At less than $100, this is an ideal machine for basic sewing and mending. Don’t be fooled by the low price. This machine is backed by a 25-year limited warranty!

Janome Jem Gold 660 Lightweight Sewing Machine

Extremely compact and lightweight and priced at less than $200, the Jem Gold 660 is ideal for beginners as well as anyone learning quilting.  It has 8 built-in stitches. Selecting your sewing stitch is simply a matter of turning a dial on the side of the machine.  Other useful features include the built-in automatic needle threader for easy threading and a free arm for sewing cuffs and pants.

Janome 8077 Computerized Sewing Machine

Priced at less than $300, the Janome 8077 is packed with useful features that make it a charm to work with for casual hobbyists as well as serious professionals. Some of its more innovative features include a superior feeding system, a bright 2-digit LED screen that makes for easier stitch selection, 30 built in stitches, auto-declutch bobbin winder and start-stop button that makes it possible to sew without a foot control.

Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Sewing Machine

With user friendly features including auto bobbin winding, drop-in bobbin loading, and automatic needle threader, this portable machine from Brother is the perfect piece for beginners. Its 25 built in stitches, with multiple stitch adjustments are easy to master and allows you to explore your more creative side without getting fettered by complicated mechanisms.

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