The 5 Best Portable Sewing Machines


Here are the BEST portable sewing machines – cause let's face it, we like to sew errywhere. Some people bring books or magazines with them to entertain themselves when they’re on-the-go… but I bring quilting projects. Now, before you give me the side-eye, I once sat next to someone who was knitting a baby sweater in a dark movie theater, so in comparison, I’m not even that weird.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one looking for ways to take quilting with them when they’re on the move, either. That’s why I wanted to write a post about the best portable sewing machines out there. They may not be movie-theater portable, but they are machines that are easy to take with you when you want to take your quilting project to a class, club, or family reunion. (PS, if you quilt with your family members during family reunions, will you invite me to the next one? I promise I’ll fit in.) are....

Oh wait! Sorry, sorry, sorry, I almost forgot to let you know that this is part of a sewing machine series. Some other posts about sewing machines include:​

OK ok, now back to that drumroll...

The Best Portable Sewing Machines for Every Style & Budget:​


1. Brother CS5055PRW

At only 10.1 lbs and 19.5 x 10.8 x 16 inches, this baby could fit in your favorite crafting bag. It’s one of the lightest machines out there that is still going to deliver 50 built-in stitches and the option to carry it with you to class without difficulty. It is sturdy enough to handle stretch materials and bulkier fleece, and can crank out 850 stitches per minute when you really get it going. Because it’s light, versatile, and easy to use, it earns one of my top spots.


2. Singer 7258

A little heavier and a little smaller, at 14.6 lbs and 14.5 x 7.5 x 12 inches, the Singer 7258 packs a big punch into a little machine. It’s more advanced and has 100 built-in stitches, which can be nice for us quilters and our picky stitch needs. Another cool feature of the Singer 7258 is this fancy thing called “electronic auto pilot,” which lets you sew without a foot pedal if you want. Yes, it’s a little scary, but you’ll feel like you’re living in the future.


3. Janome SEW MINI

Now we’re moving into the SUPER small machines, and the super low prices, too, starting with the Janome Sew Mini. Yes, it’s still a real sewing machine, made in the same factory as Janome’s larger machines, but it’s only 10.5 x 9 x 5.8 inches and 6.9 lbs. As you may have already guessed, it’s a bit limited in what it can do, and probably can’t take on your heavy-duty projects, but you can literally lift it with a few (strong) fingers, and it’s great for beginners. Added bonus – multiple color options!​


3. Brother ES2000

The Brother ES2000 brings some different strengths to the table, while still being light enough to lift off the table at 13.5 lbs. This model from Brother offers a free arm option (That's an extended area around the needle plate to give you more space for maneuvering fabric.) A computerized screen lets you shuffle through tension adjustments like they’re your favorite playlist. My favorite part about this portable machine is the option to switch to free-motion sewing. Most machines this size and price don't have that feature.

(Also, if you want to see a video about this machine with some really exciting background music, click here.)


5. Michley LSS-202

I’m putting this crazy, tiny contraption in a league all of its own. At 7 x 4.5 x 8.5 inches and 2.2 lbs, the Michley LSS-202 is a whole different animal, and maybe… not exactly what you think of when you think “sewing machine.” Yes, it sews. That is its purpose. But this baby makes the list for a different reason than the others. This is the equivalent of the little flashlight you keep on your keychain – you don’t expect it to do what your normal machine will do, but it delivers in a pinch, and it’s easy to have on-hand. The price ain't bad either.​

Now here’s what I want to know: where is the craziest place you have taken a sewing machine? On a cruise? Into the mountains? Your in-laws? Comment below!


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Suzy Quilts

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8 thoughts on “The 5 Best Portable Sewing Machines

  1. Deb says:

    This will be the second year of a family quilt retreat. Trying out a new spot, stitch supply in Wisconsin. So not too far. One aunt who flies in does borrow a machine versus making it go in the overhead.

  2. Emily says:

    I brought my sewing machine & quilting stuff with me when I moved into my sorority house in college! There really wasn’t much space in my three-person bedroom so I would use the dining room to quilt in between meals. Quilters gotta quilt.

  3. Michelle says:

    Have you sewn with #5? Because friends asked me to help with their daughters machine, and it was #5 – I could not get it to form a complete stitch.

  4. Rhonda Crisp says:

    I use a portable Kenmore and I love it. I’ve got a fancier machine but I’d rather sew on my Kenmore. My mother used it for many years and when she died I inherited it and I’ve used it for 6 years and it still runs smooth as a baby’s breath. It’s simple with lots of different stitch choices and easy to use. I spent most of the day today sewing on it and it kept trudging right along.

  5. Elaine says:

    I’m a textile collage artist and have an opportunity to be an Artist in Residence at a National Park this fall. I’ll need a lightweight, portable machine to take with me that has satin stitch capacity. Would you recommend the Brother CS5055PRW as the best choice? Speed is important! Thanks so much!

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Congrats! What a cool opportunity! That Brother machine will definitely be fast and is lightweight. I recommend these machines for trips and day classes. Once you are set up at your residency, how much will you be moving your machine around? If you plan on staying in one location for a few weeks, portability may not be as important. I have another sewing machine article that might be more helpful for a high-performance, fast machine –

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