Small portable or handheld sewing machine recommendations?

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herekittykitty

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I don't sew, only vaguely know how to use a machine. I just need something for minor clothing alternations and hems.

Looking on Amazon, none of the small machines have a great rating, so nothing stands out. Are they all crap and I should not bother, or has anyone found something they like for this task?
 

Rene T

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My DW has a Brother machine. Hers cost around $90.00. Here's one for $49.00 which would probably be great for you.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-14-Stitch-Sewing-Machine-LX3014/45799815?action=product_interest&action_type=title&item_id=45799815&placement_id=irs-106-t1&strategy=HOL1&visitor_id&category=&client_guid=b8bb6317-b982-40e1-9273-5020df3267e5&customer_id_enc&config_id=106&parent_item_id=45799815&parent_anchor_item_id=45799815&guid=fd6ef61c-8b9f-4b31-9092-6d6e722455b2&bucket_id=irsbucketdefault&beacon_version=1.0.1&findingMethod=p13n
 

DearMissMermaid

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I have a teeny tiny sewing machine I love that does an outstanding job and takes up minimal room.

Here is the review I wrote about it on Amazon:
http://amzn.to/1IYFfJe

I paid $12 for mine, now it;s up to $18, worth every penny! Sews amazingly well. Had mine 6 years now and it's still going strong!
 

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UTTransplant

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When you say you want to do hems, do you mean with a machine blind hem stitch? There are nice machines in the Janome and Brother lines. The very cheapest are a crap shoot - some individual machines work while others can't maintains good stitch quality. If you really only want to straight stitch, you can't go wrong with an older Singer 221 aka Featherweight. I keep one for traveling. The really decorative ones are expensive, but you can pick one up that isn't collectible quality. They are easy to maintain by yourself without spending a fortune at the shop.
 

herekittykitty

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Glad you replied Miss Mermaid, because with a rating this low I never would have looked at it, much less bought it!

Your review was enormously instructive as well, no matter what I end up buying. (I never knew sewing machines have to remain covered!)

My only concern about this one is whether - like so many companies these days - they've cheaped out on the manufacturing since you bought yours, because yours is 9 years old. And I guess there's no way to know that.
 

herekittykitty

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UTTransplant said:
When you say you want to do hems, do you mean with a machine blind hem stitch? There are nice machines in the Janome and Brother lines. The very cheapest are a crap shoot - some individual machines work while others can't maintains good stitch quality. If you really only want to straight stitch, you can't go wrong with an older Singer 221 aka Featherweight. I keep one for traveling.
I have no idea what I mean.  :D
I mean, sometimes-my-pant-legs-are-too-long hems.

Even if it were free, I wouldn't keep a full-size sewing machine, though. No room like that for something I'd use maybe 3x a year.
 

kdbgoat

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Wouldn't it just be cheaper in the long run to to have an alteration shop do them?  No machine cost, no maintenance cost, no giving up valuable space, and no added weight to carry around.
 

John From Detroit

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Two suggesations.. I "Work" at a thrift store (Resale shop supplied by donations) we had, last I checked two full size sewing machines in stock,,,, Cheep  One was a singer 99.

I also have a small Singer "Mending" machine (they call it) this is a 12 volt machine which does a decent job on what I use it for, However I would not give it a great rating overall.. I've had issues which I had to fix (Thankfully within my skill range).  But when I need it it does right well.
 

Guguluff

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Don't get the toy sewing machine. They don't even form a correct stitch is just an imitation of a stitch that won't last in time. Get at least something like this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0021L9322?keywords=light%20sewing%20machine&qid=1456160588&ref_=sr_1_8&s=home-garden&sr=1-8
You could get a lemon with all electrical products, but the new sewing machines are lighter and easier to use. This one has around 5-6 lbs. and it won't take too much space: 10.8 x 4.8 x 10.2 inches. If you need to hem jeans, don't force it, just help the machine out rotating the hand wheel to the right. Adjust the length of the stitch to a longer one, and use a jeans needle and jeans thread.
Or something like this one, if you plan on hemming a lot of jeans: http://www.amazon.com/Singer-1304-Machine-Built-In-Stitches/dp/B00VV4ZWBQ/ref=pd_sbs_201_22?ie=UTF8&dpID=41xRWpHA-7L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0GQ4QM9BTT2T0B7798NQ (more expensive and heavier ~ 10#)
 

jscottt

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Don't get the toy sewing machine. They don't even form a correct stitch is just an imitation of a stitch that won't last in time. Get at least something like this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0021L9322?keywords=light sewing machine&qid=1456160588&ref_=sr_1_8&s=home-garden&sr=1-8
You could get a lemon with all electrical products, but the new sewing machines are lighter and easier to use. This one has around 5-6 lbs. and it won't take too much space: 10.8 x 4.8 x 10.2 inches. If you need to hem jeans, don't force it, just help the machine out rotating the hand wheel to the right. Adjust the length of the stitch to a longer one, and use a jeans needle and jeans thread.
Or something like this one, if you plan on hemming a lot of jeans: http://www.amazon.com/Singer-1304-Machine-Built-In-Stitches/dp/B00VV4ZWBQ/ref=pd_sbs_201_22?ie=UTF8&dpID=41xRWpHA-7L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=0GQ4QM9BTT2T0B7798NQ (more expensive and heavier ~ 10#) www.sewingempire.com/
I'm looking at buying a little, portable simple sewing machine for $25, the kind mothers get their daughters to practice on so they don't screw up their machines. I'm wondering if it is tough enough to sew cross-stitches through the webbing to hold D-rings in place and make seems in waxed cotton canvas for pouches. Anybody got a wife they can ask? The manual looks to be a little more complicated than taking apart and putting together a 60 cal (attached). Might take a whole pot of coffee to figure it out.
 

msw3113

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I found a Husqvarna Viking Emerald--with roller case--for $25 on Craigslist. Very sturdy and versatile machine, it'll sew through webbing for sure.
 

UTTransplant

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I'm looking at buying a little, portable simple sewing machine for $25, the kind mothers get their daughters to practice on so they don't screw up their machines. I'm wondering if it is tough enough to sew cross-stitches through the webbing to hold D-rings in place and make seems in waxed cotton canvas for pouches. Anybody got a wife they can ask? The manual looks to be a little more complicated than taking apart and putting together a 60 cal (attached). Might take a whole pot of coffee to figure it out.
Don’t even think about it. Get a vintage Singer 66 or similar. They are basic straight stitch work horses. Plastic wonders don’t do well with multiple layers of thick fabrics like webbing. Cost should be under $100, probably more like $50.
 

John From Detroit

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I have not seen any i'd recommend hut ALDI occasionally has a small machine per their flyers. I've not purchased it and do not recall the price or if I've seen it in a store.
A bit more expensive but Singer has one they call a "mending Machine" I have one (Got it one black friday) and it works well on light fabric (T-shirts and such) IT runs on 12 volts from a power brick.

I also have a larger Singer that does most everything.
 

Old_Crow

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Tom's Place, California
I'm still hauling my wife's full-sized Kenmore machine around. I've actually gotten it out and used it about 3 times since she passed, so I guess I'll keep it.
 

Vanbrat

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Feb 27, 2022
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Whidbey Island WA
If you know someone who sews see if they can go thrift store shopping with you. I have seen several good small machines at our local thrift shops. Just don't buy if you can't try them out. This is where the friend that sews comes in....
 
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