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How To Use A Handheld Sewing Machine

If you work on light fabrics and want to sew on the go, the handheld sewing machine is your best solution. It is easy to use and convenient. It is best used to fix holes in garments and other types of repair.

Many people struggle to use the handheld sewing machine. This is because of its small size and even lower functionality compared to the large commercial or home sewing machine. You cannot use it to make intricate patterns on garments. Thus it is not popular with sewers.

How Do You Use A Handheld Sewing Machine?

To use a handheld sewing machine, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you have the right batteries and load them into it. Set up the bobbin and thread the needle properly. Hold your fabric properly and sew stitches as tight as the handheld sewing machine will sew.

Step 1. If you are a beginner on how to use the handheld sewing machine, the first step is to understand it. This means that you first have to read its user manual to understand its components and how they connect to make the handheld sewing machine easy to use.

First, the handheld sewing machine looks like a stapler. This enables you to hold it firmly while you use it and makes it easily portable.

A handheld sewing machine consists of, a battery compartment where you insert the batteries that power it. It also has an easy-to-use bobbin. You can easily see the bobbin and make any changes to it quickly.

It also consists of a tension control lever or buttons to enhance tension on your thread while sewing. It also has a long needle arm for ease in threading the needle and safety while sewing. 

It also has a screw that helps to tighten the sewing machine and a fastening plate for easier sewing

It has a power switch to start it and an adapter port for when you need to use an adapter. 

These components make up the handheld sewing machine. They are few enough to make it a useful sewing machine and, light enough to carry around. 

Step 2. Get the handheld sewing machine ready to use. This means that you need to insert the batteries into the sewing machine. Different handheld sewing machines require more or fewer batteries. Also, depending on your sewing machine, the battery compartment can be found on the side or at the bottom. 

Normally, handheld sewing machines use AA batteries. These are easy to find in stores around you. Before you insert the batteries, make sure to raise the needle arm to its highest position.

Once you have loaded the batteries, switch the machine on to test that it is working. This will cause the needle arm to move up and down as if it is sewing. 

Step 3. Once you have the batteries in the handheld sewing machine, you need to set up the bobbin. The bobbin is located on one side of the handheld sewing machine. The bobbin used in this machine is similar to the one in larger sewing machines. 

It holds the thread that goes into the sewing needle. A handheld sewing machine unlike a normal sewing machine only uses a single thread fed from the bobbin. 

To fix your bobbin, you are provided with a spindle and spring. Before loading the bobbin, make sure to thread it. 

Insert the spindle through the bobbin, then fix the spring at the other end where the spindle comes out of the bobbin. Press the spring inwards and fix the spindle into the provided bobbin hole on the side of the handheld sewing machine. 

Step 4. Once you have fixed the bobbin, you now need to thread your sewing machine. For the handheld sewing machine, the thread is fed from the bobbin. This is why you need to thread the bobbin before you fix it.

To thread the handheld sewing machine, unroll the thread from the bobbin in a clockwise direction. The first position is a thread guide hole that is directly above the bobbin. Put the thread through this hole. 

Second, pull and pass the thread through the tension control device and pass the thread between the two discs. Get the next thread guide that then leads you to thread the needle. You can use a needle threader to get the thread through the needle hole.

You are now ready to start sewing with your handheld sewing machine. 

Step 5. Sewing. This is the easy part of using a handheld sewing machine. When it is properly threaded, raise the needle arm to the highest position by turning the handwheel in any direction. Then, raise the fastening plate or presser foot with your right hand. Hold gently so that you won’t push the needle arm down. Position your fabric under the needle and let the presser foot down.

Now, hold the handheld sewing machine firmly with your right hand while the left hand holds the fabric. Switch the machine on and start sewing. 

As you are sewing, hold the fabric firmly as you guide it through the machine from left to right. The machine pulls the fabric automatically as soon as it is switched on. 

At the end of the fabric, power off the handheld sewing machine. 

Step 6. Secure the stitches. There are different ways you can do this while using a handheld sewing machine. First, you can use your hands. Once you have reached the end of the sewn fabric, cut the thread and release it from the sewing machine.

Turn the fabric around and make a knot with your hands at the last stitch made by the machine. When cutting your thread at the final stitch, leave a long tail that you will use to fasten the sewn stitches in a final knot.

When sewing on a normal sewing machine, you will use a reverse stitch to secure the stitches. A handheld sewing machine doesn’t have a reverse stitch. At the end of your sewing, raise the needle by turning the handwheel. Lift the fastening plate, then cut the thread.

Turn the handwheel, which will move the needle up and down to form a loop on the stitches. Stop the sewing machine and pull out your fabric. The loop made is on the backside. Turn your fabric around and simply pull the thread. This seals the loop and secures your stitch on your fabric.

Successfully sewing with a handheld sewing machine.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using A Handheld Sewing Machine?

A handheld sewing machine has benefits and disadvantages to its use. It can only be compared to the normal sewing machine. First, the handheld sewing machine is compact. This means that it doesn’t have to occupy half a room in your house when you only use it once or twice a year. 

It also is light. This means that it is easy to carry around. If you have a client who needs a quick repair done, you can carry your handheld sewing machine, go to their place and quickly complete your repair. You can also use it to repair clothes that are still on the body.

The handheld sewing machine is also affordable and easier to acquire than the commercial or home sewing machine. 

The handheld sewing machine also has several disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that it can only be used on light fabrics. With more and more people choosing khaki and denim fabrics for their day-to-day attire, this sewing machine becomes obsolete. You can’t use it to repair holes on these garments. 

Another disadvantage is that, since it can’t sew in reverse, most of its stitches are not as tightly held. You have to secure them by hand rather than by machine. 

Due to its lightweight, it breaks easily. Also, some people may find it difficult to use. 

Is A Handheld Sewing Machine Better Than Sewing By Hand?

When you compare a handheld sewing machine to a normal sewing machine, many would choose the normal sewing machine. How about when you compare it to sewing by hand. 

The handheld sewing machine is mechanical. This means it is faster and more accurate than when you sew by hand. This also means that it will save you the time and effort you will use when sewing. 

Using a handheld sewing machine is safer. It reduces the chances of getting pricked with a needle as you sew by hand. The needle is held in place and it automatically feeds the fabric. Meaning that you are not likely to hurt yourself as you sew.

On the other hand, if you are comfortable sewing by hand, you can work on much harder fabrics than the handheld sewing machine easily. 

Also, sewing by hand allows you to make some intricate patterns on your clothes. The handheld sewing machine only sews in a straight line. You can use it to embroider over a hole on a garment.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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